Joe Boucher, who graduated from Roanoke in 1987, was a producer on the Fox TV series King of the Hill. He worked with Petty when he was a member of the cast of the hit animated show from 2004 to 2009.
Today I got to talk to some of my students about Tom Petty. He was not just a brilliant musical artist but was a professional I had the honor of working with as a member of the cast of King of the Hill. He showed up on time and prepared, with his script in hand ... was gracious to everyone, and clearly wanted to be seen as nothing more than a part of the team. I'm sure it was hard for him to be part of a team when everyone held him in such awe. Much like with the Heartbreakers (phenomenal musicians in their own right) for 40 years ... he stood out but I'm sure he just wanted to be part of the band.
Like many great artists, he seemed driven by insecurities and something to prove but the words that really come to mind when I think of him are confident, intelligent, fearless, passionate, playful and humble. His battles with the record industry were legendary but he had too much integrity to back down and was willing to risk everything to follow his heart. He seemed to know who he was and the impact his music had on people but in a world of heartbreak and noise, I think he will be missed more than he could have ever imagined.
October 2, 2017