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Tom Petty's Legacy Lives On In The Southern Tier

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BROOME COUNTY, N.Y. -

Tom Petty passed away on Monday night and music fans around the world are feeling the loss. Here in the Southern Tier, Petty's legacy continues to inspire local musicians.

"He wrote catchy songs, that once you hear the song, you're gonna know the song, you're gonna remember the song," says Benny Fiacco, owner of Music City. 

Petty built a career on simple melodies that stuck in your head. Fox 40's Production Technician Darren Nauerz says Petty knew how to make both notes and the silence in between mean something.

"Sometimes less is more and I think his music personifies that," says Nauerz.

Nauerz met Petty once and remembers him as a genuine and easy going person.

"Just completely unassuming gentleman. Just every questioned answered straight up," says Nauerz.

That relatable personality seeped into his music. Local singer and guitar player Joe Stento says he plays Petty's songs at every gig and everyone seems to know them and enjoy them.

Stento says it was Petty who inspired him to play music. News of Petty's passing his him hard.

"It was just a shock. All day I was kind of in this haze," says Stento.

Stento would get to see Petty one last time. He was in the audience back in July for the band's last tour.

"He played all the great songs and I'll have that memory forever," says Stento.

Petty may be gone, but his music, career, and legacy have left a lasting impression on many.

"The fact that he lived his life doing music and what he loved," says Stento, "Being a musician myself, it always inspires me to see people like that that just follow their dreams and make them happen."

Stento and some of his friends are playing a tribute to Petty Tuesday night at the Old Union Hotel at 8pm.