Rocker Tom Petty Was Beaten So Badly By His Abusive Dad When He Hit A Passing Car With A Missile From His Slingshot His Mother And Grandmother Had To Treat His Welts With Cotton And Alcohol.
The Free Fallin' singer has opened up about his troubled upbringing in pal Warren Zaynes' upcoming book, Petty: The Biography, and to give fans a taste of what his father was like, he recounts the first time he took a real beating at the age of five.
Petty tells Haynes, "I had this crappy slingshot my father had given me, a plastic thing, the first one I ever had. I was in the yard shooting this slingshot. And cars are driving by. I'm just like, 'I wonder if I can get a car'. And whack! This big Cadillac. It was going by pretty slowly, and I just nailed the fin on that thing.
"The car came to an immediate stop. The driver got out, and he was so f**king mad... I felt kind of weird, not knowing what was coming next. But when my father got home later, he came in, took a belt and beat the living s**t out of me.
"He beat me so bad that I was covered in raised welts, from my head to my toes. I mean, you can't imagine someone hitting a child like that. Five years old. I remember it so well.
"My mother and my grandmother laid me in my bed, stripped me, and they took cotton and alcohol, cleaning these big welts all over my body."
This extract from the book was published in Billboard magazine.