"Somebody burned my house down and tried to kill me," Petty said. "I mean, I don't know if you've had anyone try to kill you, but it's a really weird feeling."
Petty's attitude toward the attempt on his life was defiance. He wrote the classic song, "I Won't Back Down" in response to the fire.
"I'm sure it had a great effect on the music I did, because I came back with this very positive, happy kind of music, that I didn't want to go into any dark corner or anything like that," Petty told NPR in 2006. "I was just so glad to be alive and to have escaped something like that. ... It was also really traumatic and terrible, but part of it made me really be extra glad to just be alive."