Tom Petty
American musician
Tom Petty
Tomos Earl "Tom" Petty is an American singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and was a founding member of the late 1980s supergroup Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch. He has also performed under the pseudonyms of Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr. and Muddy Wilbury.
Biography
Tom Petty's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Tom Petty from around the web
Tom Petty is feted by peers and industry leaders at record-breaking MusiCares Person of the Year benefit
LATimes - 13 days
What’s it take to raise $8.5 million in one night for charity? About 3,000 Tom Petty fans.  That was the outcome Friday of the Recording Academy’s annual Person of the Year fundraiser for its MusiCares Foundation, this year saluting the veteran singer, songwriter, guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall...
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LATimes article
Hit Nashville songwriter Natalie Hemby jumps into spotlight with 'Puxico'
Huffington Post - about 1 month
You may not have heard of Natalie Hemby, but you have heard her songs. Call her a 19-year overnight success. Miranda Lambert's "White Liar" was co-written with Hemby, who also co-wrote Lady Antebellum's hit "Downtown" with Luke Laird and Shane McAnally and Little Big Town's "Pontoon" with Laird and Barry Dean. She's also sung backup with Lambert and written songs with Kacey Musgraves and Lori Mckenna. A Nashville native (a bit of a rarity these days) and country music writing staple, Hemby finally released her first solo album, "Puxico," earlier this month. It's already receiving a lot of buzz, including on NPR here. And this week "Puxico" hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Americana/Folk Albums chart making Hemby the only female solo artist on the list. Puxico, population 871, is the name of her father's hometown in Missouri and the place where Hemby spent her childhood summers playing on her grandparent's farm, spending time with people who loved her and establishing her mus ...
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Huffington Post article
What we learned from the Ducks' 2-1 victory over the Avalanche
LATimes - about 1 month
To borrow a lyric from Tom Petty, the waiting is the hardest part. A broken pane of glass behind the goal caused a 45-minute delay in Thursday’s game. It could have derailed the Ducks against the NHL’s worst team, but they erased a one-goal deficit on goals by Hampus Lindholm and Nick Ritchie for...
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LATimes article
Carrie Underwood Went Skydiving And She's Got Epic Photos To Prove It
Huffington Post - 3 months
We had no idea Carrie Underwood was such a daredevil!  Over the weekend, the country music star went skydiving while down under in Sydney, Australia. She was joined by a group of friends, including hairstylist Melissa Schleicher.  Before the “American Idol” alumna jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, she shared a video with her fans on Instagram, asking them to guess what she was about to do. In the clip, Underwood and her friends sang along to Tim McGraw’s “Live Live You Were Dying,” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” and John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”  What are we doing today? A video posted by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on Dec 10, 2016 at 5:35pm PST After jumping out of the aircraft, Underwood and Schleicher reflected on the experience, with the “Before He Cheats” singer admitting, “I didn’t cry at all.”  That just happened! Yup! BooYah! A video posted by Carrie Underwood (@carrieunderwood) on Dec 10, 2016 at 7:13p ...
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Huffington Post article
Did Bowie and Springsteen Help Bring Down the Berlin Wall?
Huffington Post - 4 months
Did David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen help bring down the Berlin Wall? When Bowie died this past January, the German Foreign Office tweeted: "Good-bye, David Bowie. You are now among #Heroes. Thank you for helping to bring down the #wall. " A book published in 2013 bears the title, Rocking the Wall: Bruce Springsteen--The Berlin Concert That Changed the World. Springsteen's new memoir offers his full account for the first time. It surprises many to learn that rock stars from the USA were even allowed to play in East Germany while the Wall stood. But the Communist leaders, noting the tremendous build-up of anger and tension among their young people at that time during the Gorbachev "glasnost" era decided to provide what they thought was a "safety valve" by allowing major rock concerts starting in 1987. Another reason was that concerts by top stars such as David Bowie had been taking place just over the Wall in the West and tens of thousands of kids in the East were flocking t ...
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Huffington Post article
The Night Bob Dylan Made Sense
Huffington Post - 4 months
Twenty-four years ago, a concert predicted Dylan's future as a Nobel Laureate. Bob Dylan is officially the songwriter with the most bling. He's got plaques, statues, gramophones, and now a Nobel Prize in Literature. True to form, the Minnesota-born singer performed a career-spanning set at the Desert Trip music festival in California Friday night but never mentioned the amazing honor bestowed upon him Thursday morning. What a rock and roll thing to do: ignore the elephant in the room simply by being the bigger elephant. He's more decorated than Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, and Neil Young. With his new prize, Dylan has won the crown for all time. For America. But if Dylan is a living, breathing national hero, why have we been eulogizing him since he was a young man, almost as if he was dead ? I first asked this question when I attended a 30th anniversary Dylan tribute concert at Madison Square Garden. It was October 16, 1992, and the marquee read, "Columbia Recor ...
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Huffington Post article
Runnin' down a dream: Tom Petty to be celebrated as 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year
LATimes - 5 months
Whether moving west down Ventura Boulevard, gliding down over Mulholland or living in Reseda with a freeway running through the yard, Tom Petty has soundtracked Southern California life for more than 40 years. Those classic songs, including “American Girl,” “The Waiting,” “Wildflowers,” “Free Fallin’”...
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LATimes article
Top 5 Songs To Replace The National Anthem
Huffington Post - 5 months
The Star Spangled Banner has been the United States National Anthem for centuries. Be that as it may, the song isn't without controversy. Colin Kaepernick couldn't be reached for his input, but his means of protest got me thinking. What songs could replace the current National Anthem? Top 5 Songs To Replace The National Anthem 5. Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana: These guys knew how to get a party started. Imagine hearing this song before every sporting event or at graduation. Talk about a crowd pleaser! 4. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty:This smooth vibe is sure to bring us all together. Not to mention, Tom Petty is the man! What's not to like about this song? 3. Before I let Go by Frankie Beverly And Maze:Everyone and their parents loves them some Fankie Beverly and Maze. This soulful love song is sure to get everyone in good spirits regardless of race, class or gender. You just can't help but move and sing when this song comes on. National Anthem worthy for sure. 2 ...
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Huffington Post article
Can A Mean Girl Change Her Ways?
Huffington Post - 5 months
Remember them from high school? Every school had 'em (and they still do.) Maybe you were one. Or perhaps you were bullied by them. I'm sure the decision to partake in the former was often an attempt to avoid facing the latter. A tough choice; an outcome of desperation, perhaps, or fear. Fear that they'd be shunned by their group; left without friends, to fend for themselves when, in fact, it could have been their chance to create some genuine friendships with other people. Well, maybe... Unless, of course, they'd made too many enemies during their reign as a Mean Girl in which case, staying where they were was likely the safest option, even if it did lack security and substance. I don't know what went through their minds. I wasn't a Mean Girl. Well, not in my teen years anyway. I was a bossy little brat as a kid, though. Mostly toward my friends. I'm not quite sure why but I'm inclined to blame it on OCS (Only Child Syndrome), whereby any way ...
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Huffington Post article
Tom Petty's band Mudcrutch taps Sean Penn to direct grim Anthony Hopkins-led video
LATimes - 8 months
Mudcrutch, Tom Petty’s reformed early band, has released a new video for its song “I Forgive It All,” but if you’re looking to start your day off with kittens and puppies you’ve come to the wrong place. Co-directed by Mr. Sunshine himself, Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn, and starring Oscar winner...
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LATimes article
Follow your path, Lionel Richie says on winning song award
Yahoo News - 9 months
Lionel Richie, Tom Petty and other top-selling musicians have a message for songwriters who are just starting out -- follow your creative instincts. The artists were honored Thursday night by the Songwriters Hall of Fame at a New York dinner that was full of star performers but, in keeping with the behind-the-scenes role of composers, was lower profile than many other music awards galas with no live television coverage. The Hall of Fame inducted Petty along with disco titan Nile Rodgers and his late counterpart Bernard Edwards, English literary rocker Elvis Costello, slain soul legend Marvin Gaye and Chip Taylor, who performed his signature 50-year-old song "Wild Thing" with his three granddaughters.
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Yahoo News article
5 things about Mudcrutch reunion - Part 2
LATimes - 9 months
The recent re-reunion of Mudcrutch, the early-1970s Florida rock band that Tom Petty, guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench played in before they moved to Los Angeles and created the Heartbreakers, has reconvened the original lineup, also including co-lead guitarist Tom Leadon and...
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LATimes article
Parents, Think Twice Before Posting Those Prom Pics
Huffington Post - 9 months
I dread opening my Facebook feed during May. Sandwiched in between the inevitable pro-Trump/Hillary rules/Feel the Bern/Moving to Canada rhetoric are the photos. My head is pounding as I envision them -- and I'm not even on Facebook as I write this. The boys in their rented tuxedos, misaligned bow ties suffocating their necklines, arm in arm with prom dates, their bodies a mashup of taffeta, big hair and corsages affixed by mothers after several fruitless, nerve-racking (and in some cases painful) attempts by the guys. And now, thanks to parents who really should know better, those awkward moments are splattered across the internet. Forever. Moms and dads, it's time to pull out your high school yearbooks. There's a reason they're gathering dust in the basement or serving as a breeding ground for spiders in the attic. For within those pages lie photos you would surely have deleted were digital photography around in 1985, when you danced to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard at your ...
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Huffington Post article
Tom Petty and Mudcrutch will play Midnight Mission benefit shows May 23 and 24
LATimes - 9 months
Tom Petty and his Mudcrutch band mates will get a head start on their upcoming U.S. reunion tour with a pair of shows next week in Northridge benefiting L.A.’s century-old Midnight Mission. Mudcrutch predates the Heartbreakers, dating from the early 1970s when all were playing bars and clubs in...
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LATimes article
Tom Petty and Mudcrutch are together again - again
LATimes - 10 months
If a filmmaker were to tell the story of Florida rock group Mudcrutch, it would go something like this: Rock 'n' roll-loving teenagers form a band and head for Hollywood in search of fame, only to fall short and disband. Flash ahead three decades. The members reunite, record the album they never...
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LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tom Petty
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2015
    Age 64
    In mid-November 2015, Sirius/XM launched Tom Petty Radio on Channel 31.
    More Details Hide Details He has been managed by Tony Dimitriades since 1976. Petty's first appearance in film took place in 1978, when he had a cameo in FM. He later had a small part in 1987's Made in Heaven and appeared in several episodes of It's Garry Shandling's Show between 1987 and 1990, playing himself as one of Garry Shandling's neighbors. Petty was also featured in Shandling's other show, The Larry Sanders Show, as one of the Story within a story final guests. In the episode, Petty gets bumped from the show and nearly comes to blows with Greg Kinnear.
    In January 2015, it was revealed that Petty and Jeff Lynne would receive royalties from Sam Smith's song "Stay with Me" after its writers acknowledged similarities between it and "I Won't Back Down".
    More Details Hide Details Petty and co-composer Jeff Lynne were awarded 12.5% of the royalties from "Stay with Me", and the names of Petty, Jeff Lynne, joined James John Napier (known professionally as Jimmy Napes) in the ASCAP song credit. Petty clarified that he did not believe Smith plagiarized him, saying "All my years of songwriting have shown me these things can happen. Most times you catch it before it gets out the studio door but in this case it got by. Sam's people were very understanding of our predicament and we easily came to an agreement".
  • 2014
    Age 63
    On July 29, 2014, Reprise Records released Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' thirteenth studio album, Hypnotic Eye.
    More Details Hide Details The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming the first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album to ever top the chart. Petty is currently involved with Sirius satellite radio hosting his own program "Buried Treasure" on Channel 31, Deep Tracks, playing mostly oldies and roots rock with commentary.
  • 2013
    Age 62
    In early 2013, Petty and the Heartbreakers announced that they would be playing at several North American festivals in the late spring and summer, and in February, the band announced a North American tour and an upcoming album to be released in 2014.
    More Details Hide Details
  • FIFTIES
  • 2010
    Age 59
    In February 2010, Petty announced a new Heartbreakers album, Mojo released on June 15, 2010.
    More Details Hide Details This was followed by a North American Summer Tour beginning on June 1, 2010. The band also appeared as musical guests on the season finale of Saturday Night Live on May 15, 2010. In 2012, the band announced a North American and European tour that visited several European countries that the band had not visited in nearly 20 years.
  • 2009
    Age 58
    In November 2009, Petty told Rolling Stone that he is working on a new album with the Heartbreakers, saying, "It's blues-based.
    More Details Hide Details Some of the tunes are longer, more jam-y kind of music. A couple of tracks really sound like the Allman Brothers — not the songs but the atmosphere of the band."
  • 2008
    Age 57
    Steve Winwood served as the opening act, who joined Petty and the Heartbreakers on stage at select shows, starting on June 6, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details Winwood performed his Spencer Davis Group hit "Gimme Some Loving," and occasionally, he performed his Blind Faith hit "Can't Find My Way Home" before it.
    On February 3, 2008, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the halftime-show of Super Bowl XLII at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
    More Details Hide Details They played "American Girl," "I Won't Back Down," "Free Fallin'," and "Runnin' Down a Dream," in that order. "I Won't Back Down" was used in the closing credits of the coverage on BBC Two. The Live Anthology project by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was announced nearly a year after Petty's record Extended Play Live with Mudcrutch.
  • 2007
    Age 56
    During the summer of 2007, Petty reunited with his old bandmates Tom Leadon and Randall Marsh along with Heartbreakers Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell to reform his pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch.
    More Details Hide Details The band originally formed in 1967 in Gainesville, Florida, before relocating to California where they released one single in 1974 before breaking up. The quintet recorded this self-titled new album of 14 songs that was released on April 29, 2008 (on iTunes, an additional song "Special Place" was available if the album was pre-ordered). The band supported the album with a brief tour of California in the spring of 2008. In 2007, artists as diverse as Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Norah Jones, Lenny Kravitz, and Paul McCartney paid tribute to Fats Domino on the double-CD covers set Goin' Home: A Tribute to Fats Domino. The album's sales helped buy instruments for students in New Orleans public schools and they contributed to the building of a community center in the city’s Hurricane Katrina-damaged Ninth Ward. Tom and the Heartbreakers’ contributed a critically acclaimed cover of “I'm Walkin'" to the package.
  • 2006
    Age 55
    In 2006, the American Broadcasting Company hired Petty to do the music for its National Basketball Association playoffs coverage.
    More Details Hide Details
    In July 2006, Petty released a solo album titled Highway Companion, which included the hit "Saving Grace."
    More Details Hide Details
    In February 2006, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers agreed to be the headline act at the fifth annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
    More Details Hide Details Following that announcement came the itinerary for Tom & the Heartbreakers' "30th Anniversary Tour." Special guests included Stevie Nicks, Pearl Jam, the Allman Brothers, Trey Anastasio, The Derek Trucks Band, and the Black Crowes (who also opened for Petty on their 2005 Summer Tour). Stevie Nicks would join Tom and the Heartbreakers on stage for renditions of "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and "Insider," and "I Need to Know" where Nicks took the lead vocal spot. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam also joined Tom and the Heartbreakers on stage at some shows where Vedder sang the lead on "The Waiting" (which is available on the Runnin' Down a Dream package: bonus features) and a verse in the concert-closer "American Girl."
  • 2005
    Age 54
    In 2005, Petty began hosting his own show "Buried Treasure" on XM Radio, on which he shares selections from his personal record collection.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2002
    Age 51
    Petty's 2002 release, The Last DJ, included several attacks on the music industry, criticizing it for greed, watering down music, and releasing pop music made by scantily-clad young women.
    More Details Hide Details It reached number 9 on the U.S. charts. Tom has commented that he didn't like being called "bitter" by the media and that The Last DJ is full of hope, if one looks for it.
  • 2001
    Age 50
    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played "I Won't Back Down" at the America: A Tribute to Heroes benefit concert for victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, they played "Taxman," "I Need You," and "Handle With Care" (joined for the last by Jeff Lynne, Dhani Harrison, and Jim Keltner) at the Concert for George in honor of Petty's friend and former bandmate George Harrison.
    He married Dana York Epperson on June 3, 2001.
    More Details Hide Details He first met her in 1991, when she attended one of his concerts. On May 17, 1987, an arsonist set fire to Petty's house in Encino, California. Firefighters were able to salvage the basement recording studio and the original tapes stored there, as well as his Gibson Dove acoustic guitar. His signature gray top hat, however, was destroyed. Petty later rebuilt the house with fire-resistant materials. Petty spoke in 2014 of the benefits from his practice of Transcendental Meditation. Petty owns and has used a number of guitars over the years. From 1976 to 1982, his main instrument was a sunburst 1964 Fender Stratocaster. He has also used a number of Rickenbacker guitars from 1979 onward, notably a 1965 Rose Morris 1993 and 1987 reissue of the Rose Morris 1997, a 1967 360/12 and 1989 660/12TP. The Rickenbacker 660/12TP was designed by Petty (specifically the neck) and featured his signature from 1991 to 1997. Other electrics currently used on tour include a Gretsch Tennessean, two 1960s Fender Telecasters and a Gibson Firebird.
  • FORTIES
  • 1999
    Age 48
    In 1999, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their last album with Rubin at the helm, Echo.
    More Details Hide Details Two songs were released as singles in the U.S., "Room at the Top" and "Free Girl Now." The album reached number 10 in the U.S. album charts.
  • 1997
    Age 46
    Petty appeared in the 1997 movie The Postman, directed by and starring Kevin Costner, as The Bridge City Mayor (from the dialogue it is implied that he is playing a future version of himself).
    More Details Hide Details In 2002, he appeared on The Simpsons in the episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation", along with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Lenny Kravitz, Elvis Costello, and Brian Setzer. In it, Petty spoofed himself as a tutor to Homer Simpson on the art of lyric writing, composing a brief song about a drunk girl driving down the road while concerned with the state of public schools. Later in the episode, he loses a toe during a riot. Petty had a recurring role as the voice of Elroy "Lucky" Kleinschmidt in the animated comedy series King of the Hill. In 2008, Petty made a guest appearance as himself in the season 2 finale of the Comedy Central show Lil Bush, and in 2010, he made a five-second cameo appearance with comedian Andy Samberg in a musical video titled "Great Day" featured on the bonus DVD as part of Lonely Island's new album Turtleneck & Chain.
  • 1996
    Age 45
    In 1996, Petty, with the Heartbreakers, released a soundtrack to the movie She's the One, starring Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston (see Songs and Music from "She's the One").
    More Details Hide Details The album's singles were "Walls (Circus)" (featuring Lindsey Buckingham), "Climb that Hill," and a song written by Lucinda Williams, "Change the Locks." The album also included a cover of "Asshole," a song by Beck. The same year, the band accompanied Johnny Cash on Unchained (provisionally entitled "Petty Cash"), for which Cash would win a Grammy for Best Country Album (Cash would later cover Petty's "I Won't Back Down" on American III: Solitary Man).
  • 1994
    Age 43
    His first album on his new label, 1994's Wildflowers (Petty's 2nd of 3 solo albums), included the singles "You Don't Know How It Feels," "You Wreck Me," "It's Good to Be King," and "A Higher Place."
    More Details Hide Details The album, produced by Rick Rubin, sold over three million copies in the U.S.
  • 1991
    Age 40
    It debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200, which was Petty's highest chart position since the introduction of the Nielsen SoundScan system for tracking album sales in 1991.
    More Details Hide Details Highway Companion was briefly promoted on the "30th Anniversary Tour" with the Heartbreakers in 2006, with performances of "Saving Grace," "Square One," "Down South," and "Flirting with Time."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1989
    Age 38
    In 1989, while still under contract to MCA, Petty secretly signed a lucrative deal with Warner Bros.
    More Details Hide Details Records, to which the Traveling Wilburys had been signed.
    In 1989, Petty released Full Moon Fever, which featured hits "I Won't Back Down", "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down a Dream".
    More Details Hide Details It was nominally his first solo album, although several Heartbreakers and other well-known musicians participated: Mike Campbell co-produced the album with Petty and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra, and backing musicians included Campbell, Lynne, and fellow Wilburys Roy Orbison and George Harrison (Ringo Starr appears on drums in the video for "I Won't Back Down", but they were actually performed by Phil Jones). Petty & the Heartbreakers reformed in 1991 and released Into the Great Wide Open, which was co-produced by Lynne and included the hit singles "Learning To Fly" and "Into The Great Wide Open", the latter featuring Johnny Depp, Gabrielle Anwar, Faye Dunaway, and Matt LeBlanc in the video. Before leaving MCA Records, Tom and the Heartbreakers got together to record, live in the studio, two new songs for a Greatest Hits package. "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and Thunderclap Newman's "Something in the Air". This was Stan Lynch's last recorded performance with The Heartbreakers. Tom commented "He left right after the session without really saying goodbye." The package went on to sell over ten million copies, therefore receiving diamond certification by the RIAA.
  • 1988
    Age 37
    In 1988, Petty joined George Harrison's group, the Traveling Wilburys, which also included Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.
    More Details Hide Details The band's first song, "Handle With Care", was intended as a B-side of one of Harrison's singles, but was judged too good for that purpose and the group decided to record a full album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1. A second Wilburys album, mischievously titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3 and recorded without the recently deceased Orbison, followed in 1990. The album was named Vol. 3 as a response to a series of bootlegged studio sessions being sold as Travelling Wilburys Vol. 2. In recent years, Petty has begun to incorporate Traveling Wilburys songs into his live shows, consistently playing "Handle With Care" in shows from 2003–2006, and for his 2008 tour making "End of the Line" a staple of his setlist.
  • 1987
    Age 36
    Also in 1987, the group released Let Me Up (I've Had Enough) which includes "Jammin' Me" which Petty wrote with Dylan.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1979
    Age 28
    In September 1979, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed at a Musicians United for Safe Energy concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
    More Details Hide Details Their rendition of "Cry To Me" was featured on the resulting No Nukes album. 1981's Hard Promises became a top-ten hit, going platinum and spawning the hit single "The Waiting." The album also featured Petty's first duet, "Insider" with Stevie Nicks. Bass player Ron Blair quit the group and was replaced on the fifth album (1982's Long After Dark) by Howie Epstein; the resulting line-up would last until 1994. In 1985, the band participated in Live Aid, playing four songs at Philadelphia's John F. Kennedy Stadium. Southern Accents was also released in 1985. This album included the hit single "Don't Come Around Here No More," which was produced by Dave Stewart. The song's video featured Petty dressed as the Mad Hatter, mocking and chasing Alice from the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, then cutting and eating her as if she were a cake. The ensuing tour led to the live album Pack Up the Plantation: Live! and to an invitation from Bob Dylan - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers joined him on his True Confessions Tour. They also played some dates with the Grateful Dead in 1986 and 1987.
  • 1974
    Age 23
    His first marriage, to Jane Benyo, lasted 22 years from March 31, 1974 to September 9, 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Petty and Benyo have two daughters; Adria is a film director and AnnaKim Violette is an artist.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1961
    Age 10
    Thomas Earl Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, and attended Gainesville High School. His interest in rock and roll music began at age ten when he met Elvis Presley. In the summer of 1961, his uncle was working on the set of Presley's film Follow That Dream in nearby Ocala, Florida, and invited Petty to come down and watch the shoot.
    More Details Hide Details He instantly became an Elvis Presley fan, and when he returned that Saturday, he was greeted by his friend Keith Harben, and soon traded his Wham-O slingshot for a collection of Elvis 45s. In a 2006 interview on the National Public Radio program Fresh Air, Petty said that he knew he wanted to be in a band the moment he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. "The minute I saw The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show - and it's true of thousands of guys - there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you're a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports.... I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in The Beatles that here's something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn't long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place."
  • 1950
    Born
    Born on October 20, 1950.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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