Tom Petty, along with his band the Heartbreakers, played heartland rock like few others during an era when guys like Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen made busted cars, crunchy guitars and lost dreams cool. Inspired as much by the Byrds’ jingle jangle as he was three-chord, garage-rock stomp, Petty wrote music that was more jagged than most of his heartland-rock peers’. He finally found some footing on his classic third album, 1979’s ‘Damn the Torpedoes,’ a masterwork of pop songcraft and sneering rock. With longtime guitarist and collaborator Mike Campbell, Petty has made a series of albums since then that explore everything from psychedelia and hippie idealism to crumbling relationships and late-period priorities. He even formed the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison to pay tribute to rock’s past. His best records are that timeless.
When you think about the people that Benmont Tench knows, he could very easily make a solo record with one heck of a guest list. In fact, he’s had offers to do just that. But when the longtime keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers decided to lay down a set of songs for an album that would bear his name on the cover, he preferred to keep the focus on the music rather than filling out each song session with star power. He wanted to keep the integrity of the project and let the songs dictate who the players should be.
Mike Campbell is best known as Tom Petty's right-hand man for the past 40 years. He played with Petty in the pre-Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch and co-wrote, co-produced and played the searing guitar leads on some of Petty's greatest songs. But Campbell also produced, played with and wrote songs for
He’s been one of rock’s premier sidemen for nearly 40 years. Now Benmont Tench, the keyboardist for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is stepping into the spotlight with his debut single, and he's brought along some old friends.
Tom Petty may credit country music with part of the Heartbreakers' signature sound, but he doesn't mean today's country music, which he recently called, among other things, “bad rock with a fiddle." Now Chris Stapleton, a country-music songwriter, has thrown down the gauntlet.
The details are still being sorted out, but lax security appears to have been the culprit at Saturday night's (June 8) prematurely ended Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show, which found the Los Angeles fire marshal forced to pull the plug with 45 minutes to go in the band's set list.
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