Watch the Heartbreakers Play for First Time Since Tom Petty Died
Three members of the Heartbreakers reunited on stage at the weekend for the first time since Tom Petty's sudden death in 2017.
Guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench and drummer Steve Ferrone took part in Stephen Stills’ fifth annual Light Up the Blues charity event, which also featured Neil Young, among others. The Heartbreakers played alongside Stills and Patti Smith before taking part in the night’s finale. You can watch video clips below.
Petty died at 66 last October, after taking an accidental overdose of pain medication. After the tragedy, Campbell and Tench wrote personal messages of thanks to fans for their support. “Your condolences have been a life saver for me,” Campbell said. “This has been so surprising and devastating for me and the band as I know it has been for you. It will take a long time before I get over this. I will carry on for myself and all of you who love the music.” Campbell also said that he’d be “eternally grateful” for the time he’d spent with Petty.
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Tench said the weeks following his colleague’s passing had been “awful” and continued: “What I do want to tell you is how much I appreciate your kindness and support. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from and speak with many of you, both in person in Los Angeles and New York, and through social media. You have been a great source of comfort. This band, and the extended family Tom gathered around him, is a strong and loving group of people, and we’re all very tight, and all leaning on each other. Love will certainly see us all through this.”
He added that he’d learned many lessons from Petty and aimed to continue applying them “going forward, in whatever ‘forward’ might be.”
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Light Up the Blues began in 2013 when Stills and his wife decided to raise awareness and funds for those struggling with autism, like their son Henry. “With the help of steadfast friends and concerned professionals that shared our determination, Kristen and I battled through conflicting diagnoses, emerging information and trial-and-error, and were able to find a path that lead our boy to a far better way of life," he said. "And now he’s in college.” Stills also confirmed that the event would return in 2019.
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