Tom Petty Makes 'em Go Bananas
By Greg Beebe
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Tuesday, May 16, 1978
The feverish anticipation preceding Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' third Santa Cruz appearance Monday Night was exceeded only by the show itself.
The Heartbreakers methodically mashed out two long sets of raucous rock 'n' roll while the Civic Auditorium house went utterly bananas.
People began lining the steps of the Civic early Monday afternoon, staking out ground near the door so that they may get as close as possible to Petty and his high-rolling rock 'n' roll band of the future.
The performance, which sold well ahead of time, featured British rocker John Miles as opening act and was produced (and very successfully at that) by Wild West Productions.
On the eve of the release of the band's new album, the Heartbreakers played both selections from their first smash hit LP as well as teasers from the upcoming album.
Petty transcends the average rock star mentality with a straightforward approach to his music and to his fans. He calls the band's style rock 'n' roll, but it really can't be described in three paltry words. The whole demeanor of the group, the class and amplomb with which they perform, is at times breathtaking.
Quiet pauses in between hot blasts of rock 'n' roll were like cool summer breezes to the pepped-up Civic crowd, which once again had to fight building humidity which could detach an abalone from its shell.
When it was finally over, the sweat-drenched band quietly moved off into the brisk night, en route to another town salivating at the prospect of a visit from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.