The Petty Archives

Ticket fiasco is latest installment in Tom Petty's hard-luck saga
By Kurt Loder
Anchorage Daily News - Saturday, June 20, 1981

Don't walk under any ladders with Tom Petty. The snakebit rocker's in hot water again, this time the result of a free concert he wanted to give in Chicago.

As a gift to his Second City fans, Petty arranged for radio station WLUP-FM to purchase all of the show's tickets and pass them out gratis. But the promotion's publicity angered competing AOR outlet WMET-FM, which promptly banished all Petty cuts from their playlist.

The aftermath? Bad feelings, sagging sales of "Hard Promises" and a genuinely befuddled Petty.

"I wasn't trying to play favorites," said Tom, who should be getting used to this sort of thing by now. "I don't care if it was Oscar Mayer Wieners, I would have let them buy the tickets."

The concert had to be postponed anyway -- remember, this is Petty we're dealing with -- after Tom tore some tendons in his knee while bouncing on his trampoline ("I'm too lazy to jog"). His doctor advised him to stay off the leg and not move around. Petty's retort: "Do you know what I DO for a living?"