The Petty Archives

New Cassettes
By Stephen Holden
The New York Times - April 13, 1986

Pack Up the Plantation Live! |  Featuring Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | MCA Home Video | 96 minutes. | $29.95
Tom Petty, who grew up in Gainesville, Fla., is a mainstream rocker whose soul-flavored folk-rock songs evoke a pungent sense of place.

Like Bruce Springsteen's New Jersey and John Cougar Mellencamp's Indiana, Mr. Petty's American South teems with rebels. But the Southern breed drinks harder, ruminates bitterly on the Civil War and doesn't romanticize teen-age life.

''Pack Up the Plantation Live!,'' a concert video shot last year in Los Angeles, features many of the best songs from Mr. Petty's recent album ''Southern Accents,'' as well as rip-roaring revivals of ''So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star,'' ''Route 66'' and ''A Little Bit o' Soul.''

Mr. Petty lacks an inspiring personal charisma, but he is a talented creator of rock-oriented dramatic monologues that show a fine ear for the American vernacular.