The Petty Archives

The Sound Page: Room to groove
Review by R.S. Murthi
New Strait Times - Sunday, July 9, 1989

Cassettes: Rock/Pop
TOM PETTY -- Full Moon Fever (MCA): Petty's debut solo album is as evocative and engaging as his early work with the Heartbreakers.

The song structures are basic and bareboned and producer Jeff Lynne's sympathetic support brings out the best in the archetypal American rocker, both as a songwriter and singer.
Love is the main theme here but Petty's handling of it is intelligent and heartfelt.

There are times when the hokey, guitar-driven music sounds simplistic and spineless but Petty's singing is almost always impassioned and inspired.

The most effective cuts, pieces like the defiance anthem I Won't Back Down and Gene Clark's cheery chestnut Feel A Whole Lot Better, give Petty a great deal of room to groove.

The rhythm team, which inclides fellow Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and Wilbury associates George Harrison, the late Roy Orbison and Lynne himself, is unflagging in its propulsive charge.

Music: ★★★ Sound: ★★★

News Notes
By Paul Grein
The Los Angeles Times - July 9, 1989

Tom Petty has an unusual demand in his contract rider for all concert appearances: The rock star insists that no Styrofoam cups or plastic plates and utensils be used backstage, on the grounds that they are non-biodegradable. Also unusual is the video for Petty's new single "Runnin' Down a Dream"--it's a fully animated, black-and-white clip.

  • 1989-07-10_The-Milwaukee-Journal

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Rocker Tom Petty lets out all the stops
By Thor Christensen
The Milwaukee Journal - July 10, 1989

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers changed colors like chameleons Sunday night at the Marcus Amphitheater.

They turned into a bar band and played songs by Elvis, the Animals, the Clash and the Georgia Satellites. Blink again, and they changed into a blues band, a jazz ensemble, a bluegrass outfit, even ragtime revivalists.

They drew the line at rap. But the show was a startling statement of diversity. Petty could have built it around "Full Moon Fever," his fine, but straightforward, solo album. Instead, he made it as wild and unpredictable as musical chairs.

  • 1989-07-10_The-Milwaukee-Sentinel

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Rocker Petty takes time getting to highway speed
By Dave Tianen
The Milwaukee Sentinel - Monday, July 10, 1989

Granted, he'd come from someplace hot (Florida) to someplace hotter (Summerfest), but it still took Tom Petty almost 90 minutes to work up a full-tilt boogie Sunday night at the Marcus Amphitheater.

At 8:40, Petty was lying across a piano, looking semi-terminal. At 8:41, he was ripping into the opening chords of the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" and the amphitheater finally started to jump.

From there, it was into the Georgia Satellite's "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," and the temperature on the lakefront climbed another 5 degrees.

Petty Treats Orlando Like an Old Friend
By Parry Gettelman
Orlando Sentinel - July 10, 1989

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had themselves a fine homecoming Saturday night. Of course, they'd never played the new Orlando Arena before, but the crowd was a stamping, screaming band of partisans, and Petty treated them like a host of old pals from his favorite bar.

Petty opened with "American Girl," from his 1976 debut album. The sound mix wasn't fully sorted out until the end of the song (Mike Campbell's guitar and Petty's vocals were a little muddy), but from the first chords, it was obvious Gainesville's finest were psyched to rock.

For the past year, Petty's been busy as a solo artist and Traveling Wilbury. Campbell co-produced and played on Petty's Full Moon Fever, and bassist Howie Epstein and keyboard player Benmont Tench made guest appearances, but it's been two years since the Heartbreakers' tour with the Georgia Satellites.

Editor's Note: I'm not sure what's going on with that July 24 date, as the Heartbreakers performed in California on the 23rd and 25th.

Summer concert excitement set
By Mohan Subramanian
The Jambar - July 13, 1989

Rock, jazz, top 40 highlight summer concert schedule
No matter what your musicial tastes, the summer concert schedules for Pittsburgh and Cleveland have what you're looking for.

Rock, jazz, and top 40 artists are on their way to the area so stay tuned for some shows that you don't want to miss.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be at A.J. Palumbo Theater in Pittsburgh on July 24 and Blossom on Aug. 8. If you have never seen Petty, do so. He is a rocker that is uniquely American, and although his latest LP "Full Moon Fever" is a solo project, Petty will bring the Heartbreakers on tour.

A Petty show is just a great time from start to finish and he will play his trademark 12-string guitar to such favorites as "Breakdown," "Even the Losers," and his new single "Won't Back Down." If you like rock and roll it would be a shame to miss this one.

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Musical Notes: Petty, Heartbreakers reconvene on the road
By Bill DeYoung
Gainesville Sun - Friday, July 14, 1989

Tom Petty was explaining why his current tour with the Heartbreakers is an important one for him.

"We don't see each other that much," he said of his four long-time band mates, "so this is the first time we've gotten together as a group in a long time."

The road is the only place they're all in the same place at the same time. "We go out mostly to see if we can still do it," he added. "'Cause if you have a band, you've got to go out at some point and play before the people."

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been together for nearly 14 years. Under that name, that is. As friends and musicians, most of them go back a lot farther -- Petty, guitarist Mike Campbell, and keyboardist Benmont Tench were school chums in Gainesville, and have been playing together since the late '60s. Drummer Stan Lynch (a few years younger) was in a couple of local bands that used to share the bill with them. Bassist Howie Epstein, from Wisconsin, joined in 1982.

But Petty's the vocal point, the one who writes and sings; he's the star, the famous face, the Traveling Wilbury who pals around with ex-Beatles. And his breakneck pace over the last two years, simply put, has kept the Heartbreakers off the road.

"It's such a good group that I hope we always play, or get together," Petty explained. "It's (socially) not what it used to be -- but it's very much the same when we go out to play. I'm really astounded by them. They're an incredible band."

Petty, pals lift fans to full (moon) fever
By Marty Racine
Houston Chronicle - Friday, July 14, 1989

While Tom Petty chased his muse this year for a spot in the Traveling Wilburys and a shot at a solo album, "Full Moon Fever", his longtime backup band the Heartbreakers hung around and waited for a call to action.

The Breakers got some "guest" appearances on "Fever", but like all good rock 'n` roll outfits, they only got anxious without road work. When Petty finished his hobbies, he knew to where to look - to Howie Epstein, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Stan Lynch, the guys (save Lynch) with whom he's been associated since another rock era of the '70s.

The quintet presented a stripped-down version of the hits and contemporary songs Thursday night at the Summit on - take your pick - Petty's "Strange Behavior" or "The Name of Tour" tour. It coalesced into Petty's best, most impassioned concert ever in Houston.

Opening act the Replacements, fresh from Sire Records success with the albums "Pleased To Meet Me" and "Don't Tell A Soul", were expected to push Petty along but as it stood, they were not even needed.

Good thing. The Minneapolis quartet started strong on a 45-minute set but lost steam halfway through and limped home without a clue as to what it takes to excite a large hall. Guitarist Slim Dunlap, who replaced Bob Stinson two years ago, looked about as excited as a law student boning up on courtroom etiquette. Bring back that scoundrel Stinson!

Dunlap typified - perhaps it wasn't totally his fault - a half-inspired set that did not take advantage of the Replacements' wonderful songs. Perhaps the music's tendency to fall apart at the vortex of power finally has caught up with the group as it tries to salvage an identity in touring's major leagues.

Petty, dressed in bright green shirt and riverboat-gambler vest, subsequently had the joint to himself. The animated, fawning crowd of about 12,000 - sold-out crowds are no longer the norm in arena-rock touring these days - surprised him with its knowledge of material.

Tom Petty
Portsmouth Daily Times - July 17, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) -- Guitarist-singer Tom Petty was 7 years old when he laid eyes on Elvis Presley and was smitten with rock 'n' roll.

"Elvis didn't look like the people I'd known. He had a real glow around him, like a full-body halo. He looked like a god to me," Petty, now 35, said in an interview in August's Spin magazine.

Petty, along with several thousand others, watched Presley being filmed for a scene in the film "Follow That Dream," which was shot 30 miles away from Petty's home in Gainesville, Fla.

"After I saw Elvis that one time, I became obsessed," said Petty.

Petty's latest record is "Full Moon Fever," He's earned six platinum and two gold records, has head the group the Heartbreakers for 13 years, and was one of the Traveling Wilburys, which included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and the late Roy Orbison.