The Petty Archives

Last call at Dub's: the end of an era
By Bill DeYoung
Gainesville Sun - Wednesday, January 16, 1991

After nearly three decades as Gainesville's one seemingly indestructible rock 'n' roll nightclub, Dub's has passed into history.

The square cinderblock building on NW 13th Street, which drew record crowds for 26 years under one man's astute management, is on the auction block.

"I tried to hang in there as long as I could with it," says Christy Thomas, who took over the business a year ago following the death of her father, James "Dub" Thomas, longtime patriarch of the bar. "But there's no sense in trying to ride a dead horse."

Taxes, she says, sunk the good ship Dub.

Traveling Wilbury's twisting
By Pat Angello
The Creightonian - January 25, 1991

The Traveling Wilburys' have released their second album called Volume III.

Confusion. Volume III is dedicated to the late Lefty Wilbury (Roy Orbison) and features historic recording artists Spike Wilbury (George Harrison), Muddy Wilbury (Tom Petty), Clayton Wilbury (Jeff Lynne) and Boo Wilbury (Bob Dylan).

This up-beat, mostly acoustic album, was produced by ex-Beatle George Harrison and former Electric Light Orchestra pilot Jeff Lynne. It brings about a very ELO-ish sound. Volume III is very diverse and quite enjoyable.

Gainesville Sun - March 15, 1991

Social news: Congratulations to Gainesville boy Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, who married actress Courtney Taylor Sunday in Los Angeles. Tench met Taylor a year and a half ago in her native Toronto. "She's beautiful, we're wildly in love and now we're married," says the giddy groom.

CD Review
Palo Verde Valley Times - May 3, 1991

Muddy, Boo, Clayton, and Spike Wilbury (pseudonyms assumed by Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison), released their second collection of folksy tunes in 1990. Simply titled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, this latest record is quite consistent with the styles established by the Wilburys "brothers" in previous Wilbury recordings. The Wilbury style blends country, folk, and rock in surprisingly unique ways. Typically, Wilbury themes deal with love, broken hearts, and social concerns such as environmental abuse and commercial excess.

Although the artists have created stage names complete with personal histories and personalities, the authenticity and timelessness of these legends shines through. Each artist has placed his trademark stamp on the Wilbury records. Harrison's unmistakable singing slide guitar and fluid harmonies, Jeff Lynne's E.L.O-like orchestrated vocal backgrounds, and Dylan's off-key, moaning style of vocalization are all easily recognized by the trained listener.

The Wilburys are simple folks, and so are their tunes -- at first glance, that is. These guys have managed to talk simple folk and country song patterns and have added new twists and bridges, creating a unique sound. Of course, bringing in a former Beatle and a 60's folk scene legend will give any recording project a sense of uniqueness.

Petty returns to studio
Lawrence Journal-World - June 2, 1991

LOS ANGELES -- Having infected much of the nation with "Full Moon Fever" in 1989, rocker Tom Petty is scheduled to return to the recording and touring fold next month with an MCA Records album titled "Into the Great Wide Open."

Petty's "Full Moon Fever," his first solo album away from his band the Heartbreakers, was his much enthusiastically received album ever, selling a surprising 3 million copies. "Into the Great Wide Open," however, reunites him with the Heartbreakers. The album is slated for a June 25 release.

Produced by Jeff Lynne -- who also produced "Full Moon Fever" -- the album will kick off with the release of the single "Learning to Fly," which is due in stores Tuesday. Other songs on the album include "Wide Open," "King's Highway," "Too Good to Be True,," and "Two Gunslingers."

But the new album isn't all fans can expect from Petty June 25. MCA Records will release digitally remastered versions of Petty and the Heartbreakers' first two albums "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers" and "You're Gonna Get It," both of which have been long out of print.

The two CDs will be the first releases on Petty's own MCA-distributed Gone Gator Records label.

Mediocrity from Tom Petty
By Marty Racine
Houston Chronicle - Sunday, June 30, 1991

Obscure lyrics, tame music make for disappointing new album
Into the Great Wide Open | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | MCA
If Tom Petty were indeed bolting into the great wide open on this much-anticipated follow-up to "Full Moon Fever", we might have a clearer understanding of what he's trying to say.

Petty always was about mystery. But as it is, "Into the Great Wide Open" is full of hazy references, half-baked concepts, unresolved tales, cliched metaphors and strained poetic meaning.

Things about the "dark of the sun," flying without wings, a king's highway, rainbows on the smog, something (it's not explained) that's too good to be true.

Summer Album Roundup: A Wilbury's Further Travels
By Richard Cromelin
The Los Angeles Times - June 30, 1991

★★★ | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | Into the Great Wide Open | MCA
Wilburied alive.

Will that be the epitaph for Tom Petty the Rocker? In his first album with his longtime band since 1987, Petty seems to be shaking his Traveling Wilburys slumber. But those who miss the forceful rock he played before that teaming with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne will find only sporadic solace.

With Lynne co-producing (with Petty and Heartbreaker Mike Campbell) and co-writing eight of the songs, with Petty singing a little like Lynne here, a little like Dylan there, with the relaxed beats, chunky strum and liquid, Harrisonian guitar breaks, the Wilbury vibe prevails. Reflective in tone and smooth in texture, the album has the formal beauty and lack of immediacy typical of Lynne's aerated sound.

  • 1991-06-30_The-Milwaukee-Journal

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New Recordings: Petty, Heartbreakers' latest isn't their best, but it's still good
Review by Thor Christensen
The Milwaukee Journal - Sunday, June 30, 1991

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers | "Into the Great Wide Open" | MCA
No surprise about it: Tom Petty's first album since his 1989 solo LP, "Full Moon Fever," sounds a lot like its triple-platinum predecessor. That's not altogether good news. Jeff Lynne's formulaic production dominates the show, leaving Petty and the Heartbreakers precious little room to explore new turf.

  • 1991-06-30_The-Spokesman-Review

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Music: Pure Petty
By Tom Sinclair
The Spokesman-Review -- June 30, 1991

The new Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album isn't 'Full Moon Fever,' but it doesn't disappoint
Into The Great Wide Open | Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (MCA)
Tom Petty seems the type of songwriter who could roll over in his sleep, grab a guitar and compose an instant classic.

Skeptics might carp that early Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers songs like "I Need to Know," "Listen to Her Heart" and "Refugee" bordered on pastiche. But few would dispute the fact that Petty has a knack for crafting simple, memorable singles, steeped in the spirit of mid-60s rock.

While Petty has never had trouble scoring hits, he wasn't able to full an entire album with exceptional songs until his 1989 solo effort, "Full Moon Fever."