Petty digs deep into his catalog on current tour
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tom Petty is dusting off the catalog as he and the Heartbreakers celebrate their 30th anniversary with a tour that reaches White River Amphitheatre Sunday night.

Along with special guests like Stevie Nicks, Petty is making the tour special by going back to the band's first album to play some rarely heard Heartbreaker tunes. They also dust off songs they haven't played in concert for years.

Asked it there are any songs in the vast catalog that he wishes he could retire, or play more of, Petty said: "Well, you always want to play as much new stuff as you can, though it's hard for an audience, especially if it's really large, to take in a lot of new music, so I don't try and put a lot of those in. But if we get really tired of something we just retire it and replace it and maybe if we wanna bring it back later we do."

On the achievements that blow his mind: "That it's gone on so long is kind of mind-blowing, I certainly never would have thought that."

Does it ever get old? Do you need time off to recharge? "I think it's about time to do that because if you stay on the road all the time, it's not the most creative place as far as writing, it's very hard for me to write on the road, and I think if you do take some time away, you come back with a much better head and a lot more enthusiasm for it. But I don't get tired. We're in such a nice position right now, things have gone so well. I have people approach me on the streets and say, thanks for writing the soundtrack to my life. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel as a songwriter."

The concert, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Sunday night, also features Trey Anastasio and his six-piece band. Tickets are $32.50 to $75 at Ticketmaster.