2000s
The Petty Archives
  • 2002-07-07_Buffalo-News

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Petty cash
The Buffalo News - July 7, 2002

Hail, hail, rock 'n' roll.

Wednesday night, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers proved that rock 'n' roll is alive and well and living in America.

Opening with a fiery version of "Runnin' Down a Dream," Petty and band drove a capacity crowd, which ranged in age from 16 to 60, to an absolute frenzy.

What can we say? Mike Campbell, Mike Campbell, Mike Campbell. The guitarist for the Heartbreakers offered a mini-course in rock 'n' roll history. A night of celebratory genius.

Petty Returns To State, Ready To Roll
By Eric R. Danton
Hartford Courant - July 10, 2002

New stuff, old stuff -- fans of Tom Petty aren't picky.

In fact, they screamed enthusiastically for both when Petty and the Heartbreakers rocked out Monday night at Mohegan Sun Arena in the group's first Connecticut show since 1999.

The crowd had clearly pined for the nasal-voiced singer in the intervening years. Even Petty seemed overwhelmed at times by the raucous ovations rolling down the aisles to wash over him and his band during nearly 20 songs -- not one a dud.

"This is the most fun in the world," Petty said at one point, when the cheering had quieted enough for him to be heard.

Concert Review: Tom Petty performs for fans, not ego
By Pennie Carey
The Free Lance-Star - Thursday, July 25, 2002

BRISTOW -- Tom Petty doesn't need laser effects and dancing girls. His music is more than enough.

Petty and his backup band, The Heartbreakers, packed two hours last week at Nissan Pavilion with a quarter-century worth of memorable songs.

The show opened with "Running Down a Dream," which had fans leaping to their feet and dancing in the aisles with the first chords.

Other hits included "I Won't Back Down," "Even the Losers," "I Need to Know" and "Refugee."

Through an 18-song set and three encores, Petty enthusiastically played songs we all know. He's played them at every single concert for years because that's what the fans want -- it's very obvious that Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are about performing for their fans and not for themselves.

Editor’s Note: This is an Icelandic article and my translation of it. If you actually know Icelandic and would like to improve it, please contact me.

  • 2002-08-16_Morgunbladid

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Original Icelandic:
Nýtt frá Tom Petty

Síðasti plötusnúðurinn
Morgunblaðið - August 16, 2002

Gamla brýnið Tom Petty verður klár með nýja plötu 8. október næstkomandi. Að vanda er sveit hans, Heartbreakers, með í ráðum en platan  hið kúnstuga nafn The Last DJ. Upptökustjóri er sem fyrr George Drakoulias (sem m.a. hefur gert góða hluti með Black Crowes) og kemur þessi plata í kjölfar hinnar ágætu Echo, sem út kom árið 1999.

POP MUSIC: No, they won't back down
By Joel Selvin
The San Francisco Chronicle - August 25, 2002

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 17th album, "The Last DJ," won't be released until October, but the band has been previewing three of the new songs on its summer tour -- "Lost Children," "Have Love Will Travel" and "Can't Stop the Sun." The album is an angry screed, blasting greed in the corporate rock world, but the tour's set lists have been heavy with crowd favorites; and, with Jackson Browne opening the second half of the tour, expect the emphasis to be on good times and rock 'n' roll as they wrap up the series next weekend with two Northern California shows.

With Tom Petty, the Only Change is for the Better
By Tony Sauro
Stockton Record - September 2, 2002

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, with Jackson Browne | Saturday night | AutoWest Amphitheatre, Marysville
Some things never change.

Which, in the case of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is a good thing.

For 27 years, with and without his band of brothers, Petty has established himself as one of rock and roll's most consistent, dependable and rewarding artists.

Musical Banquet
By Michael D. Clark
Houston Chronicle - Sunday, September 29, 2002

Store shelves overflow with fall releases
Oct. 8
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "The Last DJ" (Warner Bros.). Petty's last album, 1999's "Echo," rang with the sadness of Petty's divorce. Now happily remarried, "The Last DJ" stands to be a little more playful. Featured guests include Lindsey Buckingham and original Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair, who hasn't played on a group studio album since 1985's "Southern Accents."

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | The Last DJ (Warner Bros.)
By Robert Wilonsky
Dallas Observer - October 3, 2002

Tom Petty's as pissed as a millionaire gets, meaning you'd best take this (ahem) concept album about rock-and-roll corruption with a grain of salt the size of Mike Campbell. What happens when this album, financed by a multinational, gets airplay? Will it be considered victory or surrender, ironic or just inevitable? Because what you'll find here is hardly an act of insurrection, the clarion call of the revolutionary out to gut the mutts on his way to storming the castle; let's talk when he starts paying for the sessions out of his own back pocket, when he starts funding his own tours and returning his own phone calls instead of using the outside PR man as a shield. Besides, strip off the words and you're left with TP and the HB tried and true and then some--the same ol' same ol' from a man and a band who confuse "new" with "most recent"; you own this record and have since, oh, 1986. Still, better populist rock than pop rock, right? Admire the anger; revel in the vitriol. It's not that Petty's wrong; never has been, save for that anti-doper anthem that somehow failed to alienate the fan base (I know--they were too stoned to notice). Right, right, there's plenty to be pissed at: Radio stations hire consultants, "celebrate mediocrity" and turn their jocks into whores only too happy to take money from labels. Concert tickets cost way too much, and bands are delighted to sell their songs and souls to lite-beer commercials ("Money Becomes King"). Label execs are little more than svengalis eager to shape some hot young thing into the Next Big Thing ("Some angel whore/Who can learn a guitar lick/Hey, that's what I call music") in the name of corporate contentment ("Joe," which should have been titled "Randy Newman"). Ours has become a vacant and complacent culture that has rendered our youths little more than characters in a violent video game ("When a Kid Goes Bad," "Lost Children"). Yup, dude--it all sucks and only gets worse from here, and what's a poor rock star to do about it except sing about it and hope critics write about it so people will buy it so the label can pay for it, till the vicious cycle starts all over again after he gets done touring Afghanistan and handing over the proceeds to musicians' health-care trust funds. Did I mention it sounds like every other Tom Petty record? Well, it does.

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: The Last DJ Reviewed
The Racquet - October 3, 2002

On "The Last DJ," Tom Petty sounds like the crankiest middle-aged punk this side of Neil Young. "Well, you can't turn him into a company man/You can't turn him into a whore," Petty declares on the title track that ushers in his thirteenth studio album in twenty-six years, a loosely constructed concept piece about how much the music industry sucks. Like Young, Petty's petulance is tempered by classic-rock romanticism. His music continues to reflect an abiding appreciation for the three B's: Byrds, Beatles and Bob Dylan. Put the two impulses together, and you get an alluring archetype: Petty as the last gunslinger, riding out of town in search of something better. At once nostalgic and forward-looking, The Last DJ is quintessential Petty, by turns strident and starry-eyed. When it comes to attacking the abuses of the corporate-rock monolith, Petty has some credibility. Rock & roll has made Petty a wealthy man, but in an age of overpriced arena shows and corporate-sponsored punk tours, he has kept his tickets are the more affordable end of the rock-star spectrum, has not accepted corporate sponsorships and has never licensed any of his songs to an advertiser.

On The Last DJ, he takes on everything that he perceives is wrong with rock in the era of multinational companies. The title song is about the death of freeform radio. "Money Becomes King" argues that marketing has smothered self-expression. Petty can get heavy-handed: "When a Kid Goes Back" is full of cliches about messed-up adolescents. "Joe" is a plodding rant that tries to skewer a self-satisfied music mogul ("He gets to be famous/I get to be rich"). It sounds like the long-lost sequel to John Fogerty's ungainly put-down of a manipulative CEO, "Zanz Kant Danz."