The Petty Archives

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Petty in control at the Bowl
By Ben Wener
The Orange County Register - Friday, June 27, 2008

The Heartbreakers may be the most commanding 'heritage' rock band out there.
Desert Jeff loves the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers greatest-hits show. You know the one: Petty and his gang come out, blast expertly through a half-dozen classics, toss in a few new ones because there's product to promote, then get right back to the smashes, each one more terrific than the last.

"I could see that show 15 times and not get bored," he tells me after Steve Winwood's jammed-out and funked-up 75 minutes, as we start wondering what we're doing back here at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night, spending another evening with the Heartbreakers so soon after the last.

Tom Petty and band still heartbreakingly good
By Jim DeRogatis
Chicago Sun-Times - July 3, 2008

Two years ago, shortly after the release of the invigorating "Highway Companion," his third solid solo effort and the 18th album overall in a long and storied career, Tom Petty announced that he was swearing off large-scale arena tours for good.

But on Wednesday, there he was again at age 57, leading the Heartbreakers through a satisfying two-hour set at a sold-out United Center, and with his laconic charm and trademark nasal twang as oddly endearing as ever.

Without exception, there isn't an artist in rock history who hasn't been better appreciated in the clubs or theaters than in the enormodomes. And of the dozen Petty shows I've witnessed through the years, I doubt I'll see a better one than those he did at the Vic during a now legendary residency in 2003.

But there's no denying that Petty and the Heartbreakers are one of the all-time great pairings of a timeless songwriter and his ideal accompanists — easily on a par with Bob Dylan and the Band or Neil Young and Crazy Horse, though these blue-collar heroes rarely benefit from such lofty comparisons — and wherever they choose to perform, the rock world is a better place for having them.

Petty & Co. in groove with nothin' to prove
By Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune - July 4, 2008

He has been documented in a four-hour movie directed by Peter Bogdanovich, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has collaborated with George Harrison and Bob Dylan. Surely, Tom Petty would seem to have nothing left to prove and only cash to count as he rolls out yet another national tour.

But Petty has never cottoned to the role of rock star; he's always come across as a die-hard fan with a guitar, and he leads his longtime band, the Heartbreakers, with an Everyman, roll-up-the-sleeves attitude. At the United Center on Wednesday, Petty and his five accomplices sprinkled a mixture of hits, deep album cuts and outright obscurities into a set that suggested they were taking nothing for granted, least of all the idea a band is only as good as tonight's gig.

Disc Reviews: Mudcrutch
By Hatav Hashmini
The Jerusalem Post - July 7, 2008

While Tom Petty takes on the bass duties in Mudcrutch, his voice is still out front.
You may not recognize the name, but most of the players in Mudcrutch are very familiar. Tom Petty, along with two of his Heartbreakers - guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench - have reunited with the two other original members of their pre-Heartbreakers, mid-'70s band and have gotten around to finally releasing their debut album. And like Petty's 1980s excursions with the Travelling Wilburys and on his own sporadic solo albums, the results - recorded live in the studio in a 10-day session - are highly enjoyable, steeped in a relaxed, rootsy feel. While Petty takes on the bass duties in Mudcrutch, his voice is still out front, whether trading verses with guitarist Tom Leadon (original Eagle Bernie Leadon's brother) on the traditional country opener "Shady Grove" or rocking out on the standard trucking song "Six Days on the Road." Another cover, a scorching version of Roger McGuinn's "Lover of the Bayou," answers the question of how a merger of The Byrds and Lynyrd Skynyrd would sound. The Petty originals are pretty awesome as well, with "Scare Easy" boasting a Heartbreakers groove, "Bootleg Flyer" taking off on a southern rock excursion and "Orphan of the Storm" paying tribute to the Gram Parsons school of country rock. Even the pure pop, sunny sing-along sound of "Topanga Cowgirl" sounds perfectly in line with rest of the album, which acts as sort of a primer for rock, circa 1971. Only a meandering Ryan Adams-meets-Grateful Dead jam on "Crystal River" and a couple of pedestrian bluesy rockers detract from the feel-good vibes that dominate the rest of this "debut" of the year.

Hailing the Heartbreakers
By Lee Zimmerman
Broward-Palm Beach New Times - July 10, 2008

A dedicated scribe recalls the first Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers show ever
It's not often that one can claim to have witnessed history, but yours truly had just such an opportunity one fall evening back in 1976. The events transpired in rather innocuous surroundings... specifically, a shithole of a dive in West Palm Beach. I've forgotten its name, although I still recall there were peanut shells blanketing the floorboards. No matter. It was the music ricocheting off the walls that made the night so memorable.

The band making that music happened to be a newly rechristened Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and given the fact that this gig marked the band's official unveiling, the event takes on mythical proportions. At the time, Petty was a Gainesville transplant, not quite on the cusp of stardom, having recently morphed out of his earlier band Mudcrutch and signed to Leon Russell's Shelter Records.

As for me, I was the Florida promotion rep for the former ABC Records, Shelter's parent company. Promo copies of the band's eponymous debut album had recently been released, but like most of those who happened to be on hand that evening, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that my bosses were big on this band and wanted me to be there.

Before The Heartbreakers
By Curtis Ross
The Tampa Tribune - July 10, 2008

Photography was always just a hobby for Red Slater.

The amateur's photographs, though, have appeared in magazines such as Rolling Stone, on television documentaries and in CD anthologies.

In 1969 and 1970, Slater shared a dilapidated farmhouse in north Gainesville with Randall Marsh and Mike Campbell, drummer and guitarist with a local band called Mudcrutch. The bassist was Tom Petty.

Tom Petty, Steve Winwood entertain packed house in Alpharetta
By Scott Sowers
Appen Newspapers - July 11, 2008

ALPHARETTA -- It was an evening to relive the past when shades of super groups and some of the most well-known songs in rock history were played for a packed crowd at the new Verizon Amphitheatre July 9.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steve Winwood brought their summer tour to Alpharetta and gave the crowd an evening they would never forget by playing the songs fans had come to hear as well as some surprises they may have never heard before.

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Things To Do Today: Petty Rocks Steady At The Forum
Plant City Courier & Tribune - Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be free fallin' at the St. Pete Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa, at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $29.50, $55 and $99.75, available at the box office or by calling Ticketmaster at (813) 287-8844.

For information, called (813) 301-2500 or go to www.stpetetimesforum.com.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Two Solid Hours of Incredible
The Palm Beach Post - July 16, 2008

"What's the loudest noise you can make, baby?"

The "baby" in question was the collective throng of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fans Tuesday night at Sunrise's BankAtlantic Center, pumped up from two hours of solid sing-along rock and roll. The person asking was Petty himself, his long thin face breaking into a teasing smile as the crowd, knowing that that the next thing they were about to hear were the distinctively jangly opening chords of "American Girl."

And while it's hard to recreate that loudest sound in words, it was something like the audible combination of anticipation, joy and appreciation. And rest assured...it was very, very loud.