The Petty Archives

Man accused of impersonating Petty drummer
By Melissa Pinion-Whitt
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin - May 1, 2003

CLAREMONT - A man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of using the name and music-industry clout of former Tom Petty drummer Stan Lynch to bilk $450,000 from investors and artists.

Ralph Melendrez, 62, who was on parole for grand theft and writing bad checks, was arrested by Claremont police at the Claremont Lodge, police said.

Melendrez, who has been a fugitive since 1998, was taken back to the California Institution for Men in Chino where he was held on suspicion of violating parole.

Petty Principles
By Sam McDonald
Hampton Roads Daily Press - August 8, 2003

Artist Bound For Portsmouth Criticizes Greed In Music Industry
Back in the 1980s, rock star Tom Petty was pictured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine tearing a dollar bill in half.

His message was simple: Record prices were too high. The music industry was getting greedy. These were ominous trends, he proclaimed.

Twenty years on, Petty looks a lot like a soothsayer.

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Tom Petty: Legend makes his way to North Charleston Friday night
By Devin Grant
Charleston Post & Courier - Thursday, August 14, 2003

Not too many people at the age of 12 knew what they were going to be doing for a living. For Tom Petty though, that is exactly the age it happened. When Elvis Presley came to Gainesville, Fla., in 1961 to work in the film "Follow That Dream," Petty, then eleven years old and a native of Gainesville, got a change to meet the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Less than a year later, Petty had his plan in place. It was pretty simple, really. He would put together a rock band, record some music, and become rich and famous.

Petty, who performs with his band, the Heartbreakers, is in town tomorrow night. He did indeed achieve his goal, but it was anything but simple. Success with the Heartbreakers didn't come until after the demise of at leas three other bands (The Sundowners, Th Epics and Mudcrutch) and a last-ditch move from Florida to Los Angeles in the early '70s. Mudcrutch was actually signed to a small label in L.A. and even released a single, "Depot Street." Nevertheless, that band soon folded. Petty then pulled some friends from his failed bands together and formed the Heartbreakers, and the rest is rock 'n' roll history.

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Passionate about Petty
By Keith Saliba
Gainesville Sun - Tuesday, August 19, 2003

These fans have a longstanding love for the music of Gainesville's very own rock 'n' roll star.
Josh Smith was stoked. A Gainesville native, the Marine had just spent six months battling his way across the forbidding lands between Kuwait and Baghdad, but all he could think about was what was waiting back home.

Family? Friends? A break from being shot at all the time?

Most definitely.

But it was a couple of thin cardboard strips that truly had Smith psyched about his July 3 homecoming.

Petty, Band Parlay Past Into A Rousing Present
By Jim Abbott
Orlando Sentinel - August 23, 2003

The Rocker And The Heartbreakers Played Favorites With A Fervor At The Ocean Center.
A card-carrying member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty is in that perilous territory between relevant hit maker and nostalgia attraction.

But while his energetic and wonderful set Thursday at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach was heavily laden with classic hits, it never sounded like a tired oldies revue. Any flashbacks were pleasant ones.

Though he stopped short of reinvention, Petty invested the familiar songs with considerable conviction. His style combined with inspired musical interplay among the Heartbreakers to yield a vibrant, old-school concert experience.

In the age of pyrotechnics and laser-light shows, Petty and his mates commanded attention with the music alone. Visuals were confined to seductive spotlight shadows or colorful psychedelic patterns on a big screen behind the band.

Nor did the intimate Ocean Center, closer to a college gymnasium than an NBA arena, require the use of those impersonal jumbo video screens to catch a glimpse of someone's face. The hall, which wasn't quite filled to capacity, also boasted far better acoustics than one might expect in an arena.

Petty's voice, still strong and vaguely Dylan-esque, was well above the instruments on the opening "American Girl," the signature hit that set the tone for the evening.

Daily Dish: Petty Banned From Driving -- By His Red-Faced Wife
The San Francisco Chronicle - October 3, 2003

Rocker Tom Petty has been banned from driving by his wife after an embarrassing episode at Adam Sandler's Malibu, California, wedding -- when he crashed their car into a swarm of paparazzi.

The veteran rock star was temporarily distracted by a weather balloon, which he thought was a UFO, flying over the event.

He recalls, "We were driving down the Pacific Coast Highway and they have huge weather balloons to keep the helicopters from coming over the wedding.

"I'm clean and fairly sober and I thought this was a flying saucer. Helicopters were circling it. I thought, 'They're landing in Malibu.'

Tom Petty and Heartbreakers honored
USA Today - October 28, 2003

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers received the Legend Award at the 2003 Radio Music Awards.

Stevie Nicks presented the award to the group in front of thousands of cheering fans Monday at the Aladdin hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

"He not only started out as my greatest musical influence, but today he's still my greatest musical influence," Nicks said.

The group performed two songs, I'm Crying and Runnin' Down a Dream. Petty thanked radio stations for taking a chance on an "unknown band."

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headphone masterpieces: 'Torpedoes' guided Petty to success
By Jason Casselberry
The Brand - February 3, 2004

My "Top Five Things I Want to Do before I Die" is as follows (Not in order, just listed. All are equally important):

1. I want to be around to see the next musical revolution; the next big thing that's on the scale of John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, and Mick Jagger.
2. Work at Marvel Comics as a writer. Write my own takes on Spider-Man, the Avengers, and Daredevil. I'd get to meet Stan Lee, and write the kind of stories that inspired me.
3. Marry Catherine Zeta-Jones. I think I need to re-evaluate that.
4. I want to introduce my child (whenever the day comes that I decide to have children) to my creative idols and see his or her reaction. I'd be exposing him/her probably to Akira Kurosawa, Eddie Vedder, Thom Yorke, and Brian Bendis.
5. I want to write Tom Petty's biography.

The Best You've Never Heard
By Brandon Knettel
St. Scholastica Cable - February 6, 2004

The Traveling Wilburys | "Volume 1"
So far this year I have written about old music by old artists and plenty of new music by new artists.

Why not try a little newer music by some old artists?

And if I'm going with old artists, why not choose the greatest gathering musicians to ever join forces?

The Traveling Wilburys consist of four of the greatest musicians in the history of modern music, period.

They are the late George Harrison and Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Minnesota's own Bob Dylan.

The group recorded several full-length albums in the early 90's, but their first, "Volume 1," is by far the best.

When I listen to new music, my first impulse is always to find out "who influenced these guys?"

When listening to the Traveling Wilburys, these questions are absolutely pointless because the band members in question are perpetually the answer to those questions.