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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Details
It’s easy to forget that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers began almost at the start of a legendary and highly influential wave of American music known as “heartland rock.” Formed in Gainesville, Florida, in 1976, the Heartbreakers joined performers like Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen in representing a grounded, blue-collar and thoroughly American counterpoint to the dance-friendly sounds of disco and early synth pop that dominated the airwaves in the mid and late 1970s. Petty fronted three “starter bands”—the Sundowners, the Epics, and Mudcrutch—before coming together with Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch and Benmont Tench to form the Heartbreakers. Early hits like “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” told stories that people across the country could relate to, all backed by the driving beats and slashing guitars of classic rock. It’s appropriate that the band’s breakthrough single was 1978’s “Anything That’s Rock ’n’ Roll,” even though the song was a bigger hit in England than on the American charts. That release was followed by the band’s first gold album—their second album overall—called You’re Gonna Get It! in 1978.
Like many great rock artists, lead singer and songwriter Tom Petty was a fan of rock long before he was a performer. It was more than just the sound that drove him to the music, it was the promise of hope and belonging. Throughout his career, Petty has paid tribute to the “Rock Gods.” From working alongside Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Roy Orbison as a member of The Travelling Wilburys to referencing personal heroes like Del Shannon (“Runnin’ Down a Dream”) and Elvis (“Free Fallin’”) in his lyrics, Petty’s songs weave seamlessly and purposefully into the eternal tapestry of rock and roll. With now-classic hits like “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Breakdown” and “Learning to Fly” forming the backbone of their catalog, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have added their own chapters to rock history. Curator of his own channel on SiriusXM (Tom Petty Radio) and his own fan club of traveling concert followers (“Highway Companions”), Petty’s music speaks to anyone—young or old—who truly loves rock.
January 7, 2017
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Announce 2017 Tour
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are reuniting for a summer tour in celebration of the band's 40th anniversary. From mid-April to late July, catch the band throughout the South, Midwest and East Coast, kicking off with a performance at the Chesapeake Energy Center in Oklahoma City, OK, on April 20. Among the stops is a…
March 28, 2016
Tom Petty's Mudcrutch Announces Tour + New Album
Hardcore Tom Petty & the Heartbreaker fans have likely heard of Mudcrutch, the early '70s pre-curser to Petty and his Heartbreakers. (And fans of WTF with Marc Maron may recall keyboardist Benmont Tench discuss the band at length in his 2014 interview.) The group--comprised of Petty, Tench and Mike Campbell--will release the band's sophomore album, 2,…
May 21, 2014
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Not 'Refugees', Just Planning A Tour
Legendary rock group Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers certainly aren’t resting on their laurels. They’ve just announced the release of their first studio albums in four years, Hypnotic Eye, due out July 29. And to support this record, they will of course be hitting the road, and Steve Winwood will be joining them as a…