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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

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Tom Petty

Interview by Cynthia Rose, City Limits, 3 December 1982

With his 1976 debut album, Tom Petty became a rock star. It seemed he was cast in the classic mould – a hip young American ...

10 Questions for Tom Petty

Interview by Jaan Uhelszki, MOJO, May 1999

What's your fascination with San Francisco? Two years ago you staged 20 shows at the Fillmore, and now you're here for seven days. ...

Audio interviews

Tom Petty (1981)

Interview by Adam Sweeting, Rock's Backpages audio, June 1981

The head Heartbreaker talks at length about, among many other things, songwriting and lyrics; his first album; working with Stevie Nicks; bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench; his Hard Promises album; Roger McGuinn's cover of 'American Girl'; Duck Dunn and John Fogerty; the MCA lawsuit and Denny Cordell; visiting Europe, and his relationship with producer Jimmy Iovine.

File format: mp3; file size: 86.6mb, interview length: 1h 30' 13" sound quality: ***

Tom Petty (1987)

Interview by Mat Snow, Rock's Backpages audio, October 1987

The Heartbreakers' main man talks about collaborating with other artists; the band's longevity; muses about songwriting and being a bandleader.

File format: mp3; file size: 40.6mb, interview length: 44' 20" sound quality: ***

Tom Petty (1989)

Interview by John Tobler, Rock's Backpages audio, 1989

The lead Heartbreaker talks about the album Southern Accents; his long association with guitarist Mike Campbell; his Backstreet record label, and his previous label Shelter; his 1982-'86 sabbatical; Roy Orbison and the Traveling Wilburys; embracing the spirit of punk; his partnership with Bob Dylan; his 1979 bankruptcy; people who cover his songs; live album Pack Up The Plantation, and his current solo album Full Moon Fever.

File format: mp3; file size: 55.1mb; Interview length: 57' 25"; sound quality: ****

Tom Petty (1999)

Interview by Paul Zollo, Rock's Backpages audio, 3 April 1999

The Head Heartbreaker talks at length about writing and recording latest album Echo; the craft of songwriting in general; the continued pleasure of playing with his band; his youth playing covers in Florida; and how the new technologies (internet, mp3s etc.) are changing the way music is made and consumed.

File format: mp3; file size: 80.1mb, interview length: 1h 27' 28" sound quality: ***

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Shelter, import)

Review by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 1 January 1977

DONT KNOW much about these guys except that they breeze out of Los Angeles, have a great image and play very good '70's rock'n'roll which ...

Tom Petty: Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (Shelter SRL 52006 Import) ★★★★★

Review by Giovanni Dadomo, Sounds, 1 January 1977

I LIKE THIS RECORD so much that I'd hate for a single person out there to miss out on it because of my failure to ...

Tom Petty: Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles

Live Review by Barbara Charone, Sounds, 10 September 1977

IT'S NO accident that the tinny PA at the tacky Whisky was blasting out the Rolling. Stones' 'All Down The Line' prior to the Saturday ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Hogtown Boys Make Good

Interview by Stephen K. Peeples, Rock Around The World, October 1977

TOM PETTY casually strolls into the room, looking slightly slept-in and slightly more bored. ...

Tom Petty Can Make 'Em Scream

Interview by Fred Schruers, Circus, 2 February 1978

Are the Heartbreakers on the Brink of Stardom? ...

Tom Petty: Animus Americus Unpoliticus

Interview by Stephen Demorest, Creem, August 1978

 [L — Fair-haired, guitar-playing carnivore indigenous to America; leaves characteristic trail of Coke bottles.] ...

Tom Petty is Obsessed

Report and Interview by Jim Sullivan, Bangor Daily News, 14 August 1978

TOM PETTY HAS an obsession with rock 'n' roll. It's not just a glamorous occupation; it's virtually the only life the 26-year-old leader of the ...

Tom Petty: The Great White Hope

Interview by Gary Sperrazza!, Trouser Press, December 1978

Tom Petty Takes On Disco Menace ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Damn The Torpedoes (Backstreet)

Review by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 3 November 1979

IT'S BEEN a good two years since Tom's last sortie into the vinyl jungle, but even then You're Gonna Get It! was released to widespread critical apathy. ...

Tom Petty: His Time Has Come

Report and Interview by Sandy Robertson, Sounds, 1 December 1979

THE STRAIGHT-looking I guy flipped open the leather case, revealing a row of gleaming bottles. "Liquid cocaine," he explained as he selected one of several ...

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Damn the Torpedoes (Backstreet/MCA)

Review by Ariel Swartley, Rolling Stone, 13 December 1979

DAMN THE Torpedoes is the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album we've all been waiting for — that is, if we were all Tom Petty ...

Tom Petty: Damn the Torpedoes (Backstreet/MCA)

Review by Mitchell Cohen, Creem, February 1980

DAMN THE TORPEDOES takes the American Stand: "Don't tread on me" When you've been ‘raised on promises’ like the heroine of Tom Petty's bicentennial debut, ...

Tom Petty: The Forum, Los Angeles

Live Review by Sylvie Simmons, Sounds, 2 February 1980

LIGHTERS COME on round the arena, a couple of firecrackers go off, then on strides Petty with his rockstar lope, leans into the microphone with ...

The Trials of Tom Petty: Petty gets it…

Report and Interview by Harvey Kubernik, Melody Maker, 8 March 1980

Washed clean by legal wranglings, Tom Petty is settling down to write good rock 'n' roll songs. "That's all I want to do," he tells ...

Call Tom Petty The New Springsteen And He'll Cut You!

Interview by Max Bell, New Musical Express, 15 March 1980

THE PICCADILLY Hotel in Manchester is an anonymous modern structure slipped neatly inside a multi-storey car park — an injection of glass and concrete at ...

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Hard Promises (MCA)

Review by Cynthia Rose, New Musical Express, 23 March 1981

WITH THE release of 'American Girl' back in '76, Tom Petty asserted that ability to articulate a native territory – both inherited and imagined – ...

Tom Petty: Tuning up the criminal kind

Report and Interview by Adam Sweeting, Melody Maker, 13 June 1981

BENMONT TENCH remembers the day well. "It was April Fool's Day 1974 when we drove to L.A.," he recalls. At the time, keyboardsman Tench, guitarist ...

Tom Petty

Interview by Dave Marsh, Musician, July 1981

WHEN TOM PETTY burst into his manager's Sunset Blvd offices early this April he was exuberant. No wonder. He'd just finished mixing his fourth and ...

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Joe Ely: The Garden, Boston MA

Live Review by Julie Panebianco, Boston Rock, 3 September 1981

THERE IS always a part in a Tom Petty song when he knows he's got you, when he zeroes in and touches you. Like the ...

20 Questions: Tom Petty

Interview by David Rensin, Playboy, September 1982

Rock's hottest heartbreaker reveals dark secrets — about record-industry execs, rock-'n'-roll marriages and what's in his pockets. ...

30 Years of Teardrops: from Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’ to Tom Petty’s ‘Refugee’

Retrospective and Interview by Cynthia Rose, unpublished, 1983

THE SPACE inside our souls where real dreams arise is created by a particular breed of gambler: the emotional, sexually aware, desperately honest human who ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Long After Dark

Review by Fred Schruers, Rolling Stone, 20 January 1983

TOM PETTY and the Heartbreakers play a finely crafted band of meat-and-potatoes rock.  ...

Tom Petty: Hot Spell

Interview by David Gans, Hit Parader, April 1983

Lighting Up The Night Under The Spotlight ...

Tom Petty: Long After Maturity

Interview by Sylvie Simmons, Creem, April 1983

STAR TRECK. Scene One: Writer meets Star. ...

Take the Money and Run

Report by Michael Goldberg, Rolling Stone, 7 July 1983

Rock & roll gets in bed with corporate America ...

Out In The Street: Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and the simple truths of blue-collar rock

Essay by Cynthia Rose, The History of Rock, 1984

In the heyday of Elvis, Chuck Berry or the Beatles, radio was revered. It constituted rock’n’roll’s channel to the teen heart, and it struck out ...

Tom Petty: Southern Accents

Review by Mitchell Cohen, Creem, July 1985

PRETTY SOON, it will be an established practice for earnest rockers to start off albums by announcing the circumstances of their birth. ...

Tom Petty's Year (Or Two) Of Living Dangerously

Report and Interview by Bud Scoppa, Record, August 1985

Crackin' up/ I'm gettin' ready to go Had enough / I can't take anymore … I'd run, but I'd find no face I'd laugh, but ...

Glitches add spontaneity to Bob Dylan and Tom Petty show

Live Review by Charles Bermant, The Globe and Mail, 1986

BOB DYLAN FORGOT a lot of the words to his own songs. He blew the payoff line of 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' completely. ...

Tom Petty: Back On The Road

Interview by Michael Goldberg, Rolling Stone, 16 January 1986

Tom Petty teams up with new pal Bob Dylan ...

Bob Dylan In Concert - An HBO Special

Film/DVD/TV Review by Geoffrey Himes, Columbia Flier , 3 July 1986

THE RECENT HBO cable TV special, Bob Dylan in Concert, gave us a sneak preview of what we can expect when Dylan arrives in Washington ...

Tom Petty: Less Is More, More Or Less

Interview by Bud Scoppa, Creem, August 1987

"She hit me, Daddy!""I did not." ...

Bob Dylan/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers /Roger McGuinn: Modena Autodrome, Turin

Live Review by Len Brown, New Musical Express, 26 September 1987

ROCK HACKS aren't allowed near Bob. He's got no time for the press. In fact, someone who once met his grannie's dog-minder tells me Bob ...

Tom Petty (1989) [transcript]

Audio transcript of interview by John Tobler, Rock's Backpages transcripts, 1989

This is a transcript of John's audio interview with Tom. Listen to the audio of this interview. ...

Tom Petty: Once In A Full Moon

Interview by Dave Zimmer, BAM, 5 May 1989

BY THE time Tom Petty became a Traveling Wilbury last year, he had every reason to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Roy ...

Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever

Review by Robert Sandall, Q, June 1989

Sans Heartbreakers, Tom Petty revives the Golden Age of Pop. ...

Tom Petty: Full Moon Fever (MCA LP/Cassette/CD)

Review by Michele Kirsch, New Musical Express, 24 June 1989

HAVING LIVED next door to the Tom Petty Experience — a guy who strapped himself into his Strat to make up new solo parts for ...

Tom Petty: Outlaw Blues

Interview by Tom Hibbert, Q, July 1989

Tom Petty survived the scuffling Southern bar circuit, soul-destroying legal wrangles and a self-inflicted hospital spell to bring his mid-tempo memories of fickle women and ...

Jeff Lynne's Guitar Craze

Interview by James Hunter, Musician, August 1989

A Wilbury explains why Tom Petty's solo album sounds the way it does ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Universal Amphitheater, Los Angeles

Live Review by Steven P. Wheeler, Music Connection, August 1989

WHAT CAN be said about Tom Petty and his crack band the Heartbreakers that hasn't already been said? They are quite simply the tightest and ...

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Into The Great Wide Open

Review by Mat Snow, Q, August 1991

THE TITLE says it all. Space, horizon and all those rich possibilities are so central to the idea of America that it's hardly surprising they ...

Tom Petty: Into The Great Wide Open

Review by Max Bell, Vox, August 1991

NOW TOM PETTY has developed the taste, his second solo album finds him in experimental mood. The post-Byrds vein of downbeat romantic country pop is ...

Tom Petty: Petty Larceny

Profile and Interview by Adam Sweeting, Vox, September 1991

HEIR TO DYLAN or Bel Air airhead? Sometime Wilbury Tom Petty is 40 with kids, and even though his new album with the Heartbreakers is ...

Tom Petty: Wembley Arena, London

Live Review by Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian, 26 March 1992

IS TOM PETTY thrashing out a mid-life crisis or has he always been this way? His current show certainly leaves you wondering. American rock is ...

Tom Petty: Wildflowers (Warner)

Review by Andy Gill, Q, November 1994

THE SURPRISING choice of Rick Rubin as producer after a highly successful liaison with Jeff Lynne over his last couple of albums might suggest a ...

Tom Petty — an interview

Interview by Richard Williams, Independent on Sunday, 13 November 1994

HE REMEMBERS the day Elvis Presley came to town: the day his life was saved by rock'n'roll. He was 11 years old. ...

Tom Petty: This Is How It Feels

Interview by Fred Schruers, Rolling Stone, 4 May 1995

"That's all we need is another dog onstage." Tom Petty's calm drawl has just gone as thick as black smoke from a smudge pot. Petty ...

Why Are Records Too Long?

Report by Roy Trakin, Musician, November 1995

And other odd twists of the CD revolution. ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Playback (MCA)

Review by Ben Edmonds, MOJO, January 1996

Ben Edmonds rewinds 20 years of Tom Petty ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Songs And Music From The Motion Picture She's The One

Review by Phil Sutcliffe, MOJO, September 1996

TOM PETTY WAS BORN to be a classic runner. The only question with each new release is whether he's out for a canter or the ...

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Songs and Music from the Motion Picture ‘She’s the One’

Review by Phil Sutcliffe, MOJO, September 1996

Asked to provide one song for a film soundtrack, Tom Petty rather overshot the brief and wound up laying down an album’s worth. ...

Beck meets Petty

Interview by Mark Rowland, Musician, January 1997

Rockin', Writin', Survivin' in L.A. ...

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco

Live Review by Joel Selvin, MOJO, March 1997

AFTER MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OF THE IMMENSE SUCCESS THAT followed the popular breakthrough of Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty wondered what to do. His ...

Southern Gallery: Tom Petty

Interview by Holly George-Warren, Oxford American, 15 July 2000

I GUESS YOU can say it was my theme song: its jangling, melodic guitar riff perfect for pogoing, and the urgent vocals laced with a ...

Tom Petty Takes A Stand

Essay by Michael Goldberg, Neumu, October 2002

FACED WITH the constant change and uncertainty that is life these days, it's a relief, on occasion, to be able to count on a band ...

Tom Petty: The Last DJ *****

Review by Jim Irvin, MOJO, December 2002

BUSINESS AS usual for Petty is a decent business: good melodies, fat, ringing acoustics, his occasionally Dylanish delivery with those little lifts or drops at ...

Tom Petty: Petty Grievances

Interview by Alan di Perna, Guitar World, January 2003

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers take on the corporate giants with their new concept album, The Last DJ. ...

The Grim Reporter March 2003

Obituary by Phast Phreddie Patterson, Rock's Backpages, March 2003

Phast Phreddie Patterson on those gone but not forgotten ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Southern Accents

Retrospective by Adam Sweeting, Uncut, May 2004

IF YOU WERE COMPILING A LIST OF southern rock bands, you'd have The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and The North Mississippi All Stars pencilled in ...

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Southern Accents

Review by Adam Sweeting, Uncut, May 2004

IF YOU WERE compiling a list of Southern Rock bands, you'd have the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the North Mississippi All Stars pencilled in ...

Album Retrospective: Tom Petty

Retrospective by Fred Mills, Harp, July 2006


Tom Petty: Anatomy of a rock star

Profile and Interview by Jaan Uhelszki, Harp, July 2006

ALMOST EVERYONE that knows Tom Petty for any length of time calls him Tommy. ...

Tom Petty: Highway Companion

Review by Mat Snow, MOJO, September 2006

On his third outing without the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty mixes nostalgia, protest and resignation to pay bittersweet tribute to his rock'n'roll radio roots. ...

Tom Petty: Rock Of Ages

Profile and Interview by Sylvie Simmons, MOJO, October 2006

Hard-headed master of the American rock song, soft-hearted support system to superannuated superstars, Tom Petty crowns 30 years' making albums with his best since Wallflowers. ...

The Inside Story of the Traveling Wilburys… Rock's Greatest Ever Supergroup

Interview by Bud Scoppa, Uncut, September 2007

George Harrison hid in the bushes with a video camera. Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne sang harmonies on the porch. And Bob Dylan? ...

Gene Clark remembered: "Genius and insanity hand in hand…"

Retrospective by Luke Torn, Uncut, May 2008

IT'S ANOTHER DAY in the busy life of one of the biggest bands in America. The Byrds have just recorded 'Eight Miles High', and are ...

Tom Petty

Interview by Mat Snow, MOJO, October 2009

This is the full, uncut version of the piece that appeared in Mojo, October 2009. ...

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers: Mojo

Review by Andrew Mueller, Uncut, July 2010

NINE TRACKS INTO MOJO, Tom Petty's first album with The Heartbreakers for eight years, the band fire up a plodding blues groove, and Petty makes ...

Tom Petty: Madison Square Garden, New York

Live Review by Jeff Slate,, 29 July 2010

July 29, 2010 (New York, NY) – LAST NIGHT Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tore the roof off Madison Sqaure Garden.  For the band it ...

Benmont Tench: You Should Be So Lucky

Report and Interview by Bud Scoppa, Uncut, March 2014

THE HEARTBREAKERS KEYS MAN debuts - with a little help from his friends. ...

Warren Zanes: Petty – The Biography (Henry Holt)

Book Review by Bob Ruggiero, Houston Press, 11 November 2015

YOU WOULD THINK that Tom Petty had it all in the mid to late '90s. On the backside of his forties, he had already enjoyed ...

Del Shannon on Tom Petty and Drop Down and Get Me

Retrospective by Stephen K. Peeples,, 8 January 2017

ROCK 'N' ROLL HALL of Fame member Del Shannon of 'Runaway', 'Hats Off to Larry' and 'Little Town Flirt' renown in the early '60s – ...

see also Mudcrutch

see also Traveling Wilburys


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