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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

(1975-)
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar)
Mike Campbell (guitar)
Benmont Tench (keyboards)
Ron Blair (bass) 1975-1982
Stan Lynch (drums) 1975-1994
Howie Epstein (bass) 1982-2002

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The band formed in Gainesville, Florida, home of the University of Florida (The Gators). The first version of the band was called Mudcrutch, and included Petty and Campbell. They became popular in Florida, and occasionally played shows with another Florida band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. The only Mudcrutch song released was a single called "Depot Street."
They signed their record deal with Shelter Records, but in 1979, Shelter was acquired by MCA, and Petty had a lot of problems working with the label. When it appeared Petty was in debt to MCA, he filed bankruptcy. MCA sued him, and they agreed to let Petty record under a label they set up specifically for him called Backstreet Records.
When they made their album Hard Promises, MCA wanted to sell it for $9.98, which was $1 more than what most albums cost. Petty protested and threatened to name the album "$8.98. The label backed off and released it at the lower price. Petty's vehemence in releasing the album at the $8.98 price is reflected on the Hard Promises album cover. In the lower right-hand corner, there are albums in record bin. The album at the front of the right side of the bin reflects the $8.98 price. (thanks, Karen - Sacramento, CA)
The band appeared in the 1978 movie FM, which was the inspiration for the TV show WKRP In Cincinnati. Petty has also been in the movies Made In Heaven and The Postman.
In 1988, Petty joined Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and George Harrison in The Traveling Wilburys. Harrison and Orbison played on Petty's 1989 album Full Moon Fever, which was produced by Lynne. The band toured with Dylan in 1986. In an interview with Esquire magazine, Petty said: "The great thing about the Wilburys was that none of us had to take the heat by ourselves. I was just a member of the band. Nobody felt like he was above anybody else. We had such a good time."
Petty was on the last episode of The Larry Sanders Show, a comedy about a late night talk show starring Gary Shandling.
In 1987, Petty's house was destroyed by fire. Arson was suspected.
The albums Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers were credited as Tom Petty solo albums, but most of The Heartbreakers played on them.
Their videos have won several MTV Video Music Awards. In 1994, they received a Video Vanguard award for lifetime achievement.
Epstein died in 2003. Personal problems and drug addiction caused him to leave the band a year earlier, and it is likely that drugs played a role in his death.
The original Mudcrutch guitarist was Tom Leadon, brother of Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon. Tom Leadon left the band, but before his departure, Petty played bass.
For about 2 years starting in 1986, they toured with Bob Dylan as his backing band.
Petty appeared in The Simpsons episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation." He shows Homer how to write lyrics, and they come up with a song about a sexy girl walking down the street who is concerned with budget problems in public schools.
In 1999, the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A seminal moment in Petty's life came when he was 11 years old and met Elvis Presley on the set of the movie Follow That Dream in Ocala, Florida. This is when Petty started playing guitar. (thanks, Stevie Lee - WSFR, Louisville, KY, for above 3)

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Comments:

Happy Birthday (BIG 60) to Tom Petty born Octboer 20, 1950 in Gainesville, FL
- diane, Tuscaloosa, AL
I hope tom dose a toure in new zealand I really whant to see him play his magic.

My dad saw him with bob dylan and told me if tom ever came to go and see his concert.
- dillon, wellington, New Zealand
I saw TP&THB in July 2006, The Highway Companion Tour. One of the best concerts I've been to. Tom is still so very sexy. I've read some interviews that he did and he has great morals and integrity, another reason I love him and his music.
- Candy, Medford, OR
I saw Tommy and The Heartbreakers on August, 20th, 2005. It was the best concert I've seen until I saw Mccartney on November, 26th, the same year. But Petty does put on a phenominal show. The best song was "Gloria" the classic Van Morrison song. His version is incredible.
- Julian, Anaheim, CA
Funnily enough, I was at that same concert (June 14). Tom Petty just had a vibe to him, the concert was awesome.
- Mel, Dayton, OH
I went to Tom Petty's concert on June 14, 2005. It was the most AMAZING concert I've ever been to. Topped Aerosmith, which is pretty amazing. The Black Crowes opened for them, and their ALMOST as good as Tom Petty, but not quite. In my perspective at least. When he started singing "You Don't Know How It Feels", you could just smell that sweet smell. EVERYWHERE. It was so beautiful. Everyone so stoned, chanting his anthem. Simply, beautiful.
- Lindsay, Cincinnati, OH
Tom Petty is like a god. I just saw his concert on July 23, 2005 that was the best concert i ever went to
- Frank, Olyphant, PA
Tom Petty saved Jim Laad's( famous DJ) job and held a concert in favor of Jim. Tom also wrote "Last DJ" about Jim
- Loren, L.A, CA
Tom Petty took guitar lessons from Don Felder of The Eagles
- Alan, Singapore, Singapore
Petty and the Heartbreakers were a great guitar band also. They were the backing band on what was probably Johnny Cash's GREATEST LP:"Unchained". If you want to hear a great guitar record, this is one of them, along with what were probably Cash's greates vocal performances.
- mike, berkeley, CA
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