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Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers


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Gainesville, Florida, USA (1976 – present)

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is a band formed in 1976 from Gainesville, Florida, USA and led by Tom Petty.

Petty has been supported by his band, The Heartbreakers, for the majority of his career. He has occasionally released solo work, as was the case with his 2006 album Highway Companion on which he performed most of the backing instrumentation himself. However, members of The Heartbreakers have played on each of his solo albums and the band has always backed him when touring in support of those albums.

After the Petty’s previous band Mudcrutch disbanded, Petty, never one to give up, enlisted Mudcrutch members Tench (keyboards) and Mike Campbell (guitar), along with Gainesville musicians Ron Blair (bass) and Stan Lynch (drums) to form the now famous lineup that was dubbed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They released their first album, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in November 1976. In 2006, the band celebrated the 30th anniversary of that release.

This lineup stayed intact for four records and was responsible for some of the most infectious songs (“American Girl”, “Breakdown”, “Listen To Her Heart”, “Refugee”, “I Need To Know”, “Don’t Do Me Like That”) and one of the most critically acclaimed albums (“Damn the Torpedoes”) of all time. Their tremendous success catapulted them from club band to arena rockers seemingly overnight.

Bassist Blair split the band in 1982 and was replaced by Howie Epstein, a protege of seminal rocker Del Shannon. Epstein’s solid playing and soaring backing vocals further complemented the band’s live attack.


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