Random Notes: Petty sidlined by hand injury
By Christopher Connelly
Rolling Stone #436 — December 6, 1984
It was four in the morning, and Tom Petty was in his recording studio listening to a playback of “The Best of Everything,” written by him and produced by Robbie Robertson, with horns by Jack Nitzsche — and, he told an associate, “It was so fucking good I couldn’t believe it.” So he slammed his left hand into a studio wall (“’cause I’m an asshole”) and broke several bones. Patching up the damage required a four-hour operation at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, during which two pins were inserted into Petty’s knuckles. He’ll be in a cast for four to six months and he will receive ultrasound therapy, but whether or not he’ll be able to play guitar again professionally is said to be in question. One puckish member of Petty’s band, the Heartbreakers, has already started referring to Petty as “the L.V.” — the lead vocalist.
Petty did, however, have plans to return to the studio this month and supervise the final mixes of his forthcoming album, Southern Accents; the accident has pushed back the release of the record until January 1985. The LP cover will be a painting by Winslow Homer titled (ahem) The Veteran in a New Field.