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Petty begins tour
By Mary Campbell
The Daily Collegian — Tuesday, June 16, 1987
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ eagerly anticipated “Rock ‘n’ Roll Caravan ’87” is rolling across America, and “Jammin’ Me,” one of the summertime singles from their new album, is climbing the chart.
The MCA album, “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough),” was No. 16 with a bullet — which means it was climbing — on the June 6 best-selling chart. “Jammin’ Me” was No. 33 with a bullet on the singles chart. They cut the album in Los Angeles during a month off from touring with Bob Dylan and did it quicker and in a more freewheeling way than they usually do.
There has been speculation that Dylan may have been responsible for the speed and the style. Petty offers a different reason. “I think the band just hit a moment,” Petty said. “We did songs that didn’t get on the album, too. We’re smart enough to know if the songs are coming, don’t leave. You don’t hit a creative well every year. I’m real happy with this album. I think it sums us up really well.
“Bob (Dylan) came over to hear the record, and Mike Campbell and I wrote two songs with him, ‘Jammin’ Me’ and ‘I Got My Mind Made Up.’ That wound up on his last album.”
Petty and the Heartbreakers have been called megastars of the 1980s. And their tour with the Georgia Satellites and Del Fuegos, which began May 26, is expected to be one of the summer’s best.
Petty can’t remember how Heartbreakers became the name of the band in 1976. He has known guitarist Campbell since high school in Gainesville, Fla., and keyboardist Benmont Tench almost as long. The group is filled out with Stan Lynch on drums and bassist Howard Epstein, who replaced Ron Blair in 1982.
The first album, “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers,” hit big in England.
“Johnny Rotten and the punk thing was starting to happen. We were viewed as the American counterpart to that. We went over as an opening act and by the time we left we were headlining. When we came back, we knew what was coming and nobody here did,” Petty said.
Petty doesn’t worry about fame: “I don’t think you can take it real serious and be around long. I still make myself walk around on the street and stuff. There’s nothing more boring than hearing somebody complain about being famous.”