News Leader — Fall 1978

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Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Official Fan Club
News Leader
Fall 1978

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Hertfordshire, Knebworth, England
Knebworth Got It … Your’e Gonna
The fourth Knebworth festival, the “Midsummer Night’ Dream” of Fred Bannister is the biggest event on the British rock calendar. Added to the lineup for June 24th, to replace Jeff Beck who didn’t get his group together was … Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The bill included Genesis, Jefferson Starship, with Devo. Brand X and the Atlanta Rhythm Section, also featured.

Commenting that playing in broad daylight was “weird,” Tom came on stage wearing a black top hat (to keep the wind from blowing hair in his face), purple jacket and shades. Then from the largest stage in the world came the punchy, lilting, rhythms of You’re Gonna Get It and Fooled Again (I Don’t Like It) followed by American Girl, When the Time Comes and Breakdown. With song selections like these, it’s not hard to understand why people, previously content with their seats, managed to thread their way through the immense crowd of 90,000, to the front of the stage.

English fans I hear from regularly, glad to have their favorites back, insist that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers stole the show, a feeling echoed by many British rock critics. The group, pleased to be playing once again for their British audience, all agreed; the Knebworth Festival was a complete success.

 


 

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Hi, friends!
I know many of you have waited anxiously for this first Newsletter … Some letters from ancient April and millenniums ago in March are just getting a response. The “Official” fan club is now under way.

I will keep you posted and get a line or two our for you, as often as possible. My notes are “personalized henscratches” in answer to your questions and remarks … I love to hear from you. More of the same is in store, but consider I write 1000’s instead of 100’s. Have patience! Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Fans are the neatest people in the world.

This issue deals with the summer tours now past. I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences with them. In some way, I wish to convey the mutual feelings we all share for these extraordinary music men, known as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Heartfelt thanks to all of you from Tom, Ben, Stan, Mike, Ron and myself for your support and energy.

“Anything That’s Rock ‘n Roll’s Fine”,
Margo T.
President
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Fan Club

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers go for “The Old Grey Whistle Test”
Although the Knebworth festival was the main purpose of the band’s week-long stopover in London, they recorded a TV Special, for the BBC’s music programme, “The Old Grey Whistle Test”. Forty minutes on T.V. is not the best avenue to catch the essence of Rock & Roll, but with this performance the band was given an opportunity to reach many more, who were unable to attend their live appearances.

Sweaty Petty and the Heartbreakers knock out the MARQUEE crowd
A radio interview by Nicky Horne, Tuesday, June 27th, on Capitol Radio, was the first anyone knew about a last-minute Marquee engagement. The Marquee is a small and legendary club in London where such groups as The Who and The Stones played in their early days. Those fortunate enough to be in London and early enough to get in the door were totally blown away. This super surprise brought a swarm of fans to fill the Marquee to capacity. Tom had remarked, “I gotta get somewhere that’s real. We just needed to play somewhere small, where we can communicate a bit.” Sweat poured off everyone, both band and audience; the latter happy to sing word-perfect choruses on any T.P. tune you’d care to mention. Enjoyment to the max … for everyone involved!

Tom, being interviewed a week before, talked about the problems of stardom. “I just get concerned that we will get cut-off physically. I think it is very dangerous to build a wall around yourself. We’ve always taken pride in being on the street, trying to keep in touch with the punters, because we’re just a bunch of punters ourselves, really.” Tom knows that we, the FAN-ATICS, feel as strongly as he does about this … We never want to lose touch with him and the Heartbreakers, as they play their once-heard — never-forgotten songs.

 


 

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STAR’S TREK … MISSION POSSIBLE!
Count down for blast-off … 4-3-2-1! The East Coast tour lifted off not too far from Cape Kennedy, actually, Jacksonville, Fla. This is the state where all of the Heartbreakers were originally “homegrown.”

Just after an explosive Fourth of July, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made their presence known and singed the sumer air along the coast in Tampa and Miami with excitable Patti Smith. This celebration was a 13-song set of engagin’, Heartbreakin’ kind. Miami press said, “Petty and company played High powered, melodic rock ‘n roll, and were the musical highlight of the weekend.” This is a weekend that Tom is likely never to forget. While at the Jai Altai Fonton, he was turned into an incandescent lightbulb, as he received a jolt of electricity from his microphone. Witnesses report that he staggered back into the amps, dropped his guitar, and stumbled off stage, with the band members rushing behind. Twenty minutes later, Tom and the group returned to the stage and completed the gig, picking up where they had left off.

The East Coast had a near saturation of appearances in July, with gigs most everywhere you can think of. Interviews, interviews, interviews… Hoteled Inn and hamburgered out, ya might say! I dashed off to these hot, sultry climates and managed to catch many of these magic music scenes. Hopping into a ’56 Thunderbird and ripping up the Freeways of mid-America, I arrived in N.Y. just three daze and 3000 miles across the continent, later.

At the Palladium in N.Y.C., members of Television, David Johansen Band, the Dictators and Foreigner, peppered the audience. The opening acts for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that night were Carillo and Rick Derringer. I was backstage when Ted Nugent stopped in to say hello to the band and then went out to play guitar for the latter portion of Derringer’s set. Other notables made the scene that night and included the Winter Brothers – Johnny and Edgar, and even Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

Every night a show. Every night an auditorium filled with excited, admiring fans. Tom and Heartbreakers were in top form. Crowds filled those old theatrical showplaces, like the Paramount, Asbury Park, N.Y. (Plastered with posters by myself and a friend from ABC N.Y.), the Warners, Washington, D.C., where I watched most of the show from backstage to gain a new prospective, the Tower, Philly, P.A., with Mink DeVille opening for the band. Happy crowds shared with the band, giving and receiving the high energy.

“You’re Gonna Get It” Live at the PARADISE
This HEARTBREAKIN’ group went from town to town and this evening it was a Boston, Mass crowd that eagerly waited to get into the club. An oversell of tickets was a worry to some. The two shows that night had been sold out for days in advance. This was the only club date scheduled for the band on this tour, with capacity crowd of 500 seated close enough to “grab-a-hol”. I could see so much I’ve never been able to see before — to intimately experience the high energy, study their expressive faces and intently watch their bands. This evening was captured, in full, on top, by WBCN-FM. Tom said that if it came out all right he would mix it, and you may hear it on your local FM station as a live show. In fact, it has now been played in places as far apart as Houston, Austin, Dallas, Memphis, Indianapolis, Omaha, Kansas City, St. Louis, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Louisville, K.Y., San Jose, and may soon be heard in New York City. There is a special EP being pressed of four songs from this gig, that will be distributed to radio stations only.

 


 

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MID-AMERICA SIMMERS — PETTY COOKS (but keeps his cool)
The South and Mid-West sizzled and fried, while they got their first taste of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ live rock. I’d heard that Houston and Austin were oasis for rock ‘n roll, so I made a date and took a jet airliner to check it out for myself.

What a Blast! The following excerpts from Houston reviews capture the experience we all had in Houston: The Houston Chronicle: “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers exploded on stage — not with fireworks and paraphernalia, but purely on the basis of super-energizing music. I came out of the show both adrenalin-pumped and drained … in the ’50s vernacular, it was mind-blowing… He’s got more energy under his control than virtually any band that thinks energy equals decibels … Petty is a master showman … The hyped-up crowd applauded Stan Lynch’s rhythm pattern to Breakdown … Benmont Tench mischievously teased with an unfamiliar electric keyboard break before cutting loose … On Strangered in the Night, guitarist Mike Campbell’s slide break was brilliantly challenged by the stomach-rumbling of Ron Blair’s bass.” The Houston Post: “…these guys can rock your socks off and make you shout for joy at the pure, blissful beauty of it all… The crowd was bouncing in their seats, dancing in the aisles, screaming like madmen for more and more and MORE … By the time Petty and the Heartbreakers finished their second encore the place was absolute pandemonium … No one wanted to leave!”

For music lovers the night was hot, in more ways than one. Back-to-back, the adjoining theatre featured Eddie Money opening for Dave Mason. Eddie came over and took a look at the Heartbreakers’ gig.

Next night at the Opry House in Austin, there was a whole lotta shakin’ goin on! Walter Eagan opened for the Heartbreakers. When it came time for the Heartbreakers set, the crowd-up-front, with No Second Thoughts, picked up the folding seats and dashed up to the edge of the stage. Later in the evening they were ON the seats!

All rumors confirmed. Texas is an Oasis for rock ‘n roll, with audiences that know how to extend a heartfelt welcome and a genuine appreciation for the band that knows how to give-’em-what-they-want!

 


 

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Introductory Offer For Freewheeling Correspondence
Gettin’ this trip together right takes a lot of doin’. There are a few things that will help simplify for us … Please put full name and full address on outside of all mail. If there are delays, please understand, we haven’t forgotten you. We’ll always try to keep it free flowing your way. Mail questions and all fan club mail and merchandise orders to the Fan Club address, San Francisco, Ca.

Notes of Notes of Notes of Note
Some of the latest about the greatest … One of the fastest selling records in the history of ABC RECORDS is You’re Gonna Get It!! It reached #23 in Billboard. On July 7th, it was certified gold (500,000 units sold), about 2 weeks after release … Tom and the Heartbreakers received the GOLD REEL AWARD, Sept. 6, ’79 … I Need To Know reached #41 on the charts …
The second single from this album, Listen To Her Heart b/w I Don’t Know What To Say To You was released Aug. 23, ’78 … At a Rolling Stones Cotton Bowl date. Look! Up in the sky … an unidentified flying object flashing: TOM PETTY on ABC…

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For you record collectors & rockophile memorabilia freaks, here’s a couple of treasures you can’t live without (so don’t you go out and write your will yet). Did you hear about the very beautiful plaques that were awarded by the ABC Team? The plaques are turquoise and black with the Heartbreakers logo and of course, they are gorgeous. Of the 200 made, 125 went to FM Radio stations that have supported Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in their climb to stardom. Only 75 were presented to individuals who have helped break the band in the U.S. It has been a great pleasure and honor for me to have been chosen as one of the recipients for this lovely memento. One of my most treasured possessions.

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Honorable Mention
The group commenced recording the end of October, in Los Angeles. Hooray for Honorable new album!!

 


 

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Would you believe … the TATTOOED MYSTERY MAN? All right! The art of tattooing is comin’ back. The gorgeous logo of the Heartbreakers fame, implanted in multi-colors, on his very own shoulder, in his very own handsome skin! Here’s Tom, Stan and the Tatooed man in Philly, Pa. If anyone knows his name, PLEEZ fill me in, O.K.?

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A personality folio, containing both music and lyrics from You’re Gonna Get It!, will be sold in music stores any day now. The sheet music for I Need to Know has been available in music stores for some time. There is a projected plan to have a book that includes BOTH albums out later, but no release date is available. I hope this is music to your ears and brings smiles to all your faces!

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The most popular request I get in the letters from fans is, “Please send to the lyrics to the Tom Petty songs.” Well, for you stalwart souls that have hung in there, never giving up hope, finally, You’re Gonna Get It … There is now available, to Fan Club members only a special book of lyrics. This 33 page book includes pictures of the band and the words to all the songs on BOTH albums. Send $2.50 now for your copy of this exclusive publication.

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Jimmy Iovine has come to Los Angeles from New York, his usual place of residence, to help in the production of the next album with Tom Petty. If you are not acquainted with the talents of Mr. Iovine, he is directly related to releases by John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen and Patty Smith. He will be a co-producer with Denny Cordell and Tom on the new up-and-coming album.

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Nominated for placement in Record World Annual Directory July 22, 1978: Album Category – Tom Petty #2 New Featured Vocalist, Singles Category – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers #4 New Male Group…

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Some new Tom Petty music has recently been released in England. Bonnie Tyler has recorded a new single, Louisiana Rain. The music and lyrics are written by Tom Petty and have never been previously recorded. This single follows closely Bonnie Tyler’s worldwide hit, It’s A Heartache.

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There is a story on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the Rolling Stone issue dated October 19, 1978. There are many others too including …
Super Rock, Oct. ’78
Rock Awards, Fall ’78
Vibes, Nov. ’78
15 Fever, Nov. ’78
Hit Parader, Jan. ’78, Feb. ’79
Circus, Nov. 21, ’78
BAM California Music Magazine, October 19th, ’78, a Fan Club article.

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First Place
During the last days of 1978, the State of California is going to be sent reeling, from one end to the other. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will play Winterland, San Francisco, on December 30th, and the Santa Monica Civic, Santa Monica, Ca., on New Years Eve, December 31, 1978. Both a film and a live recording will be made of this event. You Californians, that ought’a spinnn yer head around a few times!!

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There is another delectable collectible … A limited edition red vinyl copy of You’re Gonna Get It. Although officially it is no longer available, some resourceful fans have been able to find a copy in stores that cater to the collector. And then there is this rare of — 10,000 pressings of a limited edition in England. This 12″ has Listen to Her Heart b/w two ‘live cuts,’ I Fought the Law and Route 66, recorded live at the Paradise Club in Boston last summer. Good luck to all of you who decide to go on this “treasure hunt”!!

 


 

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Personal ♥ to ♥ Notes From Margo T.
It seems that I have finally reached the last page for the Newsletter. So your friendly Tom Petty junkie will saddle-up and slowly ride off into the sunset. As I hit the trail, searchin’ out further adventures for you about the finest Rock n’ Roll band in the world, I’m gonna keep watchin’ along the way for signs from you-all. A trail-blazer can always use a little help from their friends, ya know? Things like articles from your local papers and adverts that are peculiar to your area. Photos that you and your friends take at T.P. concerts. Tapes of radio interview with Tom an all that kind of stuff that a Fan Club likes to keep a collection of. I’m countin’ on ya, ya year?

I also want to hear your feelings about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, their music, and how you like this first Newsletter. This letter is just for you especially, and I want it to have the kind of things and information that pleases you most. If you have suggestions, give a “Shout.”

I have started a collection of pictures of Tom Petty Fans to make a special photo album. Send me your picture, will you? Just any ol’ snapshot will do. I also have a collection of Art work that is done by the Fans. Boy, some of you are excellent artists. If you’d care to be included in this collection, I could dig it! Also, I would like to hear your suggestions, is anyone interested in having Pen Pals?? Pleez … let me know your ideas.

One last thing — and it’s really important. Let’s get together and Air-Condition AM Radio! So much of the success of Tom and the Heartbreakers is based upon their ratings in the music charts. We can improve upon the quality of AM music and at the same time help bring the Heartbreakers chart ratings up by requesting them on the AM radio stations that have them on their play lists. Wherever there is a new “single” released, call your biggest, most listened to, AM radio station and request that song. Keep calling everyday. This is one way to help Tom and the Band, and I know you all want to in some way. This doesn’t preclude calling the FM stations too. They have been very helpful and supportive and should really be shown appreciation, also. If we will work together, we can help “give radio back to the kids,” like Tom wishes to do. Let’s “Air-Condition AM Radio” — All right! Gotta rope ’em and ride!

P.S. Special thanx to Kitty K. and Jon Scott.

Margo T.

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