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On The Road: TP on TP
By Ray Waddell
Billboard — July 9, 2005
The upcoming Tom Petty bio “Conversations with Tom Petty,” due in November on Omnibus Press, holds some intriguing insights into the artist’s view toward touring. Compiled from a series of interviews with Petty by songwriter/journalist Paul Zollo, Petty asserts first and foremost that he and the Heartbreakers have always been a touring band, not just Petty and his sidemen.
The book reveals some fascinating facts for Petty heads. For example, he despises meet-and-greets at concerts. “Record companies hate it because I don’t great people,” Petty tells Zollo. “I’ve heard I’m aloof or arrogant. But I’m not. My brain won’t deal with that. I can’t deal with people before the show or after.”
Petty also recalls a March 1990 show at the Forum in Los Angeles during the Full Moon Fever tour when he was joined onstage at the encore by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. With all three onstage at once along with the Heartbreakers, the group played the Animals’ “I’m Crying,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Travelin’ Band” and Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pillbox Hat.”
In recalling the show, Petty says, “Damn, that must have been a real treat for the audience.” Well, I was at that show and I have to tell you, Mr. Petty, that it was indeed a real treat and a personal concert highlight for me.