Tom Petty

In 1961 when he was just ten, Tom Petty met Elvis Presley who was on location in Florida filming Follow That Dream. The magic of "The King" clearly rubbed off on him and Petty promptly began to follow his own dream. Taught to play guitar by Don Felder - later of The Eagles - Petty was soon fronting bands, notably The Sundowners, who evolved into Mudcrutch and featured future members of the Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell (guitar) and Benmont Tench (keyboards). As Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, they released their self-titled first album in 1976 with little success, but gradually established a devoted following with their next two albums You're Gonna Get It (1978) and Damn The Torpedoes (1979). Even greater success came in the 1980s with the album Hard Promises, which included Insider - a duet with Stevie Nicks - and the hit single The Waiting. As the band became a top live act, Petty also wrote songs with Bob Dylan, a collaboration that blossomed into the band the Travelin' Wilburys with George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. Back with the Heartbreakers, Petty's stature in the rock hierarchy remained undiminished long into the 2000s.



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