Petty: The Biography

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Product Overview

Format: Softcover

ISBN: 9781250105196

An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with Petty

No one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of Petty's music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, with more than a little hillbilly in his blood, Tom Petty was a Southern shit kicker, a kid without a whole lot of promise. Rock and roll made it otherwise. From meeting Elvis, to seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, to producing Del Shannon, backing Bob Dylan, putting together a band with George Harrison, Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne, making records with Johnny Cash, and sending well more than a dozen of his own celebrated recordings high onto the charts, Tom Petty's story has all the drama of a rock and roll epic. Now in his mid-sixties, still making records and still touring, Petty, known for his reclusive style, has shared with Warren Zanes his insights and arguments, his regrets and lasting ambitions, and the details of his life on and off the stage.

This is a book for those who know and love the songs, from American Girl and Refugee to Free Fallin' and Mary Jane's Last Dance, and for those who want to see the classic rock and roll era embodied in one man's remarkable story. Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back, again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us. ©2016, 336 pages

1976 - 1

Introduction 6

1. Family Secrets 10
2. Stranger in the House 17
3. Cowboys and Indians 26
4. Salesmen 42
5. Mud 49
6. Farming 59
7. Chemistry Lessons 70
8. Even the Losers 76
9. Cordell 85
10. Waiting for Leon 96
11. Punching Buttons 106
12. Opening Acts 124
13. Chapter Eleven 139
14. The Album Cycle 149
15. Life Between the Branches Below 164
16. The Veteran in a New Field 177
17. The Backing Band 194

1987 - 207

18. Gonna Leave This World for a While 211
19. Planned Collisions 225
20. A Boat Out at Sea 237
21. Full Grown Boy 248
22. Half of Me Is Ocean, Half of Me Is Sky 267

2006 - 281

23 Everything Changed, Then Changed Again 284
24 Somewhere Under Heaven 296

2015 - 307


Acknowledgments 309
Index 315

Warren Zanes holds a PhD in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester. He was a member of the Del Fuegos, and continues to record music. His work has appeared in The Oxford American, and he has served as a V.P. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is currently the Executive Director of Steven Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.