It’s almost daily that I think of Tom Petty and the massive hole his passing left in the live music scene. While Tom Petty no doubt is one of the greatest song writers of all times, his band is what rode those shows into the upper echelon of the best of the best. One of my first posts on this blog was reviewing Tom Petty’s concert with Mudcrutch at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C. Guitarist, Mike Campbell, and keyboardist, Benmont Tench, stole the show and had me wide eyed from start to end with their incredible solos.
Musicians of this caliber need to be playing. While I understand the emotionaltwitt and financial issues that come with touring as the Heartbreakers, if they do get over that hump, a lot of fans would be over the moon. So, that leaves the last question…who is going to sing Tom Petty’s lines? To be clear, this is not “replacing” Tom Petty. This is a tribute backed by arguably the best band in the world. This could easily be thrown together for one big, epic tribute show like the Concert for George, which still needs to happen, but I’m thinking more about the fans – which is how Tom always thought. Lots of live music shows at reasonable prices.
So my thoughts are the Heartbreakers play theater sized gigs in New York, Washington D.C, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Gainesville, FL to start. Each city will have a different lead singer or a mix of each.
- Jeff Lynne – He’s a long time friend and collaborator with Petty including being a member of the Traveling Wilburys. I saw them perform together at the Concert for George and Lynne helped Petty write “Free Fallin.“
- Stevie Nicks – Another long time friend and collaborator with Petty and of course sang the duet for “Stop Draggin My Heart Around.” She would be a slam dunk.
- Dave Grohl – Before starting the Foo Fighters, he was very briefly the drummer for the Heartbreakers while trying to get back into music after the tragic Kurt Cobain death. The Foo Fighters regularly cover Petty and have been very vocal about his influences on them.
- Bob Dylan – The Traveling Wilbury’s connection is there and obviously having a legend front this amazing band even if it was for one or two songs would be dope.
- Bruce Springsteen – They’ve been playing together since the 70s and were close friends as Bruce even gave advice to Tom when he was going through that infamous battle with his label over Damn the Torpedoes.
- Eddie Vedder – If this video of Vedder and Petty singing ‘The Waiting” doesn’t give you goosebumps I don’t know what will. Or this video years later singing “American Girl” together.
The fans are still grieving and we need the Heartbreakers.