The New York Times Bestseller
*One of Rolling Stone's 10 Best Music Books of 2015*
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.
Zanes (Revolutions in Sound), a musician who toured with Tom Petty, narrates this balanced chronicle of Petty's career with the detached delivery of a seasoned journalist combined with the intimacy of a friend bold enough to dig deep beneath the surface of his own musical hero. Petty's humble Florida roots didn't portend his eventual musical success. In fact, were it not for a series of unlikely events, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers wouldn't exist today as rock 'n' roll royalty, with more than 80 million records sold worldwide. Zanes recounts how Petty built the Heartbreakers from pieces of his previous band, Mudcrutch; declared bankruptcy; battled his record label in court; and confronted the 2003 death of Howie Epstein, the band's longtime bass player. The author's access to Petty, current and former bandmates (some quite feisty), family members, and famed producer Jimmy Iovine makes this required reading for fans. Furthermore, Zanes's working knowledge of band dynamics, in conjunction with his crisp and concise writing, undeniably qualify him to tell this story of one of one of rock's most reclusive superstars.
Great Read For Tom Petty Fans!
A well put together account of the life and times of Tom Petty. So much input from Tom himself, family, friends, band members, industry contacts, etc. I love that people seemed honest with their opinions, some not always showing Tom Petty at his best... but that’s because he was human. Loved the book!
Well done Zanes!
As a life long Tom Petty fan, I was anxious for this biography to come out, months in advance. Warren Zanes did an amazing job connecting the reader and the world that belongs to Tom Petty. Great man, great story. Continue writing Zanes, and Petty, your honesty inspires me.