Heartbreakers Strong At Summer Box Office
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are putting up some of the biggest numbers of the band's career this summer, averaging more than 16,500 a night in attendance, according to Billboard Boxscore.Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers are putting up some of the biggest numbers of the band's career this summer, averaging more than 16,500 a night in attendance, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Perhaps more importantly, Petty and the Heartbreakers are having a great time on the road. "We enjoy playing with each other, which I think is a pretty important part of this," he tells Billboard.com. "If we didn't, we'd have given it up a long time ago. The idea when we started was to take five people and keep 'em together no matter what and see what we could get out of it, and we've pretty much stuck to that plan."
Petty and the Heartbreakers have been together nearly 30 years now, compiling a huge list of hit songs and fan favorites in the process. Such an arsenal of songs can make paring them down for a set list challenging.
"We have a set list, but we work up a lot more [songs] than we're gonna do," Petty says. "That way we can throw things in and change it around, especially if we're in a place for two days. It's good to keep yourself interested. The last show we did five songs we never rehearsed and that certainly sparked us up."
Petty's history with the band leads to an instinctive alchemy on stage. "The Heartbreakers are one of those rare groups [where] I can really throw them something and they'll go for it and they'll pull it off," he says. "I have this really deep faith in them that they're gonna read me and follow me. That comes from all those years of playing together. [Guitarist] Mike Campbell and I have been playing together since 1970."
Tony Dimitriades, Petty's longtime manager, has this to say about Petty's career: "What makes something last a long time to me is always about the quality of what you bring and the fact that you're reasonable in what you expect in exchange. In other words, you don't get greedy."
Petty and the Heartbreakers' 2005 dates will wrap Sept. 2-3 in George, Wash., with no plans to extend the tour. Dimitriades says a new Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers album is also due early next year.
"Look out for next year -- that's the 30th anniversary," Petty says. "We're gonna party.