Heartbreakers’ Campbell, Tench Thank Devoted Fans

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Mudcrutch at NYC’s Webster Hall, June 10, 2016. L-R: Tench, Campbell and Petty. (Photo: Greg Brodsky)

On Thanksgiving eve (Nov. 22), Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench reached out to fans of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with messages that were posted on TomPetty.com and on Petty’s Facebook page. Campbell’s relationship with the late performer goes back to 1970 in their days in Florida in the pre-TPATH band Mudcrutch. While Tench was also a member of Mudcrutch, he met Petty years earlier, in their hometown of Gainesville.

At the risk of reading too much into their notes, both musicians indicated indirectly that they would not end their careers.

While acknowledging that “It will take a long time before I get over this,” Campbell added,”I will carry on for myself and all of you who love the music.”

Tench wrote about taking “what I’ve learned over these years, from Tom… and continue to apply it going forward, in whatever ‘forward’ might be.”

Mike Campbell, Prudential Center, Newark, NJ, June 16, 2017 (Photo: Greg Brodsky)

Campbell’s complete message:

“Your condolences have been a life saver for me. This has been so surprising and devastating for me and the band as I know it has been for you. It will take a long time before I get over this. I will carry on for myself and all of you who love the music. I feel your love and am forever grateful for your support all these years.

“Remember, without you, all of our devoted fans, there would have been no Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Tom will always be here on my right shoulder urging me on to keep the dream alive and inspiring me with his spirit. He is a one of a kind and I will be eternally grateful for the years we rode together and the songs we wrote together. Bless you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Benmont Tench at The Iridium, New York City, November 9, 2017 (Photo: Michael Vercelletto; used with permission)

Here’s Tench’s note:

“Hey y’all.

“I’m sure I don’t need, nor do I really know how, to tell you how awful these past weeks have been. I know you all feel it too.

“What I do want to tell you is how much I appreciate your kindness & support. I’ve had the opportunity to hear from & speak with many of you, both in person in Los Angeles & New York, and through social media. You have been a great source of comfort.

“This band, and the extended family Tom gathered around him, is a strong & loving group of people, and we’re all very tight, and all leaning on each other. Love will certainly see us all through this.

“For me, I just want to do what I’ve done since I was eighteen or nineteen years old: take what I’ve learned over these years, from Tom, about persistence, pursuit of & insistence on artistic excellence, and a certain kind of personal integrity, and continue to apply it going forward, in whatever “forward” might be. Maybe each of us, of you, can do the same.

And, of course, never forget to turn up to ten and let that sucker blast.”

Related: Our review of Tench’s NYC solo concert in November 2017

Watch Petty introduce the Heartbreakers in 2014, followed by “A Woman in Love (But It’s Not Me),” with Tench’s beautiful solo piano intro

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 23 November, 2017, 01:55

    Nicely said Mr. Campbell, Mr. Tench. Thanks for all the music, all the shows, and I hope to see you guys soon! Take care of yourselves.

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