Tom Petty to Kick Off Mudcrutch Reunion Tour in Malibu

April 14, 2008 4:31 PM ET

Back in the Seventies, Tom Petty's first band Mudcrutch played everywhere — from unlicensed backyard festivals to topless bars — but they never performed at a charity benefit. On Saturday night, the reunited Mudcrutch played their first show in over three decades in the 500-seat Malibu Performing Arts Center, kicking off a thirteen-date California club tour and helping to raise funds for the Midnight Mission in Los Angeles.

"This is a trip, isn't it?" Petty asked the well-heeled audience. "I'm just trying to get really good and grounded here." The band played for an hour and a half, performing all fourteen songs on their forthcoming debut album, plus a clutch of covers from their early repertoire: Elvis Presley's "Rip It Up," Bill Monroe's "Love, Please Come Home," the Rolling Stones' "Off the Hook" and Jerry Lee Lewis' "High School Confidential." (They also threw in a Mudcrutch power-pop original from the early '70s, "I Can't Fight It," although it took three false starts before they nailed it.)

Mike Campbell and Tom Leadon had a rapport on guitar that belied their long separation, making the traditional "June Apple" sound like an electrifying blend of bluegrass and Television. Benmont Tench was a virtuoso on piano and organ as per usual, and even took lead vocals on "This Is a Good Street." Petty looked ecstatic to be playing bass again, and managed to whip the crowd into a rock and roll fervor: on the way out, the crowd carefully stepped over the broken glass of champagne flutes.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »