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'Petty: The Biography' by Warren Zanes

4. 'Petty: The Biography' by Warren Zanes

There's no shortage of Tom Petty books on the market, including Paul Zollo's stellar Conversations With Tom Petty and the singer's own authorized oral history Runnin' Down a Dream. But it wasn't until longtime friend (and Del Fuegos guitarist) Warren Zanes sat down with Petty that he decided to tell the whole story, including the childhood abuse he suffered at the hands of his father and the late Nineties heroin addiction that nearly killed him. The resulting book is the definitive account of Tom Petty's entire life and career. Zanes even convinced original Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch, who has remained almost completely silent since leaving the band in 1994, to open up about his tumultuous time in the group. The drummer holds back little, even lashing out at Petty for skipping the funeral of Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein, but he also expressed deep regret for his own failings as a bandmate. Who knows how Zanes managed to get these guys to reveal so much about painful chapters from their past, but let's hope this his first of many rock biographies. A.G.