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Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell: 5 Songs That Reflect the State of the World

Longtime Tom Petty collaborator on songs of uplift and upheaval by Jimi Hendrix, the Clash and others

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell discusses five songs that reflect a chaotic world, including classics by Dylan and Hendrix.

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Rolling Stone caught up with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers co-founder Mike Campbell – whose partnership with Petty stretches back more than 40 years – in advance of the group's upcoming 40th-anniversary tour. The guitarist shared his thoughts on five classic songs that reflect the state of a troubled world.

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The Rolling Stones, “Street Fighting Man”

There's something about the lyrics and energy that make you want to get up and fight somebody for what you believe in. It's a joy from start to finish.

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Jimi Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower”

This sounds like it's about the world and how it could be better. It's a sloppy record with odd production, but somehow it's beautifully perfect.

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Bob Dylan, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”

Every time I hear this, it just stops me. I feel so moved by it. It's on the edge of death and despair, but there's hope.

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Neil Young, “Rockin’ in the Free World”

This has hope and fear, so it definitely still applies today. The music is just pure adrenaline. God bless Neil Young.