Tom Petty on New Mudcrutch LP and Why He’s Done With Solo Albums
Are you going to tour when the album is done?
Sure. I want to get over to the East Coast with it too. Last time we were kinda under the gun because there was a big Heartbreakers tour coming up not long after that, so we didn’t have a lot of time. We kind of just ran up and down the West Coast real fast and did a fairly long stand at the Troubadour. Those were really fun gigs. It’s a totally different thing than the Heartbreakers. It’s a different rhythm section. It’s a different style of music. Just writing for this group is interesting because I have to change my mindset from where I’m at today with the Heartbreakers.
How many songs do you have so far?
I think I have four, but I’m working on a couple more of them.
Onto the Heartbreakers, those shows you did a couple years ago at the Beacon and the Fonda where pretty amazing. Do you want to do more theater gigs in the future?
It changed my whole way of thinking about playing live. Two days after playing the Fonda we were playing in front of about 100,000 people at Bonnaroo. It was like, “Oh yeah, there’s this too.” Right away we started to work some of the stuff from the little shows into the big shows. I love playing all kind of places, but I don’t think we could carry on any more if we don’t slip that kind of thing in from time to time. You grow as a band by doing that. I love the freedom of it.
The Allman Brothers broke up this year, ending their Beacon residency. You guys could just take over, come play every March or something.
Pick up the torch! I’d love to do that. It’s complicated business-wise because, and I don’t know this for sure, but I would bet that it costs us money to do those shows. But I could figure that out, you know? I loved it there, and the Fonda was good, too. At the Fonda, though, we had big electrical buzz onstage that we couldn’t quite control, which kind of irritated me. Other than that, it was great. I love the whole idea of doing a different show every night.
It was great to watch you do a song like “Walls,” “Billy the Kid” or that cover of Chuck Berry’s “Carol” when you guys fumbled the intro.
The funny thing about that “Carol” is that we came in at two different keys. Part of the band thought it was in one key and another part thought it was another one. The exact same thing happened at a Mudcrutch show in 1970, with the same fucking song. We played it in rehearsal in one key, tried it in another and then decided to go back to the original key. I guess somebody missed a meeting. When we did that again, it was just killing us laughing that all those years later, the same song, we did the same thing.
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