Ron Blair - bass
Mike Campbell - guitar, vocals
Stan Lynch - drums, vocals
Tom Petty - lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
Benmont Tench - keyboards, vocals
At the end of the 1970s, Tom Petty found himself weathering a difficult period in his life where he was in legal battles with his former record label, going through a painful bankruptcy, and fighting an ongoing war to try and keep his music at the forefront of radio programming. Yet he showed up at the end of '79 with the rock 'n' roll equivalent of an atom bomb. Damn The Torpedoes, his breakthrough album which was set to be released in November of this year, established Petty as an FM radio superstar, scored him his first big Top 10 hits, and secured a place for his band and him as one of the most-in demand live acts in the country.
Playing Madison Square Garden after such a tough period was particularly sweet for Petty, who was not sure how much longer he and the band would continue had things not turned around. Highlights include the rockin' "I Need To Know," "Refugee," and "Cry to Me," and "American Girl," which Petty wrote for the Byrds' front man Roger McGuinn before releasing it as a hit himself. Another highlight is the band's funky and dramatic version of "Breakdown," which has been a core hit in the Petty live show since day one.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been together for over three decades and continue to release hit records. Petty has also done two solo records, which have included most of the Heartbreakers as session players. In addition, he was a founding member, along with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne, of the super-group the Traveling Wilburys.