Five days before his death, Tom Petty and members of the Heartbreakers sat down with the L.A. Times' Randy Lewis to talk about the band's 40th anniversary and a lifetime in music.
As a twentysomething assistant engineer at Sound City, Brian Hart wound up working with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was in the room when Jimmy Iovine suggested Stevie Nicks give a go at "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" — what happened next still surprises him.
Tom Petty, who, with an iconic shades-and-long-hair look, a nasal voice gloriously unsuited to any other genre and a seemingly bottomless bag of tunes that felt as though he’d written them to soundtrack the specifics of your life, was the quintessential American rock star.
In 1987, Tom Petty spoke to The Times about his excitement and renewed passions with his new album "Let Me Up (I've Had Enough)," which included a series of socially conscious "character sketches," and his upcoming U.S. tour with the Heartbreakers.
In advance of the Heartbreakers' 2002 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty commented on then-Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn's 10 favorite Petty songs.