The Stories Behind the 36 Songs Tom Petty Covers on ‘Fillmore’ LP


By 1997, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had completed nearly every part a rock band might dream of: a number of top-selling albums, a number of Grammy wins and collaborations with their heroes.

With all of that below their belts, it is no marvel Petty and his band wished to get again to their roots as dwell rock ‘n’ rollers. As Petty put it in “The Identical Outdated You,” it was time to “flip as much as 10, let that sucker blast” throughout their famed residency in San Francisco.

“We’re musicians and we need to play,” Petty advised the San Francisco Chronicle simply earlier than the run of 20 reveals was held from Jan. 10 to Feb. 7, 1997. “We have made so many information up to now 5 years, I believe the perfect factor for us to do is simply exit and play and it’ll lead us to our subsequent place, wherever which may be.”

On the Fillmore, something went. Some of the well-known rock venues in California, the venue had been placing on reveals below the course of promoter Invoice Graham because the mid-’60s. Petty honored that custom by mixing his music with a menagerie of covers, starting from early ’60s songs by pioneers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard, to British rock hits by the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Visitor performers included buddies Petty had made alongside the best way in his profession, like Roger McGuinn and John Lee Hooker. “I am actual excited,” Petty added. “I’ve by no means heard the group sound higher. It is like, ‘Man, have we bought a band or what?'”

The long-awaited Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Live at the Fillmore (1997) set can be launched on Nov. 25, with recordings from all through the residency. Here is a take a look at all the quilt songs featured on this new field, listed with the artists they’re usually related to.

“Round and Round,” Chuck Berry

Most rock ‘n’ roll followers are acquainted with Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode;” that is its lesser-known B-side. The Rolling Stones recorded a memorable model of “Round and Round” in 1964 and in addition included it of their debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Present. “In case you take heed to Chuck Berry, that stuff swings,” Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench advised Campusounds in 2010. “No one performs it proper. The Rolling Stones might play it proper, they understood. Actual rock ‘n’ roll is a beautiful, beautiful swing-driven factor.” Different variations had been recorded by the Animals, David Bowie, 38 Special, Maureen Tucker of the Velvet Underground and Pearl Jam.


“Lucille,” Little Richard 

Little Richard was so essential to Petty that he had him officiate his wedding ceremony in 2001. Like many different musicians who grew up within the late ’50s and early ’60s, Petty was fascinated by Richard’s upbeat, unbridled music. “Lucille” specifically was one in every of Petty’s favorites: He regularly coated it throughout Heartbreakers live shows from 1992 to 2001, and as soon as described “Lucille” on his radio program as “the best rock ‘n’ roll document ever made.”.


“Name Me the Breeze,” Lynyrd Skynyrd 

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s model of “Name Me the Breeze” could also be the perfect recognized, however the track was originally penned by one in every of Petty’s heroes, J.J. Cale, with whom Petty performed on a number of events. “Name Me the Breeze” first appeared on Cale’s 1971 debut album, Naturally. Just some years later, in 1975, Petty would discover himself in Cale’s hometown of Tulsa, the place he signed his very first cope with Shelter and did periods work on the Church Studios, the place Cale additionally recorded. Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell shared a tribute to Cale after his demise in 2013, describing his guitar tone as “magical” and “understated. … At all times below the radar,” Campbell added, “he has been, and at all times can be, an enormous inspiration to me and the band.”


“Time Is on My Facet,” The Rolling Stones

There’s a longstanding debate in rock ‘n’ roll which separates listeners into two classes: Beatles or Stones? In fact, there are deserves to each, and the argument could possibly be made that every won’t have been as impactful with out the existence of the opposite. Petty liked and took inspiration from each, however the Rolling Stones confirmed Petty the gutsier aspect of rock ‘n’ roll. “They had been my punk music,” Petty advised the CBC in 2014. “They had been grittier [than the Beatles]; it was rawer. They had been enjoying blues on this actually energetic type of uncooked approach, nevertheless it wasn’t difficult. There wasn’t loads of lovely concord concerned.”


“Waitin’ in Faculty,” Ricky Nelson

Top-of-the-line examples of Ricky Nelson’s rockabilly fashion, “Waitin’ in Faculty” was written by brothers Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. The track was an outstanding success upon its preliminary launch in 1957, turning into a High 20 hit on each the Billboard Sizzling Nation Singles and Sizzling 100. It encompasses a guitar solo from Joe Maphis, “The King of the Strings.”


“Slaughter on Tenth Avenue,” The Ventures

This surf rock-esque observe was based mostly on a bit of ballet music that performed on the finish of Rodgers and Hart’s 1936 Broadway musical, On Your Toes. The ballet serves as a narrative inside a narrative, as a person falls in love with a dance corridor lady who’s shot and killed by her boyfriend. Extra homicide ensues, accompanied by “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.” The Ventures reinterpreted the track in 1964, turning it into one in every of their greatest hits. Guitarist Mick Ronson additionally recorded it because the title observe to his 1974 debut solo album, enjoying it dwell all through his profession.


“Ain’t No Sunshine,” Bill Withers

Petty had a singular connection to the world of Invoice Withers: Donald “Duck” Dunn appeared on 1971’s Simply as I Am, which featured on “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and the bassist additionally contributed components to the Heartbreakers’ debut album,  Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises. “[Dunn] is one in every of my nice idols,” Petty stated in 2005. “He is probably the greatest musicians I’ve ever met.” On the Fillmore, Petty additionally carried out a candy rendition of the standard “You Are My Sunshine” simply earlier than Withers’ previous favourite.


“Rip It Up,” Little Richard

Written by Robert Blackwell (who produced the observe) and John Marascalco, “Rip It Up” was one in every of a number of singles launched by Richard in 1956. “Rip It Up” arrived solely three months after “Lengthy Tall Sally,” and although it peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Sizzling 100, it comfortably made its technique to the highest spot on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues Data chart. Invoice Haley and his Comets launched their model of the track the identical 12 months, which made it to No 25. on the Sizzling 100.


“I would Prefer to Love You Child,” J.J. Cale

“I would Prefer to Love You Child” appeared on Cale’s third album, 1974’s Okie, which arrived the identical 12 months Lynyrd Skynyrd discovered success with their cowl of Cale’s “Name Me the Breeze.” This was the primary session on which Cale layered his vocals, a method that he would come to be related to. “That goes again to the actual fact I by no means thought-about myself singer,” Cale later advised Performing Songwriter. “I typically sang off-key, and while you layer the vocals, the extra occasions you set your voice on there, the extra it turns into in tune.” Petty and Cale performed the track live together in 2009.


“Diddy Wah Diddy,” Bo Diddley

Elvis [Presley] is King, however [Bo] Diddley is Daddy,” Petty stated as he launched this cowl, describing Diddley as a “nice American.” Co-written with Willie Dixon, “Diddy Wah” was launched as a single in 1956, that includes the Moonglows on backing vocals, Dixon on bass, Jody Williams and Diddley on guitar, Clifton James on drums, Jerome Inexperienced with maracas and Little Willie Smith on harmonica. Numerous bands recorded covers of the track, together with Captain Beefheart and Taj Mahal.


“Guitar Boogie Shuffle,” The Ventures

The origins of “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” might be traced again to 1929, when it was first recorded below the title “Guitar Boogie” by blues guitarist Blind Roosevelt Graves. Roughly 16 years later, Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith launched a extra up-tempo “hillbilly boogie” recording. It slowly crept into the nation High 10, then turned one of many first guitar instrumental tracks to cross over into pop. Numerous bands recorded “Guitar Boogie Shuffle” by the ’50s, earlier than it appeared in 1972 on the Ventures’ Rock & Roll Ceaselessly, with Harvey Mandel of Canned Heat guesting on lead guitar.


“I Need You Again Once more,” The Zombies

There was a simplicity to the vocal components of artists just like the Zombies that enormously appealed to Petty. Nonetheless, it wasn’t at all times simple: When the Zombies first tried to document “I Need You Again Once more” in 1964, they had been unhappy and dropped the track for a number of months earlier than making an attempt once more. In search of to break additional into the abroad market, they launched “I Need You Again Once more” as a single within the U.S. solely. It flopped on the charts, barely cracking the High 100, however nonetheless made a big effect on one well-known fan: “I noticed the Zombies in 1965,” Petty later advised the San Francisco Chronicle, “and so they performed it.”


“Little Maggie,” Conventional

Seeds of modern-day nation and bluegrass music had been sown within the hills of Appalachia. The Stanley Brothers helped popularize quite a few these songs, together with “Little Maggie,” bringing wider audiences and inspiring new variations of age-old songs. Bob Dylan recorded “Little Maggie” for his 1992 assortment of conventional covers, Good As I Been to You. Robert Plant did the identical for 2014’s Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar.


“Hip Hug-Her,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s

“Hip Hug-Her,” the title and opening observe from Booker T. and the M.G.’s album of the identical title, was a unbelievable success, turning into their hottest single since 1962’s “Inexperienced Onions.” Hip Hug-Her was additionally the band’s final collaboration with producer Jim Stewart earlier than they took over these duties themselves.


“Good friend of the Satan,” Grateful Dead

Petty included this cowl a number of occasions throughout his dwell reveals, particularly dedicating the final rendition in 2014 on the Outlands Music Pageant to the late Jerry Garcia. Petty in the end shared the stage with the Useless 5 occasions all through his profession, because the Useless opened for Dylan and Petty in 1986 for a restricted run of reveals. Dylan would later dismiss this tour as one wherein “Tom was on the high of his recreation and I used to be on the backside of mine.”


“You Actually Acquired Me,” The Kinks

Like most younger youngsters impressed by rock ‘n’ roll, Petty yearned to begin his band modeled after his heroes – and the Kinks had been amongst them. Drummer Dennis Lee helped Petty’s first band, the Sundowners, get the look they wanted: His mom made every member of the fledgling group their ruffled shirts, similar to those the Kinks wore. They quickly outgrew the ruffles, nonetheless, in favor of no uniform in any respect just like the Rolling Stones.


“Goldfinger,” Shirley Bassey

“Goldfinger” turned Shirley Bassey’s solely High 40 hit, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 after it served because the title track for the 1964 James Bond movie of the same name. She’d go on to document two extra Bond title songs, 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever and 1979’s Moonraker. Petty’s instrumental model, which first appeared on 2009’s The Live Anthology, honors the unique whereas someway managing to make a six-piece rock band sound like a full orchestra.


“It Will not Be Improper,” The Byrds

A big a part of the Heartbreakers’ sound might be attributed to the affect of the Byrds, so it made sense that Petty would invite Roger McGuinn to play a handful of songs with him on the Fillmore. Described by Petty that night as his “mentor,” McGuinn had instantly acknowledged himself in Petty’s 1976 hit “American Girl.” “The vocal inflections had been similar to mine,” he advised the Voice in 2017. “I used to be advised {that a} man from Florida named Tom Petty wrote and sings the track, and I stated that I needed to meet him.” McGuinn instantly invited the Heartbreakers to open for him on tour. His Fillmore visitor flip opened with “It Will not Be Improper,” from the Byrds’ 1965 album, Turn! Turn! Turn!


“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” The Byrds

Although penned by Dylan, the Byrds had been the primary to launch a recording of “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere,” which they crafted right into a country-rock tune for use because the lead single for his or her 1968 album, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. Dylan himself did not launch his model till 1971’s Bob Dylan’s Biggest Hits Vol. II.


“Drug Retailer Truck Drivin’ Man,” The Byrds

For Petty, the Byrds had been the proper mixture of sturdy rock ‘n’ roll and tender songwriting. “We wished to have a sensibility that was type of a combination of the Rolling Stones and the Byrds,” he stated in 2005’s Conversations With Tom Petty. “So we had the type of R&B, rock ‘n’ roll factor, after which a type of good concord track sense. And loads of different influences, however that is most likely the only technique to break it down.”


“Eight Miles Excessive,” The Byrds

Usually cited as one in every of rock’s first psychedelic songs, “Eight Miles Excessive” was a reference to using in an airplane. Most business plane fly about six or seven miles off the bottom, however the Byrds felt “eight” sounded smoother lyrically, and in addition nodded to the Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week.” Not like the Beatles, nonetheless, the Los Angeles-based Byrds embodied a sure sense of West Coast coolness that Petty discovered interesting and wished for his band. McGuinn summed it up in 1991: “We’re musical brothers.”


“Loopy Mama,” J.J. Cale

“Loopy Mama” was the closest J.J. Cale ever bought to conventional business success. It was his solely High 40 hit, unexpectedly reaching No. 22 in 1972. A producer from American Bandstand approached Cale throughout a tour that very same 12 months. “He stated, ‘Come down and do ‘Loopy Mama’ and the publicity will run your tune up 10 locations on Billboard,'” Cale advised the Tampa Bay Times in 1994. Cale agreed, however then backed out when he found he can be required to lip-synch. “Loopy Mama” subsequently fell off the charts. “[Cale] bought a nasty rep for some time,” Benmont Tench advised Rolling Stone in 2021, “however he was probably the greatest songwriters within the enterprise.”


“Inexperienced Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s

Petty had labored with M.G.’s guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Duck Dunn lengthy earlier than he started masking the instrumental “Inexperienced Onions,” one of the crucial in style R&B songs of its period. However their preliminary collaboration on “Hometown Blues” from the Heartbreakers’ debut album had actually by chance. Producer Denny Cordell bumped into Dunn and Cropper at Sound Metropolis Studios, the place the band was working, “and [Cordell] stated to them, ‘Hey, are available in right here and take heed to this – and he put that observe on,” Petty later recalled. “They usually liked the observe. So Duck sat down, and bought his bass out to do the bass half, and Cropper type of guided him by it with these bizarre code issues like ‘Flip! Stroll!’ And Duck put the bass half in and type of made the entire thing come collectively.”


“Hello-Heel Sneakers,” Tommy Tucker

Over time, you might need heard the Heartbreakers throw this track into their set checklist occasionally, or maybe on Petty’s Buried Treasure radio program. “Hello-Heel Sneakers” climbed to No. 11 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 after its launch in 1964. Numerous artists have recorded because the observe, together with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.


“Discover My Child (Locked Up in Love Once more),” John Lee Hooker

Petty was on tour with Dylan when he bought into an argument with then-Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch. Petty walked off, solely to be lured again on stage with a promise to play with a blues legend. “I went to my dressing room actually mad. I would not come out,” Petty later advised Mojo. “Then Bob got here in and stated, ‘Come on, come again. John Lee Hooker is right here and he will play. Come on. Let’s go play with John Lee Hooker.’ I used to be nonetheless mad, however I went again to the stage. Then John Lee Hooker got here out and kicked our asses. He was simply transcendental. I keep in mind Bob strolling throughout the again telling us, ‘Do not change chords with John Lee Hooker; he would not change chords.'”


“It Serves You Proper to Endure,” John Lee Hooker

Within the early days, Petty and his bandmates would uncover blues information through their favourite British rock bands, tracing the road again to the Delta greats and a complete lot in between. Hooker was naturally one such determine that stood out. “He is an enormous hero of ours since I first heard him within the ’60s,” Petty advised the Chicago Tribune in 2001, simply after Hooker died. “We used to trace down whose information the British teams had been enjoying, whether or not it was Chuck Berry or John Lee Hooker, and get the originals. Listening to John Lee’s unique model of a few of these songs would actually blow our minds.”


“Boogie Chillen,” John Lee Hooker

“Boogie Chillen” is a partly autobiographical track. Hooker did discover himself “walkin’ down Hastings Road” after transferring to Detroit in 1943 to seek for work. Drawn to its music golf equipment, Hooker started enjoying in a stripped-down, electrified fashion that caught the eye of Elmer Barbee, an area record-shop proprietor who organized for Hooker’s first recordings. “Boogie Chillen” turned his Billboard R&B No. 1 debut single, spending a powerful 18 weeks on the charts after its launch in late 1948. “The factor caught afire,” Hooker would later marvel. “It was ringin’ throughout the nation.”


“I Acquired a Girl,” Ray Charles

Petty was influenced by a number of genres and eras of music, however his Florida roots had been by no means too far under the floor. Ray Charles grew up in Greenville, solely a pair hours’ drive from Petty’s hometown of Gainesville. “Ray Charles might be the perfect R&B singer there ever was. He invented a mode that was picked up by loads of artists within the later ’50s and ’60s [and] was most likely essentially the most imitated singer ever,” Petty advised Warren Zanes in 2008. “Once you take heed to his recordings, you are listening to an artist who’s so intuitive, whose work rings true in each approach. It leads you to query if his musical skills might need been elevated when he misplaced his sight. He is as musical as they arrive.”


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

Petty did not initially hear Dylan’s music till 1966’s Blonde on Blonde, however his admiration shortly took off from there. “He influenced my songwriting, in fact,” Petty advised American Songwriter. “He influenced everyone’s songwriting.” In fact, Petty and Dylan’s friendship would blossom down the road when the Heartbreakers supported Dylan on tour within the mid-’80s, after which the 2 joined forces as members of the Traveling Wilburys.


“County Farm,” conventional

“County Farm” might be traced again to an African-American religious known as “One other Man Performed Gone,” which was reportedly first recorded by Vera Corridor in 1940. From there, the track has taken on numerous kinds. Johnny Cash recorded his version in 1963, Odetta sang it in 1964 and John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers launched an identical track on their 1966 album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, titled “Another Man.”


“Shakin’ All Over,” The Who

The Who was one other British Invasion band that Petty discovered electrifying. Pete Townshend additionally typically performed a Rickenbacker guitar, nevertheless it was his easy writing that spoke to Petty. “What was nice about Pete Townshend’s early stuff was you recognized with what he was saying,” Petty advised Rolling Stone in 2010. In the meantime, Keith Moon‘s really feel behind the equipment modified his concept — and his bandmate’s — of what a rhythm part might sound like. “[Moon] had one thing no one else had, which was: play loads of fills, however by no means get in the best way of the track,” Tench advised Campusounds. “I’ve by no means heard anybody else play that many fills and by no means get in the best way!”


“Bye Bye Johnny,” Chuck Berry

As an alternative of beginning with Chuck Berry, Petty labored his approach again to him. “The Rolling Stones launched me to Chuck Berry,” he advised International Music and Recording World in 1983. Among the many Berry songs the Stones coated was “Bye Bye Johnny,” on 1964’s Round and Round. “I keep in mind going out and shopping for that first album — thought the entire rattling factor was so nice – and the humorous half is that that is how I came upon concerning the blues; they had been doing songs that we by no means even bought to listen to at dwelling as a result of the radio simply ignored them.”


“(I Cannot Get No) Satisfaction,” The Rolling Stones

It will be troublesome to discover a ’70s rock band that wasn’t influenced by the Rolling Stones. “Satisfaction,” particularly, proved the endurance of guitar riff. “They’d a lot perspective, it dripped off the plate,” Petty stated in 2010. “The riff and distortion seize you, and the lyric is so worldly. It is arduous to speak about ‘Satisfaction’ as a result of everybody is aware of it so properly, nevertheless it’s an ideal second in rock historical past. Simply the phrase is price one million bucks.”


“It is All Over Now,” The Rolling Stones

For Petty, a big a part of the enchantment of the Stones was not in both of the Glimmer Twins, and even in Charlie Watts‘ subtle drumming fashion, however within the expertise of a tragically short-lived member. “Brian Jones was a extremely good rhythm guitarist, I assumed, and rhythm guitar is a misplaced artwork, you realize?” Petty advised Vintage Guitar in 2006. “I wished to play rhythm in an actual strong approach. So our music is absolutely based mostly on that rhythm guitar, and every part else grows from there. If I am displaying the band a brand new track, it is based mostly on rhythm guitar, and so they fill in round that. However I stick actually intently to the groove with the instrument.”


“Louie Louie,” The Kingsmen

“Louie Louie” has been a staple in rock and R&B set lists ever because it was launched by the Kingsmen in 1963. Among the many many musicians who coated the track are the Beach Boys, Otis Redding, the Kinks, Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen, to call just a few.


“Gloria,” Them

Petty and the Heartbreakers coated just a few totally different Van Morrison songs through the years, together with “Gloria,” “Mystic Eyes” and a 1989 deep lower, “I’m Tired Joey Boy.” Maybe essentially the most well-known model of “Gloria” can be launched in 1975 on Patti Smith’s Horses.

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