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Now in his mid-sixties, still making records and still touring, Petty, known for his reclusive style, has shared with Warren Zanes his insights and arguments, his regrets and lasting ambitions, and the details of his life on and off the stage.
He may be classified as a “hillbilly” singer, but Blake Shelton polished up his manners when it came to popping the question to Miranda Lambert.
The alliances, the distortions, the deep bruises and the absurd elations that can never be explained to an outsider.
Sure, is a book about a rock band but it's really a book about being human - how we meet and collaborate, break up and make up, learn to trust (or not) and, once in a lucky while, sing as loud as we can.
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“Imagine a long ride on the tour bus with Tom and the Heartbreakers where everyone was feeling loose enough to tell all their stories. This book is that.” —Eddie Vedder Born in Gainesville, Florida, with more than a little hillbilly in his blood, Tom Petty was a Southern shit kicker, a kid without a whole lot of promise. From meeting Elvis, to seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, to producing Del Shannon, backing Bob Dylan, putting together a band with George Harrison, Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne, making records with Johnny Cash, and sending well more than a dozen of his own celebrated recordings high onto the charts, Tom Petty’s story has all the drama of a rock and roll epic.
It's a masterpiece.” —Stephen Dubner “Warren Zanes' writing is definitive and thrilling, filled with hidden corners and inspiring truths...
as soaring and soulful as the great journey of Petty himself.” —Cameron Crowe “Expertly researched and deeply felt, is also the first peer-to-peer biography: the life of one musician through the eyes of a man who has prowled the same stages and chased the same dream.Though it attests to the artist's singularity, this incisive, illuminating biography also serves as an elegy to one of the golden eras of the classic rock band-of the days when 'a band was everything, a shield and a shelter.'” — (Starred Review) “[A] balanced chronicle of Petty’s career with the detached delivery of a seasoned journalist combined with the intimacy of a friend bold enough to dig deep beneath the surface of his own personal musical hero...required reading for fans.Zanes's working knowledge of band dynamics, in conjunction with his crisp and concise writing, undeniably qualify him to tell this story of one of rock’s most reclusive superstars.” — (Starred Review) “Warren Zanes’ exceptional rock-bio Petty is loaded with compelling characters. But the hustlers and disgruntled band members; hometown haters and kinfolk; wives and ex-wives; famous friends and fiercely loyal employees Zanes introduces us to all play a significant role in the story of the man responsible for some of the most enduring music of our time.” — “Zanes peels back the cool-guy exterior to become the first person to delve into Petty’s life story, making for a marvelous read…so rich and thorough that it doesn’t leave much room for complaints or nitpicking …It’s a great piece of writing by any measure, but as far as rock bios go, this is tops.” — “Petty: The Biography reads less like a traditional rock bio and more like a historically researched novel that chips away at brilliant and flawed characters...Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back, again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us.“Imagine a long ride on the tour bus with Tom and the Heartbreakers where everyone was feeling loose enough to tell all their stories. This book is that.” —Eddie Vedder “Tom Petty is a human-sized rock star, an ordinary guy from Florida who quietly amassed an indelible body of work, and created one of rock and roll's greatest and most durable bands along the way .Warren Zanes tells his tale in a voice that is crisp and passionate, sympathetic, unsparing, and shot through with hard experience.” —Peter Ames Carlin “With insight and rigor, Warren Zanes digs into the brilliance and ambition that have driven Tom Petty's magnificent career.