Monday, April 30, 2012

A Concert Story - Tom Petty At The Last Minute

Late spring, 1980. I was just finishing up my sophomore year of college, and headed back to Pittsburgh for the summer. I didn't realize it then, but it would be the last time I was a "full time" resident of that fair city. But that's a different story.

In the spring & summer of 1980, the music world was all about Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Their smash album Damn The Torpedoes was released in the fall of 1979, and had spawned TP's first 2 major hits (Don't Do Me Like That reached # 10 in February, and Refugee reached #15 in May). The album reached #2, where it stayed for 7 weeks. And eventually was named to Rolling Stone's list of the top 500 albums of all time.

And I was a big Tom Petty fan.

It would've been mid May when I got home.  And Tom Petty was to be playing at the Stanley Theater on July 10th.  One of my favorite bands at one of my favorite venues.  AWESOME!  Except that by the time I found out about the show, it was sold out.  Un-awesome.....

Fast forward.  If Iremember correctly on the morning of the show, they announced on the radio that a limited number of seats had been added, and would be at the door.  So I ended up, with one of my friends, sitting on the sidealk in front of the Stanley Theater.  I don't rememeber exactly how early we went down, but we were the first people there.  And (of course, scored our tickets).

I expected to be behind the stage, or in the lobby, or behind the last row of the balcony.  As it turned out, they placed folding chairs along the main aisles, and we were probably 10-15 rows back from the stage!!  On the left side. That's pretty close to perfect.

And the show was awesome!  One of the best I've seen.

When researching for this article, I found a site that says TP was touring with Tommy Tutone at the time.  But I don't remember any warm-up band, and I think I'd remember Tommy Tutone.  this was before their hit (Jenny 867-5309) but right after their fisrt album came out (which I had).

Granted, this was 32 years ago, and some of the details may be imprecise.  But hopefully not plain wrong.  .  Maybe My friend can confirm / clarify...  JT?  UPDATE:  My friend remembers Tommy Tutone being there.  Why don't I???


Ol' Froth said...

I am almost positive that Tommy Tutone was the warm up act. I know I saw TT live only once, and that was at the Stanley, and while I saw Petty a number of times, I only saw him once at the Stanley.

I seem to recall Petty singing "Breakdown" while leaning over the micropone intoning, "I don't wanna talk about it" over and over, until he looked up, put his hands on his hips and said, 'You know, I really DON'T want to talk about it! Goodbye!" and left the stage, while the band jammed. After about 3 or 4 minutes, TP crabwalked back onto stage, blowing smoke like a steam engine from the four cigarettes in his mouth to finish the song, and then launced into 'American Girl'

LSqrd said...

I remember the 2nd part. But for whatever reason, Tommy Tutone is a blank.