Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell still grieves for Tom Petty

Virgin Radio

12 Feb 2023, 23:03

Credit: Getty

The influential songwriter died in 2017.

Former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' member Mike Campbell is still grieving for Tom Petty.

Petty - who co-wrote many of the band's biggest hits with Campbell, including 'Refugee', 'Here Comes My Girl', 'You Got Lucky', and 'Runnin' Down a Dream' - died aged 66 of an accidental overdose.

The 73-year-old guitarist told Guitar Player that he was "still processing" the passing of the rock legend and that it was "bittersweet" for him to hear the songs they wrote together on the Heartbreaker's Live at the Fillmore 1997 compilation when he was preparing it for release last year.

"Of course it is [bittersweet]," he said, "because Tom's gone and that's kind of a hard thing for me to deal with, to sit there and listen to stuff and hear his voice. It touches on some grief that I'm still processing. But I'm a big boy.

"I can deal with it. There's a lot of material and it's important, I think, because some of the young people have maybe never heard the old catalogue, so when they're re-issued there's a chance for that stuff to be re-experienced."

Campbell, who outside of The Heartbreakers played on the Don Henley smash hit 'The Boys of Summer', as well as working on most of Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks's solo albums, also revealed that there are a handful of tracks in the Heartbreakers archive that have never been released.

Sadly, there isn't enough for an album.

He said, "There's a few extra tracks here and there. A lot of them have already come out. But, no, there's no mystical album that's sitting on the floor. There's the live stuff, like I mentioned before. Those are the main things that have never been heard."

He shared some memories of the last moments he shared with his band leader.

"In the hospital, lying in the bed, I talked to him a little bit," he said. "He couldn't communicate, but maybe he heard me, I don't know.

"It's hard to put into words but I had an opportunity on the plane a couple of times towards the end of the last tour to connect, to say all the things I really wanted to say to him.

He added, "We were able to touch base, to identify our bond and our friendship in a very powerful way. I feel fortunate to have had those moments with him, not knowing what was going to unfold."