Running Down A Dream, is a fitting title to describe what Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, have accomplished in their more than 30 years together. This superb DVD is a personal account of their story, told by them, and takes us through a chronological journey of what made them the super group they are today. Along the way, we are treated to some of their biggest hits and some great concert footage as every album, is examined. There are plenty of interesting stories and humorous anecdotes interspersed, from a variety of people who've touched their lives as well.
It is a celebration that marks their thirty years together, as a band. After realizing all the turmoil and struggles they went through, it leaves you marveling at how they ever kept it together so long, and will leave you impressed at the legendary success that they are today.
This rockumentary opens, in a darkened stadium in Gainesville, Florida, on Sept. 21, 2006. The energy and excitement are pulsating from a wildly cheering audience. Blips of light are seen everywhere, twinkling in the dark, beckoning the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to return onstage, for their encore. When they begin making their way back onstage, the crowd erupts and the band wastes no time rocking us with one of their great classics, You Wreck Me. You will be instantly hooked from the testimonials filled with admiration, from their peers, who consist of some of the biggest major league players from the rock and roll world... Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, Jackson Brown, Stevie Nicks, Jeff Lynne, Roger McGuinn, the late George Harrison and even heartthrob Johnny Depp, to name a few.
Tom Petty begins describing his very early roots growing up in the South and being obsessed with westerns where he first becomes infatuated with the guitar. Two important life-changing events happen during Tom's youth. A brief introduction to Elvis Presley which he claims left him "dumbstruck" and the appearance of The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. Most of us remember the impact from that event, but for Tom Petty, it was the catalyst that made him realize how his dream could become a reality. His outlook immediately changes and he becomes totally obsessed with music and the guitar, and claims one of the nicer things his father ever did for him was buy him a $35.00 guitar. With fierce determination and tunnel vision, he wastes no time gathering musicians and starts his first band, The Epics who become quite successful. The Epics eventually change their name to something much less wholesome sounding and are re-christened with "a really terrible one - Mudcrutch."
After becoming the biggest thing Gainesville has ever seen, Mudcrutch eventually decides to cut a demo and a few of them bring it to L.A. They are elated when they receive a couple of offers for recording contracts. They head back to Gainesville to scoop up the rest of the crew, girlfriends, and dogs and off they go to seek their fortune in L.A. Tom gets married just before they leave. At the invitation of Denny Cordell of Shelter Records, they make a pit stop at his Oklahoma studio first, and it is there that they sign their first recording deal. With a wad of front money from Denny, they head to L.A. only to be disillusioned when Shelter wants to sign only Tom. Tom admits how painful it was to break the distressing news to the band, and in a very endearing moment, explains that he begged Mike Campbell not to leave him... and Mike never has. All are crushed and disillusioned, and as Benmont puts it "these were the people I came out to California with". None of them knew what direction to take at that point. It is Benmont who is credited with assembling the Heartbreakers, for it is his recording session that puts Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch, Tom Petty and Benmont all together in the studio for the first time. Tom likes what he hears and convinces them to hitch on with him as he already has a contract. They do, and he brings them into his recording session. Cordell is impressed and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are born. Once he has his band in place, Tom proclaims "We've got our band and it's kinda like, you've got something really good and nobody else knows it, but you know, they're gonna know it". Quite a prophetic statement!!
The boys cut an album and it's hard to imagine, but it flops in the U.S. It could've been game over at this point, but fortunately it skyrockets in Britain and they venture off to Europe, playing many live shows, to a legion of adoring fans. It was quite a letdown when they returned home from being rock stars to "taking out the garbage". They don't let it stop them and eventually they hit the big-time in the U.S. market. Just when you think they could sit back and enjoy, Shelter is bought by MCA and Petty is outraged. Feeling as though they were sold like groceries, he tells MCA he's splitting, they tell him he's not, and the war begins. Petty is shocked to learn that he unknowingly signed away the rights to his music, and his publishing is now owned by MCA.
It's a long, hard-fought battle which sees Tom declare bankruptcy and continue his adamant refusal to back down. (Hmm - I can think of a fitting song right now). Tom states to the exec's that "I'll sell fucking peanuts before I'll give in to you". There's no doubt he means it! With the full support of the band, Tom eventually wins and regains his songs thankfully, and the band goes on to become even more successful until another lawsuit emerges when the record company attempts to raise album prices on TPATH's latest release. Tom wins again and becomes the working class hero. What resonates throughout this turmoil is a very impressive bond of loyalty between the band members and Tom. Petty's resolute demeanor in taking on the record industry reveals the courage and integrity of his personality. It's been suggested that Tom's unwavering resistance to injustice stems from an abusive father and losing his beloved mother who died far too early.
As Tom, Mike, Ben and Ron each reflect on recording their great classic, Refugee, you can't help but feel for them. Mike mentions making over 150 takes - wow! Ron tells of a roomful of tapes just with Refugee on them and Benmont makes a profound statement…that nobody thought at the time of taking 2 tapes and splicing them together, which all the bands were doing back then. It is definitely a legendary tune, thankfully. The lighter moments will have you laughing out loud as well as the many humorous antics that lace this film as well - "high adventure" as Tom puts it. Recalling an incident in Germany where the band was detained at Customs, Petty describes how Ron Blair hadn't been able to bring himself to discard his legally purchased hash in Amsterdam. Once released, they went on to perform a live gig, and Ron, who had no other option but to chomp on the hash earlier, was somewhere out in the cosmos by the time they hit the stage - but "he played like a champ" Petty declares through his own laughter!
Through the years, while creating exceptional music combined with a heavy touring schedule, there is much drama going on. Ongoing dissension among band members, tension in the studio with various producers, attempted murder on Tom and his family, battles with substance abuse, Tom's agonizing 9-month recuperation from smashing his hand through a wall, being Bob Dylan's back up band on a world tour, Tom's intermittent departure from the HB's preferring a few solo projects, Tom joining the super group The Travelling Wilbury's, divorce, and even death. It is here that you see the raw emotion conveyed from each of the band members as they fondly reflect on Howie Epstein, a very talented musician and sweet young man who replaced Ron Blair for a period of about 12 years and sadly met his early demise from substance abuse. Luckily he lived long enough to receive the honor of being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 with the rest of the band members, past and present.
This rockumentary will leave you feeling amazed and inspired at how these guys kept it together during the many incredibly stressful and chaotic situations they endured, which would have easily and understandably crumbled most bands. The individual band members and Tom have all enjoyed professional success on collaborative projects outside of the Heartbreakers as well, but always remained a solid unit. It really gives you insight into the magnitude of their bond and their undying passion for making poignant, quality music. This DVD provides us with a personal glimpse into the world of a very gutsy, immensely talented, prolific songwriter/musician and a world-class group of enormously talented musicians who've somehow managed to keep their ship sailing through many storms and have remarkably remained humble and true to their selves, to each other, to their music and to their many loyal fans. They are more than a rock and roll band; they are truly a band of brothers.
Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is a hardcover book that will hit stores November.
Pre-Orders ship November 1, 2007
For more than 30 years, Tom Petty has been writing and performing hit songs and rock and roll classics. He has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide. His music has been the soundtrack to the lives of millions of people who grew up in the '70s, '80s and '90s. This celebratory, personal volume includes hundreds of photographs many neverbefore-published as well as a selection of memorabilia from Petty's personal archives, all of which help to illustrate the songwriter's own description of his amazing life and career. Publication of this book coincides with the theatrical release of a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers film documentary by Peter Bogdanovich and a four disc DVD/CD set. The fall of 2007 belongs to Tom Petty.
About the Author, Tom Petty
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their debut album in 1976. Petty has received numerous prestigious awards, including 16 Grammy nominations and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Petty was also a member of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 2006 tour was one of their most successful ever. Tom Petty lives in Los Angeles.
"Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers," is a Film by Peter Bogdanovich
On Monday, October 15th, Runnin' Down A Dream the Peter Bogdanovich documentary about Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will be shown in theaters across America for one night only. Currently, the following cities have been confirmed, with more to follow. Theaters, locations and screening times as well as a pre-sale for Highway Companion Club Members will also be announced shortly. For more information on this film, sign up for the Tom Petty email list and keep checking TomPetty.com for updates.Preliminary list of cities where screenings will take place:
Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Rosa, CA, Boston, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Long Island, NY, Atlanta, Memphis, Denver, Dallas, Grand Rapids, MI, Lansing, MI - More cities will be confirmed soon.
Film to Debut at New York Film Festival - Press Release
On October 14, the hotly anticipated Warner Bros. Records film "Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers" will have its first public screening. Directed by cinema legend Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show"), "Runnin' Down A Dream" has been selected to close the 2007 New York Film Festival. "Runnin' Down A Dream" tells a great American story, that of a band that came from the middle of nowhere to win the hearts of millions. The film focuses not only on the Heartbreakers' inspiring ride to the top but the story of what they did when they got there, as artists, as a band, as people. Bogdanovich's film explores many of the underlying reasons for the band's unparalleled capacity not only to endure but to thrive. Gritty, exuberant, infectious: "Runnin' Down A Dream" tells the Heartbreakers' story as never before. The New York Film Festival screening will take place at the legendary Walter Reade Theater on October 14. Beginning October 15, "Runnin' Down A Dream" will be screened at select theaters nationwide. A list of cities and participating theaters will be announced shortly.
The film, two years in the making, weaves together remarkable archival material, previously unseen 8mm footage, new live and rehearsal footage, and extensive interviews conducted by director Bogdanovich. Producer, George Drakoulias claims that it was Bogdanovich's work on "The Last Picture Show" that made him think the director would have a sensitivity for the context of the Heartbreakers' story. "That movie made me think that Peter could really grasp the intricacies of what we were looking at in this 30-year career," Drakoulias explains. In zeroing in on both the shadows and the light around the band's uniquely American success story, Bogdanovich finally explores the complexity of the American dream itself. As he describes, "I saw the film as a vivid piece of Americana about a natural-born poet-musician from Florida who decided to go West with a richly talented band to become rock stars. It is an extraordinary odyssey, the fascination being I think in the details of the adventure."
"Runnin' Down A Dream" digs deep in order to reveal the combination of unwavering talent, artistic vision, and sheer persistence that has made the Heartbreakers' thirty-plus year run possible. The film features in-depth interviews with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the circle of musicians, friends and collaborators who came into the band's orbit over the years. Participants include Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, George Harrison, Jackson Browne, Roger McGuinn, Dave Stewart, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Jimmy Iovine, Johnny Depp, and others.
In addition to tracking the Heartbreakers over their decades together, "Runnin' Down A Dream" also follows Tom Petty's solo adventures and his time as a Traveling Wilbury alongside George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. A celebration of what can happen when artists are given the chance to explore the depths of their own talent, "Runnin' Down A Dream" is the story of an artistic victory unlike any other.
In mid-October, building upon the film's momentum, Chronicle Books will release "Runnin' Down A Dream," a 250-page coffee table book that will be available in mid-October at book shops throughout the US and Canada. It includes more than 300 photos and extensive text from the Bogdanovich interviews. Together, the interviews and photos provide a unique, inside perspective on the remarkable life and career of a rock and roll legend.
TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS released their debut album in 1976. Since that time they have sold more than 50 million records and remain one of the biggest touring acts in the business. Despite the scale of their success and the creative range of their work, the Heartbreakers maintain a reputation as a rock-and-roll band, always true to the music's original inspiration. Between the Heartbreakers' recordings and his solo work, Tom Petty has received 18 Grammy nominations. Honored with lifetime achievement awards including Billboard's Century Award, MTV's Video Vanguard Award, and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Tom Petty, with the Heartbreakers at his side, has achieved the status of legend among his fellow musicians and listeners worldwide.
ABOUT PETER BOGDANOVICH
Peter Bogdanovich has earned a reputation as one of American cinema's great filmmakers. In addition to his work as a director, Bogdanovich has received acclaim as an author, a critic, a screenwriter, a documentarian, an actor, and a historian. His films, including "The Last Picture Show," "Paper Moon," and "Mask" have been Oscar-winning landmarks. "The Last Picture Show" is a National Treasure as declared by the Library of Congress. Viewers know him for his recurring role and directing work on "The Sopranos." Film historians and movie buffs alike know him both for his monographs on Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, and John Ford. On the heels of "Runnin' Down A Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers," Bogdanovich will return to feature film directing with a new film entitled "Star-Crossed," based on a true Hollywood love story. He's also planning a return to the theater, to do a Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' last play, "In Masks Outrageous and Austere," which is being co-presented by Gore Vidal.
A 4 disc set, 3 DVDs with over 5 hours of video and 1 CD of rare and unreleased tracks.
The set will be sold exclusively at Best Buy retail outlets beginning Oct. 16. Two days before, the film will close the 2007 New York Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theatre, and will then premiere Oct. 15 for one night only in 21 cities across the country. The Sundance Channel is also scheduled to run the film commercial-free on Oct. 29
This movie contains hours of never before seen footage and interviews with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers plus music from the storied rock band's entire career. The movie features interviews with George Harrison, Eddie Vedder, Stevie Nicks, Dave Grohl, Jeff Lynne, Rick Rubin, Johnny Depp, Jackson Browne and more. Also 1 DVD of the celebrated 30th Anniversary Concert in Heartbreaker hometown, Gainesville Florida.
Disc 3 - Gainesville Concert
Disc 4 - Bonus Soundtrack CD
What's In A Name
B.Y.O.F (Build Your Own Festival)
A Broken Bond
Ron & Stan
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Bottom Line
Rock & Roll Heaven
Runnin' Down a Dream (End credits)
One 30th Anniversary Concert
Listen To Her Heart
Mary Jane's Last Dance
I Won't Back Down
I'm A Man
Handle With Care
Stop Draggin' My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks)
I Need To Know (with Stevie Nicks)
It's Good To Be King
Insider (with Stevie Nicks)
Learning To Fly
Don't Come Around Here No More
Runnin' Down A Dream
You Wreck Me
Anything That's Rock and Roll
Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)
Shadow of A Doubt (A Complex Kid)
Stories We Could Tell
Keeping Me Alive