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Charlie T. Jnr.
Petty, began playing the guitar his mother bought for him from the Sears catalogue since the age of thirteen. He was swept up in Beatlemania, and in high school became the bass player for the Epics. By eighteen, Petty had formed a new collective called Mudcrutch. The members of the band scattered following the disappointing reaction to their one Shelter Records single release, "Depot Street."
The members of Mudcrutch reunited (with a few additions) in 1975 as the Heartbreakers, with a significantly more musically mature Petty up front, to record their first album Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers (1976). In England, the band scored a Top 40 hit Stateside with "Breakdown." Their second album, You're Gonna Get It!, fell short of their expectations, both commercially and critically.
In 1978, Shelter was acquired by MCA Records, and Petty expressed his unhappiness with being bundled into the arrangement by demanding to be released from his contract. MCA responded by slapping him with a breach-of-contract suit. The band, which was forced to declare bankruptcy, nevertheless persevered in their attempt to record a third studio album. Petty triumphed in the case, and was released from his contract in an ironic twist, he turned around and signed with Backstreet Records, a label distributed by MCA.
When the record company tried to cash in on the booming popularity of their third album, Damn the Torpedoes by pricing his fourth album, Hard Promises, at $9.98 instead of the normal $8.98, Petty organized fan protests (he even threatened to title the album Eight Ninety-Eight in defiance of the price hike) and withheld the album until MCA finally backed down.
Recording Southern Accents turned out to be a trying and emotionally draining process for the reassembled band members, especially for Petty, who became so distraught while listening to the playback of the album that he slammed his hand into the studio wall, breaking it so severely that he was told he might never play guitar again. He recovered, and the album was a phenomenal hit.
Sandwiched in between many other efforts, Petty released his first solo album, Full Moon Fever, to delighted critical reception and career-high sales. The band bid adieu to MCA following the release of 1993's Greatest Hits album; Petty signed with Warner Bros. and cut his second solo effort, Wildflowers, the following year. The album was a commercial disappointment, and Petty jumped at the opportunity to reunite with the Heartbreakers to record the soundtrack for the 1996 film She's the One.
The Heartbreakers recently released the album 'Echo'.
Heartbreakers Official Site