In 1986 and 1987, Tom and The Heartbreakers toured the world with Bob Dylan. The group served as his back-up band and Tom shared vocals with Dylan on several songs each night. The resulting Live In Australia DVD remains unreleased in the United States (although it was briefly available on VHS).
Although (when not with The Wilburys) Tom usually writes alone, his most frequent collaborator is his good buddy and co-producer, "Heartbreakers" lead guitarist Mike Campbell.
In 1982, Petty and The Heartbreakers recorded Hard Promises, only to discover that his record company planned to use the band's name and reputation to justify increasing the list price for LP's to $9.98. Tom withheld the master tapes and threatened to re-title his record "$8.98" in protest. The company decided not to raise the price. The LP cover shows Tom in a record store - an old store which is perhaps selling cheap, used records.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Tom has been married to Dana York since June 3, 2001.
Tom Petty is ranked number 9 on rock.com's top 25 solo rock artists of all time.
"Free Falling" is ranked number 82 on rock.com's top 500 classic rock songs of all time.
Tom has made three solo albums. They were Full Moon Fever (1989), Wildflowers (1994) and Highway Companion (2006).
Tom plays 6 and 12 string electric and acoustic guitar, acoustic piano and assorted electric keyboards, bass guitar, harmonica, drums and tambourine.
Tom was hired by ABC to do the music during the NBA Playoffs coverage in 2006.
Tom received a Golden Note Award, for his song writing, from The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) in April of 1996.
Tom has had sixteen Grammy Award nominations since the year of 1981. Out of the sixteen nominations he has received three Grammy Awards. One of the Grammy Awards received was in 1989 for Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal for his work he had done with the Traveling Wilburys. His second and third Grammy Awards were received in 1994 for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song "You Don't Know How It Feels" and Best Engineered Album which was non-classical.
In 1989, Petty released "Full Moon Fever." Though nominally a solo project, other members of the Heartbreakers and well-known musicians participated in the album's production.
Tom had a small part in the film Made in Heaven with Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis. Tom played the character Stanky. Timothy Hutton kept calling him "Stinky". Tom corrects him saying "It's Stanky". Also Ric Ocasek of The Cars and Neil Young have cameos. Tom also has a small role in The Postman starring Kevin Costner.
Tom wrote "Free Girl Now" about his second wife, Dana, and her experiences with a man she used to work for.
The first name of Tom's band was the Sundowners, then the name was changed to The Epics, and then Mudcrutch, and finally the band was known as Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
In 1961, Tom met Elvis Presley while Elvis was making the movie Follow That Dream in Ocala, Florida. He became an instant Elvis fan.
If you look in the "Playback" booklet, two pages contain pictures of all the singles released since 1993. One of them depicts a "torn" picture of Petty, a guitar case, and the words "Tom Petty: I Won't Back Down" in a sticker similar to the Wilburys' logo.
"Last Night" was the only song on the album Traveling Wilburys: Volume One that Tom Petty was lead vocals for.
Tom was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (as a member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).
Tom had two daughters, Adria and Anna Kim, with his first wife, Jane Benyo.
Tom is a rock singer/guitarist, recording and performing solo. He is also the leader of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
15 of Petty's albums have sold more than a million copies.
Tom: I think for it to be unhip to be idealistic is weird, you know? I mean, even all the best rebels to me had some sense of hope in them.
Tom: (on his songs being used in political campaigns) It's very uncomfortable to hear them used when I don't agree with what's being said. But I recognize that those songs have entered into a bigger life, a life all their own. They belong to the audience. How they're used isn't always something I can control.
Tom: It's funny how the music industry is enraged about the Internet and the way things are copied without being paid for. But you know why people steal the music? Because they can't afford the music. I'm not condoning downloading music for free. I don't think that's really fair, but I understand it.
Tom: I remember seeing A Hard Day's Night and thinking, "That's obviously the way to go." You've got farming over here and on this side - The Beatles.
Tom: Young people are very cynical now, you know? Very cynical! They've been taught cynicism, they've been - they've been bred cynicism. So, I think it's important to give them hope and realism in the same package, you know? You can be realistic but there should be - there should be hope in it. Because hope's what we're about. If we don't have hope then we don't go on.
Tom: These people are looking at balance sheets, not music. Most people involved in putting this music on the air or bringing it to us aren't really listening to it.
Tom: I have turned down a lot of money for things that would have made me feel cheesy.
Tom: I never ride in a limousine, you know. I feel gross if I get in a limousine. One good thing about the Sixties was it sort of was the opposite back then. You looked silly trying to appear rich.
Tom: It's very easy to be cynical about the hall of fame. But on the other hand, it's really a beautiful thing for someone like me. I dedicated my entire life to this music.
Tom: You don't hear any more of, "Hey, we did something creative and we turned a profit, how about that?" Everywhere we look, we want to make the most money possible. This is a dangerous, corrupt notion. That's where you see the advent of programming on the radio, and radio research, all these silly things. That has made pop music what it is today. Everything -- morals, truth -- is all going out the window in favor of profit.
Tom: I don't believe in censorship, but I do believe that an artist has to take some moral responsibility for what he or she is putting out there.
Tom (about college): You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does.
Tom (accepting the Billboard Century Award ): I'll endeavor to deserve it and may I remind you that this ain't the end. I can still kick some ass. God bless you.