For Tom Petty, a songwriter’s greatest achievement is to ‘get someone to think about things’ – Los Angeles Times

Singer-songwriter Tom Petty has died at age 66. In advance of his 1987 U.S. tour with his band, the Heartbreakers, Petty spoke to The Times about his excitement and renewed passions for music in relation to his new album “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough),” which included more socially conscious songs, and applauded the activism of his fellow musicians. This article was originally published on May 24, 1987.

Tom Petty had no trouble describing his current mood as he sat on a sound stage at Universal Studios before a rehearsal with his band, the Heartbreakers. Eager, excited and renewed were words that came to mind.

Just two days before a fire destroyed his Encino hillside house, Petty was enthusiastic about his new album, “Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough),” and a U.S. tour that begins Tuesday in Tucson.

(The tour, which includes stops June 6 at Pacific Amphitheatre and June 8, 9, 11 and 12 at the Universal Amphitheatre, will go on as scheduled despite the fire, which wiped out everything at the house except Petty’s basement recording studio, where his guitars and various master recordings were stored.)

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