Since his breakthrough success in the late ‘70s, with his band, the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty has established himself as one of the first names in American rock. Hits like “Refugee,” “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “I Won’t Back Down” have made Petty a mainstay on classic rock radio for more than 30 years now. Outside of the Heartbreakers, he has enjoyed a career as a solo artist and as a member of the late ‘80s super-group, the Travelling Wilburys whose membership included the likes of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynn and Roy Orbison.
Even at 60 years of age, Petty remains a rock & roll workhorse. In 2008 he reunited with the Heartbreakers to perform in the halftime show at Superbowl XLII. The group released a new album, Mojo in 2010 and followed it with a North American tour and an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
When it comes to guitars the longtime Encino resident is most closely associated with Rickenbackers, in particular the 1965 Rose Morris which was once favored by the likes of Pete Townshend and Petty’s Travelling Wilburys bandmate, George Harrison. Petty is so fond of Rickenbackers that he eventually designed his own 12-string model, the Tom Petty Limited Edition Rickenbacker 660/12P. Other guitars Petty has been known to play over the years include a Gibson Firebird, a Gretsch Tennessean, a Vox Teardrop, and a ‘60s era Fender Telecaster.
Petty favors his Gibson Dove acoustic when it comes to writing songs but onstage he has been seen with a Gibson J-200 and a Guild 12- string. Petty’s amp set-up consists of a Marshall Plexi 50 watt head, a Hiwatt Custom 50 amp head and a Vox Super Beatle extension cabinet. In the video below, the great classic “Here Comes My Girl” again reminds us of why Petty and The Heartbreakers are SOOO COOL!