Conversations with Tom Petty

Conversations with Tom Petty

by Paul Zollo, Tom Petty

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OFFICIAL AND AUTHORIZED! Tom Petty has long been seen as one of the great songwriters of American rock ‘n’ roll, as well as one of the key standard bearers of integrity in the music business. Conversations With Tom Petty is the first authorized book to focus solely on the life and work of the man responsible for some of the most memorable rock anthems of our generation.

Author Paul Zollo conducted a series of in-depth discussions with Tom about his career, with special focus on his songwriting. These conversations are reprinted here with little or no editorial comment and represent a unique perspective on Tom’s entire career. With rare photographs weaved throughout the text, Conversations with Tom Petty is the ultimate retrospective a true music legends.

“Insightful, breezy, and loaded with recollections from Petty’s formative years.” — Orlando Sentinel

“...the notoriously media-wary Petty responds...about his life, career, and craft with articulate and intelligent answers that even nonfans can enjoy.” — Publishers Weekly

“The Q&A format is ideal for showcasing Petty's likable personality, and his passion for the music he creates is palpable.” — Library Journal.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857127648
Publisher: Music Sales Corporation
Publication date: 02/23/2012
Series: N/A
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 563,642
File size: 9 MB

About the Author

Paul Zollo is a singer-songwriter, author, and music journalist. Since 1987, he's dedicated himself to interviewing the world's greatest songwriters. From 1987 to 1997, he was the editor of SongTalk, the journal of the National Academy of Songwriters.
Born in Chicago, he studied English and Music at Boston University and is the author of 'The Beginning Songwriter's Answer Book', 'Songwriters on Songwriting', and 'Hollywood Remembered'.

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Conversations With Tom Petty 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Tom Petty's music so I was very excited to get this book. Unfortunately, it wasn't what I expected. The book talks at great length about cord changes and the influences of producers, but it's extremely light on the stories of Tom's life or the influences on his music. There are no great stories about Live Aid, Farm Aid, his house burning down, the controversies following 'The Last DJ,' etc. It's really just a discussion of who he played with and when. I was also disappointed that a great deal of material is repeated. Bottom line: Skip this book unless you play music and have a deepseated interest in cord changes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For fans of Tom Petty and his music, this is the ultimate read. For me personally, Tom Petty is no less than a God in the world of rock and roll music. For those of us who enjoy Petty's music, and desire to know more about this exceptionally talented, but publicity shy man, this book has it all. Zollo asks all the right questions and the 'conversational' style seems to work well. It gives Petty fans a glimpse into the mind of this humble, sensitive, and highly intelligent man, who has more integrity, and honesty than one is used to seeing in the celebrity world these days. A satisfying and entertaining read that any Petty fan should not pass up.
lmnalban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let's be clear: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers is my favorite band. Anything written about them or by them will be fascinating to me. Having said that, the book is still a good read to these interested in the creation of rock 'n roll. I was struck how the group would get together, start playing, and finish a song within hours. I cannot comprehend that kind of spontaneous creation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful insights into Tom Petty’s prolific songwriting process and the story of the band’s growth over time, told in the first person by Tom with that classic dry sense of humor and humility. I have been a big fan of his music over the years since the 70s and this book of conversations unpacks the backdrop behind the big hit songs and many less well known. The book is split in two- interviews about his life and then the second half dedicated to a detailed journey through the stories behind the songs, down to the chords he used and the origins of some his most poignant lyrics. You walk away in awe of how hard working and talented Tom and the Heartbreakers were and how they kept pushing themselves over the decades to consistently put out timeless music. Musicians and lovers of genuine rock and roll (Tom says not to forget the roll) will enjoy this book. Reading it helped ease the pain of losing him too soon- but still saddened that we won’t get to hear his next chapter. Great to have in addition to Warren Zane’s autobiography.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is exactly what it says. It is a conversation, written in conversational style about his music, how he came up with ideas for song, all the bands and people he has played with from teen years to now. He also talks about his friendships with George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Dylan, Jeff Lynn, and Dell Shannon, Don Felder Being a mucisian myself and a lover of Petty, Heartbreakers and Wilburys, loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has a few great stories about Tom & his life, what's there is great, but all in all there is too much that is just technical about the music. I love Tom, I just wanted to know a little more about him personally.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Conversations with Tom Petty by Paul Zollo is a book that I would highly recommend to any Tom Petty Fan. The book starts off with a causal foreword form Tom himself, then progresses into chapter one. The book is laid out in two parts. Part one, Life Part two, Songs. Petty believes as the interviews unfolded, that in order to understand the music, you need to understand his life. In the first chapter, you discover that at the age of twelve, Tom Petty became engulfed in music and his guitar. By eighteen, he was off to California to find a music contract. After being in several bands and playing many shows, sometimes five a week, Tom had a pretty good idea of the music business, or so he thought. When Tom Petty and his band arrived in L.A., they had an offer to record a single on their first day there. The offers kept rolling in. They soon realized that they had a lot to learn about the music business. Tom, being the un-official leading man, had to learn some tough stuff about the music world. He never realized that there were so many legal issues involved with signing with a label. After they got the ball rolling, it was all up hill from there. In the book, part two is all about the songs. Paul Zollo does a fantastic job of really getting to the core meaning of Tom¿s songs. For example, ¿American Girl¿ is a very popular Tom Petty song, but the meaning of the song has been turned in to an urban legend. Tom sets the readers straight and shares the real meaning of ¿American Girl¿ and a lot of his other songs that he created. You learn about how he was feeling when he wrote certain songs, and what kind of stories are behind some of his more personal songs. If you are like me and love listening to Tom Petty with the windows down and the wind blowing your hair, you will be completely satisfied with this in-depth look in to his life, his music, and his passion for both.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is what tom petty fans just needed. I feel like i really know tom petty now. it included his early life in florida and it included everything a true tom petty fan needed to know... i've allready read this book twice, i will read it many many more times... tom petty is the king
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers since 1976 so I thought I knew all there was to know about Tom and the wrong I was! This book was enlightening in regards to TP's childhood, how his love for music unfolded at an early age, and how his life experience naturally seeps into his songs. The book is broken up into two parts. The first part is all about Tom's life and he talks about everything from his parents to getting a record deal to recording with the Wilburys to the tragic death of bassist Howie Epstein. The second part is devoted to TP's songs with comments from him about almost everything he's ever written. For me, the first section of the book was my favorite, though I did learn a few things about Tom's songs in Part II. This is a terrific book for anyone who loves rock 'n' roll, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers in particular.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Highly reccomended for any true music fan!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of if not the best music related books I have ever read. Petty talks about his childhood right up to the album that is yet to be released. He goes through each stage of his life and the second half he talks about individual songs. One of my highlights was his description of the Full Moon Fever and Wilbury years and his story of Mikes Cambells solo in 'Runnin Down a Dream'. My only wish is that he talk about his association with Rickenbacker guitars. The rare photos are really, really good too.