Mike Campbell isn’t “ready emotionally” to reunite the Heartbreakers without Tom Petty
“I do miss the guys, but Tom left a huge hole in the band.”
Photo: C. Ianigan / FilmMagic
Three years after Tom Petty’s passing, Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell still isn’t ready to get the band back together – at least for now.
The 70-year-old guitarist has been a close collaborator of Petty’s for over four decades, spanning the entire breadth of the Heartbreakers’ career which started in 1976 and ended abruptly in 2017 following Petty’s death due to an accidental drug overdose.
Although he misses working with his bandmates, Campbell explained that he isn’t jumping at the chance to revive the group without its leader.
“I’m not ready emotionally to have the Heartbreakers in a room and go ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ and look around and Tom’s not there,” Campbell told Rolling Stone. “I’m sorry. I need to grieve a little more to get to that point in time, but I’m not against the idea. I do miss the guys, but Tom left a huge hole in the band.”
Should the band get back together, however, Campbell revealed that they would likely take on one of Petty’s unrealised visions: bringing the Wildflowers album on a theatre run.
“I would consider [a reunion] at some point in the future,” he said. “Only because I had a couple conversations with Tom where he put forth the idea of a Wildflowers theatre tour.”
“It would have to be almost a voice from beyond, almost like, ‘Guys, do this for me,’” he continued. “If I got that message, I would present it to the other guys. But it hasn’t been that long. We’re still grieving very deeply. It’s a big loss.”
For the time being, Campbell has been focused on his work with the Dirty Knobs, a band he formed in 2001. The group’s first studio album, Wreckless Abandon, is slated to launch later today (20 November).
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