The Heartbreakers’ Highest Point According To Tom Petty, Mike Campbell Recalls

During a recent chat with Guitar Player, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell gave insight into the time when they performed twenty shows at San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore Auditorium, which was the highest point of their career, according to Tom Petty. Even after nearly twenty-five years, Campbell still recalled the shows with the same joy and excitement.

By the time Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had decided to jump into back-to-back shows at the Fillmore Auditorium, they had released nine albums and had sold millions of records. Petty had reached his wildest rock and roll dreams, and instead of stopping or taking a break, they as a band decided to initially play ten shows at Fillmore, which expanded to 20 shows because of the demand.

The venue, famous for hosting bands like Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead, also became their 20 show ground for fans who kept showing up night after night. Petty himself had described it as a high point for the band since they hadn’t done anything to that level of production up to that point. Mike Campbell couldn’t agree more and still does to this day, with those shows being their career peak.

Campbell’s words about the band’s high point in their career:

“It’s still a high point, and a lot of it is because it was the first time we had done something like that, and it was the Fillmore Auditorium and that history and the audiences there are so tuned in that it was a real joy to play there. We did more of that type of thing in the following years.

We did one at the Beacon in New York, at the Vic in Chicago, and the Henry Fonda in L.A. – never for a whole month but for a week here and there, so we could go back and revisit that approach occasionally. Those recordings will likely come out at some point because there was some really good stuff there. But the Fillmore stands alone because it was the first one.”

While the band occasionally tried to capture the same spirit, it couldn’t be compared to Fillmore. It was a special moment that was professionally recorded during the last six performances of the run. The album ‘Live at the Fillmore 1997’ came out from those recordings. Now you can relive this experience once again or for the first time with the deluxe version.

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