Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ first live album in 13 years, the long-awaited ‘Live At The Fillmore (1997)’, will be released on November 25th via Warner Records and is now available to pre-order HERE. The album is launched alongside the track ‘Listen To Her Heart’, which is accompanied by a video directed by Peter Sluszka.
Before starting the 20-show run at the Fillmore, Tom Petty outlined his plans in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle: “We’re musicians and we want to play. We’ve made so many records in the past five years, I think the best thing for us to do is just go out and play and it will lead us to our next place, wherever that may be.”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers famously played 20 nights at the legendary Fillmore venue in San Francisco in 1997. 6 of the shows were professionally recorded and this release features some of the high points of the residency. The small venue allowed the band to vary their sets each night; they included re-arranged and distinctive versions of their hits, deep cuts, and many cover versions – paying tribute to the artists that Tom and the band had been influenced by.
The shows at the Fillmore ended up being some of the most joyful, honest, inspirational and prolific experiences of the band’s career, creating a unique bond between the group and their fans. Highlights include Bob Dylan’s ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’, J.J. Cale’s ‘Crazy Mama’, The Rolling Stones’ ‘Time is On My Side’ and more from The Kinks, Everly Brothers, Bill Withers, The Byrds, Chuck Berry and Booker T. & the M.G.’s. The collection also features special performances with The Byrds’ front man Roger McGuinn and blues legend John Lee Hooker. Other standouts include extended versions of the original tracks ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance’ and ‘It’s Good To Be King’.
Mike Campbell recalls, “Playing the Fillmore in 1997 for a month was one of my favourite experiences as a musician in my whole life. The band was on fire and we changed the set list every night. The room and the crowd was spiritual… AND… we got to play with some amazing guests. I will always remember those nights with joy and inspiration.”
The Fillmore was a laboratory for the band. The captivating sold out performances were such a hit that the Heartbreakers were even nicknamed the Fillmore House Band. At the final show, Petty noted as he took the stage: “We all feel this might be the highpoint of our time together as a group… It’s going to be hard to get us off this stage tonight.”
‘Live At The Fillmore (1997)’ will be offered in a 3 LP version simulating one of the concerts and a comprehensive box set featuring 58 songs and 14 humorous spoken word tracks that highlight Petty’s connection with his band and his fans from the stage. The shows were taped during the last six nights of the band’s historic residency. The compilation was meticulously curated by producers Ryan Ulyate and Mike Campbell and executive producers Benmont Tench, Adria Petty, Annakim Petty and Dana Petty. Please see Joel Selvin’s liner notes for more information.