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Mike Campbell Talks About Playing Forgotten Songs on Tom Petty Tour

Mike Campbell Tom Petty
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell admitted to Rolling Stone that he’d forgotten about some of the songs suggested for the group’s current tour. Instead of just hauling out the usual hits, Petty and the Heartbreakers are digging deep into their 35-year-old catalog to fill out the set lists. And some of the cuts are so obscure, the guy who co-wrote some of them and played recorded of them can’t even remember them.

“Just the other day, someone was asking me, ‘Are you guys gonna do “About to Give Out”?’,’ Campbell said. “I didn’t have any memory of that song at all. There are songs that do get lost along the way, but as soon as you pull them out it all comes back to you.” 

During the interview, Campbell mentioned some of the songs the band is playing on its summer tour (the itinerary is listed below). Songs that almost never get airplay — like ‘Billy the Kid,’ ‘When the Time Comes’ and the Traveling Wilburys cut ‘Tweeter and the Monkey Man’ — have shown up in sets so far. Campbell said there’s more to come.

“Every night’s gonna be different,” he said. “I don’t even know what we’re going to play the next two nights. But that’s the exciting part of it. These nights are special. I guess that’s true for the fans, but we thrive on spontaneity. We can pull out a song, maybe we rehearsed it, maybe we didn’t, but we’re gonna make it work on the spot.”

So if all you want to hear are the same dozen songs you know inside and out by now, maybe you should stay home this time. “We’re free from ‘Free Fallin’,'” Campbell said. “We’re free from doing 20 songs that people expect us to play year after year. These shows are a chance to play songs that aren’t on that list.”

Next: Top 10 Tom Petty Songs

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Summer 2013 Tour Dates
June 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11 – Los Angeles, Calif.
June 15 – Noblesville, Ind.
June 13-16 – Manchester, Tenn.
June 18 – London, Ontario
June 20 – Pittsburgh, Pa.
June 21-23 – Dover, Del.
June 23 – Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
June 28 – Milwaukee, Wisc.
June 29 – Minneapolis, Minn.

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