Thomas Petty grew up in Gainesville, Florida. One of the most enduring performers in rock 'n' roll, Petty began playing with local bands while in his teens. He left high school to tour with his country-influenced rock band Mudcrutch. While Mudcrutch never made it big, it did contain a few of the future members of the Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Petty joined with Campbell, Tench, Ron Blair and Stan Lynch in 1975 to form Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The following year, the band released their first self-titled album, which featured two popular tracks: "American Girl" and "Breakdown." [+]
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