The time is 1976 in Gainesville, FL and five gentlemen came together to form the American rock group Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The members were Tom (played guitar and main vocals), Mike Campbell (played lead guitar), Benmont Tench (played the piano, organ, harmonium and vocals), Ron Blair (played bass and did vocals) and Stan Lynch (on drums and backup vocals). Three of the members had an earlier band called Mudcrutch which released only one single that didn't make it to the charts.
The band first started gaining popularity in the UK with the singles "Break Down" and "American Girl". They re-released "Break Down" in the US and it landed them in the Top 40. The band released their second album in 1978 titled "You're Gonna Get It!". They earned their first gold record for this album. The album featured the singles "I Need to Know" and "Listen to Her Heart".
They were transferred to MCA Records after it bought ABC Records in 1979. This caused a dispute with the leader of the band because he refused to be transferred without his consent. The third album "Damn the Torpedo's" was released after the dispute in 1979 and it quickly went platinum. This album included the breakthrough singles "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refugee".
It was not long before they ran into problems again, this time it was over the price of an album. This happened when their fourth album "Hard Promises" was released in 1981. The trouble started when MCA suggested raising the price of the album by one dollar. Petty went public with his objections to the jump in price and the ordeal became a popular cause with fans. Petty did a duet with Stevie Nicks titled "Insider" on this album.
They have released many more albums since and have even earned a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. They were accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006 they received keys to the city of Gainesville, Florida where most members were from. They are promoting their latest album "Mojo" with a world wide tour.