Tom Petty is hitting the road for a 40th anniversary tour with his longtime band, The Heartbreakers, but it could be for the last time. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Petty said the upcoming arena tour, which kicks off in April and runs through late August, will likely be the last time his band headlines a cross-country trek. It has been three years since Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers embarked on a long-term concert tour—it’s the band’s longest break from the road in 25 years—but even with this tour, change is in the air.
“I’m thinking it may be the last trip around the country,” Petty told Rolling Stone.
“It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We’re all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”
Diehard Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fans can look forward to a mix of classics as the band plans to dig deep into their songbook in celebration of their 40th anniversary. There is no new album to promote, and Tom says he wants to expand the Heartbreakers’ concert set list with some long-unheard fan favorites like they did three years ago during a short run of theater shows in New York and Los Angeles.
“If I was a fan and they didn’t play ‘American Girl’ or ‘Free Fallin” I’d be disappointed,” Tom admitted. “But I want to continue with the vibe we had at the theater shows where we represented plenty of popular songs, but also give the longtime fans some really deep stuff, and we can change the show as much as we want from night to night.”
Some of the songs Tom Petty and his bandmates are mulling over include the 1978 title track “You’re Gonna Get It,” which the band has not played in concert since New Year’s Eve 1978. In addition, fans may get to hear a live version of the Damn the Torpedoes track “Louisiana Rain” and rarely played songs like “Fooled Again” and “Luna” from the band’s earliest albums.
According to Guitar World, the upcoming Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tour will kick off April 20, 2017, in Oklahoma City and will run through the summer. Joe Walsh and Chris Stapleton will open for Petty on select dates. To mark the band’s big anniversary, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers will also release two companion limited-edition vinyl box sets that will feature their entire studio album repertoire.
While the initial Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers 40th anniversary tour dates and companion albums are set, Petty said he is in no rush to record any new music.
“We’ll get around to that when we can,” Tom told Rolling Stone. “But I’m in no hurry to do that now. I do have a contract where I owe my label a record every couple of years, but I always go over that and they always indulge me. I bring them over and show them what I’m working on so they know I’m not just doing nothing. They’re understanding.”
Take a look at the video below to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performing “You’re Gonna Get It” in 1978.
[Featured Image by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Songwriters Hall Of Fame]