Mike Campbell, the guitarist for The Heartbreakers, isn’t against performing with his bandmates again, but he’s just not ready yet.
Campbell tells Rolling Stone, “I’m not ready emotionally to have the Heartbreakers in a room and go ‘1, 2, 3, 4’ and look around and Tom [Petty’s] not there. I’m sorry. I need to grieve a little more to get to that point in time, but I’m not against the idea. I do miss the guys, but Tom left a huge hole in the band.”
He adds, “It would have to be almost a voice from beyond, almost like, ‘Guys, do this for me.’ If I got that message, I would present it to the other guys. But it hasn’t been that long. We’re still grieving very deeply. It’s a big loss.”
The Petty estate released the long-awaited reissue of Wildflowers this year, and Campbell says playing with the Heartbreakers again would be in relation to that album.
“I would consider it at some point in the future only because I had a couple conversations with Tom where he put forth the idea of a Wildflowers theater tour,” said Campbell.
With the Heartbreakers on an indefinite hiatus and his duties to Fleetwood Mac finished (for now), Campbell is spending his time on his band The Dirty Knobs, who release their first album Wreckless Abandon today (November 20.) The Dirty Knobs have a number of shows already booked for 2021, including opening for Chris Stapleton on his big tour. However, don’t expect to hear a lot of past Petty hits during their set.
“You’re not going to hear ‘Refugee.’ You’re not going to hear ‘Here Comes My Girl.’ You’re not going to hear ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels.’ You’re going to hear us play, and we’re going to try to win you over,” said Campbell. “That said, we may do one Heartbreakers song at the end, maybe ‘Runnin’ Down a Dream,’ or something, as a tribute to my brother.”