The Reason Bruce Springsteen Envied Tom Petty
During the ’70s, two backing bands drew greater attention from rock music lovers and critics worldwide. One of them was Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band which initially included Garry Tallent, Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici, Vini ‘Mad Dog’ Lopez, and David Sancious. The band went through several lineup changes, but this didn’t stop them from releasing countless hit records.
The other one was Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, which consisted of Mike Campbell, Ron Blair, Stan Lynch, and Benmont Tench. As a band that performed amazing shows and dropped popular albums, they quickly gained success. So many fans often compared these two bands with each other. Despite the competition and comparisons, Springsteen and Petty pursued a great friendship over the years, but it doesn’t mean that they never envied one another.
Bruce Springsteen And Tom Petty’s Friendship
The two longtime friends and colleagues, Springsteen and Petty, collaborated and performed on rare occasions. One of these memorable events was the No Nukes benefit concert, and Springsteen’s E Street Band and Petty’s Heartbreakers took place to raise awareness against this serious issue. Along with the show, they released a triple live album entitled ‘No Nukes: The Muse Concerts For a Non-Nuclear Future‘ in November 1979.
In addition, following Petty’s death because of an accidental drug overdose in 2017, Springsteen’s words about him while paying tribute through his post on Twitter showed another proof of their friendship and close relationship. The musician stated that Petty was a great songwriter and performer, and he felt like seeing a lost brother every time they saw each other.
Why Was Bruce Springsteen Jealous Of Tom Petty?
During one of his interviews, the reporter wanted to know Springsteen’s ideas about the late musician and the musical differences between them. The singer stated that Petty was a classist, and this formalism contributed a lot to his and Hearbreakers’ commercial success and international popularity. Springsteen resembled the iconic backing band to legendary bands from the ’60s, such as The Beatles.
Even though Petty was into classics, he had a modern vision that helped him combine them both in their works. The musician admitted that he envied this guitar-based band, and Springsteen always tried being like that in E Street Band. However, they couldn’t achieve Springsteen’s dream like the Heartbreakers did.
In Springsteen’s words, he said:
“Tom was a great classicist. He followed those forms pretty religiously. I veered slightly away from some of those things into other things. But what was charming and exciting about the Heartbreakers was their formalism. It was like the great bands of the Sixties, like the Beatles.
It was a guitar band, something I envied very much. Because when we tried to push the guitars in the E Street Band, it never quite worked for us, but they were a real guitar band. The music was beautifully written and beautifully constructed. He had an ear to the classics. But Tom’s attitude and personality, his vision, gave it a modern edge.”
Though Springsteen admitted being jealous of Tom Petty, his words were merely a demonstration of his admiration for something his band couldn’t achieve. Despite lacking the guitar sounds he desired, E Street Band gained massive success with their triumph tours, applauded live shows, and best-selling albums.
You can see Springsteen’s tweet about Petty below.
Down here on E Street, we’re devastated and heartbroken over the death of Tom Petty. Our hearts go out to his family and bandmates.
— Bruce Springsteen (@springsteen) October 3, 2017