WCSX Classic Cuts
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: “Breakdown”
The Hook: Mike Campbell credits friend and label mate Dwight Twilley with helping to square away the song’s arrangement late one night in the studio.
Album: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Writer: Tom Petty
Stats: The first single from the group’s debut album didn’t chart when it first came out, but it was re-released as the album’s fourth single and reached number-40 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Background: Guitarist Mike Campbell explains why it was a good thing their friends and label mates The Dwight Twilley Band were working at the same studio while Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were recording “Breakdown.”
Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell about how their friend and labelmate Dwight Twilley helped Tom arrange “Breakdown” late one night in the studio. OC:…it shorter. :30
“We cut it once. It was like six minutes long. And we weren’t really sure about it. And at the end of the six minutes, we had the guitar lick [sings] — the hook. Dwight Twilley came in, who was working on his record, and he goes, ‘That’s the lick. You should put that lick at the beginning and make that part of the song.’ And this was late one night. I’d already gone home, I was asleep. And Tom called me at three in the morning, woke me up out of the bed and said, ‘You gotta come down here and play this guitar lick in front of the tune.’ I said, ‘Oh, wait for tomorrow.’ He said, ‘No, you gotta come out and do it now.’ So I went down and did it. That sort of pulled the whole song together. Then we cut it – shorter.”