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Heartbreaker Benmont Tench to Perform First Solo Show Since Tom Petty’s Death

Streeter Lecka, Getty Images
Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

While admitting he’s still reeling from Tom Petty‘s death last week, Benmont Tench has announced that he will continue with his plans for a solo show at the end of the month.

“Hey y’all. First off, I want to thank everybody for the beautiful messages of love and support. Everybody has been so kind. It means a lot. I guess we can & should all just lean on each other through this,” Tench wrote on social media and in an email to his fan club. “Weeks ago, before the Hollywood Bowl shows, I had planned a solo show of my own for October 28th at Largo. After what’s happened, I thought hard about whether to go ahead with it, was it right, is it too soon, am I even in a frame of mind to do it. Well, I’m going ahead. You don’t stop playing music on any account, for any reason, and especially when faced with such enormous loss. You play more, louder, quieter, faster, slower, sad, joyous, angry, celebratory, lovingly.”

They keyboardist first met Petty when he was just 17 years old. Away at college in New Orleans, he began sitting in with Petty’s band, Mudcrutch, when he returned to Florida on breaks. Eventually, he quit school and joined the band full-time. The lineup, which included Petty, Tench and guitarist Mike Campbell evolved into The Heartbreakers. Tench continued to play with Petty for the next five decades.

“So I’m gonna get my Steinway down to Largo on October 28th and play a bunch of my songs, just me & that piano. This is not going to be any kind of a tribute to Tom — that tribute is taking place in my heart, for now; it’s too private, it’s between me & Tom & the great whatever-there-is. But pretty much anything I’ve played since I was 17 or 18 years old has some kinda Tom to it, so maybe it’s all a kind of tribute, in a way. Hope to see you there, and wherever you are… well, you know the rest.”

Tench also has plans to play at the Iridium in New York City on Nov. 8-9. You can purchase tickets on his website.

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