Mike Campbell and Dirty Knobs Pay Tribute to Tom Petty at The Mint




Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at The Mint - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs at The Mint - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

EXCLUSIVE STORY By DONNA BALANCIA

Mike Campbell misses Tom Petty.

It’s as simple and as that, as the best friend and partner of Petty since high school took the stage at The Mint Wednesday night. It was one of the rare gigs for Campbell and his longtime side project The Dirty Knobs since Petty’s death last October.

Mike Campbell at The Mint - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell at The Mint – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Campbell Getting ‘Back into Making Music’

Of course with Petty, Campbell was a co-founder of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.  And yes, he was recruited into Fleetwood Mac, but Campbell has had The Dirty Knobs as a side project for a few years. Now the band seems to be a good respite through which Campbell can get back into the scene on his own terms.

“Thank you for helping me to heal,” an emotional Campbell told the packed house at The Mint Wednesday. Campbell thanked his wife and best friends for helping him through the overwhelming grief for his friend and partner of nearly 50 years.

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Songs Range from Sweet to Rowdy

Tickets to see The Dirty Knobs at The Mint sold out in 10 minutes when they went on sale a few weeks ago. The Pico Blvd. club was crammed to the rafters with fans Wednesday night.

The Dirty Knobs have their mainstay of props and fun stuff on stage like Campbell’s wooden doggie table that holds his beer, as well as funky vintage amps. But last night the band presented a fancy new lighting system: Two plastic spinning kids’ nightlight-type toys that seemed to sputter out at times during the night.

Mike Campbell with his trusty amps and fancy lighting system - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell with his trusty amps and fancy lighting system – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs Get Tight

But the band was strong by contrast and seems to get tighter each time they perform.

The band played its regular songs including the bawdy “Lick My Finger,” which always gets a laugh. But the Dirty Knobs played some new tunes and a new one on the setlist that Campbell wrote for Petty. Campbell made people in the room promise not to post the emotional song — called “Something Good Comin'” — to the Internet.

Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell and The Dirty Knobs – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

‘A Very Spiritual, Beautiful Person’

“And just a moment of reverence for a very spiritual, beautiful person,” Campbell said. “He was my partner for almost 50 years, we wrote songs we loved each other we played a fucking million hits together and I’ll never get over losing him. But I’m real happy to be here playing music again, thank you for helping me heal.”

As for the latest Tom Petty news, On Sept. 28, Reprise Records will release An American Treasure a Tom Petty career-spanning box set containing dozens of previously unreleased recordings. The first single is “Keep A Little Soul,” an unreleased song from 1982 sessions.

Watch the new video for Tom Petty’s “Keep A Little Soul”

Check out or order An American Treasure here.

Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay of The Dirty Knobs - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Mike Campbell and Jason Sinay of The Dirty Knobs – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Dirty Knobs and Campbell on Tour

With that, the band played a tribute of two songs: “Something Good Comin'” and  “Running Down a Dream.”

Jason Sinay who plays lead guitar said the band was happy to get back in the groove.

“We’ve got a lot of great things coming up,” Sinay said.

The band was on the way up before, but now will probably take advantage of opportunities they didn’t have, including more of Campbell’s time.

The Dirty Knobs play to the crowd at The Mint - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
The Dirty Knobs play to the crowd at The Mint – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

The Dirty Knobs on a Mini-Tour

The Dirty Knobs are hitting the “Ski Resort” mini-tour playing Telluride and Wyoming.

Opening bands included Firemelon, which brought some cool surf-style rock music and JackiO, a supergroup comprised of Steve Bartek, David Raven, John Avila and Ira Ingber.

Setlist:

Feed The Snake

Shake These Blues

Angel of Mercy

Irish Girl

Pistol Packin Mama

Don’t Knock the Boogie

Humdinger

I still Love You

She Got The Sugar

Armageddon

Don’t Wait

Bloodhound Blues

Southern Boy

Something Good Comin’

Runnin’ Down a Dream