Tom Petty’s Reason For Not Enjoying Elvis Music After 1964

Tom Petty’s Reason For Not Enjoying Elvis Music After 1964 | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Tom Petty for "I Won't Back Down" - tompetty / Youtube

Tom Petty, known for his iconic contributions to rock music, was an Elvis Presley fan, but his appreciation took an interesting turn in 1964. In a revealing conversation captured in the 2012 book “Conversations With Tom Petty,” the rock legend expressed his changing sentiments towards Elvis and his evolving musical preferences.

Petty acknowledged his early fascination with Elvis

He confessed that he was an odd kid for being interested in the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s music. However, he noted a distinct shift in Elvis’s output by 1964, marking a pivotal moment in his own musical journey.

 “I was until ’64, and then Elvis was getting so s***** by then,” Petty remarked. “It had never been the music of my generation. I was an odd kid for even being interested in Elvis.”

The arrival of The Beatles played a crucial role in Petty’s musical evolution. As he delved into his record-buying history, he revealed that his first LP was an Elvis record, specifically “G.I. Blues,” the soundtrack of the film with the same title. However, it was The Beatles’ “Meet the Beatles!” that left an indelible impact on the young Petty.

“But I remember when we got that Meet the Beatles! album,” he shared. “Me and my brother talked my dad into buying it one night. That just blew my head off.”


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The album, featuring early Beatles classics like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There”

This was a turning point for Petty. The Beatles became the music of his generation, and Petty, a devoted record buff, found himself drawn to their vitality.

“So when The Beatles came, I lost interest in Elvis because [The Beatles] were the music of my generation,” Petty explained. “I still went and saw those s***** movies for a while. But I knew the difference by then. It didn’t have the vitality that these new records did.”

Despite this shift, Petty retained a sense of allegiance to Elvis, attending screenings of his movies even as his interest waned. In a 2011 interview with Rolling Stone, Petty highlighted some Elvis tunes that continued to inspire him. Notable tracks like “That’s All Right,” “Baby Let’s Play House,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” and others made the list, emphasizing Petty’s appreciation for Elvis’s earlier works, which predate 1964.

“The first LP I got was Elvis,” he said. “G.I. Blues, it was called. And that’s when I was probably eleven or twelve before I was playing music.”

In essence, while Tom Petty underwent a musical shift with the emergence of The Beatles, his respect for Elvis Presley endured. Petty’s journey reflects the dynamic nature of musical tastes and the profound impact that iconic artists like Elvis and The Beatles had on shaping the musical landscape of their respective eras.