A few days ago, Don Felder turned 64 years old. The guitarist is best known for his work with the Eagles, but he had another job in music long before he was in the band. Don worked at a guitar store, tutoring people on how to play. He told us about one student in particular.
“One of my students was this young, buckteeth, scraggly-haired kid named littleTommy Petty and he came in, he must have been 14 or so, and he came in and wanted to start play guitar. He was actually playing bass in a band called theRutger Brothers Band. So I went over and taught Tommy some guitar at his house and at the store and went over to a couple of their rehearsals and helped them sort out their guitar arrangements.”
Don went on to describe Tom Petty today.
“Even in those days, as young as he was, he had a real charisma and just a driving energy on stage. And to me, Tommy’s a great performer. He’s not a fantastic singer, he’s got a very unique voice – kind of like Bob Dylan, but he writes great songs. He was a bit of a disappointment as far as a guitar student went, he never became a Clapton or a Duane Allman or somebody, but he learned enough to write phenomenal songs, I’m very proud of him.”