Cameron Crowe began his long career in entertainment as a 16-year-old writing for Rolling Stone. In 1978 he had the chance to do Tom Petty’s first feature for the magazine and caught up with Tom andd the Heartbreakers on their way to the airport in Vancouver.
The article talks about the band driving to the airport in two rental cars for a flight back to LA. On the way one car pulls up to the other; drummer Stan Lynch shouts, “We’re on! Right around 102.”
Not sure what radio station that could be in 1978…. CiTR out of UBC? CFMI (Rock 101)? For his part Crowe describes it as AM radio.
This is tantamount to red alert. Hands dart to the radio dial, and these weary rockers come alive with schoolboy fervor. Hearing the last notes of their new single “Listen to Her Heart” on AM radio, the Heartbreakers – Petty, Lynch, guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench and bassist Ron Blair – give themselves a whooping cheer and continue on to the airport.
The article describes the ascension of Tom Petty during this point in their career in the Pacific Northwest. A 3,000 person sellout in Seattle, a half full theater in Portland and curious collection of teenagers in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom. There is talk of the importance of getting that radio hit to insure those future trips will all be sell-outs.