The Real Reason Behind Tom Petty Firing Stan Lynch
via Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers / Youtube
From his early work with Mudcrutch until his final performance with The Heartbreakers, Tom Petty considered himself more as a fellow band member than as the frontman dispensing commands. He never wanted to be the band’s lead singer. Despite that, his name was still being dragged when fans walked in, and Stan Lynch never forgave Petty for that.
What people don’t know is that Lynch and Petty’s conflict started way back at the time of their legendary singles. Petty said at the time that there were various substitute drummers being put in to join them:
“I will say that when other drummers were brought in, they weren’t Stan Lynch. The Heartbreakers were all fingers on the same hand.”
At the time that The Heartbreakers went full steam until the late ’80s, Petty created a solo record because he needed a change of pace. Lynch took this chance to step off explaining “there were just a handful of songs on that record that I just didn’t like” and left the band.
After Petty finished off his solo projects, he asked Lynch to return behind the mixing board for The Heartbreakers’ new album Into the Great Wide Open. Lynch felt it “wasn’t great.” He said:
“I wasn’t allowed to hang. It was ‘Get in here, do your shit, get out of here’. So not really the best environment for me, personally.”
Petty then eventually felt that it wouldn’t be a good idea for Lynch to perform on his next solo album, Wildflowers, so he hired session musician Steve Ferrone instead. The original Heartbreakers came back together for the song “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” which became one of their biggest hits.
Lynch left the meeting before everyone had a chance to say goodbye after he decided to distance himself and relocate to Florida. When Petty called Lynch just before The Heartbreakers were scheduled to perform at The Viper Club in Los Angeles, Lynch informed him that he would not be able to make the event because he was on the east coast.
Lynch decided to show up within 24 hours after Ringo Starr was initially substituted because he didn’t want to be outdone. Once they left the stage, it became clear that Lynch had to be fired. Lynch was informed by Tony Dimitriades through a call. Lynch asked him: “Am I fired?” asked Lynch. “Yes, you are Stan,” Dimitriades replied.
Even though Ferrone would continue to play drums with the Heartbreakers, the boyhood friendship which brought them together had finally come to an end.