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Longtime drummer for Tom Petty shares experience with late frontman

Steve Ferrone talks experience with Heartbreakers

Longtime drummer for Tom Petty talks experience with frontman KDFX 10PM

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Saturday, drummer Steve Ferrone could be seen playing a benefit concert in Palm Springs. 

This came just months after his final performance with late frontman Tom Petty. 

It was their last concert together at the Hollywood Bowl, days before he died at the age of 66. 

"[Tom] Petty was unique," Ferrone told KESQ and CBS Local 2 in an exclusive interview. "He was really unique as far as being an artist, and a human being. I've worked with a lot of artists. and I don't think there's been anyone quite like Tom Petty. I would say he created more than just a band. He created a real family around that band. The band and crew were deeply affected by his passing. We're still in contact, constantly, with us guys."

Ferrone has been the drummer with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for 25 years. 

He played with Petty for numerous albums and concerts, including the halftime show of Super Bowl 42.

"When we did the Super Bowl, we were told not to talk about anything political," Ferrone said. "We had this press conference, and one of the reporters asked the political question about, 'Why wouldn't you let somebody use your song, and this, that and the other?' And Tom, instead of getting engaged in that, he said, 'You're going to ask a guitarist about politics?' He's a pretty savvy guy. But the way he managed to bypass that entire situation, he was a special person."

And for the future of their music? 

"There's probably like six or seven albums that just haven't been released yet," Ferrone said. "There's a live album we recorded. Both stadium shows that we did last year. When I first joined the band, we played up at Fillmore West. We did a month run up there. And there's an album that's sitting there. There'll be a couple of albums sitting there from that. There's a whole new album that he finished up with outtakes from Wildflowers. That was the first album I started recording with the Heartbreakers."

This, while Ferrone and others keep running down a dream, making more music and memories for years to come. 

"I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten the call," Ferrone said. "Maybe I did something right."

Ferrone played this weekend at the Palm Canyon Roadhouse with Kenneth Brian of the Kenneth Brian Band. Brian is from Petty's hometown of Gainesvillle, Florida. 

As for the future of the Heartbreakers, Ferrone told KESQ and CBS Local 2 he'll be playing with band members Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, along with Stephen Stills in a benefit concert for autism this April. 

He said it will be the first time those three will perform together since Petty's death last October. 

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