September 6, 1981 was the first time I saw Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. If my memory serves, Tim & I drove up to Sacramento in his light blue Chevy Luv pick-em-up truck, blasting a Pretenders bootleg I’d somehow snared on cassette.
It was the climax of the California Exposition and State Fair, and being September in California, it was hot as fuck. So hot I remember that they had to pull people over the barricades who were suffering from heat exhaustion. But as hot as it was, it wasn’t any kind of match for Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, who played a hit-heavy set that included Stevie Nicks on the songs where you would expect Stevie Nicks but also focused on Hard Promises, including my second favorite song from it, “A Thing About You.”