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Fact #156782


Short story:

When Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers play at Winterland Arena, San Francisco, California, USA, Petty is dragged down into the crowd and injured by over-excited fans.

Full article:

Tom Petty : I think it was in '78 that it dawned on me about the audience. We had only been playing big rooms a little while and we went into Winterland. I think Bruce (Springsteen) had been there two nights before, and he built a lower stage across the front and it was still there. We weren't using it because the kids had all their jackets and everything piled up. So by the end of the night, I was just getting a little bit playful and went out, jumped down, just leaned over the crowd. We thought at the time they'd gotten me by the hand, but on the video tape you can see they get me almost by the waist. And take me into the audience and try to kill me.

I mean, they were gonna take my life. It was very violent, in the sense that they were all gonna take a finger and a leg. On the tape, I have on a real heavy vest and they ripped that, my whole shirt went, I had a neckerchief tied real tight around my neck and on the tape, it's hanging down to my chest because it had been so pulled and twisted. I lost handfuls of hair and my whole lip was busted. It was this weird sensation of falling and never hitting the ground and people diving in. They're crazy people when they're that worked up.

I remember that night was when it dawned on us: We can't go down there. I didn't intend to go down there in the first place, but it was like, hey, watch it, if they get ahold of you. They'll just get you down...it took a lotta guys to get me out.
(Source : interview with Dave Marsh, Musician, 1981)