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The PettyBreakers bring heartland rock back to the Whisky A Go-Go

The PettyBreakers perform on AXS.TV LIVE at the Whisky A Go-Go
The PettyBreakers perform on AXS.TV LIVE at the Whisky A Go-Go
Renee Silverman

On Jan 21, 1980, a day before their Inglewood Forum concert, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers played a surprise show at the Whisky A Go-Go. It wasn’t the first time the band had played the venue. Since the late 1970s, they opened for Blondie and continued to play there on a regular basis.

Robert Hilburn, pop music critic for the Los Angeles Times, spoke to Petty in the Whisky dressing room on one of those occasions. Hilburn wrote,” Petty spoke about the decline of rock and how he’d like to restore real rock to the radio. The chances seemed so remote at the time that his remarks were almost naïve.” Three years later, with “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That” reaching top 10 on the charts, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers did indeed restore “real rock” to the radio as fans embraced their brand of American heartland music.

On Feb 24, 2014, on the same stage Petty and his band played so long ago, AXS.TVs “The World’s Greatest Tribute Bands” presented The PettyBreakers as they performed the songs of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to an eager house of fans on live national television.

Recommended by season 1 tribute band, DSB, Katie Daryl, producer and host, invited The PettyBreakers to join the illustrious ranks and be a part of season 3. Says Katie, “I love when WGTB alumni bands can recommend other tribute bands for my review. I trust these past performers so it means a lot to me to hear their positive suggestions.”

Residing in Southern California, The PettyBreakers are all veteran musicians with years of performance and touring experience under their belts. Near perfect execution of songs and superior musicianship plus the talent to create an ambiance and give the fans the best experience next to the real thing is what The PettyBreakers brought to the Whisky stage that night.

Who are the PettyBreakers?

Ozzie Mancinelli – Tom Petty / Tom Steady
According to his website bio, Ozzie picked up the guitar at 5 years old. Since then he’s gone on to play all the well-known LA venues like the Troubadour, Gazzarris, and The House of Blues and is a veteran in the tribute scene performing with the national Rolling Stones and the Cure. Ozzie appeared on WGTB this season sitting in with Bella Donna on “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.”

Steve Newby – Stan Lynch / Lynch Ferrone (Drums)
Steve studied guitar at the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. He formed his own band, Zero Tolerance and recorded and toured with many other bands.

David Zeman – Benmont Bench / Tenmont Bench (Keys)
David has played with some major acts – The Rembrandts, The Gin Blossoms, and Parliament Funkadelic. He contributes music to film and TV and served as musical director for ICONS, a show appearing in London’s West End in 2008.

John McAllister – Mike Campbell / Mike Ramble (Guitar)
According to his bio, John grew up in a musical household and studied both the piano and tenor sax before picking up the guitar. He’s performed in several prominent cover/tribute bands in the San Diego area.

Danny Leoni – Ron Blair / Ron Flair (Bass)A recipient of the RAMA (Reno area music award) for best jazz bassist, Danny has fronted his own band The Leoni Hecht Group at the Reno Hilton and various casinos.

Check out where The PettyBreakers will be playing next on their website | facebook.

If you'd like to check out more band images from Renee Silverman Photography.

Check out The World's Greatest Tribute Bands LIVE at the Whisky for yourself. Grab your tickets at EVENTBRITE.