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Author Warren Zanes Talks 'Petty: The Biography' On World Cafe

Warren Zanes.
Warren Zanes.

Rock star Tom Petty is the subject of today's interview with author Warren Zanes, whose new book, Petty: The Biography, is a deep and intimate profile. Zanes, the teenage rocker turned Ph.D. academic and executive director of Little Steven Van Zandt's Rock And Roll Forever Foundation, proved a perfect confidant to get Petty to open up.

On today's episode of World Cafe, Zanes discusses Petty's childhood with a father who beat him and later became his biggest fan, the early days of Petty's career in Gainesville, Fla., and how he eventually got together with The Heartbreakers in Los Angeles. Zanes also recounts the stories behind iconic songs like "Breakdown," "Refugee" and "Free Fallin'," and talks about a dark period in Petty's life that left the musician addicted to heroin.

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