Paul Westerberg Records With Heartbreakers

Former Replacements frontman Paul Westerberg has teamed up with various members of Tom Petty’s backing band, the Heartbreakers, to lay down a new track for Westerberg’s upcoming solo album.

The song, entitled “Whatever Makes You Happy,” was recorded in Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell’s home studio by producer Don Was and features Campbell, drummer Steve Ferrone and bassist Ron Blair. A source close to Westerberg says that “Happy” will probably be the first single off his as-yet-untitled new album for Capitol Records, which should arrive in stores in the fall.

The track is just the latest in a string of collaborations between Westerberg and the Heartbreakers, dating back to when the Replacements opened for Petty in 1990. Petty later copped the line “rebel without a clue” from the ’Mats’ “I’ll Be You” for his 1991 song, “Into the Great Wide Open.”

“Happy” also marks the auspicious return of Blair, who hadn’t played on a track since he left Petty’s band in 1982
(but Blair has not replaced Howie Epstein as the Heartbreakers’ bassist).