Guitarist Mike Campbell is best known as a long-running, integral member
of roots-rockers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. But he also has written
songs for ex-Byrds leader Roger McGuinn, Don Henley and Stevie Nicks.
Michael Campbell was born Feb. 1, 1954, in Gainesville, Fla. In the late '60s, he joined one of Florida's most popular bands, Mudcrutch, with fellow guitarist Tom Petty and keyboardist Benmont Tench.
The group moved to Los Angeles but disbanded just as it was offered a contract by Shelter Records. Petty was offered a solo contract with the label, but he didn't activate it until 1975, after hearing a demo that Campbell and Tench recorded with bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch. Petty joined with the quartet to form the Heartbreakers and released an eponymous debut (featuring "American Girl," "Breakdown" (RealAudio excerpt) and the Campbell co-written "Rockin' Around With You") on Shelter in 1976.
The album was a slow climber in the United States but took off following the Heartbreakers' successful UK tour opening for Nils Lofgren. But the band finally broke into the big time with Damn the Torpedoes (1979), which hit #2 in the States and spawned the top 10 "Don't Do Me Like That" and the top 20 "Refugee," co-written by Campbell.
In 1981 the Heartbreakers had a platinum LP with Hard Promises and
Campbell and Petty co-wrote the top-five "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around,"
a duet between Petty and Stevie Nicks on which the band played. Campbell has written songs with Nicks for her solo albums since, including "Whole Lotta Trouble," "Ghosts" and "Desert Angel." In 1984 Campbell co-wrote Don Henley's huge hit "The Boys of Summer."
Although Petty had solo success with Full Moon Fever (1989), Campbell co-wrote the LP's popular "Runnin' Down a Dream." That year he also co-wrote Henley's hit "The Heart of the Matter" and lent production to his album, The End of the Innocence. Campbell also produced some of Roy Orbison's Mystery Girl (1989) and the Heartbreakers' Into the Great Wide Open (1991), featuring the Petty/Campbell/Jeff Lynne composition "All or Nothin'."
The Heartbreakers issued Songs and Music From the Motion Picture "She's
the One" (co-produced by Campbell), to accompany the 1996 Ed Burns
film. Last year Campbell co-produced the Heartbreakers' Echo and
sang lead on "I Don't Wanna Fight."
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame on April 2, which Los Angeles declared "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The band toured the States last year and issued the concert video "High Grass Dogs: Live From the Fillmore," chronicling their seven-night stand at the San Francisco venue.
In August, Campbell and Tench joined Los Lobos on stage during a San
Other birthdays Tuesday: Bob Shane (Kingston Trio), 66; Don Everly (Everly Brothers), 63; Ray Sawyer (Dr. Hook), 63; Joe Sample (Crusaders), 61; Rick James, 52; Fran Christina (Fabulous Thunderbirds), 49; Richard Williams (Kansas), 49; Chuck Dukowski (Black Flag), 46; Exene Cervenka (X), 44; Jani Lane (Warrant), 36; Lisa Marie Presley, 32; Big Boi (Outkast), 25; Dennis Brown, 19571999; and Dwayne Goettel (Skinny Puppy), 19641995.