Here in New England we have a special connection to this great artist. Ours was one of the first regions in the country to embrace Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on the radio.

WBLM in Maine and the gone and never forgotten WBCN in Boston were spinning Breakdown and American Girl among other tracks long before the breakout album, Damn the Torpedoes arrived in 1979.

Tom and the band rewarded our early New England adoration here in Maine with a show in Bangor in July of 1978 opening for the J. Geils Band.

J Geils Petty Bangor

They returned to Maine two summers later on July 2, 1980 and played my hometown at the Augusta Civic Center. This concert was part of the Damn the Torpedoes Tour. What a time to see TP and the HB's!

It was a long time till the next Tom Petty show in Maine, just over a 14 year wait for fans. But, man, oh man, are we glad it happened. We certainly didn't have any idea then, that 3 years later he'd be gone.

The one and only Civic Center show happened at the Cross Insurance Arena on August 31, 2014. This was the Sunday after Tom and the band along with opener, Steve Winwood played at Fenway Park in Boston.

Tom and his incredible band really felt our Maine love. More than once, Petty said how much they enjoyed being there with us saying, “You guys are a real pleasure to play for, here in Portland.”

After American Girl was played as the encore, Tom Petty was in no big hurry to leave the stage. He hung out long enough to autograph a sign from a really big fan that said, “This is My 21st Petty Concert.”

The music of Tom Petty will live on forever in our personal collections, here at WBLM, and always in our hearts.

Here is the entire Portland show from 2014 from YouTube user sport thedog. Enjoy it while it's still up.

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