The new biography Petty: The Biography finds Tom Petty speaking publically on his heroin addiction in the 1990s for the first time. Written by Warren Zanes, the book is officially unauthorized but has Petty’s support.
“He’s a rock and roller. He had had encounters with people who did heroin, and he hit a point in his life when he did not know what to do with the pain he was feeling,” Zanes tells The Washington Post.
“Tom Petty is a man who lived the bulk of his life in the album cycle,” the writer continues. “I think he was invested in being caught in that cycle in part because there was so much movement in it all, that the trouble from his past was kept at bay. But then, when he left his marriage and moved into a house, by himself, things slowed just long enough that all of that past came right as he’s coming into the pain of not being able to control the well-being of his kids and not being able to control a dialogue with his ex-wife. The classic situation of midlife pinning a person down to the mat.”
“If anyone is going to think heroin is an option because they know my story of using heroin, I can’t do this,” Petty told Zanes, and Zanes responded, “I think you’re going to come off as a cautionary tale rather than a romantic tale.”