Clocking in at 238 minutes, the Peter Bogdanovich-directed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers documentary, Running Down a Dream, made its world premiere last night in Burbank to much fanfare and star-powered support from the likes of Stevie Nicks, Jackson Brown, Dixie Chicks, Cybill Shepherd, Dave Stewart, and Jeff Lynne. “It kept me interested, even though I kind of knew how it would end,” deadpanned Petty, who saw the film for the first time some two weeks ago. “Someone could’ve done it very badly, but Mr. Bogdanovich really poured his soul into it. When you see it, it really does fly by. I’m pretty flattered.”
Bogdanovich himself admitted he had a hard time cutting down 400 hours of archival footage and 100 hours of interviews from a first edit of five hours. Not that anyone was complaining. Nicks sneaked in after the start, but didn’t budge from her back row seat. Neither did Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, who was seen chatting up the Fleetwood Mac singer during intermission, joking about having her sing with the Dixie Chicks. Maines and fellow Chick Emily Robison later exploded with laughter when Petty described modern-day country music as “a bad rock group with a fiddle.”
So what’s next for the rock legend who’s been entertaining us for three decades? A new record with Mudcrutch, Petty’s original band formed in 1970 which included several of the Heartbreakers. “We just gotta finish it,” he said. “We’re mixing now and it’ll be out probably early next year. Don’t worry, there’s more coming.” Hallelujah to that.