Chris Stapleton to Open for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on 40th Anniversary Tour
The iconic rockers will kick off the road trek on April 20, 2017 in Oklahoma City, and it will run through July 27 before wrapping up in Queens, N.Y. Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh is slated to open most of the dates, but Stapleton has been tapped to open for the Heartbreakers on June 29 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, and will also support the group in Milwaukee on July 5 and 6 as part of Summerfest.
Ironically, the two men’s introduction to one another may have come due to controversy after Petty’s 2013 interview in which he blasted contemporary country music, calling it “bad rock with a fiddle.”
“I don’t really see a George Jones or a Buck Owens or any anything that fresh coming up,” he lamented. “I’m sure there must be somebody doing it, but most of that music reminds me of rock in the middle 80s where it became incredibly generic and relied on videos.”
“I’m sure there are people playing country that are doing it well,” he added, “but they’re just not getting the attention that the s—tier stuff gets.”
A then little-known Stapleton responded to Petty’s remarks in an open letter, writing, “I think it’s safe to say most modern country artists, including me, would list you as an influence. Your recent comments lead me to believe you see room for improvement in modern country music. I, for one, would like to see you put you money where your mouth is in a tangible way. So, in the interest of making country music less ‘s–tty’ (your words), I suggest a collaboration.”
It’s not clear if the two men ever connected for a collaboration, but perhaps they’ll get the chance to perform together live on the upcoming tour.
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