Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell recently spoke to the Guitarist Magazine for an interview and revealed that Neil Young gave him inspiration for an amp adjustment.
A talented guitar player, Neil Young uses vintage Fender Tweed Deluxe amplifiers. He mainly prefers using the Fender Deluxe for electric guitar, especially a Tweed-era model from 1959. In 1967, Young bought his first vintage Deluxe for $50, and he has since purchased around 450 examples.
However, Neil Young believes the original model sounds superior, and it’s pretty essential in creating his signature sound. He uses the Tweed Deluxe in conjunction with a late-1950s Magnatone 280. Moreover, he also uses the Whizzer, a device designed by Rick Davis just for Young, to change the amplifier’s settings to pre-set combinations.
In a recent interview with the Guitarist, Mike Campbell recalled that the Heartbreakers had big and loud amps and Vox Super Beatles 100-watt and 4ft tall. He said he didn’t know how Tom Petty sang over those amps. Moreover, Campbell stated they changed them to smaller amps after being tired of their loudness.
Following that, Campbell said he used an AC30 and then the Princeton, a smaller amp. Then the guitarist admitted using a Fender Tweed Deluxe from the 1950s after being inspired by Neil Young. Campbell saw Young in LA using the amp and was impressed by the pleasant sound.
In an interview with Guitarist Magazine, Mike Campbell said the following:
“When the Heartbreakers started out, we had big loud amps. We had these things called Vox Super Beatles, which were 100-watt amps, and they’re about 4ft tall. Loud as crap, and I don’t know how Tom Petty sang over those, but he did. As the years went on, we got tired of loud stage amps and got slightly smaller amps.
I went down to an AC30 for a while. But when I started playing with my band in the clubs, I went down to an even smaller amp like the Princeton, and I also used a Fender Tweed Deluxe from the ’50s. I got that idea from Neil Young, actually.
I went to see Neil Young here in LA once, and he was playing through a little tweed amp, and they had a microphone on it and up through the big PA. It sounded huge, you know? And what’s great about that is the stage sound is not blasting. You’ve got a nice sound, and you can put it through the PA to make it as loud as you want. I liked that so much I started using it with the Heartbreakers as well.”
So, Neil Young inspired Mike Campbell with the pleasant sound he managed to get with his Fender Tweed Deluxe amplifier. After seeing that Young could make the sound as loud as possible with the amp, Campbell decided to use it with the Heartbreakers.