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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Scores New Tom Petty Artifacts for “Biggest Show on Turf” Exhibit

Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended summer hours Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays until 8 p.m. in July and August

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has installed Inductee Tom Petty’s electric guitar and outfit worn during his Super Bowl XLII Halftime performance with the Heartbreakers in 2008 in its “Biggest Show on Turf: 55 Years of Halftime Shows” exhibit.

With a hundred million people watching and a performance that would later be nominated for an Emmy Award, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers turned it up for fans breaking out an incredible setlist of their biggest hits for the explosive 12 minute Halftime Show.

“A lot of it is just trying to remember the next chord,” Petty joked at the pregame press conference. “We play for the audience and hopefully that’ll take care of everything else.”

On a large guitar-shaped stage, Petty played "American Girl" from the Heartbreakers’ self-titled debut album followed by "I Won't Back Down" and Petty’s top commercial single, “Free Fallin’.” The incredible show closed with “Runnin' Down a Dream.”

On display is Petty’s 1964 Rickenbacker (Rose Morris model 1997) used during the hard-hitting performance. He acquired this rare Rickenbacker guitar in 2007 after searching for many years for a pristine example. It was one of his most prized possessions.

Complementing the guitar is Petty’s performance outfit, a yellow shirt and polka dot neck scarf with a dark suit. In an age where rock-god wardrobes were a given and before couture pop-stars there was Petty. He epitomized a look that was as cool as his vibe and as simple as his powerful song writing. His go-to looks included poet blouses under polka-dotted vests, velvet blazers over tees, and snakeskin boots.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1976, and while members of the band rotated out during the years, the band still serves as an inspiration to many artists, including the Foo Fighters, The Strokes, Bon Jovi, and Kings of Leon, among others. They’ve paved the way for southern “Americana” rock, and Petty cited Elvis, the Beatles, Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, among his influences. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The “Biggest Show on Turf” exhibit includes some of the best Halftime stories told through artifacts, including The Weeknd’s mirrored infinity room set from this years COVID-era show, Bono’s flag-lined jacket from U2’s post-9/11 performance, Prince’s turquoise suit worn during his iconic Purple Rain set where he asked production managers “Can you make it rain harder?”, and Katy Perry’s beach-ball inspired costume and “Left Shark” that ignited a pop culture phenomenon.

Amplify your Rock Hall experience with Rock Hall EDU, a free digital learning platform, that includes a special halftime show collection and resources needed to help students and kids create, design, and organize a Super Bowl Halftime Show of their own. Visit rockhall.com/education.

The Rock Hall is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended summer hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in July and August. Purchase tickets now at rockhall.com.

About the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 

Rock Connects Us. Our mission is clear: To engage, teach and inspire through the power of rock & roll. We share stories of the people, events and songs that shape our world through digital content, innovative exhibits, live music, and engaging programs. We value all by embracing talents, perspectives and experiences. We intentionally foster a diverse and equitable environment that encourages creativity and innovation by valuing, empowering and respecting all people. Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is more than just a policy. It supports our mission and defines our future. Join the millions who love it as much as you do. Experience us live or online – Visit rockhall.com or follow the Rock Hall on Facebook (@rockandrollhalloffame), Twitter (@rockhall), Instagram (@rockhall) and YouTube (youtube.com/rockhall). Long Live Rock!

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