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      Benmont Tench

      Benmont Tench

      Highest Rated: Not Available

      Lowest Rated: Not Available

      Birthday: Sep 7, 1953

      Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida, USA

      Benmont Tench was a Florida-born boy who never forgot his southern roots, even while playing keyboards in one of the hottest bands of the 1980s, The Heartbreakers. But he was far more than just a member of Tom Petty's backing band, for through the years he proved himself to be a talented instrumentalist with a long and varied list of credits. Born in Gainesville, Florida in 1953, he was christened Benjamin Montgomery Tench III although the nickname Benmont seemed to stick early. He took to the piano at a young age and was giving recitals by the age of six. But he walked away from his classical training when he heard The Beatles. His love of rock and roll was cemented when he met Tom Petty at a local music store and joined the singer and guitarist's fledgling band The Sundowners for a while around 1964. He later would fondly recall that Tom was the local musical hero and Ben was simply a young fan. But Petty ran into Tench later, when Petty and his early band Mudcrutch were playing in the northern Florida area. While Benmont was on a break from attending Tulane University in New Orleans, he would sit in with Mudcrutch from time to time. Finally Petty asked him to quit school and join the band in 1972. It was to prove one of the smartest moves for Tench, as the band headed out to Los Angeles and got their first record deal with Shelter Records. But the band split up before the first album was completed and Tench, along with lead guitarist Mike Campbell, left to form their own band. Luckily, Petty convinced the two to return as the heart of his new backup band, The Heartbreakers, and music history was made. After hit albums like Damn the Torpedoes (1979), Hard Promises (1981) and Southern Accents (1985), Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were one of rock's hottest acts. During Petty's periodic solo ventures, Tench wasn't one to sit on his laurels and began to do session work. His credits appeared on albums by artists ranging from Jackson Browne and Bob Dylan to Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones and U2. He also played live with many acts, including Ringo Starr and alt-country singer/songwriter Ryan Adams. Many of Tench's musical friends returned the favor in 2014 when he finally released his first solo effort, You Should Be So Lucky. Steeped in the Dixieland jazz that was one of his first musical loves, the rocking album also includes the first instrumental he'd written since his early childhood days of classical piano.



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