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Rock The Dogs
In 2008 Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund Board Member, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers started Rock The Dogs.
Since he and his wife Marcie, Tazzy Fund’s President were already active within the organization Rock The Dogs was started to give the Heartbreakers fans a way to support their animal rescue efforts on and off tour!
The whole band lends their support by autographing tour memorabilia for auctions.
If life mirrors song, Mike Campbell “got lucky babe” when he found his wife Marcie. Before he went on to fame as lead guitarist for one of the world’s greatest rock bands, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Mike met Marcie -- literally because of a dog. It was in 1974 at an LA Halloween party where Marcie brought her dog Medena; Mike mistakenly called Medena “Daisy,” the name of the host’s dog. Marcie had to set him straight -- and the rest as they say, is rock and roll history.
“I connected with the dog and then found out the dog came with her,” Mike says. “If it weren’t for the dog, we probably wouldn’t have met.” And for two dog lovers it was “something very good from the get go,” they admit. After 30+ years of marriage, the love is still strong, which is evident the minute you see them together. They compliment each other; both have a sense of humor, don’t take themselves too seriously and love their family, which extends to their animal family -- and other animals as well.
Mike Campbell has a resume that speaks for itself. In addition to playing on and co-producing Tom Petty and The Heatbreakers albums and co-writing some of their biggest hits, he has also co-penned other classics like Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (Petty’s duet with Stevie Nicks) and Don Henley’s iconic Boys of Summer, which ranks among Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. He’s collaborated with an array of legends, including playing on Bob Dylan’s recent album, and in addition to touring with Tom Petty, also plays gigs around Southern California with his own side band, The Dirty Knobs.
Considering how high profile Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers are and how high he ranks as a musician, Mike is content to keep a low profile. Since 2008 both serve on the board of Tazzy Animal Rescue Fund, which Marcie is Co-President.
Additionally, Mike and Marcie (neither of whom had pets growing up) have their own animal clan at home, which consists of rescued dogs, cats, Chinese chickens and three potbellied pigs: Leadbelly, Buckwheat, Napoleon and 19-year-old Maynard that they had since he was a hand-sized piglet Maynard passed away in 2010 while Mike was on tour.
Mike talks about his dogs like any proud father. He marvels at how they know the difference between the phone ring and the gate ring. When the phone rings they don’t do anything, when the gate rings they wait 30 seconds like clockwork (the time it takes for a car to pull up) and then all go to the door. Mike even tested them by switching the rings. “It took a month, but they made the adjustment,” he recalls with a grin.
“I love animals, but there’s something special about dogs. You look into a dog’s eyes and they look back at you with feeling. There’s nothing like giving love to a dog and getting it back,” Marcie says. “They enrich your life,” Mike adds.
Marcie also has some sound advice for dog guardians: “Before you make a decision about getting a dog, do some research and learn the breed, because there are too many in the system. Treat them as you would your 2-year-old; they’re very intuitive,” she further advises, and then echoes the mantra of anyone involved in animal rescue: “spay and neuter.”
In 2008, during a Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Tour, the Campbells set up Rock The Dogs, a campaign to raise funds for Tazzy Fund as well as awareness about animal cruelty and neglect.
Article notes: courtesy of LA based writer Melissa Maroff
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