Mike Campbell is one of the most respected guitarists in rock history; as Tom Petty's co-captain with the Heartbreakers, to his new band The Dirty Knobs and various side work in his illustrious career. What many don't know is that Mike Campbell spent many years growing up in Jacksonville and graduated from Ribault High School in the late '60s.
Campbell co-wrote many hits with Tom Petty, bringing many original ideas for Petty to finish, such as the Heartbreakers' classic "Refugee."
He was working on another instrumental track and played it for Petty. Petty thought it was a little too jazzy for what they were doing at the time and set it aside. Producer Jimmy Iovine knew that Don Henley was looking for songs for his second solo album since the Eagles went on hiatus and took the instrumental track to Henley's house. Henley listened, didn't show much expression one way or the other and said he'll see what he can come up with.
Iovine leaves Henley's house and on his way home, Henley calls and tells him, according to a Classic Rock interview, "I've written the best song I've written in ten years."
He knew he had a winner. Mike Campbell's guitar is all over this iconic song; a story of the loss of innocence and what happens when we grow up. The Campbell/Henley song "The Boys of Summer."