By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer
“I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty got Kathy Teston through personal hardships such as beating cancer and going to college at an older age.
Her love of Tom Petty’s music with and without his band the Heartbreakers prompted her to enter a contest to host a listening party for the group’s new CD “Mojo,” to be released June 15.
Teston was chosen as one of 45 fans in the world, including Austria, United Kingdom and Iraq, to host a party.
“I’m just crazy about this band and I love Tom,” Teston said.
Teston, a practice administrator for Women’s Medical Center, said she has been a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for 30 years.
“I’ve always listened to their stuff. I’ve always been a fan. I have almost all his CDs and if he’s on TV I record it,” Teston said.
Teston said she heard about the contest from an e-newsletter she receives from Petty’s website. She wrote a proposal to host the listening party in Clovis and was informed Monday that she was chosen.
“Buddy Holly recorded his first album here, so our music roots are deep,” Teston wrote in her proposal. “Sometimes small towns are overlooked so I hope you will choose Clovis, N.M., to host a listening party.”
The party will be held 7 p.m. Monday in the Norman and Vi Petty Rock ‘n’ Roll Museum. The event is free and open to the public.
Teston said the CD “Mojo” will be playing in half of the museum and Tom Petty’s documentary — which Teston also owns — will be playing on a TV in the other half.
Attendees will also be given a chance to tell stories about how Petty and his music affected their lives.
Ernie Kos, executive director of the Clovis and Curry County Chamber of Commerce, said she’s excited other community members are going out and promoting Clovis.
“We’re just extremely proud that Clovis is one of 10 cities in the whole country that is hosting this listening party,” she said. “And I think it’s ironic that even though there is no relation, we’ll be having a Tom Petty listening party in the Petty rock ‘n’ roll museum.”
Kos said while it’s the chamber’s job to promote the community, they can’t do it all.
“We would never have known about the contest,” Kos said. “It takes an entire village to promote your city and (Kathy’s) done her part.”
Kos said the event will also provide an opportunity to see the museum during the evening, when the museum is not usually open.
Kos also said that she hopes the party will help the community strengthen its relationship with the band.
“Maybe he’ll (Tom Petty) be interested and want to come here,” Kos said.