Benmont Tench is an American keyboard player and multi-instrumentalist who was one of the founders of the band called, ”Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.” In addition, Tench worked as a session musician for artists like – Bonnie Raitt, Neil Diamond, and Bob Dylan.
He was born on September 7, 1953, in Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Tench grew up in Gainesville, Florida, as the son of Mary Catherine McInnis Tench and Benjamin Montmorency Tench, Jr., a circuit court judge.
Benmont played piano from an early age and his first recital was at age 6.
At age 11, Tench met Tom Petty for the first time at a Gainesville music store.
Tom Petty was an American actor, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, and singer-songwriter, who died one week after the completion of the Heartbreakers’ 40th-anniversary tour at the age of 66 (October 2, 2017), due to an accidental overuse of prescription drugs.
In 2002, Tom and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In his entire career, Petty sold over 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. Tom also recorded a number of hit singles as a solo artist as well as with the Heartbreakers. In addition, Tom was a member of the late 1980s supergroup called – ”Traveling Wilburys.”
Benmont and Petty played together as members of the Sundowners in 1964.
Tench attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and subsequently Tulane University in New Orleans.
Benmont left Tulane University to play with Mudcrutch. Later, this group became – ”Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.”
In 2014, Tench released his debut solo album, titled – ”You Should Be So Lucky.”
In 2008, Benmont became part of a group named – ”The Scrolls.” The group is composed of:
- Davey Faragher (bass);
- Pete Thomas (drums);
- Greg Leisz (various);
- Luke Bulla (fiddle);
- Glen Phillips (guitar, vocals);
- Sara Watkins (fiddle);
- Sean Watkins (guitar);
Currently, they are officially known as – ”Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.).”
They released a self-titled album in September 2009.
In 2014, Benmont released his first solo album, called – ”You Should Be So Lucky.”
In 2016, Benmont reunited with Mudcrutch to record the band’s 2nd album, titled – ”Mudcrutch 2.” In the same year, Tench played the Fleetwood Mac tribute at the Fonda Theater, in LA.
In 1991, Benmont Tench got married to Courtney Taylor, a Canadian-born fashion model. Eight years later, the couple divorced.
In 2015, he married Alice Carbone Tench. His wife hosts the podcast ”Coffee with Alice.”
Tench and his wife welcomed their first daughter, named Catherine Gabriella Winter, on December 16, 2017.
“Sometimes you work with somebody you’ve never heard of because you just feel like working.”
”My father told me one day when I was maybe ten, just playing the piano, “You’re playing too much.” He said it kindly, and he was right.”
”I went to college and majored in Art. But I wasn’t very good nonetheless, I enjoyed it but I like the instant gratification of playing something on the piano and having the melody available to my ears.”
”I prefer the way we play the Full Moon Fever songs live to the way they sound on the record, but the 7 million people that bought Full Moon Fever might disagree.”
”You can’t draw comparisons that somebody is as good as this, or they aren’t as good as that, everybody is really different.”
“I loved Mal Evans holding one note down on You Won’t See Me from Rubber Soul.”
”There was a period when you were getting signed just because you were in a famous band; you made a record and, maybe, you didn’t have anything to say.”
“I got to play on a couple of records with the Rolling Stones, and that was really special to me.”
”I’m definitely a better musician than I was when I was 26, but I have to try to keep the mental freshness and naiveté that I had then, and put in something of what I’ve learned since.”
“I try to find little things that you can do to move the song along and things that serve the song.”
”Some people can clearly write character songs, but there is always an aspect of them in the character they are writing about.”
“Working with Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson takes you up another level.”
In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
For Recording at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
In March 2019, Benmont played three shows with Phil Lesh & Friends (an American rock band) at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY.
Benmont is known as a skilled session musician, having recorded with many notable artists.
Songs written by Benmont and recorded by other artists include:
- “Sweet, Sweet Baby (I’m Falling)” – Lone Justice;
- “Play Me A Memory” – Kimmie Rhodes;
- “Unbreakable Heart” – Jessica Andrews;
- “Stay Forever” – Hal Ketchum;
- “Never Be You” – Rosanne Cash;
- “You Little Thief” – Feargal Sharkey.
Tench has lent his talents for the following artists:
- Ringo Starr;
- Jackson Browne;
- Travis Tritt;
- Johnny Cash;
- Ryan Adams;
- Elvis Costello;
- Robin Zander;
- The Cult;
- Neil Diamond;
- The Rolling Stones;
- Remy Zero;
- Bob Dylan;
- Bonnie Raitt;
- Brian Eno;
- Stevie Nicks;
- Hall & Oates;
- Alanis Morissette;
- Green Day;
- Ziggy Marley;
- Indigo Girls;
- Don Henley.
During the year of 2009, Benmont often appeared with the Watkins Family Hour at Largo at the Coronet in LA.
Watkins Family Hour is a bluegrass musical collaborative led by Sean and Sara Watkins. In addition to Tench, musicians who collaborated with Watkins Family Hour include:
- Soul Coughing’s Sebastian Steinberg;
- Greg Leisz;
- Lone Justice’s Don Heffington;
- Fiona Apple.
Benmont Tench – Net Worth
Tench earned most of his wealth from being part of the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. In addition, he is a skilled session musician and collaborated with numerous artists. Therefore, Benmont Tench has an estimated net worth of $1.25 million.
Featured image source – © Guliver / Getty Images.
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