Benjamin Montmorency "Benmont" Tench III (born September 7, 1953) is an American keyboardist best known as a founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Tench was born in Gainesville, Florida, the second child of Benjamin Montmorency Tench, Jr. and Mary Catherine McInnis Tench. His father was born and raised in Gainesville, and served as a circuit court judge.
Tench played piano from an early age and his first recital was at age six. After discovering the music of The Beatles, he ended his classical piano lessons and focused on rock and roll. At age 11, he met Tom Petty for the first time at a Gainesville music store. Petty and Tench played together as members of the Sundowners in 1964. The Tenches' garage was a frequent practice site for the band on evenings when his father was out for the evening. Tench's mother enjoyed having the boys there, but would check with the neighbors to make certain the music would not disturb them...
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