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Benmont Tench and the truth about ‘You Little Thief’ and a ‘A Good Heart’

Benmont Tench at the Hollywood Bowl, Oct. 1 2010 (from Wikipedia).
Benmont Tench at the Hollywood Bowl, Oct. 1 2010 (from Wikipedia).

Last week I had the opportunity to interview keyboardist Benmont Tench prior to the Tom Petty show Aug 14 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. While researching Tench, I came across this in his Wikipedia entry:

“Songs written by Tench and recorded by other artists include ‘You Little Thief’, a top 5 UK and Australian hit for Feargal Sharkey in 1985 (written about his affair with Maria McKee, in response to her song ‘A Good Heart’…”

I mentioned “You Little Thief” (a great song) to Tench, and this is what he said:

“That’s really funny that you should bring that song up. That’s the third or fourth time in the last couple of days someone’s brought up You Little Thief. My sister called me the other night asking if I wrote that song about Maria McKee, saying she saw it on Wikipedia. And it’s so untrue. We were just friends. I would never write anything mean about Maria, she would never write anything romantic about me. ‘You Little Thief’ was entirely made up and had nothing to do with her, and her song Good Heart has nothing to do with me. It’s a great story, and we were very close, we were the best of friends, so I can see where people would get that impression. But it’s so funny, this is maybe the fourth time it’s come up in the last two days. Hah! ‘You LIttle Thief’ is such a mean song, and ‘A Good Heart’ is such a heartbroken one. She’s one of my dearest friend. It sure makes a good story.’

You can read the rest of the interview at

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