It’s always good to celebrate your birthday (10/20/50) with friends and it’s for that reason that we look back at Petty’s most memorable collaborations.
These are just some of the artists who were lucky enough to collude with Petty at various stages throughout his career. While the world is still mourning the loss of Petty he left us with plenty rock n’ roll to enjoy for a lifetime and then some. Today (10/20), on Petty’s birthday, lets rock out to some of these collaborations.
Pearl Jam front man, Eddie Vedder joined Petty on stage in 2012 to sing “The Waiting” and “American Girl.” Petty featured on guitar while the duo both harmonized with vocals for these tracks. The video showcases the crowd’s excitement getting to witness two rock and roll icons sharing one stage.
In 2004, music superheroes Tom Petty, Prince, Steve Winwood, and Jeff Lynne came together at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction to perform George Harrison’s hit “When My Guitar Gently Weeps.” The performance is one of the most celebrated Hall of Fame jam sessions ever. Petty and Prince have some pretty cool on stage moments together during this song.
Let’s free fall and breakdown some of Tom Petty’s most unforgettable collaborations starting with, an avid and self-proclaimed Heartbreaker, Stevie Nicks. Stevie often requested Petty to make her an honorary Heartbreaker. Unfortunately for her, the Heartbreakers had a strict “no girls allowed rule.” This rule was slightly broken in 1981 when Petty allowed Stevie Nicks to record and sing on a song that he and bandmate Mike Campbell wrote called “Stop Dragging my Heart Around” for her debut solo album, Bella Donna. Tom and Stevie ended up recording it as a duet and the song was a big reason for the success of Stevie’s solo album.
Petty joined friend Bob Dylan on stage in 1986 for a rendition of Dylan’s hit “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”
The Traveling Wilburys featured Tom Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison. Here’s the 1988 single, “Handle With Care”
Petty and Guns N Roses vocalist, Axl Rose, joined together for a performance on the 1989 MTV Music Video Awards. MTV paired the two rock icons, both of which were in the heights of their careers, for a performance of Petty’s hit “Free Falling.” This performance closed the show.
In 1994, former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters front man, Dave Grohl, was asked to play drums for Petty on SNL. They performed “You Don’t Know How It Feels” This was Dave Grohl’s first time on drums, following Nirvana. Petty actually asked Grohl to become a permanent member of The Heartbreakers. Grohl was honored and declined because he was working on the first Foo Fighters album.
Johnny Cash also got a taste of getting to work with Tom Petty. Cash’s Grammy – winning 1996 album Unchained was a collaborative piece with help from The Heartbreakers, functioning as Cash’s backup band. Petty and Cash would work together on the follow up, American III: Solitary Man, for this duet of “I Won’t Back Down.”