During Bob Dylan’s 1986 “True Confessions Tour,” his backing band was none other than Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. That wasn’t the end of their collaborations together, either. Two years later, Petty and Dylan joined forces once again, alongside George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison as part of the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys.
Earlier this year, Petty said of Dylan, “I learned so much from Bob Dylan. He gave us a kind of courage that we never had, to learn something quickly and go out on stage and play it. You had to be pretty versatile because arrangements could change, keys might change, there’s just no way of knowing exactly what he wants to do each night. You really learnt the value of spontaneity, of how a moment that is real in a concert is worth so much more than one you plan out.”
To honor Petty, over the weekend, on what would have been Petty’s 67th birthday, Dylan performed a cover of Petty’s “Learning to Fly,” and it’s honestly the best Dylan has sounded in years!
After Petty’s death earlier this month, Dylan released a statement saying, “It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”