This fall, we’ve seen the convergence of six major rock influences from the past 50 years — the Foo Fighters, Rush, Queen, Pearl Jam, Fleetwood Mac, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Two major tribute concerts to Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins brought together members of Rush and Queen. Eddie Vedder has been performing Tom Petty songs with members of the Heartbreakers as well as Stevie Nicks.
With October being the month of both Tom Petty’s birth and death, the University of Florida is celebrating its inaugural “Tom Petty Day” tomorrow, October 15th, with the school’s tradition of fans singing “Won’t Back Down” in unison becoming an official tribute.
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters is a major fan of Tom Petty. After Kurt Cobain’s unexpected death and the end of Nirvana, Grohl was asked to join the Heartbreakers as their new drummer. He played once with them on Saturday Night Live, but opted to try something else he had been working on — an idea for a band called the Foo Fighters.
That doesn’t mean Grohl stopped performing Petty tunes, as this example shows. This performance came at the 2017 MusicCares event honoring Petty as “Person of the Year,” which occurred just months before Petty passed away. Now, Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters’ drummer, has also passed on, his death leading to the tribute concerts mentioned above.
This is a muscular version of a song that reminds us that Petty and Mike Campbell, his guitar-slinging collaborator, could come up with some of the nastiest, dirtiest sounds and hooks in music (“Cabin Down Below,” “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” and “American Dream Plan B” are other examples).