TomA host of famous faces came together for a live stream to mark what would have been the 70th birthday of Tom Petty.
As per Stereogum, the yearly event, Tom Petty’s Birthday Bash, was held online for the first time because of COVID-19, streaming on Saturday, October 24th.
Family and friends of the late singer usually gathered for the festival in his hometown of Gainesville but the live stream aspect didn’t stop a number of big name artists showing up to pay their respects.
For almost three hours, a mixture of Petty covers, new performances, and archival footage played out alongside appearances and tributes from a huge lineup of famous fans.
The Flaming Lips covered ‘Listen To Your Heart’, Beck covered ‘Don’t Come Around Here’ with Jeffertitti, Jackson Browne did ‘The Waiting, while Spoon sung ‘Breakdown’. Country favourites Margo Price, Lucinda Williams, Brandi Carlile, and Chris Stapleton also contributed covers of Petty classics. Hell, even Adam Sandler appeared, talking about how much he loved Petty and his music, before playing ‘Yer So Bad’ on acoustic guitar.
Stephen and Christopher Stills covered ‘I Won’t Back Down’. That song was at the centre of a controversy earlier this year when Petty’s estate moved to stop President Donald Trump playing the song at his campaign events.
Away from music, Lenny Kravitz and Jakob Dylan told stories about their memories of Petty. 24 star Kiefer Sutherland recalled hearing ‘Breakdown’ for the first time as a child. Post Malone, who has often covered ‘American Girl’ in tribute to Tom Petty after his death, thanked the legend for inspiring him as a songwriter.
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The entire special event has been archived for people to watch on Twitch, which you can catch here.
It’s now three years since Petty’s unfortunate death on October 2nd, 2017, from an accidental drug overdose, just one week after the end of the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour. He was only 66.