The wide-ranging list of associate legends serenading Petty enclosed George Strait, a Lumineers, Randy Newman, a Foo Fighters, and more.
“Twenty years ago, we would have been approach too asocial to do this, though I’m 66 now,” pronounced a better-sentimental-late-than-never Tom Petty, feeling all a feels while being feted Friday night (Feb. 10) as MusiCares’ pre-Grammy dinner.
The “It’s Good to Be King” thespian did not go so distant as to supplement that it’s good to be Person of a Year, though voiced thankfulness to heroes and Heartbreakers alike, revelation a black-tie crowd, “We got together final week and rehearsed for this thing, and we satisfied we competence indeed be in one of a best dual or 3 stone and hurl bands there is.”
Friday’s 27th annual advantage set a integrate of records, initial in fundraising, with Recording Academy boss Neil Portnow announcing that a dusk had brought in some-more than $8.5 million for musicians in medical or financial need. (That eclipses a then-record $7.2 million taken in during final year’s Lionel Richie night.)
It also set a new benchmark — luckily for a fabricated — for length. Although new MusiCares tributes to Richie, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Barbra Streisand were all in a 16-to 20-song league, a T Bone Burnett-produced low-pitched apportionment of Friday’s celebration stretched to 27 songs widespread opposite 3 hours and 20 mins — with a best arguably saved for last, that being a 40-minute Petty mini-set that enclosed contributions from Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks, a Bangles, and Dhani Harrison.
“To be here in a participation of so many good American songwriters is amazing,” Petty pronounced during an 11-minute speech, citing “Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Lucinda Williams…” He lowered his voice for effect. “…Randy Newman.” The latter fable had kicked off a night’s strain with an desirous solo piano reading of “Refugee,” rediscovering a tune’s darker side and creation a “kicked around” verses sound closer to an “I Think It’s Going to Rain Today” derivative than late ‘70s energy pop.
Whether a opener was comparison given of any verbatim applications of a pretension in a benefaction day wasn’t explained, nonetheless horde Ed Helms forked them out anyway: “I hatred to move things down right off a bat, though due to a White House’s executive order, that delivery of ‘Refugee’ has been banned. And we usually got word that Randy Newman has been placed on a craft to Syria. Already, he’s in a air… It’s bad news if you’re a Randy Newman fan, though we know, myself, we feel safer.”
An equally desirous choice followed, with nation luminary George Strait trade in neo-traditionalism for rocking out with a reading of “You Wreck Me,” corroborated by a residence rope that enclosed Booker T. Jones, Larkin Poe, David Mansfield, Jay Bellerose, and anywhere from one to 3 Heartbreakers during a time.
The usually pre-Petty performer to get hire ovations from a quorum of a well-heeled thousands on palm was bluesman Gary Clark Jr., initial when he assimilated a Foo Fighters to solo on “Breakdown,” afterwards when he returned for his possess frontman impulse relocating by a brazen riffage of “Good Enough,” a some-more new lane from one of Petty’s many underrated efforts, Mojo.
Clark Jr. was not a usually double-threat of a evening, as a few others also got twin turns. Dave Grohl had a apart raunch-rock impulse with “Honey Bee,” while Browne took a candid spin on “The Waiting” and “Learning to Fly.” A integrate of marks from a Southern Accents manuscript found their inflection-appropriate interpreter in Lucinda Williams, whose full-band chronicle of “Rebels” was blown out of a H2O by a cover of a pretension lane accompanied on piano by Heartbreaker Benmont Tench. Norah Jones regenerated a dual kindly rolling songs she did final tumble during a distant lower-key Petty Fest during a Fonda Theatre, “Time to Move On” and “You Don’t Know How It Feels” (this time though a harmonies of Kristen Wiig, a no-show this time notwithstanding being announced for a lineup).
Petty gave a shout-out in his debate to some of a younger acts on a bill, observant he was “heartened to see these immature bands, a Head and a Heart and Cage a Elephant and a Shelters — they’re gonna lift this forward, and we have to be there to support them by it. Because there ain’t zero like a good stone and hurl band, people.” Interestingly, those 3 acts did a many true covers of a night, infrequently sounding some-more like a Heartbreakers than a Heartbreakers. A fourth next-gen band, a Lumineers, got quieter on a core acoustic theatre with “Walls,” relating a some-more Americana-ish effort of some of a maestro acts.
Regina Spektor’s artistic “I Forgive It All” competence have counted as a second-most problematic series to a crowd, entrance off final year’s Mudcrutch side project. But a low lane of a night was “Waiting for Tonight,” sung by Petty himself, after he announced it one of his favorite recordings ever — never mind that he was obliged for nixing it from Full Moon Fever and eventually kicking a also-ran to a boxed-set. Joining him for it here, as during a strange late-‘80s session, were a Bangles.
Susanna, Debbi, and Vicki stranded around while Petty brought out Nicks, who fast bickered with Petty over their opposing recollections of either or how fervently she incited down “Insider” for her solo entrance in preference of forcing him to write something some-more hit-like, that incited out to be “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Both duets were performed.
When Lynne appeared, along with Dhani, George Harrison’s son, it might’ve seemed like a Traveling Wilburys consummate was due. Close: Rather than duet, Petty ceded lead vocals to a ELO-meister wholly on “I Won’t Back Down,” that was co-written and constructed by Lynne around a same time as a initial Wilburys sessions, and that featured Dhani’s father on subsidy vocals and acoustic guitar, a same roles Dhani played here.
Another classical from Full Moon Fever, “Free Fallin’,” was sung progressing by Henley, with an elaborate horn-section arrangement. In his speech, Petty gave a shout-out to former Warner Bros. conduct Mo Ostin in a assembly as he common a origins of that album, and how it helped him by a impulse of self-doubt.
“Me and George Harrison and Jeff Lynne one night were over during his house, (when) we were usually operative on a thought of a Traveling Wilburys. we had ‘Free Fallin’ and had finished a record and had taken it to my label, MCA, and they deserted a record. That had never happened before, and we was like, Wow, what do we do here? So we forgot about it. And we were during Mo’s residence when cooking finished and George said, ‘Let’s get a guitars out and sing a small bit.’ George said, ‘Let’s do that “Free Fallin’” one, Tom. Play that one’… Lenny Waronker stood there and said, that’s a hit! With dual acoustic guitars. we said, ‘Wow, my record association won’t put it out.’ And Mo says, ‘I’ll f—in’ put it out.’” (Petty indeed remained tied to MCA for dual some-more albums before relocating in with his new Warner paramours.)
Some artists on Friday’s check told Billboard that they picked songs for deeply personal reasons. The Lumineers comparison “Walls” given lead thespian Wesley Schultz’s mother walked down a aisle to a strain when they wed. Elle King chose “American Girl,” a strain she available dual years ago for a film, Hot Pursuit.
“I listened that he favourite my version, that is substantially how we finished adult being here,“ King said. Others got asked to sing a specific tune: Cage a Elephant perceived a call final week to perform “Last Dance With Mary Jane” after Kings of Leon forsaken out. The rope worked it adult in their sauce room, played it during a sound check, and desired it so much, they combined it into their uncover in Barcelona that night.
Lynne praised Petty’s collaborative spirit, observant of “I Won’t Back Down”: “We wrote that strain unequivocally quickly. We came adult with ideas roughly concurrently and we had that strain created in like half an hour or an hour, that is surprising for me.” The strain has taken on a new life in a Trump epoch — Senator Ben Sasse even tweeted out a video as an anti-Trump matter a few months ago — though Lynne declined to criticism on any accepted resurgence: “I don’t like removing into politics,” he said. Spektor, however, had no qualms about restraining in Petty to a stream climate. Of selecting “I Forgive It All,” she said, “I was truly being condemned by that song, in a best approach possible. A line that’s unequivocally been assisting me when we get pissed off is, ‘People are what people make ‘em. That ain’t gonna change.’ And afterwards a carol is ‘I pardon it all,’ that I’m perplexing to do.”
Tench and Petty met as teenagers; Tench was 19 when he began personification in Mudcrutch. “As a songwriter, what people don’t always know is how pointed and suggestive his lyrics so mostly are,” pronounced Petty’s keyboard actor of 44 years. “They can sound like, ‘Well, that’s easy.” I’ve seen him write a strain on a spot; he’s unequivocally damn good. Those are genuine songs. He has something to contend and we wish people would see that he’s unequivocally exceptional. If we demeanour after a hits, there’s strain after song… after strain after song.”
On stage, Petty backtracked to tell a some-more humbling start story involving a legend. “I got into city in 1974, and we was sealed by Denny Cordell to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records. Leon brought me over to his house, and he said, ‘I wish we to usually hang around.’ He favourite a songs that we had finished and said, ‘If it comes to (a point) where it needs some words, we need we to be here, and I’ll compensate we for it.’… So a initial session, in come, George Harrison, Ringo (Starr, who sat in Friday’s audience, and drummer) Jim Keltner. And they didn’t need any words. But those cats were so cool. After a session, when we were unresolved out, we found myself slipping my sunglasses on. And Leon said, ‘What a ruin are we doing with dim glasses?’ we said, ‘I don’t know, it feels cool, we know, like Jimmy Keltner…’ Leon said, ‘Wearing sunglasses during night is an respect we earn. Lou Adler had Johnny Rivers and a Mamas and Papas before he put them eyeglasses on! Jack Nicholson done unequivocally shitty Boris Karloff cinema before he put them eyeglasses on.’ Well,” combined Petty, putting divided his transparent eyeglasses and pointedly pulling out a span of flier shades, “I’m putting my eyeglasses on. But we appreciate Leon for that advice.”
Petty afterwards removed a some-more nominal legend. “This is kind of a surreal impulse in a surreal life (in which), for some vast reason, so many of a artists that we venerate came into my universe though me calling; they usually showed adult and we played together and we became friends… we was advantageous adequate to know a good Johnny Cash. we had desired him given we saw him on a Hootenanny radio uncover in 1962… Any immature songwriters, if we wish to be a songwriter, usually listen to ‘Big River’ about 60 times and you’ll write something. But we done an manuscript together, Johnny and a Heartbreakers, and it won a Grammy for a best nation record of a year, though ever being played once on a nation record station. But that’s given it was indeed a stone and hurl record. Johnny was flattering stone and roll.
“And this morning, we was looking by a box, and a label fell out, and it was from John, on my 50th birthday. And it pronounced ‘Happy birthday. You’re a good male to float a stream with.’ And that’s all we wish to be: a good male to float a stream with, and I’m gonna keep roving a river.”
“Refugee” — Randy Newman
“You Wreck Me” — George Strait
“American Girl” — Elle King
“Hometown Blues” — Taj Mahal
“Time to Move On” — Norah Jones
“You Don’t Know How It Feels” — Jones
“Honey Bee” — Foo Fighters
“Break Down” — Foo Fighters and Gary Clark Jr.
“Walls” — The Lumineers
“Mary Jane’s Last Dance” — Cage a Elephant
“The Waiting” — Jackson Browne
“Learning to Fly” — Browne
“Rebels” — Lucinda Williams
“Good Enough” — Gary Clark Jr.
“I Forgive It All” — Regina Spektor
“Southern Accents” — Lucinda Williams
“Love is a Long Road” — Jakob Dylan
“You Got Lucky” — The Head and a Heart
“Listen to Her Heart” — The Shelters
“Free Fallin’” — Don Henley
“Wildflowers” — Chris Hillman Herb Pedersen
“Waiting for Tonight” — Tom Petty with a Bangles
“Don’t Come Around Here No More” — Petty with a Bangles
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” — Petty and Stevie Nicks
“Insider” — Petty and Nicks
“I Won’t Back Down” — Jeff Lynne
“Runnin’ Down a Dream” — Petty