The band Tom Petty called “bigger than the Stones”

Tom Petty

The majority of musicians work hard to earn respect. It seemed to be something Tom Petty had always had, even in the early years. His only motivation was an insatiable desire to emulate The King and an obsession with Elvis Presley. Like many others, Petty’s life was forever altered when he saw a certain Liverpool band play on The Ed Sullivan Show. The show lit a fire under him that led to him becoming one of rock’s greatest heroes and, indirectly, the ability to recognise talent at a distance.

The sole distinction in Petty’s situation was that, despite how unattainable it may have appeared, he was confident. He could match their ravenous appetite for invention and revolution. The musician once remarked, “I knew I could do it,” mentioning the number of bands that tried to emulate him. The Rolling Stones showed him the potential of rock ‘n’ roll and how to present it as a legitimate musical genre, while The Beatles showed him the way.

Petty saw the Stones as a symbol of something immense: the strength of trailblazing. Of course, the Beatles were the pioneers of these ideas, but Petty received something unique from the Stones: a blueprint. “In 2014, it was rawer and they were grittier,” he remarked on Q with Jian Ghomeshi. “They were playing blues in this really raw, energetic way, but it wasn’t complicated,” the speaker continued. They didn’t involve a lot of intricate harmony. It resembled some of my punk tunes.

It is impossible to overstate the band’s influence on Petty. That’s why it’s surprising to hear him say he prefers another band, especially since he previously said they were better than his favorite rock bands. The musician once exclaimed of Guns N’ Roses, “They’re bigger than the Stones ever were.” He felt extremely happy after meeting Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan for the first time in the late 1980s.

As the musician approached the Reseda entrance to Norm’s Rare Guitars, he noticed the two men. They introduced themselves as Guns N’ Roses members and then extended a handshake. For a variety of reasons, including the fact that the rock group is from his honorary home of Los Angeles, Tom Petty respected and admired the band.

The group also embodied all the creativity and forward-thinking that Petty had valued since he was a young boy. This included their propensity to rework some of their older songs for modern listeners. Both parties respected one another, and they occasionally enjoyed a little controversy and the odd element of surprise. For example, McKagan and Steve Adler accepted an award at the 1989 MTV Awards in Axl Rose’s place.

Later, fueled by the recent excitement surrounding the release of Full Moon Fever, Petty launched into a brand-new and thrilling live performance of “Free Fallin.” The audience let out a cheer when Rose came on stage with Petty following the first verse. Petty later lamented not having had more time to practice. There’s no denying that the show was unforgettable. Especially since they paid tribute to Elvis Presley, another of their idols, in an unforgettable way.

Tom Petty saw something bright in Guns N’ Roses that enlivened his soul, much like The Rolling Stones and The Beatles had done before, and he compared the band to founding fathers like them.

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