Little did I know that only three years later Tom Petty would team up with ex-Beatle George Harrison who had just made a comeback with the brilliant Cloud Nine album, and that album’s producer ex-E.L.O. genius Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Roy Orbison in the supergroup Traveling Wilburys. And soon after came one of my all time favorite albums – Petty’s masterpiece Full Moon Fever. I was blown away and realized he’s the coolest artist on earth, writing nothing but brilliant songs and with a taste for Beatles, Byrds, Dylan, American roots rock, British new wave á la Costello, Rickenbacker guitars, well… I could make the list longer. (No wonder another pop fanatic like Sweden’s Per Gessle of Roxette always was a big fan!) Another few years later came the album “Wildflowers” and I realized Petty is like vintage vine. Just gets better with age. (At least up ’til that point.)
I saw him live in Stockholm in ’93, and I saw him at Hollywood Bowl, L.A. (where I amazingly have played myself two times), in 2006 (with my hero Jeff Lynne as a guest!), and now it’s time again to welcome him to Europe after twenty years!
So while waiting for my solo album Soundshine due for release in Europe on Lojinx this spring I thought this was enough reason to have a go at one of my favorite Petty songs – “Wildflowers”. Just like I did with ABBA’s “Happy New Year” a couple of weeks ago I decided to keep it simple; one voice – one guitar. As I said then I’m often tempted to add layers of vocals and lots of overdubs. It’s like Jeff Lynne said in this interview “I used to think that more is more, I just loved to overdub.”.
I didn’t intend to make the song “my own” by changing it around too much which is normally recommended when making cover versions but I just think it’s perfect as it is. Sorry for that!
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