Watch Bob Dylan Perform ‘Learning to Fly’ in Tribute to Tom Petty
The concert, held last night in Broomfield, Colo., arrived a day after what would have been Petty's 67th birthday. This cover is particularly notable because Dylan’s set lists are traditionally set in stone.
"Learning to Fly" originally appeared on Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 1991 album Into the Great Wide Open, and was co-written by producer Jeff Lynne, another Wilburys alum. Petty and the Electric Light Orchestra leader called themselves Charlie T. Wilbury and Otis Wilbury, respectively, while working with Dylan (Lucky Wilbury), George Harrison (Nelson Wilbury) and Roy Orbison (Lefty Wilbury).
Dylan spoke emotionally about Petty after his Oct. 2 death. "It's shocking, crushing news," he told Rolling Stone. "I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."
Petty died while plans were still underway for a tour focusing on his 1994 album Wildflowers. These dates were to follow the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary road trip, which ended a week before he passed away. Norah Jones had apparently already committed to take part.
Manager Tony Dimitriades has since revealed that Petty had been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his hip, but decided to soldier on anyway. Petty intended to address the issue once these most recent shows were completed, Dimitriades said last week.
Tom Petty Through the Years: 1976-2017 Photos