In the late 1980s George Harrison The Traveling Wilburys put together a band that included Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. The famous artists wanted a way to make music for fun. Orbison died after recording her first album. The band mourned the loss, but Harrison also shared some dark words with Petty.
George Harrison and Tom Petty were close friends
Petty became a musician because of the Beatles, so Harrison’s offer to star in The Traveling Wilburys excited him. To Petty’s surprise, so did the two men quickly became friends.
“I was surprised that he liked me so much,” he said Rolling Stone in 2014. “He was an instant hit point. That was embarrassing. I would say to him, ‘How do we deal with this? You’re a Beatle.” He’d say, “Yeah, whatever. It’s been a long time.'”
Petty said he didn’t realize how much he needed a character like Harrison in his life.
“That’s what I needed in my life, the older brother figure that I never had,” he said. “And it was someone who had gone through something so extraordinary in rock ‘n’ roll. If I needed to talk to someone, I could call them and he had a pretty fresh attitude about it.”
The former Beatle called the Heartbreaker frontman after the death of Roy Orbison
Orbison died of a heart attack in 1988. In the documentation George Harrison: Life in the Material World, Petty explained that his management called him to inform him of the loss. Harrison called soon after.
“The next call was George, and I don’t even know if I should say what he said to me, but I’ll do it anyway,” Petty said. “When I got on the phone he said, ‘Aren’t you glad you’re not?’ I said, ‘Yes, yes, I am.’”
Despite the obscurity of this comment, Harrison also noted that Orbison’s memory would be kept alive through his music.
“He said, ‘It’s going to be alright, it’s going to be alright, he’s still there. Just listen,’” Petty explained. “That was all he had to say about it.”
The band did no move to replace Orbison on her album after his death.
Tom Petty said he was lucky to have known George Harrison
In 2001 Harrison died of cancer. As he reflected on their relationship, Petty expressed his happiness at knowing the other man.
“It’s really the only time in my life that I’ve been that close to anyone — other than my mom dying or something,” Petty told Rolling Stone in 2002 The little archive. “I loved him so much and if he had never played a note I would have been so blessed to have him in my life. And then over the weekend you realize that, oh, wow, the whole world feels that way. They all knew him in their own way, and they also mourn for him. It was very difficult because there is a duality. I mourn my friend, and then I’m a big fan like everyone else. I’m just blessed of God to have known him.”
He also gave a message to fans who were mourning the loss of the musician.
“I would assure all of his fans that George is every bit as beautiful as they imagined him to be,” Petty said. “And maybe more.”
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/george-harrisons-dark-words-tom-petty-roy-orbisons-death.html/ George Harrison’s dark words to Tom Petty after Roy Orbison’s death