Tom Petty – Free Fallin’: 1950-2017

Tom Petty’s death yesterday, October 2, 2017, devastated rock fans and music stars alike.  Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone,

It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.

Ongoing readers may know that The Webb Sisters – or, as Leonard Cohen habitually introduced them during his  2008-2013 tours, The Sublime Webb Sisters –  served as backing vocalists for Tom Petty during his 40th anniversary tour, which concluded at the Hollywood Bowl last week.

Petty saw them play with Cohen and said, “it’s been a dream of mine” to work with them and that taking them on the tour “really makes the boys behave”1

It was only three days ago that Charley & Hattie Webb wrote fans

We wanted to write to say hi. It’s been a ball touring this year with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. An amazing journey with this wonderful family of crew and band…Of course, Leonard has very much been on our minds and in our hearts. Forever engraved. We miss him terribly.

On a personal note, Free Fallin’ was one of Julie’s favorite songs and still reminds me of our time together.

Now, it makes me miss Tom Petty, too.

Tom Petty’s Final Performance Of Free Fallin’
Hollywood Bowl: Sept 25,  2017

Photo by Larry Philpot, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

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  1. Webb Sisters’ Roles On Tom Petty Tour: Dream Fulfillers & Behavior Modulators []

The Webb Sisters Write

From The Webb Sisters
To Their Leonard Cohen Friends
29 September 2017

Hello friends,

We wanted to write to say hi. It’s been a ball touring this year with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. An amazing journey with this wonderful family of crew and band. We loved seeing Sharon and a few Unified Heart touring buddies at the shows at The Hollywood Bowl. They came on 21st September, on Leonard’s birthday which was a magical coincidence. Roscoe and Mitch came to the Austin show and we had a very memorable visit with them. Of course, Leonard has very much been on our minds and in our hearts. Forever engraved. We miss him terribly.

We look forward to celebrating LC and joining many of you in Montreal on 6th November.

Sending love out to you all,

Charley and Hattie

Video: Leonard Cohen’s Sublime Webb Sisters Add Female Vocals To Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down A Dream

Excerpt from Concert Review: Tom Petty Wraps Up Retrospective Tour With Galvanizing Hollywood Bowl Stand by Chris Willman (Variety: September 23, 2017)

The only significant change-up [i Tom Petty’s band] for the 2017 tour has been the addition of two female backup singers, England’s Webb Sisters, who get to do a few more choreographed moves than they did back when they were supporting Leonard Cohen. Though ever-present, their support was mostly more textural, if not almost subliminal. But they did manage to finally make “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (one of the few Petty songs ever to spotlight female vocals on record) adhere more to the original. They also got louder and clearer on “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” an only slightly startling addition to a perennial previously untouched by female larynxes.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Runnin’ Down A Dream
Wells Fargo Philadelphia: July 1, 2017

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