Amidst the many tributes to the late Tom Petty at various festivals, concerts, football games and on TV during the weekend, one of the most high-profile, and unusual came from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
During its Austin City Limits Festival set on Saturday (October 7), the group included a nod to Petty before its cover of Funkadelic‘s “What Is Soul?,” with frontman Anthony Keidis saying, “Tom Petty, if you’re looking down, this one’s for you, brother…you did not die in vain.”
The Chili Peppers followed with a rendition of “A Face In The Crowd” from Petty’s solo album Full Moon Fever.
ACL festival organizers, meanwhile, staged their own tribute to Petty earlier in the evening when they played his “Free Fallin'” over the PAs at every one of the festival stages while skydivers jumped from an airplane carrying sparklers and a large Texas flag.
ACL has a second weekend coming up October 13-15 but it’s not known if the Petty tributes will be repeated.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.