Apart from being the titans in the industry and 1/3 of the Traveling Wilburys, Tom Petty and George Harrison were glad that they’ve found each other as friends.
In 1974, Petty met George for the first time; they reconnected in 1985 when Petty and his band The Heartbreakers went on tour with Bob Dylan, their mutual friend. Petty knew the moment he saw Harrison, they two would instantly click. “It felt like we had known each other all our lives, and in a very personal way,” Petty said via Rolling Stone.
On the night of Petty’s birthday, all of the singer’s closest friends came to celebrate the special day. Moreover, in a rather coincidental chance, there was a “surprise hurricane in London.” Petty took this as a sign that his life will never be the same again, and his fate was sealed with Harrison forever.
In an interview with NPR Petty explained the impact of Harrison on his life. “We became very good friends, really, for decades. He actually became my friend, past being a Beatle to me. It was like having an older brother that had a lot of experience in the music business, someone who I could go to with my troubles and questions.”
And perhaps, the one gift that Harrison gave to Petty that he’d forever appreciate the most was the gift of spirituality. What Petty liked about him was Harrison was never “preachy,” but rather, he “led by example.”
“I think [spirituality], probably, was the greatest gift he gave me,” he continued. “He gave me a way of understanding a higher power without it being stupid, or having tons of rules and books to read.”
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, it’s the truth worth knowing that these legends were truly meant to be friends.