Tom Petty – who was on stage alongside Prince when the late superstar played in tribute to George Harrison at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony – has spoken about Prince’s performance that day.
The performance of The Beatles‘ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ saw the pair play alongside Jeff Lynne and Steve Winwood at the 2004 induction, and has been getting a lot of attention since Prince passed away last week, on April 21.
Petty talked to the New York Times about the show, and Prince’s role in particular, saying:
“Olivia Harrison [George Harrison’s widow] asked me if I would come along and induct George. I was told, ‘Well, Prince is going to play too,’ and I was like, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic.’
“Look, we got Prince here willing to play lead guitar. Why should we give him an eight-bar solo? Over a solo that — the Beatles solo, everyone knows it by heart and would be disappointed if you didn’t play that particular solo there. And Prince was a great fan of George’s, and the Beatles in general, but I think he particularly admired George. I think George would have liked it a lot…
“You see me nodding at him, to say, ‘Go on, go on.’ I remember I leaned out at him at one point and gave him a ‘This is going great!’ kind of look. He just burned it up. You could feel the electricity of “something really big’s going down here.’
View the performance Petty was talking about via YouTube, below:
Petty also mentioned his regrets over not calling Prince one last time before his death, adding:
“It’s funny because just a few days ago, he was in mind all afternoon, I was thinking about him. And I had just been talking with Susanna Hoffs of the Bangles — he wrote their ‘Manic Monday’ song. She was telling me the story of that, of how she came to have that song and meet Prince. And I was thinking about him a lot that day, and I almost told myself I was going to call him and just see how he was. I’m starting to think you should just act on those things all the time.”
The cause of Prince’s death has not yet been confirmed, though earlier today it was revealed that an investigation into a possible overdose is underway.
Police officials have confirmed that Prince was found with prescription drugs at the time of his death.
The Associated Press reports that an unnamed law enforcement official confirmed on Thursday (April 28) that investigations were underway into the possible overdose. The same individual also confirmed previous reports that Prince was found unconscious on a plane just days before his death.