How Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty Met on Sunset Boulevard
Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty collaborated on various projects over the course of their respective careers, but the impetus of their work together began with an unexpected meeting.
During an appearance on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, Lynne told host Uncle Joe Benson about the moment Petty got him to pull over on Sunset Boulevard to suggest that the pair write songs together.
“He beeped his horn and I kept thinking, ‘Who’s that?’” Lynne said. “And it was Tom. ‘Hi, Tom!’ He said, ‘Pull over – I wanna have a word with you.’ He’d just been listening to George [Harrison's] album, Cloud Nine, which I’d just worked on, co-produced it, and he really liked it. He said, ‘Do you fancy writing some songs together?’ I said, ‘I sure do.’”
“I always liked Tom," Lynne continued. "I always loved his style, and he’s so American. It’s a great thing for an English person to actually work with a real Southern American… they’ve got the best voices. George always said, ‘It’s like they’ve got a head start over English people because they already have a twang.’ They’ve just got this lovely-sounding voice.”
Lynne, Petty and Harrison went on to form the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, while Lynne helped write and produce Petty’s debut solo album, Full Moon Fever, in 1989.
Be sure to listen to Ultimate Classic Rock Nights on more than 50 stations across the U.S. from 7PM until midnight, Monday through Friday. You can see the list of radio stations where it airs here.