Why George Harrison Replaced Tom Petty For A Rehearsal

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George Harrison and Tom Petty have left a significant legacy as members of two rock bands that have released many hit pieces. Besides these bands, the pair collaborated within the supergroup Traveling Wilburys. The idea to form the band came to Harrison and Jeff Lynne during Harrison’s 1987 record ‘Cloud Nine’ sessions. With the inclusion of Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty, the band was formed in 1988 and received critical success from the first album.

The band was not the only time Harrison and Petty collaborated on a project. In 1989, when the supergroup was almost newly formed, Petty released his debut album ‘Full Moon Fever.’ Besides names like Mike Campbell and Phil Jones, Harrison also contributed to this album during its recording process. Harrison was a big help, especially during the glitch that Petty experienced, as he filled for the singer during the rehearsals of the song ‘I Won’t Back Down.’

How Did George Harrison Help Out Tom Petty In ‘I Won’t Back Down’?

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‘I Won’t Back Down’ came out as the lead single of Tom Petty’s first solo album ‘Full Moon Fever’ released in 1989. Petty and Jeff Lynne shared the writing duties for the entire album, including this track. The song ranked number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the Albums Rock Chart for five weeks. Some music critics praised the song’s catchy lyrics and sound. Alongside delivering the acoustic guitar and backing vocals, George Harrison did a great favor to Petty during its session.

In a past interview with Mojo magazine, Petty revealed that Harrison sang and played guitar during the rehearsals as he had caught a severe cold. He stated that Harrison even went to a store and bought a ginger root for him. After returning, the singer boiled it and brought the pot closer to his fellow musician to open his sinuses. With this help from Harrison, Petty felt better and continued the session.

Tom Petty said the following about the rehearsals of the track:

“At the session, George Harrison sang and played the guitar. I had a terrible cold that day, and George went to the store and bought a ginger root, boiled it, and had me stick my head in the pot to get the ginger steam to open up my sinuses, and then I ran in and did the take.”

You can listen to the song below.