Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have released a video as a tribute to the life of the late Tom Petty, featuring the old but only recently released song “For Real.” The video includes images of vinyl pressing, magazines featuring Tom Petty, and concerts and backstage videos of Tom Petty with the band. The “For Real” video also includes a short audio clip of Tom Petty over an instrumental break in the song, in which he says, “If you’re a young band and you have a choice about whether you’re gonna do this or not, you’re in the wrong business. I never had a choice. I would do this anyway and do it if no one liked it.” The song is a fitting choice for the video, as it says “I did it for you,” addressing the tribute for Tom Petty.
Tom Petty died in 2017 at age 66 after an accidental overdose from prescription drugs. Since then, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers have released multiple previously unheard songs, such as “Gainesville” and “Keep a Little Soul” and multiple collections of his greatest hits, “An American Treasure” and “The Best of Everything.” Petty has also been honored through many bands covering his songs. The War On Drugs and Tim Heidecker covered “Straight Into Darkness;” The Pains of Being Pure at Heart released an album cover of Full Moon Fever; KT Tunstall and Mike McCready of Pearl Jam covered “I Won’t Back Down” and released a video for their cover; and Eddie Vedder covered his songs for the “In Memoriam”” section of the 2018 Oscars. However, no tribute is as touching as the video of “For Real,” as it shows clips of Tom Petty with the band singing “would’ve done it for free…but I did it for you.” As one New York Times review commented, “the emotion is irrevocable.”
Photo Credit: Boston Lynn Schulz