Tom Petty writes about the Beatles’ legendary Ed Sullivan appearance:
I think the whole world was watching that night. It certainly felt that way – you just knew it, sitting in your living room, that everything around you was changing. It was like going from black-and-white to color. Really.
I remember earlier that day, in fact, a kid on a bike passed me and said, ‘Hey, The Beatles are on TV tonight.’ I didn’t know him, he didn’t know me – and I thought to myself, This means something.
I was into rock and roll before them, but they were the first band I saw where everything was so self-contained. They were so young and in control of what they were doing. They were the first people we could relate to who showed us that your dreams were within your reach. That’s what I found so liberating about seeing The Beatles.”
And on being in the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison:
Getting to know George and actually being in a band with him, that’s one of those ‘pinch me’ moments in life.
You try not to think about it, and there’d be times we’d all in the room playing together, and then out of nowhere it pops into your head, ‘Oh my God, I’m playing with one of The Beatles!’ That’s usually when I’d hit a wrong chord.
Be sure to read Tom’s whole piece.