How Elvis Presley Inspired Tom Petty to ‘Follow That Dream’
Tom Petty recalled how he turned to music after meeting Elvis Presley on a movie set on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show, in an interview recorded before his death last year.
Petty was 10 years old when he traveled from his hometown of Gainesville, Fla., to nearby Ocala in 1961 for an experience that was to change his life.
“My uncle worked on films from time to time, and he got a job on an Elvis Presley set, on a movie called Follow That Dream,” he told host Uncle Joe Benson. “My aunt took me down to watch them shoot. I met Elvis very briefly. I was there when he arrived to come backstage. It was a really religious experience. It was very exciting. The place was going crazy … hundreds, maybe a thousand people in the street.
“We were in a little backstage area where they had the trailers, and he came in, and arrived in a line of white limos. And, you know, when he came by, stopped and said hello, my uncle introduced me and my cousins. It was very exciting. Changed my life, really, because after that I started collecting records and just went in that direction.”
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