Willie Nelson, his sons Micah and Lukas, plus Jakob Dylan, Dhani Harrison and Amos Lee have teamed for an all-star cover of Tom Petty’s ‘For Real’, for the US homeless shelter, Midnight Mission.
Petty originally recorded ‘For Real’ in August 2000, but the song wasn’t released until this past February when it appeared on the extensive posthumous retrospective, The Best of Everything.
The new cover, released as ‘For Real — For Tom,’ finds the Nelsons, Harrison, Dylan and Lee cranking up the jangle of the original while also giving the tune a breezy country sway complete with harmonica and some soothing choral vocals. All the proceeds from the song will benefit Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter and homeless services provider in Los Angeles that Petty supported throughout his career. You can check it out below.
“When I first was sent this song asking if I wanted to record it, I was quite frankly dumbfounded,” Lukas Nelson told Rolling Stone. “It was the whole manifesto of our band [Promise of the Real] in a song. It just shows how connected artists who have integrity are with others who share the same passion and fire for being honest with their soul. Fearless and real.”
Micah Nelson expounded on the meaning of the song, calling it “an anthem to the integrity of an artist’s journey summarized perfectly by the artist himself. It’s a reminder of why we live the art life, something needed more than ever as we enter a new decade of unknown misty twisty paths and crooked highways.”
Jakob Dylan, meanwhile, told Rolling Stone about studying Tom Petty during the years he got to watch the musician side-stage as a kid. “Most of what I put together of what I wanted to do in the future I probably learned in those summers watching him and The Heartbreakers play,” Dylan said. “I got to sit next to his amplifiers so I not only got to watch him, I also got to watch the crowd, and to see what the band was doing with their inside conversations. It was a great schooling.”
The Best Of Everything is out now, and the 2CD edition can be bought here.