Just six months ago, at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives delivered a harmony-laden acoustic version of “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” a scorching rocker from Tom Petty’s 1989 solo debut LP Full Moon Fever. Following Petty’s death on Monday night, tributes to the influential rock icon have come from all over the world. Stuart and his band were, in fact, halfway across the globe for an appearance on the BBC 2 series Later… With Jools Holland when the news broke. They paid tribute to the late superstar performer at the end of their scheduled performance of “Time Don’t Wait” with a snippet of “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Watch the performance above.
Stuart’s connection to Petty stretches far beyond a long-held admiration of his music. His 2017 Way Out West LP, which features “Time Don’t Wait,” was produced by Petty’s longtime Heartbreakers band mate and friend, Mike Campbell. And in 1996, Stuart was in a Los Angeles studio at the invitation of his longtime friend and former father-in-law Johnny Cash (Stuart was once married to his daughter, Cindy Cash), when Petty and his fellow Heartbreakers walked in to join them in playing on Cash’s Unchained album. “In that moment, we were all just Johnny Cash’s band,” Stuart told Rolling Stone Country last year.
Stuart and the Superlatives are currently in the U.K. for a series of concerts, appearing in London on Wednesday night, followed by shows in Birmingham (Friday, October 6th), Newcastle Upon Tyne (Saturday, October 7th), Glasgow, Scotland (Monday October 9th) and Manchester, England (Tuesday, October 10th).