Bob Dylan’s Son Was in Awe of Tom Petty’s Daughters Because They Had Petty for a Father

Bob Dylan’s son Jakob grew up around Tom Petty. During his adolescence, Petty and Dylan toured together, and Jakob got to watch them perform. As he grew older and pursued music himself, he looked to Petty as an inspiration. He even inducted Petty and the Heartbreakers into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. During his speech, he mentioned that he was stunned that Petty’s daughters had someone like him as a father.

Bob Dylan's son Jakob wears a hat and stands in front of a wall. Tom Petty wears a leather jacket and holds a guitar.
Jakob Dylan and Tom Petty | Michael Buckner/Getty Images; Chris Walter/WireImage

Bob Dylan’s son Jakob got to know Tom Petty when he was touring with his father

In the 1980s, Petty and the Heartbreakers toured with Dylan for roughly two years. 

“We’d all been huge Dylan fans, and we were very intrigued by the idea of playing with Bob,” Petty said, per American Songwriter. “So off we went. And that went on for two years. We’d do part of it and then more would get added on, and then more would get added on. We really did the world with Bob Dylan.”

While Petty didn’t typically take his family on the road with him, they had recently lost their home in a fire. Dylan also brought Jakob along.

He remembered being awestruck by Tom Petty’s daughters

Petty and the Heartbreakers wanted Jakob to induct them into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He had been to many of their shows when they toured with his father and got to know the band well over the years.

“I used to sit with Bugs [Weidel, Petty’s longtime friend]. By the amplifiers,” Jakob told Warren Zanes for the book Petty: The Biography. “Soaking it up, learning as much as I could. I couldn’t have asked for much more at sixteen years old than to watch those guys play every night.”

During his speech, Dylan remembered sitting backstage with Petty’s daughters, feeling in awe of how lucky they were to have him as a father.

“On that tour, [Tom] had his two daughters there,” he said. “And I remember sitting there with his daughters, I remember thinking, ‘Jesus, your dad is Tom Petty.'”

Bob Dylan’s son Jakob looked up to Tom Petty

Through his father, Jakob Dylan got to know Petty well. As he reached adulthood, though, he considered Petty a friend. 

“I’d been around him plenty when I was younger but, in the last few years, I got to spend even more time with him,” he told The Sun. “He became powerful in my personal life … and it was towards the end of his life.”

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He said that part of why he liked Petty so much was that he didn’t behave like many other people in his generation.

“He lacked arrogance,” he explained. “I’m sorry to say it but some people from that generation are a**holes. They’re competitive, they’re not comfortable and there’s bitterness but not Tom. He was never punishing. He let me share the stage with him and he let me interview him for [the documentary] Echo In The Canyon. In the film, he spoke about music with pure, thrilling enjoyment.”