October 19, 2019

[WATCH] That time Tom Petty hung out with an Orthodox rock band in Israel

Musician Tom Petty died at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital last night, October 3, after suffering cardiac arrest. The rock star just wrapped up a big tour, which ended on September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, marking the 30th anniversary since he visited Israel for a “Temple in Flames Tour.”

From the vaults: September 1987, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers toured Israel with Bob Dylan, performing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A film crew followed Petty around and chronicled the experience for MTV‘s Musical Passport series, Rock Israel.

“We’re really just whirl-winding through here, so it would be hard to say I have any impression of the people,” he said during a private interview, probably backstage between shows.

On the tourbus, Petty pointed out the window. “What’s that?” he asked as they passed an ancient site. “Well, it ain’t Mulholland Drive,” one of his bandmates responded.

“I haven’t heard any Israeli Rock and Roll, though it must exist,” he confessed. And he soon found out, it does a la Orthodox rock band, Diaspora Yeshiva Band. “I think anyone should be able to pick up an instrument and jump around,” Petty said smiling.

While sightseeing in Jerusalem, Diaspora Yeshiva Band’s frontman Avraham Rosenblum, points out the Mosque of Umar. “That’s considered the holiest place to Jews because there’s a rock directly underneath that and that rock is considered the foundations to the universe. Some of our famous rabbis said the process of music also began here,” Rosenblum said.

To which Petty responded, “That’s pretty wild, right?”