Watch Kevin Bacon Perform the ‘Lost First Draft’ of Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin” on ‘The Tonight Show’
Even the most brilliant artists usually have to edit their stuff a few times before it's ready for public consumption, and with his "First Drafts of Rock" bit on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon uses that truth to offer up comically inept "lost" early versions of songs we know by heart.
For the latest installment, Fallon enlisted the aid of actor and recording artist Kevin Bacon, who donned a blond wig to play the part of Tom Petty for a look at the "first draft" of Petty's hit "Free Fallin'." (Fallon, sporting a curly mane and a double-necked guitar, did his best Mike Campbell impression.)
The results, as you can see in the clip above, are decidedly less awesome than the version we all know — "Petty" pretty much spends the whole time singing about how the girl in the song likes horses, to the increasing bewilderment of his bandmates.
Bacon, who can soon be seen in the Mark Wahlberg movie Patriots Day, has released a series of albums with his brother Michael as the Bacon Brothers, starting with 1997's Forosoco and continuing through their seventh LP, 36 Cents, in 2014. The duo has a handful of performances scheduled for September in Annapolis, Md.; check out their official site for more information.
As many Petty fans are aware, "Free Fallin'" wasn't originally preoccupied with horses — in fact, the song arose out of Petty trying to make producer Jeff Lynne laugh during a session.
"Honestly, I thought I was just amusing Jeff but then I got to the chorus of the song and he leaned over to me and said the word, ‘free falling.’ And I went to sing that and he said, ‘No, take your voice up and see how that feels,'” Petty recalled earlier this year. “So I took my voice up an octave or two, but I couldn’t get the whole word in. So I sang ‘freeee,’ then ‘free falling.’ And we both knew at that moment that I’d hit on something pretty good. It was that fast."
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