Stevie Nicks has been silent since the death of her longtime friend Tom Petty. The Fleetwood Mac songstress had a 40-year friendship with the late rocker and has been vocal about how much she admired his music and wanted to be a member of his band, The Heartbreakers, so the fact that she hasn’t yet released a statement on his death is a little surprising. But now, Rolling Stone has published a previously unreleased excerpt from Stevie Nicks’ last interview just a few months before Tom Petty’s sudden death at age 66.
Stevie Nicks met Tom Petty in 1978, and they collaborated together on two songs in 1981 –”Insider,” from Petty’s Hard Promises, and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” from Nicks’ solo Bella Donna LP. More recently, Stevie and Tom performed both songs last February at the MusiCares charity. Stevie’s last performance with Tom was in July when they dueted “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” at London’s Hyde Park. It was also the last time Stevie Nicks saw her longtime friend and collaborator.
In the Rolling Stone interview, Stevie revealed that she watched the rest of Tom’s performance from the side of the stage with pal Shania Twain.
“Shania and I watched Tom’s show [from the side of the stage] and sang at the top of our lungs,” Stevie recalled. “I look back on that and what a magical moment that was: Shania got to stand there with me and watch my boys.”
Stevie Nicks was very protective of Tom Petty, but she credits his great female loves for his empathetic songwriting.
“He had two daughters,” Nicks said. “He had two amazing loves [Petty was married to first wife Jane, Benyo from 1974 to 1996 and to Dana York from 2001 until his death]. He was surrounded by really strong women. The women around him pretty much went their own way, and he was good with that. He gave me a lot of advice about stuff. He was the kind of person who said, ‘Here’s my advice. If you take it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too.'”
Stevie also revealed that she took Tom’s advice when he played tough love with her after her 1994 rehab stint. Over dinner at the Ritz-Carlton, Nicks told Petty that she was “shaken” after a visit from an ex-boyfriend that she asked Tom if he would help her write a song about it.
“And he said, ‘No. You are one of the premier songwriters of all time. You don’t need me to write a song for you.’ He said, ‘Just go to your piano and write a good song. You can do that,'” Stevie said.
Stevie Nicks went on to write the song “Hard Advice” (from her 24 Karat Gold album) and the song had a reference to her friendship with Tom in it.
“The chorus goes ‘Sometimes he’s my best friend,'” Stevie revealed.
“It was really ‘Sometimes Tom’s my best friend.’ I changed it because I knew Tom would not want me to say his name. That’s how well I know him.”
Stevie Nicks probably never imagined that the Hyde Park show would be the last time she would see Tom Petty. That makes her recollections of that night, and of their friendship, even more heartbreaking.
You can see Stevie Nicks’ final performance with Tom Petty in the video below.
[Featured Image by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP Images]