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“Sometimes Tom’s my best friend”

When she wasn’t evoking witches or making Lindsey Buckingham sound even better, Stevie Nicks broke hearts with Tom Petty.

It’s her most easily recognized duet outside of Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks singing “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty.

It’s fitting that the last time she saw him, Nicks appeared on stage with Petty to sing that very song, back in July when her band opened for his at London’s Hyde Park.

Just last week, she performed the song again with the Heartbreakers as a tribute to her now-lost friend.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Nicks recalls their collaboration and the times they spent together, a closeness not many in the rock world might be familiar with.

Writer David Fricke asked Nicks about how Petty was able to write for and about women so well; she credits his strong relationships with his two wives (first wife Jane; second wife Dana) and two daughters.

 

Nicks said Petty was a good friend but she didn’t want to use his name in song because he wouldn’t be comfortable with it.

There’s a particular piece of advice he gave her that she didn’t take, Nicks tells Fricke: Shortly after leaving rehab in 1994, she returned to her house in Phoenix and met up with an old boyfriend but the exchange didn’t feel right to her.

“I asked Tom if he would help me write a song,” she recalls. “And he said ‘No. You are one of the premiere 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.'”

She felt she needed to work on the song immediately because “he would be waiting to hear it.” The song, called “Hard Advice,” appears on her 2014 solo album.

“The chorus goes ‘Sometimes he’s my best friend.’ 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.”

The rest of the interview is available on Rolling Stone‘s website.

Here’s a fan-made video of the pair singing their song from a few years ago, a reminder that a good song with good voices can be timeless.

 

 

 

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