Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks had a friendship like no other. When Stevie Nicks listened to Petty’s music for the very first time, she wanted to be friends with him. And she did form a close relationship with Tom. Oftentimes, she would seek advice from her friend and Petty also did try his best to help his friend.
Tom was a man of wisdom. His work has an impact on music still to this day. Petty would simply inspire anyone to excel at what they did best. Stevie and Petty’s friendship came to fruition in 1981, when she decided she wanted to be a part of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
That collaboration would have been one of the best but Petty had a rule, ‘No Girls Allowed.’ Nicks also talked about that rule more in 2017. She discussed her 1981 solo album ‘Bella Donna’. Nicks revealed while she was visiting Atlantic Records, she disclosed how she wanted to be in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers band with then-president Doug Morris. To her response, he said, “No. That’s not going to happen, You obviously haven’t heard Tom Petty’s mantra: ‘No girls allowed.'”
In the book, ‘Conversations With Tom Petty’ American Songwriter revealed, “She was this absolutely stoned-gone, huge fan, And it was her mission in life that I should write her a song.”
“We were a little wary of Stevie, We didn’t quite know whether to like Stevie or not, because we kind of saw this big corporate rock band, Fleetwood Mac, which was wrong, they were actually artistic people. But in those days, nobody trusted that sort of thing and we just kept thinking, ‘What does she want from us?'”
When she couldn’t work with The Heartbreakers, she decided to settle and work with Tom’s producer, Jimmy Iovine. The pair also started to date each other which gave Nicks a great chance to see the work of Tom up close. Also, Iovine thought that Stevie’s album ‘Bella Donna’ didn’t have a stand-out single and recruited Tom to write and perform ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’. That song was Nick’s biggest hit and it helped form a great friendship.
And now, regarding the advice she received. When was with Rolling Stone, she revealed the advice she received in 1994. It was the time Nicks left rehab after dealing with an addiction to Klonopin. She revealed how unsure she was if she could write songs or not. That was the reason she sought help. Nicks said,
“I was at my house in Phoenix – I had come out of rehab – and I had dinner with him at the Ritz-Carlton, I had a visitation from an old boyfriend, right after my rehab, and it had shaken me. I asked Tom if he would help me write a song.”
However, to her response, 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.'”
His advice also resulted in her 2014 song, ‘Hard Advice’ which was a thank-you and a farewell to her best friend. The tough kind of love Tom offered to Stevie was the reason, she is who she is today. The chorus of the song goes, “‘Sometimes he’s my best friend.’ It was really ‘Sometimes Tom’s my best friend'”. Nicks said,
“I changed it because I knew Tom would not want me to say his name, That’s how well I know him.”