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Stevie Nicks breaks her silence on Tom Petty's death

Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Two weeks after the October 2nd death of her dear friend and collaborator, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks has finally opened up about the Heartbreakers leader, sharing some recent memories of her and Petty. Nicks, who last July 9th, appeared on the bill at London's' Hyde Park with Petty and the band, watched from the wings with Shania Twain, before Nicks joined the band for a rendition of their 1981 joint hit, the Petty-written "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around."

Nicks recalled to Rolling Stone: "We hadn't played 'Stop Draggin'' since (the February 2017 Petty) MusiCares (tribute). When I went into the dressing room before the Hyde Park show, it was me, the Heartbreakers, (Petty's backing singers on the 2017 tour) the Webb Sisters, some other friends. We stood there and rehearsed it with (drummer) Steve Ferrone beating on the couch, everybody sort of humming their parts. Tom and Mike played guitar. Ron Blair dragged out a bass but didn't play it very loud because it wasn't plugged in. We went through it a couple of times. It was funny -- you play a wrong chord, and everybody's eyes go straight up. We didn't know it as well as we thought we did (laughs)."

When asked how Petty was always able to write about women "with frank but affectionate empathy," Nicks explained, "He had two daughters. He had two amazing loves (first wife, childhood sweetheart Jane and his second wife Dana, whom he married in 2001). 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.' He was never going to shake a finger in your face and make you feel bad if you didn't take his advice.”

Stevie Nicks offered an example of how Petty handed out advice to her: "It was toward the end of 1994. 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. 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.’"

She added: When I walked out of the Ritz-Carlton, I had that feeling that he would be waiting to hear it. The song is called 'Hard Advice.' It ended up on 24 Karat Gold (Songs From The Vault). 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.”

A while back Stevie Nicks told us that she felt a particular kinship with Tom Petty and his music: "Tom is my favorite writer, 'cause I kinda feel if I had come into this word as a boy, I would've been him, y'know? It's like I really do, I feel that there's a part of Tom's writing that I relate so easily to.”

Stevie Nicks with the Pretenders kicks off a nine-date tour of Down Under on November 2nd.

Did you know?

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' 1985 hit "Don't Come Around Here No More" was inspired by the song's co-writer and producer Dave Stewart of the Eurthythmics' coke-fueled one night stand with Stevie Nicks.

Stewart went on record explaining how upon awaking the following morning, Nicks reportedly uttered the immortal kiss-off: "Don't come around here no more.”

Check it out: Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers in concert on May 12, 2017 at Scottrade Center

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - May 12, 2017

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at Scottrade Center - May 12, 2017
Photo by: 
© Ben Vogelsang, Idea Machine Productions

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