Inside Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s 40-Year-Long Friendship

While they never connected romantically, they shared a decades-long friendship that maybe ran even deeper.

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We often forget that two rock stars who enjoy each other’s company don’t necessarily have to be lovers. Even if they’re a man and a woman. And even if this particular friendship started in the 1970s.

But that was the case with Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty, two of the most integral musicians to rock music in the 21st century.

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty Meet

Stevie Nicks, the goddess of Fleetwood Mac, is a true rock and roll gem with amazing vocals, hair, and a sense of humor.

But there was another rock legend who captivated her like she did the rest of us. And his name was Tom Petty.

“I just fell in love with his music and his band,” Nicks said in Warren Zanes’ book Petty: The Biography, as notes. “I would laughingly say to anyone that if I ever got to know Tom Petty and could worm my way into his good graces, if he were ever to ask me to leave Fleetwood Mac and join Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, I’d probably do it — and that was before I even met him!”

Nicks met Petty when she was 17 years old, according to Billboard.

For his own part, Tom Petty wrote said this about Stevie Nicks in his own biography: “She came into my life like a rocket, just refusing to go away.”

Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s Enduring Friendship

Stevie Nicks had plenty of relationships including Kim Anderson, her best friend’s husband; Eagles singer and drummer Don Henley; Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh; and producer Jimmy Iovine — whom she actually met through Petty.

But it was her friendship with Petty that lasted for a solid 40 years, until his death. Moreover, it resulted in radio-friendly recordings.

His fourth record, Hard Promises, included a duet featuring the two of them. And her first album, 1981’s Bella Donna, contained the smash hit duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.”

Stevie Nicks also performed with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers during their 30th-anniversary tour in 2006, according to Billboard.

Petty Passes Away, and Nicks Grieves

Sadly, Petty passed away in October 2017, to the heartbreak of millions across the world. He was 66 years old.

Petty’s death occurred a day after he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California.

Shortly after Tom Petty’s death, at an event honoring Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks shared some thoughtful words about her dear friend.

“The loss of Tom Petty has just about broken my heart,” she said, pointing out that his daughter was in attendance. “He was not only a good man to go down the river with, as Johnny Cash said, but he was a great father, and a great friend. My heart will never get over this.”

“Tom, I know you’re standing next to me, because you always have been for so many years,” Stevie Nicks finished, as she tried to hold back tears.

Read More: Stevie Nicks Talks About How Her Heart Will Never Be the Same After the Loss of Her Friend Tom Petty

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