Stevie Nicks: ‘The loss of Tom Petty has broken my heart’

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Musical goddess in human form, Stevie Nicks, was at Friday night’s MusiCares Person of the Year event in NY honoring her band Fleetwood Mac. She gave an emotional speech paying tribute to her colleague and friend, Tom Petty. The two collaborated on many projects, most notably the unforgettable 1981 hit “Stop Dragging My Heart Around.”

Stevie said of her friend, “He was not only a good man to go down the river with, as Johnny Cash said, he was a great father and he was a great friend.” This was particularly relevant as Tom’s daughter Adria was in the audience. She also acknowledged “He was one of my best friends. My heart will never get over this.”

Stevie and Tom often shared personal details of their lives, in fact, she recalled in her January, 2015 Rolling Stone interview, that Tom was concerned about her drug use. He said at the time, “I did all I could to talk her into getting some help and getting right. I was very worried about her. To the point that if the phone did ring and they said, ‘Stevie died,’ I wouldn’t have been surprised.”

This concern went both ways. Stevie recalled a conversation the pair had when Tom was honored with the same award last year. She said Tom was “talking to me about how important [the recognition] was to him. And maybe he was talking about it because [he] was ill. He was not well.” She also pointed out that she knew that the late singer “fought his way through” his band’s 40th anniversary tour, which he wrapped up a week before he passed away, due to what was recently revealed as an accidental overdose of pain medications.

Of that tour, Stevie said, “He should’ve canceled, and he should’ve just gone home and gone to the hospital. But not Tom. He was gonna go down that river. And so, God bless him, he finished his tour at the Hollywood Bowl. Three shows. And one week later he died — but he got down the river.” She wrapped up her statement by saying, “Tom, I know you’re standing next to me cause you always have been for so many years.” No, you’re crying.

The ceremony on Friday night acknowledged Fleetwood Mac’s work and philanthropy. The fully reunited band – Stevie, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsay Buckingham and John McVie – played a five-song set, including their hits “Tusk” and “Go Your Own Way.” Some special guests performed covers of the band’s hits, including Miley Cyrus who took on “Landslide,” and HAIM, who covered one of my favorite Stevie compositions, “Gypsy.” Former President Bill Clinton along with Hillary were also in attendance, as the song “Don’t Stop” was the theme Bill’s 1992 campaign and, as he noted, it was played for him more than “Hail to the Chief.” Of the Mac, he admitted, “I owe them more than any of you do, and I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”

Stevie, who will be celebrating her 70th birthday in May (which I can’t believe) was amazed that the band’s music has spanned so many generations, pointing out that, “We have 90-year-old fans. They’re still out there. They just can’t make it to our shows.”

After the show, Stevie said everybody should “keep fighting” the battle against sexual misconduct and other types of gender inequality. She told CNN, “Everybody needs to not let this be a kind of big wave and just go away and say, ‘Oh well, you know, it’s over and nobody cares anymore. Everybody has to keep really fighting because otherwise women, we will be swept under the carpet yet again and it will just start over.” She acknowledged that she and Christine were “very lucky” in that regard, noting, “We’ve been a force of nature our entire career, so nobody has dared to step over that line to Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks. I’m such a raging monster when I’m angry that it would have never worked, so I’m really glad I never had to run into that.” And, as for pay, she insisted “Fleetwood Mac has two women and we all get paid the same. And if we didn’t, Christine and I would be walking out the door.” Stevie rocks.

I love that Stevie shared what she did about her relationship with Tom, and I still miss the hell out of Tom Petty too. I just wish there was more of these two together on vinyl, because their voices were so magical together.

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22 Responses to “Stevie Nicks: ‘The loss of Tom Petty has broken my heart’”

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  1. Luca76 says:

    Awww that’s beautiful it’s such a sad thing to lose an old friend.

  2. H says:

    I had the biggest crush on Tom Petty in 7th grade and saw him and the Heartbreakers many times in concert. I also love Stevie. Wonderful tribute to Tom.

  3. the_blonde_one says:

    I mean no snark when I say this- I wish I had lived a life that had as many ‘loves of my life’ as Stevie Nicks.

  4. Renee says:

    I love Stevie & Tom. I was so sad when Tom passed away. It was like losing part of my childhood.

    • JoJo says:

      Me too. I’m embarrassed to have to admit it, but his death completely shattered me for a few weeks, so much so that I couldn’t even focus on the Vegas shootings that happened around the same time.

      • diana says:

        I feel the same towards Chris Cornell. I was heart broken for a long time. It’s still painful to think about it. And whenver a Soungarden/TOTD/Audioslave song comes on my playlist I switch immediately.

  5. Keepitreal says:

    Tom Petty was a huge loss last year. His music over the years has been sheer joy, including his collaborations with Stevie. RIP, Tom.

  6. Saras says:

    I feel so terrible for her and everyone else who has lost someone to pharmaceutical opiates / rx mix. I am moving back to a legal marijuana state becasuse I don’t want to get hooked on pills for my arthritis. I will use something that won’t kill me or turn me into a heroin addict. I will try to save pain pills for when / if I live long enough to need them! Legalize medical marijuana everywhere please!

    • justcrimmles says:

      CBD oils/etc are an option too, but sometimes cost-prohibitive. Hoping you find the relief that is best for you.

    • Sara says:

      I hope I am appealing to you from a medical standpoint. Too much nerdy science to get into here, but there is good evidence–well documented in the peer-reviewed literature–that there’s a relationship between porosity of the gut and deposition of large-pore proteins around joint capsules. This is often referred to as the “leaky gut syndrome.” You may want to consider a dietary approach to help minimize the inflammation caused by this.

      Many rheumatologists accept this model, but the studies are mostly recent and thus the standard of care is still very conservative and medication-based. Many people have experienced dramatic improvement through dietary change, though.

      I wish I could provide an e-mail to direct you to rheumatologists who are now recommending this. It seems to be effective in varying degrees for many forms of arthritis including rheumatoid.

      • Saras says:

        Thank you both😀 I am always open to trying natural before bringing out the big western med guns!

  7. BrutalEthyl says:

    I think most of us are heart-broken over Tom Petty’s death. Stevie is lucky that she was able to call him her friend. And it’s hard to believe she’s 70. But seriously she should choose a darker color for her hair. She looks totally washed out.

  8. Person3514 says:

    I was raised on Tom and Stevie. My mom and aunt were obsessed with his music and would go to all of his concerts when he came through Florida. His death was really sad for our family.

    I actually watched that 6 hour Tom Petty documentary that’s on Netflix a few weeks ago and Stevie was on there. She credited him for her solo career and kept saying she would have left Fleetwood Mac to join the Heartbreakers. I’m surprised they were never in a relationship. She seemed really fond of him and he spoke very highly of her. I imagine this was a really big loss for her.

    • AnneC says:

      Just finished listening to a biography of Nicks, “Gold Dust Women” on Audible. I needed something light after some heavy fiction and really enjoyed it. She and Lindsey went to and met at my kids high school, so that was fun to read about. She dated a bunch of famous rock stars after Buckingham and had and has a long illustrious career. She and Petty were good friends and collaborators.

  9. Mama says:

    If you have time, watch the Tom Petty documentary on Netflix. It is long and well worth it (I have yet to finish it). He was a remarkable artist. I only realized a couple of years ago that I truly loved his music and I love that Sirius XM has a channel for him. I miss his shows though. I am not a fan of Stevie Nicks’ music but I LOVE her duet with him. Their voices are made for each other. I’ll never not be sad about his death.

  10. Katebush says:

    Great to have a Stevie/Tom post thank you.
    I was sad to read he died of an accidental overdose. Where are these guys’ doctors monitoring what they’re taking etc?

  11. Laura says:

    I love both of them and was deeply saddened by Tom’s death, but I just had to say SHE LOOKS FANTASTIC!

    • Cintra.C says:

      I agree. I don’t know anything about her beauty routine or cosmetic procedures, but she really looks great.

  12. Lisa says:

    One of their best songs together is Insider. Stunning.

  13. FuefinaWG says:

    I never understood the Stevie Nicks infatuation. I also don’t understand why she doesn’t change her eye makeup.

  14. Deeana says:

    She has a fantastic plastic surgeon, that’s for sure.

    I think she and Tom were “together” for a period of time and then mutually moved on to others but still retained a close friendship. Now that Tom is gone, someone will likely write a book that reveals all.

  15. Tim H says:

    Love Stevie, and Tom as well. Nice tribute. He will forever be missed!