Stevie Nicks shared a sibling-like relationship with Tom Petty for almost four decades. The final moment they shared came months before his death in 2017, an occasion which saw them both perform together in London and duetted for one last time.
They became friends when the Fleetwood Mac singer had begun making her way as a solo artist. It was the first time in Nicks’ career that she was out alone and didn’t have anybody else to rely on. Every decision was her own, and due to her love of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, she decided to work with their producer Jimmy Iovine.
Iovine was responsible for Petty’s third alum, Damn The Torpedoes, and the two men shared a tight bond following the experience. Because she loved the record so dearly, she hit up Iovine for her debut, leading her to befriend Petty.
During the recording of Bella Donna, Petty would regularly visit them in the studio and provided Nicks with the album’s lead single, ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’. Fittingly, the final time they saw each other was to perform the hit at Hyde Park in London in front of 60,000 adoring fans.
Reminiscing about the show, Nicks later told Rolling Stone: “We hadn’t played ‘Stop Draggin” since MusiCares. When I went into the dressing room before the Hyde Park show, it was me, the Heartbreakers, the Webb Sisters [Petty’s backing singers on the 2017 tour], some other friends. We stood there and rehearsed it with [drummer] Steve Ferrone beating on the couch, everybody sort of humming their parts.”
She continued: “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].”
There was also one famous face in attendance who Nicks watched Petty’s show alongside. The Fleetwood Mac singer added: “It was interesting because Shania Twain had come to see me and to watch Tom. After I came off stage from my set, she came backstage. She was so funny. She said, “I’m going to be greedy right now. I need to watch this show with you.”
Nicks blissfully reminisced: “Shania and I watched Tom’s show [from the side of the stage] and sang at the top of our lungs. I look back on that and what a magical moment that was: Shania got to stand there with me and watch my boys.”
Just a few months later, Nicks would be left devastated when the singer suddenly passed away, and she is left with Hyde Park as her last memory of a four-decade friendship. Although Nicks could not say her final goodbyes, this performance will live with the singer for the rest of her days.