Stevie Nicks was so enamoured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that she once asked to join the band, to which Petty famously replied: “Sorry, no girls allowed.” However, that did not stop a friendship from flourishing and enduring mutual respect. It might not have been a friendship entirely without its hitches as Nicks almost ripped off ‘Runaway Trains’ after picking up a cassette from Petty’s house one night and thinking it was her own, but for the most part, the two songsmiths shared an endearing bond.
There is an undoubted similarity between the two rockers that stretches beyond the golden blonde hair, their pop-rock stylings and stage personas share the same bravura edge. Likewise, their ability to pen a catchy hit was almost unrivalled when they were at the peak of their powers.
This ease at which hits came to them forms the backbone to the story of ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’.
Nicks had previously jokingly asked Petty to write a song for her solo record. Petty penned ‘Insider’, but when they recorded it together Petty was so pleased with his own work that it prompted Nicks to nobly offer it back to him, saying, “You love this so much… YOU take the song.”
Shortly after the ‘Insider’ debacle, Petty and company recorded a song that he and guitarist Mike Campbell composed about a year earlier. The song in question was ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’. Petty and his fellow Heartbreakers sent the demo to Nicks’ producer, Jimmy Iovine, and the Fleetwood Mac singer loved it so much she announced, “That’s what I wanted all along.”
In 2006 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers embarked on a 30th-anniversary tour, returning to Gainesville, Florida, the hometown of Petty and bandmates Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench for a scintillating recorded live show.
The band were joined on stage by Stevie Nicks to perform the classic number and the instant chemistry was re-sparked like Magnesium to a naked flame.
You can catch the utterly spellbinding performance, below.