Stevie Nicks was a fan of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers long before she befriended the group’s frontman. While she was unwavering in her determination to integrate herself into the group, the other members weren’t so sure about her. Nicks made it clear that she would consider leaving Fleetwood Mac to join the Heartbreakers. Despite this, Petty and his bandmates had a litany of reasons why she couldn’t. Her clothing choices were a strike against her.
The Fleetwood Mac artist has a distinct way of dressing
Nicks designed her own wardrobe shortly after her first Fleetwood Mac tour. She drew inspiration from a woman she saw in California years before she joined the band. The other woman wore a layered skirt, riding jacket, and platform boots.
“This girl obviously had some money, because this was not a cheap outfit,” Nicks told the LA Times. “It was beautiful, and I went, ‘Oh, that’s exactly how I want to look.’”
Her resulting wardrobe featured many flowing dresses in chiffon, lace, and velvet, platform boots, and shawls.
Tom Petty said the Heartbreakers gave Stevie Nicks a hard time
Petty explained that before he and Nicks were friends, she was still always around, hoping to collaborate.
“Oh, she wouldn’t quit,” Petty told Men’s Journal in 2015. “Stevie showed up at my house every night for a year — maybe more.”
Despite his insistence that there were “no girls in the Heartbreakers,” Nicks spent as much time with the band as possible. She even followed them on tour.
“Every f***ing night,” Petty said. “‘Stevie’s in room so-and-so.’ ‘Stevie wants a song.’”
Nicks was so content with the wardrobe that she has stuck with it for decades. Petty and his bandmates were not as sold on it. He explained that they used her fashion sense as a reason she couldn’t spend time with them.
“We gave her a hard f***ing time: ‘No way you’re coming to a session. Look at the f***ing clothes you’ve got on,’” he said. “The fact that she stuck around was amazing.”
Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks eventually became friends
Nicks did stick around and eventually got everything she’d been hoping for. She collaborated with Petty on a song and used the Heartbreakers as backing on her debut solo album.
“She didn’t have a band, she didn’t have a single and she didn’t have anyone to produce her record,” Nicks’ biographer Stephen Davis told Interview Magazine. “She basically stole the Heartbreakers from Tom Petty, stole his producer Jimmy Iovine and then stole their next single, which was ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.’ She got everything she wanted.”
Nicks also got one of her closest friends out of it. Despite Petty’s initial wariness, he and Nicks eventually became friends. They performed together on multiple occasions, and she worked to support him after his divorce. After Petty’s death in 2017, Nicks said she would have a difficult time recovering.
“The loss of Tom Petty has just about broken my heart,” she said, per HuffPost. “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. He was one of my best friends. My heart will never get over this.”
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