In a revealing interview with Rolling Stone, 69-year-old Nicks recalled performing with Petty and The Heartbreakers in July at London’s Hyde Park before sitting with Shania Twain to watch Petty own the stage.
“Shania and I watched Tom’s show [from the side of the stage] and sang at the top of our lungs,” the legendary singer told the publication. “I look back on that and what a magical moment that was: Shania got to stand there with me and watch my boys.”
Nicks and Petty’s relationship as friends and collaborators spanned decades. They first met in 1978 and within a few years began working closely together. They created their first duet, “Insider,” in 1981 and, later that year, recorded “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” for Nicks’ debut solo album, Bella Donna.
The stars often revived the classic song for a live audience. However, neither knew that their July performance of the hit would be their last. Petty died of a cardiac arrest on Oct. 2 in Los Angeles. He was 66.
“When I went into the dressing room before the Hyde Park show, it was me, the Heartbreakers, the Webb Sisters [Petty’s backup singers for his 2017 tour], some other friends,” Nicks recalled.
“We stood there and rehearsed it with [drummer] Steve Ferrone beating on the couch, everybody sort of humming their parts.”
She added to Rolling Stone: “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.”
Rock Legend Tom Petty Dead At 66 After Massive Cardiac Arrest
Despite their rusty rehearsal, the crowd was pleased — the audience roared. While on stage, Nicks shouted out, “You know that Tom Petty is my favorite rock star!” and said she’d remember the night “for the rest of my life,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
Nicks told Rolling Stone that Petty encouraged her in 1994 to write the song “Hard Advice,” which she featured on her 2014 album 24 Karat Gold.
“The chorus goes ‘Sometimes he’s my best friend.’ It was really ‘Sometimes Tom’s my best friend,’ ” she said. “I changed it because I knew Tom would not want me to say his name. That’s how well I know him.”