Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac have a history, that's for sure. A lot of it is based on the fact that Stevie Nicks is a Tom Petty superfan.
When Stevie Nicks decided to pursue a solo career, she decided to work with Jimmy Iovine, a music producer who had worked on the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album "Damn the Torpedoes." Nicks has gone on record saying that the Heartbreakers were the only band she would want to join (but wait, Stevie, what about Fleetwood Mac--?).
Petty, who considered Fleetwood Mac corporate rock at the time (he later admitted he was wrong and they were good artists), had one message for Nicks: "No girls allowed" in the Heartbreakers.
But Petty and Nicks were both working on albums at the same time, with the same producer, in the same building. She got into the studio with him.
Nicks ended up singing on a Tom Petty track, "Insider," and it might have been a track on her album but she saw how much Petty liked the song so she backed off and insisted he take it for his own.
That was probably a good idea, because "Insider" was fine but the song that she got instead was a HUGE hit.
"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (written by Petty and Mike Campbell) peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not a bad second choice. Apparently it wasn't written -- or recorded -- as a duet. Nicks just took the finished Petty song and sang the verses she wanted and sang a harmony over Petty's chorus melody because his parts were already recorded.
And Nicks got her wish to join the Heartbreakers, sort of -- the rest of the Heartbreakers ended up playing on a number of tracks on Bella Donna, Nicks' debut solo record.
Of course, Nicks is a great songwriter herself. At one point, Nicks asked Petty's first wife, Jane, how she met her husband. Jane, in her thick Southern accent, said they met at the "age of seventeen." Nicks misheard the phrase and ended up with a pretty good song title.
"Edge of Seventeen" is not about the Pettys, but the title came from Jane.
The reverse happened when Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics fell asleep at Stevie's house after a party. When he woke up, he heard Stevie in an argument with Joe Walsh of the Eagles, whom she had just broken up with.
Any guesses as to what Stevie said to Joe? Well, Stewart was producing Tom Petty's next album and he brought the line to Petty and they wrote a song together:
Stevie apparently also inspired the video for "Don't Come Around Here No More" because Stewart said he watched her trying on Victorian clothes, like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
And a cover of "Needles and Pins" (1985):
"Needles and Pins" wasn't written by Nicks, nor Petty but was co-written by Jack Nitzche, a Phil Spector protege, and... anyone? anyone? Bueller?... Sonny Bono!
Okay, one last story of Nicks and Petty (from Ultimate Classic Rock). Nicks had become friends with all the Heartbreakers including guitarist Mike Campbell, who collaborated with Petty on a lot of the songwriting. Apparently Campbell would jam in his home studio and make recordings that he passed along to Petty. If anything caught Petty's ear, he would work on it, add a melody and lyrics.
Nicks was satisfied with Petty's discards. Once, she took home a tape labeled "24 demos from Mike Campbell." She found a track she liked a wrote a song around it. She even started recording her song with Fleetwood Mac.
But it was a mistake -- that tape was still Petty's. He still had dibs on it, hadn't discarded it and, moreover, he had written a song using the same track. When Nicks proudly played her song to Tom over the phone, he was livid. She, in turn, was embarrassed and folded quickly (and had to go back to Fleetwood Mac to tell them that the song they recorded was not going to happen).
The coveted Campbell track became "Runaway Trains":
Nicks, for her part, kept the lyrics she wrote and eventually found a new tune to sing them over. Her song became "Ooh My Love":
Okay, we can't end on that. We need a happy ending.
The pair got over the issue of "Runaway Trains"/"Ooh My Love." Nicks even joined Petty and the Heartbreakers for part of their 2006 tour.
And in 2017, in London's Hyde Park, she joined them for a song or two.
Petty introduced her this way: "In 1978, we had just put out our second record, and I began to get calls from someone I never met before, but she was really nice. And over the years, we've become very close and she is the honorary girl in our band—Stevie!" (Ultimate Classic Rock)
So she did it. Stevie Nicks had finally joined Heartbreakers.