Musical Notes – Tom Petty/Stevie Nicks
Voiceover by Lawrence Standifer Stevens
Written by Joseph E. Casanova
Superstars Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks not only released two of 1981’s greatest albums but sparked one of the most famous collaborations ever to hit rock radio.
1981 marked a great year for album-oriented radio with the releases of Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s Hard Promises and Stevie Nicks’ debut Belladonna.
Hard Promises’ first single, “The Waiting,” reached the top 20 while the album tracks, “A Woman in Love (It’s Not Me)” and “Insider,” a collaboration with Nicks, received lots of local airplay.
Belladonna firmly established the Fleetwood Mac vocalist as a solo artist, especially when her duet with Petty, the smoldering “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” spent seven record weeks at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100.
“Stop Draggin’” earned the pair a Grammy nod for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group, eventually losing to the Police for “Don’t Stand So Close to Me.”
Even though MTV launched that summer, my friends and I saw a clip of that famous recording session on the syndicated variety show Solid Gold.
My hometown didn’t have cable tv until 1982. Before that, I had to go to my aunt’s house in the next town if I wanted to watch videos.
Four years later, we entered the modern age as our local provider finally aired the music channel.
Nicks didn’t release a video for her second single “Leather and Lace,” a top ten duet with one-time boyfriend Don Henley.
She teamed up with Petty again for the emotionally-charged “I Will Run to You” on her 1983 sophomore effort The Wild Heart.
When the Heartbreakers came to San Antonio in 1985, Mom couldn’t understand why we spent money on concert tickets
“Isn’t that why you wanted MTV?’ she asked. “It’s not the same!” I replied.
Then she said, “Don’t be so damn spoiled! You kids act like your lives didn’t start until that pinche MTV came along!” Maybe she was right!