Tom Petty Rejected an Offer by Stevie Nicks After His Divorce: ‘He’s Looking at Me Like I’m Crazy’

TL;DR:

  • Stevie Nicks became determined to befriend Tom Petty.
  • Stevie Nicks offered to visit Tom Petty every day after his divorce, but he turned her down.
  • Tom Petty’s death devastated Stevie Nicks. 
Stevie Nicks wears a purple shirt and skirt and holds a microphone. Tom Petty wears a floral shirt and plays guitar while singing.
Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty | Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Though rumors swirled that Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty began dating after his divorce, she maintains that their relationship was platonic. They were close friends, though, and she wanted to help him out as he navigated being newly single. Nicks offered to stop by his new home every day so they could write together. When she showed up with the supplies to do this, however, Petty was horrified. 

Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks were close friends

When Nicks first met Petty, she was a massive fan of his music, and he wasn’t sure what to make of her. He admitted that he wasn’t very welcoming to her at first, so Nicks turned to Petty’s wife for assistance. 

“Stevie went to work on Jane,” Petty said, per the book Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis.

As Nicks became closer to Petty’s wife, Jane Benyo, the two women began to scheme ways to build a friendship between the musicians.

“Jane and I figured it out long before Tom had any idea that we were scheming. And we did scheme,” Nicks said, per the book Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac: Interviews and Encounters. “I knew we would be good together — I’m not joining the Heartbreakers or anything: I’m just a friend.”

Their plan worked, and Nicks formed a friendship with Petty that would last for decades.

She offered to visit him every day after his divorce

In 1996, Petty and Benyo divorced after over 20 years of marriage. Afterward, Petty moved into what he described as a shack in the Pacific Palisades. Nicks was concerned with his behavior and thought it might be helpful for them to write songs together.

“I said, ‘Let’s just write some songs. I don’t write songs with anybody, and really, neither do you. Let’s write some,’” Nicks explained. “He said, ‘Well, OK. Maybe.’”

She gathered some supplies and planned to spend long days writing with him.

“I went home, thinking I’m going to go there every day until six o’clock at night and we’re going to write,” she said. “The next day I arrive with my grocery bags, with Hershey’s chocolate syrup, instant coffee, and the kind of milk I like. He’s looking at me like I’m crazy.”

Petty was horrified that Nicks was coming into his home with so many supplies.

“I say, ‘I’m going to be here, so I need my supplies,’” she explained. “He’s like, ‘Your supplies?’ I say, ‘Supplies! Like when you go camping.’ I’ll never forget the look on his face. So I said, ‘OK, so we’re not going to write songs together. But I’ll come visit you, and I’ll keep in touch.’”

Stevie Nicks said she’ll never fully recover from Tom Petty’s death

When Petty died in 2017, Nicks was heartbroken. She said she was having a difficult time healing from the loss.

“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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