StevieNicksOfficial has confirmed that Stevie Nicks will be joining Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers at British Summer Time Hyde Park on Sunday, July 9, 2017. It will be Petty’s only European performance next year. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 16.
Stevie Nicks will be among many performers honoring Tom Petty at the upcoming 2017 MusiCare Person of the Year gala. The star-studded event will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, on February 10, 2017 — two days before the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®.
Stevie and Tom have been close friends for nearly 40 years, collaborating often in the studio and on tour. Stevie’s hit duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom remains her highest-charting single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, reaching No. 3 in the summer of 1981. The pair also reached No. 37 on the same chart in the fall of 1985 with their cover of Jackie DeShannon’s 1963 song “Needles and Pins” (which appears on Petty’s Pack Up the Plantation: Live! album).
The full press release describing the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year gala event appears below.
2017 MusiCares Person of the Year: Tom Petty
THREE-TIME GRAMMY WINNER TOM PETTY TO BE HONORED AS 2017 MUSICARES® PERSON OF THE YEAR AT 27TH ANNUAL TRIBUTE
Annual Gala Benefiting the MusiCares Foundation® and its Vital Safety Net of Health and Human Services Programs for Music People will be held During GRAMMY® Week on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Sept. 28, 2016) — Tom Petty will be honored as the 2017 MusiCares® Person of the Year on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, it was announced today by Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the MusiCares Foundation® and The Recording Academy®, and Alexandra Patsavas, Chair of the MusiCares Foundation Board. Proceeds from the 27th annual benefit gala dinner and concert—to be held in Los Angeles during GRAMMY® Week two nights prior to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®—will provide essential support for MusiCares, which ensures music people have a place to turn in times of financial, medical, and personal need.
A three-time GRAMMY winner, Petty is being honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year in recognition of his significant creative accomplishments, his career-long interest in defending artists’ rights, and the charitable work he has undertaken throughout his career, which has notably focused on the homeless population in Los Angeles. Widely recognized by a younger generation of musicians as an example of what an engaged artist can accomplish in his field and beyond, Petty has come to represent the lasting possibilities of rock and roll.
“Tom burst into our musical consciousness and never let go,” said Portnow. “His brand of rock and roll benefits from a celebratory rebelliousness, infectious rhythms, and unforgettable lyrics that are incised in our imaginations. His artistic talents coupled with his quiet philanthropy make him a great MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, and we are very fortunate to have the support of our Board, past honorees, and the musical community around this special event.”
“I am so very pleased to be honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year. I have so much respect for this organization, which really does care about the people in our industry,” said Petty. “I myself know many people who MusiCares has aided in desperate situations. Again, let me say this is a true honor.”
Petty formed his first bands in Gainesville, Fla. As a college town in the ’60s, Gainesville brought with it fraternity parties, rock and roll clubs, AM radios playing the Beatles and James Brown, and a music store where you could buy equipment on credit. Forty years after releasing his first album, Petty is widely recognized as a man for whom those things Gainesville offered still matter the most. In each of his five decades as a recording artist, Petty has charted albums in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart. His most recent recording with the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, entered at No. 1.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Petty is an artist whose approach to record making and the business itself has earned the respect of his peers, his predecessors, and the young musicians who regularly hold him as an exemplar. His collaborators have included Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jimmy Iovine, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Rick Rubin, and Del Shannon, among others. And while his solo recordings, including 1989’s Full Moon Fever and 1994’s Wildflowers, are frequently ranked among the most important of their respective eras, Petty has always returned to the job he’s favored: fronting one of rock and roll’s most celebrated bands and bringing them enough songs for the next album.
Repeatedly confronting the inequities of the artist’s side of the industry, Petty has assumed a special place as a musician looking out for other musicians, and an artist who approaches every recording project as if it might be his best.
“Tom Petty is an icon whose incomparable artistry has provided inspiration to fans and musicians all over the world,” said Patsavas. “To honor him with this tribute is so fitting, and we certainly look forward to an exciting and extraordinary evening.”
The 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year gala will begin with a reception and silent auction offering an exclusive and unparalleled selection of luxury items, VIP experiences, and one-of-a-kind celebrity memorabilia for bidding guests. The reception and silent auction will be followed by a dinner, the award presentation and a tribute concert featuring renowned musicians. This year, for the first time, a limited number of VIP experience tables will be available for $75,000 that include: 10 seats, artist soundcheck, red carpet access, backstage access with a meet–and-greet, access to the pre-show auction, and a special VIP lounge. The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute ceremony is one of the most prestigious events held during GRAMMY Week. The celebration culminates with the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. The telecast will be broadcast live on the CBS Television Network at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
The MusiCares Foundation offers programs and services to members of the music community, including emergency financial assistance for basic living expenses such as rent, utilities, and car payments; medical expenses including doctor, dentist, and hospital bills; psychotherapy; and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, hepatitis C, and other critical illnesses. MusiCares offers nationwide educational workshops covering a variety of subjects, including financial, legal, medical, and substance abuse issues, and programs in collaboration with health care professionals that provide services such as flu shots, hearing tests, and medical/dental screenings. The MusiCares MAP Fund® allows access to addiction recovery treatment and sober living resources for members of the music community. Staffed by qualified chemical dependency and intervention specialists, MusiCares offers Safe Harbor Room® support, sponsored in part by the Bohemian Foundation and RBC Capital Markets, to provide a network to those in recovery while they are participating in the production of televised music shows and other major music events. MusiCares holds weekly addiction support groups for people to discuss how to best cope with the issues surrounding the recovery process. The MusiCares Sober Touring Network is a database of individuals across the United States who can take music people to recovery support meetings while on the road.
Established in 1989 by The Recording Academy, MusiCares provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. MusiCares’ services and resources cover a wide range of financial, medical and personal emergencies, and each case is treated with integrity and confidentiality. MusiCares also focuses the resources and attention of the music industry on human service issues that directly impact the health and welfare of the music community. For more information, please visit www.musicares.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please “like” MusiCares on Facebook, follow @MusiCares on Twitter and Instagram.
Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards—the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music—The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education, and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers, and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYs on Twitter, “like” The GRAMMYs on Facebook and join The GRAMMYs’ social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.
For information on purchasing tables and tickets to the event, please contact Dana Tomarken at MusiCares, 310.392.3777.
For reservations, click here.
Tom Petty’s new biography Petty: The Biography will be released on Tuesday, November 10. Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book on the recording of Petty’s 1985 hit single “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” originally intended for Stevie Nicks to record for her third solo album Rock a Little.
1985’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was a breakthrough smash for Petty, but it almost didn’t happen: He, co-writer/producer Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and co-producer Jimmy Iovine made it in a recording session for Stevie Nicks.
“Tom had come down, and he liked what we were working on,” explains Nicks. “I was writing madly. I had my little book, and I was just writing, writing. Tom, Jimmy, and Dave were sort of talking. But it was five in the morning, and I was really tired. So I said, ‘I’m going to go. I’m leaving you guys, and I’ll be back tomorrow.’ I left, and when I got back the next day, at something like 3 p.m., the whole song was written. And not only was it written, it was spectacular. Dave was standing there saying to me, ‘Well, it’s terrific, and now you can go out…and you can sing it.’ Tom had done a great vocal, a great vocal. I just looked at them and said, ‘I’m going to top that? Really? I got up, thanked Dave, thanked Tom, fired Jimmy and left.”
Stevie Nicks will be adding harmony vocals to the Lady Antebellum singer’s cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Southern Accents.’
On Wednesday, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley announced at a private music industry event in Nashville that he would be recording a new version of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents” (from Petty’s 1985 album of the same name) with Stevie Nicks on harmony vocals. Kelley will head into the studio to record his first solo album after Lady Antebellum wraps up their Wheels Up Tour.
According to Billboard, Kelley said the lyrics of the song reminded him of his father, who sold Bibles to pay his way through medical school.
No release date information for Kelley’s solo album has been announced.
From sideplayer to frontman: Benmont Tench on Solo Debut, playing with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan (Q&A)
Benmont Tench insists he isn’t the hardest-working man in show business, though he understands why you might think so. He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as the keyboard player for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but Tench would also be a candidate for induction someday in the sideman category if we only considered his studio session work and live gigs with the likes of Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Nicks, U2, the Rolling Stones, and a veritable who’s-who list of rock greats. No other player in one of the classic rock bands has also had such a rich, dual career as an accompanist to the stars.
Now he’s taking on a third career… as a singer-songwriter. His first solo album, You Should Be So Lucky, is hardly the keyboard showcase some might expect him to have been holding in all these years (although it does include a couple of instrumentals, recorded at producer Glyn Johns’ behest). Instead, it’s full of simple, melodically rich songs that betray the influence of some of the guys Tench has backed over the decades, like Dylan, John Prine, and maybe even a blond fellow Floridian. On the eve of the album’s release, he talked with The Hollywood Reporter about why it took him until age 60 to emerge as a frontman.
You’ve been writing songs since at least the late ’70s and presumably stockpiling them. So it seems odd to hear you say you never really had any grand designs on releasing your own album before you got talked into this one…
I don’t think I ever really did, because I didn’t have the confidence. I was just writing songs because, if a song shows up, you’ve gotta write it. I didn’t know what to do with them. I didn’t have any faith in my voice. There wasn’t an outlet for them in the Heartbreakers, because Tom’s not going to want to sing stuff that isn’t on his mind. He doesn’t have a problem with words, so he’d want to sing his. And I like to write complete songs, not just write music. So it didn’t feel like there was any call for it. It wouldn’t have mattered if I was 30 or 60. It’s like, “Solo record from keyboard player in band”… [He grimaces.] There’s a reason why people are in a band, in the role they’re in. Solo records traditionally don’t always turn out well. But sometimes they do, and I hope this one did.
Not very many people are clamoring for the next Joe Perry Project album, it’s true.
You know, Ronnie Wood made some wonderful, wonderful records. But he’s an artist in his own right, as far as I’m concerned. But I’m not ego-driven in that way, that there’s any reason for that. I guess any record that anybody makes is a vanity project, though.
What drives the session work for you? There are long lag times between Heartbreakers recordings and tours, but it’s not like other guys who’ve been in your position haven’t been okay with spending that time by the pool.
It’s probably that I get antsy. It’s also the Calvinist ethic, growing up Presbyterian in the South. If you’re idle and somebody calls you up and says there’s work, so you work. You make a living for yourself. And I certainly work plenty hard in the Heartbreakers, but if there’s down time… The thing to do is play music if you’re a musician. The thing to do if you’re living is to learn. And these days I don’t do a lot of sessions. But I play with Ryan Adams a lot, and Ryan is really damn good. I get to play a little bit with Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch, who are crazily good. And Don Was called me up and one day recently and said “Ringo and I are taking a plane up to Merle Haggard’s place tomorrow. Do you want to come?” And you should hear the version of “Born to Lose” we cut. I’m going along as a fan and as an observer and as a learner. I never feel like I’m a major player in any of this. I’m almost like a guest that’s been let in behind the curtain to see how everything operates. I really never know how the hell I snuck into a room.
“I drift toward sad love songs,” says the keyboardist and seasoned session player of You Should Be So Lucky, his first album as a singer-songwriter.
What I do is take the opportunity. The closest call I ever had was when I was 17 or 18, and my friend Sandy was helping Mudcrutch [the Petty-led band that preceded the Heartbreakers] carry their guitars. I was a fan of theirs and I’d go see them play shows, and they knew I played, and one night Sandy called up and said “Look, they’re playing five sets at a strip club” — or a bar, or whatever it was — “and they wondered if you wanted to come sit in, or just come see the show.” And I went out to my mom’s station wagon, and I looked at my Farfisa portable organ, and I thought, “This thing’s too heavy to put in the back of this station wagon. They probably don’t want me to sit in anyway.” And there was a split second that I remember very clearly where I went, “Oh, what the hell, I’ll bring the organ along,” and loaded it into the station wagon. If I had not done that, my life would be entirely different. And the lesson from that is that… I just had to catch the current and not battle against it. I’m not an overly skilled piano player or organ player at all, but I think I’m the right piano and organ player for the Heartbreakers. And I’ve been the right piano and organ player for a lot of sessions that I’ve been called on.
You seem humble about appreciating situations both large and small. You play with a lot of people at Largo in Los Angeles and even sit in at the after-hours jam sessions in the Little Room next door It shows you don’t necessarily value playing amphitheaters with Dylan over playing for 20 people.
In terms of playing music, they’re equally valuable. In terms of the level of presence that you have in the music, they’re the same. But boy, do I value playing with Bob Dylan. How could you not? I remember the night we were playing a festival in Australia, and he just walks to the other side of the stage and starts playing some chords, and I see that he’s showing Howie [Epstein, the Heartbreakers’ late bassist] a chord progression, and four chords in, I go “Holy shit, we’re gonna play ‘Desolation Row’,” in front of 20,000 or 30,000 people, even though we never rehearsed it. The best time to ever play a song for me is when I’ve never heard it before. You can discover something.
Do you have a favorite recording experience?
[Petty’s] Wildflowers was a special record. Damn the Torpedoes was a special record. Shot of Love and Bella Donna [by Dylan and Nicks — his first two outside studio projects] were very special records. The Johnny Cash records [with Rick Rubin] were very special. Of course, Bob is gonna stand out and Cash is gonna stand out, but for sheer joy of recording, the Mudcrutch record we finally did was just the bomb. Let’s not say “the bomb,” shall we?[Laughs] It was the shit. There are no words for how damn much fun that was.
I used to think of drummer Jim Keltner as the Zelig of rock — the guy you’d see in the photograph of every great session. But in a way I think you supplanted him in a way as that guy.
Nobody can supplant Jim Keltner on any level. There are a lot of people that play on a lot more stuff than I do. I’ll do, like, three sessions in the course of a year now, but the records will all be by artists who end up being critically or publicly acclaimed, so it looks like I played on every record there was. There was a period when I played on every record there was, because I was hanging out with Don Was, and he was making every record there was.
People may be surprised that your solo album is not a showcase for keyboards.
I learned to play piano in a rock ‘n’ roll context or band context from country records — you know, Floyd Cramer — and from the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Stax. And none of those are keyboard records. They might have a dominant keyboard part, but they aren’t about the keyboards, unless it’s the occasional “Sympathy for the Devil” or the occasional William Bell song that he wrote with Booker T. that might have a predominant piano. But it’s just the mesh of the instruments. It’s all ensemble playing. You know, the Heartbreakers always remind me that I’m in a guitar band. [Laughs] And when I put a record on, except maybe for Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston 1970 or something like that, I want to hear songs. I don’t want to hear people stretching out.
How would you describe the songwriting style you drift toward?
I think I drift toward sad love songs. There’s a lot of Bob and Randy Newman and John Prine that I listened to, and obviously a lot of Tom. All those guys are good with simple melodies, and the way that they use words always sounds like something that somebody would say. Even when Bob goes into the words that are in “My Back Pages,” even if it isn’t maybe something that you’d overhear in a bar, you can still see somebody speaking like that. They don’t sound forced-poetic.
How do you feel about your voice now?
I’m good with it. The joke I make about it is that I sing like Chet Baker — if he couldn’t sing. [Laughs] There’s no showiness to it. The singers that I always like, whether they have skill and great technique or are astonishing like Lennon or Paul or Elvis or Little Richard, or whether they’re the ones that are more plain-spoken, like Bob or Tom, they aren’t in the way of the song. The song’s coming through them. They aren’t trying some lick. Aretha Franklin can sing licks in a song and it’s still part of the song. But I lean towards Lou Reed, Tom and Bob. Or Van Morrison, who can sing like an angel but still sounds like a guy who’s telling you something that is going through his head in the moment.
Anything happening with the Heartbreakers?
We’re hard at work on another record. I think it’s close to done. And as far as touring, I don’t know. Especially the last several tours have been really a blast, so I certainly hope so, but I don’t have any information on it yet. They never tell me anything. I’ll get to Paris on a vacation, and one day into my vacation the phone will ring and it’ll be “Tom wants to record tomorrow.” I’m like, you could have given me the heads-up! Can we wait a week? There was a running joke with me and Stevie Nicks for a long time. If Stevie gives me a call, within 10 minutes I’m getting a call that the Heartbreakers are busy the same day.
So if you book a solo tour, that will be when you get a call from Tom?
If I book a bunch of dates for me? Oh, we’ll be touring for sure.
Chris Willman / Hollywood Reporter / Tuesday, February 26, 2014
“If you need me, I’ll come runnin’…” Following the combative “Stand Back” is the conciliatory “I Will Run to You,” a duet with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Despite the ironic juxtaposition, the two songs complement each other well and help depict the decidedly pensive mood of the latter half of the album.
Following the combative “Stand Back” is the conciliatory “I Will Run to You,” a duet with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Despite the ironic juxtaposition, the two songs complement each other well and help depict the decidedly pensive mood of the latter half of the album. Written by Petty, “Run” has a melodic chorus and features music that bears some resemblance to the song “You Got Lucky” from Petty’s 1982 album Long After Dark.
The duet was promoted to radio as an album track, reaching number 35 on Mainstream Rock. Nicks and Petty performed “I Will Run to You” (and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around) in concert during Nicks’ Wild Heart tour on September 13, 1983 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where Petty was a special guest.
‘Something really pretty’
“I don’t really know why Tom wrote this song for me,” Nicks recalls, “because it’s not like he had to, or not like I called him up and asked him to do it. But for some reason, he wanted to write me something really pretty, and he did, and we worked real hard. We recorded in New York, and we didn’t get it. Then we went to Caribou and recorded but still came back without what we thought was a real lead vocal from either of us. Finally, we did it in L.A.
Tom and I love to sing together, and we’ve really developed this relationship, and I’m not really very interested in developing relationships with other men singers, because this is just perfect: we sing well, we have a great time, we complement each other. I love his songwriting, perfect, why bother? Whatever the hassles that be that make it difficult — and believe you me the hassles that be are everywhere to stop Tom and I from ever doing anything together — my relationship with him is more important.
Anyway, the song’s fabulous. It’s beautiful, and I’m very honored that he even cared enough to write it for me.”
Guitar: Michael Campbell
Bass: Howie Epstein
Drums: Stan Lynch
Guitar, vocals: Tom Petty
Keyboards: Benmont Tench
Produced by Jimmy Iovine. Recorded at The Hit Factory, New York.
Mainstream Rock: 35 (July 23, 1983)
One so young, so changed
Should not be left alone
Two in love should confess
And not be left alone
And, I will run to you
Down whatever road you choose
Yes, I will follow you down
I will run to you
You’ve had time, come around
Will you please make up your mind
I stand accused on trial
Will you please make up your mind
And, I will run to you
Down whatever road you choose
Yes, I will follow you down
I will run to you
Make it easy for me
I been lonely, baby
Show some mercy, honey
I was nothing
All those lonely nights
Showed me something
If you need me
I’ll come runnin’
I will run to you
Down whatever road you choose
I will follow you down
I will run…
I will run to you
Down whatever road you choose
Yes, I will follow you down
I will run to you
© 1983 Gone Gator Music (ASCAP)
Modern Records. (1983). Stevie Nicks: The Wild Heart [Press release].
Whitburn, J. (2008). Joel Whitburn presents rock tracks 1981-2008. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research, Inc.
Stevie Nicks was among the long list of performers to praise singer-songwriter Tom Petty for his enduring contributions to rock music in the March 25th issue of Billboard, which pays tribute to Petty and the 30th anniversary of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ self-titled debut album in 1976.
In the special feature, Nicks candidly reveals how Petty’s music helped pull her through hard times, including her 1994 stint through rehab. The feature also notes that Petty’s highest charting single was “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” his classic duet with Stevie Nicks, which reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1981.
WEA Records International
March 5, 2001
“My music often unfolds like the book of my life,” declares legendary rock poet Stevie Nicks. And that’s precisely the way she wants it to be. “I believe in telling the truth…actually, it’s only way that I can exist as a writer.”
It’s to that end that Nicks created the sterling, often confessional Trouble in Shangri-La, her first solo collection since 1994’s Street Angel. She says the project has been slowly evolving for several years, “taking different shapes and forms. But it never seemed quite right until recently. I needed to live my life. I need to replenish my well of life experiences.”
And she certainly has. Easily one of her most powerful recordings to date, Trouble in Shangri-La is brimming with the rich prose and vibrant imagery that has inspired a veritable army of disciples. “Every step along the path of my life, I’ve been writing it all down, taking incredibly detailed notes,” Stevie explains. “Instead of partying, I run back to my room, open my journal, and pour out my heart onto paper. It can take minutes, or it can take all night. But it’s always deep. And it’s always real.”
For Stevie, getting back in touch with the part of her self that was confident about her song writing skills was a crucial element in the creation of Trouble in Shangri-La.
“I’d been hearing about how I should write with this person, or record that person’s material, and it started to wear me down,” the artist reveals, adding that it took longtime pal Tom Petty to remind her that she’s a top-flight songwriter in her own right. “I remember asking [him] to work with me on some songs. I wasn’t feeling my best; I was unsure about a lot of things. And he said, ‘No…you don’t need anyone to help you with your songs. Do it yourself.’“
At first, Stevie was crushed. “But it was the jolt I needed,” she shares, adding that the album gem “That Made Me Stronger” was borne out of their fateful conversation. “It was a pivotal moment for me. The clouds cleared, and things started to naturally flow again.”
‘Naturally flow’ is an understatement. The songs started to come on like a tidal wave. And while Stevie notes that her songs rae “sometimes a continuation of one another,” with common lyrical threads and theme, the songs that comprise Trouble in Shangri-La also show the artist at her most experimental and varied. Classic Stevie tunes like the acoustic-based “Candlebright” and the gentle “I Miss You” are tempered by refreshingly inventive compositions like “Bombay Sapphires,” with it’s delicate undertow of Caribbean rhythms and its atmospheric keyboards, and “Love Changes,” which is seasoned with a splash of funk percussion.
“To not grow is to die,” Stevie asserts. “Of course, you want to work within a framework that best suits your talent and style. But you also want to continually shake things up.”
For Stevie, shaking things up included inviting an array of new friends and musicians to participate in Trouble of Shangri-La. Macy Gray vamps with seductive soul on “Bombay Sapphires,” while Sarah McLachlan harmonizes on the stately, piano-driven ballad “Love Is.” Also, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is a complementary presence on the country-spiced rocker “Too Far From Texas.” Stevie recalls that every collaborator came to the project at times when “the songs seemed to be calling out their names. These are strong, wonderful women with incredible musical talent. To have them on this album is a such a special gift.”
Stevie recalls her first meeting with Gray as being particularly memorable. “Her vibe is so wild, so intense. She walks into the room and it’s like everything starts to move.” She’s like a walking tornado. She’s a total blast. We had a great time working on the song. Our voices blended so well together.”
Ultimately, the greatest gift to Trouble in Shangri-La is the kinetic creative union forged by Stevie with Sheryl Crow. “We’d been circling the idea of working on this album for quite a while,” Stevie says. “But we could never quite make it happen because of scheduling conflicts. So, we just went forward with our respective business, but we stayed in close touch. Suddenly, things cleared up and we wound up in the studio together.”
Nicks and Crow eventually worked on five of the set’s thirteen tunes. As Stevie explains “Our connection is deep…deeper than I can even put into mere words.”
Crow, who has long cited Nicks as a primary musical influence, wholeheartedly returns Stevie’s ardor. “To even be in the same room as Stevie was a dream come true for me. To work with her was beyond description. It was extraordinary.”
Both agree that the key to their successful collaboration was mutual trust and respect. “From the moment in the studio, it was clearly a safe environment,” Stevie says. “And that opened up the lines of communication and allowed us to try new ideas out.”
Among the more satisfying results of their experimentation is “Sorcerer,” on which Nicks scales to a rich falsetto during the song’s verses. “She was completely open and in-the-moment while we were working,” Crow notes. “She never stops working or striving to be a better artist.”
Stevie also never stops fighting for the lyrical integrity of her songs. She recalls being the studio with co-producer John Shanks (The Corrs, BB Mak), who helmed a number of songs on Trouble in Shangri-La, and playfully tangling with him while cutting the anthemic “Fall from Grace.”
“The original version of the song had all of these verses…too many, in John’s opinion,” Stevie recalls. “So, we set out to edit the song to fit a workable structure, and it was just breaking my heart to let some of the words slip away.”
Nicks remembers one particular session when pals Laura Dern and Rosanna Arquette were hanging out in the studio, and they caught a glimpse of the original draft of the song. “And they were like, you can’t cut all these words,” she remembers. “Poor, John, they were yelling at him and giving him a hard time. It was all done in fun and good spirit, but it convinced me that I had to fight for my words. Before the night was done, we got every syllable in. And it’s become one of my favorite songs on the album.”
In fact, “Fall from Grace” is among the songs that Stevie plans to add to her concert set when she hits the road for a tour this summer. “It’s the perfect balance to ‘Edge of Seventeen,’” in terms of energy. It’s great a song to rock out to. I love just cutting loose to that one.”
Actually, Stevie says there isn’t a song on Trouble in Shangri-La that she wouldn’t love performing onstage. “I’m so incredibly proud of this album,” she adds. “These songs have been such a big part of my life. I’m so pleased and excited to get them out there for the world to hear. There’s usually a period when an artist is nervous about how people will react to their new material. I’ve been there. But there’s something about this set of songs. I have such a great, positive feeling about it. I’m more itchy for people to finally hear them than anything else. That’s a pretty good sign, isn’t it?”