This past Thursday, Dave Stewart got the word that his old band Eurythmics were among 19 artists nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018. The happy news was tempered by the untimely death three days earlier of his good friend Tom Petty, who passed away at age 66 after a heart attack.
Stewart tells ABC Radio that he and Eurythmics band mate Annie Lennox are “both very sad…on the passing of Tom Petty,” noting that the rock legend “was one of my best friends from ’84 all the way through the ’90s.”
Petty and Stewart became friends while working on Tom’s 1985 album Southern Accents. Petty co-wrote three tracks with Stewart, including the top 20 hit “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” and Dave made a memorable cameo as a hookah-smoking caterpillar in the tune’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired video.
Stewart also says he remained close with Petty while Tom was recording the first album by The Traveling Wilburys supergroup with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison.
“The Traveling Wilburys recorded in my house and my studio, and…George was living in my house and I was living in his house,” Dave reveals. “And it was like a big sort of family.”
Meanwhile, Stewart says that after Petty’s death, he chatted with Jimmy Iovine — who co-produced many of Tom’s classic albums — “and we were both talking about how he was such an amazing chap and an amazing character.”
Stewart also points out that many other well-known artists he knows always had a great appreciation of Petty’s talent and knack for songwriting.
“When his name got mentioned people would come out of the woodwork and go, ‘Yeah, his songbook is incredible,'” notes Dave.
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