Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Challenge #193

In 1981, Stevie Nicks released her debut solo studio album Bella Donna, which went to #1 on the Billboard 200 and contained ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’.  This song charted #50 in the UK and it reached #3 in the US.  In 1975, when Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were still known as Mudcrutch, and they wouldn’t gain mainstream success till their 1979 album Damn The Torpedoes which is when Petty and Nicks first met.  Stevie became infatuated with Tom Petty and they eventually developed a four decades-long friendship that grew into one of mutual love and respect for one another, even though it started as a one-way obsession.  Nicks asked Petty half-jokingly if he could write her a song that she could record for her first solo album.  Petty didn’t take her request seriously at first, but Nicks reiterated her request a year later as Petty was putting together his Hard Promises album.

Around 1980, Nicks became friends with Petty’s then-wife Jane Benyo, and Petty started consulting on Nicks’ record and together with Jimmy Iovine decided it was missing a single, so he wrote a ballad called ‘Insider’ at his home, played it to the Heartbreakers (to their approval), recorded a demo with his band, and sent the demo to Nicks.  After listening to the demo of ‘Insider’, Nicks visited Petty at his studio, taped the song with Petty and the Heartbreakers.  Tom loved the way her voice sounded, feeling the harmony blend was perfect and when she came in the control room, Tom told her that he was really sorry, but he didn’t want to give her the song, as he realized it was a keeper and she understood and said, “You love this so much… YOU take the song.”  He did, and included it on Hard Promises.

Petty felt this terrible guilt and shortly after ‘Insider’ was finished, he recorded a song that he and guitarist Mike Campbell composed about a year earlier called ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ and sent that demo to Nicks’ producer, Jimmy Iovine.  She loved it, saying, “That’s what I wanted all along.”  Nicks and Petty ended up doing this as a duet.  This song is about a couple with a complicated relationship.  She wants to get rid of him, but he has a hold on her heart.  When she tells him to stop dragging that heart around, he explains that he’s just trying to protect her, letting her know that she needs someone to look after her.  This guy comes knocking on her front door with the same old lines that she has already heard.  She is unsure of herself as she has gotten into some trouble in this town and there were things that she wanted and things that she lost.  She warns the guy that this doesn’t have to be a situation where he gets even and says that “it doesn’t have to be anything at all.”  The guy knows that he is getting dumped, but he keeps dragging her heart around.  The relationship has faded and she made her decision to leave.

Jimmy Iovine was an in-demand producer and in 1981, both of his clients Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks, were making new albums while he was dating Nicks at the same time.  Jimmy Iovine kept his relationship with Nicks a secret from Petty, because he didn’t want his commitment to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers new album to be questioned.   One time he hid Nicks in his basement when Petty came over and this became a problem between the two of them later, but when the single made a lot of money for both of them, it was dismissed.  The song became big at the same time that MTV was launched and it brought in a lot of younger fans, because of that.  There was a chemistry between Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks and several years before Tom passed away, Stevie came on a tour with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers playing tambourine and singing back-up, and during the tour, Tom gave Stevie a sheriff’s badge that was sterling silver with diamonds, and it said, “Honorary Heartbreaker”.

Baby, you’ll come knockin’ on my front door
Same old line you used to use before
And I said yeah, well, what am I supposed to do?
I didn’t know what I was gettin’ into

So you’ve had a little trouble in town
Now, you’re keepin’ some demon down
Stop draggin’ my, stop draggin’ my
Stop draggin’ my heart around

It’s hard to think about what you’ve wanted
It’s hard to think about what you’ve lost
This doesn’t have to be the big “get even”
This doesn’t have to be anything at all

I know you really wanna tell me goodbye
I know you really wanna be your own girl

Baby, you could never look me in the eye
Yeah, you buckle with the weight of the words
Stop draggin’ my, stop draggin’ my
Stop draggin’ my heart around

There’s people runnin’ ‘round loose in the world
Ain’t got nothin’ better to do
Make a meal of some bright-eyed kid
You need someone lookin’ after you

I know you really wanna tell me goodbye
I know you really wanna be your own girl

Baby, you could never look me in the eye
Yeah, you buckle with the weight of the words
Stop draggin’ my, stop draggin’ my
Stop draggin’ my heart around

Stop draggin’ my heart around
Stop draggin’ my heart around (hey-hey-hey-hey)
Stop draggin’ my heart around (hey-hey-hey-hey)
Stop draggin’ my heart around

 

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for a short story, a piece of flash fiction, or a poem that you can share with the WordPress writing community.  There is no need to stick with this song, as you could write about another Stevie Nicks song, or a Tom Petty song.  You could also write about what a soul means to drag someone’s heart around, or anything about a difficult breakup.  You could write about a drag race, or somebody who is a real drag, or about that time that you dressed up in drag for Halloween.  If you would like to write about how your dog always thinks it’s for him when somebody knocks on your front door, that would make a nice post.  You could write about the importance of being able to look somebody in the eye, when you break up with them, or if you have ever done this with a text message, that would be fine.  If you want to write about a different duet, that would work.

The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.  This challenge is very loose, so pretty much whatever you come up with will be acceptable.  I try to throw some ideas out there for you and if they seem right, then go with it.  You could write about the importance of getting even with somebody.  You could write a post about how important it is to be your own girl and not have to depend on others to support you.  Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie brings you a dose of fetish, good friends and an incomparable muse and next Friday on October 22 Dylan Hughes will be here with her First Line Friday.  I will be back on Friday, October 29 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Look At Little Sister’.  You can either create a ping back to this post, or place your link in the comments section below.

10 comments

  1. Reblogged this on A Unique Title For Me and commented:

    When Stevie Nicks was 27, she became famous for singing in Fleetwood Mac, and she quickly descended into a drug hell and becoming addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and Quaaludes so she could sleep, until her system broke down and she started having nosebleeds, falls on stage, blackouts and near overdoses. She bought $1 million worth of cocaine and it burned a hole in her nose the size of a dime. Around 1986, Stevie Nicks’ cocaine addiction reached crisis levels. Her management company checked her into the Betty Ford clinic and she was prescribed Klonopin. Nicks struggled with a Klonopin addiction that was used to treat panic attacks, and anxiety and this sort of turned her into a zombie. Stevie underwent an abortion in 1979 after she got pregnant while dating the Eagles singer Don Henley. Nicks is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, reflecting her success with Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, as a writer and singer of raw, magical songs about love and freedom, including ‘Dreams’, ‘Rhiannon’, ‘Gold Dust Woman’, ‘Landslide’ and ‘Edge of Seventeen’.

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