Jimmy Fallon’s reign of executing awesome, over-the-top song renditions continue to entertain audiences on a consistent basis. It was only a few weeks ago, that he made headlines by performing “You May Be Right” alongside Billy Joel. At this point Jimmy’s feats of musical comedy – although sometimes oddly touching – have become old hat. That is to say, he has become an expert at collaborating with even the most legendary of artists and performers. The latest, which occurred on last nights The Tonight Show, brought Stevie Nicks and Jimmy Fallon (as Tom Petty) together in a parody performance of the 1981 MTV video version of Nicks’ hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” (see both parody and original MTV video below)
The song was originally featured on Stevie Nicks’ first solo album Bella Donna. The track, first scribed by Tom Petty and songwriter Mike Campbell, may have never made it to the production phase if it wasn’t for producer Jimmy Iovine, who played the melody for Nicks. Nicks, who wasn’t a fan recording “other people’s songs,” initially resisted using it on her album. However, she claims her “affection” for Petty drew her to make an attempt, and the duet became extremely popular on the Billboard Hot 100. It also became one of the first MTV music videos and featured both Nicks and Petty performing side by side.
Fast-forward over 30 years later, to the April 9 2014 airing of The Tonight. Last night, fans of both music nostalgia and comedy got some quality entertainment as Jimmy Fallon and Stevie Nicks performed a funny, yet poignant parody of “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” What made the recreation hysterical, was its impeccable attention to detail. Almost every second of the duet was a replica of the 1981 original video – a piece of cinema that clearly defined the awkward beginnings of MTV’s hostile takeover of the country’s youth.
In the ’81 version, both Petty and Nicks seem slightly uncomfortable with the new medium, moving and glancing tentatively throughout the piece. Moreover, the audio does not line up perfectly with the artists lip movements, which further demonstrates uncharted waters for even the video’s director. However all these elements are perfect fodder for a current laugh.
Donning a blond wig, bleached jeans, and white tennis shoes, Fallon not only looked and moved exactly like an ‘80s Petty, but he sounded like the man as well. However, that doesn’t seem to be a surprise, considering Fallon has perfected the art of impersonating intonation and accent when it comes to mimicking other singers. Stevie Nicks simply parodied herself, showing a great sense of humor – incorporating beaded locks of hair and recreating her overly “cheesy” slow motion twirl.
Stevie Nicks, mostly know for her role as singer in the ultra-legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac, joined the group in 1975. She, along with the rest of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Their hit album, 1977’s Rumours has sold almost 50 million copies worldwide. Stevie will be joining the band later this year for their upcoming tour. It seems The Tonight Show parody performance of Jimmy Fallon and Stevie Nicks may have been a taste for Fleetwood Mac fans to whet their appetites.
Opinion by Josh Taub