Dave Stewart is best known as one-half of the ’80s electronic-pop duo Eurythmics, but the multitalented musician has had an impressively wide-ranging career that’s included collaborations and friendships with many of the biggest names in rock history.
Stewart writes about his many musical adventures and endeavors in a new memoir titled Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music.
Stewart tells ABC Radio in the US that one of the reasons he decided to write the book was that he felt people would be interested in the stories he had to tell “from a musical perspective.”
As he explains, “I didn’t just have one career as a duo with Annie Lennox…called Eurythmics. And we had an epic kind of career, with…140 songs that we wrote together. But then I went on to produce and write with Mick Jagger and Stevie Nicks and Sinead O’Connor and Gwen Stefani, and all these different people.”
To be fair, the story behind Eurythmics alone is fascinating enough for one book, as Stewart explains that he and Lennox were romantically involved for four or five years, then broke up, before they even started recording as a duo.
During their romance, Stewart and Lennox were members of the popular U.K. band The Tourists, but he points out that while they were in the group, “we didn’t write a song at all, separately or together.” Once they formed Eurythmics, Dave says with a laugh, “then we wrote 140 songs about breaking up…It’s a brilliant sort of method.”
Stewart says Eurythmics shows were interesting for him and Lennox because they were performing songs that “were so personal to us, yet we were sharing them with, like, 30,000 people.”
During their 1980s heyday, Eurythmics got to collaborate with such stars as Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. Outside of the group, Stewart’s list of collaborators expands to include the aforementioned Jagger, Nicks, O’Connor and Stefani, as well as Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Tom Petty, Daryl Hall and many others.
Many music fans probably are aware of Stewart’s work with Nicks on her recent solo albums, but in the book he reveals that he had a brief romantic fling with the Fleetwood Mac singer during the 1980s that inspired him to write the song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” for her. He tells ABC Radio that he brought a demo of the tune to his friend, producer Jimmy Iovine, who agreed that it would be great for Stevie to record. However, Petty eventually was shown the track, and he teamed up with Stewart to finish the song, and wound up having a top 20 hit with it.
Stewart says another thing he finds interesting about his book is that Jagger penned its foreword, which Dave says was “very sweet” of him.
“If people have sort of known me as…the strange mysterious person with Annie in Eurythmics with the hair sticking up on end, sitting with a computer in a field full of cows and so forth,” notes Stewart, “Mick Jagger gives quite an enlightening two- or three-page foreword about who I am, really.”