Willie’s Remedy, a hemp-based wellness company helmed by Willie Nelson and his wife, Annie Nelson, announced on November 11 its first-ever collaboration with Tom Petty’s estate to launch a limited edition Wildflowers Tea.
The tea contains whole chamomile flowers, lemon myrtle flowers and peppermint leaves, commonly known for digestive benefits. It’s available in biodegradable pyramid bags and loose leaf—infused with full-spectrum hemp extract from small-to-midsize independent U.S. farms. Naming the tea, as hemp itself is a flower, was easy. “We thought that made some sense, for sure,” Adria Petty told High Times.
Adria explained that the tea is relaxing to take during the day over ice, or at nighttime to unwind. “It sort of feels like an Advil with a feeling of calm,” Adria said. “You don’t feel sleepy. It’s great for nighttime because mint and chamomile are so soothing, so the tea properties are good for nighttime in terms of going to bed and relaxing.”
Proceeds from every sale of Wildflowers Tea will be donated to MusiCares®, a charity close to Tom’s heart. “You read that right,” Adria said, confidently. “They help provide funds for people when they’re sick; when they need rehab; when they’re kids are in jeopardy and they help support musicians when they fall on hard times.” Tom was named the MusiCares® Person of the Year after passing away on October 2, 2017.
How do you even begin to describe a legendary artist like Tom Petty, who’s been active since the ‘60s? From reinventing MTV with “Don’t Come Around Here No More” to helping to introduce Johnny Depp to the world with the music video “Into the Great Wide Open,” his legacy is unparalleled.
On November 1, 1994, Tom Petty released his second solo album Wildflowers, the first of a string of albums produced by Rick Rubin. Tom asked to “roll another joint” in the first single from the album, “You Don’t Know How it Feels,” while the title track “Wildflowers” was like a mellow stroll through a sunny meadow. It also contained one of the fans’ favorite fast songs, “You Wreck Me.”
There’s a new film about the making of the album, Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free. Adria is excited about the documentary—being based on reels that were unearthed from an archive in 2020 that have not been released. Adria was personally involved in the project. The clips were filmed on 16mm during the making of Wildflowers.
“Before I left Los Angeles for the pandemic, I got to interview Rick Rubin [and others] and get sort of a testimonial from them,” Adria said. “And then handed those interviews to Mary Wharton and she conducted additional interviews and made the film with our archives. They’re really great. They are informative, beautiful interviews and archivals.”
Adria insists that some of the best Wildflowers song versions (including 34 unreleased versions) can be found in the box set.
“We loved to smoke a joint here and there together. He used cannabis. I mean that was sort of his go-to thing. He wasn’t a drinker. Contrary to popular belief—my dad was not on hard drugs 99 percent of his life. But he liked to smoke a joint for sure.” – Adria Petty
Tom Petty and Willie Nelson Families
A few years ago, Willie Nelson and others performed one of Tom’s unreleased songs, “For Real.” It was then that Adria herself got closer to Annie and the Nelson family. “That was the first time that I got to spend some time with Annie,” Adria said.
Around this time, Adria realized that CBD tea was a great way to replace smoking weed for some people as they get older. “[Annie] was saying that Willie really couldn’t smoke weed as much as he used to, and she was putting CBD in coffee and teas as a way to lighten anxiety and create calm, but not have to indulge in a high,” said Adria. “I was really curious about it. I gave some of Willie’s teas before our teas actually came into the warehouse these last couple of months and a really close friend of mine would stop smoking pot but really needed a ritual to replace it. I sent her some of Willie’s tea and it was very successful in transitioning her from THC to CBD.”
Both Tom and Willie Nelson embody the outlaw spirit, through the mediums of rock n’ roll and country.
“The connection between the Nelson and Petty family is long and strong and bringing this Wildflowers Tea to the party has been a natural,” Annie Nelson told High Times. “Tom and Adria are part of our Music Tribe and now a much desired addition to our Willie’s Remedy family as well.”
“We are so honored to have them and this amazing tea. Aloha and Peace,” Nelson said. Willie’s Reserve is Nelson’s branch more focused on THC.
Around 1985, partly inspired by comments made about family-owned farms made by Bob Dylan during Live Aid, Willie Nelson organized the first Farm Aid with John Mellencamp and Neil Young. Petty, as well as B.B. King, Billy Joel, Roy Orbison, and Dylan performed at the first Farm Aid on September 25, 1985. It represented the power of charity that can be channeled through live concerts. Dylan even made a cameo appearance in the middle of a Willie Nelson interview with High Times in 2005.
“The connection between the Nelson and Petty family is long and strong and bringing this Wildflowers Tea to the party has been a natural,” – Annie Nelson
Tom Petty’s Impact on His Family
Adria forged a name for herself as a director and artist on her own. She directed various projects, including music videos and collaborations with Beyoncé, Coldplay and Regina Spektor. But she’s not sure if her upbringing had anything to do with it, as she hardly ever was on a music video set. “A good era. It was the Michel Gondry era—the Radiohead era of great music videos,” she said. “I just sort of fell into it because it was creative.”
Adria and her siblings got to preview Tom Petty songs as she grew up—before anyone else got to hear them. “That was definitely the most special thing in our house,” Adria said. “He’s always singing and making music. And rhyming words. Making jokes and using his brain.”
It was only a matter of time before Petty joined the rock n’ roll supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison—when Adria was about 13. Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra fame produced Full Moon Fever for Petty, as well as Cloud Nine for George Harrison, providing solid, commercially successful albums that spawned a series of well known songs like “Free Fallin'”—Tom’s longest-charting song. Full Moon Fever was finally inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2019.
In addition, Petty co-wrote “(Anything You Want) You Got It” for Roy Orbison, his biggest comeback, rising to number one on the Billboard U.S. Adult Contemporary chart—the first time Orbison topped a chart (posthumously) in 25 years.
Tom Petty was candid about cannabis in past interviews, saying it’s a musical element. “We loved to smoke a joint here and there together,” Adria said. “He used cannabis. I mean that was sort of his go-to thing. He wasn’t a drinker. Contrary to popular belief—my dad was not on hard drugs 99 percent of his life. But he liked to smoke a joint for sure.”
Tom passed away on October 2, 2017, just a few weeks before his birthday. His music, however, remains timeless in the hearts of millions of fans around the world.