STEVIE NICKS INTERVIEWS AND ARTICLES
Stevie - Fleetwood Mac's siren soars with her first solo album,
By Blair Jackson
The view from the living room of Stevie Nicks' Marina del Rey condominium is spectacular. As far as the eye can see there is nothing but an endless expanse of sand, ocean and sky. It is probably as close to a truly peaceful place as can be found in the Los Angeles area. Inside, the golden rays of a late afternoon sun cast a glow on the warm pinks and beiges that dominate the room. Two rooms away is the bustling nerve center of the household, where workers have been handling phone calls and a stream of interviewers awaiting an audience with the hottest-selling artist in rock and roll.
Actually, the word "audience" is terribly unfair, because it implies pretension, and Stevie Nicks doesn't have a pretentious bone in her body. Though she has been a platinum-selling artist for six years as a member of Fleetwood Mac, and her face has been steadily gracing the covers of magazines as long, the Stevie Nicks I interviewed for two and one-half hours recently seemed remarkably unaffected by success and candid almost to a fault.
Her first solo album, Bella Donna, is already a smash hit--it is sitting at Number One on Billboard's chart as this is being written, and it looks like it will only be a week or two before "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," the gutsy, rock single that she sings as a duet with the song's author, Tom Petty, also hits Number One. A new Fleetwood Mac album is due this fall, too, so it looks as though the airwaves will belong to Stevie Nicks for the next several months.
Nicks' rise to fame was a relatively quick one. She and Lindsey Buckingham moved to Los Angeles in the early '70s after several years as members of the once-popular Bay Area band Fritz. They cut an album as a duo (still available on Polygram) and then were asked to join Fleetwood Mac, which was struggling following the departure of Bob Welch. The first album the new five-piece Mac made, Fleetwood Mac, was an enormous hit, thanks largely to the presence of Nicks and Buckingham, whose songwriting and singing totally dominated the LP. "Rhiannon," a swirling Nicks tune about a Welsh witch, immediately established Nicks as one of the top women singer-songwriters in rock.
The follow-up to that album, Rumours, remains the best-selling rock album of time, as well as one of the best. With the front-line songwriting the talents of Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie, and the always powerful and inventive rhythm section of bassist John McVie and Mick Fleetwood (who were founding members of the one-time British blues band) Fleetwood Mac was invincible on the record charts. They had one hit after another--Nicks' "Dreams," Buckingham's "Go Your Own Way," and "Second Hand News," McVie's "Don't Stop." They seemed to capture a spirit that had been virtually absent to pop bands since The Beatles. And then, of course, there was the personal side of the band, which made Fleetwood Mac so fascinating to the media. During the sessions for Rumours, John and Christine McVie were breaking up, as were longtime lovers Nicks and Buckingham. The songs on the LP "tell all," as the National Enquirer would probably put it. America has always loved soap operas.
Two years later, the group emerged from thirteen months of recording with Tusk, a double LP that enjoyed relatively moderate success (about four million copies sold worldwide, a fourth of Rumours' sales) but which showed that the band was not going to be complacent and simply churn out same-sounding hits forever. It is a dark, moody album, filled with songs that are at once dense and accessible. The band followed the album with a year-long world tour that found them playing with more fire than ever before. A live record culled from the tour, Fleetwood Mac Live, was released at the beginning of the year.
When the tour ended last fall, the members of the band went their separate ways for the first time in several years. Mick Fleetwood went to Ghana and made his first solo LP, The Visitor. Christine McVie produced an album by Robbie Patton. John McVie sailed around the world. Lindsey Buckingham recorded a solo album which should be out in October. And Stevie Nicks made Bella Donna, using top studio players like Waddy Wachtel and Russ Kunkel, "Professor" Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen's band, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Bella Donna covers broad territory stylistically. "Edge of Seventeen" is a driving rocker; "After the Glitter Fades" has a country feel; "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and "Outside the Rain," two tracks featuring the Heartbreakers, sound like songs from a Petty album with a different singer; "Leather and Lace" is a beautiful ballad duet featuring Don Henley of the Eagles, and old friend of Nicks'. The album shows more facets of Nicks' personality than anything she's been involved with before. Certainly it proves her to be more than just the spacey siren in gossamer that she sometimes appeared to be during Fleetwood Mac.
As we sat together on a soft section couch in one corner of her massive living room (which is filled with stereo equipment, a piano, an organ and a large screen TV on which she watches cassettes of Greta Garbo movies, Roadrunner cartoons and The Muppet Show) the light of the afternoon sun cut through a glass of white wine she sipped from and cast a glow on her radiant face. Our discussions began with Bella Donna and covered various aspects of her career and songwriting craft. For the spacey side of Stevie Nicks--a side she makes no effort to hide, incidentally--I suggest you read Rolling Stone's recent cover story, "Out There With Stevie Nicks," by Timothy White. What follows is Stevie Nicks, singer and songwriter.
BAM: Did it scare you at all to finally take the plunge to record Bella Donna?
Stevie Nicks:I'm always nervous about doing something new. I was particularly nervous about making this album because I knew I wouldn't have four other people to blame if it didn't do well. In Fleetwood Mac, if I fail I fail with four other people. Here, if I fail, I fail alone. It's always scarier to be alone. Fortunately, I had great people to work with who encouraged me constantly. The vibe I got from everybody was so positive that it made me feel strong.
BAM: From what I can gather by the number of different players you used, it seems not too much was pre planned, that you recorded whenever you could get the players.
Stevie Nicks:That's exactly right. It was very, very spontaneous. We did it in sort of a piecemeal way because we'd only get people in for a few days at a time. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers don't exactly sit around waiting for the phone to ring for session work. Russ [Kunkel] and Waddy [Wachtel] have impossible schedules. So we did the album around them. We'd get them for a couple of days and work fast.
BAM: Who worked out the arrangements for the songs? I know that in Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey would do almost all the arranging for you, putting on layers of different guitars and, in a sense, orchestrating your tunes.
Stevie Nicks:That's one of the reasons I wanted to see if I could do it myself. When you work with somebody who is that much in control, and who has always been that much in control--from, like, 1970 on--you forget that you're even capable of doing something yourself. I'd write my song and then Lindsey would take it, fix it, change it around, chop it up and then put it back together. Doing that is second nature to Lindsey, especially on my songs. He does better work on my songs than on anybody's because he knows that I always give them to him freely. It's a matter of trust.
So it was interesting to work without him, because my songs pretty much stayed the same; the only difference was what happened after I'd written them. When I write a song I sit down at the piano and play it front to back. For Bella Donna I would do that, or have a demo like that, and the other musicians would just listen to it, getting their own ideas of how to fill in the rest. Usually, by a couple of times through the song they had a good idea of what they could do with it. My songs aren't complicated, to say the least. The sessions went very quickly, really.
BAM: You said you'd felt dependent on Lindsey in Fleetwood Mac. Was it difficult for you to think for yourself during the sessions for Bella Donna?
Stevie Nicks:No, it was exhilarating! Instead of just sitting around hour after hour, I got to be a part of it. Working with Lindsey, it's so easy to just let him take it. On this album I didn't have to fight to do my songs the way I wanted to. The other players just did them they way I wrote them and they came out great. We didn't do a ton of overdubs. We didn't put on 50,000 guitars because we didn't have Waddy around long enough to do 50,000 guitar overdubs. We were lucky to get him to do one guitar part.
BAM: Stylistically the album seems very eclectic to me. There's a little country, some gospel feel, rock and roll....
Stevie Nicks:Well, it represents ten years worth of songs. In Fleetwood Mac I usually get two or three songs on an album, but here I got to do ten. The album is sort of a chronology of my life. "After the Glitter Fades" was written in '72, making it the oldest song on the record. "Highway Man," "Leather and Lace" and "Think About It" were written in '75. The most recent is "Edge of Seventeen," which is also my favorite song on the record.
BAM: Did you change the lyrics to "AFter the Glitter Fades"? It seems moderately prophetic.
Stevie Nicks:Moderately? It's very prophetic! [Laughs] No, the lyrics are the same. Believe me, I'd seen a lot of glitter fade by the time I wrote that song, which was two years before Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood mac. That was a tough period for us professionally, because we were very serious about wanting to be professional musicians. And we'd done well in the Bay Area with Fritz, but moving to Los Angeles was a big step and it seemed that we were suddenly back at point "A" again. Also, our lives were so different from each other then. I didn't have friends in LA and he made lots of musician friends--Warren Zevon, Waddy, Jorge Calderon. And while he was making friends and playing music, I had to work.
BAM: You sound a little bitter.
Stevie Nicks:No, I'm not really. It was the only way we could do it. Lindsey couldn't be a waitress. He didn't know how to do anything but play the guitar and I did, so it was obvious I was going to be the one to do the work if we were going to live. And he didn't want us to play at places like Chuck's Steak House or Charlie Brown's. I would have gone for that in a big way, personally, because singing in horrible places like those four hours a night is a helluva lot better than being a cleaning lady. That was the only real rift we had then. He won. But I loved him. I loved our music, and I was willing to do anything I could to get us to point B from point A. It's hard to keep the sparkely going when you face so many closed doors. But somewhere in my heart I knew that it would work out and that if I kept making enough money to pay the rent, that Lindsey would hang in there and get better and better on guitar and keep learning about the business.
BAM: You mentioned that Bella Donna is sort of a chronological portrait of your life. Do you have any sense of what sort of picture of you listeners will get from it?
Stevie Nicks:Not really. I'm too close to it to know. Things that I know are in a song some people might not see. And then I never know how others are going to interpret my songs based on things in their own lives. I just hope people like it and it makes them feel good. My songs talk about problems everyone in the world has. They're not unique to me.
My songs don't change much over the years. I write much the same way I did when I was 16. I'm no better on guitar or piano. I do exactly what I always did: I just write about what's happening to me at the moment. I didn't pick out the songs on Bella Donna because I wanted to document my life. I picked them because I liked them. It just sort of worked out that way. At the same time, though, I like the way "After the Glitter Fades"was premonitory. And "Edge of Seventeen" closes it--chronologically, anyway--with the loss of John Lennon and an uncle at the same time. That song is sort of about how no amount of money or power could save them. I was angry, helpless, hurt, sad.
I recorded sixteen songs for the album and I wanted all of them to get on. I agonized about it. If I had put them all on, though, there wouldn't have been room for a label. [Laughs]
BAM: Well you managed to get "Blue Lamp" on the Heavy Metal soundtrack.
Stevie Nicks:It was very important that it found a place for itself. I love that song. It was really the beginning of Bella Donna because it was the first thing I'd ever recorded with other musicians, and it was the first time I'd ever recorded by standing in a room singing at the same time that five guys were playing. Fleetwood Mac doesn't record that way. They record from a more technical standpoint. When I'm recording, I like to imagine that I'm at a concert singing in front of thousands of people. i record for feeling. I'm not good at the technical stuff. I don't like standing there in a room, after the tracks have been done, and singing the same song fifty times in a row. I hate it. I want to sing a song once, maybe twice, and if it isn't working, maybe go on to another song. Fleetwood Mac is the opposite. They labor over every detail. I care about the final feeling when you hear it on a car radio or at home on your stereo.
BAM: In fairness to Fleetwood Mac, Stevie, even though you know what a long process recording is, the group's records don't sound cold or detached. There's plenty of feeling on every record Fleetwood Mac has done.
Stevie Nicks:That's true. Don't misunderstand me. I love the way Fleetwood Mac sounds. I wouldn't be in it if I didn't. I'm just saying that on Bella Donna we managed to make a really good record a different way. We went in and we just did it. Tusk took us thirteen months to make, which is ridiculous. I was there in the studio every day--or almost every day--but I probably only worked for two months. The other eleven months, I did nothing, and you start to lose it after a while if you're inactive. You see, Lindsey, Chris, John and Mick all play, and I don't. So most of the time I'd be looking at them through the window in the control room. After four or five hours, they'd forget I was even there, they'd be so wrapped up in little details. It was very frustrating.
BAM: There seems to be a bit of revisionism about Tusk going around. When the record came out, all of you said you were delighted with it. When it didn't do so well commercially as it was expected to, the opinions within the band about the project seemed to turn more negative.
Stevie Nicks:I never felt any differently about it. I was always up-front about it. I loved the songs for the most part. I even liked almost all of Lindsey's tunes, which were the most heavily criticized. I did not love sitting around for thirteen months and I never said I did. If Tusk had been terribly successful I wouldn't have taken the credit for it because I was not that much a part of it. It was out of my hands. I didn't want it to be called Tusk. I didn't like the artwork. I'm being totally truthful--I had very little to do with that record.
BAM: How does it sound to you now?
Stevie Nicks:I love individual songs. Of my songs, I like "Sara" and "Angel" the best. I liked most of Chris' stuff. Of Lindsey's songs, I guess I like "Save Me A Place" and "Walk a Thin Line" the most. Those are beautiful songs.
I love Lindsey's work. I didn't hang around with him for seven years for nothing, listening to him play guitar every single night, watching him fall asleep with his electric guitar across his chest. There were nights I had to pry the guitar off of him so he could sleep in a normal position.
My main complaint with Tusk isn't musical. It just went on too long. I think it could have been done in half the time. But again, I'm not a player. I'm the dancer and singer. I just want to get up there and dance and twirl my baton.
BAM: According to nearly everyone I've talked to, you are an amazingly prolific writer. Do you have a regular writing regimen?
Stevie Nicks:No. I just write when I feel like it, which is a lot of the time. Sometimes I write every day, sometimes a few days will go by when I don't write anything. I get nervous that I'm drying up if I don't write often.
I have entire filing cabinets filled with stuff I've written. It's songs plus I've been keeping a journal for the past six or seven years, so I've got the history of Fleetwood Mac completely written. It could be an incredible book, but it would be a massive project to pull it all together. There are books within books within books, the making of all of the albums, the tours, the relationships; John and Chris trying to work together, Lindsey and Stevie trying to work together. It's all there...
BAM: "Soon to be a five-part mini-series on ABC starring Morgan Fairchild as Stevie Nicks...."
Stevie Nicks:[Laughs] It really could be, and they wouldn't have to sensationalize a thing! You have no idea of all the stuff that's gone on. It's been fascinating.
Getting back to songwriting, though, anytime I think a part of a song might be coming out, I'll try to write it. Like I wrote a song in the middle of the night last night, which makes me very happy because whenever I write a new song I feel great for a few days. This new tune's about how the house shakes when the waves hit the beach. I've got a whole cassette of me sitting at the organ singing lines over and over again. Writing is fun for me. I've got a wealth of things to write about.
BAM: I've always thought your songs presented an interesting view of womanhood. It's not quite a "sisterhood is powerful" feeling, but some of your compositions seem to emphasize the bond you feel with other women in an almost spiritual way.
Stevie Nicks:I think that's probably true. I'm surrounded by men in this business so I need a little feminine comfort, and one way to find that is to write about how I exist in this world of men, how I deal with them and how they deal with me. And I tend to talk about it as "we" instead of "I." I'm no great women's liberationist, though. I found out a long time ago that that doesn't work, so--
BAM: That's rather cynical.
Stevie Nicks:It's true. I get a lot further with the men in this business by being feminine and sweet and not aggressive and quiet. They let me in. They don't let in aggressive, pushy women. Say one word too much and you're out. Well, I didn't want to be out. I wanted to be friends with them. They're my peers and contemporaries. They're people I have to work with and I damn well am going to be part of them. It took me a long time to be anything to them besides just a "girl."
BAM: How do you make the jump in men's minds from being just another "chick singer," as it is degradingly put so often, to being respected for your songwriting, which is obviously what you would like?
Stevie Nicks:I just keep writing, playing and telling people how important writing is. I tell writers that it's not important to me to be a sex symbol. I tell them it's not important to me what people think of me dancing around in gossamer clothing onstage. I happen to like wearing clothing like that. It's fine for Gelsey Kirkland [a top ballerina] but it's not fine for me. If I was a ballerina, nobody would say one word about what I wore, and they wouldn't talk about my sex life--which writers don't know anything about anyway. But put on a pair of platform boots and walk out on a rock and roll stage and--WOW! All people see is an image.
I'm not going to change because I get criticized for what I wear or because, as you said some people see only a "chick singer." I keep persevering and doing what I do with the hope that someday people won't care about any of that and instead they'll look up and say, "You know, she really is a pretty good writer." It's starting to happen, actually. It's taken six or seven years, but it is happening. You can't give up for a second.
BAM: I can't spot many specific influences in your songwriting. Who were you listening to when you started writing a lot?
Stevie Nicks:Well, I've written for years and been influenced by lots of people, but I guess the stuff that really go me was Joni Mitchell's early songs. I learned so much from listening to her. In fact, I probably wouldn't be doing this if it hadn't been for her. It was her music that showed me I could say everything I wanted to and push it into one sentence and sing it well. Ladies of the Canyon taught me a lot. I remember lying on the floor, listening to Joni's records, studying every single word. When she came out with a new album I'd go crazy--"Don't bother me this week. I'm listening to Joni Mitchell."
BAM: The inspiration was more attitudinal than actual?
Stevie Nicks:Right. I didn't want to play music like her. I couldn't if I'd wanted to--I can't play the guitar worth shit, and Joni's a great player. I just loved the way she was a very personal writer yet easy to relate to. She was doing what I wanted to do. I also loved all of Jackson Browne's records. Again, the could make the most intimate, personal things universal. This might surprise you, but I loved Jimi Hendrix as a writer--he put words together in really amazing ways. I loved Janis Joplin--the way she sang, the way she performed. I saw her one time and was completely riveted. I never forgot it. I have so many influences, but I can't really tell where they come in.
My writing style is very, very simple. I play so simply that I have to kill with my voice, especially in the beginning of a song or nobody gets it. The instrumental parts of my songs are not going to see them. And because the structure and chords and all are so simply, it forces me--and the players--to really experiment with phrasings and ways of bringing out the melody.
BAM: Some people believe that writers--artists in general--work best when they have inner turmoil: that happiness isn't inspiring, but pain is. Do you agree with that?
Stevie Nicks:I think a little turmoil probably helps. I don't go looking for it so I can write [laughs], but then I never sit down and write a happy song. I think there is something to that theory, because the person who is searching and never quite finding what he wants, who is constantly challenged, is going to write better songs than somebody who is blissfully happy. If you're blissfully happy, what else is there to say? And how many people are blissfully happy enough that they can relate to what you're writing?
As close as I get to writing happy songs are ones that aren't un-happy. I've written my share of miserable songs, but I haven't recorded many of them.
BAM: There definitely is an overriding optimism in most of your songs.
Stevie Nicks:People don't mind a little misery, but they also like happy endings. It's nice to leave some hope at the end that things will work out. See, Lindsey won't do that. He'll say, "Go your own way," I wouldn't, most likely.
Lindsey hates to write lyrics, though. Maybe that's why some of his songs are so negative. [Laughs] He'll have all these beautiful songs that are instrumentals for months. They have gorgeous melodies, layer upon layer of guitars. I exercise to his tapes, practice ballet to them. Then he'll write lyrics for this beautiful song and it'll have a different feeling than the music.
BAM: I'm surprised the two of you haven't collaborated on songs since you've been in Fleetwood Mac. You love to write words and he's a nut for melodies.
Stevie Nicks:I'm surprised, too. I always wanted to. It's strange. You would think he would ask me, but I think he really doesn't like my lyrics very much. They're too spacey for him. We think differently, I guess.
BAM: You and Petty obviously have a good rapport. Can you see yourself writing with him?
Stevie Nicks:I think we will write together eventually. You see, Tom and I aren't going out. Tom and I aren't in love with each other, or haven't been in love and out of love. We're really just good friends so we probably could write together. Lindsey and I have so much behind us that it would be difficult to sit down and intensely get into lyrics. As it is he asks me, "Who's that one about? What are you talking about in that line? What does that mean?" [Laughs]
BAM: What did you contribute to the next Fleetwood Mac album?
Stevie Nicks:I have three songs as it stands now, but I think we may replace one of them with another song. I wrote one of the songs a long, long time ago, even before Lindsey and I moved to LA. It's called "It's Alright." It's very simple: Lindsey just plays some really nice guitar behind me. There's another song called "If You Were My Love" that I wrote about a year ago after I'd recorded "Outside the Rain" with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. I spent a week recording with them and I had so much fun that I was really bummed out when it was over. That's when I wrote that song.
There was also a song called "Smile at You" that I don't think we'll put on. I think Lindsey wants me to record another one and so do I. It's kind of a bitter song and that's really not where any of us are at right now, even thought it's a wonderful song. My songs don't take long to record, so it shouldn't be a problem.
BAM: Did the sessions for this album have a different tone than past Fleetwood Mac sessions?
Stevie Nicks:It went smoothly. It didn't take us as long. I think right now everyone is into making a good album that doesn't take a long time to make.
BAM: Is there any danger of Fleetwood Mac staying together beyond its natural lifespan? You wouldn't stay together for business reasons, would you?
Stevie Nicks:Fleetwood Mac couldn't stay together if we didn't want to, because we're all far too volatile and passionate that it would be unbearable if we didn't want to be together. Fleetwood Mac is never boring. If it ever becomes boring, we would stop it.
BAM: It's not like any of you would starve if Fleetwood Mac didn't exist.
Stevie Nicks:That's right. We keep it going because we want to, because we obviously feel there's more good music to come out of us as a group. If that changes we'll be the first ones to recognize it.
BAM: It must be an awfully good feeling for you, though, to know you've done so well on your first project outside of Fleetwood Mac.
Stevie Nicks:It feels wonderful. Now the trick is to keep my life going in a way where I can continue to do things outside of the group. I'd like to make more albums on my own. I'd love to do a record of songs aimed at children. I'd like to record songs by my grandfather, A.J. Nicks, who was a country singer. There's so much to do. Bella Donna is just the first step, but it was an important first step.
I just decided when I came off the year-long Tusk tour that I wasn't going to give up my life and die a lonely, overdone, overused rock star. That has no glamour. I didn't want to be written up in 50 years as a miserable old woman who never got to do anything but tour and be famous for ten years and then everything was over.
I'm far too intelligent to not know that there will be a time when I won't be 33 anymore, when I wont' be that pretty anymore. I won't be sparkly anymore, and I'll be tired. I want to be able to know that I can still have fun and be part of the world, and that I didn't give it all away for Fleetwood Mac. That's what Bella Donna is all about. It's the beginning of my life.
High Times Magazine
Interview by Liz Derringer
"Look, enough with these heavy interviews," the guys upstairs told us. "Szasz, Anton Wilson, Leary, Turner, Bukowski. Give Ďem a break, give Ďem some gossamer. Mind candy. Set Ďem up for the heavy DEA informant rap next month."
Okay, we say. We think music. We think lace and vaseline-soft images. Doll-houses and rainy-day dreams. Good witches. We think Stevie Nicks.
So we sent Liz Derringer, first lady of rock journalism and a specialist at corralling big names for us (Mick Jagger, June í80; Pat Benatar, Jan. í82). She tracked Stevie down to her penthouse suite at the Plaza Hotel and found the ethereal songstress just dying to talk about her solo career and her number-one album, Bella Donna. They sipped coffee and wine and spoke of many things: of shoes and discs and Fleetwood Macs and cabbages and kings.
HIGH TIMES: What Iíve gotten out of your album so far is your special way of combining vulnerability with strengthóqualities that are hard to put together.
STEVIE NICKS:That's what "Bella Donna" is about. I mean, the song "Bella Donna," which says "come in out of the darkness," was, as you said, what rock Ďní roll is. You live with somebodyówell, it doesn't make for a terrifically strong and independent women. It doesnít allow you to be that very much. I think the music industry is very male oriented. Although there are a lot of wonderful girl singers around, still I think itís their world. I fought through six years to make this LP. In Fleetwood Mac, they would have done it. I wouldnít have. And I wouldíve let them make me as dependent as I have always been on them, because when somebody is dependent, theyíre under your thumb. And they knew that I had to go and do this by myself because I had to prove to myself that I could exist on my own.
HIGH TIMES: Thatís the process of growing up.
STEVIE NICKS:And what are you gonna do without them if theyíre not there anymore some day? (Record producer) Jimmy (Iovine) expected a lot from me from the very beginning. Well, he did bring me back to some reality. My life had to change in order to do an LP with him. I had to change. I couldnít be Stevie Nicks with Fleetwood Mac. I had to be much stronger and much more in control of myself, because he would not waste his time working with an out-of-control, flaky girl singer with Fleetwood Mac. He had no reason to be in the studio with that person and it was made very clear to me from the very beginning that if I was gonna do this, I was no longer the coddled, dependent baby of Fleetwood Mac.
It was like he said, if youíre gonna come into my studio and thereís going to be ten of the best musicians in the world waiting for you, then youíd better damn well come in ready to work, and not two hours late and not fluffing in and expecting everyone to just forgive you, and too bad that youíre late, and it cost eight million dollars because you didnít bother to show up, and they did two sessions and they made it over to the studio at seven oíclock. And I just realized right away that I wanted more than anything in the world to put these songs down and play them for all those wonderful people who seemed, for whatever their reasons, to love my songs. And I love my songs. Thatís what I doóI write songs. Iím a tune writer. And I wanted this LP to be really wonderful. And without somebody like Jimmy, I could not have done it. Because I wouldnít have been disciplined enough.
HIGH TIMES: Did he put together the duets?
STEVIE NICKS:He put it all together. But Don Henley (of the Eagles) and I did "The Highwayman" and "Leather and Lace" in 1975. Those duets were put together because they were done five years ago. And we have really wonderful demos of them.
HIGH TIMES: Didnít you write "Leather and Lace" for Waylon Jennings and (his wife) Jesse Colter?
STEVIE NICKS:I wrote it for them and I wanted them to do it. Waylon Jennings asked me to write a song called "Leather and Lace." Thatís his title. So I did and I spent a lot of time on the psychology of the man and the woman in the music business both being stars in their own right and trying to live with each other and work and give Waylon a break and let him be a little weaker for a minute and let Jesse be a little stronger for a minute. This is a long time ago. This is what I was searching for even then. I mean, I was writing about Waylon Jennings and Jesse Colter, but I was writing about me and Lindsey (Buckingham, of Fleetwood Mac). And I was, at that point, going out with Don Henley and I was writing about Don and me. I was writing about the few couples that I knew and what they went through to try and work it out. And I guess Jesse and Waylon sort of broke up around then. And I felt in my heart that either I had to do this song with Don, or Waylon had to do it with Jesse, or Waylon and I had to do it. Those were the only three possibilities for that song to be done. It was the most disciplined song I had ever written and I had to finish it.
HIGH TIMES: With your success you must feel stronger now.
STEVIE NICKS:See, thatís so amazing to me because I - This is the first interview Iíve done as just Stevie. Itís nerve-wracking for me too, because for the first time, Iím not forced to sit here and tell all the old stories. Even though I still tell them, and people want to know, for the first time, Iím free to talk about the particular songs that were - one-half of them were fully available to Fleetwood Mac. And for some reason, they werenít done. I was very lucky, because these are really the perfect songs for this LP. I think thatís why this album seems to be very dear to people already, at least to my friends. Theyíve lived it. This is my life. Every single thing that is written in this LP happened to me.
Iím not kidding. Itís real serious. And I didnít have to beg to do these songs. In Fleetwood Mac I have to talk them into it. I get it as soon as I write the song. I know what itís going to be. If I donít, nobody ever hears it. I donít ever go with it to anyone. It was very important to me to let people know that this is something that I wanted to do for them, the public. I donít need to make any more money. Iím fine, Iím comfortable. Iíve got all my wonderful little stage clothes that I can wear forever and my boots, and Iíve got enough jewelry and Iím fine. I donít need to do this to make money. I need to do this to fulfill myself as a writer. I mean, it says, "come in out of the darkness." Thatís saying, save yourself and come back. And itís a serious thing. I had to do that to do the LP. I had to stop being crazy, or it wasnít going to be done.
HIGH TIMES: But theyíd still do it if you came two hours late.
STEVIE NICKS:But it wouldnít have been the same. See, my reception from these men that played on my LP - they were only wonderful to me because I went in there strong. Otherwise they wouldíve said, "This is some flaky chick from Fleetwood Mac, which is what we donít need to work with." And you canít pay those guys enough to hang around.
HIGH TIMES: I donít relate to you being flaky.
STEVIE NICKS:These guys, theyíd really rather sit in a room with a bunch of guys and play. But because I made an incredible effort to be there for them when they needed me, to be there for them when they needed to talk to me, to try to understand, to try to explain. To explain to Waddy (Wachtel) that "Bella Donna" was serious Ė I was not talking about a beautiful woman. I was talking about a beautiful woman becoming old and not beautiful. And skinny and too tired, the woman disappears.
HIGH TIMES: Is that what you consider some of the pitfalls that you said were written in "Bella Donna"?
STEVIE NICKS:Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Thereís a decision you make at a certain point whether you can go right on staying up all night and being very spoiled and very into your own world. Because the world that you live in has really made you do that. Itís very easy to become dependent in rock Ďní roll. My world was a phone call to tell me to get up, to get in the car, to get into the airplane, and a phone call to tell me that I had fifteen minutes before the concert.
HIGH TIMES: Isnít it easy to fall into that again?
STEVIE NICKS:Very easy. But I wonít Ďcause I wonít come out of it again.
HIGH TIMES: Thatís where age and experience help.
STEVIE NICKS:Yeah, if I want to do this again, which I do, then I have to be strong enough to deal with my life in Fleetwood Mac and deal with my life alone. Because when Iím alone, Iím alone.
HIGH TIMES: Youíve said that in middle age, youíd like to be on top of a mountain with a piano and typewriter.
STEVIE NICKS:I would, I look forward to that. I love my performing and Iíll do that for another five or six years, but there will be a point in my life when what Iíll really want to do is go away and write. And Iíll write about all of this. Iíve already written thousands of pages. The storyís written already. Iíll want to add to it and I want to put it together and itíll be an incredible book. Itíll be full of poetry and all of the songs that youíve heard. All the real happy parts and all the sad parts. And the real difficult parts are there. And thatís what I want to do eventually. Iíll want to go and really put that together. But now Iíll work toward being able to tell as much of my personal life in my songs Ė thatís as much as I have to give right now.
HIGH TIMES: Do you find it hard to maintain relationships in this business?
STEVIE NICKS:I find it nearly impossible. Anyone that you meet is going to be in some way in the business. I donít meet people who arenít in the business. I donít go anywhere to meet them. What am I going to do, sit in a bar? And at some point or another, my job gets to them. Itís easy to understand. "No, I canít have dinner, I have interviews." "But we were in New York all week and we didnít get to have dinner once." "Iím sorry, what do you want me to do, call everybody and cancel?"
Itís incredible. Thatís why you wish for some time that you wonít be so busy. You end up really hurting people because you get angry. You have fifteen things scheduled and you would love to sit here and watch a movie with someone, but you canít because you have to get ready. You have to do your hair and your makeup and take a shower and do all that, and that takes a long time. Then you have to get everything ready. And then when itís over, you are so tired. You have been under so much pressure because you have been talking all day. Or youíve been traveling all day, youíve been to the sound check, youíre getting home and you thank God you have fifteen minutes to lay down on your bed before you have to start the whole thing over Ė the shower, the hair, do the makeup and get down there. So youíre down there an hour before the concert so you donít feel like a jerk walking into the concert and youíre not vibed out at all, you just feel like you dropped by.
So youíve got to make time, and what happens is you make the time for rock Ďní roll. You make the time for Fleetwood Mac, you make the time for the interviews, you make the time to go to the record company, you make the time to go stop by a radio station, but you donít make the time for your boyfriend. And slowly that creeps into their head, that you are not making the time for them, but you make the time for everyone else. Because you canít say no to everyone else.
HIGH TIMES: What about someone like Don Henley, who knows that? Heís in the same position.
STEVIE NICKS:When I was going out with Don, it was five years ago and I was much less busy; Fleetwood Mac was much less popular, we were just beginning. When I was with Lindsey, we lived together and were famous. It was the opposite extreme. Iíll never forget the day I was up at Donís house having dinner with him and his manager, Irving Azoff, who is now my manager five years later, and Glenn Frey of the Eagles walked in and looked at me and said, "Spoiled yet." Like no mention of Fleetwood Mac. I was not even in the league of a singer. I was nothing more than a girl. My claws went out and I wanted to get out of there.
HIGH TIMES: I donít know him well, but that sounds typical of Glenn Frey.
STEVIE NICKS:Heís witchy! And I love Glenn, and that was a long time ago. That was my first taste of what it was like to be a happening girl rock Ďní roll singer. Going out with a very famous man rock Ďní roll singer and have people not relate to me like I even had a job. I went out with John David Souther for a while, who is very, very, very male chauvinistic and very sweet and cute and wonderful but very Texas, and I found when I was with him, I didnít mention Fleetwood Mac ever. It didnít help my status with the man to bring up anything I did, so I didnít. And then you start saying, "But I work too. Iím happening. I write songs, but you arenít giving me a break."
HIGH TIMES: I think that what keeps couples together is an understanding, you live your life and I live my life.
STEVIE NICKS:Thatís all it is, if somebody just knows and understands. My mother said, "Stevie, you were born guilty. You never lied, you never did anything bad, and you always looked guilty. But you were willing to take on the guilt of everyone else immediately." And I am that way. If I ever think that someone thinks that I did anything wrong, itís a neon sign across my face that blinks guilty guilty guilty.
HIGH TIMES: You feel the weight of the world sitting on your shoulders.
STEVIE NICKS:And you didnít even do anything, but you wake up sick to your stomach the next day, thinking that you did. For whatever reasonsówhich arenít importantómy relationship with Paul (Fishkin, cofounder of Modern Records) stopped, he is the one man in my life that was truly good. Truly understood. I was in an emotional trauma all through that fifteen months. And he stood by and watched it, and was as much help as he could be. While the rest of the world questioned me constantly, including my very close friends. About everything.
HIGH TIMES: I guess being a superstar, people want to get involved in your life and tell you what to do.
STEVIE NICKS:They want you to be dependent. I always know whatís right, and when I get pushed into somethingówhich I do a lotóthat I knew wasnít right from the beginning, Iím the hardest on myself and punish myself severely. I just lay in bed and think about it over and over until I canít think about it anymore. I start to go crazy. Just now, Iím calming down with this album because this was the freest thing Iíve ever doneóthough I had a disciplinarian behind me with a little stick going nananananana. And not being treated as a childóbeing treated as a grown-up.
HIGH TIMES: You become more together with age.
STEVIE NICKS:I absolutely love being thirty-three years old. I think itís wonderful. You can see things clearer. You donít have to get so crazy. You start making your own decisions. Youíre a woman, not a child. Youíre grown up and have to fend for yourself. Youíre the only one whoís here and no one is going to save you. And nobody can tell you that, because my mom has been telling me that for years. And I call her sometimes and sheíll say to me, "I wish youíd let somebody take some of this pressure off your little bitty shoulders for a moment, Stevie." And thatís what I did. I gave it to Jimmy. I said, "Here it is, hereís the pressure, hereís my weird life, hereís how crazy it is. Now figure out how to make this album."
HIGH TIMES: Where does your fascination with witches come from? Did you dream about things like that when you were a little girl?
STEVIE NICKS:I dreamed only about giving a little fairy tale to people. Thatís what the outfit is on my album cover, thatís what that bird is. (Reaches for the album jacket.) That bird belongs to my brother, thatís the only reason I could work with a wild animal. Thatís Max on the front. With my clothes and the things that I wear, I have so much fun with them. I was talking to a lady today and were talking about dress-up and about how much fun dress-up used to be. And if there was a trunk in the attic, I was in it looking. And I would rather wear that drape than anything you could sell me from Bloomingdaleís. I donít like all that stuff. I love the Muppets. Miss Piggy on the front of the TV Guide kills me with her portable TV, and Kermie in the back sitting, and with her little shoes. I just adore Miss Piggy to death. I collect marionettes and dolls so I have an incredible collection and I carry these things all over the world. Theyíre so real. See, thatís a fantasy. The Muppets are no different from my fantasy. My fantasy is giving a little bit of the fairy princess to all the people out there that maybe donít have the Hans Christian Andersen books, and the Grimmís fairy tales. If thatís the only thing I can do for them, well, thatís fine.
HIGH TIMES: I couldnít imagine you as a type that sits around and puts black spells on people.
STEVIE NICKS:I donít do that. Thatís silly and stupid, and anyone that does that is making up their own character and has nothing to do with me. I love good witches. I like the good witch of the north, Glinda. Glinda is my friend, not the other one. And I donít want them around. My love of that fantasy fairy-tale thing is the good part, and Iím a coward and I get very scared. I donít go see any of those scary movies. I just watch old movies and good sad movies, but I donít want to be scared and frightened.
HIGH TIMES: Any particular movies you like?
STEVIE NICKS:My favorite old movie is Beauty and the Beast, the 1946 one, and I love Mary, Queen of Scots. I love those kinds of movies. I can watch these movies over and over again. I love anything that is wonderful, and it can have some sadness. I donít mind that, but like evil, bad things, I donít like them in my life.
HIGH TIMES: Books, too? The same?
STEVIE NICKS:I read a lot of Taylor Caldwell books. I get a lot of ideas for things that Iím writing. I just read anything that comes in my way thatís interesting. I pick up bunches of little old poetry books. I love serenity since I donít have much of it in my life. The outfit I wear on the cover of Bella Donna is the same as the one I wore on Rumors, except itís opposite, itís white. Itís a strange turn-around that Iíve come from black to white.
HIGH TIMES: Who designed it? You?
STEVIE NICKS:It was my idea, six years ago. Margi Kent designed it. She just keeps making it longer. She makes everything, and these are my boots that my little Jewish cobbler whoís seventy years old makes. A five-foot one-inch-tall person needs six inches. Onstage especially. Standing next to Mick Fleetwood is ridiculous. Anybody standing next to Mick is ridiculous, so imagine a five-footer. You blend into his drums, which he loves because then heís the star. So I say, "Wait a minute, Mick, Iím going to get tall." I get far on these boots. They are very out of style and I donít care. I love them. They are beautiful suede and they are soft. I tried to get this boot a long time ago, and it was going out then. We searched London, and I found one pair that was like a size five, and I wear a five and a half or six, but I bought them anyway. I stuffed my little feet into them.
HIGH TIMES: You mention in "After the Glitter Fades" that the one-night stand is hard to take. What are you talking about?
STEVIE NICKS:That was written in 1972 and Lindsey and I had never been on the road at all. We had certainly never had a one-night stand because we had been together and there were no one-night stands between Lindsey and me. That was a real premonition. I just had some idea about Fleetwood Mac. I wasnít talking about one-night stands with a man. I was talking about your one-night stands in a concert where you run in, played, and left.
HIGH TIMES: After a concert is over, do you feel sad?
STEVIE NICKS:Yes. When you come back to your hotel, and youíve been in front of fifteen thousand people...I would like to sit down in the audience and talk to them about whatís happened. Bring like a podium up and ask questions and have everybody tell me what they think. Itís very hard to just walk away from them. You certainly donít go to sleep; you canít. Itís like falling in love with somebody and having yourself turn into a pumpkin and youíre back mopping the floor. Thatís the hardest thingóall that energy around you and walking away from it. You have much less than they do because you come back to a motel, they go home. If I could go home after every concert and have my puppies and my cats and my friends, whoever, it wouldnít be so difficult. To go back by myself to a hotel room is a real downer.
HIGH TIMES: On Bella Donna you seem to be saying how strong and confident you can be. Do you think you are a dominating person?
STEVIE NICKS:Itís very easy for me to be dominated because Iím used to being part of a rock Ďní roll band that dominates your life.
HIGH TIMES: Is the Fleetwood Mac album finished?
STEVIE NICKS:The tracks are done and we worked for five days last week on one of Chrisís songs and it is fantastic, positive, wonderful.
HIGH TIMES: You must have a great relationship with Christine McVie. You dedicated "Think About It" to her.
STEVIE NICKS:Yeah, when I really love something that she does, I really get in there and help her with it. She can do it alone, she really doesnít need anyone, but when she writes something that I really take to heart, then I go for it. I stay up all night with her and we work on it. I really work on it and I drag Lindsey and her in there and make them sing, because thatís what they forgetóthey forget that thereís three of us and how good we sing. I irritate them to death, itís like a little bug. I keep saying, "Lindsey, you and I should sing this part. Itís important that we sing this part, it would sound terrific." And they eventually do it. Especially because I am not going to stand by and watch no singing go on this album.
HIGH TIMES: It sounds like there has been some dissatisfaction on your part in the past.
STEVIE NICKS:Thatís because theyíre players, they get really wrapped up in the playing of it, and I donít get to play. I donít have anything to do. I sit around and watch them playóitís boring. The thing I do real well is vocal production. I can really get them happening on singing, but if it wasnít for me, there wouldnít be nearly half the vocals.
HIGH TIMES: You did a duet with Kenny Loggins, "Whenever I Call You Friend."
STEVIE NICKS:That was a discipline thing. I call him Slave-Driver Loggins. He cracked the whip on me for two days to get that particular performance. And I was downright angry at points where I was going, "Iím not going to do this." He said, "Yes, you are." Heís a real good producer, Kenny, he got exactly what he wanted. When it was done and I left, I was knocked out. I really had to keep my mouth shut and do what I was told. And it worked. He wasnít interested in a dull vocal.
HIGH TIMES: How does he get the performance out of you? Does he have to create a mood?
STEVIE NICKS:Yeah, thatís exactly what I do, I light a little incense. Jimmy did it for me too. If I get mad enough, heíll say, "This is really uncool" over the talkback. We have the most hysterical video of him giving us a lecture telling us we were doing something wrong. We donít answer him, we just talk to each other. He says itís like tuning in on my motherís poker game. He walks out carrying my little bottle of brandy that I use when I sing, which he hates because he doesnít drink. I asked him for some and heís swinging it at us as heís talking. He said, "Okay, you want a little drink?" He goes into this incredible thing about us being magpies. And weíre totally ignoring him. We would turn to each other and forget what he said completely. Heíd say, "Wait one second everybody, stop talking and listen to me." Then someone would make some sly comment about little girls who have been caught doing something wrong, and then weíd get back on the track. That was basically what Kenny did too. He let me kind of tangent off to a point and then heíd say, "Thatís it, now we have to start doing this for real."
HIGH TIMES: When you were sixteen and received your first guitar, were you into singing?
STEVIE NICKS:I was into singing but not into being trained. I never studied music. I took a few guitar lessons.
HIGH TIMES: You never played guitar onstage?
STEVIE NICKS:Iím not good enough. Thereís no reason. If I was terrific, then maybe theyíd find a part for me, but Iím not, so it would be for the look of it, and Iíd be too nervous. Iíd be so nervous, it wouldnít look or sound good and then everybody would be mad at me, and Lindsey would be screaming at me that it was out of tune. And I donít need that for sure.
HIGH TIMES: How do you muster up the discipline it takes to do what you do?
STEVIE NICKS:If I have any discipline at all, itís come slowly over the years. I was never trained. Nobody ever sat down and taught me how to play the guitar or write a song or play the piano. I love to do it to this day, itís the greatest love of my life. That doesnít take any discipline for me, thatís what I like to do. Where other people would rather go out and party, I would rather stay at home with my grand piano and candles and incense and a glass of wine and an idea.
HIGH TIMES: Does that come from upbringing?
STEVIE NICKS:I was always singing and they never told me not to sing. My granddad sang with me. We had a thing going always. By the time I got to be old enough for them to care, I was so heavily into music that they gave up. I mean, they knew I was on my way to something. The only thing my dad ever said to me wasóbecause my dad was very successful and very ambitiousóhe said, "If youíre going to do this, you better be the very best." That was the only thing he ever said to me. "I donít want to see you being second." And that was a pretty heavy thing to say to me. When I write my different songs and take them home, Iíll play them for him and heíll say, "Well, that comes a little closer to what your potential as a songwriter is." And then heíll give me a big hug. My mother says heís very cool, heís like Jimmy. He strives to get the best out of me, and you donít get the best out of me by hugging and kissing me and telling me how wonderful I am. That doesnít work. The best thing to do is really be serious with me and Iíll work hard.
20 Questions: Stevie Nicks
playboypic.jpgLadies and gentlemen, the reigning queen of rock - on recklessness, relationships and reincarnation
Contributing Editor David Rensin met with Stevie Nicks (whose album "Bella Donna" has sold more than 1,000,000 copies) just after the last show of her successful solo tour. Rensin reports: "We talked in the bathroom of her West Los Angeles hotel suite while her make-up was being applied for a television appearance. She looked great before. She looked great afterward. And she does her own lipstick."
PLAYBOY: You're part of the hugely popular Fleetwood Mac, as well as the proud mother of a number-one solo album. Do you still find you've had to work twice as hard because you're a women trying to win at a man's game?
NICKS:I never tried to beat men; that's why I managed to do it. I tried to learn from them and be their friend and stuff. I didnít want to be too pushy - no one likes pushy people, least of all guys who are in famous bands. It's much easier to worm your way in with kindness.
PLAYBOY: Magazine articles have mentioned your belief in ghosts and reincarnation; your being in a "magic kingdom"-the whole Rhiannon Welsh witch thing. Have people had difficulty taking you seriously?
NICKS:At this point, people believe it's me. I just couldn't go on making this trip up if it weren't true. I love Halloween and fairy tales. I get wonderful letters: Kids say they love the songs and "Go right ahead and live in your fairy princess castle, because we need somebody to live there and make us happy, to take away some of the everyday horribleness that goes on."
PLAYBOY: What were some of your past lives?
NICKS:I think I spent a lot of time in old churches, like a monk. I'm very comfortable around that kind of music, with that kind of creeping around, with being very quiet. My ballet teacher believes that my head was cut off in another life, too. I totally give with my body except for my neck. Even if I go to the beauty salon, I can't put my head back. They have to hold it or it will drop. The same thing happens when I dance or get a massage. Itís very weird.
PLAYBOY: How do you maintain your cosmic connection considering the pressures of fame and wealth? And how do you handle the abusive lifestyle-the drugs, the drinking, the long hours-of being the reigning queen of rock 'n' roll?
NICKS:It's not easy. But I can't do what I do if I don't retain some innocence and spirituality. You'd see a definite change in my lyrics if I became hardened. I'm not interested in existing on that critical level most people live on.
As I get older, the abusive side is coming to a close. I'm slowing down. Besides, I have bronchial, spasmodic asthma now. And everything that I do is wrapped up in my lungs. I'm scared now. This sure is the fast lane, but I don't particularly want to die in the fast lane. I want to get there gracefully.
I need rest real bad. I also need some exercise. I don't want to be this romantically fragile character everyone thinks I am. The image is fine for an image, but it's not too fine if you have to go to the hospital for it. For my asthma, I have to take these miserable pills that make you feel like someone put something weird in your Perrier.
PLAYBOY: Do you want to marry eventually and have a family?
NICKS:If I had a family, I'd probably love it. Right now, I have my dog Sarah, two cats and a baby Doberman. But I wish I had a little girl. Even a little boy. Getting married would, of course, depend on the man; also on whether I cared enough. If I fell that deeply in love with someone, I'd have no idea of what to do. But I'd be willing to make whatever compromises were necessary.
PLAYBOY: What compromises?
NICKS:My interest in the music and everything else would have to drop off a little bit. But I don't fall in love that often, because it's sad when you fall in love and it doesn't work out. I know itís better to have loved, because otherwise I wouldnít have anything to write about. And there are different kinds of love. But if it were the bib love, Iíd drop everything. Iíd still have my job, of course, but Iíd get in my car and drive across town in the middle of the night-which I will not do under other circumstances, because I donít have a license. Iíd go crazy, I suppose. Itís probably the most wonderful feeling in the world.
PLAYBOY: It sounds as if Your job Would get in the way.
NICKS:It invades it. You can call up your boyfriend and say, "I'm sick; I can't go to dinner." But you cannot call in sick to Fleetwood Mac. So a certain number of my relationships are ruined, not because of the people involved but because of my other commitments. And so, every time, I'm just a little less interested in starting something up, because what has happened before is probably going to happen again. It's not a lack of interest on my part; it's a lack of time to be interested.
So maybe it's good that I haven't fallen deeply enough in love to give up a good half of what I do. I wouldn't want to be a bad mother. And how could I be a good one when I don't even have time to go to the dentist? So forget the child. And forget the boyfriend. I have so many commitments that he would have to come fourth-and I don't like making anybody feel he's fourth.
PLAYBOY: Yet love obviously means a lot to you. In Sara, you wrote, "Drowning in the sea of love, where everyone would love to drown."
NICKS:Yeah, but I'm at the point where I realize that if my job is what I want to be doing, I'd just better stay out of the sea. Iíve been going with someone since I was 18 years old. I think I had a month between Lindsey [Buckingham] and Don [Henley, of The Eagles]. There has always been someone in my life. And I want my freedom at this point, because I really need to get to know Stevie again. I need to be able to paint all night without making someone feel horrible because he's waiting for me to come to bed.
Yet I know intimacy is something we all need. When you want to get back to the fireplace with someone you care about or watch a little TV, it's important that you like the person a lot, that he makes you laugh and that he's fun. I'm as envious of that as can be.
PLAYBOY: What kind of man would make you happy?
NICKS:[Laughs] You were thinkin maybe a nice doctor or something, Maybe an eye-ear-nose-and-throat specialist? Maybe an analyst? A musical artist? I've certainly had that experience. It wouldn't be easy for me to deal with a guy who was as busy as I am. When I'm home one night, I definitely don't want to be alone. I'm not amused if he's busy. I'm no different, you know. If I met a guy who was able to put up with it, he'd have to be just as famous, have more money and be terribly secure within himself. Frankly, I have contemplated being single the rest of my life. But I said that in a radio interview once, and when I heard it back, it really freaked me out.
PLAYBOY: Do you ever encounter fans more spiritual or spaced out than you?
NICKS:Yes. I came out the stage door the other night and a girl was crying, hysterically. I can never walk away from someone in tears, so I asked what was wrong. She said, "Will you sign my arm?" I did. The next night, she was back-with her other arm tattooed with my name! I grabbed her and told her, "Don't ever do that again. Don't ever have someone take a knife and cut into your arm with my name. It's not funny. It's stupid and I'm not happy about it." Her reaction was more tears.
Another night, one of her friends asked me to sign her arm. I said, "I did that the other day and the girl went out and had her arm tat-"
"Oh, she's my best friend," the girl said. So I told her, "I'm not touching your arm. And if I ever find out that you got my name tattooed on you anyway, I'll sue. Don't put that on me. That's pain. I'm not here to bring pain. I'm here to bring you out of pain." It bummed me out. I felt like I should have gone back inside, like I'd come out the wrong door.
PLAYBOY: What else upsets you?
NICKS:Waiting. [Long pause and a smile] And I'm always late. It's the Gemini in me. Otherwise, just wrong things said at the wrong time. Like, "Oh, you gained a little weight around the chin." You know, right before a photo session. Some people have incredible tact and an intuitive feel for your feelings. Others don't. Some people can wake me up in the morning-they know how. Others, if I had a BB gun, they'd be on the wall.
PLAYBOY: Were you nervous going on the road as a solo act?
NICKS:Are you kidding? Terribly. I hadn't been on-stage alone before. It's a whole different can of beans to realize that if you're not out there-if you have to run to the wings for some powder or to get your hair brushed or because you're dripping wet-there is no one on-stage who'll talk to the audience. But we had some truly spectacular moments, when the band and I were blown away at the response. At the last Los Angeles show, I must have looked like the bag lady of Bella Donna: I was bent over, because I had so many roses to carry. I was crying. Another great thing is that no one in the audience ever yelled out, "Where's Don? Where's Tom Petty? Where's Lindsey? Where's Fleetwood Mac?"
PLAYBOY: Were you offended by reviewers of Bella Donna who questioned your intelligence or who argued that the album was not a significant departure from your work with Fleetwood Mac?
NICKS:You mean when reviewers asked, "Is she incredibly hip or incredibly silly," It didn't bother me. They said a couple of rhymes were stupid, but I know those words aren't stupid, so it doesn't hurt me. I think the bit about not being a departure from Fleetwood Mac is also ridiculous. Bella Donna is in no way like Fleetwood Mac records. They didn't even play on the record. On Bella Donna, Jimmy Iovine, the producer left the songs as close to the demos as possible, so it was really just me-which is what I've always wanted. Sometimes I don't mind my songs being changed around; sometimes it makes them better. But often, I would rather they stayed real simple, like Leather and Lace.
PLAYBOY: Do you think you're sexy?
NICKS:I can be. I do not normally try to be. In fact, there have been some reviews-which Iíve loved-that said I didn't try to sell my show on sex, that I sang my show.
On the other hand, I know I'm cute. I can dance. I don't have a bad figure. I know exactly what I am. I'm certainly no great beauty. I know exactly how far I can go.
PLAYBOY: Have you ever considered acting, as many of your rock-'n'-roll peers have done?
NICKS:I wouldn't like to be in movies. Movie people are strange. They live a different life than musicians do. They get up early and work in the day. And I really think they're much wilder than we are. One time, four movie guys walked up to me at a party after a show. I was looking good. And they took me apart with their eyes. I was so completely insulted that I never forgot it. They were so slick and smooth and suited up- it looked like they all had had face lifts with perfectly tanned faces. I'm just a hippie. I wouldn't fit very well into that world. Those guys gave me the creeps. The hair on my arms stood up.
PLAYBOY: Do you support activist musicians who give anti-nuke concerts or participate in demonstrations?
NICKS:That's why I write. We need music very badly. The world is in pretty bad shape and it scares me. But I'm not one of those people, like Jackson Browne, who went up to the Diablo Canyon nuclear protest. I said to him, "But they could have broken your fingers-your beautiful fingers that write all those beautiful songs. Are you crazy? We need you to write songs. We don't need you to be in jail." He said it "had occurred" to him. I said it should have. I think it scared him. I'm not a martyr. I would much rather be around to write the story than die for it and leave nothing behind. I believe you should put your talent where your talent is and stay out of the rest of it.
PLAYBOY: You are very close to your father. What has he taught you that you've applied to your career?
NICKS:My dad said, "If you're going to do it, be the best, write the best, sing the best and believe in it and yourself." And as long as I didn't give up on that, it would be OK. It was great to have supportive parents, though I'm sure they really would have been much happier at one point if I'd done something else, because they didn't think I was strong enough. I was always sick and Lindsey and I had no money and whenever they'd see me, I'd be really down. My relationship with Lindsey was tumultuous and passionate and wild and we were always fighting, so I was never happy.
But my parents would hear me go into my room and sit there for eight hours with two little cassette players and sing and write and leave papers everywhere. I think they realized that I might not have been strong, but it was the only thing I wanted. My dad knew me well enough to know that I was just like him. So he told me that I should be what I want to be and not complain about it.
PLAYBOY: What should men know about women that they don't?
NICKS:That we are stronger than they know. And maybe if they fed that a little bit, all of this women's liberation would go away and everybody would be happy. If men gave us just a little more credit and an extra hug and said, "Good job," that would solve a lot of it. Women want to be beautiful, sweet, feminine and loving. But they also want to be thought of as intelligent and necessary. And even if your woman is not all those things, you should want her to feel good about herself, to believe in herself.
PLAYBOY: Your immediate entourage all seem to be beautiful young women. Do you and the girls ever go out together?
NICKS:We can't go anywhere. It's fine for all the guys, but if we go, like, down to Le Dome for a drink or to the Rainbow for spaghetti, we're immediately going to be classified as loose, roaming women. Me and some of the other female singing stars, like Ann and Nancy Wilson and Pat Benatar, can't just go out boogying with our girlfriends. Anyway, I wouldn't be allowed out. I'd have to sneak out. I'm way too recognizable. I've been securitied up to my neck for the past seven years, so I'd also be severely scared. I once tried to sneak out to a disco in Chicago with my girlfriend Christie, but we got caught. So the guys went with us. It was a bummer. Nobody in the disco would even come up to us. But people say it's for my safety. Women are getting raped all the time. And I don't need to get raped, because I'd never get over it. That's when my songs would stop. Thatís when my belief in the world would die. I know it happens, but its happening to me is another story. It tends to take away one's spontaneity.
PLAYBOY: Do you often think about death-especially since you believe in reincarnation?
NICKS:I'm not afraid of it at all. But I try to get as much done as I can, because you don't know how long you're going to be here. That's why it's important that I type a page or two every night-even if that's at 11 A.M. See, I think you live on earth a certain number of times until you finish what it is that you were meant to do here. And then you go on. I don't think I'll be back. I think I'm done.
SHE'S SMILING NOW
(ROCK Magazine interview by Vicky Greenleaf and Stan Hyman)
Stevie Nicks has always been two performers. At times, she is the Gothic figure of tragedy, the enigmatic witch of "Rhiannon" who swirls her diaphanous black and white capes as she dances an ancient ballet -- her mystery heightened by her infamous exits while in concert with Fleetwood Mac.
Equally well, she plays the victim of love, the woman of "Dreams" who always wrongly trusts her man. Wrapping her arms around her lacey lingerie gowns, she confronts her audience with a blinkless stare while crooning "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," or any other of her love-hurts songs, with a throaty voice that has no match for pure sensuality. In either role, she projects vulnerability. In the past that image was a reflection of her career. Although recognized by the public as an equal member among a superstar group, she felt like "the one who was left out a little, the baby sister" never quite taken seriously by her fellow band members or other artists.
But a transformation in Stevie Nicks has happened. The pouty look has been replaced with a smile, the self-doubts by a new self-confidence. With good reason. Her first solo album, Bella Donna, topped the charts just weeks after its release and garnered critical praise. Nick's latest and followup LP, The Wild Heart, is following the same path, with her hit single "Stand Back." Nicks took time to speak with ROCK just prior to her tour to promote The Wild Heart. She reflected on her long-felt need for recognition as a soloist, her desire to expand musically into, surprisingly, country music, and the mystique that surrounds her. Above all else, she was intent in conveying that the "baby sister" of Fleetwood Mac is all grown up now. She wants it known now that Fleetwood Mac is no longer of paramount importance in her career. She's not determined to leave, but she's not willing to sacrifice as much anymore.
ROCK: How does The Wild Heart differ from Bella Donna, in your estimation?
Nicks: It's like Bella Donna's heart is wild all of a sudden. It has that James Dean/Natalie Wood feeling to it. It's just Bella Donna a little more reckless. She's just more sure of herself now, so she's taking a few more chances. I'm very pleased with the album because there are no holds barred on it. It's real strong and emotional.
ROCK: After the phenomenal success of Bella Donna were you intimidated to go back into the studio?
Nicks: I'm never intimidated to go on and do something else because what I do today doesn't depend on what I did last week. I write songs and sing them because that's the thing in the world that I love most.
ROCK: Is there any particular track on this LP which you are particularly proud of?
Nicks: "Sable in Blond" is my serious statement on The Wild Heart. It fits into a particular group of my songs; "Rhiannon," "Beautiful Child" and "Sara." It reflects the mood I was in when I moved into my new house last year. It was a time when I was learning how to live with myself. "Sable in Blond" meant to learn how to be a stranger, to learn to be with yourself, to learn to be one color. In the legend of Excalibur, the sword is there for protection, but you don't call upon it unless it's absolutely necessary. During that period in my life, I was learning how not to call on the sword.
ROCK: Are you as intrigued with mysticism as the public has been lead to believe?
Nicks: Not really. Everybody else [the press] made it into mysticism. I loved that mystical kind of dancing and that eventually carried over into my singing. I guess I'm just a dancing fool (laughs).
ROCK: It seems to be a pretty well-kept secret that Prince played synthesizer on "Stand Back." How did that come about?
Nicks: I called him up one day while he was filming a video and I asked him to come down and listen to a song. I didn't think he'd show up because he was so busy, but he did. As I was playing the song, he walked over to the synthesizer and began to play this amazing part with only two fingers. So we recorded it in the middle of the night, and it turned out great. It's my favorite cut on the album.
ROCK: You once felt that you hadn't received the recognition you had long hoped for from your peers. Do you feel respected as a songwriter?
Nicks: Pretty much. I've written down songs on a thousand pieces of paper for the last 10 years and thought, 'If only they would respect me as a songwriter,' That's all I ever really wanted. Performing and singing was a wonderful addition, but the thing I wanted most -- especially from Mac -- was them to say to me 'You're a pretty good songwriter.' It took them a long time to realize that I wasn't kidding around, that I'm very serious about my writing. It mattered to me what they thought and that they realized that I was striving toward a certain excellence. They had that excellence, but I had to strive a little harder for it and make them believe that I really cared that much.
ROCK: What is the status of Fleetwood Mac from your viewpoint? Will the group continue on as we know it?
Nicks: It'll all just depend on how understanding everybody is to everyone else's needs. If everyone is thoughtful, understanding, sweet and kind, then the band could go on forever. If everyone isn't, then that could cause a big problem. We've suffered through a long love affair and whatever our hearts tell us, that's what we'll do.
ROCK: Where do you fit into Fleetwood Mac?
Nicks: My relationship with Fleetwood Mac will never change. I will always be the baby sister, the one that is left out a little bit. My solo work allows me not to feel bad about it and enjoy them (Mac) for what they are, instead of worrying about not being included enough. That's what I used to get upset about. They were not even close to using my full potential. But now I know I have something else to go to.
ROCK: Did the success of Bella Donna satisfy your expectations toward a solo career?
Nicks: I was really kind of stunned. I never let myself believe that the best thing is going to happen. I just sort of let myself be very surprised if it does, but I don't expect it. So I didn't expect anything from Bella Donna. I just did the best I could and finished it. I had a wonderful time doing it. It was over in two and one-half months, like a flash. I didn't expect it to be the greatest record in the world or not the greatest. I just expected it to be what I could do. She flew out of the record stores without me. And it was very much out of my hands. There's nothing I can do to change it now. I'm having to get used to the fact that it isn't just mine anymore.
ROCK: Are you saying you wish that the album wouldn't have been so successful and that your songs wuld have remained basically unknown?
Nicks: All those songs I did over a long period of time. They're now out in the world, and everybody's hearing songs that I've been listening to for five, six, seven years. Don't misunderstand me. It's not that I'm not happy about this. I am. I'm just sort of adjusting to it slowly. It bothers me a little bit just because it [the songs] has been a part of me and it has been very private. But to get people to listen, you have to put it out there and explain a little of it. And it's nerve-wracking and difficult sometimes. I think people wonder why I'm not seriously jumping up and down. It's because I'm not sure how to deal with it. I've never really been alone before doing something. I've never had no one else to fall on. I've never had to do all the interviews myself. I could get crazy about it. The excitement is so strong that. . . it just makes me nervous.
ROCK: You seem to imply that there is an emotional strain working apart from Fleetwood Mac.
Nicks: Yes, but at the same time it makes you feel more independent. I am more independent now. I did the albums because I wanted to make sure that I could still do something for myself.
ROCK: Will it be hard to go back and work with a group now that you've cut another album on your own?
Nicks: It will only be difficult in that I'll get to do three songs instead of 10, and I'll be working less time. It's not enough for me. That's the problem. I write so much that I just get terribly backlogged all the time. And for me to work on an album that takes a long time like a Fleetwood Mac album and then have only three songs on it is frustrating. I don't spend too much time working [in the studio with Fleetwood Mac]. I sit a lot. I spent no time sitting on The Wild Heart. I mean I was on my feet the whole time. It's going to be hard for me to sit becase [in that situation] I'm not one of the players and that puts me on the other side of the mirror; alone, with them out in the studio. It's very lonely.
ROCK: How did the two duets on Bella Donna ("Leather and Lace" with Don Henley, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" with Tom Petty) come about?
Nicks: I just love singing with people and they know it. So when people call me up they know I'll come down 'cause I just love to sing duets. That's how the duets come about. "Leather and Lace" I wrote for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter who were going to do an album five years ago. Waylon had asked me to write a song called "Leather and Lace" and I spent a long time on it. I tried to give it a little bit of Waylon, a little bit of Jessi and a little bit of what I knew it was like to be in show business, what it was like to work with your husband or your old man. But they (Jennings and Colter) broke up, and Waylon decided he was going to do it alone. But I said no, because I had put a lot of time into the psychology of the song and felt it was a mistake to do it alone. It's a wonderful song. So when Bella Donna came out, there was no reason for it not to be done just because Waylon and Jessi broke up. But I did want everyone to know I wrote the song for them. I didn't write it for myself.
ROCK: When did you originally decide to embark on a solo career?
Nicks: I decided to do Bella Donna when I came off the road with Fleetwood Mac at the end of the Tusk tour. I was really in terrible shape. I was so tired and sung out. I was so "Landslide-ed" out and so "Rhiannon-ed" out that I thought if I had to stand on stage for two and one-half hours and do that set one more time I was going to go nuts. The idea to do a solo album came when I was going out with Paul Fishkin [co-owner of Modern Records] about four years ago. We jut sat down one night and decided that it would be wonderful to start a record company that really cared about the artists and had high morals and principles and was special. And he did it. He moved the ferris wheel and started Modern. It was very difficult for both of us. Everybody was angry at us. But we really felt that it was important that we go ahead and do it no matter what.
ROCK: Several of the songs on your LPs seem to have a country flavor to them. Is that a fair assessment?
Nicks: Yes. I had a country grandfather and I write a lot of country songs. But nobody knows it. When I give a song to Fleetwood Mac they kind of take it apart and put it back together. So if it was country, it's not country anymore. You wouldn't ever hear the country in it. I don't mind it but if I really don't like it I tell them. I let a lot of songs be done in a way that I really wouldn't do them but, because it makes everybody else happy, I go along. I figure it's not going to make my song any better to have them play it the way I want it and have them play it terribly.
ROCK: From what you're saying, it seems that Iovine plays a key factor in pulling an album together.
Nicks: Yes. he has an intense way of making us mad enough without making us angry or furious. By doing that he made you feel like, 'OK, I'll show you.' And he got the most incredible performances out of everybody. For instance, once he was right in the middle of the room while we were recording. He had his headphones on and all of a sudden he turned the beat of the song around. He started looking up at Russ Kunkel and motioned him to change the tempo. And I'm watching Russ start to play what Jimmy's saying and I'm blown away. My eyes can't believe that they're seeing this little guy (Iovine) bouncing around the room looking like some kind of little elf, telling all these intense, famous guys what to do. And they're following his every move. It's incredible.
ROCK: The chemistry seemed to be perfect from what you're saying.
Nicks: The right people in the right room together. . . You have to look good with Russ, Waddy (Watchel), Roy (Bittan) and Michael (Campbell) of the Heartbreakers. With Tom Petty and Don Felder out there you're certainly not going to stand up there and be terrible. You're going to do the very best you can from the first time you sing. Even the worst vocal is going to be great. Also, you're so proud, that you don't want to look like a jerk in front of all these guys!
ROCK: Any plans for another album?
Nicks: I feel real content because I got 10 songs out. Now I don't have to worry about those anymore. Now I can go on to the next 10. I'd be recording all year 'round if I could. I wrote a song night before last. I've written two songs in the last month. I have two from the album that didn't make it because there wasn't enough room. I have three or four old ones I still want to do. That's not counting the songs that I'll write in the next couple of months. As long as I know I can every once in a while go in and knock out 10 songs I won't be a nervous wreck. That little bit of an outlet makes it okay.
ROCK: The melodies of some of the songs on the new album are reminiscent of your past work. . .
Nicks: My songs are really just continuations of every song. I can sit down and play you a medley of "Dreams," "Sara," "Outside the Rain," "How Still My Love" and "Edge of Seventeen" and they're all little pieces. Those are the only chords I know. I like all my melodies and the simplicity in which I write. So, I really don't try to change that much. I don't sit around saying, 'Oh, that sounds too much like "Dreams."' If I like it, I don't care if it sounds like "Dreams" or not. I just try to make it better.
ROCK: Do you have any idea who your audience is?
Nicks: I don't have any idea who buys my albums. I don't have any idea who The Wild Heart's audience is. I truly believe that the energy, the magic that surrounds a project like this is very important. It's as important as the music, as important as the songs.
ROCK: How did you come to choose the backup artists for The Wild Heart?
Nicks: Jimmy [Iovine, Nicks' producer] seems to always pick out the perfect people. He lets me work with the two women that I want to sing with; we've been singing together for five and one-half years. We could sing every song a capella because we'd been practicing for so long. We practice with the demos which is like practicing together. So even if Lori Perry would be in Dallas and Sharon Celani would be in Los Angeles and I'd be in New York, we'd be practicing to the same group of 40 songs. I always wanted to do a thing with two girls where we would sing and be like a girls' Commodores. I wanted to have background vocals sound like they were answering back and forth. After a while Jimmy would say that we couldn't do this or that. He'd say, 'Stevie, shut up and quit protecting them. Just back off and let me work with them.' It was a constant learning process.
ABC Australia: The Meldrum Tapes
This interview with Ian "Molly" Meldrum was broadcast in Australia in 1986.
Molly: Tonight we are going to feature a very special lady, and her name is Stevie Nicks.
Now how this interview came about was that towards the end of the Dire Straits performances in Melbourne, I threw a party for them here at my home. And it just so happened that Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty happened to be performing here on the same night. Well Bob didn't arrive at the party but Stevie and Tom Petty arrived. Stevie agreed to do an interview. So she came over here on the Saturday afternoon, we sat down, we had a lot of laughs and then we sat down here to do the interview. It's one of the most enjoyable afternoons I've ever spent and certainly one of the most enjoyable interviews. So here it is, from the Egyptian Room, Stevie Nicks.
Video clip: Talk To Me
Molly: The first time I ever met you, was when you were really.. they were calling you "megastars" in the essence because it was Fleetwood Mac. But I knew of you before then, let's go right back and start at when you actually started singing
Stevie: Well I started singing when I was very little because my grandfather was a country singer, so my grand dad and I sang, seriously duets, which is why I love duets. So I started singing, even my mother says when I was really a baby. I just always loved to sing, and I never took music classes and I never took "Glee Club" and I was never was inÖ I never wanted to do that singing, I just sang by myself all the time. I got a guitar on my 16th birthday and I wrote a song that night and I never stopped writing since. I didn't get a piano until I was about 25 so I played guitar and wrote all my songs on guitar.
Molly: Now even though you were singing with your family in itself and doing duets, in your school days what did you aspire to be? Was it to be a singer or a musician?
Stevie: Well it was always to be a singer. I think I always knew that I was notÖ that I did not have the innate talent like say, Lindsey at 8 years old laying around playing the guitar. I mean, he plays the guitar all day long. Well I played the guitar from when I was sixteen until I was about 25/26 and I still play a little, but, it never came in that innate ability to be Eric Clapton, and I waited for it to come in and it didn't, so I started to play the piano. It was easier for me because all I had to do was chord, and I could sit there and figure that out, but on the guitar I was baffled. Even though I play real good rhythm guitar actually, but when I went to the piano I could sit there for days you know and I never had a piano, my family never had a piano. So, I started writing pretty much on piano, I am, going to, after this tour that I have been tagging along with, I am going to go home and cut my fingernails off and I'm going to get an electric guitar and I'm going to start to work with the guitar again cause I wrote a guitar song last night and its another part of me that nobody has seen in a long time.
Molly: Going back to the first song that you wrote, you said you got the guitar and wrote a song. What musical influences were going around in your mind?
Stevie: Everley Brothers, I would say The Beatles except for the fact when I met Lindsey he was so insistent that I listen to The Beatles for form, for like, here's your verse, here's your one bar, and I'm going "this is a bar down the corner - right?", I mean, two bars, and then there's another verse, and then you have to have a chorus, and now you have to have a bridge, and I'm going over to a blotter, and I don't understand this, so I got a little upset with people that I was forced to listen to. So, I was not forced to listen to the Everley Brothers and I was not forced to listen to R&B or The Supremes or The Beach Boys, The Four Tops.
Molly: But forced to listen to The Beatles?
Stevie: Forced to listen to The Beatles - and as much as I love The Beatles its like, you know - nobody likes to be Ö "and did this"Ö also the Kingston Trio. So somewhere between The Beatles and the Kingston Trio I kind of burned out a little bit and said in my own self, quietly, I'm going and find what I want to sing and listen to, even though I'll sing what YOU want me to do, and YOU want me to do, and what YOU want me to do when I'm with you. But in my own private time I'm going to sing to Diana Ross and I'm going to sing to Aretha Franklin, that's just the way it is.
Molly: When did you then start taking it seriously, in the essence that it was going to be your career and that you would have to work extremely hard, to even make something of it, especially in America where everyone wants to be a star?
Stevie: But, you see for me, it was neverÖ OK, I met Lindsey, I love to tell this story, I met Lindsey at a religious meeting called "The Young Life" that they used to have at high school, when I went to high school, and cause everyone just went cause to get us out of the house and really go to a party, and I met Lindsey and he was sitting there just gorgeous, playing his guitar and I walked over to him and we sang California Dreaming and we sang it perfect and I'd never met him before. He was a year younger than me, so he was a junior and I was a senior. I didn't see him again after that night until about two years later. I was like two years into junior college, and he called me up and asked me if I wanted to be in a rock and roll band and I had been of course, very much Joan Baez, and very much (sings) "and I never got over those blue eyes" but I was also going (sings) "take another little piece of my heart now baby" cause I was also really into Janis Joplin and I was really into Jimi Hendrix, and like nobody knew this, my parents knew because my room was like dancing all the time - and I said sure, I had no idea. For the next 5 years of my life, not only would I have this relationship with Lindsey Buckingham but I would also go to college, 5 years going straight through Junior to upper college and have to drive from Stanford University down to Menlo Atherton which is like an hour on the freeway at 5.30 and practice until midnight then drive back, and also study. And they weren't going to college so they don't really care.
Molly: So what was your motivation?
Stevie: I wanted to be in a rock 'n' roll band, and I also realized that I had found in Lindsey a duet singer. Which was my grandfather, right? Which was that close Everley Brother thing that I have, which is what Lindsey and I are really famous for is that 5thÖ If he's singing this one then I'm singing just ever so slightly, a tiny bit higher than him. It's Scottish almost, sort of. And also I'd found an incredible guitar player, who could play anything, who could sit an play you any song, and of course he found in me a whole lot of trouble, because I could very easily sit down and with one note go "do, do, do, do do" and write a song, not knowing anything about the guitar which to this day upsets him and everybody else because something just saysÖOK... and I just sit down and I play, and its not great, but it's a great skeleton, it's a great skeletal thing to give to you and say, here it is, its very simple, go ahead and make it into a Bo Diddley song, make it into a Led Zeppelin song, make it into a Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks song, make it into a Stevie Nicks song, which was usually the last on the priority list, but that was alright, because I needed to learn.
Molly: OK, so there's this relationship with yourself and Lindsey as far as peformers are concerned. To go into and get a recording contract, how did you do that?
Stevie: We moved to Los Angeles at the beginning of 1972, in my Toyota which Lindsey named "The Pocket" for in the pocket, right in theÖ and we drove to LA and we lived with Keith Olsen, who was our producer, who basically kind of like saw us on the only little tour we ever did with Leon Russell which was four shows, with Leon Russell, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los AngelesÖ
Molly: How did you get that gig?
Stevie: I don't know, but however we got it, I was going if I had to carry the piano, it didn't matter. So I got to stand on the side of the stage for four nights and watch Leon Russell play. That's an influence, he was very much an influence of mine, and so Lindsey and I were singing, by Keith Olsen, the whole band came down to Los Angeles and we stayed at the Tropicana Hotel, right? (laughs). Which is the worst place in the world, that is the scheme of the rock and roll life, everyone needs to stay there for a night, and we gotÖ well what happened was is that the band ended up breaking.. they ended up really driving everybody else in the band away, which is what drove Lindsey and I together because Lindsey and I were never going together in the whole three and a half years that we were in the Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band. Can you believe this name? we were both going with someone else, and what happened really, the reason Linsdey and I ever started really going together was cause it was kind of so cruel that these people in Los Angeles had decided to break this band up, and they succeeded, they broke it up, and so the other three members who were really very good, and they only took me because they knew that they weren't gonna get Lindsey without me and also as a little kind of back up to Lindsey, so we signed the Buckingham Nicks contract and we did an album that is now ours, actually Lindsey and I bought it, and we may just go back in and remix a little bit and maybe do a little singing on it and because, I sat in a room with Lindsey for nine months, in his father's coffee plant, a little tiny room littler than this while we did half of the songs on that record on a four track. Like we'd go when the workers went home. We'd go at 7 o'clock and we'd stay until 6.30 all night long, up by the Cow Palace (?) in San Francisco and I would sit there every night, all night long and listen to him like put the lead on "So Afraid" or the seven minute acoustical version of "Frozen Love" which he just plays all the way through.
Molly: So the initial success of that album, then it starts travelling into what was probably one of the most incredible emergences of two Americans with a very established English band, how did that happen?
Stevie: OK - I'm going to conceptualize this and put it into a small [gestures box shape]Ö I love these stories. Lindsey and I lived in an apartment on Fairfax and Orangegrove, in Los Angeles and Richard Dashut who ended up to be one of our producers because we took Richard with us, we weren't going alone. I guess Mick Fleetwood just went out to our studio in Los Angeles, it was out in the valley, that's called Sound City, its right across the freeway from this huge brewery, beer brewery, so you can never get lost because you always smell beer and knew you were coming upon Sound City so you turn off and you go to this place. And he went there to check out Keith Olsen's work, so Keith put on Frozen Love, and what did Fleetwood Mac need? They needed a guitar player, and in Frozen Love Lindsey does an incredible job ofÖ he plays, that's a live thing all they way through - straight. He's also an incredible lead guitar player when he wants to be, and Mick Fleetwood said here is Peter Green for us, and, the fact that, we know as history says, they already had a lady singer, they didn't really need another one, but, they needed a guitar player bad enough to say well, we'll take her, if she's good, good - if she's not she's gone. They, Fleetwood Mac is a band and they just go right on, and they are famous for their guitar players, so I was a surprise to them, cause they didn't expect really anything from me.
Molly: So Mick Fleetwood takes on Lindsey and yourself, you certainly then are becoming a bandÖ
Stevie: And not even suddenly. The reason I told you we lived on Orangegrove and Fairfax was because Christine's mother was very psychic and the last thing that Chris' mom said to her before she died was "you will find it on Orangegrove" and of course Christine with her dry English humour is sure she's going to be picking oranges somewhere in an orange grove in California, and they found us on Orangegrove, and we becameÖ from the day that we all met at a Mexican restaurant, and they drove up in these 2 wild Cadillacs, white like with the fins, clunked up! Lindsey and I are like going these people are strange and they get out and it was really like love at first sight, how could you not love these people? So we had dinner, and it was never like "do you want to join the band?". It was like well rehersal's tomorrow at 5pm in the basement and you'll get paid $200 a week in cash for each of you, and I'm going 'we're rich! we're rich'. It was instant, and I went out and bought all the Fleetwood Mac albums with my last pennies and listened to every side, back to front, back to front, to see if I could find any thematic thing in this band that I felt was something I could do, and I did, I found a real mystical thing in it from Christine's songs to Peter's to the Green Manalishi to Black Magic Wowan, to all the.. to the things I love, some good ballads, some really neat rock and roll, some really good rock and roll stuff, and I love Peter Green, so I said "yeah, I can blend".
Molly: You go into a situation then, where an album is to be done - Fleetwood Mac. How the hell did it happen, and did you ever imagine what was going to happen after that? I know you would probably hope it, but..
Stevie: No, no, Fleetwood Mac "Fleetwood Mac" only took three months from beginning to end. That's 5 wild indians in one room, all going "I'm the producer", or "listen I know I'm right" and I didn't even ever say that, so were talking only four. And Linsdey, is once again radically perfectionistic and its like, you know, well, I don't want to be on it then, if its not right. And Lindsey and Stevie and Chris had to learn to sing together because Christine is so very, so very English and like I'm kinda like wherever I am, if I'm in Atlanta I have a southern accent, and if I'm in England, its likeÖ and Lindsey's like kind of very country rock'n'roll, to just listen to just Lindsey play and sing. So to put these three voices together, especially since two had been singing for years, was hard. But, the one great thing about the English is that they are jovial enough to make a joke out of a lot of things, and this is the only way I think that the three of us learned to sing together. Because, it was like Lindsey and I had already practiced for years you know and then there was another lady and she had to learn to sing with us too, you know, and that was the hardest part, but the record was done in three months, what can I say? We didn't have all the money in the world to spend, we couldn't be indulgent, and nobody knew if it was going to be a hit or not. And for Lindsey and I, like we were rich because we were getting hundreds of dollar bills a week, and we were starving.
Molly: So, Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac started to take off, singles were released from it, and suddenly, Stevie Nicks, especially, is starting to become a first class lady, as far as, a big number one and a big star, how did you react to that?
Stevie: I don't think that Stevie Nicks really realised it. Because once again, we left, and we worked for like four months solid, four nights a week, you know, that's why my voice got hurt and like one day off, then 3 gigs, then one day off then four gigs. We were so busy, honestly, and we went everywhere, we went to Grand Junction Colorado and Casper Wyoming, we went to places where nobody went. So, we really did take our music out, and I think that as much as the record, we went out and played it for people. I mean, it was an amazing life adjustment for me to literally be doing three to four shows a night, I mean not a night but a week and then having a day to travel and like that the first class ticket you know. Well, you travel once and then you work solid and so the only time to really got to sit down and rest was when you on the airplane and nobody read Billboard and nobody called home to find outÖ you know when you are really touring you are really wrapped up in your music and what you are doing every night. I was working out everything in myÖ.you knowÖ Rhiannon is a certain way on the record, well Rhiannon turned into a whole other thing on stage but I had to work that out in my head every night when I went bed. I'd lay in bed and go, what do I want to do in this song? and I'd really spend an awful lot of hours thinking not about how good we were doing, but about what I wanted to do in my place in the three people, Lindsey, Christine and Stevie and what was I going to do right here in the middle of these two, how was I going to be?
Video clip: Rhiannon
Molly: Well you've got one enormous album, you've created sales that no one believed at that stage could be possible, especially with the combination of the group, you've had major hits off that album, suddenly Chrissie and yourself and two major names around the world, how then did you approach the next album?
Stevie: We never changed. Fleetwood Mac never changes. We go in exactly the same everytime. There's always electricity. We don't approach an album really, we just go in and Lindsey is pretty much the boss. We never knew when we did Rumours that it wasÖ we all loved itÖ but we didn't know it was going to be that big of a record and we again went right on the road, and when you're out there touring, you don't get a subscription to Billboard or Cashbox or Record World, and nobody's really calling you up and telling you. So, its an elitist thing, the band goes on the road and its like you live in your world of touring. We're never aware of it.
Molly: Have you changed since then? Have you changed from the Rhiannon days of being a star and everyone wanting an ounce - saying Stevie Nicks belongs to us, the press say this, the television says that, are you changing at this time? Its not quite the same as doing the first album is it?
Stevie: No, but amazingly enough, only because we are older, is it not the same. Its really very much the same. It was always crazy. They are wondering right now why I am here. I have to go home and work with them, and there's the radical Stevie, she's split to Australia.
Molly: Was it frightening you, number one, as an individual, frightening you as a group secondly, how big this album was becoming?
Stevie: No, because we never, as I said, we never checked. So for all those weeks that we were on the road, and that Rumours was on the charts, once again, we toured for a year, a solid year and Fleetwood Mac tours for eight weeks, then they take 3 1/2 weeks off, they tour eight more weeks, they went to Japan for a year, they went to Australia, I'm sorry not Japan for a year, they went to Japan for a month, and then we came to, thank the lord, Australia for a month and this is solid - this is no break. Everyone else tours for 3 weeks and they take four weeks off, and its like "I don't understand this" because I am from a serious touring band. So we were so busy Molly, that we didn't really know or really care what the record was doing. We would walk up those stairs every night and there were 20 thousand people, or 30 thousand people or 50 thousand people or 75 thousand people or 10 people that are there to see you and its like forget it, everything else doesn't matter, and this is where we most want to be. So no, we're not very aware of what's happening as far as charts go, if you even mention the word single to Lindsey he'll get angry with you. Its like "don't tell me what a single is, cause I don't write singles". And of course, so that rubs off on me from 20 years ago also to everybody its like don't tell us to write singles, ever. Don't tell Fleetwood Mac to be commercial, don't tell Stevie Nicks to be commercial. I mean Lindsey gets mad at me now, its like "I'm telling you to be commercial" and I'm going "but nobody told Fleetwood Mac to be commercial" Fleetwood Mac never tried to be commercial, ever
Video clip: Dreams
Molly: Rumours had become history, it is a landmark in rock'n'roll history, whether you read charts or not, it's a very big album, a lot of great songs, incredible songs, four top hits, I won't say singles, that were just massive, world tours, covering an immense amount of countries, then the Tusk album.
Molly: Why are you laughing?
Stevie: Well, just because "then the Tusk album - The Movie". Right then, my eyes are filling up with funny tears. I wish you could have been there for the thirteen months of Tusk.
Molly: It took so long?
Stevie: [giggling] Yep, and when we moved out of the studio it looked like your house that we had lived in, I mean there had to be 350,000 polaroids plus stuffed animals hanging upside down, you know, rabbits, everything that we all owned, yarn and crocheting stuff, and paints. Christine is really an art teacher right, so we have all our art supplies. We had a digital person that I never understood the whole 13 months why he was there, I called him "Mr Didge" he lived outside the door. For 13 months we went to the studio every single day at 2 o'clock, and you know that I'm late, and I have been told that sometimes you are late. Well, you are not late for a Fleetwood Mac session - they come and get you and kill you. Its like, you don't ever do this again, and, so from 2 o'clock in the afternoon, which is a horrifying time of day to even be up, until 8 or 9 the next morning, and then its like, lets play, then its like lets jam, lets play the blues da da da da-da!! And you can't leave cause you're part of this band, so, Fleetwood Mac wouldÖ I meanÖ and Tusk, was like very native, very African. Mick lived in the jungle in Africa for 5 or 6 years of his life, right? And so Mick thinks that he is a Watouzi (sp?) Warrior and .. he is! So this whole recordÖ I mean I would sit and write for days, you know, it was like "The Tribe" and like this is the sacred steps back up to the top of the sacred mountain of this jungle kind of thing, and that's what Tusk was. And if you ever really listen to Tusk and listen to it quietly, its very slow. I listen to it sometimes and I think these songs are so slow. Its like, Lindsey's song goes [singing slowly] "and they said I never would recover, and they said I knew you well". Its like everything on Tusk was very like "warrioresque", which is probably one of the reasons why 13 months didn't kill us all, because it was soÖits like we kind of went to kind of another kind of world for Tusk and I think that Tusk is one of those records that some day people will sit down and listen to and understand what it really was because I didn't even understand what it was and I think I'm only now, as I listen to it in my own private time, starting to realise that there was a lot more in Tusk that even I didn't see.
Video clip: Tusk
Molly: Stevie Nicks is now Stevie Nicks known to the world
Stevie: [laughs] Alright
Molly: Well you are known to the world
Stevie: Yeah, OK
Molly: Especially for anyone that follows rock and rock and most people who follow rock and roll are basically in that part of the world, the Western World. The image of Stevie Nicks started to expand beyond belief because now suddenly video is a huge thing.
Stevie: [laughing] And starting with Gypsy though
Molly: Now lets get on to Gypsy, because by now, even though he is a friend of mine, he was one of the major pioneers of video, and a very talented person. Accused also though, by me, I might say, that he goes over the top. You said before you thought it was going to be a disaster
Stevie: We did! Because once again, you put, like I would always thing the buffalo (???). You put five people especially that aren't used to ever doing any filming of any kind, in room and try and tell them what to do and I thought like, this is a disaster, and Russell said to me "this is my film and everybody will do what I say" and the thing is that he came to my house for 2 hours and he looked at my closet and he looked at my things and my crystal balls and all my stuff that I have, and, I thought that he was going to be a lot a lot more like.. and he wasn't. He never raised his voice to anybody in Fleetwood Mac, he was totally, completely calm and nobody in Fleetwood Mac ever raised their voice to him.
Molly: A brilliant film clip
Stevie: A brilliant film clip, which was for meÖ I wish we could find a producer like Russell, a producer of music like Russell for Fleetwood Mac, because the way he handled those five people was so, it was like the best Mom in the world, that just handled all ten of those kids perfect. And that's what he did, and I was amazed. In Gypsy there's a part where I come around this lamp post and I look, and you think I'm looking at Mick, because Mick's driving up in the truck, well I'm not, I'm looking at Russell and Russell's likeÖ and then when Mick drives up, Mick's not just looking at me, Mick's looking at me and Russell who are both like vibing him, and the looks between Mick and I, I think are so intense there, but it wasn't just Mick and I, it was Mick and I and RussellÖ and it was easy
Video Clip: Gypsy
Molly: Russell directed you in Gypsy. A couple of years later Russell said to me one of the most frustrating things is that to meet Stevie Nicks and to meet, of all other people, Martha Davis, they both could have been great actresses
Stevie: That's a very nice thing to say
Molly: Did you ever have anyÖ
Stevie: No. Because I don't like to be, as you know [gestures being filmed], if I'm having to worry about how I look and how, you know, if I'm getting older, or if, you know, I'm not 95 pounds. If I have to worry about that it takes away from my being a rock'n'roll singer, and that's what I am, so, that bothers me, and for me also to be told what to say, is really hard. So I neverÖ and to repeat and repeat and repeat, I'm really an entertainer, I'm not a studioÖ you know I'm not a perfectionist, I'm an entertainer, a live entertainer.
Molly: Well you're a songwriter, singer and performerÖgoing back to Sara, did that hurt you when that lawsuit happened?
Stevie: If the girl had called me up and asked me, and told me what she did, and of course I did answer the phone, cause the woman called me and she told me her story and I told her mine, very honestly. And if she had just left it at that I probably would have said, which I did say, maybe the same star hit us both at the same time. Maybe the same words came through to you and me at the same time very similar, that's alright, I accept that, and I'd probably have given her half of that song, but what she did was, she talked to me, and she was real nice, and I was real vulnerable, and real naïve, and I really told her exactly the truth, and she sued me and she had me subpoenad and THAT made me angry.
Molly: Does it also make you angry that you are very vulnerable?
Stevie: No, because if I'm not vulnerable, I won't ever write any more songs about vulnerability and then what am I doing? I need to help people. I need to make people believe that its alright to be vulnerable and to be a little naïve and to be still sweet and kind and good.
Video clip: Sara
Molly: So there was Stevie Nicks - superstar - has gone through the rigors of being a rock star, of being married, of having that exploding in the papers, of having the accolades of one of the biggest groups in the world, of being sued because of lyrics, did you ever feel at that stage, is this worth it?
Stevie: And still she lives in her ivory chamber, yeah, I wonder sometimes, but I never wonder enough to ever stop doing this though, they can't hurt me. Because the people that listen to me sing, the kids in Australia, the kids in The United States, the kids in Europe, anybody, my friends, you anybody that wants me to sit down and sing for them - yeah that makes it worth it
Molly: To go into a solo career, how hard was that?
Stevie: Very difficult, and so come the words of Bella Donna, about this is life, this is the fast lane, and you never thought that your face would become thin but it did, and you are in love with and I'm ready to sailÖ cause I'm gonna still do this with or without you. Also come in out of the darkness, yeah, come in out of the darkness, I though I was in a little bit of darkness and because I just needed to sing and to be with people and to work with people and I had become so questered that I hadn't known much life at all, and certainly as we already spoke of three songs per writer, right? Well I write three songs in three months, or 3 songs sometimes in three weeks or sometimes three songs in two days and so I'm down to three songs of my life experience for three years basically, so yeah, that's difficult. So, at some point, if you are a really prolific song writer and you want to be able to walk to that piano, and as Christine calls me "the mad songwriter" and not feel stupid about writing another song, or have somebody walk by and say "oh great, your writing another song". I don't want to feel that and that's why I went to do a solo career. I need to write even if nobody ever hears it.
Molly: Suddenly a third thing happened, which was almost a landmark as well. I've spoken about the female singing part of leading a group, both you and Chrissie, the videoÖ
Stevie: No, but I never led that group
Molly: Just simply saying you two as singers
Stevie: A team
Molly: Ö the videoÖ as far as making a video which Americans weren't doing at that stage or taking it too seriouslyÖ
Stevie: But we knew they were taking it seriously here (Australia) cause when we came here there was nothing but videos on TV, and that was before MTV
Molly: Ö the third thing, is that, here was a major star linking up then with another star, in Tom Petty, and doing duets, which has become one would think these days, that it was always done, it was never done
Stevie: No, it was right back to my Grandfather, it was right back to country music
Video clip: Stop Draggin' my heart around
Molly: Going back then to your rock and roll Ö.. before Tom Petty, your association, as far as records is concerned, and your great love for bandsÖ
Stevie: and The Heartbreakers, and The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin are about the only bands I know, and about Pete Towshend and The Who. That's it! There are no other bands in this world
Molly: Tom and you doing a thing together, and then you becoming literally part of that band for a while, was it a sympathy thing because Stevie's a femaleÖ
Stevie: A little, a little bit, [sings] "I need a little sympathy". Yeah, a little! A little, they let me be an honorary Heartbreaker
Molly: So Bella Donna happens, and again it's a hit, you can't stop having them!
Stevie: But nobody raves about it
Molly: What do you mean no one raves about it?
Stevie: In my world. Bella Donna is a hit, as was Rumours a hit, nobody raved about it in our world. Its like Bella Donna I guess was a hit, but nobody really told me, nobody told me about it, nobody told me that they were raving. So I wasn't aware that anybody was raving. I guess what I'm trying to say to you Molly, is that its very easy to sail through these records without really noticing too much, because you're going so fast. Nobody's calling you up and telling you anything, so you just do your gigs and what becomes really important is that live performance, is that walking out on the stage, and that's it, and yeah, I can sit here and sing to right now, any of those recordsÖ
Molly: I've got to argue here, the live performance is important, however there is a million, and millions out there watching video so they might not see Stevie. Stevie could be in EnglandÖ
Stevie: Alright, but I'm making the videos too now, which is something I don't like to doÖ
Molly: That's what I'm saying, with Stand Back, its such an unbelievable simple video which defied all over the top costs
Stevie: Right, and then of course in complete confidence over international Australian TV I should tell you about the first "Stand Back" which I did my own horseback riding [laughs] and was like, you know, incredible to a point, but it wasn't right, and I freaked out and I said Fleetwood Mac didn't have to make videos to sell records so at this point I said take it back. And I did, I re-did Stand Back with Geoffrey Horneby (sp?) who choreographed Flash Dance, now you have to know this sent me into waves of panic because I am not a dancer and I am certainly not like "whats-her-name" in Flash Dance. So I am afraid. And I make this video right, and I have my kind of gang of dancers who are all going like this [looks over shoulder] and it's wonderful, and I meet this guy named Brad who choreographs all my videos to this day and who puts up with a lot from me because he knows that I'm sweet and he doesn't want to hurt my feelings, you know. Its like, its difficult because I'm a rock'n'roll singer, I'm a ROCK'N'ROLL SINGER!
Molly: I know that!
Stevie: I'm not a model, I am not an actress, I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be able to model for vogue!
Molly: I wish I had never told you what Russell had said..
Stevie: HoweverÖ [laughs then looks straight down the lens]
Molly: Why not? Why not?
Stevie: Because I'm only 5 foot, one inches tall! And because you know what? I don't care about being pretty that much, what I want to do, is I want to sing to you!
Video Clip: Stand Back
Molly: Stevie Nicks "superstar" could be classed as aÖ I don't know.. of how Madonna is these days and perhaps Whitney Houston in the futureÖ
Stevie: I am so much older than they are Molly
Molly: SureÖ and still as pretty, but here you are in their same league - I see you walk forward with those people
Stevie: Because why? Because why? Because they are the "great singers" and the "great great players"
Molly: Because you're talented - you don't think you're talented?
Stevie: But I wanted to go see the great singers and the great, great players
Molly: In the meantime, you have got a solo album out, which people say, and I agree, is your best effortÖ it's a great album. You have got some great songs on it, and I don't have toÖ perhaps I should tell you about the charts. Its rolling up the charts here, its huge in America and you're here
Stevie: And I want to be here
Molly: And the least you seem to be concerned about is Stevie Nicks this superstar solo image
Stevie: The least I am concerned about is that
Molly: You love rock and roll that much?
Stevie: I love rock and roll that much!
Molly: It's a neat thing
Stevie: It's the most special thing
Video Clip: I Can't Wait
Molly: During this interview, you've talked about that you're a lot older than say Madonna or Whitney HoustonÖ
Stevie: I am
Molly: Yet you show the enthusiasm and the want probably above them, I've listened to you saying "I'm gonna do some film directing, I love it"
Stevie: And photography
Molly: "And photography"
Stevie: And interview you
Molly: No way
Stevie: yes, yes, yes, yes!
Molly: You've got that enthusiasm, where do you get it from? Was it bred in your family?
Stevie: No I think its really from God, I think its really from the spirits. I think its really from the little jazz spirit that hangs over my head, and the little rock'n'roll spirit that hangs over my head
Molly: We were talking before about you've written a song with your brotherÖ
Stevie:Yeah, and the little brother spirit that hangs over my head
Molly: Is your family that important?
Stevie: My family isÖ my family is so important to me that last night in the middle of the night I started to cry because I miss my brother, and I needed to call him, and I didn't have any phone numbers. I don't have anybody's phone number - cause I don't have a book. I needed to talk to Christopher because I just needed for somebody to tell me that its all OK, and yeah, my family is very, very important to me, and you are important to me, and all the people that come to see me are important to me
Molly: Well I don't have to wish you luck for your solo album because its already going to be a hit. I wish you luck with Fleetwood Mac, with the forthcoming album, I wish you luck with everything else because quite frankly you are one of the most enjoyable people that I have ever met and talked to, and one of the most honest, and I thank you for that
Stevie: Well, I have to say one thing to you too, I've been interviewed by many people, many, many great people, and I think this is probably the nicest and most really true to my heart interview that I have ever really done and I really appreciate it.
Molly: Thanks Stevie
There is a long version (above) of this interview and a shorter version. The shorter version has the following footage in it that they didn't use in the long version:
Molly: Well knowing Lindsey after the Fleetwood Mac period when and he was doing his solo thing, and getting to know him fairly well, he seems an utter perfectionist. Is he?
Stevie: Utter. To the point of "why can't you just come and play?", and its like, "well I can't just do that". And that's the reason, and I love Lindsey, but that's the reason that Lindsey and I aren't together. Its because I'm radical, you know, its like, I just want to play, I just want us all together here, and set up some microphones, and a camera and I just want to play. And Lindsey, it needs to be perfect for Lindsey and so his perfection drives me crazy because I think he doesn't have any fun, and my radicalness drives him crazy because he thinks I'm not as good as I should be.
Video clip: You Make Loving Fun
Molly: Everyone now is forced to do videos
Molly: After the Gypsy thing, you'll want to do another video, and obviously one from Bella Donna, from that album. Were you getting worried about the fact that the image was taking over your music?
Stevie: Because of what I said already, I don't like the fact that I have to be an actress or a model.
Molly: Yet you do one of the most simplest videosÖ
Stevie: ItsÖ yeah, because I can sit down at the piano and play you a song, and you'll love it, and you'll even probably cry and say play it again and I don't have to have make up on and I don't have to have all the fancy clothes on.
Molly: Well, "Stand Back" is hardly a "Gypsy" yet it wasÖ
Stevie: But Stand Back is aÖ because once again the difference between the brilliance of Russell Mulcahey is that is, that he handled five crazy people. He said listen, don't mess with me. And Hold Me, the one where I am laying on the chaise lounge, where my friends say, of course you would get that job, right? it was 115 degrees at Palm Springs up on this sand dune. We never even got.. no one in Fleetwood Mac even saw the other scenes that anybody ever did, cause if you walked out of your trailer for five minutes, you died of asphyxiation because it was so hot. So, nobody saw anything else, and me walking across with that picture, you know? Its like I'm laying on that chaise lounge, and its 115 degrees, and they're saying we need you to look dreamy, you know, I'm going to look dreamy and then I'm going to die!
Video clip: Hold Me
July 9 - July 23, 1990
THE US INTERVIEW: STEVIE NICKS
(by Steve Pond)
(Number 132/133 July 9 - July 23, 1990)
On the eve of a mammoth world tour, Fleetwood Mac's dreamy chanteuse stands back and cuts loose on her struggles with the band, her indulgent past and her desire to have someone call her 'Mom'
"Once upon a time, there was a 16-year-old girl who was a senior at Menlo-Atherton High School. And she met a guy and sang a song with him, and didn't see him again for two years. Then he called her, two years later, and asked her if she wanted to be in a band. She'd never been in a band, but she said sure. And the drummer picked her up the next day, and she went to rehearsal, and the next thing she knew, she was playing every weekend. And 15 years later she was in one of the biggest bands that ever was."
That's the opening paragraph to a fairy tale that Stevie Nicks says she could write in one sitting. She could write it, of course, because she lived it. She grew up in Arizona, took after her footloose, country-singing grandfather, and began writing songs and playing music in her teens. She met Lindsey Buckingham at a party, and he became her bandmate and lover for seven years. And just before she gave up on a career in music and went back to school, the veteran blues band Fleetwood Mac asked Buckingham to join -- and wanted him badly enough that they grudgingly allowed him to bring his girlfriend into the group as well.
That was New Year's Eve, 1974. Fifteen years later Stevie Nicks is still in Fleetwood Mac, though she and Buckingham broke up in 1977 and he left the band three years ago. Fifteen years later, in fact, Stevie Nicks is the best-known member of Fleetwood Mac, with four successful solo albums on the side, and concerts full of fans who show up in Stevie regalia: scarves and shawls, chiffon and lace, boots and top hats. She's had love affairs with the likes of singer Don Henley and record producer Jimmy Iovine; she also had a short, ill-fated marriage to the husband of a close friend just after that friend died of leukemia. She writes meandering songs set in a fairy-tale world of crystal dreams, good witches and wondrous magic; her spaciness suggests that she sometimes lives in that world herself. She draws intense fans and astounded critics; doubters look at the layers of chiffon and the overwrought romanticism of Stevie's world, and ask, "Is she for real?"
She knows they ask, and she figures she's answered them by now. "After 15 years they all know it's not a joke," she says, and then she laughs. It's three days before her 42nd birthday, and she's sitting in the office of her Beverly Hills home, giving long, rambling, surprisingly self-aware and only occasionally mystical answers to almost anything that's asked. Around her is technology: a fax, a copying machine, an IBM Selectric, a Macintosh computer, a stereo system with masking tape labels that tell her which buttons to push. On the walls are her dreams come true: framed album covers, gold and platinum records and posters of Stevie in various gossamer poses. And in the rest of the house is a big mess: She's leaving the next day for the concert tour to promote Fleetwood Mac's new album, Behind the Mask, and dozens of equipment cases and suitcases are being filled with almost everything she owns. One large valise, for instance, consists entirely of tube socks and tights. "Basically," she admits with a shrug, "I take my world with me."
It sure looks like you're going away for a long, long time.
Well, it's two-and-a-half months, without a break. It's like, I just got home and I got enough time to look at my house, and unpack, and pack, and leave again. It's hard, because you hurt a lot of your friends' feelings. I mean, I have 52 dinner invitations tonight. I can't go on one of them, because I have absolutely got to make sure that everything is in perfect order to leave for the tour. And that angers people. And if you're a woman, forget it. I mean, everybody that I've ever gone with in my life -- rich rock & roll stars, poor guys that didn't have a penny, guys in completely other businesses -- they finally just look at me and say, "I really love you, and if you were ever around, that would continue. But I don't ever get to see you, and I can't dig the way that you live. I can't deal with the jealousy, I can't deal with the fact that the whole world seems to be more important to you than I am." I've had many really wonderful relationships, but they always seem to end up in that bag. That's the saddest part for me, I think.
So do you regret the life?
It's a choice, and I chose it. But at the end of this year I'm taking a break. And that's when I make my amends. I mean, I have to think about when I'm too old to be turning cartwheels and doing the splits onstage. I'm gonna want all my friends then, and I'm gonna need them. So I'm not gonna alienate the whole world just to be very famous. You know, a real good example is like, I suppose 15 years ago, if I'd have wanted to really go for it, in the same way that, say, Madonna did, I could have done that. And I could have been much more famous than I am now and much richer. but it never mattered to me that much about winning thousands of awards or having a hundred Number One singles. It has never mattered to me to be a sex symbol. [She points to the cover of the 1973 Buckingham Nicks album, a photo of a topless Nicks posed behind a bare-chested Buckingham.] I mean, that cover is about as close to selling the music on sex as you'll ever get, and I was crying when we took that picture. And Lindsey was mad at me. He said, "You know, you're just being a child. This is art." And I'm going, "This is not art. This is taking a nude photograph with you, and I don't dig it."
Could you have refused?
I tried. I tried to say no. We were really poor when we took that picture, and I went out and spent my last $111 on a really beautiful, very sexy blouse. And they agreed to do half of the session in the blouse, and I thought, "Oh, I'll win. They'll love this blouse, and they're gonna love the way I look." Well, halfway through the session, one of the photographers came over and said, "Okay, it's time to take off the blouse," and I died. It was awful, you know. And afterwards my father said to me, "Did you want to do this?" And I said no. And he said, "Then why did you do it?" And I said, "Because I was literally forced to do it, Dad." And he said, "Well, I'll tell you what you could have done. You coulda just said no." And he's right. I coulda said no. I have never forgotten that. And maybe that has a lot to do with why I went from that [points to the cover of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours LP, where she's in a long dress and veils]. Because I said, "All right, that's it. We're gonna work this out so that I still have an image and a vibe, but instead of going in the direction that a lot of the women singers are going in now, I'll be very, very sexy under 18 pounds of chiffon and lace and velvet. And nobody will know what I really am. I will have a mystique. None of these other people will have a mystique, but I will." And I have that mystique. That's one thing that I'm real proud of.
You once said that in Fleetwood Mac you always felt like the baby sister, that you didn't get much respect from the rest of the band. Is that still true?
Oh yeah. I don't have a lot of power in this band. I never have. I can jump and scream and threaten to quit and run out of the room and disappear and not accept any calls for four days, and it doesn't matter. And I really don't care. I pretty much let Fleetwood Mac be Fleetwood Mac, and I don't say too much about what they do. Or what we do. I mean, I think this tour is too heavy. I think there's too many gigs. But I get a fax that says, "This is where you're playing," and I don't send a fax back to Mick Fleetwood saying, "This is totally ridiculous, what are you doing, trying to kill us?" I don't do that. I just try to do my job and be as good as I can onstage, and be as loving as I can to everybody, and not get angry at the things they do that make me angry. Which are a lot of things. And I do a lot of things that make them angry -- for instance, my solo career -- and they are pretty cool about it. And we exist. We exist in fairly good . . . fairly good harmony. And the day that harmony is gone, that's when it will end.
I guess the popular image is that the rest of the band is more down-to-earth and you're floating above them in the ozone somewhere. . .
It's kinda true. I mean, yeah, I dress up for sound checks, you know? I do my hair and my makeup and I wear high heels, and everybody else is just grubbed out in jeans and stuff. So maybe the reason I'm in Fleetwood Mac is that I'm supposed to be the person that spreads a little fairy dust here and there. You know, they think I'm crazy. They know my life is completely strange: the strange clothes I wear, my hairdo and my makeup and the way I go about my life . . . but they need that, because otherwise they would be really way too serious for words. So if nothing else, we will probably go down in history as the most eclectic of bands. Which I like. I'd like to be remembered as a notoriously eclectic person: a collector and a dancer and a singer and a songwriter and a fairy-dust spreader.
But given the success of your solo career and the fact that you don't have much power in Fleetwood Mac, haven't you considered leaving?
Oh, I've been close to leaving Fleetwood Mac since I joined Fleetwood Mac. But so has everybody else. To be in Fleetwood Mac is to live in a soap opera. And it has been pretty scandalous and pretty incestuous, and pretty wonderful in a lot of ways. I threaten to quit all the time. I threaten to quit once a month. But I'm never gonna be the one to break up Fleetwood Mac. Somebody else will break it up, not me. And it's hard for me to imagine Fleetwood Mac ever breaking up. It's kind of like, you know, it's just an entity that just seems to go on and on and on. I figure Fleetwood Mac will go on until it doesn't want to go on anymore. Or until I decide I really do want to sit down and write that book [about the band]. Because I've certainly got the book to write. It would make Carpetbaggers look like Alice in Wonderland, if I were to ever write this book. [Laughs] Mick [Fleetwood] is writing a book, and my book is gonna be much better than his book, because I've been writing this for 15 years. I'll bury his book with my book, and he knows it. And he won't let me read his book. So I told him, "Mick, if you slander me, babe, I'll bury you. I will write down everything that you have ever done and put it out." We've been laughing about this for a week, because his book's coming out in about three months, and he still hasn't let one person in the band see it. It's turned into kind of a joke at this point. But it will not be a joke if this book comes out and I don't like what's in it. So I simply told him, "Well, I'll sue you. I'll just sue you for everything that you have, and then you'll just be poor and penniless again, and you'll be sorry." I'm laughing the whole time that I'm saying this and he's laughing, but we're really very serious.
Are you worried about his book getting into the drug and alcohol abuse, that side of the band? Or is that something you'll cover in your book, too?
Well, I'd write mine more like a novel. Because my life, the reading of it -- maybe not the living of it, but the reading of it -- would be every little girl's dream. I mean, I've gone out with all the big rock & roll stars, I've flown on Learjets, I've had a fleet of eight limousines, I've rented 727 airplanes that cost $25,000 a day . . . and that is glamorous. There's no getting around it. Just that part of it alone would blow people's minds. Example: Somebody sent a tiny little four-seater Learjet once to pick me up--I was on the road and he was on the road. It picked me up after my show, flew me into Atlanta. I stayed there for that day and his show, and then right after the show, that little cranberry red learjet sat on the ground and waited for me . . . .
No, I can't. Not that there was anything wrong with it, 'cause there wasn't. It was wonderful. It was one of the most romantic things that ever happened to me in my whole life. I mean, that's something that when I'm on my death-bed, the few things that pass before you, that will pass before me. Those are the things I'd like to tell people about. I'd write about the really neat stuff and lace it with the parts that were difficult.
It seems that, as big as the extravagances like Learjets were, the personal excesses were also that big.
Well, everybody was personally excessive. When you get famous that fast -- and I mean, we're talking overnight -- it's an incredible adjustment to make. I didn't join Fleetwood Mac until I was 27, and I never indulged in drugs of any kind, nothing. I didn't even drink. And then all of a sudden, bang! Overnight I was in this gargantuan rock & roll band, of which half the members were English and used to spending at least three hours a day at the pub. And you know, I was totally, completely enraptured with this whole thing. And in that era, everybody thought, "Everybody does it. It's fun, you can afford it, who cares? It's not addicting, it doesn't hurt you." That's what we were told. Nobody told us that it could completely ruin your life. But we lived through it. And to me, that's the most important thing. You know, at my age, what I've been through, I should look 65 years old. I feel like I look pretty good. And, uh, the excessive part of it no longer exists in my life, and hasn't for four years. What makes me angry with myself is that a whole lot of money went out for that, which we all could have in our bank accounts right now. Like, I lost a very good friend to leukemia about six years ago. And at this point in my life, I wish I had all that money to give to leukemia research. I watched a beautiful woman, my best friend since I was 14 years old, die over a year. I would have gone to the bank and taken out every penny I ever made in my whole life and I would have given it to research if it could have saved her life. I would have stopped singing. I would have stopped writing. I would have done anything.
Do you regret marrying her husband after she died?
I don't consider it a marriage. I married Robin's husband [Kim Anderson] because . . . Robin was one of the few women who ever got leukemia and then got pregnant. And they had to take the baby [named Matthew] at six and a half months, and then she died two days later. And when she died, I went crazy. I just went insane. And so did her husband. And we were the only two that could really understand the depth of the grief that we were going through. And I was determined to take care of that baby, so I said to Kim, "I don't know, I guess we should just get married." And so we got married three months after she died, and it was a terrible, terrible mistake. We didn't get married because we were in love, we got married because we were grieving and it was the only way that we could feel like we were doing anything. And we got divorced three months later. And I haven't seen Kim, nor have I seen Matthew, since that day. I suppose that Matthew will find me when he's ready. I mean, I am, really, next to Robin, his mommy. But Kim and I can't deal with each other at all. So when the baby's old enough, I have all of his mother's things, and I have her life on film for 14, 15 years. I have us on tape singing, I have a beautiful book that I wrote the year that she died. . . . I have a roomful of stuff for him. I have his mother to give back to him when he's ready.
After going through all of that, was the Rock a Little album a conscious attempt to lighten things up?
I think everything I did was a conscious attempt to lighten up. Because I was so devastated that I thought I was gonna die with her. I really did. It was hard for me to come back from the fact that I knew I wouldn't see Matthew again for many years. And so I moved to the beach. I moved to the beach for spiritual solace, for sanctuary. And it helped. For me to go out and just sit on a blanket and take my tape recorder and a pad of paper and a pencil and just look at the ocean and write. And give her up, you know? And, you know, if anything like that ever happens to me again, I'll probably move right back to the beach. Either that, or I'll go home to the desert. Because those two places are my strongholds. But I mean, I feel comfortable in this house, and I have a great little studio here where Harry Warren wrote "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and a lot of very famous music. And George Gershwin's piano is out there, too. I don't know how it got there, but I know that it belonged to George Gershwin. So to sit down at that bench and pluck out anything, you feel like you're in a magic place.
Talking about magic places, there's a perception that you're someone who tries to live her life in a world of magic and dreams and fairy tales. Is that accurate?
Well, I do really kind of live in a world of dreams and fairy tales. I mean, my life is a fairy tale, that's for sure. And I actually read fairy tales -- Grimm's Fairy Tales and Hans Christian Anderson -- and a lot of my songs come out of that kind of fairy-tale genre, because of the reading that I do, and because when I was a little girl I loved to dress up and put feathers in my hair and sparkle dust on my face. You know, that's something that I just was kind of born with.
Can you foresee where this fairy tale is going from here?
Who knows? I could still very well get married, settle down, still do my music. I mean, I could marry any of several people if I wanted to get married; I just don't really want to get married. I could have a baby if I wanted to, if I wanted to get into it right now. And I may do that this year. Maybe my prince is going to walk into my life, some kind of saintly man who could possibly handle living with me, handle my life and everything else. You know, that would be wonderful. But even if it doesn't happen, I really would like to adopt a baby, because that's the one thing that I am very sorry about. That's the one thing I wish I had. I'd like to be sharing all these experiences, and that makes me really sad. But I figure God has a plan, and if I'm meant to have that baby, I'll have her. Or him. And if I'm meant to adopt one, I'll adopt it. Because my whole life has been that way. I mean, if you believe in destiny -- which I do -- it seems like my life was pretty mapped out. It seems almost like there was somebody up there moving the chess players. And I was the white queen, and I just went where I was moved. . . .
Details: Do you think Fleetwood Mac will reunite?
Stevie Nicks:Maybe. But not with me or Christine or Lindsey. Christine and I will always be close; Lindsey just plain doesn't like me. I never had any musical training of any kind. I just had this innate ability to walk in, sit down at a piano, write a song in five minutes, and go to bed. It drives him nuts.
Details: Did you keep a diary of your Mac life?
Stevie Nicks:Yeah, and if the book were to come out, a lot of people would cease to think of me as this eccentric, flaky girl. My journals tell the real story of what went on, like the way things changed after Bella Donna came out. No one in the band ever said a word to me about my solo career. They were keeping quiet for their own best interests. They knew if they ripped Bella Donna apart, I wouldn't give them any more songs. Remember, "Dreams"--which is just me--is the only gold single that Fleetwood Mac ever had.
Details: Now that you're forty-six, how are you dealing with your sex symbol status?
Stevie Nicks:I have no illusions. When I'm sixty years old I'll still be writing songs and singing them. But will someone in the audience say, "Gee, what a sexy older lady-babe she is"? I doubt it. I mean, get a life, you know? If physical beauty is the only reason people buy my records, then I don't know why I'm doing this. One of our managers once yelled at me: "If you don't lose twenty pounds, your career is over." I told him I didn't need him in my life anymore. I would prove my career wasn't over. (laughs) Then ... I lost the twenty pounds!
Details: Any advice for Madonna?
Stevie Nicks:The sexual thing is pretty exhausted. Maybe a thesis on religion?
Details: Street Angel is the title of your new album. What's the difference between a street angel and a more celestial one?
Stevie Nicks:Well, your heavenly origined angel is more like a princess. A street angel is not just a high-powered witch princess-- she can also go out and blend in with people. I've always felt that thatís the way I am: I can jump into the audience or go home with them. Then if I'm bored, I'm outta here.
Details: Who is on your CD player right now?
Stevie Nicks:Mary-Chapin Carpenter. She's brilliant. And Elvis Costello. I put "Green Shirt" on every tape I make to go out on the road.
Details: Elvis once said his songwriting motivations were revenge and guilt. What are yours?
Stevie Nicks:I write about the gypsies of the world. People who, like me, are on the road all the time. People whose roots are blown away.
Details: People used to make fun of your platforms.
Stevie Nicks:And now theyíre totally in style, thank you very much. If you don't see me in platform boots, you'll probably see me in my platform Reeboks. I wear them every day.
Details: Let's play "Rumours." Surely you've heard the outlandish one about how you had a roadie blow cocaine into, well, a certain orifice after your nose became unable to snort it...
Details: Rumors like that must have been really uncomfortable to live with ...
Stevie Nicks:Yeah, they were. Eight years sober and the stories still get passed around.
Details: Rumor number two--still going around--is that you are still getting high.
Stevie Nicks:Untrue. I haven't done cocaine for eight years. Unfortunately, it's just the way I have to live. Do I miss it? Yeah, I miss it. Would I ever do it again? No. The doctors told me that I'd have a brain hemorrhage if I drank or did drugs.
Details: Rumor number three: In her act, Sandra Bernhard envisions a chiffon scarf fantasy with you. Is the feeling mutual?
Stevie Nicks:Sandra's a comedian--sheís gonna make up stuff like that. But truthfully--no, I'm not bisexual. I like men too much.
Details: What kind of men do you like?
Stevie Nicks:Smart, clever, fun--with a soul. I hate guys with too much machismo. As soon as a guy tells me what we're going to do tonight, I tell him what we're not going to do. (laughs) Actually it would be interesting to go out with someone who was a lot younger than me, 'cause I tend to have a really teenage personality.
Details: You were very public a few years ago about wanting to adopt a child. Are you still in the market for a baby?
Stevie Nicks:It just isn't the right time. But if a baby that I liked were made available to me and I thought it was definitely a destiny thing, then sure, I would take it immediately.
Details: Rumor number four: You are like the character in "Rhiannon"--a real witch.
Stevie Nicks:What do you think? (laughs) Honestly, I never dabbled in the black arts.
Details: Really? What about you and Prince?
Stevie Nicks:Let me state this here and now: We did not have a sexual relationship--I did not let that happen.
Details: How did you meet?
Stevie Nicks:When we were recording "Stand Back" I decided to be really blatant and call Prince up and tell him that I had been inspired to write the song while listening to "Little Red Corvette." I told him that I figured my song was half his. He came over to the studio where I was recording and listened to it--as I turned extremely white and started to shake. Then he walked over to the piano and put on a really incredible keyboard track. And not only did Prince make it up right on the spot, he played it with only two fingers. Then he left.
Details: Did you see him again?
Stevie Nicks:Yes, when I was on the road a year or so later. I was sick, and Prince brought some cough syrup up to my hotel room. He was sweet--he walked around the room folding things, fluffing pillows, tidying up in general. Then he gave me a spoon of it himself. But when I asked for another spoonful he changed--he said, "I didn't come all the way up here just to get you hooked on another substance!" Then he left.
Details: Do you still see him?
Stevie Nicks:No. I was at the premiere of Purple Rain, and in the scene where he slaps Apollonia I freaked and had to go sit in the bathroom. Afterward I went back to see him, and when he asked why I'd left, I had to tell him, "When you popped Apollonia, it kinda popped my brain." He looked at me like it just killed him. We've never spoken since. (sighs) Itís a shame, really...we were alike in so many ways.
Details: Such as?
Stevie Nicks:Well, for one thing, we both liked wearing black chiffon around the house.
Sitting Comfortably in her Tucson, Ariz., house with a stunning view of the mountains in the distance, we talked to '70s rock icon Stevie Nicks, who's back in the public eye with her new album, Street Angel.
US Magazine: So, do you still leave the house wearing platform boots?
Stevie:Heck, yeah. It's no act. I wear the ones with six-inch heels, in every color. I have them all handmade. I wear the shawls and the boots to the grocery store, and people trip out. They look at me like I'm from outer space, and I know they're thinking, Well, it's really her.
US: How many shawls do you own?
Stevie:Around 30. They're piano shawls. Many go up on the ceiling - I have an artist friend who drapes them up there for me and makes French canopies out of them.
US: What do you miss most about living In the '70s?
Stevie:The music. There were all those rock greats, like Led Zeppelin, Cream, the Rolling Stones. I loved listening to the radio then. Now I turn it on, and I spend all my time zipping down the dial trying to find something decent.
US: I thought for sure you'd say you miss lava lamps most of all.
Stevie:I can't say I miss those because I still have them. Actually, they're wave lamps. Remember them? Mine are still functional.
US: I've heard that you have a hard time tilting your head back because you believe you're the reincarnation of Marie Antoinefte. Is this true?
Stevie:When I was little, my ballet teacher brought this to my attention - that I could not put my head back - and we came to the conclusion that I must have been put to death in a previous life, like Marie Antoinette. It's weird, this reflex. Like when I go into the beauty parlor, I can't put my head back in the sink for a shampoo.
US: But on the cover of Fleetwood Mac's you are shown with your head thrown back.
Stevie:I hated posing for that more than life. And then, when I shot the video for "If Anyone Falls," the director wanted me to dance with this guy and throw my head back, and I couldn't do it. We had to call in a backup singer to do it. I called her my stunt neck.
US: I see that you've lost a lot of weight. Does that mean we can look forward to commercials that begin, 'Hi, I'm Stevie Nicks for Slim-Fast"?
Stevie:No. I really didn't do anything special. I'm just careful now with what I eat. My main problem used to be that I'd wake up in the middle of the night, and this voice would go off in my head that would order me to the refrigerator. Now I just swim regularly and eat healthily before turning in.
US: I also notice that your hair is straight.
Stevie:I stopped perming it. [Laugbs] So the secret is out: All these years I've been a Lilt addict.
US: What is the most personal song you have ever written?
Stevie:Probably "Sara." It's about myself, and what all of us in Fleetwood Mac were going through at the time. The true version of that song is 16 minutes long. It's a saga with many verses people haven't heard.
US: There is a line In that song, "When you build your house, I'll come by." Is that about Don Henley, whom you were dating at the time?
Stevie:[Laugbs] That is true.
US: Did he ever build the house, and did you ever drop by?
Stevie:He did. And I was in it before he finished it.
US: What's the worst rumor you ever heard about yourself?
Stevie:That I was a wild and crazy black-magic witch. And that I was flying around my house on a broom. When I first heard this, I was touring and wearing black stage outfits, and I immediately mothballed them. I had two dresses made up, in pink and in blue. I called them my Easter egg dresses. The truth is, I believe in good spirits, not bad.
US: A couple of years ago, David Letterman mercilessly tormented you by showing clips from your "Stand Back' video, where you appear to be walking backward on a treadmill. Did this upset you?
Stevie:No, I loved it. People think I don't have a sense of humor about myself, but I'm here to tell you that I do. A friend of mine made a compilation tape of all the shows Dave spoofed me on, and I watched it in hysterics. You couldn't pay for that amount of publicity.
US: Fleetwood Mac reunited to perform at the Clinton Inaugural, where you sang his campaign theme song, "Don't Stop." Do you have a favorite Bill Clinton moment?
Stevie:One thing that sticks out about that performance is something nobody saw, because it was edited out. We were playing the song, and Mr. Clinton walked up on the stage to join us. I started to move toward him, and he got this terrified look on his face like, "Oh my God, Stevie Nicks is coming toward me, and this is being watched by 18 million people." He looked so terrified and uncomfortable that I just handed him my tambourine and said, "Go to it, Mr. President." And he did - he rocked out.
US: Why'd you give him the tambourine?
Stevie:Well, for me, when I was standing onstage with nothing to do and feeling strange, I'd always grab one and start slapping it. When your hands are empty, a tambourine can make you feel very worthwhile.
Stevie Nicks Q&A
STEVIE NICKS IS not merely a woman, she's a way of life: the shawls, the candles, the boots, the white-winged doves singin'. "Whoo, baby, whoo, I say, whoo." Refreshingly, Nicks will gamely answer any question posed to her, which reflects her newfound, sometimes startling candor in interviews. Nicks, who recently took up permanent residence in Phoenix, is currently on the road in support of her fifth solo endeavor, Street Angel, which marks a return to the guitars of her past. She dials us up from a tour stop in Pittsburgh. Suddenly, you're in all the magazines.
Roling Stone: Y'know, you're funny.
Stevie Nicks:I am funny. [Laughs] I crack up my band constantly. I could have been a comedian if I'd really wanted to. In Fleetwood Mac, I was pretty much told to be quiet at all times. I was so intimidated because I didn't feel like anybody really wanted me to be in that band and that they only wanted Lindsey [Buckingham] and me along for the ride.
RS: How has it been on the road so far?
Stevie:I love being on the road. I'm going on a bus this time, which I've never done. I realized that since I don't go to sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning anyway, it's stupid for me to go home from a concert and sleep, because I can't. And my bus is so comfy. I have my quilt and my fishnet hanging from the ceiling and all my special pillows -
RS: How many?
Stevie:We're talking eight fabulous feather pillows. And, of course, my king-size quilt completely takes up the entire double bed, and my thing hanging from the ceiling completely takes up the entire room.
RS: What do you do with all the stuff people throw on-stage?
Stevie:We take it with us. I get it all back to Phoenix, and we give to a childrenís hospital or to charities. I got a beautiful necklace that belonged to somebodyís grandmother last night. And I keep flowers. On the last tour I took all the flowers and dried them and made incredible potpourri and made little velvet bags and filled them with the petals for the crew. We gave them this fabulous little magic bag at the end of the tour. The crew are such guy guys, but they're so precious. They seem to love the little bit of a feminine touch that going on the road with me gives them.
RS: Indulge me for a moment. Is your bedroom everything I picture?
Stevie:Yes, it is. It's fabulous, not because there's a lot of expensive stuff in it but because of all the neat stuff Iíve collected since I was in high school. There's a lamp that my mom bought for me when I first joined Fleetwood Mac. It's a blue Tiffany lamp, dark blue, and it's called the blue lamp. I keep a fireplace burning even when it's 99 degrees. I just turn the air-conditioning down. My mother goes crazy. She says, 'Do you know how much money you spend to keep this house cool, and then you bum fires in every single room? You're so weird, Stevie.' A fire creates ambiance. I need that fire. So back off, Mom.
RS: How did you lure Bob Dylan out to join in on "Just Like a Woman"?
Stevie:I called him and told him that I had recorded the song. I nearly finished it because I wasn't going to ask him to come down and hear an unfinished track. You just don't do that to Bob Dylan. You're very careful, everything you do and say around him, because he's really sensitive. You donít want to frighten him.
RS: When's the last time you and Lindsey Buckingham spoke?
Stevie:[Resignedly] I haven't talked to him since the inauguration We're really not friends. We're really not anything. We did not break up friends, and we have never been friends since. He is not really able to have any kind of relationship with me. I just bug him to death. Everything I do is abrasive to him. He's scary when he gets mad.
RS: Are you aware of the Night of a Thousand Stevies that happens periodically at different clubs in New York? Everyone, both men and women, dresses up as you and performs as you.
Stevie:You're kidding. How amazing! Wow.
RS: Say you were in New York. Would you ever show up, or would that freak you out?
Stevie:If they're willing to go to the trouble to do something like that, I'd have to go.
RS: How many pairs of platform boots do you think you have?
Stevie:About 25 pairs. I have them in rose pink and gray blue and mauve. I have three or four or five pairs I wear every night.
RS: What TV show do you never miss?
Stevie:You're gonna laugh. One of my favorite shows is Star Trek: The Next Generation. I don't usually like science fiction. But I particularly like Capt. Jean-Luc Picard. When everythingís closing in on me, I can go to my living room at home, put on my surround sound, and the whole room sounds like we're flying. I have the Enterprise at my fingertips.
RS: If you were a whitewinged dove, where would you perch?
RS: You said recently that you have a teen-age personality. How so?
Stevie:I think probably that comes from the dancing me, because I love to dance, and I can do cartwheels, and I can jump down into splits. Yesterday my assistant was dying, because back here they have the ESPN hip-hop aerobics at 6 in the morning, and Iím doing this. She said, 'Nobody would believe this, Stevie. You're 46 years old." I kind of have a cheerleader side.
RS: Whenís the last time you did a cart-wheel?
Stevie:Probably the last time I was in my ballet room in Phoenix. It has a really fabulous ballet bar that some fan carved for me. It has my name and the year. Itís wood, and it's just beautiful. I built this room around this bar.
RS: You can do the full splits?
Stevie:Both legs. I'm really limber.
A musical icon we've always loved hearing from talks to a musical icon in the making
Stevie and Lindsey Interview on WZLX Radio
DJ: Lindsey Buckingham Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles this afternoon How you guys doin'.
S (Stevie): Fine, how are you?
L (Lindsey): How are you doing?
DJ: I'm doing fine, thank you. So first we're going to bring in the dump truck and heap tons of compliments on all of you for an absolutely amazing concert.
S: (laughing) thank you
DJ: You just blew people away with this.
L: oh, great - thanks.
DJ: Um, now you're either Oscar caliber actors or you actually have put aside all of this biterness after the break up, and the books and the rumours and people talking and back biting and all of that stuff - to get this back together again. So what's the deal with that?
L: Time...I think. You know, I mean I've, it's been ten years since I departed and um, I think a lot of things ah...got resolved for me. I think everyone else in the group has taken there own journey during those ten years and we've all grown up a little bit. And -um- so we're coming back together with the chemistry and with the intuitive way of responding and none of the baggage.
DJ: Man you sure got rid of that baggage. This concert was ah...I don't know, I don't know what people were expecting when they turned on MTV the other night to watch this, but I'll tell you just far and away I've never heard response from fans to the way you look, the way you sound, how everything just seemed to come together like you never left but you got rid of all this stuff in between somehow.
L: Um hmm.
DJ: Did you make a pact of some kind for this tour to make sure you didn't fall into some of those traps that did you in the first time?
S: A pact?
DJ: Ya, I mean you must have talked about...
S: A promise?
DJ: A promise amoung yourselves, you know?
S: No, you know I don't think we have to make promises to each other, I think that anything that we do we do it individually for ourselves. You know, as well as I know, that people can't tell you what to do and what not to do. It has to come from you. So, you know, we're older, we're a lot wiser and we're all better singers, we're better musicians and we have been given an incredible opportunity to go out and do this one more time so - for me- I'm just in this for the ride. I just want to have a great time. I want this to be like an adventure.
DJ: Boy, you're in for an adventure too. So you're coming to Greatwoods here on September 19th.
S: Um hmm.
DJ: And ah, you're rehearsing around the Hartford area? Is that true?
DJ: Is that where you're going to your rehearsals?
S: Um hmm.
DJ: So have you started those yet?
S: Ah, we are in rehearsal now. But we also were in rehearsal for six weeks before the MTV thing that was filmed in the middle of May - and ah, we went back into rehearsal last week so ...we will be rehearsed.
DJ: So when you're walking around Hartford do people know you and hang out and want to shake your hand and get your autograph and stuff.
S: I don't know I havn't ever walked around Hartford. (laughing) Laughter
DJ: Well don't do it after five O'clock cuz nobody's in the streets - let me tell you.
S: oh, o.k (laughs)
DJ: So why is this CD called The Dance. What's The Dance?
S: Go ahead Lindsey, it's Matisse.
L: Ya, we um, were attracted to a painting by Matisse called The Dance that's just five people holding hands dancing in a circle. Uh, it's a very well known painting and ah, there was a history to it that was very much analagous to our situation. And it just had, the feeling of the painting very much reflected how we were feeling when we first got into rehearsal. And so o we tried to paraphrase - if you will - that painting in a photograph where we were sort of loosly in a circle of owr own...atop the rubble of (laughs) 20 years of history, I'd say.
DJ: I noticed some of the poses in there were pretty familiar on the ah... a lot of people haven't seen the cover of The Dance because it's not out in the stores till Tuesday.
DJ: But some of the poses on the front really are reminisant of Fleetwood Mac and the Rumours album and...
L: Um hmm. That was definately homage to Rumours I would say.
DJ: Ya. What about the tracks that were in the concert that aren't included on this CD - are those going to show up somewhere?
S: On the long - on the - you know on the one that will be sold that's the whole concert. Um, they had to - you know- they had to really cut it up, you know, even for the long showing on MTV um because, you know, it was two and a half hours so to come down to 90 minutes - it's like that's why - you know, that's why the only place you can get those extra songs will be on that other thing. We wish that we could have, you know, somehow stuffed them on there but...they don't fit!
DJ: So maybe we'll just do Dance Part 2 sometime down the line - I mean Gold
Dust Woman wasn't on there. You were great on that by the way.
S: Thank you.
DJ: Umm... Now it says on the CD the choices were taken from 3 performances - so you did three performances for this shoot for MTV? Three different concerts?
S: Three nights, ya.
DJ: Wow, full audiences?
S: But this was all Friday night except for maybe one little thing on Say You Love me or something. This was all from Friday night's concert.
DJ: Wow - and the other shows, how did you get audiences for the shows? MTV do that?
S: Um hmm.
DJ: Wow. So Lindsey I got to know where this phrase came from - this is an amazing new song that's here - and I know that you talked about how you got - you wanted to get Mick to work on this song with you - Bleed To Love Her.
L: (laughs) Ya. Well at the time - that song actually sort of evolved over about a two year period and when I wrote the chorus in which that appears - Bleed To Love Her - uh, I had just entered into a relationship with someone and I really felt that I, you know, would be willing to bleed in order to make that work. And then of course maybe two years later, uh, things had kind of, um, drifted a little bit and the verses in there are talking about how elusive someone can be, ah, which I guess is the other side of the coin.
DJ: Ya, it's great. What about the other two new songs that are on there? Are those - were those things that were brought into this reunion or things that when you guys when got together again came up with?
L: Well I had been working on a solo record with Mick anyway and both of the songs there were cut in some form for that - and Stevie's song and Christine's um, were - what? - demo'd up?
S: Um hmm.
L: Ya...and those were just the songs of choice.
S: Right. I only came in with one song. I really wanted to do Sweet Girl so that was like the only one I even brought down to rehersal when we started.
DJ: Boy you must have a bunch of them tucked away in that manilla folder too Stevie.
S: I do. And that's why I was glad - I wrote this song just a week before we started on April 1st so I was really glad that this song really was written for this album and this group of people and it wasn't something that I went back and pulled out of something else, you know, this really was hand-crafted for Fleetwood Mac.
DJ: Now you're doing a reasonable amout of dates on this tour? and..
S: 40? In three months?
DJ: 40 - That's a reasonable number isn't it? Come on.
DJ: Ya. You'll be tired after that - you guys'll be going out to the Islands after that. Are you going to do a studio album do you think?
S: I don't think there's any way to know. I think that probably, you know about 35 gigs after like the 35th gig we will probably have a good idea whether or not we want to tour more of the world or whether we want to do another record or what, you know. Cuz we haven't toured like this in - well, since Lindsey was in the band - since 1983. So, this is a lot of, a lot of concerts in a short period of time. I think we'll know at the end of this tour what's... what we want to do.
DJ: We're not going to let you get away this easy this time, you know.
S: Oh, that's so sweet.
DJ: Hey, you all look great but I got to ask you something... Christine McVie looks fabulous - what did this woman do? She's just stunning.
S: Chris takes good care of herself.
DJ: Man, she sure does. Is this a regime - she should be doing one of those exercise videos out there! She just looks great.
S: She's just naturally thin. She doesn't even try. (laughs)
DJ: You're going to play Los Angeles on this tour too - you're doing the Hollywood Bowl so I imagine there's going to be some extra guests on stage. Maybe a bunch of guys in weird looking purple uniforms?
L: Oh, yes that could very well happen. We thought about trying to get marching bands for um, you know, any number of cities but the logistics was, just it didn't really work. But yes, definately for LA.
DJ: God, those guys, you know these college kids would just die to be on stage with you.
L: Well we heard that, you know, when we made the overture to Dr. Bardner who was the guy who was overseeing the marching band back in 1979 when we did it for Tusk originally - we had heard that ah, a lot of the people who were kids back then were calling him up wanting to do it again - and I said, well you think they can still fit into the uniforms? so...(laughter) we got the youngsters.
DJ: Alright, we're live on the radio here. It's Lindsey Buckingham Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles. Before I let you go, you've done radio ID's before we could just do one live on the air here and then poeple will all know who you are if you'd do that for us.
DJ: you know...Hi this is Stevie, Hi this is Lindsey...when we're in Boston... and it's 100.7 WZLX. Go for it.
S: OK I'm going to have to write that down.
S: Do you want to say the number of it Linds?
L: (in a weird voice) one hundred point seven
LA DJ: Hey George.
DJ: Hey ya.
LA DJ: It's Norm Patas (?) You're through.
DJ: Oh, thanks very much Norm. How you doing buddy?
DJ: Hey you know, old echo's haunt you no matter where you go man.
LA DJ: We've got to go to the next one.
DJ: you're going to the next one, well...
S: George we have to go.
DJ: OK we're looking forward to having you here on September 19th and thanks very much for hanging with us this afternoon.
S: Thank you.
L: Pleasure, thanks a lot.
S: Take care.
COVER STORY: Fleetwood Mac
When I first received the assignment to interview Stevie Nicks--who's my all-time rock 'n' roll idol, not to mention a pop-culture icon of legendary status--I was nervous. But upon arrival at her West LA home, I found Ms. Nicks not to be the mystical, witchy, other-wordly pop diva I'd expected, but rather a casual, articulate and very down-to-earth person. As she opened the door barefoot wearing a thrift-store-type vintage dress, she invited me into her home and offered me fresh cherries and ice-water. Immediately, I got the feeling that if I had needed a place to stay, Stevie would've let crash on her couch. She's a very cool woman.
As you know, Stevie Nicks is Fleetwood Mac's charismatic lead vocalist, who brought ballet (along with Freddie Mercury, that is) and brilliant pop poetry to the masses. On the 20th anniversary of their mega-platinum-selling album, Rumours, Fleetwood Mac have reformed for the most-anticipated tour of the year. Along with this nationwide string of appearances, the band--which includes guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, keyboardist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood--have just released a new CD, The Dance, which is a live recording of their already legendary MTV special.
I'm not a rock journalist so I'm a little nervous.
Don't be nervous.
When I get nervous I get chapped lips.
Want some Chap-Stick?
I think I'll be OK.
Are you sure? We've got a whole house of women here, we've got everything.
I had a little problem with Chap-Stick--I got addicted to it so I've had to give it up, but thanks anyway. Let's start with the MTV performance that you taped earlier this spring. Unfortunately, I couldn't go, but a friend of mine who went told me her hair actually stood up on her arms. And I know that Courtney Love cried three times during the concert. It was so unfair that I had to miss it.
I'm sorry you had to miss it, too.
I did see one song, "The Chain," on video. It sounded so cool, so vital. Not at all "oldies" music.
From the first day on April 1st, I said to myself, if I go up there and it feels like some kind of retro thing, I'm off the stage, I'm out of the hall, I'm not going to do this. But it never felt like that. It felt like we were getting back into rehearsal, just starting up again. Like maybe we'd been off for a year. That's how it felt.
What's it like to go back and perform those songs? In the video, it seems like you're going back to the way you felt when you wrote the songs. Is that a fun thing? Is it painful? Or is it an act? It looked very real, though.
It's totally real. In the first place, when we filmed the MTV thing, we'd only been back together for a few months. So nothing was old. Nobody was tired of anybody. It's all good. So when you burst into those songs and you look at the people you wrote them about and they're there with you, it's pretty easy for that moment in time to slip back into that, to be right back there. You know, when Lindsey and I go back and forth on the songs that were written between the two of us, for that moment, we are back in love again. And it's wonderful. If that didn't happen we would be a really boring bunch of people onstage. So the tension is much less than it was before. Is there still tension there? Yes, there is. And that's what makes it still really good now.
The thing that I find most intriguing about Fleetwood Mac is that you've always appealed to the underground. Which is sort of contrary to what Fleetwood Mac is supposed to be, you know, this soft, mellow memories band. Even when I discovered punk, I always kept Rumours in my record collection. It sat between the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. I didn't really understand why I liked it so much. How do you explain your influence on the underground?
Maybe it's because no matter how fabulous and big time Fleetwood Mac were, there was always a really dark edge to it. Fleetwood Mac were anything but a happy soft-rock band. There was a lot of darkness and a lot of dark stuff going on. And so maybe people relate to that darkness because they knew that it wasn't easy for us and that we went through the drugs, criticism, the big success and the dropping down and going back up.
Fleetwood Mac never had a hippie quality like a lot of the '70s music did. Was it because of the angst and all the tension? I just saw that VH1 special [The Making of Rumours]. Aside from the personal turmoil you were going through at the time, was it a fun record to make?
It was totally great. Again, everybody loves to focus on the darkness and everything that went down that wasn't cool, but, at the same time, the music was really great. All the fighting between Lindsey and I, Christine and John, played a part in making Rumours so good. Fleetwood Mac had an irresistible quality, because there's so much that goes on between two couples who had been in love with each other and then gone on and tried to work it out, tried to still be friends and work together.
So that painful tension was a necessary evil? What about now that you're all more grown-up and happier in your lives. What's it like to be creative in that family again?
It's really good. Nobody is angry anymore. That is not to mean that we don't have disagreements. But what has happened this time around is that we've been able to sit down and talk about our problems. There's been some big arguments, but we've never let anything get too out of control. Now, we actually sit down, the five of us, and, rather than let our managers and everybody else work things out, we talk about it between ourselves. And it's worked. We can communicate to a point of not letting anything destroy us, you know, all the stupid stuff that goes on, picking the pictures. Getting five people to agree on anything.
A relationship with two people is next to impossible, but five! How do you get five people to look good in one photo?
[In a mocking voice] "You can't possibly pick that photo." [Laughs] "But that's the best picture I've ever taken." It's nearly impossible to choose a photo. When we were rehearsing or just doing music, everything was great. As soon the MTV special was done, when we started mixing the record, that's when everyone started getting really uptight. There were so many decisions to make and it was so hard to get five people to all agree on one thing.
I've recently discovered the early, Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac and it would seem, on the surface, that when you and Lindsey joined the band, it was this completely different thing from what Peter was doing. But if you listen to Peter's songs like "Green Manalishi," you can hear the similarities. You could almost directly connect it to "Rhiannon." They both have this very mystical quality.
That's exactly what we connected with in the very beginning. When we got the phone call from Mick Fleetwood asking us if we wanted to join the band, Lindsey and I went out and bought all those records from the beginning of Fleetwood Mac until then. We listened to them back to back, very carefully, to see if we could add anything to the band, or if they could add anything to what Lindsey and I were doing. We wanted to know if this was something we were gonna do just for the money, or if we were gonna do this because we could improve upon it in some way. And what we connected to, of course, was Peter Green. It was his mystical influence that drew us in, that made it OK to stop doing Buckingham Nicks and join Fleetwood Mac.
You and Lindsey are from the [San Fernando] Valley, right?
No actually, we both moved down here from San Francisco. I met Lindsey in high school, near Cupertino. We played in a band there from 1968 to 1972. That's when Lindsey and I packed up and moved down here. When we were in a band up there, we opened up for all of these really big bands. We played up and down the Peninsula to Monterey and came down through the other side of San Francisco and all the way to Sacramento. Every Friday and Saturday we opened almost every big rock show that came through the area. Even though I only lived up there for my senior year in high school, that's where I feel like I'm from because that's where the music all happened.
Let's go to Tusk. I'm a musician too, and lately, when I've done interviews I'll be asked what I'm listening to and I tell them that I've only been listening to Tusk by Fleetwood Mac. And, usually, the interview will then focus on the brilliance of that album--the vinyl version vs. the CD version, Lindsey's experimental songs, "Stevie's Storms," the edited version of "Sara." It's amazing how many journalists and musicians are starting to study this album. What are your feelings about it now that it's been...how long?
It came out in 1980. I didn't understand Tusk when we were recording it. I really liked the idea, but I didn't really understand the concepts, like the dog biting the leg on the cover. Needless to say, I wasn't part of any of that. It took 13 months to record Tusk, and that's a long time. And that 13 months was spent mostly in one studio. We kind of lived there--we really did. We brought all of our stuff down to that studio. It took like a semi truck to move us out of there.
Tusk was so the opposite of Rumours. It was so important to Lindsey and Mick to do something that was nothing like Rumours. For me, it was almost like we were trying way too hard. Like, it doesn't have to be this difficult. I mean, we were just making another record, for God's sake.
Now, when I listen to it, I'm really glad it took 13 months and all that time went into it, because I really like it. It was a lot of music to be stuck with for 13 months and to listen to over and over again. And there was that whole kind of Hawaiian, African chant-like Tusk thing that went all the way through. When you listen to all those songs together over 13 months, it was a drain. Now I can listen to it and I really enjoy each song, but when I was there it was a one big rumpled up ball of Tusk-ness. So for me, it was way ahead of its time. I was there and I sang on it, but I didn't have a real connection with it. And now, I really, really like it. I have these incredible speakers, I like to just lie on the floor and listen to it. It sounds so cool.
Lindsey's songs are almost lo-fi, yours are really sparse and beautiful and Christine's songs are almost Velvet Underground-esque. It's like a great compilation tape. After a record as successful as Rumours, most groups would've played it safe and never would've considered making such a bizarre, experimental record as their follow-up. With the exception of the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac is the only super-group to have the balls to go out on a limb like that.
It was bizarre. And we knew it was bizarre when it was being made. We knew from the beginning that nobody would ever say that we were trying to make "Rumours II." Tusk was entirely the other side of Rumours. Nobody will every try to compare them. They're two different records. If you're in one mood, you'll listen to Rumours. But if you wanna go to Hawaii, rent a house and live over there for three months, then you'll play nothing but Tusk. In the long run, it ended up to be really great that the two albums were so completely different.
An interesting stop on any Fleetwood Mac tour of Los Angeles is the Village Recorders where you recorded Tusk. Did you know your original vocal booth is still intact with the bamboo-Tiffany hybrid lamps and the artificial Hawaiian sunset? I was making a record there and I would go into that booth just to feel your vibe. It's still there, you know?
We loved it there. When you're at a studio for 13 months you really start to feel like you really live there.
Another important tour stop is Sound City in Panorama City. That's where you met Mick and eventually where you recorded Fleetwood Mac.
Actually, it's where we recorded Buckingham Nicks and Fleetwood Mac.
And part of Rumours?
I don't think any of Rumours was done there, but we returned to Sound City many different times. That's a really cool place. That's the first studio I went to when Lindsey and I first came to town. And it still looks exactly the same as it did in 1973.
It's an LA landmark. Have you ever thought about the fact that both "Rhiannon" and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" were recorded there; two of the most important records of their respective decades were made at the same studio. And it's kinda funny that such artistry was created deep within an industrial park in the San Fernando Valley.
[Laughs] Actually, the first time Lindsey and I saw that studio we thought it was the most fabulous big, huge, incredible rock 'n' roll studio. We had never ever been in such a big studio before. We'd only been in little tiny ones in San Francisco.
When Fleetwood Mac was the biggest band in the world, you embarked on a solo career and released Belladonna. How did you survive that time?
When Belladonna came out, Fleetwood Mac was at the top of their game. It was the most incredible time. But then my best friend, Robin, was diagnosed with leukemia and that overshadowed everything. I really didn't get to enjoy Belladonna. I found out that Robin was dying on the same day it went No. 1. I never really thought about it until now, but that's what happened. That should've been a time when I was the most happy and felt the most self-confident and successful. But actually, I really felt the most helpless, because all the money in the world couldn't save this woman's life. It was a very sad, yet balancing, thing for me.
Were you working the whole time?
Yes. For the Belladonna tour, we only did 12 shows and I had to go right back to Fleetwood Mac. I was on the road when Robin died. I didn't even have the time, or the luxury, to sit around and be sad about her death. I've been thinking about this a lot lately. How unfortunate it was that it all had to happen at the same time. People ask, "Wasn't it incredible when Belladonna was No. 1 and sold 3 million albums?" Yeah, it was totally wonderful except that I was watching one thing go up while I was watching another thing go down. It was really, really hard.
Who was your favorite singer when you were a kid?
I listened to a lot of r&b soul radio. I loved listening to the radio. When I was a child I was so enthralled with music. I can remember sitting in the backseat of our car with my mom and dad in the front and [starts singing "Diana" by Paul Anka] I would be singing and my parents would start talking. I remember one time I said, "I'm trying to sing and you guys are talking. I would really appreciate it if you would keep it down." That was in the fourth grade and that was as early as I remember keying into the radio thinking, "Man, I really love that song."
So you were a real pop head? Did you have an allegiance to any particular artist? One who had a profound impact on you?
No, not when I was that young. On my 16th birthday, I wrote my first song. Right then, I made a decision that that's what I wanted to be--a songwriter. The next year, I moved up to San Francisco and finished high school. At that time, I was totally into Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Two years after that, I joined a band and played on the same stage as those people. It happened so fast, I had no idea what would happen, but it just worked out. And then I felt as though I'd been in a rock 'n' roll band my whole life.
Do you remember the first time you collaborated on a song with Lindsey? When you showed him one of your songs and you guys started working on arrangements?
I showed him all my songs. I mean, "Rhiannon," "Gold Dust Woman" and "Landslide" were written a year before we joined Fleetwood Mac. I'd sit down and play a song for Lindsey and he'd go straight to his tape recorder. All I had to do was write it, play it for him and 24 hours later it was recorded. That was so great for me, because I wasn't a great guitar player, and I'm still not. All I had to do was sing it and get the vibe over to Lindsey and then it would be recorded perfectly. He could play really well, so I never had to mess around with any of that stuff.
Some of the greatest writers can barely play or sing. A friend of mine saw a documentary on Burt Bacharach...
Burt can't sing. But boy, let an incredible bunch of musicians at his songs and then it's amazing. For songwriters, you need to have somebody to help you with the work.
You're the first living adjective I've ever met. When people describe a certain look or vibe, they'll say, "Oh, that's very Stevie Nicks." And you know, casting agents will say they're looking for someone who's "Stevie Nicks-esque." Are you aware of your influence?
I'm not around to hear all of the details. But I know what you mean. I, myself, can see it, too. I'll see something that reminds me of this whole little look I put together 20 years ago. I'll be watching something like House of Style on MTV and somebody will say, "Oh that's so Stevie Nicks of you."
So you can step outside and see yourself, kind of an out-of-body experience.
Yes. Oh, come with me and bring the tape recorder. [Excitedly, Stevie leads the way into her room filled with racks of costume clothing] These are all my stage clothes. This is what I was wearing on the cover of Rumours [points to the dress]. These are all my clothes I wore on stage over the last 20 years.
And you saved them all?
Absolutely! They're all still so beautiful. They were made out of such beautiful fabric. Here's the dress I wore for the "White Winged Dove" thing.
Did you design your own clothes?
Well, I didn't go and cut patterns, but I pretty much told 'em what I wanted. All of this stuff came from me. So when people say, "It's so Stevie Nicks," it really does exist and here it is.
What's the story behind the song "Silver Springs"?
"Silver Springs" was on Rumours. It was on the track list, it was gonna be on the record, but at the very last minute it was taken off, much to my disbelief. And the reason was because the song was way too long. It was really heartbreaking because it's such a wonderful song. And because it was taken off [Rumours], we've never performed it live. 'Cause, you know, when you go out on tour you can only do two or three new songs. You can't bore the audience or they'll just walk. Anyway, a few months ago we decided to do it again. When we went into rehearsal, we played it and it sounded really good. The neat thing is that I had given this song to my mom--writing, publishing, everything. So when it was taken off the record, it was really a double disaster.
Especially that record! [laughs]
It was released as the B-side for the "Go Your Own Way" single, but you know how it goes, singles get released, people lose them, nobody has them anymore. Pretty soon, it's gone. So now "Silver Springs" is on the new record and my mom's totally excited. She has an antique store that's called "Silver Springs" and the phone is ringing off the hook. It's just gonna be great! After all this time, my song, well her song, actually gets to be what it was supposed to be 20 years ago.
What's in the future for Fleetwood Mac?
We're gonna tour for the next few months and we'll see how it goes from there.
"Tusk II," perhaps?
[Laughs] Yeah, we'll see.
Interview with Stevie and Lindsey
Gary Craig: All right on the phone with us right now, lengendary names, lengendary groups, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. And, of course, the group unless you've been living under a rock for your whole life is Fleetwood Mac. Welcome to Craig & Company.
Lindsey: How are you?
Gary Craig: I tell ya, fans all across the world are thrilled about the reunion of Fleetwood Mac. How do you think it's going to feel going to the spot where you were before, you have not toured in ten years, I know you're probably excited about it but any tripedations at all?
Stevie: I'm really looking forward to it. I'm definitely looking forward to getting out of L.A. where it's like technical now, in rehearsals and stuff, and going and really playing, because I really enjoy that and I don't enjoy the technical part.
Gary Craig: Oh let's face it Stevie, you just want to get out of LA, forget about the tour, anything that'll get you out of there, that's what you're for.
John Elliott: Let's talk about the music, you have recorded some of the most important music in the history of recording. The songs: Go Your Own Way, Over My Head, Rhiannon, when you went to go rehearse to do the tour, did everybody remember it the same way?
Lindsey: I think so, I mean it was kinda like a bicycle, it all went into automatic. The only thing that was a little bit tough were some of the details, you know, what did we do there, but that came pretty quickly too.
John Elliott: Stevie, with a 40 stop tour, are you worried at all about singing some of those high notes?
Stevie: No, I'm not actually. Because we're taking a singing teacher, a vocal coach, that's really incredible, you know, like an athlete,before you do something athletic you work out a little bit, you stretch out. And we just like hit the stage totally cold, you know, so I'm going to take like some serious voice lessons while I'm on the road. So I won't have any problem with my voice.
Gary Craig: When you guys do new renditions of songs that you know basically backwards and forwards, do you find new little things to do in them, a different place, a different nuance, a different emphisis you didn't have before?
Lindsey: Yeah, I think that's one of the challenges on the road. In the studio the challenge is to pull things out of the air, on the road the challenge is to keep it fresh, playing exactly the same thing every night eventually it's going to become a little mechanical.
John Elliott: Speaking of the music, let's talk about a song called "Don't Stop". Anyone in the band ever spend a night in the Lincoln bedroom?
Stevie: (laughs) No.
Gary Craig: What was it like meeting Bill Clinton?
Stevie: I didn't meet Bill Clinton.
Lindsey: Actually, none of us did. He was swept away right after the ceremony was over.
Stevie: He came right off the stage and went right into the car and was gone.
Gary Craig: What??
John Elliott: You mean after he used your song, you performed it for him and never met him?
Stevie: No, it was very disappointing. (laughs)
Gary Craig: The nerve of him!! Look, don't ever perform for him again!!
Stevie: Of course, that's what everyone said when we got back!! (laughs)
Gary Craig (doing a Bill Clinton impression): Right, well Stevie and Lindsey, I'd like to apoligize for not stopping by.
Stevie & Lindsey: (laughing)
Gary Craig (as Bill Clinton): But I had another big big appointment, What was her name? Who was I meeting?
John Elliott: Jennifer, sir.
Gary Craig (as Bill Clinton): Right. Thank you, God bless you.
Gary Craig: I gotta tell you Stevie, you look fabulous.
Stevie: Thank you.
Gary Craig: I saw a picture of you. You still look great. You still wear those great dresses that you used to have?
Stevie: I do
Gary Craig: Oh god! I loved those dresses, I used to watch you with those dresses, she would twirl around, I thought there was an entire family living under...
John Elliott: Would you stop with the dresses!!!???
Gary Craig: I love the dresses. Best of luck on the tour all of us here in Hartford CT are really looking forward to seeing you.
Stevie: Thanks so much.
Lindsey: Thanks, looking forward to it.
John Elliott: Thanks, for taking the time.
Stevie: Take care
Gary Craig: We'll see ya!! Bye Bye!!
Stevie & Lindsey: Bye!!!
Gary Craig: The great Stevie Nicks & Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. John Elliott: September 17th at Meadows Music
Gary Craig: What a concert that's going to be!!!
Blonde On Blonde
Stevie Nicks and Courtney Love dish on witchy women, male-swapping, diamond studded coke spoons, and the Fleetwood Mac reunion.
At the height of 1970s rockíníroll bloat, Fleetwood Macís Stevie Nicks was the O.D. -- the Original Diva. Dressed head-to-toe in flowing black, singing songs about Welsh witches, bouncing between rock-star boyfriends (bandmates, no less), snorting drugs all the while, she wrote the book on feminine excess, and one young reader was a girl named Courtney Love. On the eve of Fleetwood Macís reunion album and tour, the two Goth blondes gathered for an historic meeting of the muses.
COURTNEY LOVE: I was watching your new MTV special, and "Silver Springs" sent chills down my spine. It was like great opera, or like A Streetcar Named Desire. It was an absolute war between the sexes. And one of the things that struck me was how you epitomized the ideal gorgeous, California, in-you-convertible girlfriend. Almost. You can see the schism in your performance, where you check yourself and say, I am so much more than that. You filled that stage so much with your archetype, it was incredible. I just canít imagine you as a 21-year-old waitress in San Jose supporting Lindsey Buckingham. It freaks me out. Hey, can I say what Iím drinking my coffee out of?
STEVIE NICKS: Yes, you can.
CL: Iím drinking my coffee out of a mug from the Betty Ford Center. It says BETTY FORD on it. I think thatís super chic. [Laughs]. I wish my rehab had sold souvenirs. They did, actually. They had sweatshirts, but I didnít buy one because I had no money and they didnít take credit cards.
SN: I think at Betty Ford they give you a cup.
CL: I bet they have lots of cool stuff there. So anyway, when I was very young I thought of you as the most pampered child of California. But then I heard "Dreams" and "Rhiannon," and I thought, Is she this thing or is she this other thing, this poet?
SN: You have to understand. I didnít want to be a waitress, but I believed that Lindsey shouldnít have to work, that he should just lay on the floor and practice his guitar and become more brilliant every day. And as I watched him become more brilliant every day, I felt very gratified. I was totally devoted to making it happen for him. I never worried about not being successful; I wanted to make it possible for him to be successful. And when you really feel that way about somebody, itís very easy to take your own personality and quiet it way down. I knew my career was going to work out fine. I knew I wasnít going to lose myself.
CL: How did you two meet?
SN: I met Lindsey in high school in San Francisco. We had gone to some party and he was sitting in the middle of this gorgeous living room playing a song. I walked over and stood next to him, and the song was "California Dreaming," and I just started singing with him.
CL: He was playing "California Dreaming"? Oh my God!!
SN: And so I just threw in my Michelle Phillips harmony and..he was so beautiful. And then I didnít really see him again until two years later, when he called me and asked me if I wanted to be in his rockíníroll band, which I didnít even know existed. And within two or three months we were opening for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, all the San Francisco bands. Two years later, we packed up and moved to Los Angeles with about 12 demos.
CL: When you and Lindsey joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, it sounded like you were really coming into your own. I mean, songs like "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." Those are profound. But here was a band that had been together a thousand years, right? They originally came from this time and place--Yardbirds, zeppelin, etc.--and while everyone had made it out of there, they were the dog with fleas. John Mayall was bigger than them. I mean, everybody. And then what happens? They get you and Lindsey, and here you are, this world-class beauty with a voice from heaven and these amazing songs, and it makes them huge. And you huger. And youíre just the girlfriend, the silent supporter of the tortured genius. That must have made everyone crazy.
SN: Well..my success was not easy for Lindsey, not easy for any of them. And I knew that, and I felt terrible about it. Thereís a part of me that would have said, Letís tell everybody to stop talking about Steve. Stop giving Stevie all this attention, because, guess what, itís making Stevie miserable. Because I have to live with these other four people who know itís not my fault, but they canít help but blame me a little, and itís killing me. But I also remember getting very upset with Lindsey one night when I realized that he and Christine [McVie] had written "World Turning." I had been with Lindsey all those years and we had never written a song together. Plus, I walked into the studio and they were singing it together.
CL: You never wrote songs together?
SN: No, no. I would sit down and play him "Gold Dust Woman" on the guitar, my simple little version, and two days later it would be recorded, and it would be recorded really well. He could take my songs and do what I would do if I had his musical talent. When he wasnít angry with me, that is. Thatís why thereís seven or eight great songs, and thereís 50 more where he wasnít happy with me and didnít help me.
CL: One thing youíve always done, I realized recently, is write about these muses, these other females, these goddesses. These parts of yourself. You donít write big, sexy love ballads about men. I wondered why that was for you? Because I do the same thing. I was listening to a song of Billy Corganís yesterday called "I Need a Lover." Itís sexy, okay. But Iím listening and Iím going, I canít write like this.
SN: You know how else asked me that same question a long time ago: Prince. We were really close for a while--we never went to bed together, but we had something that was very, very special. And he always said, Why donít you write songs that are more sexual? And I said, Well, because thatís no the way I am in my real life. I am not a person who walks naked through the house. I will always have something beautiful on. It will be beautiful, and it will enhance me.
CL: Maybe what Prince was trying to say is you should be more, "I want to fuck you, baby."
SN: But I believe that there is a certain amount of mysticism that all women should have, that you should never tell all your secrets, that you should never tell everybody all about you. I never have.
CL: Speaking of secrets, Iíve heard that youíve kept a diary the entire course of your career.
SN: I have. Itís all written down.
CL: If you were ever to let those things out, I imagine that empires would fall.
SN: But you know what? Even in my journals, I donít ever write about sex. I write around it, so that I know what I meant, but if somebody else read it, they might not understand. Nobody could ever get the real story unless I chose to share it with them.
CL: Tell me more about your love life.
SN: Well, when Lindsey and I broke up during Rumours, I started going out with Don Henley. And you know, I was like the biggest Eagles fan of life.
CL: "Warm smell of colitas..."
SN: [Laughing] Totally. And we went out, off and on, for about two years.
CL: Thatís a perfect couple right there. I mean, thatís the California, the San Andreas Fault couple. He was really cute, too.
SN: He was really cute, and he was elegant. Don taught me to spend money.
CL: How did he teach you to spend money? Iíve never had a guy do that for me.
SN: Well, I just watched him, thatís how. He didnít visibly set out to do that. I just watched him. He was okay with, say, buying a house like that [snaps her fingers], or sending a Learjet to pick you up.
CL: I had a Learjet phase for a little bit, but I couldnít really afford it. While weíre on the subject, tell me about your rose Porsche.
SN: Me and a bunch of my friends were in my house in Phoenix, we were up all night doing lots of cocaine and watching that movie Risky Business. Thatís one of my favorites. And I just made a call and that Porsche was delivered.
CL: You said "I want a rose Porsche"?
SN: I said, I want the same Porsche thatís in Risky Business.
CL: Thereís a Porsche in Risky Business?
SN: Yes, there is. And I bought it. That morning.
CL: Wow. You know, I still think Don Henley is sexy.
SN: He is sexy. Heís such an interesting guy. Hereís one thing that Don did that freaked my band out so much. Weíre all in Miami, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. Theyíre recording at this gorgeous house theyíd rented on the water. Itís totally romantic.
CL: Is it pink?
SN: Itís pink.
CL: Of course itís pink.
SN: Itís like Mar-a-Lago. Anyway, he sends a limousine driver over to our hotel with a box of presents for me, and theyíre delivered right into the breakfast room where everyoneís eating. Thereís a stereo, a bunch of fabulous records. Thereís incredible flowers and fruits, beautiful..
CL: Pomegranates and figs and dates, of course.
SN: Yes. And...
CL: Oh, I love him!
SN: The limousine driver is taking all this out onto the table and Iím going, Oh, please, please, this is not going to go down well. And they want to know who itís from. And Lindsey is not happy.
SN: Yeah. So I started going out with him. And this is not popular. Sure, Lindsey and I are totally broken up, I have every right in the world to go out with people, but...I spend most of my time with the band, and itís not real conducive to having a relationship. So, I went out with Don for awhile. I went out with [Eagles songwriter] J.D. Souther for awhile. We had an incredible time.
CL: But he wasnít as famous as you. It must have been a lot more fun going out with somebody just as famous.
SN: Well, all those Eagles were an interesting group of guys. They were such good songwriters. I was blown away. I was totally awestruck. I mean, I was very, very famous, but it didnít make me less awestruck with these men than anybody else. I was just as big a fan. And then..Weíre just doing a condensed version of what happened with me. And then I fell in love with Mick [Fleetwood]. And that went on for two years. Never in a million years could you have told me that would happen. That was the biggest surprise. Mick is definitely one of my great, great loves.
CL: How was that between Lindsey and Mick?
SN: That was not good. That was not good for anybody else in the band. Everybody was so angry, because Mick was married. To a wonderful girl and he had two wonderful children, and I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. So it couldnít have possibly worked out. And it didnít. It just couldnít.
CL: And the drugs?
SN: The drugs didnít help, needless to say. We did a lot of blow. I donít remember how much we did; we spent an awful lot of money on it. You know, we were constantly on the road--the tour for the first album was almost a year long. Rumours was a year, and Tusk was a solid year. We never stopped, never took vacations. And with coke you can stay up way too late, you donít sleep for three days.
CL: Did you keep your drug habits secret from each other? Like, in my band, when someoneís had a problem, itís always been a secret from everyone else. We would never do it together, communally.
SN: Oh, no. No, no, no. It was much more of a family thing. And it wasnít just us.
CL: Well, thatís in the spirit of the era.
SN: If this was 20 years ago, we would have sat here and done a gram of cocaine while we did this interview. I wouldnít have known you previously, and we still would have done it together. It was just the friendly, fun thing to do. I swear to God, thatís how it was.
CL: I think the intriguing thing to a lot of people is that thereís never been a period in rock as debauched as the period after Rumours. Nobodyís touched it. Iím sure other people have done more drugs, other people have lived better, but no one, for one thing, was dressed as great. No one has ever looked as fabulous during their flushed-with-success period--not even the Beatles, maybe not even the Rolling Stones. Somebody gave me a [poster for my birthday; itís a famous picture of you guys standing outside a chicken coop. And you all look amazing. You had such great hair. You still do. and back then, rock divas didnít have high-end colorists.
CL: And you didnít get free clothes from Doice & Gabbana.
CL: You had to make your own clothes. You had to create your own divadom. like wearing black, which was a very fashion-forward choice for the Ď70s. Whyíd you start doing that?
SN: Because as a blonde I looked better in all black. Plus it made things a lot easier; you could just have a bunch of pieces.
CL: But nobody wore all black in the Ď70s. You were just like Johnny Cash.
SN: Yeah. And I loved that. I still love that.
CL: Itís different now, Ďcause itís very Barneyís, but black then it was pretty fucking bold. What kind of clothes did, like, the Eagles wear? Did they wear real expensive turquoise belt buckles and...
SN: No. They were very cool. They just wore beautiful jeans and silk shirts.
CL: Was Henley, like, rocking the Armani?
SN: You know what? When I was hanging around with them, I had no idea what kind of clothes they wore, except that they always looked good.
CL: I remember reading one description of you finishing "Gold Dust Woman" in the middle of the night wrapped in your black shawl. Was all that witchy, gothic stuff completely your thing yet?
SN: Oh yeah. Ever since I moved out of Mom and Dadís. But in Fleetwood Mac I had to really calm that part of me down. I mean, they put up with my incense, let me do a little lighting, but I couldnít bring a lot of my stuff in there.
CL: Thereís a song of yours, what is it? Itís about--oh my God, itís about...
CL: "Gypsy!" Right About putting a scarf over a lamp. I was like, yeah. Even in rehab I put the scarf over the lamp.
SN: Me too, you know.
CL: So the band didnít put up with that stuff?
SN: Well, I just have to be very careful and tasteful with them. I canít be quite as Gypsy as Iíd like. The downside of being in a band is that you canít have everything you want.
CL: But the upside, the upside is incredible. The team/gang thing.
SN: Itís great. When I walk with my band up to the stage, I feel like an astronaut. [Laughing] I feel like we should be in slow motion, and the wind should be blowing.
CL: Being a movie star is pretty cool, but being a rock is just better. especially a lady rock star. Iím really grateful for it.
SN: So am I. Every day. And thatís something I donít think goes away. Itís like, I totally appreciate being able to buy, say, this thousand-dollar cashmere blanket. I do. Because if I couldnít, I would hate the act that I would have to go back to real, regular blankets.
CL: At Penneyís
SN: At Penneyís. [Laughing] and I never wanted to go to Penneyís even when I was a little girl.
CL: I didnít want to go to Penneyís either. I knew, when I was in there, I knew I shouldnít be in there.
SN: I am not in the right store, mom.
CL: Thereís something wrong. This is wrong.
SN: Take me to the good store.
CL: Exactly [laughs] I want to ask about when you put out your first solo record, Bella Donna, in 1981. Were the guys pissed off?
SN: Well, it was a big deal, obviously. Going away to another record company at the peak of Fleetwood Mac was not a real popular thing.
CL: People should understand that at the time you made Bella Donna, you were one of the biggest starts on the planet. Certainly the biggest female in rock. It must have been so much harder back then being a famous woman in rock. You were entering this field almost by yourself. I mean, I always thought that Janis Joplin had a really hard road, because no one had ever been down it.
SN: And she didnít make it down.
CL: But you did. You went much further than her. You were a pioneer. You were dealing with all these sexual politics, being a feminine woman who was doing this thing. Iím really surprised that youíre less schizophrenic than you are. Because you were right out in front, with the projections of the entire world put upon you. I mean, heavily. I had Bella Donna when I was in Japan, stripping. I was 15, I think. It was the year that Charles and Diana got married. And thatís what I listened to all the time to keep me sane. But you must have been feeling so many things then, because of your fame: the energy of young girls and older women using you, men using you. Did you start to feel a sense of magic about yourself? Itís hard to control the ego sometimes. I know. Itís hard to stay grounded.
SN: I think if I had just done my solo career and had been able just to be me, I probably would have been a lot more egoíd out than I was. Being in a group of five really does keep your ego in place. Itís not as easy to get totally conceited when youíre in a band.
CL: Itís not even conceit, though. I believe that itís a product of energy being projected on you. Iím sorry, thereís a psychic transference that you have when you go to the bookstore and get recognized, and they treat you as your Stevieness or your Jim Carreyness or your Courtneyness or whatever it is they expect from you all the time. It must have been insane to be one of the first women out there in this art form. It must have been a battlefield. Is that one of the reasons you moved to the desert?
SN: Well, Iíve always lived there. My mom and dad are from there. Thatís why I bought a house in Scottsdale, near Phoenix, so I could be close to them. Otherwise, I would have never gone to see my parents during those years; the cocaine years. I was too nerved out to sit and talk to my mom and dad; they were the last people that I would talk to.
CL: So, talk to me about "Gold Dust Woman." Whatís it about?
SN: Well, the gold dust refers to cocaine, but itís not completely about that, because there wasnít that much cocaine around then. Everybody was doing a little bit--you know, we never bought it or anything, it was just around--and I think I had a real serious flask of what this stuff could be, of what it could do to you. The whole thing about how we all love the ritual of it, the little bottle, the little diamond-studded spoons, the fabulous velvet bags. For me, it fit right into the incense and candles and that stuff. And I really imagined that it could overtake everything, never thinking a million years that it would overtake me. I must have met a couple of people that I thought did too much coke, and I must have been impressed by that. Because I made it into a whole story.
CL: But it seems more like a sexual identity song or a romantic identity song. Thereís some amazing lines in the song. Like, "Rulers make bad lovers / You better put your kingdom up for sale."
SN: I was definitely swept away by how big Fleetwood Mac was and how famous I suddenly was. Me, who couldnít buy anything before, could now go in any store, and buy anything I wanted. And I wondered what that would do to me on down the line. I might be ruler, but maybe Iíd be a lousy lover.
CL: I love the imagery in the song, when sheís a dragon, and a black widow.
SN: That just means an anger. The black widow, the dragon thing, is all about being scary and angry.
CL: But I think itís more powerful than that. A dragon is the most potent and virile symbol you can use. So applying yourself to a woman, or to yourself, or to an archetypal alterego self is like this power, especially if you wrote it when you were frail and frightened and maybe not as powerful as you became later.
SN: You know what, Courtney? I donít really know what "Gold Dust Woman" is about. I know there was cocaine there and that I fancied it gold dust, somehow. Iím going to have to go back to my journals and see if I can pull something out about "Gold Dust Woman." Because I donít really know. It canít be all about cocaine.
CL: No, I think youíre bigger than that.
Caption for pictures on center page: Portraits of a lady: cover of Buckingham/Nicks, 1973; Fleetwood Mac, 1974; Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie; a crystal vision, circa Rumours; Mac version Ď97.
The rock 'n' roll gypsy is back with Mac--but don't ask her about grocery shopping
by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
Before there was Beverly Hills, 90210, there was Fleetwood Mac. The '70s supergroup, fronted by seductive blond siren Stevie Nicks, combined money, fame and chart-topping music with a real-life soap opera that would make Tori Spelling blush.
During their 10-plus years together, Nicks and the band came close to perfecting the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle. Their albums, like Fleetwood Mac and Tusk, supplied the soundtrack for many a Baby Boomer--including President Clinton, who asked the band to reunite for his inauguration in 1993. And their backstage antics supplied the intrigue.
Composed of single guy Mick Fleetwood and two couples--lovers Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham and husband and wife John and Christine McVie--Fleetwood Mac suffered from infighting and affairs (including one between Fleetwood and Nicks). Still, the band steadily managed to produce hits. Rumours alone spent a record 31 weeks atop the album charts.
A self-styled rock gypsy in leather, lace, chiffon and top hat, Nicks eventually left the group and launched a successful solo career. The hits kept coming, and so did the media, tracking her affairs with the likes of Don Henley, her 1986 stay at Betty Ford, her weight gains and losses, her voice troubles and more.
Now older (49) and wiser (or at least more willing to forgive and forget), Nicks and the rest of the Mac return to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Rumours. There's a new live album, The Dance, a home video, the recent MTV special and a 10-week, 40-city North American tour that begins in mid September.
Whether this lineup of Fleetwood Mac will again go its own way after all this, remains to be seen, but for now, Nicks is happy just to revive old friendships and enjoy the ride.
How's everybody getting along?
Did you have to get to know each other all over again?
You look great. Of course, last year the tabloids were trumpeting that you'd lost 60. Is that true?
Are you keeping a certain health regimen now?
I eat really well. I don't eat bread or pasta or cereal. I go on the treadmill as many times a week as I can possibly find the time, and stay on for 30 minutes to an hour.
We've heard you take your whole world with you when you tour. Is that still true, or are you going with a more stripped-down approach--as you did on your Street Angel tour three years ago, when you went out with a bus?
I loved the bus thing, which wasn't stripped down in terms of what I brought along. In fact, I was very disappointed that this tour is going to be a straight airplane thing. I really love the idea of having all your stuff in the bus, and only having to take in a few articles to the hotel.
So, what do you take along?
I have a packing case--like an instrument case--that has three big drawers. And in that, I'm able to pretty much take everything from extension plugs and shawls for the lamps to candles and incense.
What's the status of your next solo album?
It's on hold for the time being. And I don't mind that for the opportunity to do this with Fleetwood Mac. I spent the last three years writing for this upcoming album of mine--whenever I do it. I'll probably write a couple of songs on the road over the next couple of months, which will balance out the three years I spent writing quietly in Phoenix, you know? The songs will be an interesting mix. I kind of feel like whenever it happens, it will.
Is there anyone special in your life right now?
No. Doing a tour is so overwhelming. It does take over your life.
Do you still paint? Your paintings, like "Rhiannon," have raised thousands of dollars for AmFar and other organizations.
I do. That's just something that's there, and one day the time will be right and I'll do some prints and maybe a coffee-table book. It's just sitting there waiting, like the next album.
You told us a few years ago that you'd created your whole chiffon and suede boots image thing, and if you could change it now, you would.
That was probably just a passing thought. I know that whatever image you create in the beginning of your career, you'd better like it, because you're going to be stuck with it. I'm not sorry about mine.
I love my clothes. I kind of dress that way in real life. I'm not as cosmic as people probably think I am, but I do love beautiful fabrics and beautifully made things, whether it's a dress or a skirt or a set of drapes.
So, do you go grocery shopping dressed that way?
I DON'T GO GROCERY SHOPPING.
But you do go out.
Oh yes. I go out shopping. I go to all the malls. I go to all the fabulous stores. I just choose not to be recognized, and I'm not. If I want to be seen, I can be recognized. If I don't, I can just kind of put my head down, assume the shopper's pose and go.
When you went out on your final tour with Fleetwood Mac in 1990, you complained about not having much power in the group. How do things compare now?
It's better, but it's not better because I have more power. It feels like each of us is more able to be a team player than before.
Any special things you're doing to prepare for the tour?
We're taking a voice coach with us. I will do 30 to 40 minutes with him every afternoon before a show, so I'll actually be studying voice for three months, which is so incredible. There will not be any bad singing nights...
What does the coach do?
He works out your voice so you don't have to get used to singing when you walk out onstage. Your vocal cords are all warmed up, and you're in perfect form. Like, if you were a ballerina, you would half an hour solid before a performance. Well, we forget there are muscles used in vocalizing, just as there are in ballet. You wouldn't go out and do Swan Lake without a warmup. So, why would you sing for two and a half hours without one?
Years ago, you had a voice coach on tour who was concentrating on helping you raise your pitch.
And I did that, very successfully. Otherwise [drops into a gravelly, latter-day Lucille Ball style growl] I'd be talking down here. A lot of my vocal things went away when I raised my pitch. Now, the circumstances are special. We're doing 40 shows, and when you're doing that many shows, and two and three in a row, and a two-and-a-half-hour set--with "Rhiannon" and "Stand Back" and songs that are really tough to sing--you have to be like an Olympic athlete.
You've said you really don't like being on camera. Is that still true after so many videos?
I just don't like it. It makes you lose all your spontaneity. I can be effervescent with friends around a piano for hours, but the minute you bring out a camera, I go flat. And I think what I do onstage was not meant to be seen by me, it was meant to be seen by everybody else.
When I'm onstage, I'm not supposed to be thinking about how I look. And when I'm being filmed, I do think about it. Everybody does. It makes it hard to be as good as you could be at your trade when you're thinking: "Is this a good angle? Is the lighting good? That guy, that camera, is, like, right into my neck!" You freak out.
And now, well, it was Audrey Hepburn who said watching yourself on film is like watching the aging process. Every time you see yourself, you look older. I'd rather not see it.
WZLX in Boston, April 13, 1998
interview with Dj Chuck Nowlan
CN - She's coming off a hugely successful reunion tour with Fleetwood Mac. She's releasing a 3 CD box set called Enchanted. And she kicks off a solo tour next month that's coming to Great Woods, it's gonna be here June 12th, with tickets going on sale this coming Saturday. And she's standing in a very beautiful spot right now. Stevie Nicks. Hi Stevie.
Stevie- Hi Chuck. How are you?
CN - I'm very good. How are you? Tell me again where you're standing, what it looks like.
Stevie- Well, I'm in a room that has french doors and looks out over the ocean. Ah, I'm kind of, like, close to Sunset and Pacific Coast Highway which is on the way to Malibu.
CN - That sounds so cool, so California.
Stevie- It's very California.
CN - Oh, nice, nice, and you're out there, you're doing a show this week on Thursday, right?
Stevie- Right. I'm doing a benefit for Don Henley.
CN - It's, ah, Stormy Weather 98 with, ah, Don Henley and a lot of different artists playing. Is it true there's a 66 piece orchestra that's going to be playing?
Stevie- It is true.
CN - And they're calling it the El Nino Orchestra or something?
Stevie- It is really going to be something because, I don't know that any of us, I mean, have, you know, spent a whole lot of time singing with a big huge orchestra. I haven't.
CN - You ever think about.....
Stevie- So, it's pretty scarey actually. I mean, it's gonna be incredible, you know, but, it is a 65 piece orchestra and all the ladies, ah, we're each doing two songs and they're old songs, you know, they're old tourch songs. That's what Don wanted. He's, this is like the tourch singers, you know.
CN - Oh, that's cool.
Stevie- It's, like, really, ah, it's so creative of him, you know.
CN - Do you think you'd ever tour with an orchestra? We've got Eric Clapton playing in Boston tomorrow night and he's got like a 22 piece orchestra with him.
Stevie- Really? That goes with him.
CN - Yeah.
Stevie- Wow, I don't know, I mean, I'm gonna have to see how I like singing with an orchestra cause it really is very different, you know.
CN - Yeah.
Stevie- So, I mean, I have the, I have a tape of the two songs and it's so completely, you know, like you wouldn't even, I mean like fairy tale music, you know, it's gonna be great.
CN - If it works out, you can keep the french horn players off the unemployment line.
Stevie- Yes. Absolutely.
CN - Well, tell us about the new box set Enchanted. It's coming out April 28th.
CN - 3 CD's?
Stevie- 3 CD's.
CN - And what do we have on it?
Stevie- Ah, the first two are just, you know, the songs that I came up with to pull off the six records. And the third disc is, I tried to make the third disc kind of a little record unto it's own, is, ah, movie songs that probably nobody really ever heard and some songs that went to Europe on the B sides of songs that were definately never heard. And there's a couple of demos from me working in Phoenix over the last 2 years, 3 years. And, ah, there's an acoustic version of Rhiannon of me playing the piano and singing it like when I wrote it in 1973. And my demo, my 4 track demo of Twister is on it.
CN - No kidding.
Stevie- Cause I just wanted people to really hear the song since I really did kinda hand craft it for the whole idea of, you know, being in love with someone that had an extreme, ah, working thing, you know, where they went out and chased tornadoes all day and really, like, anybody who has kind of an extreme job can fit into that, you know.
CN - You've got some real collector's items on that.
Stevie- Yes. Yes, so I'm really excited about that because, I think, you know, no matter what, there's gonna be some things that people, that will be new for people and that, you know, adds, so that it's not just all old, you know, there are some new things, all, all, mushed in between the lines. So, I hope everybody likes it. I hope I made the right choice.
CN - When you're putting something like that together, is it hard to decide what to keep in and what to leave out?
Stevie- It's very hard.
CN - Yeah.
Stevie- I mean, you kind of start with what do you absolutely not want on this record. That's how you start, you know. So you go through all six records worth of songs and you think, you know, well here's a song that I just really don't want to put on it and that's kind of how you start. Then I sat around with a group of my friends and we all made a list on what our own box set would be. I said, if this was your box set, what would you pull off theses six records and that's kind of, you know, we got all six lists and then we put all the lists together and they were similar, which was amazing, they were similar. And these friends that I had do this with me have been there since the end of the 70's. So they were there for the beginning of Bella Donna. So, you know, so we all kind of came from the same place.
CN - That's a good idea.
Stevie- Yeah. So, that's how I did it. And then we just kept honing that list down until it was the right amount of songs that would fill up 2 CD's. Leaving the 3rd one free for the demo's and the things that people hadn't heard before.
CN - Back before the Fleetwood Mac reunion came about I heard that you were working, I don't know if this is true, that you were working with Courtney Love on some material for a solo album. Were you origionally planning on a solo album of new songs and then decided after Fleetwood Mac to do a box set?
Stevie- No, actually, um, before Fleetwood Mac I was getting ready to go in and do my first record for Warner Reprise and even at the very beginning of the year, it was certainly not solidified that Fleetwood Mac was going to get back together so I did start, I did go in for a week and cut a few songs and stuff and then I went home and called Lindsey up and said , you know, are we going to do this or not? Cause if we're not, then I'm going to really start my record and if we are, I'm going to stop it right here. It's ridiculous for me to do this, you know, I'm just killing myself for nothing. So, he said no, we're gonna do it. So, I stopped that record. And then we did the Fleetwood Mac thing. We did the tour, we came home, we did a bunch of tv and we just really did our last Fleetwood Mac thing a couple of weeks ago. And, ah, the box set idea came about, like, in November. The last month of the tour. Were, they, you know, Atlantic decided that they would like to, you know, box up all of my, ah my, you know, the songs that I loved, to put on a box set. And it was better to do it this way because, it wouldn't have been so good to have to musll together solo records from different record companies. So this way, you know, my whole solo life is on Atlantic and now it's all in a perfect little box where everybody can have what they want out of it. You know, and if I had waited until later it would have been all mixed up with other stuff.
CN - Right.
Stevie- And there still would have been only 3 CD's and I still would have had to save 1 CD for the, you know, for the demo's and stuff. So, I still would have been down to picking out 2 CD's worth of stuff, and having to add another whole, like, 24 songs. So that's really why the box set is coming out now.
CN - And it's just a couple of weeks away. April 28th it's going to be in the stores.
Stevie- Right, right.
CN - Well, last year, you know, when the shows come to Great Woods here I do my show live from, ah, right next to the stage we have this little room that we're in and, ah, when Fleetwood Mac played Great Woods last year, I was in that little room, and a couple of guys came in and said, Man, you guys got to get out of here for a little while, Stevie's got to come in here and warm up a little bit. Do you do that before every show? You go in there and warm up your vocal chords?
Stevie- Well, I, ahh
CN - Do you do a little Fa la la la?
Stevie- No. Yes. I do but, I do that way before the show. I do that in the afternoon. I do like 30 - 40 minutes of a vocal, a real serious vocal lesson. And then right before stage, I just sing. I don't go, I don't do those lessons in front of anybody, you know, I just actually sing a song or something to get ready so that you're not shocked when you have to start singing, you know.
CN - Right. Well you're going to be at Great Woods June 12th. If you'd like, I'll be there really early, we could duet on Leather and Lace or something.
Stevie- Okay, cause we don't have anybody to sing the other part on Leather and Lace.
CN - And I hear that since the Fleetwood Mac tour video, the Dance was so huge, so successful, that, is it true they're going to film your solo tour for release also?
Stevie- I have no idea. Nobody has ever, has said, you know what? I haven't even gone into rehearsal yet. I go into rehearsal next Monday, my band goes into rehearsal tomorrow. But, I'm kind of tied up with the Don Henley Benefit so I won't go until next week. We haven't, you know, I haven't even, I don't even know what the show's going to exactly be yet. So I really haven't gotten to film yet.
CN - Are you going to call the tour Enchanted?
Stevie- Yes. And that's already in, that's happening already. So that, you know, for the merchandising and it's just going to be a totally Enchanted thing. And, you know, I mean, when else could you do something like this? I said, well, everybody, this is our big chance to be Enchanted, you know, because when I come back to do my next record it's definately on a much more serious vein.
CN - And when are you going to do that?
Stevie- So, well, that'll be when I get off the road for this, which will probably be at the end of the summer, unless, for some reason they decide to, you know, maybe send me to Europe or something which I have no idea. Nobody has said anything past August, ahm, then I'll just go home to Phoenix and I have, I already have 6 or 7 songs that I've done in the last 4 years. And then I'll write a few more and that'll balance out, you know, it'll be from now and from then in the last 3 or 4 years and I'll mush them together and that'll be my new record.
CN - Man, nobody can say you're not busy!
Stevie- No. I am busy and I love being busy. I really do. I really, when I realized I was going to have to go back on tour in May, in December 1st, when I came home from the Fleetwood Mac tour I said, you know what, you really can't get out of shape here. You can't just let go and rest for 3 months and expect to build up like, cause we did in Fleetwood Mac, you know, we went in on April 1st and we rehearsed for like 6 weeks. And then we kind of rehearsed all summer long. So we were totally ready. You know, so I've kind of just kept busy knowing that I'm just kind of switching now, you know, I'm just switching in my, in my, whose around me on the tour.
CN - Ahm, Stevie Nicks the box set is called Enchanted. It's coming out April 28th. And she's gonna be at Great Woods June 12th with special guest Boz Scaggs and tickets are going on sale this coming Saturday morning at 9 AM. And you heard it here first, it'll be Chuck Nowlan and Stevie Nicks doing Leather and Lace.
CN - I love that, Stevie. Thanks for checking in here.
Stevie- Thank you.
CN - And from such a beautiful spot out there on the beach.
Stevie- Oh, thank you.
CN - And have a good time Thursday with Don Henley at the show.
CN - We look forward to June 12th. Thank you Stevie.
WXKS Kiss 108 Boston, April 14, 1998
DJ: Look who I have on the phone
DJ: Hi Stevie
Stevie: How are you?
DJ: It's Artie... how are ya?
Stevie: I'm fine.
DJ: How cool is it that I get to talk to you?
Stevie: Oh thank you.
DJ: So tell me what you've been up to.
Stevie: Um, I'm actually doing these interviews and in an hour I'm on my way to the Wiltern Theater for a first rehearsal for the Don Henley benefit that I'm doing on thursday night.
Stevie: So ya it's like I'm singing there's going to be like - there's 10 women. We're all singing two different old torch songs. A 65 piece orchestra. It's gonna to be SUCH a trip.
DJ: Where are you right now?
Stevie: I'm at my house which is - I'm kind of in the vicinity of the corner of Sunset Blvd. and Pacific Coast Highway. So I'm right at the ocean. But you're right at the ocean too!
DJ: Yes, unfortunately the weather is probably not what it is out there.
Stevie: (laughing) Well, it's nice today you know, but believe it or not our weather has been pretty screwed up by the El Nino...so.
DJ: We'll definately have some sunshine for you this summer when you come around.
Stevie: Uh...I'm so glad.
DJ: You're going to be here Friday June 12th.
DJ: And you've definately been keeping yourself busy. I mean you had the Fleetwood Mac tour, you did the Grammy's and now you have this new Boxed Set coming out?
Stevie: I came home from the Fleetwood Mac tour Dec. 1. I decided with other people to do this boxed set so I started working immediately on that. So that's what I've been doing solid. And then this benefit has come up so now I'm really trying to do two things. My band is starting to rehearse today but I'm not there...um..so I will go at the beginning of next week to start rehearsing because..
DJ: Now you're talking about the ah the new CD the 3 boxed set that's coming out.
DJ: The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks
DJ: I can't wait for that.
Stevie: There's a lot of music.
DJ: Lots of music!
Stevie: It's a lot of music. You know you have to really like say ok (laughs) I'm gonna to sit down and listen to one of these at a time. I think you should just listen to one at a time because it is really so much music.
DJ: The one thing I wanted to ask you - Is there a certain way that songs come to you? Or is there anything you do to put yourself in the mood? or do you actually have to sit down and write or how does it come about?
Stevie: Well, it comes about in different ways. You know sometimes I'm just seriously sitting down like just trying to write. That usually doesn't work. Yesterday I was on the treadmill, in front of the TV, and something very sad kind of came on and it just kind of touched me for a second. I jumped off the treadmill, ran over and found a notebook and wrote like about a seven poem, ah seven stan... um seven line poem...
DJ: Um hmm.
Stevie: Very quickly and then ran and you know got back on the treadmill. So I have this little poem that was written in about 30 seconds.
Stevie: That's kinda how I write.
DJ: Probably... the best ideas probably happen that way right?
Stevie: Yes. They do.
DJ: Cuz you definately can't force it.
Stevie: Yes. And I don't very often ever go back and change words. When like that's kind of written. And I won't change it.
DJ: Once it's out it's out?
DJ: In its rawist form?
Stevie: In its rawist form.
DJ: So when does the tour start?
Stevie: May 27th in Hartford.
DJ: OK cool. And you're going to be in Boston everybody want to tell 'em again. Friday June 12th with Boz Scaggs definately grab your tickets. When does the Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks hit the stores?
Stevie: I think it goes into the stores on the 29th of April. And I'm, you know, I hope everybody likes this. This is something that I never really thought about doing and then when I really got into doing it - it was like it was really a lot of fun. So I hope it's fun for everyone.
DJ: Good deal.
Stevie: And I hope the concert is fun and I'm going to put some of the songs that I wouldn't necessarily ever put into a set because of the boxed set, you know. So I'm going to do some songs that are like more unheard of that I think people will really enjoy.
(Silver Springs starts)
DJ: Wow. Well I'll tell you what it's fantastic talking to you thanks for taking some time out and giving us a buzz..
DJ: - and we'll see you this summer.
Stevie: Thank you!
DJ: I'm gonna play Silver Springs now. One of my ah...this is probably the saddest song I've ever heard.
DJ: One of my favorites.
Stevie: Thank you.
WTIC in Hartford, April 14, 1998
Gary Craig: Craig & Co. and 96.5 WTIC and we have the great Stevie Nicks on the air.
Christine Lee: Stevie Nicks, Welcome to the city!!
Stevie Nicks: Thank you! I would like to know what it is exactly about Hartford that draws all the bands to go an do their production rehearsals there. (Laughs)
CL: So you're going to be rehearsing here as well?
Stevie:Yeah, we're coming in to do like two days of production rehearsals and then we play Hartford and then we go on. So yeah, it's just exactly like the Fleetwood Mac tour.
CL: What happened during the Fleetwood Mac tour? All of a sudden it started and then all of a sudden it was over, and we heard a lot of rumours, in fighting, what's the real deal?
Stevie:No there was no in fighting, that's not it at all. Um, you know, we did start this April 1st and we worked solid until, ah, our last Fleetwood Mac thing was like two and half weeks ago. Um, it was really Christine's desision to not, ah, continue with this tour, like say go to Europe or Austraila, which we could have done. She didn't want to do that she wanted to go home. And when it comes down to it, um, she did, she did what she said she would do. I mean, she could look at all of us and say, "I told you I would do this for a year, I told you I would do the 45 concerts, I told you I would do the record, I told you I would do the film. I did not tell you I would tour for the next two years of my life". And when somebody says that to you it's like, you know, we honor her enough that there was not one person who was going to say, "But you have to!"
CL: But did you want to say that to her, Stevie? Did you want to kinda like shake her and say....
Stevie:Of course everyone wanted to say that to her.
Stevie:And everybody in their own little way did say that to her.
CL: What would we find if we opened up your personal music collection and looked inside? What kind of music do you listen to? Who is your favorite artist these days?
Stevie:I like the new women singers a lot. I like Sarah McLachlan, I like Joan Osborne, I like Alanis Morrisette, I like Fiona very much. I'm so glad that women are doing something in music and that women are singing their songs. I think that's the greatest thing, all these women write, that's the thing the knocks me out the most.
CL: You look fabulous, Stevie, and everyone's been telling you this for the past year that you, you slimmed down, your hair looks gorgeous and you're wearing those flowy dresses. What did you do to look so great?
Stevie:Well I, you know, I went on the Atkins diet and lost about 25 pounds.
Stevie:And I just kept that off. But what is happening is, you know, you lose, to me, 25 pounds is massive amount of weight.
Stevie:When you lose that kind of weight then in the two or three years following you don't really lose that much more weight but you seemingly look thinner. And I think it's because toxins and poisons go out of your body, that's what I think what's happened to me. I go on a treadmill a lot. I really try to go on the treadmill everyday if I can even if it's only for 20 or 30 minutes, um, and I try to eat really healthy, you know?
CL: I think it's amazing you talk about times in your life that you can't even remember because you were in just a fog. Does that just blow you away?
Stevie:It does, yes it does.
CL: To wake up and go "Oh my god, I can't remember ten years of my life".
Stevie:Yeah, and it wasn't even ten years, it was really more like about six years, but six years when you're in your 40's is kind of a drag to have lost, you know? Now it's like now I have to be six years older, I didn't get to go thru those six years. What is wrong with this picture, you know? (laughs)
CL: Maybe it's a good thing that you don't remember all of it.
Stevie:Oh I'm sure in a lot of ways it probably is. And I remember a lot of those years as kind of a dream.
CL: One more rumour we want you to say is true or false. Someone was talking that you keep your breast implants in your freezer to remind you of all the pain you went thru. Is that true?
Stevie:Well you know what? This is an interview I did in England.
Stevie:This is what I said, they're in a freezer in Phoenix...in my doctors freezer, you know the doctor who took them out.
Stevie:He saved them, of course, you know, who knows? You may need to have them seen at some point so they're not in my freezer.
Stevie:They're in his freezer.
CL: Well, you look fabulous, you sound wonderful, we are looking forwrad to seeing you live as you kick off your tour here in Hartford, Meadows Music Theatre, May 27. It has been a pleasure talking to you this morning. Thanks for joining us at Craig & Co.
(Leather & Lace begins)
Sunday, April 26, 1998
Q & A WITH STEVIE NICKS
By Gary Graff
Anyone who was paying attention during Fleetwood Mac's reunion tour last fall could tell that Stevie Nicks, 49, was still the star of the show. Trim and healthy, she got the biggest cheers and entranced the audience just as she had two decades before when the Mac was riding high on the mega-million-selling success of the album "Rumours"
Now, with Fleetwood Mac taking a breather, Nicks is going her own way once again, with her most prodigious display of wares since she began her first solo career in 1981. On Tuesday she releases "Enchanted," a three-CD box set that contains her solo hits, choice album cuts and a bunch of rarities including soundtrack songs, collaborations with Kenny Loggins and John Stewart, outtakes and a haunting, spare piano version of "Rhiannon."
She begins a tour May 27 in Connecticut, with Boz Scaggs opening. When that wraps up in early August, she plans to finish her first solo album in four years - and her first release for her new label, Warner-Reprise.
Q: This is quite a productive period for you.
A:It's almost like I didn't ask for any of this; it just happened. I was truly started on a record of my own when this whole world changed, upside down.
Q: You had started on your next album when the reunion popped up?
A:Yes. All of a sudden this thing about Fleetwood Mac happened, and as the days went by there was more talk and then somebody from Warner Bros. actually came up and said (Lindsey Buckingham) really is going to put his record on the shelf to do this. I said, "Well, I don't believe that," because he said that a million times before. So I called him and I said, "Lindsey, I need you to tell me what's happening because if we really are going to do this I'm not even going to start my record." And he said, "I'm going to do it." I said, "You're sure? You promise?" He said, "Yes." and then when I got home from the Fleetwood Mac things I was told Atlantic felt this was a good time to do the box set, since I was going to Warner-Reprise. So all these things just sort of happened, to my surprise.
Q: You were clearly the fan favorite during the tour. How does the rest of the band deal with that?
A:I think probably it's fine and fairly easy for everybody in the band except Lindsey. I think it's hard for Lindsey because we started out together. I think he goes, like, "When did you do all this? Why do you get this kind of reaction?" And I think that is hard for him. So I don't talk to him a lot about it. I don't want to make Lindsey unhappy. I care about him and want him to be happy.
Q: Do you foresee another Fleetwood Mac Project?
A:I feel that what we did this last year, it was great. Everybody had a great time. It was a little hard on Christine (McVie), but I think she will change her mind and she will get bored and say, "Oh, I want to do this one more time." There's no way this band won't play again. I just know that when the time is right it'll come back together. It'll probably be in two years, two and a half years.
Q: What was it like compiling "Enchanted"?
A:It was like going through the photo album that went along with all those records, that went along with my life. Those songs are the photo album of my life because each one of them really was about something pretty heavy, for me to write a song about it. And when you put them all together it's a pretty tumultuous bunch of songs.
Q: Will this tour be different from your others?
A:It's going to be a great set, and it's not going to be like any other set. On a regular tour basically you just go back and get the tour you did last time and change it around a little and add two new songs off of whatever new record you're going out with. This tour is going to be a story. Because it's the box-set tour, it's OK for me to pick songs that people aren't familiar with. This will be kind of a special show, I think.
Q: What's the next album going to be like?
A:The title song is written - "Trouble in Shangri-La." It's like "Bella Donna"; it's a definite concept album. It's about achieving Shangri-La and not being able to handle it.
Q: Sounds like a true story.
A:(laughs) Oh, yes. I understand it all pretty well. Going through all these songs (for Enchanted) made me take a walk back through my life and made me think about things I'd forgotten, and think about experiences that were pretty strong and really touched and changed my life. I look back on all that now and really see what were the good things and what were the bad things - just wisdom, you know? I think I'm really smarter than I used to be, and I don't take anything for granted now.
Q: Any regrets:
A:No, because the things that I've wanted to do and haven't done, I will do. I want to do a children's cartoon movie. And I want to do a Rhiannon record with just the songs of Rhiannon - because there's "Rhiannon," but there are also nine other songs I did right in that period of two years, when I was reading the books of Rhiannon.
Q: You talked once about adopting a child. Is that still an ambition?
A:I don't really need children. I have a niece who's 6, who certainly fills my life up as far as a child goes. I'm going to just work on my work. I don't think the world is going to have that much of a problem with me not being married or having a family. I don't think that's why I came here. I have something that's really important to do, and I don't think I've done that yet.
April 28, 1998
Yahoo Chat with Stevie Nicks, April 28, 1998
SonicNetGuest says, "I started singin gwhen i was 15. That's wehn i started writing songs."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #178 from _sk8erchic: what's your favorite band at this time?
SonicNetGuest says, "This year... I don't know..."
SonicNetGuest says, "In the last year, I haven't been listen ing to that much radio."
SonicNetGuest says, "...I usually keep up more, but i've just been so busy."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #215 from _Stevie_Nicks_Fan_: Who makes your clothing?
SonicNetGuest says, "Margie Kent... She's been making my clothing since 1977. She works out of LA>"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #257 from Mer_p: Hey Stevie... First of all, I think you are a beautiful songwriter! Second, what is your favorite part about what you do? Thanks, by the way, for doing this.
SonicNetGuest says, "The live performing is my fave part."
SonicNetGuest says, "It staartw with the song writing, thought."
SonicNetHost says, "Hi we're here live with Stevie Nicks - 'live" from the rehearsal studio where she is currently rehearsing for her upcoming appearance on Jay Leno"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #264 from Erin222: Hi Stevie! What do you feel is your greatest achievement in life thus far?
SonicNetGuest says, "My greatest acheivment... Managing to be in a rock n rool band for 22 years."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #275 from Curtis1973: Will you ever record "Forest of the Black Roses"
SonicNetGuest says, "I have saved that song b/c it's part of a group of ten songs that I call the reenner songs. .."
SonicNetGuest says, "I really have kept those songs together so they'll all be a group."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #339 from kellyguest_24b938382: are you ever planning to put out a compilation of live performances on video??? we would love it!!!
SonicNetGuest says, "I hadne't thought about it. That's a good idea."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #386 from Mayan3: "Sara" is such a great song. Why have you chosen to no longer perform it on stage?
SonicNetGuest says, "Because Sara is the kind of song that is diff. to do on stage..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it makes such a great record... you can go a long and add very sudlte thing..."
SonicNetGuest says, "which make it work on a record..."
SonicNetGuest says, "when you try to do it on stage, you just can't recreat the sara that's on the record."
SonicNetGuest says, "i couldn' cut anything out of it. It just has to be the whole thing. May be one day i'll find a way to do it on stage."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #439 from Mikieray: Hi Stevie, What do you see yourself doing in 25 years? Is there a point you will quit touring and making music?
SonicNetGuest says, "I would tend to say I'll never stop making music..."
SonicNetGuest says, "In my case, it's reallyl my life. If i stopped, i wouldn't have a reson to be here."
SonicNetGuest says, "... we're not saying when i'm 80 people are really going to care what music i'm making. but i'll be off somewhere writing songs."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #260 from TMS540i: Stevie: What role did your parents play in your life through its ups and downs.
SonicNetGuest says, "My mom and dad have been very supportive my whole life. Before i joined FM, and they were supportive all through the tumoltous times of FM, when they didn't see or hear from me. They never got angry with me,"
SonicNetGuest says, "So basically they're the only ones who were there before the Mac. they're the only ones who really know me."
SonicNetHost says, "We're chatting with Stevie Nicks in celebration of her 3-CD solo box set called "The Enchanted Works Of Stevie Nicks" out on Atlantic Records TODAY! Send in your questions now.."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #531 from Skylark00: Will you ever release an autobiography?
SonicNetGuest says, "I probably will one day. NOt for a long time. The whloe fun of my story... my story isn't a racy story. It's really a great sstory. To change all the names would ruin the story."
SonicNetGuest says, "Untill I get to the point where i think everyone would think it was just fun, I could never write it."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #591 from Jeremygloff: what is your favorite album cover?
SonicNetGuest says, "Rumors. The picture of me and Mick."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #398 from The_Chain82: what advice do you have to give to your younger fans?
SonicNetGuest says, "If you're gonna be in music... get into a band. It' smuch easier to do it in a band, than by yourslef."
SonicNetGuest says, "Then refine your songwriting..."
SonicNetGuest says, "I feel it is ... you have to write your own songs..s."
SonicNetGuest says, "if you're gonna be in this biz your whole life, you have to write your own songs."
SonicNetGuest says, "You can do it!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #730 from Kepli_98: What is it that inspires you when you are writing your music and do you have to be in a special mood to write music?
SonicNetGuest says, "Usually, i'm more in a special mood... i'm in a special place."
SonicNetGuest says, "Enviroment is very important when it comes to creativity."
SonicNetGuest says, "I can have a bad week and come h9ome to pheonix, and go in and start doing music, which i never would of done if i stayed in LA."
SonicNetGuest says, "Shanging your enviroment is very importantt to creativity."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1397 from Carolguest_1ea039532: Any plans on a tour this summer?
SonicNetGuest says, "i am going on tour..."
SonicNetGuest says, "my first show is may 27 in hartford."
SonicNetGuest says, "then, from the east coast to the west coust... 40 conerts..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i'm talking to you from rehersal in LA."
SonicNetGuest says, "I am very excited."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #159 from CaliforniaGirl72: Will any special guests be joining you on your tour?
SonicNetGuest says, "Special guests... Boss Skaggs is oopening for me. He is really wonderful."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #598 from DJFLASHYFLASH1: How has the music business changed from your start until now?
SonicNetGuest says, "20 years ago, you just knew ever;yone. you were more involved with them. the companies are so big now..."
SonicNetGuest says, "you're not best friends with the ceo of some record company. 20 years ago you were."
SonicNetGuest says, "it's not as crazy... as electric."
SonicNetGuest says, "sometimes i thingk it's not so much about the music as it is about the money."
SonicNetGuest says, "...and i'm sure people would argue and say it was always about the money, but i dont' know it that's true."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1344 from Sysco24: What song you wrote means the most to you???
SonicNetGuest says, "that 's not possible to answerr.... when i'm writing a song, that is the most special song."
SonicNetGuest says, "i can't go back and choose one. if they got on to an album, they were a favorite. there arre 2000 others that never made it."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1348 from HermesApollo: Do you still get nervous on stage?
SonicNetGuest says, "very much..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i have terrible stage fright...."
SonicNetGuest says, "if we're doing 4 shows a week, it gets' less, you get used to it... but"
SonicNetGuest says, "things like the the grammys, hall of fame.... i start getting nervous 3 days before... thsoe things are hard for me."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1903 from STONER_SMURF1: What was it like working with Tom Petty?
SonicNetGuest says, "He's my best frind. He has been my dearest friend for many many years."
SonicNetGuest says, "I haven't spoken w/ him in several months... i've been gone."
SonicNetGuest says, "H'e fininfhsing up a new recors and i'm more excited about that than anything."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1933 from Bandit75792: Hi Stevie I love your voice how do you take care of it?
SonicNetGuest says, "on the last tour we did 45 shows.. i had a vocal lesson every afternoon for 35 minutes... it completely paid off..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i hade no problems at all... i'"
SonicNetGuest says, "the idea of being a grreat singer is very excinting... if you study, you can work into it."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1956 from Bernie_08251: Did you enjoy the reunion with the rest of the group?
SonicNetGuest says, "Very much. It was like a wild ride. It was a lot of fun, very creative. we got along great...."
SonicNetGuest says, "it was a dream come true. and too bad it's over."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1457 from Ragged_Tiger_262: When will you start working on your next album?
SonicNetGuest says, "when i come home from this tour (summer) i have half of it written already. i have the other half to write."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1428 from StacyB77: Do you plat the guitar any on this album?
SonicNetGuest says, "i very well might."
SonicNetGuest says, "and i also think i'll play some piano.."
SonicNetGuest says, "but that does no tmean i will do that on stage... i'll be too nervous."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1462 from Heart576: Stevie whats the best part aboutdoing your own album?
SonicNetGuest says, "the best think is that i get more songs... that is the only reason that i went away from FM in the first place..."
SonicNetGuest says, "as a writer, 3 songs every year is just not enough."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1984 from PatsyEdina_30: Hi Stevie, I'm 19 Years old and a huge fan, Is it strange to have fans of your music that weren't around when it originally released?
SonicNetGuest says, "It is surprising. However..."
SonicNetGuest says, "I believe that my poetry is really meant for everyone no matter what age you are. the feeling i writee about are not unique to any one age, it's timeless"
SonicNetGuest says, "i try to write stuff that will be for everybody. i did that when i was 20 and i try to do that now."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2794 from kathyguest_08d40445: have you heard the "modern" Smashing Pumpkins version of "landslide"? if so, what do you think?
SonicNetGuest says, "i was very honored to have billy corgan pick out that song on his own.."
SonicNetGuest says, "there's nothing more pleasign to a song writier than doing one of there songs..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it also led ot me being friend swith billy corgan... and the possibbility that we'll work togeether..."
SonicNetGuest says, "overr this song, there's been this incredible connection.. he reached out."
SonicNetHost says, "We're chatting with the "enchanted" one from Fleetwood Mac - Stevie Nicks. Ask her about her upcoming solo tour to accompany the release of her 3 CD solo box set out on Atlantic Records today."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2244 from N1ghtb1rd_02: Do you like it on the road or in the studio?
SonicNetGuest says, "i really like both, however, i like to be in teh studio for 3 and 6 moths..."
SonicNetGuest says, "that's thperfect ammount of time.."
SonicNetGuest says, "the first fm record was done in 3 months..."
SonicNetGuest says, "the fires st recored in 3 months..."
SonicNetGuest says, "all others took a year."
SonicNetGuest says, "the studio after 6 months starts to become really tedious, like you are going to a real jog."
SonicNetGuest says, "the best is to record of 6 months, then go on teh road of 6 mohts."
SonicNetGuest says, "beck said he as on the road for a year..."
SonicNetGuest says, "that is too long for me..."
SonicNetGuest says, "you have to not spedn too much time a t each, and kind of split them down the middle, then you don't get tired of either."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2625 from Fleetwood_macca: do you like getting presents from the fans?
SonicNetGuest says, "i like getting them, if they feel like doing it..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it's very sweet... if they send it it must mean something. i get everything and totally appreciate it."
SonicNetGuest says, "My fans have exquisite taste!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #1982 from TheCaterpillarGirl: Stevie, I hear you're going on tour this summer. What kind of stuff will you be playing?
SonicNetGuest says, "The obvious songs i'll do. Stand back, edge of 17,k gold dust.. four songs off the box set, that i personlly love..."
SonicNetGuest says, "have never been played before... it will be a very different set."
SonicNetGuest says, "i'm having fun puttin git together."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3509 from KTguest_1b940248: Is it difficult to show new songs to people for the first time? -
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3611 from TopTenLinks: What is your favorite part of the country?
SonicNetGuest says, "i 've travel so much, i don't have a favorit.e i 've never lived on teh east coast."
SonicNetGuest says, "i've always lived in cali, arizon..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i've never lived in ny so i dont' know..."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3643 from bobbyguest_35a041134: I want to know what do you like to do in your off time?
SonicNetGuest says, "i don't have very much spare time...."
SonicNetGuest says, "when i do, i try to rest."
SonicNetGuest says, "FM when we came home on dec. 1, i started on box set dec 2..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i worked with the art director, my brother on the booklet right awayl..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i still don't have a break... i'm in rehersal right now."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3690 from STONER_SMURF1: Who did you listen to as a child?
SonicNetGuest says, "country... my granpfather was country singer so he played me lots of county music..."
SonicNetGuest says, "and he also played the guitar and sang..."
SonicNetGuest says, "my mom and dads played gospel hymns on the weekends.. so that was it... couyntry and gospe.."
SonicNetGuest says, "until i was old enough to listen to the radio, then i was on my own musical quest."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3558 from Gregguest_68d40670: Stevie, will you ever complete your children's story "A goldfish and a Ladybug" or is that something that you have put away or forgotten?
SonicNetGuest says, "it has not been put away, i have had some drawing done of my lady bug and my gold fish that are ooo precious."
SonicNetGuest says, "i wrote this song when i was a teenager, when the right time comes' along for it... it will absolutely happen."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3909 from TheBellaLuna: Stevie, what made you decide to do a box set of your B-sides?
SonicNetGuest says, "when songs are on a b side they are very seldom heard..."
SonicNetGuest says, "there aare a lot that never got to be heard, so tthis was the perfect op to give them a bit of listening time."
SonicNetHost says, "Stevie Nicks is here chatting about preparing for her upcoming solo tour & reflecting on putting together all the best tracks from her past solo records for this new release. Ask her about what special unreleased tracks might be on it!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3901 from Slvrsprgguest_2a041451: Stevie, if you were an animal, what animal would you be?
SonicNetGuest says, "A yorkshire terriior, and come bakc and live with someone fabulous... like me. I have a terri."
SonicNetGuest says, "She's little crasy.. not a traveling dog. I wouldn' take her on tour.\"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3914 from St8farm: Do you feel the PBS special reeawqakened the public at large to your music?
SonicNetGuest says, "The special.. Absolutely. Probably the video fo the show wass the best thing to do to show people that you can still p0lay and are still rocking. I don't think y9ou can explain that."
SonicNetGuest says, "The great hing was that it was the whole 2 1/2 show!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3912 from VintonScot: hey stevie how was it playing at the white house
SonicNetGuest says, "I didn't play at the white house, it was at the inaugaration... at a huge venue."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3900 from Mickynicks: You love art. Do you have a favorite artist/
SonicNetGuest says, "Fave artist... a german lady artist... Sulamath Wolfing."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2724 from Aracuna98: how do you keep yourself looking so great , what kinda diet do you have?
SonicNetGuest says, "Two years a go i wnet on the atkins diet.."
SonicNetGuest says, "and i lost 25 poulds... i still do a very low carb diet. Don't eat a lot of them, if you want to loss weight."
SonicNetGuest says, "It only took 3 months."
SonicNetGuest says, "When i want somthing good, i do. I haven't put on a pould, and i stopped smoking."
SonicNetGuest says, "If you don't eat a lot of bread and cerial, you won't ." SonicNetMod2 presents the speaker with question #4480 from guest_1b8d40653: Stevie, do you and Lindsey have any projects planned together?
SonicNetGuest says, "At this point, no."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4589 from Clara_2000: Have any plans for your birthday?
SonicNetGuest says, "I'm gonna be in hartford on the 26. Wwe'll be in rehersal."
SonicNetGuest says, "my 50 birthday wwill be with the band, and the people in hartford."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4583 from Stud21guest_298d41812: What was the absolute highlight of your career?
SonicNetGuest says, "honestly, i don't think the highlight aas happened yet."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4578 from Mrsoul69: Is it true you were a waitress before the music thing started?
SonicNetGuest says, "yes, it's true. and not a very good waitress either."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4602 from Ericguest_6b939917: What was your secret to quitting smoking?
SonicNetGuest says, "my secret was... i quit on jan. 1"
SonicNetGuest says, "on nov 1st i started telling myself that at some point i would be told that i would get cancer..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i opened myself up to the fear of that..."
SonicNetGuest says, "when a gross smoking commercial comae on i woulld turn it up... and believe it...\"
SonicNetGuest says, "neww years eve night... couple glasses of champage, so by the time i went to bed, i felt so terrible..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i have told myself about the horror ss of smoking for so long, that i felt so terrible, and when i woke up..."
SonicNetGuest says, "ig ot myself a patch on my arm, and never smoked again. and i smoked 3 pack of kools /day..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i have not suffered... and i don't miss it."
SonicNetGuest says, "i mean that from the bottom of my hears."
SonicNetHost says, "Send in your questions to Fleetwood Mac muse, Stevie Nicks who is preparing for her solo tour. Ask her about her upcoming appearance on Jay Leno..."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4869 from Xhefer: What did you think of Hole's cover of Gold Dust Woman?
SonicNetGuest says, "I loved it. The fact that Courtney found it herself..."
SonicNetGuest says, "when someone wants to interpret something you wrote and bring it to a whole new generation of people.."
SonicNetGuest says, "it'"
SonicNetGuest says, "s great."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #4993 from EMTWILLIAMS: Do you feel that the band is more cohesive and more musically sound than it was 20 years ago?
SonicNetGuest says, "i think the band is playing better than we ever played."
SonicNetGuest says, "... and that's the best part."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #5241 from BigNixFan: what are you going to sing on Leno? and are you going to sit with Jay for an interview?
SonicNetGuest says, "i don't know, but i will do stand back"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2772 from Stevie_Nicks_ROX: I am a singer, I sing in public alot I was wondering, Do you have any Tips On Stage Presentation?
SonicNetGuest says, "believe in yourself when you walk out on that stage..."
SonicNetGuest says, "if you believe in yourself you can make everyone else believe in you."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3058 from KILNHOUSE: Ms. Nicks - what is the first song you ever wrote?
SonicNetGuest says, "a song that was never recored called i loved and i lost and i wrote it on my 16 birthday."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2304 from Kentgirl24: Do you and FM ever plan to tour again?
SonicNetGuest says, "if i didn't feel that fm would ever paly again, i would be very sad, and i don't feel sad..."
SonicNetGuest says, "so absolutely we'll play again!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #5238 from majorettguest_30a040497: Have you seen Titanic ?
SonicNetGuest says, "i have..."
SonicNetGuest says, "the very end really killed me..."
SonicNetGuest says, "what stunned me the most was the end..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i've been in a few close scrapes where i thought we weren't gonna get et out it..."
SonicNetGuest says, "but i love that he made her survive." SonicNetMod2 presents the speaker with question #4527 from Lynda75: What is your favorite book or author?
SonicNetGuest says, "of fiction is tailor caldwell"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2823 from Sexmexmama: Hi Stevie how is Sara Belladona?
SonicNetGuest says, "The yorkie? She's fine. NOt happy that we're all on tour."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3092 from Joea64: Have you seen the various Web sites dedicated to you? What do you think of them?
SonicNetGuest says, "I don't have a computer."
SonicNetGuest says, "That's the whole answer..."
SonicNetGuest says, "The thing that scares me is that i'll be replaced.."
SonicNetGuest says, "like drummers adn musicians... it's very scary."
SonicNetGuest says, "i love that we can talk like this, but i hate the idea that i can be sampled. I'm still alive!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2742 from Boywonderhere: What do you think of the younger generation, today?
SonicNetGuest says, "I thing it's great. Every generation is great. There"
SonicNetGuest says, "are a lot of problems..."
SonicNetGuest says, "that's why i do what i do, to make people happy..."
SonicNetGuest says, "to make them smile."
SonicNetHost says, "Stevie Nicks has released a total of six records in her remarkable solo career. Her 3 CD Box set - "Enchanted" is chock full of tracks - 46 of them highlighted by a number of previously unreleased tracks, studio demos & live cuts including some movie t..."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #5702 from mojo357guest_12b942185: what is your most memorable performance?
SonicNetGuest says, "Memorable performace as of today, is a perf i did last week..."
SonicNetGuest says, "a benefit for don henely..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i sang and old blues song called at last and it was the most f un i've had in a long time."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3794 from The_Triple_Goddess_ Macha: _[0;32mwhat do you have to say to the rumors that say you are a witch and pagan?
SonicNetGuest says, "i have no idea what precipitated those rumor..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i am not a witch. get a life!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3402 from Gypsy_Rhiannon: How was your experience working with Kenny G on "The Other Side of the Mirror"?
SonicNetGuest says, "i loved workign with kenny..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i think y ou would have to spend a fe w hours watching him play to understand it."
SonicNetGuest says, "he is just so good."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3403 from Cowgirl9_5: when did you know that you wanted to be a singer?
SonicNetGuest says, "i think i knew by the time i was in the 4th grade..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i was seriously singing along to the radio then!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3429 from Tom_Crick: Stevie, just picked up the new boxed set...it's great. Are you releasing a single?
SonicNetGuest says, "reconsider me."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3510 from Maolani: why do you tie the chiffon to your microphone?
SonicNetGuest says, "someone else just started tying ribbons many years ago, just to dress it up..."
SonicNetGuest says, "and once you've had a mic with chiffon, and empty mic s a drag!"
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3767 from BeckyHalter: Did I hear a rumor that you will be touring in a bus and not flying?
SonicNetGuest says, "that is true. i had my choice, and i picked the bus."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #5689 from RACECHASE: DEAR STEVIE, IS IT STILL COOL TO HAVE PEOPLE RECOGNIZE YOU WHEN YOU ARE OUT IN PUBLIC
SonicNetGuest says, "it's fine..."
SonicNetGuest says, "i have very wonderful and understanign fans...."
SonicNetGuest says, "they leave me alone... i go and shop and do what i want , and they let me do that."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #5473 from Cwithington: Do you see yourself as a role model for younger people
SonicNetGuest says, "well, i would like to think that there is a part of me that's a good role model.."
SonicNetGuest says, "i've had hard time,s and managed to survive, do maybe people can learn somehting from that..."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #3573 from Gypsy_27320: Are you surprised at the response to the reunion tour
SonicNetGuest says, "honestly, no i wasn't that surprised..."
SonicNetGuest says, "the first day of rehersal... i was very impressed..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it started out so goo, there was no way it would be anything but great."
SonicNetMod1 presents the speaker with question #2648 from guest_3ea040523: What song do you feel you will be remembered
SonicNetGuest says, "probably rhiannon..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it seems to be the one song that is always performed..."
SonicNetGuest says, "it follows me arouns."
SonicNetGuest says, "around"
SonicNetGuest says, "Thank you everyone for taking the time to speak with me today..."
SonicNetGuest says, "I loved it...."
SonicNetGuest says, "I'm not really a comp person, but this an incredible opp to talk with everyone."
SonicNetGuest says, "I'll see you soon, on the road. We're in rehersal, and everything is going great. I can't wait for it to begin."
SonicNetHost says, "Upcoming SonicNet/Yahoo! Chats ... Cherry Poppin Daddies on Thursday, April 30..."
SonicNetHost says, "Thanks for chatting with SonicNet on Yahoo!"
May 1, 1998
Stevie on CNN
Here is Stevie's interview on CNN. When asked about the boxed set, she said the following:
"It was like re-living my life. Because all my solo songs, especially my solo songs are about me and all about my relationships and my life. Some of it's good, you know, some of it's bad. Some of it reminds me of stuff I'd just as soon not remember. And some of it reminds me of things I'm really glad that I have written a song about it so that I can totally remember it."
"My songwriting has always been an outlet for me. Because it does allow you to put down on paper, first it goes down on paper, you know, how you're feeling and I think once you put it on paper and look at it down there it becomes easier to deal with."
"Sometimes when I think I didn't have any children I look around at all the girl singers, and I think they're all my children you know, and they're going to do this. And yes, maybe I inspired them because I did get through a lot and I did have all the same problems that they're going to have. You do have to give up a lot for it. I think that I'm going to figure out a way when I die to have made it all worth it. To have made what I had to give up totally worth it. Because what I've gotten back, I will have made sure that I've balanced them by that time."
May 1, 1998
Long Distance Winner
Stevie Nicks, the ephemeral rock goddess who was here long before Courtney, Fiona and Sheryl, talks about her recent career revival and looks back on her rock-and-roll life.
B y c h r i s w i l l m a n
The market value of gold dust certainly did rebound in 1997, as Fleetwood Mac made a big-if brief-comeback and Stevie Nicks suddenly became the goddess du jour again. Entertainment Weekly caught up with Nicks in early April at her Pacific Palisades home (she also lives in Phoenix part-time), where she spoke candidly about the all-too-short-lived Mac reunion, the joys of winning her voice back, the travails of kicking cigarettes and anti-anxiety drugs and-of course-her new 3-CD boxed set, "Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks," which charts her 17-year solo career. EW Online brings you this significantly expanded version of the magazine interview.
EW: For this boxed set, did you go through each solo album to make a list of which songs should go on or shouldn't?
Nicks:That's exactly what I did. I got all six of the records and enlarged the songs on each one for me and everybody that lives here-my friends Sarah, Karen, Liza. We said, "Okay, everybody make your own list: What would you like to see on the boxed set off of each record?" And there were some things that weren't on anybody's list, and there were other things that we kind of fought back and forth about. It took a good 10 days to work it around to exactly what songs would go. We got to the end of the whole thing, and we had eight songs off of "Bella Donna," right? It's like, everybody start over! But these songs played a big experience in our lives. Sarah's been my friend since 1978; she's Mick Fleetwood's ex-wife, so I've known her almost as long as I've known Mick. They're my really close friends who were there at the end of the '70s when all this started, when the idea came to go and do a solo career. That was a big deal when I decided to do that, because it did upset Fleetwood Mac; it upset the record company. "What, are you crazy? You're gonna risk Fleetwood Mac by doing this solo project that could be terrible?" All these ladies watched it all go by and watched the people go through our lives. So when we went through all these songs, it was like we were going through home movies. They bring up all the experiences that were happening.
EW: Any regrets, as you listened back?
Nicks:I mean, 1982 is a long time ago when you think about it. I was a whole lot younger. So some of the things that I did when I was a whole lot younger I love, and other things that I did I feel I could have done better. I should have known then that they should have been done better. So I'm a little disappointed in myself. This has been quite a project. It's made me really take stock of everything that I've done. I wish at certain places that I had put a little more time and effort in, or that I had listened to other people who came to me and said, "This is not that good of a vocal. Either do it over, or let's see what else we have in all these tracks." And I would stand up: "No, it has to be the first vocal! It's the true thing." Which we all say in the beginning; you say stuff like, "It has to be the virgin part!" You find out all these years later it totally sucked and they were totally right. So you just have to laugh and try to keep the quality of your music up to date now.
EW: You have one song on the boxed set from the "Buckingham/Nicks" album you and Lindsey did as a duo before Fleetwood Mac, which is long out of print and, as I'm sure you know, always the most-requested album any time anyone makes a list of the stuff that's never yet come out on CD. Is it you or Lindsey who wants that album not to be reissued?
Nicks:Lindsey. But through the Fleetwood Mac tour, he said that he wants it to go on CD now, so we'll see. See, he owns half, I own half. So he can't do anything on that record without me and vice versa. So as soon as he says it's okay, it will be done, because I've been saying I thought it would be a great idea for a long time. The song "Long-Distance Winner," I picked (for the boxed set) because it's kind of a strange, Greek, rock & roll song from my past that we could do on stage. And we're gonna do it in the set [on the summer solo tour].
EW: To this day, it's hard to think of anyone else besides you who's had their cake and eaten it too, in terms of having solo and group careers simultaneously and successfully.
Nicks:There were some of my solo records that didn't do all that well, so it's not like I just did fabulously the whole time. But I did do consistently okay. And I felt very lucky, because everybody was worried that maybe it wouldn't work out and it would break up Fleetwood Mac. Initially everybody was very angry at me. And I had to just stand on the fact that "I'm not leaving you guys. But three songs isn't enough for me every three years. I write too much. It's making me feel like there's no reason to ever write another song. I've got enough songs written already that if we do 10 more albums, you're still not gonna include all the songs I already have written."
EW: Did they stop being angry about the time they started putting out their own solo albums?
Nicks:You know what? Nobody in Fleetwood Mac has ever really sat down and talked about my solo career much. When I go in with Fleetwood Mac, there is no solo career. It's just not ever talked about with them. And I don't want to get anybody upset, so I don't bring it up.
EW: You said that Christine McVie put a stop to the reunion tour because she feels she's "been there, done that"...
Nicks:And she's sold her house here [in L.A.], and she wants to live exclusively in England. So we just kind of had to let her go.
EW: So was it mainly touring that was the problem for her, or the whole music thing in general?
Nicks:Well, you kind of have to do both. You can't come back and say, "I'll do a record with you, but I'm not gonna tour with you." Then don't do the record if your voice isn't gonna be there on the tour. That won't work. And we're never gonna break this band up again, so without her, it won't ever go back together. And you know, in two years, Chris may be very bored. And of course you know that Mick is hoping that Chris is very bored in two years! (laughs)
EW: It's a little bit like when the Eagles did their thing, and no one knew where it was gonna lead, but it didn't get as far as doing a studio album...
Nicks: But I think we've stopped even sooner than the Eagles did! We went into rehearsal last April 1, and we came off the road Dec. 1. It's basically wound itself right down in under a year, where it was started, orchestrated, done and over with. It's like a shock. It's probably not near as much of a shock to me, because I had to start in December on my boxed set, so I didn't even have a vacation from the Mac tour. But everybody else, you know, it's like, "Well, now what?" I feel bad for Mick, because I would have liked it to have gone its karmic wheel of, you know, when you do a record, there's a certain kind of life that it has, and I feel that we should have gone to Europe. We should have finished the tour. But I don't think that we should've risked Christine's sanity. It certainly wasn't worth that.
EW: Obviously, people are really focused in on you now in a way that maybe they weren't when your last solo album came out. Does that feel like a momentum you want to take special advantage of?
Nicks:If God gives you that kind of a gift, where everybody is noticing and listening to you all of a sudden again, you shouldn't just shut down on it. So, yeah, I'm trying to enjoy it and have fun with it. I mean, we didn't all enjoy it very much the first time because we were too high and too uptight to really enjoy it. So this time it's really been fun. And yeah, it's nice to be loved again. Because it's not nice to not be loved. It's not nice when people don't care about you, when they don't care about your music. It's heartbreaking. So I feel very different than I did three years ago.
EW: When you came off that last solo tour, you were...
Nicks:Horrified. With life in general. And I was really heavy, and I was so unhappy. I said, "I'll never, ever go on stage weighing this much again ever, so I'm finished unless I lose weight." And luckily, in the next three years, I did. But it took a long time. I was at the end of my contract with Atlantic, and I didn't have a new record deal, and I felt like "Wow, I guess talent no longer matters. So, obviously, get another job or something!" I felt really bad. And I said, "I'll never forget this feeling. Because I know that the cycle will come around again and I'll be successful again, and I'll never forget how it feels to be unsuccessful. No matter how successful it happens this time." So all of this stuff is kind of easier for me to take because I know how easily [clicks fingers] it can go down and be gone. And as quickly as you were the darling, you are not the darling. And I think maybe once you understand that, it's kind of all okay, and you don't expect too much.
EW: How sharp are your memories from all these years the boxed set represents? I remember hearing you talk about the '89 tour, when you were on-I believe you've said-a lot of painkillers, and you don't have such a clear memory of that particular tour. Are any of the recordings a blur, too?
Nicks:I'm always amazed to hear what people think I was taking, because it wasn't painkillers. I was taking a thing called Klonopin-like a Valium thing. This was prescribed for me by a serious doctor. I started taking it in 1986. By 1989, it wasn't that I didn't write well, I just stopped writing. Just too blase to care. Any kind of a Valium thing, any kind of a Prozac thing, very bad for people who write-if you're not seriously depressed. If you need it, then that's one thing. But if you're just a person that wants to feel better and feel happier, those drugs don't do a lot for creative people.
EW: You weren't in the kind of depression where you really needed that?
Nicks:No. I don't think I was ever even depressed. Because I didn't need it, I stopped taking 'em. So why was I ever taking 'em in the first place? Who knows? Because somebody said that this would be good for me after my cocaine years, that this would keep my nerves [steady], that this would keep me from going back to cocaine. It almost killed me, this stuff. I fared way better on cocaine and coffee than I did on the Klonopin. And at least on the cocaine and the coffee and the shot of brandy here and there, I could write, and I could write really well, and I was somewhat still there. But have a half a glass of wine with a Klonopin, it's like Rofonal; it's like stuff they put in people's drinks to dape-rate you. It's like you aren't there. So if you're not there, you can't possibly be writing anything that's very good.
EW: So it's from '89 till a couple of years later that feel like lost years?
Nicks:Till '93, absolutely lost. Horribly lost. It's kind of a drag. When you're just about to turn 50, you think of how so many of your precious 40s are gone, never to be brought back. It was so awful that I could go into a psychiatrist's office and they could put me on this medication that nearly destroyed my career, nearly destroyed me, nearly destroyed my parents-because they just lost me for those years. In those 45 days [of rehab], my hair turned gray, my skin molted, I had a headache from the second I got in there until the day I left, I didn't sleep, and I couldn't go to any of the therapy things, I was so sick. It was awful.
EW: I'm curious where the line is drawn for different definitions of depression.
Nicks:I mean, I think the real reason why I'm angry is, I don't think I'm depressed. I'm not depressed now. I had nothing to be depressed about then. I was successful, I was doing well in a man's world. I'm a rock star-I didn't have anything to be depressed about! I had just stopped doing cocaine, and it was like a month and a half after, and I was fine, totally fine. [But] to soothe everybody's feathers around me, I went to a psychiatrist. It was a bad decision. Boy, I wish I'd gotten sick on that day. But at least I figure if I plant that word Klonopin in enough people's brains, they'll watch out for it. And also, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody. And all those years, nobody knew what it was. I'm the one who finally realized that that's what was killing me. Everybody else just thought I was very, very f---ed up, but they didn't really know why. And I was constantly wondering, "Gosh, if I have one glass of wine, I'm totally drunk -- how does that happen? I used to be able to drink with the best of 'em-I learned to drink from the English!"
EW: So that's part of why there was five years between albums?
EW: When that came to an end, did you start writing in a huge way again?
Nicks:Instantly. It's amazing how fast your body goes "I'm gonna heal myself." When I went to Phoenix and spent the two years there, that's when I wrote a lot of this next album that I haven't done yet, just letting it go out of my system. And now things are way better, and I can't even imagine that stuff... I'm just sorry I didn't figure out what it was earlier. I was always afraid to stop taking it, because every time I stopped taking it, my hands started to shake really bad and it was like, "Oh my God, I've got Parkinson's disease or something." It was kind of a frightening thing, where I finally just got so afraid that I realized that [Klonopin] was it, that [Klonopin] was what was literally ruining my life. So I went to a hospital.
EW: Was getting off that worse than getting off cocaine?
Nicks:45 days. It was so much worse than getting off of cocaine. I wasn't in there like getting therapy for 45 days, I was in there sick for 45 days, really sick. And I watched generations of drug addicts come in and go out. "Goodbye!" "Hi!" "Bye!" You know, the heroin people: 12 days, 3 days of psychotherapy, and they're gone. And I'm just still there.
EW: You've gone through so many changes with your body in the last few years-that detox, losing weight, giving up cigarettes, etc. Do you notice any or all of those things having an effect on your voice?
Nicks:Totally. And also, I'm taking voice lessons now. On the whole Fleetwood Mac tour, I took a voice lesson before every show -- 45 shows, 45 lessons. It's the most committed thing I've ever done. And I didn't have a bad night. I mean, I'm in good voice; I'm a good, strong singer now. And I love that. I love the fact that when I go on stage I know I'm gonna be okay. And nobody liked to smoke more than me. So when people tell me, "I can't do it," I'm going yeah, you can, because I smoked three packs a day-Kools, menthol. I'm here to tell you, I don't miss it, and I'm so glad that I'm not going to die of lung cancer that I can't even tell you.
EW: After doing 45 days with the other thing, quitting cigarettes was probably a piece of cake by comparison.
Nicks:Well, it was a lot easier. I really did think, what would I do if somebody told me that I had throat cancer, that something was wrong with my vocal chords and I couldn't sing anymore? After getting through this life and surviving everything I've survived, somebody's gonna tell me there's something wrong with my throat? That's how I stopped smoking. I talked to myself for two solid months, November and December of '96. And I smoked hundreds of cigarettes while I was talking to myself. So by the time it got to be Jan. 1, I'd smoked so many cigarettes in the two nights before that I really could feel the real awfulness of what it does to you. And I got up Jan. 1 and put the patch on and have never smoked ever since. Didn't suffer, didn't feel bad about it, didn't ever consider starting again.
EW: Now that you have no terribly obvious vices left...
Nicks:I know. It's sad. I'm boring. I don't drink much any more, either. And not because I tried to stop drinking, I just don't care about it that much, you know, for I don't know what reason. There is definitely a God, that after the Klonopin and everything went away, that drinking seemed to become unimportant. It's like if I want to drink I can, but it's something that I hardly ever do, so when I do, it's fun. That's kind of how I'm trying to look at life-that you can kind of have it all, if you're careful and you think about everything and you don't rush into things and you just try to use a little of our wisdom that we've hopefully gathered over the last 25 years in making good decisions now. It wouldn't have done me any good to have partied and stayed up late on this last tour every night. I took care of myself, and I didn't have any bad nights. But I also didn't stay up and party. So maybe I missed a little part of that, you know. But for me now, it's really important for me to be a really good performer, and it's not worth being stupid the night before.
EW: Is there ever any sense of missing the drug days in the sense that- ridiculous as it may sound to some people-there is a communal aspect to partying. And so when people aren't getting along, as Fleetwood Mac sometimes famously didn't, you don't necessarily have to be getting along to share in that, at least.
Nicks:Right. Well, there's a little bit of the attitude that if you don't go and party, you're kind of out of the loop. But, you know, it's sure nice to wake up and have somebody hand you the New York Times and have a really good review in it, instead of everybody going "Oh, God."
EW: I've heard you say recently that you feel fine, if not better, not being involved in a serious relationship right now. And yet in the songs on this boxed set, there's such a sense of idealized romanticism-and, of course, the disappointment that goes along with that-that it's hard to imagine you being blase about the whole thing, even though we know what a strong, independent woman you seem to be in real life. Is there a sense for you that you've matured or grown past that desire you wrote about in the songs? Or is it a matter of it always having been exaggerated somewhat for the sake of a good song?
Nicks:Well, that's always a factor. But it's funny, because me and all my friends, we talk about relationships a lot, and talk about what we are looking for and what kind of man could come into our lives and like our lives. Because when you're 50, if there isn't a guy in your life, you have a pretty big life that goes on without a guy. And life has to really change, as you know, when somebody comes into your life. It's very hard for any man to come into the life of a woman who has never been married, never had children, and who is rich. So how I feel about it is, if that right man comes into my life, I would be delighted. I would love that. I'm a good girlfriend-you know, I am. If he doesn't come, then it'll be okay too, because my life's going to be very interesting, I'm going to do a lot of stuff, I've got a lot of ideas, and I'll be okay. And I am independent, I can support myself and take care of myself. So it's not that I don't want it to happen; I don't want to have all of the problems that it usually brings along.
EW: You're friends with Courtney Love. But how do you feel about the way she and Madonna and other female stars of today feel they have to reinvent themselves every album? Everyone seems to zero in on the need for a "this year's look" to grab people's attention.
Nicks:I don't have a this year's look. I have a look that I like that I started with 100 years ago, and I just stayed with it. And when the styles change, I just don't notice, because I have my beautiful clothes and I just keep wearing them. I'm really not affected too much by what goes on in fashion. I like a certain thing. I like to look feminine. I like to have heavy boots on. I like to have ballet kind of floaty skirts. I like that long, cool, tall look. And my look works for everybody. So why in the world should I ever change it? I could put just about anybody-all figures, tall, short-in my handkerchiefy skirt and my leotard thing that I wear and my boots. Every chick I've ever met that said "Can I just try this on and see how it...?" It's like wow, you look amazing. I knew a long time ago that I was certainly not gonna want to come up with a new idea every year, a new me. That's a lot of work. Everybody just needs to get a look and stay with it. It's a lot easier.
EW: There've been rumors that Billy Corgan might work with you on your new album.
Nicks:That's very possible, yeah. We were gonna do this like a year ago. Before [the] Fleetwood Mac [reunion] happened, I was gonna do my first record for Warner/Reprise, and we did talk.... And then the Fleetwood Mac thing steamrolled and just took over everything. So... maybe.
EW: Obviously you have a rapport going with Courtney. But how does it really feel when it's so trendy to worship you all of a sudden? Not that with her it doesn't come from a place of sincerity....
Nicks:Well, it does. Even though I was like her hero for a long time, now I really know her, and she knows me. She's like my wild child. I don't have a whole lot in common with Courtney Love, but I really like her, and I want her to be great. And I know this life is hard, being in this business, so maybe I'm just here to give her advice every once in a while -- "don't make this mistake or this mistake." [Pause, and a laugh.] Like I can tell her, right?
May 14, 1998, issue 786
Stevie Nicks - "You can only rock out so much. Then you have to go rest."
-by Jancee Dunn
Look, we love Lindsey and Christine and the gang, but, let's face it, that Fleetwood Mac tour was all about Stevie Nicks: white witch, Gemini, ex-cheerleader, poetess, former three-pack-a-day smoker, "Miami Vice" fan, one-time hostess at Bob's Big Boy, friend to Billy Corgan and Courtney Love, fashion icon. The accolades continue with "Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours,'" in which folks like Elton John, Jewel and Matchbox 20 salute "Rumours'" classic tunes; but, more exciting, Nicks' box set has finally arrived! "Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks," culled from her six solo albums, contains eight previously unavailable tracks; a new single, "Reconsider Me"; and a booklet chock-full o' photos and personal reminiscences. "This is my heart," she writes. "This is my work; it has been enchanting. I wouldn't change a thing." Nicks chats with us from her Phoenix home, where she has just returned from Bed, Bath & Beyond.
JD: And what did you buy?
Stevie:Two floor lamps and some silky white panels to wrap around my pole bed. I'm not doing a lot because I'm really trying to rest. I started working on this box set the day I got home from the Fleetwood Mac tour. If you're a Stevie Nicks fan, you'll probably really like this.
JD: There is a lot in this box set, Stevie.
Stevie:It's a lot of music, and it's all my intense songs. It's very heavy. You have to be in the right mood for it. I have to be in the right mood for my music. I tend to listen to slow jazz on the radio. The first thing I do when I get to a hotel is look for jazz stations, because I can dance around to that - I can be happy and sing my own words. I can't be intensed-out by rock & roll all the time. I have too much going on in my life that is intense enough.
JD: Do you rock out to CDs?
Stevie:When I rock out, I usually play tapes I've made over the years - all the big songs through the Eighties and the beginning of the Nineties. I can't really listen to a whole CD. I'm gonna have two or three favorites and that's all. Hey, I'm almost fifty [laughs]. I'm an old woman.
JD: Now, you stop with that.
Stevie:You can only rock out so much. Then you have to go rest. I also make [tapes] for the treadmill.
JD: I thought you watched "Miami Vice" on the treadmill.
Stevie:I do, but "Miami Vice" isn't on quite as often as it was before.
JD: Let's go back to you saying you're an old lady. You don't really feel that way.
Stevie:Well, I'm tired. I am tired. The tour was actually easier for me than coming home and doing two months of TV things. We did the Brit Awards, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then the Grammys. I was the most nervous for that.
JD: Let's talk about the tour.
Stevie:It was an incredible experience. We played forty-five concerts, we made a lot of money, I think we made a lot of people happy. We never had any fights. It just went by like a whirlwind.
JD: Do you feel melancholy at all, now that it's over?
Stevie:Six months before we re-formed, I would have told you in my own psychic way that there was no possible way that Fleetwood Mac would have ever gotten back together. So I'd never say it's not ever going to happen again.
JD: How are relations with Lindsey?
Stevie:He and I are probably better friends than we've been in a long, long time. We had some really nice talks and some nice moments that were sweet.
JD: Your solo tour begins at the end of May.
Stevie:This is going to be a different set than I'll ever do again. I'm going to put some of the cool things from the box set in it - some of the country songs, acoustic things, really neat stuff. We're going on the bus this time, and it will be a fabulous one, otherwise I won't go on it.
JD: Your fashion influence continues. Even Madonna is copying you.
Stevie:People have been telling me that, and I don't know quite what to say. I saw her video, and, of course, I loved all her black clothes and the long, long, long black hair. And the birds were interesting. But I didn't immediately go, "Oh, how me." But some people are saying that, right?
JD: Absolutely. Are there still plans for you and Billy Corgan to collaborate?
Stevie:Billy is recording in L.A. When I get home next week, I'll go visit him. Both of us have been totally, totally working.
JD: What about your next solo album?
Stevie:Well, I spent three years writing songs after the "Street Angel" tour. I probably have six songs, so I'll come home to Phoenix in September to write the other six. I can do anything here. I can record, I can write. I can sit by the pool. I can draw. My house here is like my own little resort. At midnight, if I want to, I can go in, light candles and put a fire in the fireplace and spend two hours writing.
JD: Fireplace? In that heat?
Stevie:We just crank the air conditioner.
JD: Do you swim in that pool?
JD: I can't picture you in a bathing suit.
Stevie:Yeah, well, you never will [laughs].
JD: It has to be customized in that special Stevie way.
Stevie:I get a black bathing suit and a fabulous black-lace sarong thing and kind of tie it around me. And there is never, ever, a man in the back yard. If there is, he is banished to the front of the house.
JD: Please, you're looking fabulously thin.
Stevie:It's not a question of weight. It's dancing across the stages of the world for two and a half hours for those three months. My body kind of changed from all the dancing. And, you know, the tambourine playing.
May 14, 1998
Stevie Nicks Q&A @ Rolling Stone
Stevie Nicks on her solo album, the Mac and being Tom Petty
If you paid even a modicum of attention during Fleetwood Mac's reunion tour last fall, it was clear that gypsy-garbed Stevie Nicks was still the star of the show, just like she was during the Seventies. Trim and healthy, she got the biggest cheers and entranced the audience just as she had two decades before, when the Mac was riding high on the mega-million selling success of Rumours and its attendant slew of hit singles.
Now, with Fleetwood Mac taking a breather, Nicks is going her own way once again, with her most prodigious display of musical wares since she began her parallel solo career in 1981. She recently released Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks, a three-CD boxed set that contains her solo hits, choice album cuts and a bunch of rarities including soundtrack songs, collaborations, outtakes and a haunting, spare piano version of "Rhiannon."
She kicks off a tour, with Boz Scaggs opening, on May 27 in Connecticut; when that wraps up in early August, she plans to finish up her first solo album in four years -- and her first release for her new label, Warner/Reprise. After the early Nineties getting off cocaine and Klonopin, the drug that helped cure her coke addiction, Nicks is ready to answer her own question. Will she ever win? Nicks says yes.
Rolling Stone: This is quite a productive period for you.
Stevie Nicks:It's almost like I didn't ask for any of this; it just happened. I was truly starting on a record of my own when the whole world changed ... upside down.
RS: You had started on your next album when the Fleetwood Mac reunion popped up?
SN:Yes. All of a sudden this thing about Fleetwood Mac happened, and as the days went by there was more talk, and then somebody from Warner Bros. actually came up and said [Lindsey Buckingham] really is going to put his record on the shelf to do this. I said, 'Well, I don't believe that,' 'cos he said that a million times before. So I called him and I said 'Lindsey, I need you to tell me what's happening, because if we really are going to do this ... I'm not even going to start my record and have to stop it.' And he said, 'No, I'm going to do it.' I said 'You're sure? You promise?' He said 'Yes.' And then, when I got home from the Fleetwood Mac thing, I was told Atlantic felt this was a good time to do the box set, since I was going to Warner/Reprise. So all of these things just sort of happened, to my surprise.
RS: You were so clearly the fan favorite during the tour. How does the rest of the band deal with that now?
SN:I think probably it's fine and fairly easy for everybody in the band except Lindsey. I think it's hard for Lindsey because we started out together. I think he goes, like, 'When did you do all this? Why do you get this kind of reaction?' And I think that is hard for him. So I don't talk to him a lot about it. It's kind of like, what we do together is what we talk about. I don't want to make Lindsey unhappy. I care about him and want him to be happy.
RS: Do you foresee another Fleetwood Mac project?
SN:I don't have a sense of if and when, but I don't have a sad feeling about it. I feel that what we did this last year, it was great. Everybody had a great time. It was a little hard on Christine [McVie], but I think she will change her mind and she will get bored and say 'Oh, I want to do this one more time.' There's no way this band won't play again. I just know that when the time is right, it'll come back together. It'll probably be in two years, two and a half years.
RS: What was it like compiling the Enchanted boxed set?
SN:It was like going through the photo album that went along with all those records, that went along with my life. Those songs are the photo album of my life, because each one of those songs really was about something pretty heavy, for me to write a song about them. And when you put them all together ... it's a pretty tumultuous bunch of songs.
Closing it with the new version of "Rhiannon" is pretty striking. It really provides a coda for your career up to this point.
I really hoped that's how people would take it. You know, there almost wasn't time to do that "Rhiannon." We came back from Germany and I was sick and we went in and did it. And it turned out really good except that I was sick and you can hear it. And I said 'No, this can't be it. This isn't the "Rhiannon" I want the world to hear. It's the only time I'll ever play it like this, like the way I wrote it, for the world, and it can't be like this.' So I went in really late, spent about two hours, and I did it twice, and the one that you hear is the second one. And I was so pleased because I said this is probably going to be the most special thing on this whole record ... This is really important that this song is here and that it's done by just me and that it's the last song on all three discs.
RS: What's the deal with your version of Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'?"
SN:Someone at Warner/Reprise asked me if I wanted to record it for Party of Five. I love the song and I've always wanted to do it, and they gave me a reason to do it. It fits right in; that's why Tom is my favorite writer. I kind of feel that if I had come into this world as a boy, I would have been him. I really do. I feel like there's a part of Tom's writing that I relate so easily to. He's doing another record now. I can honestly say that one of the things I'm looking forward to most of all is hearing these new songs of his.
RS: Enchanted also has the first Buckingham-Nicks song ("Long Distance Winter") to ever appear legitimately on CD. Will the album ever be re-released?
SN:Lindsey says yes. Lindsey has said he will do it. See, I own half, he owns half. I can't put it out without his half. Plus, we don't have a record deal for it. So before the Buckingham-Nicks record would be released, we would have to do the whole thing to release a record. But he says he wants to now, so I would tend to say we'll do it and put it on CD.
RS: What's your next album going to be like?
SN:The title song is written -- "Trouble in Shangri-La." It's like Bella Donna; it's a definite concept album. It's about achieving Shangri-La and not being able to handle it.
RS: Sounds like a true story.
SN:(Laughs) Oh, yes. I understand it all pretty well. Going through all these songs [for Enchanted] made me take a walk back through my life and made me think about things I'd forgotten and about experiences that were pretty strong and really touched and changed my life ... really see what were the good things and what were the bad things. Just wisdom, you know? I think I'm really smarter than I used to be, and I don't take anything for granted now.
RS: Any regrets?
SN:No, because the things that I've wanted to do that I haven't done, I will do. I want to do a children's cartoon movie. And I want to do a Rhiannon record with just the songs of Rhiannon -- 'cos there's Rhiannon but there's also nine other songs I did right in that period of two years, when I was reading the books of Rhiannon.
RS: You once talked about wanting to adopt a child. Is that still an ambition?
SN:I don't really need children. I have a niece who's six, who certainly fills my life up as far as a child goes. I'm gonna just work on my work. I don't think the world is going to have that much of a problem with me not being married or having a family. I don't think that's why I came here. I have something that's really important to do, and I don't think I've done that yet.
(May 14, 1998)
Stevie Nicks Interview
The original version of "Silver Springs" is played. Then Stevie is on line 3.
DJ: Hi, Stevie.
Stevie:How are you?
DJ: Good, how you doing?
DJ: Please tell us you're in a good mood.
DJ: Oh good, thank God, amen sister. Now I want you to answer yes to every question OK.
DJ: You'll be at Great Woods in June.
DJ: You used to think you were a witch.
DJ: You slept with many rock stars.
DJ: And you're falling in love with me right now as we speak.
DJ: Go easy girl. Hey Stevie congratulations on being named one of People Magazine's most beautiful people.
Stevie:Oh, thank you
DJ: So what's the story with the Fleetwood Mac tour. You guys get back together; you guys sound great; the energy level's incredible; you're selling out arenas. I mean it just seemed like everything was going great.
Stevie:There's nothing more fun than touring if everything is going good and things were very good on the FM tour. Everybody was happy. Nobody was tired of each other. Everybody had a good time. I mean how could you not have a good time. You know everybody was so excited. The cities were so excited. The people were so excited. I mean everybody, the managers, the agents. Everybody was so excited that it was very hard not to be really excited about the whole thing.
DJ: Well how about a favorite memory from the last time you guys got together.
Stevie:Um, I think the best memory was actually the very first night that we probably walked on in Hartford.
Stevie:Because it had been since 1983, since we had done that and the applause and the, the, just the feeling. It was almost like we had been transported back to 1976. You know the first time we walked on stage after the first record.
DJ: Now what's up with you and Lindsey. It seems like there's a lot of energy between you guys still.
Stevie:Umm, I think you know, yes there is. There will always be that energy between me and Lindsey. I don't think that, it isn't possible for Lindsey and me to just to kind of blah together anymore. You know it's like now our our relation- ship will always be intense and when you get on stage and you sing those songs and you go through that kind of thing together. For us there's no other way to be and I think that it 's great because if that intenseness wasn't there the show wouldn't be near as good and it wouldn't be near as much fun for us. You know if we felt blase about each other it wouldn't be very much fun.
DJ: Stevie we have a National Enquirer story here regarding your boobs.
Stevie:Oh, this is the ah freezer story, huh.
DJ: Yea, it says here Stevie Nicks had her breast implants removed and now keeps them in her freezer.
Stevie:No, the real freezer story is I did that interview where that came from in London.
Stevie:Well I don't keep them in my freezer but my doctor who took them out keeps them in his freezer.
Stevie:And yes they keep them there in case I want to sue because they were broken and very gnarly. And so they keep them, you know, but I don't personally have them. But and the reason, you know I mean I'm getting a lot of flack about that, and I don't care because I really feel so strongly about that whole situation that I hope people read that and get scared before they go and have implants put in. So that's all I have to say about that.
DJ: Well you certainly scared me from getting them. Stevie, thank you very much for your time and we'll see you in June at Great Woods.
DJ: Bye bye
DJ: Stevie Nicks everybody. Nice.
Stevie Nicks on Access Hollywood May 25, 1998:
Access Hollywood news anchor talking:
[Dreams is playing in the background as the woman talks; there is a recent picture of Stevie on the screen behind the woman]
In the 70s you remember she was the beautiful raspy voice of a generation, the ultimate rock and roll mystic princess. Today, Stevie Nicks, famous for her leading voice in Fleetwood Mac, is turning 50, believe it or not, but she's still turning out hit records. It's a testament to her amazing talent, but more to her tenacious spirit of survival. Tonight, Stevie Nicks, the incredible inside story!
[Dreams clip from the Dance concert]
First there was last year's Fleetwood Mac reunion, which was more successful than anyone predicted [another clip of Dreams], and now on the verge of her 50th birthday, Stevie just released a boxed set containing 46 of her best-known songs as a solo act.
[Clip of Stand Back from the Dance concert]
She calls it "Enchanted."
Access Hollywood: Is it a time of enchantment for you, a rebirth in a sense?
Stevie:Um...that's a good word. Yes, it is. Uh, life is good for me right now. I'm pretty happy.
[Stand Back video clip plays]
Anchor woman speaks:
It's a remarkable renaissance for a woman who nearly died on drugs 11 years ago. At the time, Stevie was a superstar juggling Fleetwood Mac with a surging solo career.
[If Anyone Falls video clip]
She also says she snorted so much cocaine, she burned a hole through the cartilage of her nose.
Access Hollywood: When did you first know that this was not just recreation...I'm in trouble?
Stevie:Well, it was starting to be just a drag. Somebody told me that ..that I would..you know..if I didn't stop I was gonna..Something was gonna blow up in my head..
[Access Hollywood interrupts: Were those doctors?]
Stevie:Yes. And, you know, basically said, you know, the hole in your nose will destroy your head soon if you don't stop and that was really enough to scare me..absolutely scare me to death, and I went straight to Betty Ford.
A.H.: When you say you learned lessons from hard times, what did you learn from those times, the self-destructive behavior?
Stevie:They made me aware of how precious live is.
Access Hollywood anchor woman: [pictures of Fleetwood Mac flash on screen] Now, clean and sober, Stevie also treasures the memories of Fleetwood Mac. After years of in-fighting and stormy romances, she quit touring with the band in 1990; but last year she buried the hatchet and rejoined the group that made her famous.
A.H: Having been back with Fleetwood Mac, did it heal all the old wounds?
Stevie:It healed a lot of wounds. There are some things, you know, that will never go away or never change. There's all the history that we have.
[Clip from Go Your Own Way from the Dance concert]
Access Hollywood: The Mac reunion was especially meaningful for Stevie and her ex-boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham. They joined the band together in 1975. Their 1977 breakup inspired some of Mac's most memorable songs.
[Another clip from Go Your Own Way]
[Clip from Dance concert of Stevie and Lindsey singing Silver Springs]
Last year they seemed to reconnect in an MTV concert.
A.H: You and Lindsey had this locked intensity when you looked at each other...the intensity of lovers. Was that just reading into something or was there something really there?
Stevie:Well, (pause) that's all about what was really there. Yeah, you know, I mean we're not there now, so.. but we are able to talk about it.
A.H.: The big question: Will Fleetwood Mac tour again, perform again, write new songs?
Stevie:Everybody's tired now. They need a break, so, I think that things will end up working out. In a couple of years, we'll get back together.
[Ends with a close-up of Stevie from the Dance concert singing "Colors flashing" from Silver Springs]
Access Hollywood back in studio: ..a timeless voice; a rock and roll legend Stevie Nicks. We love her. She's going to begin her U.S. solo tour on Wednesday. Look for her! I'm sure it's going to be amazing, and she is amazing.
Other news anchor: Oh, she is! She is absolutely one of my all-time favorites.
Stevie Nicks Interview
Interview with Jim Ladd
I'm Jim Ladd and it is exactly 9:00 and time for "An Enchanted Hour With Stevie Nicks".
[EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS]
JL: She has been called a rock-and-roll diva, a gypsy singer in silk and lace spinning magic as she twirls and dances across the stages of the world--a woman whose songs of love and loss have touched the hearts of millions. She first came to public attention in 1973 with the release of Buckingham Nicks, an album which brought her and Lindsey Buckingham to the attention of Mick Fleetwood and lead to the creation of one of the most successful bands in the history of rock and roll. Along the way she's recorded six solo albums and she just released a 3 CD boxed set called "Enchanted". This new box set not only encapsulates her solo career but includes previously unreleased songs, demos, movie soundtracks and a 64 page book of photographs and lyrics which she personally selected. What you're about to hear is an hour of conversation and music with one of rock's most beloved voices recorded as she was preparing to embark on a 40-city concert tour of the U.S. So prepare yourself for an enchanted hour with Stevie Nicks.
[EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS]
JL: I met with Stevie at about 10:30 one evening in her home near the beach in Southern California. And as we sat down in her living room amidst the soft candlelight and gentle smell of incense, we began our conversation with how the Enchanted box set got its name.
[SLEEPING ANGEL MUSIC PLAYS IN BACKGROUND]
Stevie:Well, when I got off the Fleetwood Mac tour, I came here on December 1st and I put together the list of songs pretty muchÖand I went home to Phoenix around the 15th and I started working on this thing with my brother and the first day I was there I said to him what do you think the title for this should be, I mean, not expecting him to give me an answer-just play the devil's advocate and say anything and then I'll have something to argue with you about. He said 'wait a minute' and ran out to his cottage and he came in with a long oblong piece of white paper and it had a white feather stamped on it and my signature at the bottom and in block letters across the front it said "Enchanted" and he said 'what do you think' and I said 'well, I think its great! I think its perfectÖwe didn't really even Ö it's his favorite song too. We didn't even really go into thatÖyou knowÖit was Enchanted before we even reallyÖhe didn't say after the song "Enchanted" he just put Enchanted there.
JL: By the way, who was the idiot in the song who wanted you but didn't try?
Stevie:I can't tell you that.
JL: But there was a guy.
Stevie:Oh, yeah. Mmm hmmm.
JL: Well, what a jerk.
Stevie:That's kinda a Na Na Na Na song. Isn't it?
JL: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Stevie:Kind of, you knowÖ
JL: Oh, yeah. Well, uh, hopefully he's living in a trailer park with twelve kids.
Stevie:Right. He's very sorry. (Laughs).
JL: It has 46 tracks in all. I know that because I listened to all 46 over the weekend and I understand that the sequencing of the songs is very important to you.
JL: Why is that, tell me. And how do you go about doing that?
Stevie:The sequencing has always been important to me since I realized how important it is. I sequenced Rumors. Nobody really remembers that, but I did. That's what I said to Lindsey. I did. I know you don't remember this, but I did. (laughs) What I try to do is make the beginnings and the ends-you know--because being a radio man, its like you go into something it's good and then the way it comes out and goes into the next song might mean the difference between whether or not they listen to that next song or not. They might not even love the next song but if the beginnings and the ends are good, they might put up with it at least to give it a chance, right? So, I when I went to sequence this whole thing I didn't want to do it chronologically, I wanted to do the songs that sounded good next to each other and it didn't matter if it was 1973 Buckingham Nicks or if it was 1997 Twister. So that's why on the beginning of the third disc it has Twister going into Long Distance Winner. It's amazing, those two songs to me, what an incredible detour I went around to get from singing fairly the same on a fairly similar song. So that's what I tried to do. I tried to make there be no time. This was like one long enchanted recording session.
[LONG DISTANCE WINNER PLAYS]
JL: Contrast your view of the music business or your dreams of the music business then when your were making Buckingham Nicks and this song Long Distance Winner to now.
Stevie:Well, you know, when you haven't had any real success in awhile, you start feeling more like it's the beginning again. So you can be terribly successful and then two or three years down the road maybe, you know, you put out another record and it did well but it didn't do great and you still have a career and people still like you but you're kinda starting over in a way. It's like, oh are they going to make a comeback are they gonna do this again? I think in that way my dreams kinda remain the same. My dream is always that I'm going to write that song that is going to affect people-that people are going to love and keep with them-that's not going to be forgotten-that's not going to be like another movie that people forget, you know, it's going to be something that will remain. I think the way I felt about that has always been really the same. Just work really hard and try to be inspired and try to write stuff that means something to people and make people happy, you know, take people away from there miserable problemsÖfor a minute.
[TALK TO ME PLAYS]
JL: We were talking about you spent 1997 touring with your old pals Fleetwood Mac.
JL: And I saw the Hollywood Bowl show. It was wonderful. It was great to see the combination of musicians back together again. Did you personally have as much fun as it appeared that you were and did you guys leave as friends?
Stevie:I absolutely did have a great time and we did leave as friends, yes.
JL: Everybody wants to hear that.
Stevie:It's totally true.
JL: And everybody else is doing fine? Mick, Christine and John and Lindsey are all good?
Stevie:Everybody's good. You know, we spent a lot of time together. We spent from last April 1st until the Grammys. That was our last thing. The Grammys was our last thing. And it was constant. I mean when you're on the road for three months and you do 45 shows and you're together all day long and you're together 3 hours before the show getting ready, you know, you are. You're in a backstage dressing room for three hours before you ever go on stage. It was every other day, you know, every day, for every gig. So it was, we spent a lot of time together. We had a lot of fun. We got up on each other's lives, you know, our families and everything and the shows were like as close to the shows in the 70's that I remember that were absolutely the reason why I wanted to do this-they were so exciting and so electrically charged, that there's just no even explaining it. There were some times when Lindsey and I were standing at the bottom of the ramp and we'd look at each other and the applause would be so loud that it was almost frightening. We couldn't hear. I had an ear monitor, I couldn't hear the ear monitor so we would hand signal each other 'do you believe this?' 'this is just so incredible." because it did have an absolute magic of the years gone by that we wish were still here in our own way.
[THE CHAIN from THE DANCE PLAYS]
JL: The song Stand Back", this hit #5 on the charts. I didn't realize that and unless I'm misunderstanding the meaning, this is yet another guy who did not pick up on the signals that you were sending. Now either he was blind, a homosexual or you gotta start working on your flirting technique.
Stevie:No. That's not what it was.
JL: Yes, it was.
Stevie:It was not.
JL: Yes, it was. I'm sorry.
Stevie:Did I already tell you that before? A couple of years ago I already told you that? (laughs) Oh my god. I can't even really tell you what Stand Back is about. Stand Back's kinda about more than one thing. There was a lot going on when Stand Back was written so it kinda pulled together all the things that were happening so it wasn't about one thing. It was written very quickly and I really did hum along to Little Red Corvette.
JL: Did ya?
Stevie:Yeah. And of course, now you can go home and do it too. If you search you will be able to find it. So, it was kinda more built around that whole thing, you know? Stand Back and Dreams are my two favorite songs to perform on stage.
JL: I don't mean to nail it too closely, but I always wondered what does the lyrics "you'll be standing in a line" mean or what does that connote to you?
Stevie:To be standing in a lineÖ.like a welfare lineÖ
Stevie:(laughs) Östanding in a line to get money or somethingÖstanding in a line waitingÖyou'll be standing in a line. It was another angry song! (laughs) (STAND BACK PLAYS]
JL: Do you remember the night that you came up to my house at 2:30 in the morning?
JL: With the ladies?
JL: Oh, turn the tape off for just a second I just want to reminisce.
Stevie:(laughs) Turn the tape off (laughs)
JL: Yeah. Well, An Enchanted Evening With Stevie Nicks will continue in a minute and by the way, we're gonna give you an exclusive peek behind the scenes and let you listen in as Stevie rehearses for the road so don't go away. Is the tape off yet?
[I CAN'T WAIT PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND]
JL: Leather and Lace is on this from Bella Donna.
JL: A wonderful duet that you did with Don Henley.
Stevie:Every once in awhile, Don and I still sing that song. He did a benefit about a year and a half ago in Phoenix, three in a row in two days and we did Leather and Lace.
JL: Did you?
Stevie:Yeah and it has remained a really fun thing to do every once in awhile because we know the song so well we don't have to practice so much so people love it. I can't take Don with me everywhere that's the problem you know? Really. When you do a duet with someone you're kinda stuck because they don't go with you they're not there to sing it soÖ
JL: There's not a bunch of people you can get to sound like Don Henley.
Stevie:No. There's really not. You know? "You just sing Don Henley's part" "Oh, okay." And have all the people sitting out there going "man, she should have gotten Don Henley!" (laughs)
[LEATHER AND LACE PLAYS]
JL: There is another famous duet that Stevie wanted on the Enchanted box set, the song she did with Tom Petty.
Stevie:I realized that it was going to be an important part of my lifeÖthat it was going to be a little bit of a career changerÖthat song. That's what I realized about that song.
JL: How did you know that?
Stevie:I don't know how I knew that. I think maybe the first time Tom and I sang it to each other I knew it. I didn't get it from just hearing Tom sing it. I didn't really get how it applied to me that much. But when we sang it as a duet then it just made all kinds of sense and then I liked it.
JL: Now when you think of doing a duet like with Don Henley or Tom Petty or whoever, do you start out as a fan like everybody else or is it because there's some alchemy there that we don't know about? Did you think, yeah, my voice would sound good with these guys orÖ
Stevie:Well with Tom, you know, I was such a big Tom Petty fan that really all I wanted to talk to Jimmy Iovine about was Tom. So, then the idea of Tom letting me have one of his songs and then Tom doing a duet with me was like incredible. But I didn't ask for that, you know, that came through Jimmy and Tom, I mean, somehow, together. I would never have the guts to ask Tom Petty to sing a song with meÖnot then. You know, now I would get on the phone and call just about anybody if I thought it was that important, but then, I would have never have done that then.
JL: You never asked me to sing a duet with you.
Stevie:I never did.
Stevie:And I probably never will.
JL: Thanks Stevie! You know, that will be left in too.
Stevie:You know, there haven't been a whole lot of people I've asked to sing duets with me!
JL: Oh yes there is. There's a list miles and miles long. C'mon!
Stevie:It's just over along period of time.
[STOP DRAGGING MY HEART AROUND PLAYS]
JL: The first preview from the box set is a previously unreleased song written by Warren Zevon that Stevie recorded several years ago.
Stevie:Okay, the great story that goes along with Reconsider Me is in 1985 when I was doing Rock A Little, Jimmy Iovine brought me this song. Warren Zevon wrote it, and, of course I love Warren because I've known Warren since before Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac. Warren and Waddy were some of our friends so we go back a long way. He brought this song to me. Jimmy thought it was a very important song for me to do. He thought it was like "Stop Draggin More Heart" was in a way. It was that kind of a career changing song. And, of course, you couldn't tell me anything in 1985 and I just really didn't want to do another person's song, you know? So, I at the end, I did record I it and then when all the songs were recorded in the end, you know, a couple songs had to go, I pulled it because it wasn't one of my songs and now, I didn't even remember that Reconsider Me existed until Atlantic went back in all their vaults and found a bunch of stuff-a bunch of wild and crazy stuff that's been lost foreverÖand umÖthey loved it and I said great, you know, great. It's a great song. I was very surprised that I sung it well because I didn't really remember recording it that much so I didn't really remember the fine tune parts of it, but when they played it for me I thought 'wow, it's a great song'. I'm not a real 'reconsider me' gal but it's okay because I didn't write this. I can sing this and I can interpret this for Warren and I hope everybody really likes it.
[RECONDSIDER ME PLAYS]
JL: The final track on the box set is the song which is arguably the song most closely linked to Stevie as a performer.
Stevie:I decided to do a demo of Rhiannon for this box set becauseÖfor a couple different reasons. First of all, I played this song similar to that a million times. It has been recorded a million times in different studios and at my houses. We really ried to find a really good version of the piano demo of Rhiannon and I really couldn't find anything that I thought was good enough quality. So, I was determined to redo it, to just go and do it now like I would have done it then or like I've always done it. I went in about two months ago and spent a couple hours, tried to record it. I had a bad cold and the pedal of the piano was broken. So I actually got a good version of it. It's not the one that's on the record but it was good. I sounded like I had a cold. But it was really good so we really went back and forth about it. Then I went, I had to get on a plane and go and do the Brits in England so I go do that and I came back and everybody says, you know, if you wanna do this you've got to do this now. And I've said, you know, this record is not going out without the right Rhiannon on it because I think, in the long run, this could be the most important song on these whole 3 CDs. So, it's not going out without this song. So I went right in when I got back from there and I just played it twice and it's the second time.
[RHIANNON FROM ENCHANTED PLAYS]
JL: What you're about to hear is a rare glimpse inside the rehearsal room as Stevie prepared to embark on a 40 city tour. But keep in mind that she spent all of last year touring with Fleetwood Mac. I wondered if she felt ready to go back on the road so soon.
Stevie:I am ready because I'm making myself ready. We got off the road on December 1st and we finished with Fleetwood Mac, you know, at the Grammys but I have really stayed up. I've been exercising and taking really good care of myself and I've been doing a lot of stuff everyday because I didn't want to go in shock after having four months off so I've kinda kept in the momentum that I had with Fleetwood Mac because I never really lost that. Because I knew, on December 1st, they said we want you to do the box set and we want you to tour. So if Fleetwood isn't going out, then you are. So I knew immediately so I just didn't let myself sink into that total vacation thing where its really hard to come out of.
[GOLD DUST WOMAN FROM A REHEARSAL SESSION PLAYS]
JL: After the Glitter Fades. Let me tell ya, that is personally my all time favorite Stevie Nicks song and I'm so glad that she let us listen in on that one. Before that, Gold Dust Woman and that's how they sounded on the last night of rehearsals. You, of course, can see and hear the real thing on Stevie's current 40 city tour across North America.
[LIVE VERSION OF EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS UNDER CREDITS]
Sounds of Summer Preview 98
Stevie Nicks on Sounds of Summer Preview 98
Sounds of Summer Preview 98 anchor talking:
Stevie Nick's boxed set, "Enchanted," is a collection of material from her six solo albums plus several previously unreleased tracks. We join her tonight as she kicks off her summer concert tour, and after last summer's Fleetwood Mac blockbuster, she's more popular than ever. Accompanied by Mr. Lowdown, Boz Scaggs, you can be sure this is one summer concert tour you won't want to miss.
[Clip of Stevie singing Gold Dust Woman from current tour]
[Tour dates flash on screen]
ABC was recently lucky enough to sit down and talk with Stevie Nicks about her new boxed set, "Enchanted," and here's what she had to say.
Stevie:When I came home from the Fleetwood Mac tour on the 1st of December, um, we had decided, um, myself and Atlantic, to put out the boxed set of my six records. Um, so we started that day..me and all my friends..making lists of what everybody would pick so that I got kind of an idea from a bunch of people what they would pick off of all those millions of songs, you know, to put on three discs.
[Clip of Stevie singing Enchanted from current tour]
Stevie:We also had to do a booklet that goes with it, a 68-page booklet of old photos, so we were also really looking everywhere for any interesting old photo that we could find or photos that, you know, really came from a certain time or were at a certain, you know, a certain song or a certain something like that that people hadn't heard, so um, it was a big project.
[Clip of Stevie singing Enchanted from current tour]
Stevie:I love my music. I've really given up everything for my music, and I don't say that in a, you know like poor, sad me. I just really have given up pretty much everything to do this music, so I must really love it.
End of show:
Sounds of Summer Preview 98 anchor talking:
The Stevie Nicks' concert is still rockin', but I'm already exhausted. Well, I hope you made your dates to get Stevie Nicks tickets..... (anchor goes on about other artists)
[Clip of Stevie singing Dreams, then credits flash.]