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Q&A: Stevie Nicks

On the Fleetwood Mac reunion, her solo LP, and why she can’t stop writing about Lindsey Buckingham

You can’t keep a gold-dust woman down – and Stevie Nicks is one busy gypsy these days. Her excellent new album, 24 Karat Gold – Songs From The Vault, features tunes she has written over the years but never recorded before, reaching back to 1969. This fall she hits the road again with Fleetwood Mac – this time with Christine McVie back in the fold after 16 years away. “The five original cast members,” Nicks says proudly. “Of all the elite bands of the Seventies, we’re the only one touring with the same lineup we had in 1975.”

So you go back on the road with Fleetwood Mac – a week before you release your solo album?

Yeah, I’m running two careers at the same time. But I don’t walk into Fleetwood Mac rehearsals and expound upon the record I just made, because I am a smart woman. When the time comes to hear it, they’ll like it. Lindsey will love it – half of the songs are about him!

Lindsey likes that?

Well, of course! We have continually written about each other, and we’ll probably keep writing about each other until we’re dead. We have been through great successes, great misunderstandings, a great musical connection. He has more appreciation for that now. I think it’s because he has two little daughters and a lovely wife, so he’s really in Girl World now. He’s more aware of a feminine point of view.

When you did Stand Back on the last tour, I counted 18 twirls during the guitar solo. Are you ever tempted to just stand there and take it easy onstage?

Well, I’m very practiced at twirling. I took a lot of ballet. The reason I wear the ponchos and the big shawl-y chiffon things is because I realized from a very young age that if you’re five foot one and aren’t twirling a baton of fire, you need something that is gonna make you be seen from far away.

I do this dance during Gold Dust Woman – we call it the Crackhead Dance. It’s me being some of the drug addicts I knew, and probably being myself, too – just being that girl lost on the streets, freaked out. When Christine saw it, she said, “Wow, we’ve always known that Gold Dust Woman’ was about the serious drug days, but this really depicts how frightening it was for all of us.” We were dancing on the edge for years.

What’s it like playing with with the whole Mac again?

We have to start from scratch. The Christine songs feel brand-new to us after 16 years. It’s not like we have record parties and listen to our old stuff.

Did you ever think Christine McVie would come back?

Never. We re-formed with The Dance in 1997, but that only lasted a year before Christine flipped out and said, “I just can’t do this anymore. I’m having panic attacks.” She sold her house and car and piano and moved back to England, never really to be heard from again. Then last year she called me and said, “This is crazy. I don’t need to sit in this castle 40 miles outside London watching gardening shows. I’m ready to come back to the world.” So I said, “Get a trainer.”

One of the great moments in the Mac live show is when the roadie brings out your top hat for the encore. Does the hat have its own roadie?

Absolutely. It’s a very special top hat – it’s from the 1920s and you can’t find another one like it. So the hat has its own roadie, its own box and its own cage. It’s always protected.

People really lose it when you sing, ‘I’m getting older too,” in Landslide. Yet you were so young when you wrote that song.

I was only 27. I wrote that in 1973, a year before I joined Fleetwood Mac. You can feel really old at 27.

There are so many young rock artists who are obviously hardcore fans of yours – Sharon Van Etten and White Lung and Sky Ferreira.

It’s sweet how that happens. It’s crazy to think about all these people listening who weren’t born back then. We put Seven Wonders back in the set because of American Horror Story. Our monitor guy said, “I’m not familiar with that song.” I said, “Because it came out when you were two.”

You’re like David Bowie that way – every generation discovers you.

Well, I’m a big fan of David Bowie. Especially his movie The Hunger, with Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve. Just creepy and strange and amazingly beautiful. I’m always surprised Bowie didn’t make more vampire movies.

My favorite song of yours is ‘Ooh My Love’, from 1989. People always forget that one.

That’s one of my favorites, too. In fact, The Other Side of the Mirror is probably my favorite album. It was a really intense record. I had gotten away from the cocaine in 1986. I spent a year writing those songs. I was drug-free, and I was happy.

By Rob Sheffield / Rolling Stone / October 9, 2014

Q&A with Stevie Nicks



Stevie Nicks




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