Stevie Nicks: Going solo

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks tries on a new hat

When Stevie Nicks was cutting her first solo album, the just-released Bella Donna, she recalls, “I promised myself I wasn’t going to get crazy over it. I didn’t want to be devastated in case it didn’t work.” But after more than six years with the supergroup Fleetwood Mac, says Nicks, “I had all these tunes stored up. I really needed to know that I could do something on my own.”

She can. In just a month, Bella Donna jumped over Journey and raced past Rickie Lee Jones into the No. 1 slot, going platinum with sales exceeding 1.3 million. The single off the LP, the driving duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty, is Top Five and climbing. Obviously, Stevie’s solo career is hardly nix. But should she ever need job security, one of rock’s silkier safety nets awaits her: Fleetwood Mac has moved some 20 million albums since 1975, and Nicks has chipped in with soft-rocking gems like “Rhiannon,” “Landslide” and “Sara.”

It was Mac’s grueling globe-conquering itineraries that helped inspire her solo flight. Her vocal cords were scorched; the group didn’t record often enough to use all her compositions; and it had taken a siegelike 13 months to finish Mac’s 1979 LP, Tusk. “We had to grow up and stop being so self-indulgent,” she says. “That life can turn you into a desert. Rock stars never know where the hell they’ve been. I just got tireder and tireder, sort of spaced-out and cloistered. I was determined to find musicians who hadn’t been in a famous band for a thousand years, not stay up all night, and take better care of myself.” That, she knew, meant discipline, and her Bella Donna producer, Jimmy lovine, obliged: “He said, `We’re not paying good musicians to hang around waiting for you. This is no longer Fleetwood Mac–this is serious.'”

Nicks has never taken music lightly. Born to a Phoenix executive, she was attending San Jose State when she met guitar whiz Lindsey Buckingham. The romantic duo tried to team professionally too, but by the time they fell in with Mick Fleetwood and Christine and John McVie (since divorced), Stevie was hacking it as a waitress.

Fleetwood Mac’s staggering success led to a personal split with Buckingham in 1976. But Nicks’ romantic “poker game,” as she puts it, inspired some superb lyricism on the theme of love at the speed of rock. “I would hope I never fall in love with a big-time happening rock `n’ roll guy,” she says now. “I’d have my spies everywhere with all those gorgeous blondes around. It’s like dangling candy in front of them.” At the same time she’s found “being someone’s girlfriend on the road is worse than being a maid.” Having a nonrock boyfriend tagging along is also out: “You can’t even put them to work, like cleaning up, because they have room service for that.”

At the moment, Stevie’s friends tend to be sisterly confidantes. She lives in a modest two-bedroom condo in Marina del Rey. “I don’t need jillions more dollars,” she explains. “I’ve got enough wonderful clothes and boots, two Yorkies, a baby Doberman, two cars and a terrific family. I just need to have some fun.” Nicks says she may move to Manhattan to find it. “I’m perfect for the city. My fancy clothes just hang in L.A. I’d love to dress up, go out to the ballet and museums and meet some other kinds of people.”

Until Nicks comes East, she has ample time to make voluminous entries in her journal, the one sure anchor in her peripatetic life. The best, Stevie says, are written well past midnight, in the solitude of a hotel room: “I’ve written it all down–the very interesting, the boring, the wonderfully romantic, the terribly sad and the heartbreaking.” She found out just how much it meant one night on tour when a fire broke out in her hotel. “You know what I grabbed? My cashmere blanket and the duffel bag I keep all my writing in. Believe me, there was a lot in there, an awful lot for me to carry down 14 flights of stairs.”

Jim Jerome / People (Vol. 16 Issue 14, p117. 1p) / October 5, 1982

For What It’s Worth (2022)

TWO ICONS ONE NIGHT

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks

March 10, 2023
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

April 10, 2023
Arlington, TX
AT&T Stadium

May 19, 2023
Nissan Stadium
Nashville, TN

August 5, 2023
Ohio Stadium
Columbus, OH

August 19, 2023
Arrowhead Stadium
Kansas City, MO

Presented by Live Nation

2022 Tour

Stevie Nicks

Jazz Aspen Snowmass
Snowmass, CO
Labor Day 2022

Ravinia Festival
Highland Park, IL
September 8, 2022
September 10, 2022

Pine Knob Music Theatre
Clarkston, MI
September 13, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sea Hear Now Festival
Asbury, NJ
September 17, 2022

Xfinity Center
Mansfield, MA
September 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Bangor, ME
September 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Sound on Sound Festival
Bridgeport, CT
September 24-25, 2022

Ohana Festival
Dana Point, CA
September 30, 2022

Hollywood Bowl
Los Angeles, CA
October 3, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

POSTPONED
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

The Woodlands, TX
October 9, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Alpharetta, GA
October 12, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ascend Amphitheater
Nashville, TN
October 16, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Credit One Stadium
Charleston, SC
October 19, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

PNC Music Pavilion
Charlotte, NC
October 22, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
Tampa, FL
October 25, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre
West Palm Beach, FL
October 28, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Orion Amphitheatre
Huntsville, AL
October 31, 2022

RESCHEDULED SHOWS

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
The Woodlands, TX
November 2, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

Ak-Chin Pavilion
Phoenix, AZ
November 5, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

 

Today in Stevie History

Milestone
1945

On November 26, 1945, John Graham McVie was born in Ealing, Middlesex, England.

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2017)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

Archive