Home » Stevie Nicks, sounding like a survivor

Stevie Nicks, sounding like a survivor

Rock’s ‘funny little voice’ sings a strong solo on pains and pleasures of her life

(ENCINO, Calif.) The French doors leading from Stevie Nicks’ six-story manse to her pool are open to catch a breeze. But dusk’s cool air can’t relieve the singer’s watery eyes.

“My allergies are killing me tonight,” she sniffles, lighting a cigarette, then dabbing her big baby browns.

“My feet are killing me, too.” She frowns at her size 6, copper-colored Nickels heels, kicking them off in favor of comfy white Reeboks — “and my white socks.”

They don’t go with her Betsey Johnson black velvet mini, but “it’s OK,” she quips, “there are no men here.”

That may be a first for Nicks, 43. Hailed as the queen of mystic rock ‘n’ roll, the lyrical blond muse with the self-described “funny little voice” has had a wild 18-year ride, recording with bigwigs Lindsey Buckingham, Tom Petty, Mick Fleetwood, Joe Walsh and Don Henley.

Now, it’s time for a look back at her decade as a solo artist. Her new album, Timespace: The Best of Stevie Nicks, is a collection of personal favorites. Among new songs are “Desert Angel,” which she wrote for the gulf war troops, and “Sometimes It’s a Bitch,” by Jon Bon Jovi.

The lyrics personify Nicks’ pleasure-and-pain life:

Sometimes it’s a bitch, sometimes it’s a breeze
Sometimes love’s blind and sometimes it sees
Sometimes it’s roses, sometimes it’s weeds.

“I felt that if (Bon Jovi) knew nothing else about me … he knew I had a strong instinct to survive,” writes the former Fleetwood Mac singer in her album’s song-by-song liner notes. Nicks decided to reveal “a lot about my life … things I’ve never told before,” she says, “so that (people) might understand a little bit more why I am the way I am. And why I don’t change very much.”

Indeed, neither Nicks’ ethereal image nor her wispy, indelible sound has been updated much for the ’90s. She doesn’t fret about the current crop of cookie-cutter female singers.

“They do what they do and I do what I do. I’m timeless. I got that Dickensian, London street-urchin look in high school. I’ll never be in style, but I’ll always be different.”

Her trademark collection of chiffon and velvet dresses, platform boots, fringed capes and shawls – all painstakingly mended and cleaned by hand – is kept in an air-controlled closet. “I’ve had this one black skirt for eight years and I keep wearing it,” she says. “I have to. It’s like the ruby slippers.”

Nicks’ wardrobe was forced into flexibility. In her early days with Fleetwood Mac, she weighed 105 pounds; several years ago the scales shot to 130. “It’s a lot of weight if you have teeny, tiny bones like I do,” says the 5-foot-1 pixie.

Her fluctuating weight spawned rumors from health problems, to kicking her longstanding cocaine addiction, to simple overeating.

“I didn’t gain it from (kicking drugs). I gained my weight from pneumonia during the (1987) Tango in the Night tour,” she says. She was given steroid shots to keep her vocal cords from swelling, and to keep the tour going. “And I was on antibiotics the whole time, in addition to serious asthma treatments.”

She talks softly, curled on a couch with her favorite white blanket. “I’m getting skinny now. I’ve lost at least 20 pounds. The only way you stay thin — and I’m not thin, I’ll never be thin — is to change the way you eat.

“I haven’t had a hamburger in four years. For me, not to have had a cheeseburger is like an amazing thing ’cause that was probably — sans drugs and everything else — my favorite thing in life.”

No more burgers. No more drugs.

When she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975, drugs were part of the rock ‘n’ roll life. “It was like being swept up on a white horse by a prince. … There was no way to get off the white horse – and I didn’t want to. It took over my life in a big way.”

In 1986, a doctor friend scared her so straight she immediately checked into the Betty Ford Center. “Oh yeah,” she recalls. “I made the famous pact with God.”

She confesses she sometimes misses the drug lifestyle, “how crazy it was.”

But she’s proud to have stayed only 28 days at Betty Ford. “That’s not very long to break a 12-year habit.”

She does have an occasional drink. She offers wine while rummaging through cupboards for a little rum, which she can’t find. She won’t drink much, she says, ” ’cause it’s too fattening. I’d rather eat a piece of cake.”

Dinner this evening is buffet style, chicken or steak. “Where’s mine?” Nicks asks the five women — ever-present friends and aides — already at the rough-hewn kitchen table. “Get up and get it yourself,” teases Wendy, the cook, and Nicks does.

Talk turns to the videos on a nearby TV. “Cher looks terrible in that red wig!” someone says. “But Madonna, she looks great,” says another.

So does Nicks, in the many pictures that adorn her castle walls — portraits, paintings, family snapshots, album covers. On one wall of her white-on-white living room is a huge print of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album cover. It features Nicks and Mick Fleetwood, for whom she wrote “Beauty and the Beast.”

After 15 years, her split from the band was less than amicable. “Mick and I are not speaking,” she says, still miffed over a business dispute. Never, she says, will she record with him again.

She denies the rift occurred because of Fleetwood’s tell-all 1990 autobiography, which detailed his liaison with Nicks. “I didn’t read it,” she says crisply. “I don’t need to read about something I lived.”

She lived, too, with former Mac member Lindsey Buckingham, for almost seven years. “I cooked and cleaned and took care of him. I mean, my mom and dad considered Lindsey and I married. So did I. So did he.

“(Now) Lindsey and I don’t speak at all and I wouldn’t bother to call because … if he did pick up the phone and it was me, he would hang up.”

“It’s a sad way to end a long, wonderful relationship,” she says. (Neither Fleetwood nor Buckingham could be reached for comment.)

Nicks is used to endings. “In almost every relationship I’ve had, my career has ruined (it). I will never be able to stay with anyone really long, because there will come a point when they say ‘I can’t deal with your life.’ ”

Maybe that’s why she has considered adopting a baby girl. “I could do that on my own. I could spend a lot of time with her. Just because I have those shows at night doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t take all my other time and put it into that baby. This would never be a lonely or unhappy baby.”

She concedes that adopting as a single parent is hard. “I don’t know if it’s possible,” she sighs. “If I wanted to really have one, I could do that, too. But I’m booked up for the next couple of years. So someone would have to come into my life that is so intense that I’d be willing … to make serious changes.”

Her work future is easier to predict: a new solo album; possibly more touring; and a book of letters, poetry and photos. She’s saving “the really serious biography for later. It’s a little bit much now.”

Still, Nicks isn’t likely ever to swap her cape for a pen. “I love making people happy with music. I don’t know what I’d do without that. You give up a lot to get a kingdom, but you get an awful lot back.”

Shawn Sell / USA Today (Life)/ October 16, 1991



Stevie Nicks

MAY 3, 2024 – MAY 5, 2024
Lovin’ Life Fest
Charlotte, NC

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO

MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO

Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY

JUN 15
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI

JUN 21, 2024 (with Billy Joel)
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, England

^ Non-Live Nation show

Previous 2023 dates

March 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Los Angeles, CA
SoFi Stadium

March 15, 2023
Seattle, WA
Climate Pledge Arena

March 18, 2023
Las Vegas, NV
T-Mobile Arena

May 12, 2023
Raleigh, NC
PNC Arena

May 16, 2023
Knoxville, TN
Thompson-Boling Arena

May 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Nashville, TN
Nissan Stadium

May 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA
State Farm Arena

May 25, 2023
Orlando, FL
Amway Center

June 16, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Philadelphia, PA
Lincoln Financial Field

June 20, 2023
Toronto, ON (Canada)
Scotiabank Arena

June 23, 2023
Chicago, IL
United Center

June 27, 2023
Louisville, KY
KFC Yum! Center

August 5, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Columbus, OH
Ohio Stadium

August 8, 2023
Milwaukee, WI
Fiserv Forum

August 12, 2023
Houston, TX
Toyota Center

August 15, 2023
Austin, TX
Moody Center

August 19, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Kansas City, MO
Arrowhead Stadium

September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Foxborough, MA
Gillette Stadium

September 27, 2023
Pittsburgh, PA
PPG Paints Arena

October 1, 2023
New York, NY
Madison Square Garden

October 4, 2023
Buffalo, NY
KeyBank Center

October 7, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Baltimore, MD 
M&T Bank Stadium

October 28, 2023
Memphis, TN
FedEx Forum

November 1, 2023
Savannah, GA
Enmarket Arena

November 4, 2023
Allentown, PA
PPL Center

November 7, 2023
Detroit, MI
Little Caesars Arena

November 10, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Minneapolis, MN
U.S. Bank Stadium

November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
Golden 1 Center

December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
Chase Center

FEB 10, 2024
Mark G Etess Arena
Atlantic City, NJ

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR

MAR 9, 2024
AT&T Stadium
Arlington, TX
Billy Joel


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

Ak-Chin Pavilion

Phoenix, AZ
October 6, 2022
w/ Vanessa Carlton

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


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

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