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She’s no diva

Rock ‘n’ roll legend and gay icon Stevie Nicks reveals her down-to-earth nature. In an exclusive interview, she discusses a new album, old diets and life as a single girl.

She’s our gypsy, our favorite flurry of lace, chiffon, capes and veils. And she returns next month with Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise), an album of her strongest material since the days of Fleetwood Mac. Of course, Stevie Nicks, 52, has endured her share of tribulations, living a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle that included complicated affairs with band members and her mid-’80s diagnosis with lethargy-inducing Epstein-Barr virus. But Nicks twirled through the troubles and traumas (not to mention the rumors) and even overcame a creative block that led the talented songwriter of “Dreams,” “Sara” and “Bella Donna” to ask friend Tom Petty to write for her, a suggestion that prompted him to bark “You’re talented, Do it yourself!” Petty’s brotherly chastising did the trick. Once back in the studio, Nicks joined forces with guests and producers such as Sheryl Crow, John Shanks, Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Pierre Marchand. The result? Shangri-la, indeed. But no trouble that we can hear.

On April 12, a day following her televised appearance on the Blockbuster Awards, Nicks rang us up to discuss her recent foray into paradise. Rock ‘n’ roll legend and gay icon Stevie Nicks reveals her down-to-earth nature. In an exclusive interview, she discusses a new album, old diets and life as a single girl.

What a fabulous album! It’s so good to hear you go back to the…well, the Fleetwood sound.

You know what it is? It’s guitar oriented. Sheryl’s very guitar oriented. John Shanks, my other producer, is [also] very guitar oriented. We didn’t have anybody who was very piano oriented on this record except for maybe on “Love Is,” with Sarah and Pierre Marchand.

The press release says that you were looking for people to write songs for you until Tom Petty said, “You can write for God’s sake, get back to it!”

That’s exactly what he said. He gave me one of the most quintessential lectures of my life. He basically [said], “I know you’ve had a hard time, but get over it. Songwriting is what you do.” If anybody else had said that, I probably would have just walked out.

Were people trying to keep you down creatively, or was it all self-doubt?

It was a matter of getting over the Street Angel album. It was not a very good record, and I was not very well when I did it. And then I had to go and do interviews for that record, and it was horrifying. After that, I went on the Street Angel tour. Then I went home and wrote “Love Is,” which is the last song on this record. That was the end of 1994, and the beginning of 1995 was when I had my talk with Tom.

We all know you’ve done your share of substances, but your voice sounds great. Is that an inadvertent benefit?

Absolutely. Also, I stopped smoking three packs of Kools a day three years ago. I put the patch on, and it totally worked. I also took voice lessons. It’s too bad I didn’t know about that in the early years of Fleetwood Mac when all I got was bad press about my vocal problems. At least I learned. I started doing it right before the [1997 Fleetwood Mac] reunion tour. I do the vocal thing for like 40 minutes before I sing, and I won’t walk on stage without doing that.

Three packs of Kools a day? That’s hardcore. That is hardcore.

That’s two packs between 11 in the morning and midnight, and one pack between midnight and four.

I read you went on the Atkins Diet, too.

I’m always on the Atkins Diet! It’s a tough diet, and it really works. You should go on it one time and lose the weight and then re-establish your eating habits. I’ve been on it for so long now that my body thinks that toast, fruit, pasta, bread and sugar don’t exist.

I also heard that Laura Dern and Rosanna Arquette stopped by one of your recording sessions while making this album.

Sheryl Crow knows everyone, so they did come by. Actually, Rosanna and Laura were a very big help on “Fall From Grace,” because John had taken out the last three verses. I gave them the formal poem and said, “Do you think these verses can go?” They said, “Absolutely not.” So we put them back in.

Who else visited your recording sessions?

The interesting thing was the movie stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Meg Ryan.

You could have shot a Miramax film!

Well, we just about did. I didn’t know any movie stars, but now I do.

Are you familiar with Sandra Bernhard? She used to tell a story in her show about how you two did Tarot cards.

Behind all the scenes, I love Sandra. She’s wonderful and so talented. I know she has a crazy show and I’m part of it, and you know what? I’ve sent her a poncho or two so she actually had a real glittery thing to work with, to help her as a prop. When she says stuff, it’s okay because I know it’s totally homage.

Where do you get your clothes and veils?

My friend Margie Kent makes all my stage clothes and has been making them since I first met her in 1976.

So you don’t raid Moroccan clothiers?

No. What I wear is very similar, but the fabrics are always changing and beautiful, and Margie’s forte is finding those fabrics. [Editor’s note: visit geocities.com/FashionAvenue/5171 for a full rundown of Stevie’s style and fashions over the years.]

I read that a few years ago you had a gay stalker in Denver who believed you could cure his homosexuality.

I never heard that one. [Laughs.]

Finally, what do you think of your status as a gay icon?

It’s great. When I write my music, I want it to be for everybody. That’s my way of teaching. If I hadn’t been who I am now, I would be a teacher and I would be somehow teaching with my music. So when I do this now, I get to share my philosophies on the world and love and how we get through life and what is making us happy, what’s not, how to move on—that’s what I try to do. The fact I have made a connection with the world in the way I have is really amazing and I feel blessed for that.


LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

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

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
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL

Two Icons One Night presented by Live Nation
^ 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

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