Stevie Nicks Trouble in Shangri-La (2001)
Home » Stevie Nicks: With a talent to burn

Stevie Nicks: With a talent to burn

The Independent (UK)
Friday, May 4, 2001

The Stevie Nicks story so far goes: innocence, enormous fame, debauchery, drug hell, rehab hell and burn-out, but now, as she tells James McNair, there’s a new chapter: triumphant comeback

Like many thirty-something men, I, too, once lusted after Stevie Nicks. And although I’m aware that her infamous, hack-seducing days are probably behind her, it is with clean boxers and a sense of occasion that I arrive at her Malibu mansion.

Like many thirty-something men, I, too, once lusted after Stevie Nicks. And although I’m aware that her infamous, hack-seducing days are probably behind her, it is with clean boxers and a sense of occasion that I arrive at her Malibu mansion.

Dressed down and wearing little make-up, she looks great for 53, and greets me with a yapping Yorkshire terrier under each arm. While her live-in PA carts Shulamith and Sara Belladonna elsewhere, I clock my surroundings. The sizeable house isn’t overly ostentatious, but its beach views, velvet chaises longues and antique dolls convey Nicks’s rock star status.

The rock band in question were of course Fleetwood Mac, and as a key songwriter on their 1977, AOR colossus Rumours, Nicks must be worth millions in royalties. Up until about five years ago, though, her story was that clichéd one that goes: innocence, fame, debauchery, drug hell, rehab hell, burn-out.

At the height of Mac’s success, Nicks had a cocaine habit that would have daunted Danniella Westbrook, but, contrary to prevailing rumours, Stevie’s septum never quite gave out. She still has a dime-sized hole in her nasal membrane, though.

In true tragi-hedonist style, Nicks’s class-A intake was accompanied by a series of tempestuous, ill-starred relationships. As well as dating Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and the band’s drummer Mick Fleetwood, Nicks was romantically involved with the Eagles’ Don Henley. Henley is often described as one of rock’s leading misogynists, and Lindsey Buckingham famously tried to strangle her.

But as Fleetwood Mac classics such as “Dreams”, “Gold Dust Woman” and “Landslide” testify, Nicks’s meditations on love and life often made for some rather fine tunes.

With hindsight, the career trough that engulfed her solo career circa her 1994 album Street Angel had been a long time coming. It’s telling, though, that she doesn’t equate it with cocaine abuse or heartache.

“I had been taking a tranquilliser called Klonopin for about seven years,” she says, “and mixed with all the Valium and Prozac, it took all my creativity away. I have horrible memories of doing promo interviews for Street Angel, and not having anything good to say about it. By the time I finished the accompanying tour I’d kicked out all the new material. I made that album disappear like it had never happened.”

Nowadays, the tranquillisers have long since gone, as have the self-doubt, the two packs of Cools a day, and the writer’s block. This last is pleasingly apparent on Nicks’s superb new album, Trouble in Shangri-La. Co-produced by Sheryl Crow, among others, the record finds Nicks’s throaty drawl restored to its former glory and features other famous girlfriends such as Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines.

The wooden treadmill in her lounge offers further testimony to her reinvention; but the person who restored her confidence as an artist was her close friend Tom Petty.

“I distinctly remember him lecturing me back in 1995”, she says. “He was playing in Phoenix, and I went down to the Ritz Carlton to meet him for dinner. He said, ‘you know Stevie, it’s too bad that you’ve had a hard time, but it’s over and you just need to get in your car, go home and start writing songs.'” She maintains that she sat down at the piano again that very night, and that she’s barely stopped writing since.

As your correspondent witnessed at the previous evening’s showcase gig, there’s a special dynamic between Nicks and Sheryl Crow. Like Courtney Love, Crow, now 38, recognises Nicks as one of rock’s last great matriarchs; a strong career woman with much sex, drugs and rock’n’roll related wisdom to impart. I’m particularly intrigued, then, by a song on Trouble in Shangri-La that Crow wrote for and about Nicks after the older woman had confided in her. There’s a line in “It’s Only Love” which says ‘If only love comes around again it will have been worth the ride.’ Is it an accurate reflection of Nicks’s current philosophy?

“Well that’s pretty interpretative,” she says flatly, “but I do think Sheryl sometimes looks at my life and sees her future. And that’s probably pretty scary, because Sheryl wants to be married with children at some point.”

“There’s also a line which goes ‘you were master to so many, but saviour to none’. Is Sheryl saying maybe you could have worked some of those relationships out, maybe you could have had children by now ? But I chose not to, you know? And that’s really what that song is about.”

But she’s still so attractive, and she must get lonely at times, right ?

“Yeah, but I’d really have to fall in love with somebody to make them put up with my crazy life. I mean…”

She stops in mid-flow; her expression and body language are both signalling that she is about to confide something.

“… I did actually see someone for a while about three years ago. It was while we (Fleetwood Mac) were working on The Dance album. He’d call me at rehearsals, and I’d be like, I’m sorry I don’t know when I’ll be home. All of a sudden it’s defensive, and I’m thinking ‘you’re endangering what I do’. That’s just the way I am.”

Watching Nicks sing “Landslide”, its lyrics about growing older now more poignant than ever, it struck me that everything seems to be turning full-circle for her. In the past, Lindsey Buckingham has been notoriously non-committal about Nicks’s solo output, but with great satisfaction, she tells me that he thinks her new album is “the best I ever did”. Given that Buckingham voiced this opinion during a business meeting with Nicks and Mick Fleetwood, it seems prudent to ask about the possibility of a new Fleetwood Mac album.

“I want it to happen, so I’ll make it happen”, she says. “I have my solo career, but it will never be quite like Fleetwood Mac. When those five people walk into a room there’s something very special about it.”

‘Trouble in Shangri-La’ is out this Monday on Warner Reprise

stevienicks

LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

Billy Joel and Stevie NicksStevie Nicks

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

FEB 14, 2024
UBS Arena
Belmont Park, NY
TICKETS

FEB 17, 2024
CFG Bank Arena
Baltimore, MD
TICKETS

FEB 21, 2024
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
Greenville, SC
TICKETS

FEB 24, 2024
Hard Rock Live
Hollywood, FL
TICKETS

FEB 28, 2024
Smoothie King Center
New Orleans, LA
TICKETS

MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
TICKETS

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

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

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

MAY 7, 2024
Enterprise Center
St Louis, MO
TICKETS

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

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
TICKETS

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
TICKETS

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

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
TICKETS

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
TICKETS

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
TICKETS

JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
TICKETS

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
TICKETS

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
TICKETS

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
TICKETS

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
TICKETS

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
TICKETS

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

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