Home » SXSW interview: Stevie Nicks

SXSW interview: Stevie Nicks

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(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

By Chad Swiatecki
Austin 360
Thursday, March 14, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

If you’re an interviewer you don’t keep famed rock singer Stevie Nicks on a short leash. The better move is to think of a question or topic like a stick thrown to a dog; she’ll chase after its general direction but the chances of the stick being retrieved are about 50/50. Thankfully, there aren’t many interview subjects who are as interesting to watch wander as Nicks, as National Public Radio journalist Ann Powers learned Thursday evening during a talk that saw the singer cover the early days of Fleetwood Mac, her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, her songwriting partnership with Christine McVie and Buckingham, and how she came to work with Dave Stewart on her new album In Your Dreams.

On her and Buckingham joining Fleetwood Mac: Nicks (whose all black ensemble and sunglasses lent to her mystical reputation) said the band based its decision on bringing her and Buckingham on board on whether McVie approved of Nicks. Talking about the entire group’s introductory dinner at a Mexican restaurant, she recalled a pair of Cadillacs pulling up outside with the Fleetwood Mac members and entourage pouring out, contrasted against her and Buckingham being dirt poor. “Christine and I got on like thieves … babbling like a gaggle of geese.”

Soon after she and McVie started rehearsing for the group’s next album — 1975’s self-titled bestseller — with Nicks and Buckingham making the then-astronomical sum of $200 a week. “We hit the road in June and by October we each were millionaires.”

On fitting into the male-dominated world of rock: “I said we can’t be treated like second-class citizens. When we walk into a room … we have to float in there like goddesses. It worked. The boys never went anywhere without us and we were always invited to the party.”

Later, Nicks took her most serious tone of the hour-long talk when discussing the control many female artists have ceded to handlers and label directors after she and other female artist spent the ’70s and ’80s fighting to have their own say. Removing her sunglasses to make her point clear, she talked about her burgeoning desire to get actively involved in women’s equality on a political front.

On working with McVie and Buckingham as songwriting partners: Powers astutely described the three writers’ roles as McVie being the maternal one, Buckingham being the “weird alpha male” one and Nicks serving as the bridge between the two. The singer agreed, saying McVie was responsible for hits like “Hold Me” and “Say That You Love Me,” with Buckingham doing what he could to rough up those pure pop creations with his rocker proclivities. “I sequenced Rumours so that one side is creepy and eerie and the other side is more poppy, to have two different experiences.”

On drawing inspiration from literature and film: In one of the more interesting and revealing segments of the talk, Nicks talked about seeing her own life through the lens of works by Edgar Allen Poe (when she was a teenager), the classic tale of “Beauty and the Beast” and the recent film adaptation Anna Karenina, its lessons “about what obsessive love can do” about how after seeing it she was “ready to go to the grand piano with white candles. I’m not Anna. I’ve been there and I don’t want to be there again. It got me misery, unhappiness, two or three years to get over it and bad karma. You learn; don’t mess with a married man.” Later on she offered, “I’ve already written about that and I will write about it again.

stevienicks

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
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MAR 3, 2024
CHI Health Center
Omaha, NE
TICKETS

MAR 6, 2024
Simmons Bank Arena
North Little Rock, AR
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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
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MAY 10, 2024
WinStar World Casino & Resort
Thackerville, OK
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MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
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MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
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MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
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MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
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MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
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MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
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JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
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JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
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JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
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Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
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JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
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JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
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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
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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
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September 23, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
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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
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November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

December 2, 2023
Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

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Palm Desert, CA
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Phoenix, AZ
Chase Field

December 12, 2023
Sacramento, CA
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December 15, 2023
San Francisco, CA
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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