Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performs onstage during The Classic West at Dodger Stadium in July (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images)
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac performs onstage during The Classic West at Dodger Stadium in July (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images)

Stevie Nicks reveals how she almost got kicked out of Australia

The Queen of Rock’n’Roll reveals how she almost got kicked out of Australia for singing with Tom Petty

STEVIE Nicks could have done with some fans in the Australian government in 1986.

As she kicks off her 24 Karat Gold tour of Australia with The Pretenders, the Fleetwood Mac superstar reveals she was almost banned from the country after joining Bob Dylan and Tom Petty on stage for an impromptu performance during their True Confessions tour.

Nicks had tagged along on the tour with her good friend Petty for a holiday, and when Dylan spied her standing side of stage at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, he beckoned her to join them on the mic for “Knocking On Heaven’s Door” and “Like a Rolling Stone.”


Bob Dylan - Tom Petty - Stevie Nicks - Knockin on Heavens Door - 1986


The Queen of Rock’n’Roll repeated her star cameo the next night and the following day found a letter, and not one of the fan variety, slipped under her hotel room door.

While fans were thrilled by the unexpected bonus of her appearance on stage, she had contravened the country’s immigration laws with the performance because she didn’t have a working visa.

“Tom’s wife couldn’t make the trip so I said I would go and keep those guys in line. I got to have fun just being a fan and had one of the most amazing months of my life,” she says from Perth, where the tour launched this week.

“I got to sing with them two nights and then I was told by the Australian government I would never be allowed back in the country, not with Fleetwood Mac, not by myself as a solo artist, not as a tourist if I did that again. I couldn’t even stand on stage to play a tambourine. So that was that.”

Of course Nicks has made many visits back to Australia with the Mac and as a solo artist and as a tourist in the three decades since and now winds up the wildly successful 24 Karat Gold tour here.

The concert showcases some of her best loved songs and the stories behind them, including “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” her signature duet with Petty. She sings it each night with Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde.

Nicks was on a break from her world tour when the renowned rocker died suddenly last month and is still wrestling with her grief as she begins the final Australian leg.

“My whole grief process hasn’t really started yet,” she says.

“Tom is in a lot of my stories and I am going to have to find a way to deal with that, to tell the story of how ‘Stop Dragging My Heart’ came into my life, how it saved my life with the Bella Donna album. I will just go with my heart … I was the only girl ever in the Heartbreakers.”

The 24 Karat Gold tour was inspired by the 2014 album of the same name which exhumed songs from her vault, stretching from 1969 to 1987.

The concert setlist not only draws from that repertoire but revisits songs from her Buckingham Nicks duo with then partner and future Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham, as well as the Mac classics “Rhiannon,” “Gypsy,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Landslide.”

She says the biggest surprise of the concerts thus far has been the emergence of “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)” which she recorded on her 2011 record In Your Dreams, as a fan favourite.

Nicks wrote the song in Brisbane while on tour with the Mac in 2009, inspired by the second film in the famed Twilight vampire series.

It took on a far more personal resonance for her after the death of her friend Prince last year.

“That song made a great record but in stage, it was harder to get the whole intimate idea of the vampire love story of Bella and Edward across. So we broke it down and it seems to have become a real favourite with everybody,” she says.

“Strangely enough, even though it was about the Twilight saga, the song became more about Prince to me, about our friendship.”


Landslide - Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks (Live at the Troubadour)


As Nicks confronts the mortality of her fellow rock gods and beloved musician friends, she has become the Godmother of Rock to the millennial pop generation.

With more than 150 million albums to her credit with Fleetwood Mac and as one of the most successful female solo artists of the past five decades, the 69-year-old great has abundant wisdom to share with her wide-eyed admirers including the Haim sisters and Harry Styles.

Styles was clearly in awe of his legendary guest when she joined him at a secret show at the Troubadour in Los Angeles in May as he launched his debut solo album.

“Mick (Fleetwood) and I have actually adopted Harry Styles; he’s the very tall and handsome 23-year-old son we never had,” Nicks said, laughing.

“We just love him; he’s really talented and he’s a nice guy with beautiful manners.”

Her new best friend though is her tour buddy Chrissie Hynde. The pair had never met ahead of The Pretenders agreeing to go out on the tour last year.

Nicks had been warned Hynde could be prickly and didn’t make friends easily. This commanding woman of song was even bizarrely advised not to shake hands with the Pretenders rocker.

So when they finally met backstage at a Nicks concert, the first thing she did was ask Hynde why.

“I go running up and ask her why I couldn’t touch her hands and she told me it was because somebody had crushed her hand once and it freaked her out,” Nicks recalled.

“I told her to give me her hands — I think I have magic hands — and I took them in mine and told her ‘I am never going to hurt your hands’ and somewhere in that moment, I knew ‘We are good’.

“She’s a hoot, she likes me and she doesn’t like many people.”

For those who might raise an eyebrow about the absence of one of her most poignant songs Sara from the setlist, Nicks reassures fans it will return when she reunites with her Fleetwood Mac band mates for a world tour next year.

“I don’t feel bad leaving it out because it will go back in next year when Fleetwood Mac comes around again. It’s better I save it for Fleetwood Mac.”

Stevie Nicks and The Pretenders perform at the ICC Sydney on Tuesday and Wednesday, A Day On The Green, Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley, November 11, A Day On The Green, Sirromet Qines, Brisbane, November 12, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne on November 16 and A Day On The Green, Rochford Wines, Victoria on November 18.

Kathy McCabe / Herald Sun (News Corp Australia Network) / Saturday, November 4, 2017

LIVE IN CONCERT (2023-2024)

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November 29, 2023
San Diego, CA
Viejas Arena

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Inglewood, CA
The Kia Forum

December 5, 2023
Palm Desert, CA
Acisure Arena

December  8, 2023 – BILLY JOEL
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Sacramento, CA
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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
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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
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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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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
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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

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

For What It’s Worth (2022)

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2017)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation