Rock’n’roll royalty Stevie Nicks talks to Stellar about her fear of the pandemic, her close friendship with Harry Styles and the pact she made with bandmate Christine McVie at the beginning of their run with Fleetwood Mac.
How are you going in Los Angeles?
I’m as good as you can be in these circumstances. I really have been locked down because I truly believe that should I contract this disease it would kill me, or it would at the very least knock me down so bad I wouldn’t have a career anymore.
And at 72 years old, I may have my freedom but I don’t have much time, as Mick Jagger would say. So, even if this takes another year-and-a-half I’m going to get through this without getting it because I want to go back to work. I want to go back on tour. I want to come back to Australia, for god’s sake!
Your natural space is the stage. How are you handling not performing live for such an extended period of time?
Well, this was meant to be a year off for me, but I was still performing six shows and we probably would have added six more. I do miss it – I don’t feel like myself.
I look at these next six or so years as my last youthful years, when I’m going to feel like putting on six-inch heels and dancing across a stage for the world. Because, really, at some point you have to go, “OK, you’ll be 80 – just exactly how long can you cartwheel across the world?” I don’t have that much time left to be a rock star.
Although you can’t perform now, you’re releasing your most recent solo tour 24 Karat Gold The Concert in cinemas next week, so you’re still managing to keep busy…
Yes, this film was so lovingly made and I’ve also just released a song called ‘Show Them The Way’. These are projects I’m so proud of and in this time of strife for all of us, I’m hoping that both the film and the song might be something that will make people feel better and give them some hope.
I made a video for this song that’s mostly photographs but I shot a small portion of it in my entryway. I put on my boots for a couple of hours and for those hours I felt like myself again. I feel like Cinderella putting on her glass slippers.
At five-foot-seven, I feel incredibly powerful, at five-foot-one in a pair of bedroom slippers or tennis shoes, I don’t feel so powerful.
Is it true that you keep your shawl collection in a vault?
I do, and not just shawls. I have two or three temperature-controlled vaults because I can’t keep clothes that I’ve had since 1976 at my house – there’s just no room. I go into these vaults periodically and pull out something I’m going to wear on a tour that I haven’t worn in, say, 20 years.
There are also lots of skirts and gloves and little tops in there that I wore during the first few years of Fleetwood Mac. Some day, when I actually stop touring, I’ll give a lot of stuff to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over here, and maybe someday I’ll do a museum show of all this.
Speaking of the Hall of Fame, last year you were inducted as a solo artist. Of all the artists you’ve worked with and known over the course of your career, why was Harry Styles your pick to introduce you?
What really made me choose Harry is that he’s so funny and so well spoken, and also that we’re just such good friends. I knew he would really delve into my history and that he’d put it together beautifully, because he’s a songwriter and he could tell my story.
I thought that of all the people who would get a kick out of me being the first woman in the world to go into the Hall of Fame, it would be Harry. And I’m so glad I did because he was hysterical, but he was also able to tell everybody who I really am behind the shawl.
You’ve been coming to Australia as a solo artist as well as with Fleetwood Mac for many years. What stands out as a special memory?
I have some very good friends in Sydney, including my best friend, Margaret. She’s in her 90s now and I’ve known her for 15 years. I walked into her store and I found a doll that I’d been looking for all over the world, then I found her.
She’s like a second mum to me. I haven’t called her in many months, though, so I’m sure she’s mad at me! But my best memories are from the times I’ve got to take her and her daughters all over Australia.
What’s one thing you think every woman should experience before they die?
Being treated as though they’re not a second-class citizen. My mother drilled the message of equality into my head when I was growing up. She was lovingly strict and back then I thought she went a little overboard, but now I’m so glad she raised me the way she did.
Christine McVie and I made a pact at the very beginning of Fleetwood Mac that we’d never stand in a room full of famous rock’n’roll guitarists and be treated like we weren’t as good as them. And if we were treated that way, we’d just get up, walk out, turn around and say, “This party is over.”
Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold The Concert will be in cinemas on 21 and 25 Oct. Find your screening at stevienicksfilm.com. The 2CD & digital/streaming releases will be available on 30 Oct.
Bree Player / Stellar Magazine (Australia) / Saturday, October 17, 2020