Bella Donna
(Herbert W. Worthington III)

Stevie Nicks reflects on shocking death of John Lennon, ‘Edge of Seventeen’

Stevie Nicks says John Lennon’s ‘unacceptable’ death 40 years ago today was ‘scary’ for the music biz

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder by Mark David Chapman. His death inspired a number of songs, including Elton John’s “Empty Garden” and George Harrison’s “All Those Years Ago.” But one of Stevie Nicks’ best-known hits, 1981’s “Edge of Seventeen (Just Like the White-Winged Dove),” was also inspired by Lennon’s death…at least partially.

“It was like he was the white-winged dove and he left,” Stevie says of John. “You know…one of the really great singer-songwriters in the biggest band in the world had died, and how unexpected and unacceptable that was and also how scary that was.”

“That was frightening for all of us in this business,” she adds. “We all felt, if that can happen to him, it could sure as hell happen to any of us. So there was a fear thing that happened then and it scared everybody.”

“You know…why in the world does somebody do that?” she continues. “Jealousy, envy? Why would you want to take the life of somebody that we all cared about so much?”

Additionally, according to Stevie, the line in the song “the sea does not change” refers to the fact that she found out about Lennon’s death in Australia while looking out on the ocean, while the reference to “the night bird,” she says, “signified death, as opposed to the white-winged dove.”

But Stevie says the song was also about another famous rock star: Her friend Tom Petty. Specifically, she says, it was the lyric “He was no more than a baby then/Well he seemed broken-hearted/Something within him.”

“So that was really a song that kind of blended into two people for two different reasons,” Stevie says. “And I don’t really know or remember why.”

Andrea Dresdale / ABC Radio News / Tuesday, December 8, 2020

For What It’s Worth (2022)

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

Edge of Midnight (2020)

Beautiful People Beautiful Problems (2017)

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

Archive