"On the day my record (In Your Dreams) came out, my precious record, I was really, really sick with pneumonia. I couldn't even go and do anything. I just thought, 'It's the grim reaper. He's haunting me here,'" Nicks says. "I made a decision from that second onward, that I was just going to do anything I could do to bring this record to the people.
"I'm doing outdoor shows that I swore up and down that I would never do again because it's just too damn hot in the middle of the summer. I called my manager at the beginning of the year and said, 'I take it all back.' I will do whatever it takes to get people to listen to this record, because I don't know if I'm ever going to make another record that's this good."
In Your Dreams pairs the Fleetwood Mac songbird with Dave Stewart, who knows his way around iconic females. (Stewart and Annie Lennox made the Eurythmics one of the biggest acts of the '80s). It's Nicks' first solo record in a decade and has earned some of the best reviews of her storied career.
Were you worried about fans accepting new music after such a long wait?
It's not just tough for me. It's tough for everybody. This is the (age of the) Internet. Piracy follows us like the grim reaper. Finally, in 2009 December, I was in Australia, and I ended up writing the song Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream), and when I finished it up in Brisbane, I said, "I'm ready to do a record, and basically, I don't care."
Why was Stewart the right fit for In Your Dreams?
We don't have an ego. When we wrote the first song, I realized he knows thousands of chords, and he's very knowledgeable of just musicianship. And I really know six chords — which has served me very well through the last 30 years. However, when you actually work with somebody that knows that many chords, it allows you to go places in melody that you would never go if you were just playing your six chords. You may say, "Why didn't you do that with Lindsey (Buckingham)?" The reason is that Lindsey and I lived together as a married couple for five years, played in a band for three years. Lindsey and I have so much drama and baggage. We have total ego. When we sit down together, the ego is sitting in between us.
How challenging was it to give up some of the control?
I have a lot of poetry, which Dave read. Who does that? He read 40 pages of poems about love affairs, fairies, angels, death, life, babies — everything you can imagine. When he came to my house, he picked a poem out and said, "I like this poem. Why don't we start here?" It was You May Be the One. I was a little bit like the deer in the headlights. "Does he really think we're going to write a song together? Here? In my house?" He did. And we did. I never wrote with Lindsey. If I wrote a song, I'd put it on a cassette in the early days, and I'd put it by the coffee with a note that said, "Here's a song. You can produce it, but don't change it."
What were the advantages of recording at home?
Dave and I made it at my big, two-story house in Los Angeles. It was like making a record with Led Zeppelin in the 1960s at the (Headley) Grange outside of London. It was all those things that you would want if you were making a real rock-n-roll record. We had dinners every night — dinner for 12 — in my dining room, where we would break for an hour-and-a-half and talk about the world, talk about politics and gossip and then go back to working. It was just so unbelievable.
Texas is a special place for you, isn't it?
I love Texas. I actually lived in Texas once when I was making (1985's) Rock a Little for several months. I (also) lived in Texas for five years in El Paso, from fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grade. I have a real love for Texas. It's going to be hot, and I might drop dead of heat exhaustion. But I'll get back up.