Winnipeg postie would walk through hail, sleet and snow to heed Stevie's siren song
By: David Sanderson
Winnipeg Free Press
Two hours before Fleetwood Mac was scheduled to play Calgary's Pengrowth Saddledome on May 12, the concert was cancelled due to an unspecified illness within the band. Among the thousands of disappointed ticket holders that evening was Tim Magas, a Winnipeg postal carrier who collects anything/everything associated with Fleetwood Mac's ethereal vocalist, Stevie Nicks.
Magas's goal is to see Nicks perform live -- either solo or with "the Mac" -- 20 times. The Calgary gig and a May 13 show in Edmonton that was also postponed would have been Nos. 19 and 20.
"I am heartbroken," Magas said after returning to Winnipeg later that week. "Despite the cost of three flights, two hotels, meals and using vacation time to go, I am saddest about missing out on the experience of seeing Stevie two more times. That for me is priceless."
What's also priceless is the vast array of memorabilia -- let's call them Nicks-knacks -- Magas has amassed during the last three decades. Magas, who toasts the singer's birthday every May 26 with cake, candles and a chorus or two of Rhiannon, traces his fixation to a junior high school party, circa 1979.
"The party sucked but they had Rumours on," he says, referring to the group's bazillion-selling release. "I'd heard the songs on the radio before but I'd never really paid attention."
Two years later, Magas picked up Bella Donna, Nicks' first solo project. "That was when I just became totally enchanted -- head over heels, really -- with the voice, the songs, the look, the whole package."
Magas now has a wing in his basement reserved for his ticket stubs, posters, bumper stickers (?), DVDs and records. "What I'm mostly looking for now is older T-shirts," he says, noting that the 30 or so already in his closet aren't nearly enough. "There's one from her (1983) Wild Heart tour that just sold for $250. That's a bit much but..."
Naturally, Magas (favourite song: Gypsy) will be in the crowd when Fleetwood Mac appears this evening at the MTS Centre. And although the odds are remote, Magas prays that tonight will be the night when he replaces the biggest missing piece of his collectibles puzzle.
Twelve years ago, Magas flew to Las Vegas to watch Nicks perform four nights in a row at Caesar's Palace. After the final show, Magas was preparing to leave the theatre when he spotted a group of fans clutching backstage passes. He offered to buy one but nobody was selling.
Crestfallen, Magas headed back to the souvenir stand ("to get one last thing, as if I needed it...") when a woman tapped him on the shoulder. She told Magas she'd overheard him a minute earlier and asked if he wanted an extra pass she wasn't using -- free of charge.
"I was like, 'OK!!'"
The group was herded to a reception area opposite Nicks' dressing room. After about an hour, the chanteuse entered and proceeded to pose for pictures with everyone present, one at a time. "I was the last person in line and I was just standing there frozen, drenched in sweat," Magas says. "Stevie literally had to say, 'Come over here,' to get me to move.
"Then I blurted out the most clichéd, goofy thing I've ever said to anyone, anywhere, anytime. I said, 'Thank you for being the soundtrack to my life.' (Insert groans here.)
A photographer snapped a shot of the pair arm-in-arm. An assistant then instructed Magas to return at 10 a.m. the next morning to retrieve his memento. One problem: Magas's flight home was at seven, so Magas asked the lady who'd given him the pass if she'd mind picking it up and mailing it to him.
"I never did get it," Magas says, drawing a deep breath. "All I can think is that she lost the piece of paper I'd written my phone number and address on.
"So if you're asking me if there's anything out there I still want, the answer is yes. I want to meet Miss Stevie again... and I want that picture."