Friday, May 20, 2011

STEVIE NICKS: From The Beginning...

In My Dreams and In Your Dreams by Stevie Nicks 

For me the circus came to town in 2010. That's the year I wrote and recorded "In Your Dreams," my new CD. It was the year Dave Stewart returned to my life. He returned to my life after several years. He actually arrived at my front door, walked into my living room and we started writing songs for my new album.

It was glorious. We were two people extremely committed to having fun along the way. Every day was an adventure. Every day was a gala. The environment was magical. I've never worked harder in my life but it never seemed like I was working. It was a circus after all.

I've always tried to have fun making records with Fleetwood Mac and with my solo ones. I didn't succeed very often though certainly the music did. But this time, it was perfection. It was everything I always wished making a record would be. We laughed all the time. We were little kids in a sandbox. We were happy parents and the songs we created were our children. We were a big happy family – me and Dave, the engineers, Waddy, the girls, Glenn Ballard, my assistant Karen and my friend Kellianne who prepared elaborate dinners every night where we talked about music, art, politics and "the songs." Dave would have a martini. There was never a harsh word or raised voice. It felt pretty much like I imagine a Paris salon of artists who adored each other might gather in the twenties. If all that wasn't enough, I had the ride of a lifetime creating an album of songs that I am so proud to share with you. Did I mention that we dressed up in ridiculous outfits all the time?

Maybe it was destiny for Dave and I to come together and create "In Your Dreams." We'd met years ago – 1985 to be exact. We were going to work on the song "Don't Come Around Here No More" which he eventually completed with Tom Petty. Phenomenal song by the way. Wish I'd gotten to do it. Our paths didn't cross again until 2006 when Dave was working on a pilot for a TV show and I was a guest. We talked for two hours about everything. At the end, he suggested I play something at the piano…I did a 15 minute version of "Rhiannon." Dave joined in as if we'd been singing it together for years. I realized then that if I were ever to make a solo album again (believe me I had my doubts) - but if the day came, I knew I wanted Dave on board.

So beginning February into March and then April, three days a week, Dave would arrive with Ned Douglas the engineer. At the entrance to my house as soon as you walk in, you are greeted by two huge pianos, a black Bosendorfer and a white Steinway. Other special touches were added as we went along – a pair of black antique dancing shoes, a perfume bottle and of course a chandelier. Lots of atmosphere. We would work on the songs day after day. "Ned, how about some bass and add that drum part," I would say and he knew exactly what was needed. The living room of my home metamorphasized into our recording studio…We also set up a recording area in the curve of the big staircase where we did vocals and that's how we made "In Your Dreams."

On Tuesday and Thursday and weekends, I would work with the girls Lori Nicks and Sharon Celani, who are truly the backbone of the Stevie Nicks sound. We love to sing together. I have the utmost respect for their point of view on the music and they know when it sounds right. My good friend and sidekick Waddy Wachtel would be there as well. I've been with Lori, Sharon and Waddy since 1979. With me, they are the Stevie Nicks band. You can imagine the level of trust that we've developed after all this time.

Then Glen Ballard arrived at my door one day a couple of months later (he's Dave Stewart's partner). I call him "the beautiful quiet one." He is the voice of reason. The rest of us were all circus people who were running amok. Glen kept it all together. He could simply stroll over and start playing something on one of those pianos or pick up his guitar to explain something. He also arrived with Scott the engineer who took over from Ned. Scott was another magician in our midst. And now you have our merry cast of characters.

We all took time off in May when Dave went to London and I went to Hawaii where I wrote "For What It's Worth." By June 1st we had 13 songs completed – I co-wrote seven with Dave and five by myself. In the Fall, the circus moved to Village Recording for two weeks where we tracked and Mick Fleetwood and Steve Faroni came in to play.

I want "In Your Dreams" to have a big impact on people to give at least one moment of joy and hope to anyone listening. Well, even more than a moment. I wanted my music to make you feel like you wanted to dance around the house. That's what it does for me.

Let the show begin:

SECRET LOVE - I love this song. I still do not remember exactly who it is about…I wrote it a very long time ago. Life was moving very fast in the late 70's…Love was everywhere. We were beautiful. I saw everything through a sort of stained glass window of perfection. It was a pretty spectacular time and I think the song represents many relationships, not only mine, but lots of people at that time. I was living in a pink Spanish house which belonged to silent film stars. I wrote a lot of songs there and this was one of them. I didn't completely remember the song and amazingly discovered an early version of it on YouTube.

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH – Somewhere in the 90's – in my post Klonopin era (a drug that almost destroyed me) – I'd just come out of 47 days in rehab. I was trying to recover. I was petrified of life with no tranquilizers. I was afraid to come back into the real world. Someone appeared out of nowhere. An angel stepped in. He arrived and walked me through and he saved my spiritual life. I think it's a reminder for everyone that sometimes when you are filled with fear or pain, someone arrives and takes you by the hand and helps you on your journey.

IN YOUR DREAMS - This was another difficult time in my life and when I was on the road touring my sound engineer would hear me say, "I can't do it…I can't go up there." And he would say, "Stevie, I'm right at the other end of this cord." His words of assurance that I would sound good made me feel safe.

WILD SARGASSO SEA – This song is based on the book and movie of the same title. It is the precursor to Jane Eyre. It was about Mr. Rochester falling in love with Antoinette and how he felt the moment he met her on the island. They both went mad but Antoinette Rochester never recovered and was locked up.

NEW ORLEANS – I've always loved New Orleans. In the peak of Fleetwood Mac's success, we'd play New Orleans and we would ride around in a white carriage with white horses right down Bourbon Street. We were all dressed up and drinking champagne. My memories of that city were crushed watching the devastation of Katrina. There was a little boy on TV you might remember who said, "Someone has to help us." They showed him over and over. I was in tears after hearing him speak for all the people of New Orleans. Right after that little boy spoke for his forgotten city, I wrote the poem which became the lyrics to this song. This is for all the beautiful people of New Orleans.

MOONLIGHT (A Vampire's Dream) - It was 2009 and I was on tour in Melbourne, Australia. I needed to stay awake to avoid jet lag. I went to see the film "New Moon" and then we all sat around and watched the Michael Jackson movie…By then it was midnight and I knew I had to go back and see "New Moon" again. Afterward I started an essay about all the "Edwards" in my life. I thought about all the tales of abandonment and the beautiful love story of Bella and Edward. He's cursed to live life as a monster but Bella sees through. Yet - he leaves her because he knows that is what he has to do. She sits in her chair for months. I so understood that feeling. We went on to Brisbane and I kept thinking, "Why can't they be together?" And at that moment, I wrote the song. And the very next moment I said to myself, "I'm ready to make a record now." Before that I wondered if I would ever make another record but I knew it was time. This is one of my favorite songs on the record. We kept a photo of Bella and Edward on the soundboard while we recorded.

ANNABEL LEE – When I was 17, it was a very good year. I met Lindsey and I read some of the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. Annabel Lee was my favorite. I picked up my guitar with the open book in front of me and 10 minutes later I went and played it for my mom. It was never recorded. It just lived in my heart until the mid nineties when I made a piano demo if it in Phoenix. Finally she has come to life.

SOLDIER'S ANGEL – This is a love song too. It's my love song to all the men and women and their families that I've visited over the years at Walter Read Hospital in Washington DC and Bethesda Naval Hospital. Each and every one of them touched me in profound ways. Their bravery and courage is something that I will keep with me in my heart for as long as I live. They brought more to me than I could ever have brought to them. The song was so important that I asked Lindsay to come over and bring his musical magic to it and he did ¬¬– as he always does.¬

EVERYBODY LOVES YOU - This is about being part of a duo – a man and a woman in a musical group. Two people who knew each other from very early on. I met Lindsey in high school. I walked right up to him and asked to sing "California Dreaming" with his band. And so I did. Then I didn't see him for two years… Well you know the rest. And Dave of course met Annie when they were both very young and unknown. We both performed with our partners long after our romantic relationships ended. Let's say, we both understood what we'd been through.

GHOSTS ARE GONE - This is about a relationship that became frozen in time and died. Around that time, I was introduced to an artist who became a record company executive named Amanda Ghost. I was fascinated with that name which inspired this song as well. And I always have to have a few big rock songs on my albums. This is one of them.

YOU MAY BE THE ONE - This started as a poem I wrote during the FM "Say You Will" Tour. It's about a relationship that could have worked but it missed by a mile…or missed by a second.

ITALIAN SUMMER – This is a very special song, one of my most romantic. Something extraordinary is going to happen with this song one day. It's a perfect example that you do not have to fall in love to write a love song. I fell in love with Italy one summer. When you listen to it, I think it sounds like you are on a magic carpet ride. I was staying in Room 102 in a villa which became a hotel in Ravello. I arrived there completely unplanned. Beauty was everywhere. One day I'll return and sing "Italian Summer" there.

CHEAPER THAN FREE – We have Reese Witherspoon to thank for this title. She was visiting a recording session one day and Dave mentioned that he had to go to Nashville for some work…Reese volunteered to have him stay at her condo there. I chimed in that it would save him a lot of money. "What's cheaper than free?" quipped Reese…Dave and I both looked at each other and knew we were going to write a song with that title which we did very quickly.

Source: ABC Music Lounge


Anonymous said...

Really...How can you not love Stevie Nicks? She will make you fall in love with her over and over again... even when you think you won't again... she'll draw you back again.

Sandra said...

That was so fun to read!! Hearing clues as to what they are all about makes them so much more meaningful to listen to. I'm seeing Stevie at the Wiltern on her birthday - sure hope we hear more than just one song from this great album!!! My favorite (and my 17 yr old daughter's as well) is Annabel Lee - we can't stop playing it :) - I really wish that were the next single - however, I love so many of them, I'd be happy with anyone she chose!

Anonymous said...

My favorites are Moonlight and Annabel Lee

Unknown said...

Wow I just love the descriptions on each song..I have to say I think "Secret Love" was written for me...Well at least it makes me feel good to think've been listening to the Cd for a few weeks now and my favorites are "Moonlight", "Annabell Lee", "Secret Love" and "Cheaper Than Free"!!! Another AMAZING record from you Stevie!!! Would LOVE to hear "Long Distance Winner" live in concert one day!!! :) Thanks for making my life better with your music and by just being you, Stevie!!! :) LOVE & Happiness,
~T~ <3 <3 <3

Malcolm L said...

The reason I have been crazy about Stevie since I first listened to Tango in the Night as a 16 year old is that her words speak to you, touch you and have a resonance with you. Italian Summer is a classic in the making. I can see that storm and imagine the sun setting behind the mountains. It takes me back to Florence every time I listen to it. And For What Its Worth hits me every time I hear her say "What you did was You saved my life I wont forget it". Who has not met that one person who pulled you up when you were as down as you could be. I may never get to sing or dance but Stevie is the soundtrack to those great romances . . . .

Anonymous said...

I love reading her comments about each song. Oh how I love Italian Summer. It's one of Stevie's most unique songs. I see so much imagery when I hear it. It's my favorite song on the album.

Anonymous said...

Stevie Nicks, you are my unanswered prayer.I resonate with so many songs on In your Dreams, I will be listening to the whole album very soon.I am a true fan and will be at The Heart and Soul concert Nashville Tn July 24th with you and Mr Rod Stewart.Hail Hail Rock n Roll!

Anonymous said...

Stevie Nicks is a feel good fix and makes me understand myself more because we are all human after all and life happens to all of us, were pretty much the same in what we go thru but how u process it is what makes us unique. Meanwhile she is the best thing that has come along for me to lift my spirits. Thankyou Miss Nicks ur always in my dreams for a better tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I totally connect with Italian Summer , goose bumps says it all!

Post a Comment