Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Stevie Nicks Balancing a Band With Solo Pleasures

Stevie Nicks on Her Fleetwood Mac ‘Team,’ Solo Joys and the 2016 Election
By Phoebe Reilly

Stevie Nicks says that one of her favorite things to do is light a candle, sit at the desk in her Los Angeles home and write poetry. Ms. Nicks, the rock ’n’ roll mystic who constitutes one-fifth of Fleetwood Mac’s classic lineup and wrote several of its most beloved hits (including “Dreams” and “Rhiannon”), is so prolific that six years after joining that multiplatinum California band in 1975, she embarked on a solo career with “Bella Donna,” which featured the memorable centerpiece “Edge of Seventeen.”

“In the beginning, I actually sat down and said, listen, I am doing this because I have way too many songs,” Ms. Nicks said. “I get frustrated because one of you walks by me every time I sit at the piano and says: ‘Oh my God, there she goes writing another song. We only need three or four from you.’ So what am I supposed to do?”

Eight solo albums later, Ms. Nicks, 68, is preparing to go on the road in support of her most recent releases, “In Your Dreams,” from 2011, and the 2014 album “24 Karat Gold: Songs From the Vault,” a collection of tracks written mainly between 1969 and 1987. A 28-city tour with the Pretenders as special guests begins on Oct. 25 in Phoenix. “I just woke up one morning and said I have two years off before Fleetwood Mac comes knocking on my door [for another tour],” she said. “Why would I want to sit around and do nothing?”

Fleetwood Mac has endured despite drug addictions and multiple intra-band relationships (and breakups) during the late ’70s, and recently completed a two-and-a-half-year, 122-date tour. (“I don’t twirl nearly as much as I used to,” said Ms. Nicks, whose past relationship with the guitarist Lindsey Buckingham provided a dose of drama.) When reached by phone, she was struggling to whittle down her set list. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation.

What’s the difference between touring behind your solo work and touring with Fleetwood Mac?

Fleetwood Mac is a team, and when you’re on a team everybody has the same vote — except in this particular team Lindsey has a little bit of a stronger vote than anybody else. I love being part of a team. We argue all the time, but we always have. In my band, there is no arguing. I am the boss. My solo career is probably the reason Fleetwood Mac is still together in 2016, because I was always happy to leave Fleetwood Mac, and I was always happy to come back, too.

You have said you thought Lindsey would like “24 Karat Gold” because so many of the songs are about him. What was his reaction?

Well, I don’t know. I don’t even know if he ever listened to the record and, honestly, I don’t care. I gave up caring about how everybody else in Fleetwood Mac feels about my solo work a long time ago. It’s not their thing. If my feelings were ever hurt, it was after “Bella Donna,” when I didn’t feel that anybody even listened to it. That was in 1981.

The ’80s have once again become a point of fascination in television shows like “Stranger Things.” Are you ever nostalgic?

I wouldn’t want to ever go back there. Yes, it was a lot of fun between 1975 and 1990 — until it wasn’t. I walk onstage every night now and do a three-hour show with Fleetwood Mac, and I have a great time up there. I wish I had known that I actually had the energy to do this entire set totally sober and get just as excited. On one hand, that makes me feel great and on the other it makes me sad that I ever did my first line of coke.

Your songs never lost the rawness associated with youthful emotion. Do you find that inspiration comes from your everyday life now, or is your imagination triggered by re-examining the past?

I would say both. Great stories inspire me. Some people have the ability to be extremely convincing, and other people can sing for 30 years and not convince you that they have lived a story. At 16 I could sing a love song well. My dad would go, “That’s a good song, honey.” And my mom would go, “That’s just beautiful, Stevie.” And they would be thinking, “We know for a fact that she’s only been on one date and she was back in two hours.”

“Don’t Stop” was the theme song of Bill Clinton’s campaign. What are your hopes for this election?

Of course I’m for Hillary Clinton. It’s hard to think of anything as amazing as that song was for Bill. He picked it out when he was driving around in a cab somewhere years before. When she wins by a landslide, I could gather together the Dixie Chicks, Billy Corgan and everybody who’s ever sung a version of “Landslide.” It’s not up-tempo, but it certainly would get the message across.

Are you a fan of Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga or any other major contemporary female artist?

I have so many favorites. I love Katy Perry. [And] I’m so happy for Adele right now. She’ll do what I did — she’ll figure out a way to stay in the business. The big difference between her and me is that she has a child, and that will change things for her, but I think Adele knows what she wants and I don’t think she’s in a hurry. And that’s great. If she needs to go away for three years, she doesn’t feel like somebody’s going to take her place. When you believe in yourself that much, you can take as long as you want.

A version of this article appears in print on September 6, 2016, on page C3 of the New York edition


Anonymous said...

Odd pairing indeed. Go to Pretenders page and most of the comments say they have no desire at all to see Stevie. Who picked this pairing? Also, my opinion about Chrissy Hynde...Used to like Chrissy Hynde, but after her book tour last year and her rudeness to interviewers about comments regarding rape. No thanks! If I saw this show, it'll be after Pretenders are off stage. Not to mention that she's allowed the worst of the worst, Rush Limbaugh to use her song as his show's jingle for all these years of his hate filled rants. GROSS! Listen to Chrissy's NPR interview from her book promo. RUDE!

Brian said...

ya its too bad it was not lady antebellum. Or for the heaven tour Buckingham & Nicks

MplsMike said...

@Brian ... I don't think we'll ever get a BuckinghamNicks tour, at least nothing on this scale. If Stevie wanted to work with Lindsey right now, Fleetwood Mac would probably be finishing that album.

Brian said...

yes I agree there is still a lot of tension between the 2 of them when it comes to making music together and I think its the little bit of the both of them (egos).When it comes to Stevie contributions she should have lots of input on how its recorded and leave her lyrics and song writing to her its how she writes. I guess it will always be this way between the 2 of them. (but its wish full thinking for there fans meaning the tour).

Joost van Gijzen said...

The only reason this version of FM is still together, is because Stevie likes to argue with Lindsey so much. Anyway, expect the new FM album in 2020.

Anonymous said...

Is Stevie really voting for Hillary?

Anonymous said...

MY DEAR GOD!!! You guys are in your late sixties! You would think that after all this time you would learn to play nice. Stevie and Lindsey - two very large egos. Who will care after we're all gone. I'm 72 and have watched the drama for ages. You know what, after awhile it gets boring. You don't have very long to learn to love and respect each other. I still believe that Stevie will come to the table with music for a new FM album. In the meantime, do you think we can hear some of the music that Christine and Lindsey have done? No reason why they cannot do some shows together. Why should Stevie be the only one doing a solo tour. Chris has written some pretty great songs or did we all forget that and is there anything written that says we have to wait for Stevie to finish doing her thing. Mick - HELP!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course she's voting for Hillary. Smart people who travel and have good critical thinking skills don't vote Republican. And most healthy, kind souls would never vote for Trump.

Penny said...

So grateful she is touring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If she includes at least 4 songs never performed on tour, I might actually go see her. But I can't handle the same songs she's performed over and over and over and over and...

Unknown said...

The comments about Chrissie Hynde's assertions about her assault are ridiculous. Essentially she said she feels like she was asking for it, so to speak. Obviously it is 100% true that there is NO SUCH THING as "asking for it" short of actual consent -- but nevertheless, she said that is how she *feels*. So how about some SYMPATHY for assault survivor Chrissie Hynde?? If you were assaulted, and you happen to famous, is there some moral imperative that you should only have politically progressive feelings about what happened to you? It seems like she figures she might have prevented the situation if she had made some different choices. Of course I agree it SHOULD NEVER MATTER what choices one makes. But this is an imperfect world; the act of discussing ways one might choose to try to reduce risk is NOT the same thing as literally blaming assault victims the world over for their assaults. But that is what trillions of haters acted like CH did when they piled SO hard on her over this. Trending hate memes are also a form of assault. No wonder her mood was dark during her interviews. Anyway, I for one certainly couldn't be happier about this tour - I keep dreaming they'll duet on Stop Draggin' My Heart Around!

Anonymous said...

I also used to like Chrissie Hynde's, but I think I'll skip this show. I also am tired of the same old music over and over again. Usually I'd be psyched to see Stevie , but for some reason I'm just not.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a brain should vote for Hillary. And by the way, Trump is no Republican. He's belongs to the full of $hit party.

Anonymous said...

Stevie's now making bizarre statements in the press that the possibility of a new Fleetwood Mac album is "in God's hands." Huh? She also said that she's going on tour because she doesn't want to hang around with nothing to do until Fleetwood Mac knocks on her door. Huh?

Obviously she's trying to distance herself from Mick's recent statements that she's the holdout and that she's essentially stonewalling the band moving forward with new material. I'm normally sympathetic with Stevie but not so much in this case.

As for this tour? Zzzzzzzzzzz

Anonymous said...

Stevie isn't coming to the OC? I like Stevie but I'm not risking my life going to the Forum by myself. Hope she comes to Anaheim again. That was a great show. Also, I'm not crazy about seeing the Pretenders at all, so I may skip this tour. Buckingham Nicks would have been a for sure go.

Anonymous said...

I agree ~ wish Stevie would come to OC again (the Forum is thee worst)
...let's hope for an added Anaheim at the tail end there? :)
We get to hear some new songs with this tour (& hopefully "Belle Fleur"?!)and the "same songs over & over..." are NEVER the same live (ya bozo!) AND the Pretenders ROCK! You guys gotta chill.

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