Stevie Nicks has been taking the pandemic much more severely than most. She has barely left her residence in Los Angeles this 12 months. “My assistant, God bless her, she places on her hazmat go well with and goes to get meals, in any other case we’d starve to dying,” she says.
She fell severely unwell in March 2019, ending up in intensive care with double pneumonia; after that shock, she fears contracting Covid-19 may finish her singing profession: “My mother was on a ventilator for 3 weeks when she had open-heart surgical procedure and she or he was hoarse for the remainder of her life.”
What would it not imply to her to cease singing? “It might kill me,” she says. “It isn’t simply singing; it’s that I’d by no means carry out once more, that I’d by no means dance throughout the levels of the world once more.” She pauses and sighs. “I’m not, at 72 years outdated, keen to surrender my profession.”
My mom mentioned to me: you’ll by no means rely on a person to help you. She drummed that into me
It’s practically midnight in LA after we converse on the cellphone; not an issue for Nicks, who’s “completely nocturnal”. The night time she fell unwell final 12 months, she had simply turn out to be the primary lady to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Corridor of Fame twice – an honour that displays her wild success as one of many lead singers of Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist, as a author and singer of uncooked, magical songs about love and freedom, together with Desires, Rhiannon, Gold Mud Girl, Landslide and Fringe of Seventeen. Nicks is unabashedly humorous, dry as a bone, usually sidling into sarcasm.
I ask about her strategy to spirituality. She says that, for all her fears about her profession, “some individuals are actually afraid of dying, however I’m not. I’ve at all times believed in non secular forces. I completely know that my mother is round on a regular basis.”
Simply after her mom died, in 2012, Nicks was standing in her kitchen with “actually dangerous acid reflux disorder”. “And I felt one thing virtually faucet my shoulder and this voice go: ‘It’s that Gatorade you’re ingesting,’” she says. “I’d been sick and chugging down the Hawaiian Punch. Now, that’s not some romantic, gothic story of your mom coming again to you. It’s your actual mom, strolling into your kitchen and saying” – she places on a rasp – “‘Don’t drink any extra of that shit.’” She pauses, ready for me to snicker, then cackles.
Nicks was near her mom, Barbara, who pushed to get her profession again after she had youngsters. “She mentioned to me: you’ll by no means stand in a room stuffed with males and really feel like you possibly can’t sustain with them. And you’ll by no means rely on a person to help you. She drummed that into me, and I’m so glad she did.”
Ladies’s rights have been on Nicks’ thoughts for the reason that dying of her “hero”, the US supreme courtroom justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, final month. “Abortion rights, that was actually my technology’s struggle. If President Trump wins this election and places the choose he needs in, she’s going to completely outlaw it and push girls again into back-alley abortions.”
There’s not one other band on the planet that has two lead girls singers, two lead girls writers. That was my world’s mission
Nicks terminated a being pregnant in 1979, when Fleetwood Mac had been at their top and she or he was relationship the Eagles singer Don Henley. What did it imply to have the ability to make that selection? “If I had not had that abortion, I’m fairly positive there would have been no Fleetwood Mac. There’s simply no means that I may have had a toddler then, working as exhausting as we labored continually. And there have been plenty of medication, I used to be doing plenty of medication … I’d have needed to stroll away.”
She pauses. “And I knew that the music we had been going to deliver to the world was going to heal so many individuals’s hearts and make individuals so completely satisfied. And I assumed: you recognize what? That’s actually necessary. There’s not one other band on the planet that has two lead girls singers, two lead girls writers. That was my world’s mission.”
Fleetwood Mac introduced out Rumours in 1977 – an album that turned virtually as well-known for the drama that went into making it as for its songs. It has bought greater than 40 million copies and retains reaching new listeners. Simply final week, certainly one of Nicks’ greatest hits, Desires, turned a part of a viral pattern on TikTok.
The band’s issues incubated because the album was made, with their cocaine use reaching industrial ranges: Nicks and her then boyfriend and musical accomplice, Lindsey Buckingham, broke up; John and Christine McVie, the band’s bassist and pianist/singer, acquired divorced; and the drummer Mick Fleetwood’s marriage broke down.
Nicks has been performing for the reason that age of 5, when her grandfather, a rustic singer in her native Phoenix, Arizona, dressed her in cowgirl outfits and hoisted her on to saloon bar levels to sing. She met Buckingham on the piano, in her remaining 12 months of highschool, when he began enjoying California Dreamin’ and she or he walked over to harmonise with him. The pair joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.
Nicks introduced glamour, stage swagger and tragic love songs to the band, her contribution complementing that of her fellow songwriter, Christine McVie. The band survived for 44 years – by means of Nicks’ affair with Fleetwood, Christine McVie’s 15-year hiatus and Buckingham’s departure in 1987. He got here again, however was fired in 2018 (he filed a lawsuit, however later settled with the band). He was changed by Neil Finn of Crowded Home and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.
Has she spoken to Buckingham since he left? “No.” Do you actually suppose you’ll by no means seem on stage with him once more? “Most likely by no means.” Actually? “Uh-uh,” she says, indicating a agency no.
She says individuals at all times ask the band: “‘Do you get alongside?’ We’d go: ‘Not likely.’ They’d say: ‘Are you pals?’ and we’d go: ‘Not likely.’ ‘Do you see one another whenever you’re not on tour?’ ‘Er, no.’ It has been like that since 1976.”
Nicks has a brand new live-concert movie popping out, 24 Karat Gold, which was recorded in 2017. The present is a hoot: 4 a long time of best hits, some never-released songs and anecdotes that veer from hilarious to heartfelt. She has a brand new single out, too, a few dream she had about Martin Luther King and John F Kennedy. “Let me let you know, honey, the rock’n’roll model will simply knock your socks off,” she says. “However the acoustic model will break your coronary heart.” Each had been recorded remotely, with Dave Grohl on drums and Dave Stewart on guitar.
I’m an impartial lady and am capable of handle myself, and that’s not enticing to males
Nicks has been described by male colleagues as an “ego” who parades her heartbreak on stage. When her first solo album, the good Bella Donna, topped the charts in 1981, she gave Buckingham a replica. He left it on the studio ground and by no means listened to it. “They had been full-on jealous. And you recognize what? I ought to have cared much less.”
“They” as within the band members or the producers? “Oh, all of them. They hated that sort of confidence in a lady. Folks would say to me: ‘It might be very exhausting to be Mr Stevie Nicks.’ And I’m going: effectively, yeah, most likely, until you had been only a very nice man that was actually assured in himself, not jealous of me, favored my pals, loved my loopy life and had enjoyable with it. And, after all, there are only a few males like that. I’m an impartial lady and am capable of handle myself, and that’s not enticing to males.”
She remembers a dialogue along with her father in her household residence, simply after Bella Donna got here out, when she was 35. “And simply out of nowhere, my dad goes: ‘Stevie, you’ll by no means get married.’ If Christine was on this room with me proper now, she’d let you know that we each made the choice to not have children and as a substitute observe our musical muse all over the world. It’s not my job, it’s who I’m.”
However Nicks did get married as soon as, in 1982, to the previous husband of her highschool greatest pal, Robin Anderson. Robin was identified with leukaemia whereas she was pregnant along with her first little one and died shortly after his delivery. Nicks’s marriage to Robin’s widower, Kim, lasted three months. “That wasn’t actually a wedding,” says Nicks. “We did it to handle her son. And, three weeks later, we realised that that wasn’t going to work.”
Robin and Kim’s son, Matthew, now has a daughter, named after his late mom. “Little Robin is 5 years outdated,” says Nicks. “Final Christmas, she was at my home and she or he comes into the kitchen, grabs my hand and goes: ‘Include me, Grandma Stevie,’ and I’m going: ‘Did this little one simply name me Grandma Stevie?’ She did. And on that day I wrote in my journal and it mentioned: ‘I promise you, Robin, that I will likely be Grandma Stevie till dying do us half.’ Life has these bizarre turnarounds, you recognize. I say to my pal Robin, who died so way back: ‘Look by means of my eyes at your granddaughter.’ She was yours and now she is mine.”
On the bottle, it says: ‘Take as wanted.’ So that you suppose: ‘Properly, I would like it each two hours’
Trying again, Nicks’ solely remorse is her eight years of dependancy to the tranquilliser clonazepam (bought as Klonopin). It began in 1986 when a psychiatrist prescribed her the drug to assist her sleep after she got here out of rehab for cocaine dependancy. “It’s a really delicate drug; you simply don’t really feel it a lot, or so that you suppose. On the bottle, it says: ‘Take as wanted.’ That’s the stupidest factor I’ve ever heard. So that you suppose: ‘Properly, I would like it each two hours.’ It’s dependancy in a bottle.”
It was not a dreadful or traumatic time, she says. She sat at residence, watched movies, ate good meals, noticed pals. However she stopped creating. “It was a completely non-time. I simply existed. It took away all my great drama, my tempestuousness, my compassion, my empathy – all these issues that drove me to my piano. I say to myself now: ‘How did you survive eight years with out your great drama?’
“I at all times look again and suppose: what may I’ve finished throughout that point? Made a Fleetwood Mac album or a solo file. I may have gotten married or had a child or adopted one. Let me let you know, if anyone ever tries to place you on Klonopin, run screaming out of the room.”
She says it’s “annoying” that so most of the males of her technology had been capable of pair up with youthful girls and begin households later in life (Buckingham, for instance, had his third little one in his mid-50s; Ronnie Wooden and Mick Jagger fathered youngsters at 69 and 73 respectively).
“Males will not be having households with youthful girls as a result of they need to have households, they’re doing it as a result of they should have a youthful spouse to allow them to really feel that rush of romance once more,” she says. “I did it as soon as, although, you recognize. I had a relationship with a person after I was 50 and he was 30.” He was not well-known, she says. “He was only a actually beautiful man. And I realised that I’d already lived 30 to 50; I didn’t need to dwell it once more.” At some point, he requested her to go to a talkshow taping with him on the again of his motorcycle. “And I mentioned: ‘Are you out of your thoughts? I’m going to reach at a well-known talkshow on the again of your motorbike. And individuals are going to say, wait, is that Stevie Nicks? Hahahaha.’ Lastly, I simply needed to say to him: ‘I’m not good for you.’”
Might I fall in love and run away with someone at 72 years outdated? Yeah
Is she relationship now? “I’m not going out with anybody. And I haven’t gone out with anybody in an extended, very long time. However I’ll say, I’m at all times a romantic and I’m by no means averse to the truth that it’s potential that you just would possibly flip a avenue nook and stroll into someone that simply catches your eye, as a result of it’s occurred to me one million occasions. So, may I fall in love and run away with someone at 72 years outdated? Yeah. It’s most likely not gonna occur, nevertheless it’s potential.”
I ask about her friendship with Harry Types. “Can I simply say that Harry Types is just not my youthful boyfriend,” she says – deadpan, however with a smile in her voice. “He’s my pal. My superb pal.”
Like Types, Nicks is a trend muse: the highest hat, billowing sleeves, draped silk and shawls she popularised within the 70s and 80s remains to be a beloved silhouette. She was at all times feted for her magnificence, however did she know that she was lovely? “After all I assumed that I used to be very fairly,” she says. “You recognize, I as soon as wrote a tune known as Prettiest Lady within the World, nevertheless it by no means got here out. It began with the road: ‘She was the prettiest lady on the planet/ However that was a very long time in the past.’ And that’s one thing that I’ve mentioned to plenty of my youthful pals: regardless of how lovely you’re, you’re going to grow old and also you’re not going to appear like you probably did whenever you had been 25. So roll with the punches.”
We speak about what it’s like for girls to age within the public eye. “Oh God, the Botox,” she says. “Let me let you know, Botox solely makes you appear like you’re in a satanic cult. I solely had it as soon as and it destroyed my face for 4 months. I’d look within the mirror and attempt to elevate my eyebrow and go: ‘Oh, there you’re, Devil’s indignant daughter.’ By no means once more. I watch plenty of information and I see all the girl newscasters wanting like Devil’s indignant daughters, too.”
It’s virtually time for Nicks to go. She plans to spend the remainder of the night time in mattress along with her canine, Lily, studying Vogue and watching the dawn, ingesting tea. “I’m very sober now,” she says. Earlier than she goes, I ask about my favorite tune of hers, Storms, by which she describes falling out of affection with a person and surrendering herself to her future: “By no means have I been a blue calm sea/ I’ve at all times been a storm.”
“Oh, that one was a – excuse my language – f**k-you to Mick,” she says, referring to her affair with Fleetwood. “I sat at my piano, a feminist lady, and I wrote it, to say that nothing you or anyone else can do to me can change the truth that, because the opening line goes: ‘Each night time that goes between/ I really feel rather less’.” A tune about independence, I say. “Freedom,” she says. “I’m a completely free lady, and I’m impartial, and that’s precisely what I at all times needed to be.”
Stevie Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold: The Live performance will likely be in cinemas October 21-Twenty fifth. Discover a screening at stevienicksfilm.com. The accompanying album is launched on October thirtieth.