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Stevie Nicks was in her aboriginal 30s aback her ancestor told her she’d never get married.
She had aloof appear her aboriginal abandoned album, 1981’s “Bella Donna,” embarking on a additional career that would ample any time she wasn’t spending with Fleetwood Mac. Her music, Nicks’ dad said, would consistently absorb her.
She advised the possibility. She actually was not a woman who admired to be told what to do. Still, the words stung: “No man would be blessed actuality Mr. Stevie Nicks for actual long.” Had he bedevilled her to a activity of confinement artlessly by speaking the anticipation into existence?
“Nobody,” she action now, decades later, “dooms me to annihilation but myself.”
At 72, Nicks has had a few abundant loves. Some we apperceive about — Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, JD Souther — and abounding we don’t. She did get affiliated once, aback in 1983, an blighted three-month accord with the bedmate of her best friend, who had aloof died of leukemia. She would accept advised demography addition spouse, had she met the appropriate actuality — addition who wasn’t anxious of her, who got a bang out of her crazy girlfriends. But ultimately, her ancestor appealing abundant got it right: She has yet to feel added adherent against a man than her muse.
Which is why, in part, this communicable has hit her so hard. Two projects due out this ages have, she says, offered a evidence of normalcy: “24 Karat Gold: The Concert,” a accurate adjustment of her 2017 abandoned show, and a politically absent new single, “Show Them the Way,” which will be accompanied by a Cameron Crowe-directed music video. She’s additionally absitively that she wants to accomplish addition abandoned anthology and affairs to absorb the blow of apprehension axis the balladry from her journals into lyrics.
But, with touring on hold, she’s apathetic and depressed, altitude she’s claimed to never afore ache from. She’s cripplingly abashed of communicable the coronavirus, fearing that activity on a chase would leave her blatant and ruin her voice.
“I accept put a bewitched absorber about me, because I am not activity to accord up the aftermost eight years — what I alarm my aftermost active years — of accomplishing this,” she vows. “I appetite to be able to cull up those atramentous clover belvedere boots and put on my atramentous chiffon accouterments and circle assimilate a date again.”
It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday aback Nicks aboriginal calls from her home in the Pacific Palisades, area she has been cloistral with a abutting friend, her abettor and her housekeeper.
She has consistently been a night owl, but has afresh become nocturnal, about activity to bed about 8 a.m. She attributes the change in her beddy-bye arrangement to the news, which she says she watches constantly. Usually, she casting to accessible the French doors to her bedroom, but tonight it’s aphotic alfresco because of the wildfires — “and not like, foggy, adventurous dark. It’s aloof awe-inspiring dark.” The smoke and ash in the air triggers her asthma, so she is not alike venturing into her backyard.
Nicks is speaking from a landline. She has a claimed bandage that she dances about aback it rings, apprehensive “Who could it be? Is this a two-hour call? Is this activity to be a tragedy?” and an emergency bandage to which her abettor attends. She does not accept a computer. She does accept an iPhone, but it doesn’t accept cellular account and she uses it alone as a camera.
Despite her abhorrence for amusing media, Nicks has gone viral a few times in contempo months. Beforehand this week, the internet apparent a TikTok video in which “doggface208” skateboards while singing forth to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” swigging from a alembic of Cran-Raspberry abstract and about active his best life. Afterwards the afterlife of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nicks paid accolade to the Supreme Court justice, acceptance her into the “Rock and Cycle Hall of Fame of Life.” (Nicks is alone changeable to be inducted alert into the Bedrock and Cycle Hall of Fame, aboriginal with Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and afresh on her own in 2019.) The reactions to the RBG column were abundantly positive, but she saw one animadversion that abandoned her affect actually and instead lambasted her for her band’s interpersonal drama.
“They didn’t alike affliction about what I had accounting about Ruth and went appropriate to the breakdown of Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey Buckingham,” she says. “I was like, ‘We’re talking about the afterlife of a abundant Supreme Court judge, and you are babble at me about article that happened two-and-a-half years ago? What are you, insane?’ I’m addled from it. But I’m additionally like, OK: I can never be on amusing media.”
Nicks’ broadcast was apropos to the awful publicized 2018 battlefront of Buckingham, who abutting Fleetwood Mac as a advance guitarist and diva alongside then-girlfriend Nicks in 1974. The group’s tumult is the actuality of music legend: Afterwards catastrophe her on-off afresh accord with Buckingham, in 1977 Nicks had a abrupt activity with then-married bagman Mick Fleetwood. Singer Christine McVie, meanwhile, was in the bosom of her own artful accord with the band’s lighting director, ultimately arch to her annulment from bassist John McVie.
With the barring of a decade-long aperture to focus on his abandoned career in the ’90s, however, Buckingham remained with Fleetwood Mac until January 2018, aback he claims he was unceremoniously let go. Together, they’d fabricated an enduring mark on music history. Hits like “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “The Chain” and “Gypsy” are now bedrock canon. 1977’s “Rumours” was No. 1 in the U.S. for 31 weeks, and consecutive tours over the decades showcased not aloof an incomparable baby-boomer songbook but the scars larboard from the band’s amaranthine soap operas — Buckingham and Nicks frequently attempt eye acrimony at anniversary added in advanced of arranged stadiums during renditions of breakdown anthems like “Go Your Own Way” and “Silver Springs.”
When Buckingham was axed from the group, he sued for absent accomplishment — claiming he would accept calm amid $12 actor and $14 actor dollars in two months of touring with Fleetwood Mac. (He was replaced by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Crowded House’s Neil Finn.) In acknowledged documents, Buckingham says his battlefront came canicule afterwards the band’s actualization at the January 2018 MusiCares Actuality of the Year ceremony. He alleges that he was afterwards told that Nicks anticipation he’d mocked her on date at the accident while she was carrying a speech; she was allegedly so agitated that she told the blow of Fleetwood Mac she’d airing if he wasn’t cut from the band.
Nicks is afraid to altercate the capacity of that night, admitting she admits it was the “straw that bankrupt the camel’s back.”
“I never planned for that to happen,” she says hesitantly. “Any time we re-formed to do a bout or a record, I consistently absolved in with achievement in my heart. And I aloof was so disappointed. I acquainted like all the wind had gone out of my sails.”
There’s blue in her articulation aback she discusses the split, which she describes as a “long time coming.” She was consistently hopeful that “things would get better” but begin herself acquainted she was added sad with Fleetwood Mac and added at accord in the “good, artistic blessed world” with her abandoned band.
“I aloof acquainted like a dying annual all the time,” she says. “I backward with him from 1968 until that night. It’s a continued time. And I actually could apprehend my parents — I could apprehend my mom saying, ‘Are you actually gonna do this for the blow of your life?’ And I could apprehend my dad adage in his actual businesslike way — because my dad actually admired Lindsey —‘I anticipate it’s time for you and Lindsey to get a divorce.’ It’s a actual adverse thing. It makes me very, actual sad.”
She says she hasn’t announced to Buckingham in a brace of years, admitting she did address him a agenda afterwards his February 2019 affection attack: “You bigger booty affliction of yourself. You bigger booty it accessible and you bigger do aggregate they acquaint you and get your articulation aback and feel the adroitness that you accept fabricated it through this.”
Nicks has cataloged the ups and downs of her activity in journals — she estimates she has almost one per year of her activity — and she affairs to leave abounding of them to her goddaughters, of whom she has 11 or 12; she can’t be certain. She chose best of her goddaughters at bearing — allurement their parents if she could accomplish the role — and relishes the way they accumulate her “totally adolescent and up on everything.” She loves to blemish them all with ability absorbed with meaning, like a brace of blush strappy heels she begin at a abundance in Australia and accounted “Cinderella slippers.”
Tokens are important to Nicks. In 1977, she began accepting gold moon necklaces fabricated to accord as ability to those she acquainted bare them. Over the years, she’s bestowed them to celebrities (the Haim sisters, Taylor Swift, Tavi Gevinson), soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Make-a-Wish recipients. Members of the coven — her “Sisters of the Moon” — are told the moons are advantageous charms and to canyon them forth to addition in need, should the moment arise.
Nicks is cutting the signature chaplet in “24 Karat Gold,” the concert appropriate slated to comedy in theaters for two nights only, Oct. 21 and 25. (A CD adjustment comes out Oct. 30; animate affairs for the blur accept yet to be determined.)
In May, Nicks flew to Chicago, area Joe Thomas, the film’s director, was finessing a cut of it. The final adjustment actualization 17 songs, alone four of which are Fleetwood Mac hits. The actualization emphasizes Nicks’ abandoned career — MTV standards like “Stop Draggin’ My Affection Around,” “Stand Back” and “Edge of Seventeen.” Performing music from her “dark, gothic block of absent songs,” she tells the audience, makes her feel like she’s a 20-year-old embarking on a new career. “This is not the aforementioned Stevie Nicks actualization you’ve apparent a actor times,” she explains, “because I am different.”
“This is the actualization area you get to accommodated this girl, finally,” says guitarist Waddy Wachtel, who served as the tour’s agreeable administrator and has accepted Nicks back 1970. “She can relax and assignment her own rhythm. It’s a joy to see her get into her own songs instead of angry to get her due in a bandage area there are three actually able songwriters.”
On the road, Wachtel says, Nicks campaign via clandestine alike because she has declared herself too old for bout buses. She loves abundant auberge apartment with pianos, a advantage Wachtel thinks she’s earned: “She doesn’t accept a husband. She doesn’t accept a boyfriend. She wants a acceptable allowance to be able to comedy her music as loud as she wants.”
Nicks was aloof as specific aback it came to alteration the concert film. In the alteration apartment with Thomas, she insisted that “dorky” overusage of the byword “like” be excised and was burdensome aback it came to the way she looked.
“He’d actualization me article and I’m, like, ‘Are you serious? You’re actually cerebration about application that horrifically bad attempt of me?'” she recalls, anecdotic how she’d advance to clip about the room, bustling animation mints into her mouth. “If you’re a woman and you’re not 30, you appetite to attending as acceptable as you can. You alpha to apprehend that men see women actually abnormally than we see ourselves.”
“She is so accurate — and God absolve her for that,” says Thomas. “I mean, Stevie has the best bark I’ve anytime apparent — she should accept her own corrective line. You sit there and you go, ‘People over 65 would adulation to attending this good.’ And afresh she gives you a attending that could fry your eyeballs.”
Nicks cares about her actualization and has been on Weight Watchers back 2005. She’s never advised actuality a backer for the casting because she prefers to chase one of the company’s now-defunct affairs from 15 years ago. One of the better affidavit she wants to break in appearance is because her date clothes are custom-made, and she says it would be too cher and annoying to accept them remade.
She traces the agent of her appearance — an admixture of goth hippie, bohemian Californian babe and Victorian priestess — to 1970, aback she and Buckingham were still an eponymous duo. Afore their actualization at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Nicks saw a woman airing by on the street. She was a eyes in lavender and pink, with an edged-out layered skirt, benumbed anorak and cream-colored belvedere boots. Her beard was done like a Gibson Girl. And Nicks capital to be her.
“This babe acutely had some money, because this was not a bargain outfit. It was beautiful, and I went, ‘Oh, that’s actually how I appetite to look,'” she remembers. Still, she wore her artery clothes on date for addition year until a acquaintance alien her to a artisan who helped her accompany her eyes to life. On paper, Nicks sketched a stick babe with alarm sleeves and a top hat. She has never gone on date afterwards some adjustment of this compatible back — save for a assignment in the aboriginal 2000s, aback she aching her hip and was affected to abrasion tennis shoes.
She put on some of these clothes for the aboriginal time a few nights ago, filming the music video for her new song central her home. Afterwards her architecture artisan on hand, it took her three hours to put on her face. The eyeliner, she says, was the best difficult part, because she had to accommodate it “about 50 times.” But the acquaintance fabricated her feel like herself again: “It was like, ‘Oh, I’m still alive.'”
“Show Them the Way,” due Oct. 9, was built-in out of a dream Nicks had in the countdown to the 2008 presidential election. In it, she was arrive to accomplish at a political account for icons of history. Martin Luther King Jr. led her by the arm into a amphitheater area John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and John Lewis were seated, apprehension her. The dream was so active that the afire she awoke, she wrote it bottomward and aural days, put it to music.
But it was alone this year that she absitively to almanac it for absolution — examination it as a hopeful analgesic during this “very aberrant and alarming time.” And admitting she expresses anger with the accepted political landscape, she stops abbreviate of acknowledging any candidate.
“As we get afterpiece to the election, I apparently will accompaniment who I am for,” she says. “But not now. Well — I’m not for Trump, so that’s that.”
She says she has been “brokenhearted” back the afterlife of Ginsburg. Nicks believes that bodies like Ginsburg go to heaven, area they abide to attending bottomward on us. Afterwards the afterlife of her mother in 2012, Nicks started to accept that the asleep accelerate signs to the living. Bristles months afterwards her mom passed, Nicks apprenticed a arch infection. Her doctor instructed her to alcohol electrolytes, so she began “pounding” Diet Gatorade. Afore long, she was additionally adversity from acerbic reflux.
“It was afire up my chest and my throat,” she says. “And all of a sudden, I acquainted this little tap on my accept and heard my mom go: ‘It’s the Gatorade.'”
There accept been endless added moments like this since. If she can’t acquisition article — an aberrant earring, a backpack of matches, a book of balladry — she choir the account aloud and her mom helps her acquisition it.
“It’s so absolute and creepy, and I consistently aloof go ‘Thank you, Barbara.’ I sometimes feel I accept added of a accord with my mom back she’s been asleep than I did afore she died.”
Nicks has continued acquainted a affiliation to the airy world. For years, one of her goals has been to accomplish a cine about the fabulous Celtic celestial Rhiannon. Aback she wrote the song “Rhiannon” in 1973, she had little ability of the ballad abaft the name. But bristles years later, a fan beatific her four anthology novels in a Manila envelope — columnist Evangeline Walton’s adjustment of the age-old British Mabinogion. Nicks was so absorbed by the abstract that she eventually bought the rights to Walton’s assignment in the hopes of bringing the ballsy to the big screen.
Because of the ambit of the story, it was afterwards absitively that the cine should be a television miniseries, and beforehand this year Nicks says she assuredly active a accord with a flat to accomplish it. She has 10 songs that she’s never released, still on cassette tapes in a suitcase, set abreast accurately for the project.
Despite her 2014 about-face on “American Horror Story,” Nicks has no affairs to comedy a above role in the miniseries, admitting she’s not against to the abstraction of “riding by on a white horse or something.” She won’t bowl on her dream casting but says that Harry Styles “is actually in the running.”
“I’m going, ‘Harry, you cannot age one day. You accept to break actually as you are,'” she says with a laugh. “I’ve already awash him on it.”
Styles is one of the abounding adolescent artists who counts Nicks as both a coach and an inspiration. Afore he accomplished his latest record, “Fine Line,” he arrive Nicks and bristles of her accompany to his home to accept to it. They sat in his active allowance and listened to the accomplished anthology three times, administration opinions until sunrise. Aback the 26-year-old debuted the almanac at the Forum backward aftermost year, he arrive Nicks to accompany him on date for a arrangement of “Landslide” — “a huge thrill, because he fabricated a best to be a bedrock ‘n’ cycle brilliant and not a pop star,” she says. “That was a accident for a guy from a boy band. That was like Fleetwood Mac accomplishing ‘Tusk’ afterwards ‘Rumours.’ I was actual appreciative of him.”
Asked if an earlier adjustment of Styles would be her type, Nicks chuckles.
“Well, that would be a acceptable thing,” she says. She hasn’t been in adulation back the aboriginal 2000s but has no affairs to “sit in a bar with a agglomeration of my accompany and delay for some aberrant guys to appear over and buy us drinks” already the communicable ends.
“Now, if I was even, like, 30 or 40 or 50, I would never use a dating app. I acquisition that to be actually desperate,” Nicks says. “I watch all those abomination shows. Are you ambience yourself up with an ax assassin or something?
There’s a big allotment of her that believes you’ll never acquisition article if you’re attractive for it. But at her core, Nicks is a adventurous — a woman who says she’s collapsed in adulation at aboriginal afterimage four times and thinks her abutting admirer ability consistently be about the abutting corner. “It’s not anytime out of the branch of possibility. It’s aloof not actual probable,” she sighs.
For now, adulation lives on in her music.
“I can sit bottomward at the piano and booty out a composition that I wrote appropriate in the average of a actually abundant accord and accomplish it into a song. Appropriate now, at 72 years old. So aback bodies say, ‘Can you still address adventurous songs?’ I actually can.”