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A Magical Life (Stevie Australian Interview) < Stevie Nicks < Main Page

A Magical Life (Stevie Australian Interview)
Penguin

The Age.com.au:

By Guy Blackman

One of the many rumours that have trailed along behind Stevie Nicks since she joined an ailing Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and helped to turn them into one of the most successful bands in pop history, is that she is some kind of witch. Some rather credulous people believe her lyrics in songs such as Rhiannon, Gold Dust Woman and even the recent Sorcerer reference a demi-monde of white magic and wiccan ritual. As further evidence they point to her music publishing company, Welsh Witch Music, an allusion to both the song Rhiannon and the Celtic lunar goddess who inspired it.

Perhaps during the heady years of the 1970s and '80s - a time when, as Nicks has admitted, she took so much cocaine that "you could put a big gold ring through my septum" - the singer's lifestyle was wild and magical enough for these kind of rumours to flourish. But now, at the age of 57, Nicks is as far from witchy as you can imagine, and no longer willing to humour such romantic delusions.

"I've become very neat in my older age," Nicks says in her famous husky drawl. The living room in her Los Angeles mansion is all red velvet and hanging palms, she tells me, with a crystal ball on her coffee table and elegant candles on her grand piano. But there is an edge to all this orderliness that is almost compulsive. "I used to be a lot crazier, but now I really want everything to be beautiful, and it makes me nervous when things aren't," she says. "I'll get up and straighten up everything if I have to, even in a hotel room."

That revelation offers a little glimpse of the interior life of Stevie Nicks, but with her solo recording career now a fading memory and the recent Fleetwood Mac reunion a creative disappointment, it seems there's nothing to stop her speaking her mind. So she dismisses the mysticism in her songwriting, arguably the very trait that has earned her millions of fans worldwide, by reducing it to an act of calculation. "I write in codes, because I want my songs to appeal to everyone," she says. "From the beginning, I've had fans that are 20, 30 years older, so those people are now like 102, or dead! The first bright idea for a lyric comes, and then I go back and I say, 'Well, that line is really too heavy, I'm going to take that out, because that line might turn off one generation'. I'm very careful to cover all bases."

Can it really be the case that, beneath the gauzy gold-dust image, the real Stevie Nicks is so careful, pragmatic and razor-sharp? It's worth remembering that in 1973, when her pre-Fleetwood album with boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham stiffed, it was Nicks who worked menial jobs to pay the rent and to keep their dreams alive, each night stepping over the passed-out bodies of Buckingham and his muso buddies as she returned home from waiting tables or cleaning houses. In other words, Nicks is a woman who has always known what she wants and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it.

 

 


Date: 2006-02-12         Number of views: 1862

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