Arizona Daily Star Nicks Interview July 2003
HEADLINE: Success in the stars for reunited '70s band
BYLINE: Cathalena E. Burch, ARIZONA DAILY STAR
Stevie Nicks looks out on the stage every night and sees her past collide with the here and now.
She is, in many ways, right back where she started 30 years ago: sharing the spotlight and her energies with her lifetime musical partner Lindsey Buckingham and the band that made them superstars, Fleetwood Mac.
Destiny has brought her back to this place just as it delivered her and Buckingham to Fleetwood Mac in 1975.
"What a long, strange trip it's been to come all the way back to doing what it is that we moved to Los Angeles to do in the first place," the Phoenix native says, her voice a thick, smoky baritone.
"If there is destiny - which I absolutely believe there is - it just took us a couple of years to really remember that."
Sixteen years after Fleetwood Mac called it quits, the band - Nicks, Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie - are back together promoting their first studio album since 1987. Pianist and vocalist Christine McVie bowed out of the latest reunion, which comes on the heels of 1997's "The Dance" live album and tour. Christine McVie cut that tour short when she announced her retirement and moved to her native England.
McVie delivered the announcement like a punch in the gut, knocking the wind out of her ex-hubby and band mates all hopeful that they could reignite the energy that made them household names in the late 1970s.
"We did everything we could do to talk her out of it. . . . It was horrifying to all of us because the ball was rolling and it was a big, fabulous thing," Nicks said Tuesday from her suite in the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles. "It was like, so now what?"
McVie's departure was one more episode in the band's ongoing rock 'n' roll soap opera, peppered with the requisite sex, drugs and, of course, rock 'n' roll.
Though formed in England years earlier, Fleetwood Mac didn't realize true success until Nicks and Buckingham joined in 1975. The duo had just released a self-titled debut album and were busy crafting a pop-folk career when they came to the attention of Fleetwood.
At first, Nicks was convinced Fleetwood wanted only Buckingham; he already had a female singer in pianist-songwriter McVie.
"But they said, 'We want you both.' It's amazing that it started in the first place. It could have gone so many ways," Nicks recalls.
The new lineup was a success from the start, largely because of its newest members. The band's eponymous 1975 album, infused with a winsome rock, pop and blues blend, spun off the Top 20 hits "Over My Head," "Say You Love Me," "Landslide" and the bewitching"Rhiannon," which would later become Nicks' signature song.
The album went to No. 1 on the charts and sold 5 million copies - but that was nothing compared with what was coming.
The band turned its heartache and turmoil - the McVies divorced, Buckingham and Nicks split, and Fleetwood separated from his wife - into a soundtrack for the late 1970s with 1977's "Rumors." The album sold 14 million copies and continues to sell today.
Ten years and several albums later, Fleetwood Mac disbanded. While Fleetwood and Buckingham had little success in their solo pursuits, Nicks became a rock superstar, scoring platinum albums, sold-out tours and Top 10 hits.
In early 2002, Nicks, Buckingham, Fleetwood and John McVie went into the studio to give Fleetwood Mac one more go. Over the next year, the band recorded "Say You Will," which includes nine songs written by Nicks (including the title song) and nine written by Buckingham.
Stepping into the studio created the same angst, emotion and frustrations, sparking new tensions and creating more drama.
"Was there drama? Yes, there was," Nicks says without apology. "Were there screaming matches? Absolutely. Were there disagreements? Every other day.
"It was very difficult. But on the other side of the difficult, it was incredibly loving and incredibly sweet. There were times when Lindsey and I would just sit and talk for hours. I think that finally Lindsey and I have forgiven each other for all the grief that we caused each other. We are probably for the first time in our entire relationship . . . starting to be very good friends."
Nicks says she hopes the album continues to sell well - two months after its April release, "Say You Will" had sold 500,000 copies. The band has been on the road since May, performing sold-out shows in almost every city; it comes to Phoenix's America West Arena Monday for an Arizona Heart Foundation benefit concert.
With Christine McVie's absence, Nicks and Buckingham are right back in the spotlight as they were long before they joined Fleetwood Mac.
"I'm hoping this album will take us through the next year," Nicks said.
"The concerts are totally selling out everywhere we've gone. . . . You just can't help but go: 'Oh my God. This is just amazing,' " Nicks almost gushes. "When that's over, we'll sit down and we'll decide if Fleetwood Mac will do another record."
Nicks will also decide where she'll go for the second half of her life. Her plans are endless: more recordings, children's books and an autobiography are all on her to-do list.
"As much as I love what I'm doing now, I know that the greatest things I will do are coming," she says with the confidence earned by years of making her dreams come true. "And that makes me wake up every day with a little bit of an excitement feeling in my stomach, because I know that something is coming."
Fleetwood Mac inconcert
When: 7 p.m. Monday
Where: America West Arena, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
Cost: $127.50, $87.50 and $49.50 through Ticketmaster, 321-1000
Et cetera: Proceeds benefit the Arizona Heart Foundation.
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