The world is not short of rock goddesses. You’ve Joan Jett, Grace Slick, Patti Smith, Beth Ditto and Karen O for starters, but Stevie Nicks stands head and shoulders above them all. Well, not literally, seeing as she’s only 5’1”, but you catch my drift. An unparalleled songwriter, and the only woman left in Fleetwood Mac since the 1998 departure of Christine McVie, she has also proven her rock chops by Hoovering up enough drugs to shame Jim Morrison – she’s admitted to spending “millions” on cocaine – and diving headfirst into music’s barmy auntie dressing up box. When Fleetwood Mac’s 2013 tour rolls around, we’ll certainly be checking out Lindsay Buckingham’s licks and Mick Fleetwood’s drum rolls, but for the most part, all eyes will be on Stevie. Here’s why:
Rock’n’roll and fashion go hand in hand, and anyone who doesn’t think so should bugger off, buy some Crocs and listen to Nickelback. Stevie Nicks singlehandedly created a style sub-genre all of her very own, otherwise known as the unicorn-catching Victorian princess look. Topshop and Florence Welch are still ripping it off to this day.
When it was first rumoured that Lindsay Lohan would be playing Stevie in a film of her life, she sassed back: “Over my dead body. She needs to stop doing drugs and get a grip. Then maybe we’ll talk.”
One of the most gorgeous, heartbreaking three minutes ever committed to vinyl. Stevie Nicks wrote it.
It’s not all downbeat doomed romance with Stevie. She also penned this AOR funk gem, which can be found amidst the cocaine blizzard of ‘Tusk’.
It takes a lot to not look like a prat whilst performing in front of a wind machine. Yet during this performance of ‘Sara’ Stevie seems like she’s calmly being buffeted by a soft beachside breeze in Malibu. Mega skills.
During Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ tour, Stevie’s low-key rider request was for every hotel room she stayed in to be painted pink. Oh and to also house a white piano. Puts Mariah Carey and her kittens to shame, doesn’t it?
One of the best gigs I have ever been to was Fleetwood Mac at Wembley Arena in 2009, and not just because I touched Lindsay Buckingham’s shoes (true story). Here I got to witness first hand Stevie’s failsafe ‘spinning around on the spot and not getting dizzy’ dance move. Comes in a variety of shawls.
Beyonce owes at least 37% of her fabulousness to Stevie Nicks, having sampled her 1981 solo single ‘Edge of Seventeen’ for Destiny’s Child’s 2001 smash hit ‘Bootylicious’.
Before they joined Fleetwood Mac – turning the band into a transatlantic soft rock colossus – Stevie Nicks and then partner Lindsay Buckingham recorded together as the mighty Buckingham Nicks. Their only album still hasn’t been released on CD, but Stevie says 2013 might see a 40th anniversary outing for the LP.
Stevie and Lindsay’s first band, Fritz, opened for Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Which is, we think you’ll agree, a huge, massive, gigantic deal. Talk about learning from the masters.
Wild Heart Backstage
This belting backstage version of ‘Wild Heart’ pretty much sums up everything that is sublime about Stevie – from her powerhouse vocals to that cheeky, trouble-making glint in the eye.
Stevie and Lindsay sang back-up vocals on one of the greatest albums of the 1970s, Warren Zevon’s self-titled 1976 margarita-fuelled homage to Hollywood. Go buy it now if you don’t have it already. You won’t be sorry.
Stevie ain’t too proud to bust out a stonking cover version every now and then. Here’s her husky take on her old chum Tom Petty’s ‘Free Fallin’’.
Listen to the best of Stevie Nicks in the Spotify playlist below: