Q. What is Stevie’s real name?
A. Stevie’s full name is Stephanie Lynn Nicks. Stevie is a nickname that dates back to her early childhood when she had trouble pronouncing her name.
Q. Where was Stevie born?
A. Stevie was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, on May 26, 1948.
Q. Where did Stevie grow up?
A. Because of Stevie’s father’s frequent job promotions, the family relocated often when she was a child. The family lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Arcadia, California; Palo Alto, California; and Chicago, Illinois (leaving Stevie behind in California to attend school and pursue music). Stevie alludes to the frequent relocations in the song “Candlebright” from her 2001 album Trouble in Shangri-La:
Well, you know me, I’m a nomad
I can’t feel bad about the way I am
I’ve been rolling around my whole life
You’re my candlebright in the window
Q. Where did Stevie go to school?
A. Though raised Episcopalian, Stevie attended Catholic schools as a child. As a teenager, she attended Arcadia High School in Arcadia, California, for her sophomore and junior years (1964-1965). In the middle of her junior year, she transferred to Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California, where she graduated the following year. She took classes at Cañada College, a community college in Redwood City, California, and later majored in speech communication and minored in psychology at San Jose State College (University). Stevie has mentioned that she would have become a teacher if she didn’t succeed in the music business.
Although she did not graduate from Arcadia High School, Stevie attended the Class of 1966’s 40th reunion at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena, California on October 7, 2006.
Q. Where does Stevie live now?
A. Stevie currently resides in Santa Monica, California.
Q. Who are Stevie’s family members?
A. Stevie’s parents were Jess Seth Nicks and Barbara Meeks Nicks. Jess, 80, died on August 10, 2005 and Barbara, 84, died on December 28, 2012. She has one younger brother, Christopher, who married and later divorced Stevie’s backup singer Lori Nicks. They had one child, Jessica James Nicks, Stevie’s niece. You can read more about Stevie’s family history at Genealogy Magazine.
Q. Who is Stevie’s godson, the one that inspired the song “You Can’t Fix This”?
A. Stevie’s godson was Glen B. Parrish, Jr., the son of Stevie’s former manager Glen Parrish, Sr. The younger Parrish died on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at a UCLA fraternity party, allegedly from alcohol poisoning and prescription medication abuse.
Q. Who is Stevie’s best friend?
A. Stevie has specifically mentioned Lori Nicks, Sara Fleetwood, and the late Robin Snyder Anderson to be her best friends, but Stevie has many close friends.
Q. How tall is Stevie?
A. Stevie is 5 feet, 1 inch.
Q. What hand does Stevie write with?
A. Stevie writes with her right hand.
Q. Who is Stevie’s assistant?
A. Karen Johnston has been Stevie’s loyal personal assistant since 1990. Johnston took care of Stevie’s former Phoenix home for many years. Prior to then, Ginny “The Fan Mail Lady” Kamano assisted Stevie for many years. Johnston’s sister Kelly co-wrote the Fleetwood Mac song “No Questions Asked.”
Q. How does Stevie maintain her youthful looks?
A. Stevie credits staying out of the sun and using sunscreen and Creme de la Mer face cream products to protect her skin. She also exercises regularly by doing Pilates and running on the treadmill.
Q. Does Stevie smoke cigarettes?
A. No, not anymore. She started smoking Cools cigarettes in 1984 during the recording of her third solo album Rock a Little. She quit smoking cigarettes altogether on January 1, 1997 just before the recording of Fleetwood Mac’s The Dance (1997).
Q. Does Stevie use drugs?
A. In 1982, Stevie started to realize that using cocaine had become a serious problem. She put herself in a “self-imposed rehab” for two weeks, but the demands of an intensive three-day video shoot for “Gypsy” caused her to relapse into taking “a little bit of coke.”
In 1986, Stevie saw a plastic surgeon to examine the condition of her nose. She had been using aspirin dissolved in water to treat terrible headaches (from cocaine use), but the aspirin’s acidity burned a hole through cartilage in her nose, with the potential to cause a brain hemorrhage. Stevie has described the hole as being so large that a belt could pass through it.
But it was an intervention from Stevie’s parents that ultimately convinced her to seek professional help. In the spring of 1987, Stevie entered a 30-day program at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, to treat a decade-addiction to cocaine. Although she recovered, the damage to her nose caused noticeable changes to her singing voice.
In December 1993, she entered a 47-day program at the Daniel Freeman Rehabilitation Center in Marina Del Ray, California, to treat a powerful addiction to the tranquilizer Klonopin and the antidepressant Prozac, which a doctor had unnecessarily prescribed for her. She has not used either drug since.
In 2015, Stevie revealed in a Rolling Stone interview that she occasionally smokes pot when she’s writing songs.
Q. Does Stevie wear glasses?
A. Stevie wears glasses primarily for reading. In the mid-1990s, she had a procedure to correct severe near-sightedness.
Q. Has Stevie ever had any cosmetic surgery done?
A. In 1976, Stevie had her breasts augmented with silicone implants. But she had the implants removed and her breasts reconstructed in 1994 when she had learned that the implants had broken. She had also been diagnosed with Epstein-Barr Syndrome, a debilitating illness which causes extreme fatigue. The toxicity from the leaking silicone may have been a contributing factor.
In 2003, Stevie experimented with Botox injections 10 days before the recording of Fleetwood Mac Live in Boston. Unfortunately, she was extremely disappointed with the results of the procedure, calling it “an ugly thing.”
Q. Who was Stevie’s first boyfriend?
Stevie’s first real boyfriend was David Young. She met him while attending Menlo-Atherton High School in Northern California, during the late 1960s. She often dedicates “Landslide” to Young when she performs in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he still lives.
Q. Who are Stevie’s great loves?
A. Stevie has said that Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Joe Walsh are the great loves of her life. She has written many songs about all three men.
Q. Has Stevie ever been married?
A. Yes, once. Stevie married Kim Anderson in 1983, but the marriage only lasted three months. They did not have children. Anderson had one child, Matthew, with the late Robin Snyder, who died of leukemia in 1982. Stevie remains good friends with both Kim and Matthew Anderson. Stevie considers Matthew to be her stepson.
Q. Does Stevie have any children.
A. No. Because of her career, Stevie has chosen not to have children. In the early 1990s, she briefly considered adopting a child but changed her mind after realizing that the demands of her life would not be compatible with raising a child. However, because of Stevie’s caring, maternal nature, many of her close friends have entrusted her to be the godmother of their children. She also considers Matthew Anderson, the son of her ex-husband Kim Anderson and late best friend Robin Snyder, to be her step-son.
Q. Does Stevie have any pets?
A. Yes. Stevie loves animals and has owned many cats and dogs over the years. Stevie currently has a Chinese Crested Yorkshire Terrier mix named Sulamith Wülfing. She was born in 1998.
Q. What does Stevie do in her spare time?
A. Stevie enjoys drawing, painting, crocheting, reading, writing in her journal, listening to music, traveling to places near the ocean, and watching daytime soap operas. She also visits recovering soldiers at military hospitals in Washington, D.C.
Q. Does Stevie drive?
A. Stevie drove cars in the past, but does not drive today. In 2014, during Fleetwood Mac’s On With The Show Tour, Stevie mentioned that she used to drive a “cherry red Corvair.”
Q. Who are some of Stevie’s favorite authors?
A. Stevie has drawn tremendous inspiration from classic literary works. Some of her favorite authors are Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde, Charles Dickens, Taylor Caldwell, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Keats, and Walt Whitman. Stevie has alluded to their works in many of her songs, such as “Rooms on Fire” (Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray), “Kick It” (Wilde’s The Happy Prince), “Running Through the Garden” (Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter), and, most recently, “Annabel Lee” (Poe’s 1849 poem set to music).
Q. What kind of music does Stevie like?
A. Stevie enjoys music from many different eras and genres. As a teenager and young adult, she was especially fond of the bands that emerged from the mid-1960s psychedelic rock scene. Artists from that time included Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, and Santana, among others. She also listens to R&B, rockabilly, and dance music. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers is her favorite rock band.
Q. Has Stevie ever published a book about her life?
A. No, but Stevie has kept personal journals for most of her life. In the mid-1980s, she considered releasing a book called The Wild Heart, a chronicle of that album’s recording sessions. In a 1986 interview, she said the following about the project:
“The book is called The Wild Heart. The book is really…we call it ‘The Book.’ It’s a lot of poetry, it’s some journalistic stuff, it’s a lot of the actual nights of recording of The Wild Heart and the experiences that happened during that 2-3 year period. There are some things from my Fleetwood Mac stash of 10 years of writing. That part of it, the real essence of that, isn’t in this book because that’s a book in and of itself. It’s my life, and it’s very honest. The names have been changed, but it’s very honest.”
For unknown reasons, the book was never published. Stevie has since changed her mind about publishing a book about her life to protect the privacy of the people who are close to her.
Q. Why does Stevie twirl on stage?
A. Stevie enjoys ballet and dance. She once wanted to be a ballerina but focused on rock and roll instead.
Q. What kind of bird is on the cover of Bella Donna?
A. The bird featured on the cover Bella Donna is a cockatoo named Maxwellington.
Q. What is Stevie’s art background?
A. Stevie is a self-taught artist and has no formal training in art. She started to draw angels when her best friend Robin Anderson was stricken with leukemia in 1982. Stevie’s art is significantly influenced by German artist Sulamith Wülfing, whose works feature depiction of angels.
Q. What is the song “Sara” about?
A.“Sara” is mainly about Stevie’s three-month affair with Mick Fleetwood in 1978. The first half of the song is about their romance. The lyric “and he was just like a great dark wing within the wings of a storm” specifically refers to him.
But, like many of Stevie’s songs, “Sara” alludes to different things, such as her relationship with Eagles drummer Don Henley; the lyric “when you build your house, call me” is about Henley. For many years, it was rumored that she had become pregnant with Henley’s child. In 2014, she finally confirmed the pregnancy to Billboard Magazine:
“Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara. But there was another woman in my life named Sara, who shortly after that became Mick’s wife, Sara Fleetwood.”
Some fans believe that the lyric “there’s a heartbeat and it never really died” refers to Stevie and Don’s unborn child. Another related song is “Goodbye Baby,” which Stevie wrote around the same time. (“Goodbye Baby” is known as “The Tower” among demo collectors.)
In 2015, Stevie confirmed in the liner notes of the Tusk reissue that Sara, indeed, was her best friend Sara Fleetwood, who assisted her during the recording of the song.
“My friend Sara was there when I wrote it. She kept the coffee going and kept the cassettes coming and made sure we didn’t run out of batteries, and it was a long, long night recording that demo. She was a great songwriter helper. Sara was the poet in my heart. She likes to think it was all written about her, but it really wasn’t. She’s in there, for sure, but it’s written about a lot of other things, too.”
During this period, Stevie was also romantically linked to Eagles songwriter J.D. Souther. Further in the Tusk liner notes, she revealed the following:
“Mick was the “great dark wing within the wings of a storm,” but when I was going with Mick I was hanging out with J.D. Souther and he kept saying, ‘You do know this relationship with Mick is never going to work, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘Well, when I get out of it, I’ll let you know.” And so there’s bits and pieces of him there talking to me.”
Q. Who is “Rhiannon”?
Rhiannon is a character in the 1973 science fiction novel Triad by Mary Leader. Enamored by the name, Stevie wrote the song that became the classic “Rhiannon.” Years later, Stevie learned that Rhiannon was a Welsh deity in Celtic mythology. The striking similarities between the song “Rhiannon” and Rhiannon of the Welsh stories inspired Stevie to write several more songs about Rhiannon, the Welsh horse goddess. Most of these songs remain unreleased.
“[Rhiannon] sounded so free, with personality traits of my own, about a woman who is into her own trip.” (Scottsdale Daily Progress, 8/19/1977)
Q. What is the song “Gypsy” about?
“Gypsy” is mainly about Stevie’s time living in the San Francisco Bay Area during the late 1960s. The first verse of the song specifically refers to her experience of visiting a San Francisco store called The Velvet Underground, where all the female rock stars of the time allegedly shopped. The store, located in the Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco, no longer exists.
Although Stevie first began recording “Gypsy” in 1980 (for Bella Donna), she has since associated the lyrics “Lightning strikes maybe once maybe twice” and “I still see your bright eyes” to her late best friend Robin Anderson, who died of leukemia in 1982. Stevie reflected on Robin’s death in the song “Nightbird” from Stevie’s 1983 album The Wild Heart.
Q. Who is that man that always danced with Stevie in her music videos?
That man is dancer, choreographer, and actor Brad Jeffries. He appeared in several of Stevie’s music videos, such as “Stand Back,” “If Anyone Falls,” “Talk to Me, “I Can’t Wait,” and “Rooms on Fire”. He is best known for dancing with Stevie during the instrumental solo of “Stand Back” at shows on The Wild Heart and Rock a Little tours. During the ’80s and ’90, Jeffries worked mainly as a film and stage choreographer.
Q. Is it true that Stevie Nicks was going to be the original singer of Blondie’s 1979 hit “Call Me?”
Yes. Italian producer Giorgio Moroder approached Stevie Nicks to song on a track he had originally titled “Man Machine.” But Stevie turned it down. He then asked Blondie singer Debbie Harry, who agreed to collaborate with him. Moroder had written some lyrics, but Harry ended up rewriting them. According to Blondie producer and bandmate Chris Stein, “Debbie’s lyrics are much more subtle than what [Giorgio] wrote. He was very direct like saying, “I am a man and I go out and I fuck all the girls.” Debbie’s lyrics are a lot more subtle, and the movie in a way is not that blatant.”
Source: Beat Punks: New York’s underground culture from the Beat Generation to the punk explosion (2016) by Victor Bockris
Q. Where can I find lyrics to Stevie’s songs?
The Nicks Fix, Stevie’s official web site, has an extensive collection of song lyrics. You can also perform a search on Google by typing Stevie’s name, her song title, and the word “lyrics” in the search box (e.g. Stevie Nicks Gold Dust Woman lyrics).
Q. Who are Stevie’s musical influences?
A. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix served as big musical influences when Stevie began performing professionally. In 2001, she told VH1 in an episode of VH1 FanClub that she adopted her vocal phrasing from Joni Mitchell, vocal prowess from Aretha Franklin, and elegant stage presence from Grace Slick.
Q. Does Stevie play any instruments?
A. Stevie knows how to play simple chords on the piano and guitar, which helps her with songwriting. She took guitar lessons for a short time many years ago, but she is largely self-taught in music.
Q. Is Buckingham Nicks available as an official CD release?
A. No. Stevie and Lindsey own the rights to the 1973 recording, but have decided not to reissue it on CD at this time. Only two tracks from the original Buckingham Nicks album are currently available on CD: “Long Distance Winner,” which appears on disc three of The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks (1998) and “Stephanie” from the promotional Words & Music: A Retrospective. Though out of print, both releases are available through independent online sellers.
Q. What is Stevie’s record label?
A. In 1980, Stevie founded Modern Records with record executives Danny Goldberg, Paul Fishkin, and Doug Morris, as a vehicle to launch her solo career. Modern operated under the label of Atco Records, a division of Atlantic Records. For overseas releases, Modern exclusively licensed Stevie’s recordings to EMI Records Limited, which operated worldwide. By the end of the ‘80s, Atco encountered serious financial problems and Atlantic took over operations. By 1991, Atlantic Records eventually consolidated operations, merging Atco Records with EastWest Records, another Atlantic subsidiary. Stevie ended her recording label relationship with Atlantic Records after the release of The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks in 1998. Stevie later signed with Warner Bros./Reprise Records.
Q. Who are Stevie’s backup singers?
A. Stevie’s current backup singers are Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks. Stevie’s past backup singers include Jana Anderson, George Black, Carolyn Brooks, Liza Jane Edwards, Sara Fleetwood, Lynne Mabrey, Marilyn Martin, Rick Nowels, Steve Real Vasquez, Chas Sandford, Mindy Stein, Sandy Stewart, Maria Vidal, and Elisecia Wright. Stephanie “Stevvi” Alexander is a new backup singer currently touring with Fleetwood Mac on its On With The Show Tour.
Q. Who is Stevie’s voice coach?
A. Steve Real Vasquez has been Stevie’s voice coach since 1997. He sings backup on Deep Dish featuring Stevie Nicks’ version of “Dreams,” which appears on Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks (2007). He also sang “Leather and Lace” with Stevie during the 2011 In Your Dreams tour. He is credited for showing her appropriate techniques to help preserve her voice, such as performing vocal exercises hours before a show.
Q. Who is Sandy Stewart?
A. Sandy Stewart is a singer-songwriter who has collaborated with Stevie on many songs, such as “If Anyone Falls,” “Nightbird,” and tracks from Stewart’s 1983 solo album Cat Dancer. Stewart also co-wrote the songs “Seven Wonders” from Tango in the Night and “Too Far From Texas” from Trouble in Shangri-La. Stewart’s role has been to provide instrumental tracks, to which Stevie can add her lyrics.
Q. Who is Michael Campbell?
A. Michael Campbell is a guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who he has frequently collaborated with Stevie. As with Sandy Stewart, Campbell’s role has been to provide instrumental tracks, to which Stevie can add her lyrics. “Whole Lotta Trouble,” “Freedom,” and “Blue Denim” are just a few examples of their collaborations.
Q. What does author Anne Rice think about the mention of her name in Stevie’s song “New Orleans.”
A. On May 9, 2011, Anne Rice responded on Facebook to the mention of her name in the song. She wrote, “I just got my first letter from a person who says he is trying my work thanks to the new Stevie Nicks song. I must say, I’m honoured by Stevie Nicks’ mention of me in that song. And hearing it makes me so homesick for New Orleans. So home sick for the oaks of uptown and the twilight sky over the Garden district, and the breeze off the river.”
Q. Who are Stevie’s fashion influences?
A. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Grace Slick served as both musical and style inspirations for Stevie’s look. She derived some of her gossamer style from ballet and dance.
Q. Who designs Stevie’s clothes?
A. Stevie has worked with Los Angeles designer Margi Kent for many years to balance style with comfort.
Q. Where does Stevie get her boots?
A. For her trademark platform boots, Stevie has worked on custom designs with Mardiros Vartanian, Maia Mazia, and the late Pasquale di Fabrizio.
Q. What is Stevie’s natural hair color?
A. Stevie is naturally a brunette.
Q. Where can I buy Stevie-inspired clothing?
A. For clothes in the style of Stevie Nicks, try searching on Etsy for handmade and vintage Stevie-Nicks-related items. For Stevie’s iconic gold triangle and crescent moon pendants, try Camias Jewelry Designs. Visit the Shop page for other Stevie-inspired items.
Q. Why does Stevie wear a tophat onstage?
A. The tophat is part of Stevie’s stage costume, which she usually dons when Fleetwood Mac performs “Go Your Own Way.” Stevie found her first tophat while antique shopping in Buffalo, New York, during the Rumours tour. She has also worn a variety of other hats throughout her career.
Q. What charities does Stevie support?
A. Stevie devotes much of her spare time to philanthropy, supporting many important causes. She has done significant work with the Arizona Heart Foundation, which her late father Jess Nicks also supported, and City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center in Duarte, California (near Los Angeles). In 2006, she founded the Stevie Nicks Soldier’s Angel Foundation, inspired by her many visits to military hospitals in Bethesda, Maryland.
She has also supported Big Brothers Big Sisters, Elevate Hope Foundation, GRAMMY Foundation, Music Rising, New York Restoration Project, ONE Campaign, Red Cross, Soles4Souls, Special Olympics, and United Service Organization, among many other charities and causes over the years.
Q. Is Stevie a witch?
A. No! The rumor probably originated from one or more of the following things: Stevie’s song “Rhiannon,” which she has described as being about a Welsh witch; Stevie’s past Halloween costumes as a witch; and Stevie’s preference to wear primarily black clothing onstage. Stevie has publicly stated many times that she is NOT A WITCH. During the early 1980s, Stevie stopped wearing black clothes for a short period of time because the rumor “scared” her.
Q. Is the rumour about Stevie paying someone to blow cocaine up a certain orifice true?
No! In 2001, Stevie emphatically denied the rumor, telling Q Magazine:
“You know, I heard that too. But of course that never, ever happened. That is an absurd statement. It’s not true. Maybe that nasty rumour came from the fact that people knew I had such a big hole in my nose, which of course didn’t stop me from doing cocaine one little bit.”
Q. Did cocaine use cause a hole to burn through Stevie’s nose?
Cocaine use may have been a contributing factor. But the actual hole was more likely caused by the acidity from aspirin. Stevie used a liquid solution of aspirin to treat severe headaches.
Q. Is Stevie gay?
A. No! Stevie is hetereosexual and dates men. The ambiguity of her songs lyrics (e.g. using the pronouns “she” and “her” in place of herself, and the names of female subjects, such as “Rhiannon,” “Sara,” and “Alice”) has led to this misconception.