Mystical Music: Stevie Nicks

One of the “rules” of growing up is to leave behind childhood fantasies of spirits, fairy princesses and the like — unless you build a career on mystical appeal, as has singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks.

Throughout her 15-year career, Nicks, 35, has held on to the fantasies of her youth and made them part of her music. She’ll share those fairy tales with South Florida Saturday at the Hollywood Sportatorium, a stop on her current U.S. tour with singer-guitarist Joe Walsh.

After “Rhiannon,” her first hit composition as a member of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks was nicknamed the “Welsh Witch” after the character in the song. On the cover of her first solo album, Bella Donna, she is surrounded by mystical objects — a tambourine, a crystal ball. On her new album, The Wild Heart, she is draped in a velvet cape, her hands folded in the gesture of a sorceress casting a spell. In interviews, she speaks of dreams and visions that have guided her career and life.

“I love the mysterious, the fantastic,” Nicks told Rolling Stone magazine. “I like to look at things otherworldly and say, ‘I wonder what goes on there?’ I think I was a monk in another life…”

After four years of writing music and recording demonstration tapes with then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, the couple was accepted without audition as members of the already successful Fleetwood Mac in 1974. Within three months, the new Mac was on the road with Nicks as its “front man,” a gravelly voiced petite blond in lacy dresses.

Three Fleetwood Mac albums released from 1975 to 1979 contained hit Nicks compositions — “Rhiannon,” “Dreams” and “Sara.” But being part of a group made Nicks wary of losing her identity, so in 1981 she released her first solo album, Bella Donna, which sold 3 million copies and is still on Billboard’s Top LP chart after 116 weeks.

“The album was my finding out if I could still do something on my own,” Nicks said. “You start to doubt yourself after seven years with Fleetwood Mac…”

After the release of Bella Donna and a duet with Tom Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Nicks embarked on her first solo tour, of the Southwestern United States. Her second successful solo album, The Wild Heart, was released four months ago. Two songs from the new album have become hits — “Stand Back” and “If Anyone Falls.”

Nicks’ life indeed reads like a fairy tale — with a new husband, a self-designed dream house in the hills near Los Angeles, her first extensive American solo tour and, of course, the popularity of her music, which she calls the mirror of her “wild heart.”

STEVIE NICKS and JOE WALSH perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Sportatorium, Hollywood. Tickets are $13.75 plus $1 service charge at BASS outlets. Call 653-0450, 428-0917.

Linda R. Thornton / The Miami Herald / November 4, 1983

New Release

Stevie Nicks, Stand Back 1981-2017, compilation

RSS Fleetwood Mac

  • Mick Fleetwood announces Peter Green tribute Monday, November 11, 2019
    Mick Fleetwood announces concert to honor Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac Mick Fleetwood will host a one-of-a-kind concert honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and its co-founder Peter Green on February 25th at the London Palladium. Fleetwood has enlisted an all-star cast of musicians to perform, including Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, […]
  • George and Ryan react to ‘Dreams’ Friday, November 1, 2019
    On Friday, George and Ryan, hosts of the popular YouTube channel Lost in Vegas, reacted to Fleetwood Mac’s No. 1 single “Dreams” from Rumours. The pair have reacted to hundreds of songs — everything from metal to country to classic rock — sharing their first impressions with fun banter and insightful commentary. For their take […]
  • Fleetwood Mac kicks off North American fall tour in Boston Tuesday, October 29, 2019
    Fleetwood Mac began the final portion of a world tour that started over a year ago last night at the TD Garden in Boston. The show was previously supposed to take place in April but was postponed due to Stevie Nicks‘ battle with the flu. Monday’s concert featured a bevy of the group’s greatest hits […]