Stevie’s Top 10 Shining Moments of 2007

(Listed in descending order for dramatic effect…drum roll please!)

10. Let’s make a deal here: Stevie sells somes houses (recurring).

In addition to prolific singer-songwriter, you can add real estate tycoon to Stevie’s varied resume, with multi-million dollar deals pending in Phoenix and Los Angeles this year.

 9. Walk gently through my shadow: Stevie mentors the girls of tomorrow.

According to the side of my Starbucks cup, it was Madeleine Albright—former secretary of state and ambassador to the UN—who once said “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” In full Rock Mama mode for a good chunk of the year, Stevie did her part to avoid that “special place” by giving a pep talk to funny girl musician Vanessa Carlton (providing harmony vocals on “The One”), a lecture to party tart Britney Spears (warning about the dangers of fame…too late!), and a reality-check to sometimes acting, sometimes singing, sometimes rehabbing Lindsay Lohan (squashing those silly Stevie biopic rumors). C’mon girls, do Stevie proud!

8. Stevie appears on the cover of Performing Songwriters (June).

It’s always special when Stevie makes the cover of a magazine at this late stage of her career. In this interview-style feature, Stevie reflects on the recording of her solo records, including the one where she was “slipping into darkness.” There’s still no love for Street Angel, which comes off like one bad haircut in this interview.

 7. Stand back! Stevie performs at Super Bowl XLI pregame show (February).

Randy Jackson from “American Idol” might have dismissed this performance as “pitchy” and “just a’ight.” Blame it on sound problems or Stevie being a little hoarse that day, but our gal still managed to get millions of TV viewers to tune in—not to mention the 150,000 hits she earned over at YouTube. Not too shabby for a less than stellar performance, which still received a loud ovation from the Bud-boozing tailgaters.

6. Stevie rocks at Ahmet Ertegun tribute (April).

Looking fabulous in hot black sequined pants, Stevie performed “Stand Back” and “Rock and Roll” before an all-star industry crowd—which included Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton and Crosby, Stills, and Nash—at this rocking memorial celebration for legendary Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. Hmm, maybe it was Stevie who inspired that Led Zeppelin reunion?

5. Stevie performs on The Ellen Show (April).

Clearly one of her the most animated TV performances in recent memory, Stevie got her sexy on by firing up an exciting performance of “Stand Back”—complete with trademark spinning, flying arms, and some fierce crouching tiger action. The kicks were mini-sized, but still hot hot hot.

Stevie returned to the stage later for the cool down, treating her adoring audience with a satisfying rendition, albeit cut short for TV land, of the classic “Landslide” (a.k.a. MegaMooolah)

4. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Running Down a Dream box set is released (October).

The true gold of this release (as only a biased Stevie Nicks fan could assert) is the September 2006 Gainesville, Florida, performance (included on one of the four discs), where Stevie provides guest vocals on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “I Need to Know,” “Insider,” and “American Girl.” Stevie has said in many interviews that she had the time of her life while touring with Petty and the gang—actually turning down the paycheck for the opportunity. And you thought we were hardcore Stevie fans. Stevie’s hardcore for Tom!

3. Crystal Visions…The Very Best of Stevie Nicks (March) / Soundstage taping (October)

For an artist whose concert tours far exceed her recording output, it’s mystifying that Stevie hasn’t released a live album by now. But Crystal Visions seemed to address this problem by showcasing five new live tracks (“Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “Rock and Roll,” “Edge of Seventeen,” and iTunes exclusive “Stand Back”) from 2005 and 2006.

Even more exciting was Stevie’s official taping of PBS Soundstage, the popular concert showcase series. “Sara,” “If Anyone Falls in Love,” and “How Still My Love” are some of the (relatively) rare favorites destined to reach DVD, which Soundstage has typically released following one of their broadcasts (fingers crossed).

2. Crystal Visions Tour (The Love Tour) (May)

We may never get a fresh new set list again. But who cares. Stevie still puts on a great show—sounding confident and commanding a stage presence that no other rock star today can match. It certainly helps to have a mesmerizing velvet spacesuit in your wardrobe case.

The tour begin in Concord, CA, on May 17 and ended in Atlantic City, NJ, on August 24. Hunky surfer funny guy Chris Isaak joined Stevie for part of the looooove tour.

1. Do it for yourself, do it for the world: Stevie was doing it all year long!

It’s no secret how charitable Stevie is, having supported important causes for most of her career. But more impressive, her good deeds often occur behind scenes with little fanfare. If fans weren’t so nosy (myself shameless included), we probably wouldn’t know the half of it. Whether she’s visiting the recovering soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Army, assisting the displaced people of hurricane-ravaged New Orleans, or inspiring a brave heart-transplant patient, Stevie has opened her heart to all of them this year. Sweet girl.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

CBS Sunday Morning News interview (March)

It was a fine interview and Stevie looked fantastic, but it was basically VH1 Behind the Music all over again.

Stand Back remixed (August)

Stevie had the club kids going gaga over these hot new dance mixes that ultimately raced up the dance charts and inspired a commercial CD single release.

Some Christmas coasters

Coasters courtesy of Brennan's Crafts
Coasters courtesy of Brennan’s Crafts

Electronic gadgets, hardcover books, and warm sweaters always make nice gifts around the holidays. But if you’re shopping for someone like me, who can be somewhat hard to please, your best bet would be to appeal to that person’s passion in life, like sports or traveling or…Stevie Nicks! So when my significant other found these super cool LP coasters, I was quite impressed. Pictured here are coasters for Rock a Little, Tusk, and Fleetwood Mac—all made from their original LP centers. It was the perfect Christmas gift. (Thanks Mark!)

December 28 (oops, I’m a day late) marks the eight year anniversary of the popular “millennium shows,” a series of random West Coast concerts Stevie performed at the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000. As you can see in the picture, I threw in the “pondering the millennium” coffee mug with Stevie’s cute artwork to commemorate those special shows. Good times.

You get your own coasters from Brennan’s Crafts, based right here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Merry Christmas!

Stevie doing her thing in Atlantic City this past June. (Photo: Mike Siro)
Stevie doing her thing in Atlantic City this past June. (Photo: Mike Siro)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

…and Happy New Year to all!

Stevie Nicks downsizes life, upsizes charity work

By Larry Rodgers
The Arizona Republic
www.azcentral.com
July 26, 2007

With her 60th birthday looming, Stevie Nicks is making some changes.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has put the Paradise Valley home she has owned since 1981 up for sale, and has expanded her charitable efforts beyond benefits for the Arizona Heart Institute, a favorite of her late father, Jess.

She’s also selling a house in Los Angeles to move to a smaller place on the beach in Santa Monica. “I’m downsizing,” Nicks said in a call last week. “I’m moving into a rock-and-roll penthouse where I can do my work. I don’t want to worry about if the pool is taken care of and the grass is right.”

Nicks, who performs in Phoenix on July 28, said she’s spent only a few weeks annually at her Valley home in recent years. In addition, her brother, Chris, and his family, who shared the two-winged home at the foot of Camelback Mountain, have moved.

“I’ve written many famous songs there, so I hope somebody buys it who appreciates the amazing rock-and-roll history and the legendary behavior that’s gone on in that house,” said Nicks, who successfully underwent rehab for drug abuse in the ’80s.

With the 2005 passing of Jess Nicks, who headed Armour/Greyhound before becoming a concert promoter, the singer has found a new outlet for her charitable side – providing encouragement and music to U.S. servicemen hospitalized in the Washington, D.C., area after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They are so banged up. If anyone ever needed help, it’s these guys,” said Nicks, who has visited Army and Navy medical centers since 2004.

Nicks came up with the idea of giving song-filled iPods to the hospitalized servicemen.

“I call it a soldiers’ iPod. It has all the crazy stuff that I listen to, and my collections I’ve been making since the ’70s for going on the road,” Nicks said. “When I’m sick . . . or the couple of times in my life that I have really been down, music is what always dances me out of bed.”

She hit up fellow musicians and friends for money to buy the iPods and has given away hundreds.

Nicks is setting up a foundation that will allow her to accept donations on a wider scale for iPods and medical aid such as prosthetic limbs. The non-profit group will be called Stevie Nicks’ Band of Soldiers.

The voice behind such rock classics as Edge of Seventeen, Rhiannon, Landslide and Stand Back said she still has plenty of energy left over for her music, which is celebrated on her new CD, Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks.

She acknowledged that the thought of turning 60 next May “blows my mind,” but quickly added, “I think age is definitely a state of mind. Our mothers and grandmothers . . . at 60 were really looking at slowing down. If anything, I’m looking at adding in a lot of stuff.”

Nicks is including video shots of the artwork she has created since the ’70s in her stage show, which features a seven-piece band led by Los Angeles guitar wizard Waddy Wachtel.

She’s also working on a screenplay based on the Menologion, a collection of myths and stories that inspired Rhiannon.

“I want it to be a movie or miniseries. It’s such a fantastic group of stories,” said Nicks, who plans to talk to directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson about the project.

Plus there’s her idea for a cartoon based on a song she wrote called The Ladybug and the Goldfish:

“It will be the love story of this interspecies, interracial kind of thing.”

Nicks’ creative side doesn’t extend to making radical changes to the hits she has recorded with Fleetwood Mac and on her own. She won’t take a page from the Police’s ongoing tour, in which the British band has redone some of its biggest hits.

“We don’t mess with the actual arrangements too much, because people aren’t crazy about that,” Nicks said.

“You can’t change the solo in (Eric Clapton’s) Layla. Lindsey (Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac) can’t change the solo in Go Your Own Way, as much as he’d like to.”

Nicks’ unmistakable smoky vocals and her dramatic stage presence are a combination that needs no refinement, in the eyes of XM Satellite Radio’s Mike Marrone.

“She’s a true rock-and-roll icon,” said Marrone, who programs the Loft, which spotlights singer-songwriters.

“I think it’s her voice . . . and her spirit. People genuinely like her, almost as a member of an extended family.”

Stevie Nicks: Style Icon

Spin cycle: Nicks is timeless.

By Joseph Rosenfeld
MetroActive
News & Features
May 16-22, 2007
www.metroactive.com

STEVIE NICKS, kicking off her “Crystal Visions” tour in Concord on Thursday, is truly an icon of music and of style. In fact, her music and her style are completely melded, each reflected in the success of the other. The crystalline intertwining of her visual and vocal characteristics is pure genius. This performance persona has led to a celebrated career spanning four decades.Twirling across a stage to the syncopation of a rock music beat, her body sheathed in a delicate lace shawl, her arms extended to create the effect of a dove taking flight—all while wearing suede platform boots, Stevie Nicks embodies the characters of her songs, enchanting her audience and taking everyone on an arousing escape into a world of white-winged doves, black widow spiders and “sisters of the moon.”

Nicks has perfected a vocal and visual potion that reveals her as a strong, yet romantically feminine, archetype that many women and men want to relate to. For many, Stevie is like the character she romanticizes in the song “Rhiannon.” Wouldn’t you love to love her? This desire to relate on a deep level explains why many women show up to Stevie’s concerts dressed much like her, and the rest of those in the audience sing along as if they were each sitting alone with Stevie at her piano as she pens her poems. Reportedly, Stevie Nicks took style and performing cues from legendary rocker Janis Joplin as well as from the style she spotted on a concertgoer. She developed her signature style, transforming herself into the epitome of bohemian chic replete with chiffon skirts, shawls, layers of lace, platform boots and long blonde locks. Even her microphone and tambourine are festooned with ribbons and bows.

Stevie serves as an excellent example of how to make an indelible impression. The consistency of her stage style, vocal qualities and songwriting ensure her place in rock & roll history. Her potently ethereal poetry, written with equal parts pleasure and pain, and her mystical Gypsy get-ups comprise one of the finest examples of personal brand building that I’ve ever seen.

Ever since discovering Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album, in what was a seemingly fortuitous first-grade forage through my mom and dad’s album collection 30 years ago, Stevie Nicks has been an entertaining entity in my life. I recall being as entranced by the music and lyrics of “Gold Dust Woman” then as I am at this moment. The song begins with Stevie’s voice sounding like that of a temptress, her voice softly echoing the undulating bass and beat of the music. Soon, the repetitive quality of the music builds as does its volume into a crescendo of a chorus until the conclusion of the rock & roll fairy tale with a ghostly ending.

Back then, gazing at the Rumours album cover, seeing Stevie in her black finery and golden hair, the impression of Stevie Nicks as a dark ingénue was set in my brain forever. All of these years later, Stevie’s style has stood the test of time equally as well as the wisdom of her early lyrics, maturing as the sorceress, timeless in her finery.

Joseph Rosenfeld, AICI, CIP, the nation’s only male certified image professional, polishes the appearances of professional men and businesses and is based in downtown San Jose. Contact him at: mail@JRImageMentor.com.

Rock sweetheart, soldiers’ angel

Stevie Nicks

By Sylvie Simmons
San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, May 13, 2007
www.sfgate.com

A small woman walks into the living room of her Southern California house carrying two mugs of steaming Earl Grey tea. A pair of tiny dogs, barely bigger than fur balls, skitter between her stiletto-booted feet. She is dressed in a floaty chiffon blouse and rock-star-tight black pants, her long blond hair worn loose and to her waist. Her expression, as she offers a mug and sits in front of the log fire, is open, unguarded and, as always, a little stunned, as if she’d just fallen out of a little girl’s drawing of a fairy princess and hasn’t quite got her bearings. She looks, in fact, exactly like Stevie Nicks.

In 1985, when Nicks was in the Betty Ford clinic being treated for cocaine addiction — she was one of the first rock stars, if not the first, she says, to do the now-common rehab thing — they gave her some homework: Write an essay on the difference between being Stevie Nicks, real-life human, and Stevie Nicks, rock goddess. She says it was the hardest thing she’s ever had to do.

It prompts a story about going to her 40th high school reunion earlier this year in San Francisco — Nicks was born in Phoenix, but her family moved West when she was a teenager. One of her close group of high school girlfriends told her, “You know what? You haven’t changed a bit. You are still our little Stevie girl.” Nicks says it made her cry “because it was the nicest thing anybody had said to me, that I’m still the same. Because I’ve always tried very hard to stay who I was before I joined Fleetwood Mac and not become a very arrogant and obnoxious, conceited, bitchy chick, which many do, and I think I’ve been really successful.”

That this should be said so guilelessly by a woman who will be 60 years old next year, and who has spent a good three-quarters of those years experiencing the rock ‘n’ roll life in all its often less-than-innocent glories, might sound odd. But with Nicks, what you see really is what you get. Her hobbies include writing children’s stories and drawing sweetly childlike illustrations. A couple of her drawings, still unfinished, are propped up in a corner of the room.

“They’re my Zen thing, what I do on airplanes, what I do when I really think — think about what I’m going to do,” she says.

If she could only “organize my time a little better,” she says, she would have had an art show by now and published the children’s books.

“It’s like Oprah says: If you wait around, you’re never going to get it done,” she says. “So I’ll see if I can’t multitask a little more.”

To an outsider, Nicks’ multitasking skills seem Olympian. For the past three decades she has run, concurrently, two phenomenally successful careers: as a solo singer and songwriter and as a key member of Fleetwood Mac. During a break from touring solo and with the band last year, she spent five months on the road as an unpaid guest member of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers “just for fun.” She’s been writing a ballet and a film based on the Menologian, the mythology book that inspired her best-loved song, “Rhiannon.” Oh, and she also managed to establish the Stevie Nicks Soldier’s Angel Foundation, a charity that helps injured U.S. military personnel.

She was planning a vacation in Hawaii before finishing the last few songs for a new solo album, when her record company called and told her it was putting out a greatest-hits CD and DVD, “Crystal Visions: The Very Best of Stevie Nicks” (“These records are never your idea,” she says). So Nicks dusted herself off, packed her bags and got ready for the solo tour that brings her back to the Bay Area on Thursday.

“Due to the fact that I never got married and never had children, I do have this crazy world where I pretty much continually work,” she says. “But I love my work, and it’s so different all the time that I really can’t complain. And when I do get tired and irritable I get really mad at myself and stop in my tracks and say, ‘You have no right to complain. You are a lucky, lucky girl.’ I always hear my dad, who I lost a year and a half ago, saying, ‘Ninety-nine percent of the human race will never be able to do what you have been able to do, to see all the beautiful cities and meet the people that you’ve met. You’re a lucky girl, Stevie.’ And I just try to keep that very present in my life.”

But it must be hard playing the ethereal fairy princess myth at the age of 59, isn’t it?

She nods.

“It is. Because when you go onstage and perform in front of people, you want to be that person for everybody, but you are getting older, and there’s nothing you can do to stop that,” she says. “That is something I have had really long talks with myself about. All women have to deal with getting older, famous or not famous, and the way I deal with it is, I feel that if you stay animated from within, people don’t see the age. I do my makeup and I do my hair and I try to look as fantastic as I can when I walk out of that bathroom, but once I walk out of that bathroom, I don’t think about it again. I’ve never had a face-lift. The idea of having plastic surgery and looking like somebody else or a caricature of myself is so horrible. So I deal with it by just being me.”

Her aversion to cosmetic surgery might have something to do with her work with wounded soldiers. In 2004, when Nicks was performing in Washington, D.C., her manager got a call from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, asking if she would visit, and she couldn’t refuse.

“You put on a gown and gloves and they say, ‘Well, this guy’s name is John Jones and he was injured in a blast and lost both legs. He’s had a bad day, but he’s very excited to see you.’ And you go in and I just say, ‘My name’s Stevie Nicks. What happened?’ Because they would like to talk about it. I was there from 2 in the afternoon until almost 1 o’clock that night. When I walked out of that hospital, after having seen about 40 guys and girls who’ve lost arms and legs, I was completely blown away by it all, and by how these kids’ lives had been completely changed.”

It changed her, too. She went back, armed with iPods she’d filled with music for the patients. She and her girlfriends dropped by with movies and popcorn and sat and watched the films with the soldiers.

“I’m not a mother, but I feel incredibly motherly to all these kids,” she says. “They are so young.”

She phoned her musician friends and asked for their help with a foundation she was planning. And when she learned that a new facility for amputees and burn victims was opening in San Antonio, Texas, she set up her tour “so that I can hub out of San Antonio and go there and figure out what they need,” she says.

“I’m very, very dedicated to this. It’s nothing that I would have ever in a million years have dreamed that I would have ever become involved in,” America’s rock sweetheart says, smiling, “but I feel like it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.”

Stevie Nicks performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Sleep Train Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord. $36-$131. (925) 676-8742, http://www.livenation.com.

Sylvie Simmons is a freelance writer.

LiveDaily Interview: Stevie Nicks

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
LiveDaily
May 3, 2007
www.livedaily.com

Whether it’s raising money for the Arizona Heart Institute, collecting iPods for injured Iraq war soldiers or writing a song about the plight of New Orleans, charity is important to singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks [ tickets ].

“When you get famous and you get recognized for the work that you do, there’s a lot of good things that you get,” Nicks told LiveDaily. “You get a beautiful house and you get beautiful things, and you get to meet fantastic people. There’s this part of me that’s always thought, ‘This can’t just be a one-way street here. I have to do stuff.'”

While her upcoming tour with Chris Isaak was being mapped, Nicks was spending her time off by promoting her new greatest-hits collection, “Crystal Visions–The Very Best of Stevie Nicks,” and visiting injured military personnel at the Walter Reed Army and Bethesda National Naval medical centers.

Nicks talked to LiveDaily about the long days she spends at the medical centers, raising money in her dad’s name for the Arizona Heart Institute, her greatest-hits record and touring with Chris Isaak.

LiveDaily: Do you still live in the Phoenix area?

Stevie Nicks: I’m in Los Angeles. I do live [in the Phoenix area], but I’m in the process of selling my house because I’m not there enough since 1980. My mom and dad were there, and my dad died a couple years ago. My mom’s still there. I’m not there enough to warrant having a big house there. But that won’t mean that I still won’t be coming home. My brother’s there, my mom’s there, my niece is there. I still have a lot of family there.

I think it’s really noble, all the work you do for the Arizona Heart Institute. My dad had a heart transplant, and my grandfather has heart problems, so our family has spent a lot of time there.

Well, my dad was very determined and devoted to building those hospitals. To stand in the hospital and say, “This was his dream and he did it right down to the very end …” We did the last benefit just last year, and it was the one we needed to do to finish the last hospital of the three that he [helped to raise money for]. He did it. I was standing there going, “I’m so sorry he’s not here to actually be here, because this was his day.” He did it. He pushed it through.

Charity seems to be really important to you. I read about what you did for injured soldiers at Walter Reed.

[With the Arizona Heart Institute,] that was really [my father’s] charity calling because he had an “almost heart-attack” in the ’70s. That’s why he resigned as president of Greyhound. He had a big job working for a big corporation. He had one of the first 1,100 bypasses that were done. This was when I was 22 years old. You probably know this: if you can not have a heart attack, and you can go back and fix it–whether it’s by bypass or a stint or whatever–you can go out and have a pretty long, great life. If you have a heart attack, you’ve endangered the heart muscle, then you’re going to have big problems. So he didn’t. They got it. They did the bypass. He was in his 40s, so he lived another 40 years. That then became his cause. That was even before I joined Fleetwood Mac. That then became my cause, because that was his cause. Then I started to really realize how many people–even people my age–were having all these heart problems. So it was a good thing that he had this cause, because it was a really easy thing for me to step up to and join him. It was a thing that he and I got to do together, which was really great. It was a real bonding thing for the two of us.

With the Walter Reed thing, that just happened very accidentally. I was playing in Washington, DC, two and a half or three years ago, and I just got invited. I had a day off. I was in DC and I got an invitation to go to the hospital from the Army, I guess. I went. I had no idea what to expect, to be perfectly honest. I just thought, “I’m going to go to the hospital, meet a few guys and then I’m going to come home.” I ended up going at 2 [p.m.], and I don’t think I got back to the hotel until 9 or 10. I went into basically every room in the hospital where there was somebody who was well enough to see me. I was really pretty blown away and startled by the entire situation.

When I went home that night, I was pretty stricken, and I cried and I was really upset. I just said, “I have to do something.” So I came up with the idea of buying iPods and putting as many songs as I could stuff on them, because they’re little. When you’re in a little, tiny hospital room, and you don’t have room for a big stereo and all your CDs, this iPod idea would really work out well. That’s what I did. I came back to Los Angeles and called everybody I knew and said, “I need money to buy iPods with, or I need iPods.” That’s how it started. I never went to Steve Jobs, I never went to the iPod people. I just call up everybody I know. Every time I go, and I get 50 or 60. I go now to Bethesda also, which is the naval hospital. We call both hospitals, find out how many people are there, we get a ballpark figure, and we try to take as many [iPods] as there are people there, 60 or 70. If we give them all away, we give them all away. If we don’t, we put them into our stash for the next visit.

It has worked out exactly how I thought it would. These kids need to go get out of that bed and go exercise. They need to go work on their rehabilitation. For me, when I don’t feel well and I’m trying to get better, music has always been single-handedly the thing that gets me back up and into the world. That’s what I tell them: “I hope you use this for your rehab. It’ll dance you out of your bed.” I think it’s working. I think they appreciate it. I think they have a lot of fun. I put all my collections that I’ve been making since 1978, that I think are personally fantastic. Anything else I can think of. All different bands. Everybody knows and is behind me on this. So I put any music that I want on it, and they love it. It’s a little thing, but it’s a big thing in the scheme of their recovery.

On to your music: how did your tour with Chris Isaak come about?

Chris and I have been friends a long time. We are both managed by Howard Kaufman. It’s kind of like we’re all in the same family. I don’t know how it exactly happened, but I’m sure it happened through our management. It was just a good bill, and due to the fact that we are really good friends, it’s not just a good bill, but it’s a really fun thing for the two of us. I know his band really well. He knows everybody in my band really well, so it will be a really fun traveling circus. I don’t usually get to do this. For the last two years I took Vanessa Carlton with me, who did 30 minutes, but that’s one little girl. That’s a whole ‘nother kind of opening act. This is like the old days. This is kind of like two big acts, so you’re all backstage together so it’s fun.

Was it difficult to choose songs for “Crystal Visions”?

When you do this kind of collection, there’s a few that you have to put on. You kind of have to do the singles. Then you go through [what’s left of the] catalog and you figure out things that you think might be fun. We added in several live cuts. “Landslide” and “Edge of Seventeen” are live from Melbourne, Australia, with a 60-piece orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. I sequenced [the album] as if all of the songs were done at the same time. It’s fun to listen to it because of that. It’s trippy, because you hear these songs and you’re like, “When was that?” Even me, and I know when they were. I said to my sister in law Lori, this is kind of the record we always wanted to make. This is the solo album we always wanted to make with all the most fantastic songs on it. I think it came out great. I’m very proud of it, and I think the sequence is really fun. If it has a really good sequence, which is kind of my forte, maybe people will listen to the whole thing instead of just saying, “I want that one song” or “I want those two songs.”

You said you weren’t even sure when the songs came out. That’s a sure sign of how timeless your material is, wouldn’t you say?

Well, thank you. I do. When I was sitting there listening to all of them, I’m going, like, “You know, these songs sound really good today. These songs I recorded in 1981 and 1983 and 1985 and 1987 and 1990, they do, I think, they stand up very well.” I think every time I do this kind of a thing, I hope, anyway, it ends up being a teaching thing for all the new little rock stars that are coming up. This is something they can listen to.

With the live footage on the DVD, that’s the actual recording of “Bella Donna,” because we filmed it. My singer Lori Nicks–she’s my sister-in-law too–her first husband filmed the whole damn thing for three months and edited it down to two hours. We put 25 minutes of the two hours on the DVD. It’s fascinating, because you see Jimmy Iovine, who’s president of the world [he currently heads Interscope Records], he’s producing the record so he’s in there with me, showing me and telling me what to do. He’s such a part of it. He is really producing the record. You don’t see that that much now.

Most of the photographs I used [in the package] were by my friend Herbie Worthington, who did the Fleetwood Mac “Rumours” cover and the first Fleetwood Mac “Fleetwood Mac” record, and almost all of my covers. I went back into all of Herbie’s vault of photos and pulled out many, many pictures that I thought were just so terrific … and tried to fill this little booklet with stuff that was new. Only if you’re doing a photo book would you ever have a reason to go back and pull all those photos. I had a lot of fun doing that.

Have you started writing material for a new album?

I have. It’s not like I’m writing new material for a new album; I’m just writing because I always write. I’ve written a song about New Orleans that I really love that’s kind of about [Hurricane] Katrina. I was going to put it on this record as just an extra, added thing, then I pulled it because I’m not ready to release this song yet. I don’t have the time to go out and find the right producer for this song. I’d like to have it be a real New Orleans flair. I live in Los Angeles. I don’t really know anybody with a New Orleans flair here. I made a really, really good demo of it and it’s sitting in the demo trunk waiting for when I have some time to do it. When this tour’s over at the end of the summer, that’s probably one of the first things I’ll do is find somebody. I want to get this song recorded. I don’t think it will matter if it’ll take another two years to come out, because New Orleans is not getting better overnight. I think it’s going to be relevant for the next 10 years, [so I’ll release it] whenever I get it done to the point of where I think it’s really ready to help that city. That’s what I want to do with it. I want to let it go somehow someway to help them. Whether it’s just giving the song royalties over to the city of New Orleans or what–but something. I’ll figure out something. I didn’t want to take a chance of it not being done, as good as it is. I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve written in a long time.

Dear Superstar: Stevie Nicks

1977-stevieTuesday, May 1, 2007
Blender
www.blender.com

A pineapple scent wafts through Stevie Nicks’s Maui house. Outside, the Pacific Ocean laps at volcanic rocks, and inside, New Age music fills the air. Just when you get the feeling a unicorn is about to saunter into view, Nicks opens her mouth and starts talking about menopause. “It drives people crazy when I bring it up, but I think it’s important,” she says.

The 58-year-old Fleetwood Mac star has always been more candid than your average witchy woman. The singer of such stone classics as “Dreams,” “Rhiannon” and “Edge of Seventeen,” she doesn’t mind answering questions about her past vices (coke: yes; heroin: hell no) and her past consorts (including bandmates Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood, who owns the house across the street). During rock’s golden age of excess, she was a top-ranking diva, demanding the presidential suites at hotels and traveling by private train. She’s even been the star of two episodes of Behind the Music, but curled up on the sofa today, the ethereal one seems more or less at peace.

“This is my vacation time,” she says with a laugh. Some vacation — she’s been assembling Crystal Visions … The Very Best of Stevie Nicks, a CD/DVD solo-career retrospective. In May, she’ll head out on tour. Perhaps, we ask hopefully, there’s one last Fleetwood Mac reunion in the works? “I can’t tell you that,” she demurs. “But the doors are never closed … ”

It’s July 1977. Describe your average day.
Russian.Bear, Lexington, VA

We would have been working on Rumours in Los Angeles. An average day would have been getting up and going to the studio, pretty much six days a week. It was fun. I enjoy the process of recording. I’d have my special chair, my special coffee cup — I’m very at home there. And every day somebody brings something: Somebody brings fishnets and puts them over the lamps, somebody brings pillows, and then Mick Fleetwood brings a statue and pretty soon there’s a pair of giant African elephant tusks bracketing the soundboard.

What is “Gold Dust Woman” really about?
Aronowizz, Kingston, NY

The “Gold Dust” thing came from a street in Phoenix, where I grew up, which is called Gold Dust Lane or Avenue or something. “Gold Dust Woman” was kind of a premonition of the beginning of the drug world. When I say, “take your silver spoon and dig your grave” it sounds like I was right in the middle of the drugs, but I really wasn’t; there weren’t any drugs around Fleetwood Mac for quite a while. But it was a premonition of getting famous really fast and being thrown into a whole culture. “Gold Dust Woman” was just me looking around and going, This is a pretty scary society down here, and boy, I hope we make it.

Have you ever watched the Fleetwood Mac Behind the Music? Is there any part of it that just makes you cringe?
VanMan1969, Reading, MA

I think both of the Behind the Musics — the Stevie Nicks and the Fleetwood Mac one — are really good. I’m proud of those shows. And today, if they’re on, I’ll watch them and I’ll cry! They should be shown to all the girls going into rehab — just watch my Behind the Music episodes and learn what not to do!

Was Lindsey Buckingham the great love of your life?
Epress3x, Amarillo, TX

“Great love” connotes a lot of things. He was the great musical love of my life. I can compare it to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in that movie — they loved each other for two reasons. You can love somebody because you fall in love with them, but you also love what they do. And that’s a double whammy.

Do you have any tips on conducting an office romance?
Illisimo5673, Altamonte Springs, FL

Your office is my road; it’s all the same thing. And I think that it never works and will always, always backfire. Those relationships are over once the intensity of the moment is over. And then somebody gets hurt. It never works.

Which lyric are you most proud of?
Lbubbrs, Los Angeles

That’s hard. Any song of mine that goes out into the world I’m pretty proud of. Hmmm … I’m thinking about a song called “Storms,” off Tusk. “Every night that goes between/I feel a little less/As you slowly go away from me/This is only another test/Every hour of fear I spend/My body tries to cry/Living through each empty night/A deadly call inside.” Those lyrics came out when I was really hurting.

Is it true that Lindsay Lohan is going to play you in a movie?
Empier81, Lompoc, CA

Lindsay Lohan thinks she is going to play me! But what the hell movie does she think she’s talking about? There is no book, there is no screenplay, there is no movie. There is never going to be a movie made without me, because it’s never going to be the story of me. Even though a lot has been written about me, the fact is nobody actually has a clue to what my life was really like. So good luck, Lindsay.

What’s the worst rumor you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Julian.George, Madison, WI

Probably it would be from the drug years, when people thought I was doing heroin. I never did. You can do a lot simpler drugs than heroin and still get in trouble.

What was the high point of Fleetwood Mac on-the-road excess?
Ayteemit, Manchester, NH

The way we traveled. We had a big 737 commuter jet done up beautifully on the inside — it’s what professional basketball players rent. We had that for a year and a half. I still fly on a jet, but my jet is way littler these days. With Fleetwood Mac everything was huge, and it still is today. We always stay in the best hotels. I get the presidential suite over everybody, because I demand it.

Is it true your performance of “Don’t Stop” made Bill Clinton cry at the 1993 presidential inauguration?
Nilespine, Tripp, SD

Well, if it did, I don’t know about it, because I’m as blind as a bat and he was far enough away from me that I doubt I could have seen it. However, I do know that he loved “Don’t Stop,” and he dreamed of using it in a campaign long before he ran for president. He was riding in a cab somewhere — this is the story that we got — and he heard that song and he said, “If I ever run for something big I’m going to use that as my song.”

Do you still have a ballet studio in your house? When was the last time you did the splits?
Perry.Gold, Tucson, AZ

In my house in Phoenix, I do maintain the ballet room that I’ve had since 1981. I can still do a split, not a problem, because I’m limber. People who can do the splits can always do the splits.

Have you ever attended the drag tribute Night of a Thousand Stevies? and When did you realize you had become a drag icon?
Nandoor1, Jackson, OH

I was on a plane coming from the Super Bowl, and one of the stewards was telling me that he was a big fan and that he went to Night of a Thousand Stevies every year. He was six-foot-five and telling me all about his dress and his fantastic boots. Whoa! I still haven’t gone, but I’ve seen footage, and I have to say, I couldn’t be more flattered!

Have you ever been tempted by Scientology?
Lenhub88, Bucks County, PA

I have never been approached. I don’t really get it. I think it’s a little weird.

You recorded 1994’s Street Angel when you were addicted to Klonopin. What did you think when you first heard it after you got out of rehab?
Pillowpop4, Gaithersburg, MD

I went back in and tried to fix it! It wasn’t that it wasn’t good, it was just, if you’re taking a lot of tranquilizers everyday, it only makes sense that the music will be verrry tranquil. So I tried to fix it, which is kind of like trying to redo a house: You end up spending way more money than if you had just burned it to the ground and started over. It wasn’t fixable.

What advice would you offer to Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan as they go through rehab?
Starz431, Providence, RI

I’m more worried about Britney than Lindsay, because I think Lindsay is a serious actress, and that is going to be her saving grace. The only thing I could ever say is — I look over film footage and interviews for the Crystal Visions DVD, and I can totally tell when I’m high. There are a couple of videos that are really good — except that I was high. I’m sorry I let that happen. I ask myself, “Stevie, could you have just, while you were filming that video, not done any cocaine and not drank and not smoked pot? For those three days, could you have laid off of it so you could have looked great?” But I didn’t, and now I’m very sorry. If I could have gotten it together a little more I would have had a better career. I would have made a couple more great albums, I would have painted more pictures. You are sorry later … that’s what I would tell them.

What happens to us when we die?
Ulee43, Port St. Lucie, FL

I absolutely believe that there is an afterlife. I’ve had one afterlife experience where I did go to that other place. I fell off a horse. I was riding with a bunch of people — I didn’t even hit the ground, really; my brother jumped off his horse and caught me mid-flight but it scared me so bad that I lost consciousness. And I felt myself go up into this really light place. I could see the horses around me and hear the riders’ voices. I felt like I was rolling down a mountain, starting to go really fast … Then I opened my eyes. But for a minute I felt like I really had a choice to make, to come back. So I think there is an afterlife, and it’s a good place.

Do you have any vices these days?
Alex.neric, Lincoln, NE

Since I got out of rehab in 1994, I’ve stopped doing serious drugs. And then as menopause touched my life, I stopped even having a glass of wine. I don’t drink at all. I find that I’m spacey enough on my own that I don’t need to be drinking or smoking; it just doesn’t fit into my life anymore. I’m very glad, because it’s not like I’m fighting every day to not do drugs. They’re just gone.

Is it true you keep your feathers and lace in a climate-controlled facility?
Stagehanddan, Fenton, MS

I keep all my stage clothes in cases, and they go into storage in temperature-controlled rooms. Chiffon lasts forever if you take good care of it!

Nicks preps best-of, spring tour with Isaak

Billboard
January 29, 2007
www.billboard.com

Stevie Nicks is eyeing a March 27 release for The Very Best of Stevie Nicks, her second greatest hits package for Reprise. The collection will include live versions of “Edge of Seventeen,” “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” as well as her 2005 collaboration with dance act Deep Dish on “Dreams.”

Very Best will also come packaged with a DVD that includes live performances and a unique commentary from Nicks about her songs, according to her spokesperson. A prior retrospective, “TimeSpace,” reached No. 30 on The Billboard 200 in 1991.

Nicks will be in action Sunday (Feb. 4) with a performance as part of CBS’ Super Bowl pre-game show. She will also play Florida shows on Feb. 6 in Hollywood and Feb. 9 in Tampa, and visit Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace for a stand on March 20-21 and 23-24.

Dates have yet to be announced, but look for the Nicks/Isaak tour to get underway in May.

Nicks preps best-Of, Spring tour with Isaak

By Keith Caulfield
Billboard
January 29, 2007 12:00 AM EST

Stevie Nicks is eyeing a March 27 release for The Very Best of Stevie Nicks, her second greatest hits package for Reprise. The collection will include live versions of “Edge of Seventeen,” “Landslide,” and “Rhiannon” as well as her 2005 collaboration with dance act Deep Dish on “Dreams.”

Very Best will also come packaged with a DVD that includes live performances and a unique commentary from Nicks about her songs, according to her spokesperson. A prior retrospective, TimeSpace, reached No. 30 on the Billboard 200 in 1991.

Nicks will be in action Sunday (Feb. 4) with a performance as part of CBS’ Super Bowl pre-game show. She will also play Florida shows on Feb. 6 in Hollywood and Feb. 9 in Tampa, and visit Las Vegas’ Caesar’s Palace for a stand on March 20-21 and 23-24.

Dates have yet to be announced, but look for the Nicks/Isaak tour to get underway in May.