Nicks, in her trademark black, talked about her career for an hour (Ashley Landis/Special Contributor)

Stevie Nicks on In Your Dreams, Fleetwood Mac's tour and longevity secrets at SXSW

Nicks, in her trademark black, talked about her career for an hour (Ashley Landis/Special Contributor)
Nicks says that she plans to be singing well into her 80s (Photo by Ashley Landis)

By Gary Graff
Billboard
Friday, March 15, 2013 2:32 PM EDT

Stevie Nicks was on hand at South By Southwest to screen In Your Dreams, the Dave Stewart-directed documentary about the making of her latest album of the same name, and to play a killer set with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players. But you can never limit the always-engaged Nicks to just one or two things, so when she sat for one of SXSW’s celebrity interviews on Thursday at the Austin Convention Center, she had plenty to say. Here’s five things we learned during the nearly one-hour session:

She’s Still Devoted to Her Band: Nicks recalled that while she was making her first solo album, Bella Donna, the other members of Fleetwood Mac “were terrified that I would do that record and then quit. And I said to them, ‘You guys…’ I wanted to go around and hold each one of their hands and say, ‘Listen, loves, I am never going to leave you. I just need another vehicle. I have trunks of songs…that are never going to be heard. But it’s never going to beat Fleetwood Mac.’ What I do is the Lear Jet; they’re the 738. I really did convince them I’m not going anywhere. ‘I love you guys and I love my band. I would never break up Fleetwood Mac, ever. I just take their vacations, that’s all.’“

The Mac Is Ready to Get Back (On The Road): “I’m in rehearsals with them now. We go from ‘Go Your Own Way’ to ‘Sara’ to ‘Never Going Back…’ to ‘Landslide.’ This time we’re actually doing ‘Sister of the Moon,’ which we haven’t done since 1979 or 1980. And it’s dark; (sings) ‘Intense silence as you walk in the room,’ and people are like, ‘What does that mean?’ That’s me talking to me, talking to my alter ego and the person that’s having a hard time being a rock star…Twenty-four songs is what we’re doing. I’m sitting there looking at the board going, ‘Oh my God, we’re only halfway through. We have 12 songs to go and we’ve been playing for six hours!’”

Tom Petty’s Ex-Wife Gets an Assist on “Edge Of 17:” “I asked his wife when she met him – his first wife, Jane – and she said in her very Florida, swamp accent, ‘I met him about the age of 17,’ and I thought she said ‘the edge of 17,’ but she said it’s the age of 17. And I went like, ‘Oh Jane, that’s fantastic,’ and I just wrote it right down. And I told her I was going to use that in a song and she said, ’Oh, that’s fantastic. Go write a hit.’ I was really good friends with her, so she dug it.”

She Has a New Song in the Works: “I just saw a movie I was going to write a song about that I was inspired by in a very strange way – Anna Karenina. I’m watching this movie and I’m really riveted by the fact that she was happy in her marriage and it was fun…and then she meets this mom who asks her, ‘Have you ever really been in love?’ What a question! And she’s like, ‘What is love, really?’ and thinks about it. Then she meets her son and it happens. I never jumped in front of a train, but what obsessive love can do to people, I’ve seen it in my own life and I saw it in that movie and it really affected me. I’ve been there and I don’t want to be there again. So now I’m just walking around with this in my head, and I’m so ready to go to the grand piano with white candles and (write).”

We’ll Have Her to Kick Around for Many Years to Come: Since finding a vocal coach in 1997, Nicks said she’s in good enough shape to last a lifetime. “Opera singers plan to sing into their 80s. I plan to not be doing 190 shows when I’m 85, but I do plan to be out there singing when I am a seriously older woman, ‘cause I think my voice will still be pretty good because I’m not gonna let it go. The people that can’t sing anymore that had great voices are people that went away for five years and just decided to come back. You can’t just come back. You have to keep singing – or dancing.”

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