Stevie Nicks Opens Up MVFF35 About Film, Album and Roller Coaster Career

(Photo by Pamela Gentile)
(Photo by Pamela Gentile)

In promoting a new documentary about the making of her first solo album in more than a decade, former Fleetwood Mac singer returns to the Bay Area, where she spent some of her most crazy and creative years.

By Cate Lecuyer
Mill Valley Patch
Monday, October 15, 2012

When you listen to Stevie Nicks’ new album, In Your Dreams, sit on a couch with two huge speakers at your side — hopefully in front of a fireplace — pour yourself a glass of port, and take it in from start to finish.

That’s the request Nicks made after the screening of her self-produced documentary Friday night during the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival. The film chronicles the year she spent recording her first solo alum in more than a decade, with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, who joined Nicks on stage at the sold-out Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

Nicks’ ties to the Bay Area run deep. She lived in San Francisco from 1968 to 1971, and recorded the renowned Fleetwood Mac album Rumours at the former Record Plant in Sausalito during a stretch that had the group regularly piling into the studio’s outdoor hot tub.

For this latest album, the magic happened at Nicks’ own mansion in Pacific Palisades —although the 64-year-old rock ‘n’ roll icon actually lives with her dog in a one-bedroom condo a few minutes away. With people like Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and ‘her girls,’ backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks, all together under one roof, for Nicks it became “the moments that I live for.”

“I really wanted it to go on forever,” she said. Documenting the experience has been a way for her to relive it, and she also hopes it influences up and coming musicians about how much fun the process of creating an album can be.

“We are the teachers,” she said. “And it’s important in this day and age that all the kids who are following us need to know how to do it — and do it right.”

The documentary captures moments that unveil the spirit of the album, and of Nicks herself. From lighthearted disagreements over changing the tense of a pronoun mid-song — “I just snapped and said, ‘would you say that to Bob Dylan?’” Nicks said — to the heavy emotions she experienced after Hurricane Katrina and when she volunteered helping wounded veterans at Walter Reed Hospital, her inspiration shines behind each and every song, and paints an intimate portrait of what’s behind the music.

In a touching moment, a girl in the audience, Amber, told Nicks how her music gave her and her friends something to believe in during a difficult time when they were about 13 or 14-years-old.

“That’s all I ever wanted to do with my songs,” Nicks said. “I just want to affect people.” Whenever she receives notes and mail from people, it gets tucked away into one of her journals.

Nicks also talked candidly about her struggles with addiction — “I loved both my rehabs,” she said — the importance of parents supporting their kids’ dreams even if it means letting them discover they really can’t sing on their own, and her difficulty dealing with the death of her mother in December 2011.

She highlighted some choice words, which she later apologized for, against American Idol judge Nicki Minaj in response to the hip-hop star’s altercation with fellow judge Mariah Carey.

“That was the first time something happened when I couldn’t call my mom and ask what to do,” Nicks said.

She also talked about how difficult it is to make it in the music industry today. The advice she gave was to form a band, have a place like your parent’s garage to rehearse in, and play as much as you can in one city and then grow from there.

“It’s a different world out there,” Stewart said, and Nicks had a nostalgic moment for 1975.

“It was such a romantic time,” she said. “It doesn’t mean we were all having affairs — we were — but it was romantic overall.”

The documentary In Your Dreams captures both the old and the new, and proves that good music never dies.

“My hope is when people see this, they’re going to want to hear this record,” Nicks said. “Because this record is magnificent.”

Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams And The Hamptons

(Photo by Rob Rich/
(Photo by Rob Rich/

Legendary singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks sat down with to discuss In Your Dreams during the Hamptons International Film Festival.

By Nicole B. Brewer and Nicole Barylski
Friday, October 5, 2012

After a ten year hiatus legendary songwriter Stevie Nicks is back with her latest album In Your Dreams and a rockumentary, produced by the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, of the same name. “When you see it you are going to be living in my world for one hour and forty minutes,” said Nicks during our recent interview. The ‘gypsy’ is in the Hamptons this weekend for the 20th Hamptons International Film Festival. We sat down with her at The Maidstone on a gorgeous fall afternoon to get the scoop.

“It was the best year of my life! I have never had so much fun in my life,” exclaimed Nicks as we sat in the garden and talked about nail polish a bit before our interview officially began. She prefers OPI Big Apple Red and does her nails herself saying as we settled in, “If I wasn’t doing this I’d be a manicurist!”

The In Your Dreams album was ten years in the making and all started with 9/11 explained Nicks, “I went on the road at the end of June with Trouble in Shangri-La. I had been on the road for two and a half months, which is nothing and then 9/11 happened. So for all practical purposes the record and everything blew up.” Nicks was in New York by herself set to enjoy her one day off on that fateful day, her band was in Canada getting ready for the next leg of the tour. “I went to bed at 7:30 p.m.,” she went on to say, “and when [my assistant] Karen woke me up at 11 a.m. the world had changed.”

Ever generous to her devoted fans, Nicks stayed on the road for another month because “no one had turned their tickets in or asked for refunds.” She went on the Say You Will tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2002, then again on her own in 2003 and 2004. During that time she kept pondering writing and another record but the music industry was in flux and piracy was a hot topic. Her advisors told her to enjoy touring and wait. Nicks says her managers told her, “You’re a songwriter, you create the song it’s yours, you write the poem, and you put it out. [Then] one person buys it and sends it out to 500 personal friends and they send it out to their friends. You are a songwriter this is how you make money. What we recommend is you go back on the road because you can still do big shows and sell tickets. A lot of people can’t.” So she did.

Inspiration for In Your Dreams happened quite unexpectedly in 2009 while on tour with Fleetwood Mac in Australia. “I saw the second ‘Twilight’ movie and wrote ‘Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream)’ right then.” Nicks told us, “There was a piano in my suite and I said to my assistant Karen, I am ready to make a record now. I don’t care what is going on around me I’m doing it. If nobody wants it or everybody steals it I will have to deal with that then.”

As soon as she got off tour she called Dave Stewart and asked him if he wanted to work with her to produce. He jumped right in. “Dave came up [to my house] to spend one day discussing it and I said why don’t we do it here. We don’t have to go into the studio and pay $2,500 per day. He said, ‘let’s do it.’“ Vamping a bit and mimicking her dear friend and collaborator she went on, “By the third day he said, ‘Darling we have to film this.’ And I said, ‘Darling do you know what that means?’ Now this guy dresses up every day and loves it.” Nicks is not in full stage dress and makeup at home, she likes a more casual look. For her the thought of cameras every day meant hair, makeup, and wardrobe which caused some hesitation. She relented when he reassured her, “He said if you don’t love it, we won’t use it. I said, ‘Hand to God?’ and he promised ‘Swear to God.’“ But he didn’t get off that easy. “Fair enough,” she told him, “But I will hunt you down and kill you if any of it gets out and I don’t like it.”

From there they filmed for a year and in her words, “Had the best time.” Stewart’s team then edited a year of her life down to three hours. Later the film would be cut to a final hour and forty minutes. “We finished just two weeks ago,” said Nicks, “With that kind of thing it’s like ‘no you can’t have it it’s not done yet.’“ When they finally handed it in and realized the film was complete Nicks was “in tears and I said ‘take it.’ It’s like your child.”

Regarding the genius that is Dave Stewart, Nicks went on to gush a bit, “He is an amazing photographer. He’s been filming women for years. With Annie Lennox, he is the reason she cut off all her hair. He was behind all of this amazing stuff, I didn’t even know.” On In Your Dreams, Nicks says he gave everyone Flip cameras and said, “Everyone film and we will see what we come up with. If it doesn’t make sense or is an Alice In Wonderland bewitched world we won’t put it up. If we love it we will let people have it.” It was an “easy thing to do because Dave made it into a no big deal thing.”

Having only been in and out of the Hamptons a mere three times for benefits over the years Nicks is looking forward to enjoying the film festival weekend in Sag Harbor with friends. So if you notice a familiar looking blonde with a crescent moon necklace window shopping next to you on Main Street take time for a second look, it might just be the Stevie Nicks, star of In Your Dreams and 140 million album selling Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend.

Get up close and personal with Stevie Nicks at Bay Street Theatre on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at noon for a “Conversation With Stevie Nicks” presented by Capital One. Catch a screening of In Your Dreams during the Hamptons International Film Festival this weekend at the Sag Harbor Cinema also on Sunday, October 7, 2012, at 3:00 p.m. For details check out

In Your Dreams: A Conversation With Stevie Nicks

Interviewed by Mike Ragogna
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mike Ragogna: Stevie, how are you?

Stevie Nicks: Good, how are you?

MR: Pretty good, thanks. Stevie, you have a new documentary that’s going to be premiering on October 7th at Hamptons International Film Festival. The name of you new documentary with Dave Stewart is In Your Dreams, that title also having been the name of the last album. Obviosly, this was an important album for you.

SN: This was an important album. This was an album that I probably was never going to make, because after I did Trouble in Shangri-La that came out in 2001, I went out on the road with Fleetwood Mac for a couple of years and then in 2005, I was going to make a record. I came off the road with Fleetwood Mac and that’s kind of what I’ve always done. I do my whole thing with Fleetwood Mac, and it was like a year and a half for Say You Will, and then I was going to make a record. I really got very depressed feedback from everyone in the business around me, which was like, “You know what, the business is so screwed up that really, right now, you just shouldn’t bother.” It wasn’t just my manager, it was everybody. It was like I’d tripped and fallen down the stairs. It was a really bad moment in my life, and I said, “Okay.” That’s really not like me, but with the whole internet piracy and everything, I don’t have a computer, I didn’t have one then, but I knew that was coming ten years ago. I knew that that was going to start to destroy the music business, and I was like, “Oh, my God, it’s happening, it’s even happening to me.”

MR: Yeah, it took out the record companies, leaving them going, “How in the world are we going to make money now?”

SN: Right, and then not to mention us—the elite bands from the seventies who never stopped playing and who could go out and do big tours, vis-à-vis Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles. We can have a three-hour repertoire if we want. We can have a five-hour repertoire if we want. We can still do these big tours and that’s where the money is right now. But what makes me very sad is all the kids, all those really talented kids anywhere from fourteen to thirty, just so talented and out there waiting to be found. But the problem is that record companies don’t have money so they can’t help you. In my day, they helped you. When we did Buckingham Nicks, Polydor helped us before they dropped the record. For two years, they helped us and they gave us money and they helped us with our rent and our car and food. You can’t get that now, so how in the heck is anybody that’s up-and-coming going to make it if they can’t support themselves because they’ve moved out of their parent’s house and their parents are like, “Hey, you’re on your own. We’re not going to just support you for the next ten years while you try to make it in a business where people are stealing your songs, even if you’re the best songwriter we’ve ever met.” That’s just so unfortunate. I feel so sorry for this generation—for the last five years’ worth of the generation coming up that so want to be in the music business that are having such a hard time because they cannot support themselves.

MR: Stevie, let me ask you, what do you think of these talent shows like The VoiceAmerican Idol and the franchises that have popped up over the years? To me, it does seem like a last hurrah or a last gasp for the record companies to try to hook into something. But it’s the same problem, right, the loss of sales?

SN: Yeah. The problem with that is, people ask me all the time, “If you and Lindsey moved to LA now and you were 23, 24 or 25, would you go on one of those shows?” and I’m like, “Well, first of all, I’d have to drag Lindsey kicking and screaming. However, oh you bet your life we would!” That is the last bastion right now to get noticed. But then again, I know people who have won these shows and some of them are doing really well and some of them disappear within the next year. I guess even once you’ve won those shows, then what? You put out a record, five hundred people buy it, and each one of those five hundred people sends it out to a hundred of their close personal friends and then each one of those close personal friends sends it out to another five hundred people and you may have won a big television show, but unless you’re Carrie Underwood or Kelly Clarkson, you’re still going to have a terrible time. My friend Michael Grimm who won America’s Got Talent, I took him on tour with me and he’s amazing. He’s like Boz Scaggs.

MR: Yeah, I interviewed him a while back. Nice guy.

SN: He’s so sweet and dear and he walks out there on that stage and that voice is amazing. He lives in Las Vegas, he’s doing gigs there, and he said, “You know, I actually had more gigs before I won America’s Got Talent, and it was a great thing. I won a million dollars and was able to set my grandparents up, who pretty much raised me, and I was able to take care of the people around me. But when it comes down to me, my goal…it’s like I’m really back to doing exactly what I was doing before.” The record companies don’t have the money. They’re going to be onto the next thing the second they even see you falter.

MR: Yeah, remember when artists on A&M or Geffen or whatever and the label would hang in there for like four or five albums because they believed in you?

SN: Our record company, after Rumours, when we did Tusk, needless to say, Warner Brothers was like, “What is this?” and Lindsey’s like, “We’re not making another Rumours. We’re making something completely different.” So he went in on a mission to make something that was the other side of Rumours and we did. The record company really wasn’t happy about it, at all, and it was a double album, so it was double bad. But they didn’t drop Fleetwood Mac, they said, “Okay, we’re going to let you guys be crazy…and when your record comes out, we’re going to totally promote it, and we’re going to go with you on this one because we are willing to hang with you and let you morph…from Fleetwood Mac to Rumours to Tusk to Mirage toTango In The Night.” They could have just dropped us. If it had been even in the last ten years, they would’ve dropped us so fast with Tusk. You would’ve never heard about Fleetwood Mac again.

MR: Before you leave Tusk, I also got to interview Lindsey and one of the things I mentioned to him was that I’ve found that over the years, Tusk has become much more appreciated, with artists doing projects based on what they’ve learned from the project.

SN: People love it now because it was way ahead of its time. I used to say that we were climbing to the top of the mountain to find the gods. It was a thirteen-month project where we there 24/7 every day. It was pretty outrageous, but we lived in that bubble where it was kind of strange and mystical world music, music from all over the world we were listening to in order to make that record. We knew it was weird, but we also knew in our hearts, I think, because…people always ask me with Fleetwood Mac, “You guys were doing a lot of drugs and you were all crazy and breaking up and mad with each other and stuff.” My answer to that is always, “Yes, that’s true.” However, we were so very focused on our music that we weren’t letting anything get in our way and if we were mad at each other, we did not take that into the studio. If we were a little bit too high, somebody would always say, “Why don’t you go home and come back tomorrow and don’t be that way.” It’s like with every one of the five of us there were always two or three people going, “Listen, what’s most important here?” Fleetwood Mac is most important here. Fleetwood Mac trumps everything that is happening in everybody’s life. So whatever it is, don’t bring it here.

MR: Let’s get further into In Your Dreams. On camera, you appear fluid, informed, and very comfortable. You’re very at ease here.

SN: Yes. You know what, I have been a little performer since I was four years old, and you’re going to see that in this film. I was just nuts for the stage. I came into the world dancing and singing, and my mom and dad, I think, knew from the very beginning. My grandfather was a country-western singer and a fiddle player and guitarist, and he wrote songs and traveled all over the United States and played gigs in the forties. My parents were very supportive of my love of music and my focus was very strong from when I was in grade school. They knew I didn’t want to be an actress, I didn’t want to take drama, I didn’t really want to take musical drama. I just wanted to listen to rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll and R&B, and I just was in my own little musical world. I had it planned out. In sixth grade, I was wearing a black outfit with a top hat. I had it all planned out.

MR: We like to diagnose things as ADD or ADHD, but how about, “No, she just had the music in her?”

SN: Exactly, and I was really refusing to go any other way. But you know, the great thing about this record is that I wrote a song in the early seventies when Lindsey and I first moved to Los Angeles called “Lady From The Mountains.” It never got recorded for real, but a demo was made of it and the demo was stolen from my house and it went out as a bootleg. So the whole world heard this song called “Lady From the Mountains.” In 2009, we went to Australia and I saw the second movie in the Twilight series and I was very taken with it. Either you are or you aren’t; I was. I went back to my hotel in Brisbane and I took the first and the third verses from “Lady From The Mountains,” and I wrote the second verse and the chorus and it became the song, “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream).” When I finished that song and we did it on a demo, I got up from the piano and I said to my assistant, “Karen, I am ready to do a record now, and I don’t really care what anybody says and I don’t really care if the record business in trouble. I’m going to make this record for me. I need to do it and I feel the power right now.” So I did. I went straight back and I called Dave Stewart at the beginning of January and I said, “I’m going to do a record, Dave. Would you produce it?”

We got together at his studio and offices in downtown Los Angeles and that’s when we decided to do it at my big house and from there on, within three days, we were filming. Even though the filming thing was like, “Okay, really, does that mean I have to wear makeup every day and I have to kind of dress up every day and do my floor-length hair every day,” he said, “Well kind of. Or you could come down in your pajamas, it’s okay, I don’t care.” He said to me, “Darling, if you don’t like it, we won’t use it,” and right there, it was like, “I love him and I trust him.” And I knew that, first of all, he really knows how to film women and has since Annie Lennox, and so that right there is a big, huge plus. So I said, “Okay, we’ll give it a go,” and by the end of the first two weeks, not only Dave was filming and not only did he have a friend of his who was a great film photographer who just came in with a small, really great camera, he had the girl background singers and the chef—my god-daughter who was a really great film photographer—he had everybody in the house filming. Then it became really, really fun because all of us had really great stuff. Not only were we writing songs and making this great album, but we were all part of this filming project. It was the best year of my life and that’s what I tell people. It’ll be hard to ever recreate something that is this much fun.

MR: Yeah, and you’ve said you would like to leave this behind for people who are getting into music, which brings me to my next question. What advice do you have for new artists?

SN: Well, if I had kids that were fifteen, sixteen, seventeen years old and I could see that they were so talented—Dave has a daughter that’s twelve and she’s super talented and she sings like Janis Joplin for real—it’s like what do you tell these kids? I would say, you have to do what you have to do, and if you really want to be a singer and you really want to be a songwriter, put a band together and you’re just going to have to live at your parents’ house and play everywhere in your city that you can, every night. And if you have to go to school at the same time like I did, that’s what I did. I practiced from five to ten with the band every night, and I studied from ten thirty to three every night and I went to college. I went to five years of college when I was in that band up in San Francisco before we moved to Los Angeles. So I did both—I went to school and I was in a band that was actually playing two to three gigs a week. You just can’t give up. I think it depends on how strong your spirit is to actually make it in the music business. If your spirit is super strong and you’ve really got the goods, then you’re going to take on that attitude that you’re not going to fail and you’re going to give it a try. You’re going to go after it in every place you can possibly play, from any mall that will accept you to a coffee shop to steakhouse to any place you can possibly get in. That’s what you do. That’s what you did then and that’s what you do now, except that, hopefully, you have a supportive family that let you stay at home for a couple extra years.

MR: Yeah, or pay for you wherever you’re going to live.

SN: Well that’s asking a lot, right there.

MR: I know, who has money.

SN: With this kind of financial crisis that’s been going on for eight years, you’re asking a lot. So you’re going to have to have a very supportive backup team besides being super-talented. You’re going to have to have a super support team. But you know what? Nobody would be able to tell me, if I moved to Los Angeles right now and I knew how good I was, because I did know how good I was, if I moved there and everybody said, “The record companies are screwed and you’re never going to get a record deal,” I would go, “Just watch me.” That’s how I would go into it. I would pack my bag and I’d be off to Los Angeles or New York in ten minutes. If I had to be a cleaning lady and have five waitress jobs and be a temp somewhere and substitute for dental assistants, whatever you have to do, you do it if you love it that much and then, five years later, you make a decision on what you’re going to do.

MR: You, personally, have a very spiritual side that also keeps you driven, right?

SN: Oh yeah—spiritual backed up by extremely hard work. I psychically knew in the sixth grade when I did a lip-syncing tap dance to Buddy Holly’s “Everyday” I was going to be famous. I flat out told my parents that. “I’m going to be famous. You do know that, don’t you?” They were like, “Well, okay, we get it, but you’re also going to go to school because you’re going to back up your fame with a good education.” My mother would say to me, “You know what Stevie? I totally believe that you’re going to be famous but you’re going to be able to stand in a room with all of the famous people that you’re going meet—and there are going to be politicians and movie stars and famous scientists—and you’re going to be able to totally be on their level because you’re going to have a five-year college education. You’re never going to feel like you’re not as smart as all these people are. You’re going to be able to sing and dance and do your thing, but you are going to be really educated.”

MR: Stevie, your song “Landslide” has embedded itself in this culture to the point where it keeps getting re-recorded and sung during countless open mic nights. And it wasn’t a top ten Fleetwood Mac song. How do you explain that?

SN: You know what, it’s just that little song. That’s what I tell people on stage when I do it. I wrote it in 1973 in Colorado in Aspen, and I knew when I was sitting on the floor looking out at the snow-covered hills and I wrote this little song, I knew. I got up from the floor and I said, “This is going to be that little song. This is going to be it.” That’s what I tell everybody in the audience. So when you’re writing songs—any of you out there that are songwriters—understand that when you write a song that’s really special, it could be the song that makes your whole life.

MR: Yeah, there’s something about “Landslide.”

SN: That is the one. That’s the one that can never go out of the set.

MR: Stevie, any more reflections on the documentary?

SN: I tell people that Dave created a magical sandbox for me and my singers to play in and that he became The Mad Hatter and this walk through ten months in my house is like going into Alice In Wonderland’s world. You really get to experience making this record. Anybody who loves music, wants to be in music, is a singer, is a writer, used to be a singer or a writer, is ninety years old and wishes they were still young enough to be a singer and a writer, it’s like you come into my world and it’s very, very special. I’m so proud of this that my real prayer for this film is that when people see this—because they get to see a little bit and hear a little bit of the finished product of each song, not a lot—but what I’m hoping is that in this world of “We don’t need to buy a whole concept record,” that they see this film and they go, “I really need to hear this record!”

MR: Nice. And again, it’s debuting at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 7th.

SN: Right. Dave and I are going to be there and it’s going to be so fun.

MR: I also want to congratulate you on your song “Soldier’s Angel.” It’s still very touching and I love that you are still with the Band Of Soldiers charity. You’ve contributed to our soldiers’ lives as well as the culture in beautiful ways.

SN: Well, thank you. I think that “Soldier’s Angel” is probably the song off of this record that will live on forever because it does sort of capture a moment in time through Iraq and Afghanistan and everything that’s going on now. These wars aren’t over and these kids are coming back and they’re so wounded and they’re never going to be the same and people should try to remember that and try to take care of these guys because once they leave the hospitals, they’re on their own. When you actually sit on the bed of one of these injured soldiers, you’re like, “Oh my God, what can I do to help?” and I tell everybody every night, you need to send in five bucks a month. Do whatever you can.

MR: All right, Stevie, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

SN: You too, and hopefully I’ll see you soon.

MR: Yes, I’ll see you soon.


Interviewed by Dennis Constantine/ KFOG, San Francisco, Ca


The legendary Stevie Nicks has an instantly recognizable voice that rises above all others that stops you in your tracks – that has inspired and influenced artists for generations. It is at once haunting, romantic, filled with mystery and completely unforgettable. Added to the voice are her extraordinary songwriting talents which have brought joy to her millions of fans for generations. Collectively they add up to one of the most successful female artists in rock history. From the start of her career as a solo artist with the release of her five million seller Bella Donna up to her current critically acclaimed In Your Dreams, Nicks has never failed to deliver unforgettable performances on record and on the stage. In Your Dreams is Nicks’ first album of new material in a decade. “Dreams” was co-produced by former Eurythmic Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard. Nicks has been touring the last year and a half for her In Your Dreams Tour and has also appeared with Rod Stewart on the Heart & Soul Tour. “The Gold Dust Woman”is also completing work on a documentary on the making of the In Your Dreams album which will be released at the end of this year.

It will also be screened at the upcoming Hamptons Film Festival and theMill ValleyFilm Festival.

Stevie first came to Sunset Sessions in February 2011, where she treated our attendees to an impromptu performance with Vanessa Carlton! We are so excited to have her back!

Dennis Constantine of KFOG San Francisco: Dennis started in radio when he was five years old; he was the class announcer for his kindergarten class. By the time he was 16, he had a job at the local top 40 radio station in Baltimore helping the deejays at the station and at their record hops. By the time he was 21, he was program director at WYRE in Annapolis,Maryland. After stints in Miami,Florida and legendary stations WYYQ and Y100, he moved to Colorado where he was music director and night deejay at KTLK, and then the morning guy and production director at AOR station KBPI. In 1977, he started KBOC in Boulder and programmed at the station for sixteen years. After consulting two dozen Triple A and and Alternative Stations, he moved to Portland,Oregon to program KINK. After thirteen years there, he moved to the Bay Area where he is now Director of FM Programming for Cumulus San Francisco. He can be heard on the air at the legendary KFOG every afternoon.


Music Collaborator, Documentarian and Former Eurythmics Mastermind Dave Stewart Reveals Intimate Portrait of Grammy Winning Legend

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Sep 26, 2012) – Rock legend Stevie Nicks in collaboration with musical wizard Dave Stewart have co-produced and co-directed ”In Your Dreams – Stevie Nicks,” a documentary portrait of the illusive Nicks as they embark on a musical journey to write and record the critically acclaimed album “In Your Dreams.” The film will premiere at the 35th International Hamptons Film Festival on Sunday, October 7th and at the 20th annual Mill Valley Film Festival on Friday, October 12th which has already sold out.

Nicks, a multi Grammy Award winner and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, lead singer and emotional catalyst and vocalist for Fleetwood Mac and one of the most recognizable female rock stars and revered songwriters in the world, allowed cameras into her home as she holed up in a magical old mansion high atop the hills of Los Angeles with Stewart and a wild cast of characters. The vibrant documentary tracks the year (2010) which Nicks calls “the best year of my life.” The result is a rare study of a fascinating artist on par with D. A. Pennebaker’s classic Dylan documentary “Don’t Look Back” or Madonna’s notorious “Truth or Dare.”

Stewart and Nicks, co-directors of the film, also co-wrote many of the songs on “In Your Dreams.” The inner life of the legendary Nicks has by her design long been kept at a distance from the public. We learn in “Dreams” that her world features, costume parties, joyous dinner feasts, tap dancing, fantasy creations and revealing songwriting and recording sessions all of which are captured on film. Also cameos by Edgar Allan Poe, Mick Fleetwood, Reese Witherspoon, a massive white stallion in the backyard, owls and naturally a few vampires who appear in several “home movie” style music videos.

Along with tracking the Nicks/Stewart creative partnership, “In Your Dreams” includes plenty of other cinematic payoffs including rare never before seen personal scrapbook stills from Nicks’ childhood and family life, and a wealth of candid backstage and performance shots taken over the last 35 years.

Nicks, who has sold millions of records as a solo artist, writer of such iconic songs as “Landslide,” “Gold Dust Woman” and “Edge of 17,” is regularly cited by stars as diverse as Taylor Swift, Kid Rock, Courtney Love, Sheryl Crow, The Dixie Chicks and John Mayer as an iconic favorite and heroine and is a continuous inspiration to the world’s top fashion designers.

“I think you see in this film that Stevie just tells it like it is. She is who she is, and she doesn’t change,” commented Stewart.

“In Your Dreams – Stevie Nicks” Hamptons Film Festival – Sunday, October 7th at 3pm Sag Harbor Cinema

“In Your Dreams – Stevie Nicks” Mill Valley Film Festival – Friday, October 12th at 6:30pm at Smith Raphael Film Center

For more information on the Hamptons Film Festival, please go to

For more information about the Mill Valley Film Festival, please go to

Press Contact:
Liz Rosenberg
Liz Rosenberg Media

Song of the Year

By Ben Kessler
City Arts
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saluting Stevie Nicks’ “Soldier’s Angel”

Years from now, 2011 may be remembered as the year postfeminism produced poster girls for the status quo. Female-fronted hits such as the movie Bridesmaids and the TV show New Girl were hailed as breakthroughs, despite their unremarkable content. (Bridesmaids even showed up on some confused critics’ year-end best lists.)

Ironically, inordinate media attention turned this distaff escapist trend into a genuine threat to women’s cultural advancement. The “women in comedy” hype carries the suggestion that lucrative half-truths are the best female artists can hope to achieve; risking personal expression turns funny chicks into Debbie Downers.

My choice for best pop song of last year, Stevie Nicks’ “Soldier’s Angel,” points the way out of hype. As if responding to Bridesmaids and New Girl, Nicks shows us how 21st-century pop artists can speak truth and navigate politics.

In “Soldier’s Angel,” Nicks tells how her visits with wounded veterans at Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval Hospital unsettled her as a woman, citizen and icon. Lindsey Buckingham’s resonant guitar notes ensure that the song is threaded through with dread in the face of mortality. Against this stirring backdrop, Nicks’ voice—scarred and pitted by time and trouble—expresses a veteran artist’s perseverance for inspiration.

Imagining how the soldiers to whom she ministers must see her, Nicks sings, “I am a soldier’s girlfriend as I look upon their faces/ They make me remember my first love/ Goin’ out to dances.” Buckingham’s presence as guitarist and background vocalist connects her romantic recollection to our collective Fleetwood Mac memories. As “smart” pop critics might say, Nicks “implicates the audience” in her healing mission.

The refrain of “Solder’s Angel” speaks of the “war of words between worlds” within which Nicks’ mission is enmeshed. This must refer to the partisan scapegoating that has infected American political discourse. While Hollywood entertainment like Bridesmaids and New Girl promises escape from political conflict, Nicks elevates the discourse to a philosophical, even spiritual plane.

“Soldier’s Angel” was a 2011 highlight, but it may resonate even more profoundly in this election year. As Nicks warns: “No one walks away from this battle.”

Gold Dust Woman: A Q&A with Stevie Nicks


By Lynne Margolis
American Songwriter
Thursday, September 1, 2011

When Stevie Nicks started her musical and romantic relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, both were still in high school. By the time the romance ended, the folk-pop duo were in one of the world’s hottest bands, which also contained another splitting couple, John and Christine McVie, as well as drummer Mick Fleetwood, who also was in the throes of divorce. Their tangled, cocaine-addled lives—and Nicks’ affair with Fleetwood—would become fodder for 1977’s Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all time. In the years since, Fleetwood Mac’s members would go their own ways, only to come together again periodically. But of all their solo careers, Nicks’ has been the most successful.

Her string of hits, with and without Fleetwood Mac, represents one of pop music’s most beloved canons: the list includes “Rhiannon,” “Landslide,” “Dreams” (a favorite topic), “Edge of Seventeen,” “Leather and Lace” (a duet with one-time lover Don Henley), “Stand Back” and, with Tom Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Her gypsy/witchy-woman look—Victorian-inspired gowns, high-heeled boots, leather and lace, silk and satin, romantic hats over long, blonde hair, all shown off with frequent stage twirls—set a tone in the ‘70s from which she hasn’t wavered to this day. Her songwriting methods hadn’t changed much, either, till she called Dave Stewart and asked him if he’d like to produce her first solo album in 10 years. Released in May, In Your Dreams contains the first song collaborations she’s ever done with another writer while sitting in the same room, raw and open to anything.

Their output, it turns out, is remarkably strong. This time, she’s inspired by soldiers, angels, vampires, New Orleans, Edgar Allen Poe and, of course, romantic notions—past, present and future. (Both Buckingham and Fleetwood are on the album, along with guitarist Waddy Wachtel, with whom she’d also reportedly been linked at one time.) Sometime writing partner Mike Campbell also participated. In a wide-ranging conversation, Nicks discusses her unusual methodology.

You’ve written some of the most enduring songs in the pop-rock lexicon. I’m sure you’re very proud of that. How about if we start with Buckingham Nicks? “Frozen Love” was the biggest song that you two were known for as a team. Did you write that together?

No, I wrote it. Lindsey and I did not ever write a song together. The only—strangely enough—time I’ve ever written a song with anybody is Dave Stewart.


I mean anybody in the same room. I do write with [Heartbreaker] Michael Campbell, but he sends me a CD that has three or four tracks on it, so he’s not sitting there. That’s very different, because if you don’t like it you can like wait three days and call and say, “You know, I just didn’t see anything/hear anything right now, but I’ll revisit it.” So you can kind of get out of it without hurting anybody’s feelings. That’s a problem with writing songs with people—you can really end up hurting peoples’ feelings, because if you don’t like it, you either get stuck with something you don’t like or you’re honest and you tell them you don’t like it, and, it takes a very special team to be able to write together without that ego thing happening. So Lindsey and I never wrote. He would leave guitars all over our little house and they’d all be tuned in different tunings and God knows what. He’d be gone, I’d write a song, I’d record it on a cassette, and then I’d put the cassette by the coffee pot and say, “Here’s a new song, you can produce it, but don’t change it.” Strict orders. “Don’t change it, don’t change the words, don’t change the melody. Just do your magic thing, but don’t change it.”

Did you ever overcome that feeling that once it was done, nobody could touch it?

No. Very superstitious.

How does that translate into your songwriting? When it’s done, it’s done?

It’s done—pretty much. Sometimes when I write a song, I’ll just write the first two verses and the chorus, and in my head I know I still have to write another verse, and maybe I’ll do that down the line a couple weeks later or maybe even a month or two later, but it’s very set in stone because—I always have a tape recorder going, and usually the first time, if I’m singing [sings] “Now there you go again, you say you want your freedom /who am I to keep you down?”—I’m not changing that. And I know it. The second it comes out of my mouth, I’m like “Oh, that was good.” So I have a little overhead lightbulb thing that goes off, so then I’m never going to go back and change that even though a good example is Don Henley—I was going out with Don Henley when I was writing “Dreams,” and it says [sings], “When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know.” Well, he didn’t like that [sings]“washes you” [accent on “es”], and he wanted me to go, “When the rain washes you clean” [accent on “wash”]. And I’m like, “No, I don’t like it.” [laughs] And he’s like, “Well, wash-ES doesn’t sound good,” and I’m like, “Well, wash-ES is the way it’s gonna be.” So then you start getting into that with somebody, and we’re talking an ego [of] a fantastic songwriter here. So I’m arguing with Don Henley over this, you know? That’s why I really stayed away from writing songs with other people.

Especially men, I guess.

Well, yeah, and but then if you slip it over to women, then of course women are more sensitive. So then you’re really actually going to hurt somebody’s feelings. It didn’t hurt Don’s feelings that I didn’t like his idea. I think he just—he was like, way more famous than me, you know, Don Henley and the Eagles—so I think he probably just thought, “Well, you’re an idiot.” And just left it at that because certainly, me not liking the word “washes” is not going to wreck Don Henley’s confidence. But at the same time, it was a little thorn there for a moment.

It’s interesting that you say, “He was way more famous than me.” In retrospect—and it’s so strange to ask a question like this: “Do you guys ever sit there and consider who is more famous?”—but honestly, as time has gone by, wouldn’t you say it’s pretty much equaled out?

Well, maybe. But then, that was—well, when was “Dreams”? Was “Dreams” on the first or second record; I can never remember—whatever, when Lindsey and I drove to Los Angeles in 1971, “Witchy Woman” was on the radio, “One of These Nights” was on the radio, and we were totally inspired by them and by their amazing harmonies and amazing song craftsmanship. So in my little mind, this was two years—1976 is when it was, because that’s when I went out with Don—so in my mind, they had been famous for a good solid five, six years longer than we had been famous. So I was listening to the Eagles long before I even knew if we’d make it or not. There’s bands that are famous—well it’s generations —five years before us, and then us, and there’s the five-years-after-us generation, and then there’s even older than that, which would be Eric Clapton and his generation, a little bit older than the Eagles generation. So that’s actually like a two-year-older generation, so each one of those generations brought up these amazing bands, so I, Stevie Nicks, would open for the Eagles in a second because they’re awesome and they were my big inspiration. It’s why I was able to go out on the road just now and feel very good about opening for Rod Stewart, because Rod Stewart [is] awesome; one of my big influences.

I was gonna ask you how that tour went.

It went great. He’s trippy, he’s charming. I’m used to English people so I’m very comfortable with the English people. They are very witty and very funny and charming. You can’t not like Rod Stewart because he’s darling, and he was very good to me and he gave me a chance to take my new album around the United States and do 18 arena gigs, which, by myself, I could not command. I can’t play the arenas that Rod Stewart and Fleetwood Mac play. So taking me with him, he allowed me to be able to go play my single and say a few little words about my record in 18 huge cities, in 18 huge venues. He gave me a wonderful platform for that. On the last night I said to him, “If this record really does well Rod, I’m going to be sending you a cashmere blanket.” He really helped me in giving me that platform.

Did it feel like there was a particular age group in the audience or were you reaching new fans as well?

In Rod’s show?


Well, I’m starting to really be aware that there are children out there, I mean there’s kids, there’s 14-year-olds and 15-year-olds and 12-year-olds and 18-year-olds and 25-year-olds and 32-year-olds. It’s pretty much going across the board now, which is great. And it’s the same with Fleetwood Mac. When Fleetwood Mac first reconvened in 1998 for The Dance after not playing since 1987, since Tangle in the Night, there were mostly people that were our age, a lot of people who looked definitely older, and Lindsey said, “Where are the younger people?” I said “Lindsey, give it a chance here, these are all the people that are our fans, and their children will come along with them and so will their grandchildren, by the way, so just give it two weeks,” and in fact that’s exactly what happened. Within weeks, there was like, super young people there, and it’s because we had great, serious fans, original fans in 1975-’76, ’77, ’78, and their children have grown up with us, and their children. Lindsey and I were 27 and 28 when we joined Fleetwood Mac—we had fans for those first two records that were probably, 50? Twenty-two years older than us? So think about that now. We’re 63 and 62. So if they’re still alive, we have fans in their 80s! [laughs]

That’s what’s so cool about rock ‘n’ roll. When I was growing up, which was when you were coming out with Buckingham Nicks and Fleetwood Mac was out, the last thing you would ever do was go to a show with you parents. You didn’t even want them to consider liking your music.

Right, but now it’s pretty different. I mean, I think that they might go in different cars and be at the same concert and not hang out that much, but they’re both there.

If they’re lucky, their parents even bought them the ticket.

So let’s get back to the craft of songwriting I’m amazed that they come out, from what you’re saying, fully formed almost. Do you sit down and start to write and have to plan it? Or do you just go with inspiration whenever?

Mostly, I write poems. And my poems come directly out of my journals. On the righthand side of my big, leather-bound journals, I write prose, which is basically what happened today.  If nothing good or spectacular happened, I don’t write. But I just got back from London; I did Hard Rock Calling for like 50,000, 60, 000 people, so of course I’m going to write about that. So out of that, whatever I wrote about, if I see something that looks like a song, then I’ll go to the lefthand page, which I never write on except for poetry. And I’ll pull a poem straight out of that, so I might write a song about the experience of Hard Rock Calling—not that I am; that’s just a good example of something that was really fun and really exciting, and there were so many people there and I had been in London for three weeks, so I was really feeling very English—so I might pull a poem out of there and call it “Hard Rock Calling.” And then what I do—it’s a full-on, formal poem—let’s see, let’s compare it to the full-on formal poem of, say, “Soldier’s Angel,” which is a poem that has existed since 2005, five formal verses. Then I go to the piano, and I sit there and I stare at the words and I start playing. And just like in that little bit of “Dreams” I sang for you, all of the sudden I’ll just go [sings]“I am a soldier’s angel in the eyes of a soldier/ in the eyes of a soldier I am a soldier’s mother,” and then I’m on a roll, and the whole song just comes … it usually takes 20 minutes.

I’m sure there are a lot of other writers who would be insanely jealous to know it’s so easy for you.

They are, because anybody who knows me knows that’s how I write. I had a great experience when I was writing “For What It’s Worth.” I had gone to Hawaii for two weeks and my niece Jessi, who’s 19, came over, and I had some tracks from Mike and I had listened to them a couple months before didn’t hear anything, but I said, “I’m gonna revisit those tracks.” And there were, like, 10 tracks, and I hit track seven and I went, “oh my …” and I just started—I didn’t even have a formal poem—which doesn’t often happen. There’s this little train bell at the beginning and I started thinking about my granddad and how my grandfather rode the rails in the ‘40s and was a songwriter and played gigs all over the United States. And I just started singing along, and I was running around the room at the same time looking for paper and pencil and yelling at my assistant to get some kind of recording device. And all we have is a camera, so we immediately put the camera on video and we were able to record it. And then Jessi came in and I said, “Do you want to hear this?” I just sang it to her and at the end she said—and she’d lived with me, her parents [brother Chris and sister-in-law/backup singer Lori Nicks] have lived with me off-and-on for years—and she just said, “Oh, Aunt Stevie, that is so awesome.” Because it was the first time in the whole 19 years that she had known me that she actually saw the process and saw a brand new song happen; the second time I sang it, I sang it for her. And she was like, “How did you do that?” and I’m like, “I don’t know, Jess. It’s my little special gift from God.” That’s how I look at it.

A lot of artists have said it’s just like channeling. So you always come up with the music after? Unless somebody like Mike offers some to you?

Pretty much.

How about with you and Dave, did you just trade verses, lyrics?

No, what we did was, I called him in January 2010 and asked him if he wanted to produce this record that I had decided to do after 10 years. And that day I sent him 40 pages of poetry, never really expecting him to read all of it, but he did. We had my living room set up with a Pro Tools rig, so I’m sitting on my couch, he’s sitting across from me in front of the fireplace. He puts his guitar on and he takes one of the poems out of the binder that I had sent him, and he said, “I like this poem. Let’s do this one.” And I’m like a deer in headlights at this point because I want to say to him, “I don’t really write songs with people.” But I didn’t because something in me said, “Don’t say that. Just sit there and see what he is gonna do.” And he just started playing guitar, playing kind of a cool thing, and I’m staring at him like, I’m still the deer, you know, and he looks and me and he goes, “Well, sing.” And I’m like, dying, and I start reciting the poem in a sing-songy sort of way. That’s actually the third to the last song on the record, it’s called “You May Be The One.” [Sings]“You may be the one, but you’ll never be the one, you may be my love, but you’ll never be my love,” So that’s how it started, and 20 minutes later, we had a really good song and it was recorded.

And I went to myself, “OK, I now understand why people write together. I understand why John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote together when they didn’t have to, because they were great on their own. [It’s] because of what just happened between me and Dave.” Because there were no egos; he can read me like a book. He could tell if he played a chord I didn’t like. I didn’t say, “Stop, I hate that chord.” I think that my face probably twisted up, so he was reading my face as we went, and if I seemed to falter, he would go to another chord. So we never even stopped, it just went all the way through, almost as if I was writing it myself.

I wrote all the lyrics on the whole record except for the chorus of “Everybody Loves You,” and that’s the first song that he sent me the night that I called him. It had the chorus, which said [sings], “Everybody loves you but you’re so alone, no one really knows you, but I’m the only one.” He said, “Write the verses to that.” And I said, “OK.” But that’s not like getting a track with no vocals. He had set the song up with that chorus, so then I had to build a story around those four lines, which was great—it was a challenge. And I immediately took it like he was writing that about Annie Lennox, because that sounded like a person from a duo writing a song about the other person in the duo. And what Dave and I had that was great was that we’d both been in really famous duos, so the whole time we were making this record, I feel like Lindsey and Annie were floating around in the room. Because a lot of the stuff that we both wrote seemed to be directed to our years as famous people in duos.

Have you ever talked to Lindsey about that?

Well, he’s very aware. And the words to “Everybody Loves You” came from a poem that’s pretty old, like maybe 12 years old, that was definitely written about him. Where it says, “No one else can play that part. No voice of a stranger could play that part/It broke my heart,” that’s pretty much all about Lindsey. I took Dave’s lead on that because I knew that this was about being in a duo, because being in a duo’s very different than being in a band, especially a man and woman. There haven’t been many famous duos, not that many men-and-women duos, that really lasted.

True, and the ones there are, generally they are romantically linked.

Lindsey and I were broken up at the end of 1976, so we were no longer a “duo” even within Fleetwood Mac, because we were no longer romantically linked. So you can be romantically linked and be a duo, or be in a band and that falls apart, and you can still stay in the band if you make the choice that you’re not gonna quit. And your reaction to that is like, “You quit, I’m not quitting. I’m not leaving Fleetwood Mac because we’re not getting along. You leave.” So nobody’s leaving.

Was it stubbornness or resiliency?

I think it was both, definitely. And it was all of us knowing that we had a good thing. And that none of us were gonna break that up over a personal relationship.

That’s part of what’s amazing about your story—you all understood that the strength of the band outweighed all of the drama that was going on. Looking back on it with 20/20 hindsight, would you have changed any of it?

No. I think it was fated. It was totally destiny that the guy who found Lindsey and I in San Francisco and who produced Buckingham-Nicks and the first Fleetwood Mac record would play “Frozen Love” for Mick Fleetwood. He knew that Mick was looking for a studio; he wasn’t that schooled in the fact that Mick was also looking for a guitar player because Bob Welch was getting ready to leave. Mick [was] searching for somebody to replace him if he did, so when Keith Olsen played “Frozen Love” for him, he definitely heard strains of Peter Green and all the other famous guitar players who had been in Fleetwood Mac for the five years before that. So the fact that that happened out of nowhere—that this big tall guy would come in and Keith Olsen would play him a song off a Buckingham-Nicks record that never really went anywhere, that two years before had opened to critical acclaim and then was dropped like a rock by Polydor—what are the chances of that? One in 20 million?

I wanted to ask you a little bit about how you restored your voice, because there was a period of time when it went away or faltered, and now you sound so great. Can you give me a little bit on that?

Sure. Well, I study with a vocal coach, a really great vocal coach who goes on the road with me. If I’m going on at 8 o’clock, I have to be done with my vocal lesson at 5, three hours before I sing. So at, like, 2:30 to 3, I work with Steve—his name is Steve Real—I work with him from 2:30 to 3 and then I work with him from 4 to 4:30 so that I’m done by 5. I do that absolutely rigidly before every single show. And if for some reason he’s not there—and he’s almost always there—if he’s not there, then I have a tape that is exactly what we do. It’s not as good as having him in person because he’s like the voice doctor, he can hear things in your voice that you don’t really hear, and he’ll be able to say, “You’re having a little trouble.” Like where I’m talking right now, sometimes that’s where the problem is, because I talk so much. So that’s what I’ve been doing since 1997, and he’s amazing, and he said to me, “If you want to sing into your 70s like opera singers do, then this is what we have to do.” And of course, in the beginning I was really reticent. I’m thinking, “That’s like going to the gym, that’s a big commitment,” or let’s put it this way: “I could be going to the gym.” That’s an hour commitment and I won’t be able to, because I’ll be spending an hour with you every single day before I go onstage. “how I realized that it worked was in 1997, for The Dance, we were in rehearsal and we were doing a dress rehearsal, and we’d invited like 500 people, and I was sick and I was this close to canceling it on that day, and my friend Liza said, “I have a great vocal coach. Can he come over and spend a half-hour with you?” And I said, “Oh, I’m so sure that this guy isn’t going to be able to do anything that’s going to be able to make me sing tonight. I am sick.” And she said, “Just give it a chance, Stevie.” So he came over about 3 in the afternoon and I hobbled downstairs to the living room and we sat at the piano, and for 30 minutes, he just ran me through some very interesting little scales. And he was very sweet and I liked him very much, and then he went home and I thought, “I’m going back to bed for two hours, so I won’t cancel it yet.” And I walked on that stage and sang pretty damn great considering how sick I was, and at that moment I said, “I will never go onstage without doing that workout again—ever—because I will never have another bad night if I do this, and I commit to this. I will never have another bad night no matter what—if I’m sick or if I’m having allergies or whatever happens to people that sing—sinus infection, whatever. I will still be able to sing and be able to sing pretty damn good no matter what if I do my 40 minutes with Steve.” And I have done it absolutely, determinedly, ever since.

Do you use any potions or anything like that on top of it?

No. Potions don’t work.

I meant like tea, honey …

No. Honey is acidic, for me. You can drink all the tea in the world, and I drink all the tea in the world, you can sip on olive oil, you can do tons of things that really don’t actually have one thing to do with the actual studying with a voice coach. Because when you study with a voice coach, what you’ll do is [demonstrates vocal exercise] and what you’re doing is, you’re vibrating the gunk off of your cords, because literally, you create a vibration. So anything that is on your vocal cords will vibrate right off. You can’t do that with tea. So it is worth it for any singer—and you don’t have to have your vocal coach come with you everywhere you go—what you do is, you go in and you do like two or three lessons with them and they’ll make you a tape. If it’s a good person, they’ll make you a tape, and then you use that. If you’re just playing in a little band and you do three gigs a week, you do your little tape a few hours before you go on and you’ll never have vocal problems; you’ll never get nodes, you’ll never get the nodule things, you’ll never have to have surgery. It’s like a gift. And if somebody had told me that in the first 15 years of Fleetwood Mac, man.

Is there was anything you want to mention about the new album, any song in particular you want to talk about? You have some of the great usual suspects that you’ve hung around with for years on there; did you ever at any point have them all together at the same time?

We did … we had Waddy, we had Mike … mostly it was me and Dave and the girls, Lori and [backup singer] Sharon [Celani], at my house. We did the record at my house, which was just fantastic. It was like a happening in San Francisco in 1968 or ’69. We only went into a big studio for two weeks to do the drum track. We started in January and we finished it Dec. 1. It was the best year of my life. I am probably more proud of this record than anything I’ve ever done. I am more proud of these songs than anything I’ve ever done—seven of them were written with Dave—and I think that caused the record to be diversified in a way that I could’ve never done by myself. Because you’re bringing another spirit in, and his spirit is great, and it’s all-knowing, and he has such a command of music, that to be working and writing with somebody like him was an adventure for me every second of every day.

He would come Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays and Sundays, the girls and I would work on our harmonies and on all our parts so that when Dave would come back, we’d have all the singing parts worked out to the song that we had just written two days before.

We were moving fast and because of that, it was never a dull moment. It was just a lot of laughter. We made dinners for 10 or 12 every night in my dining room and we sat and talked about music and politics and the world, and it was the dream album to make.

Every day when I would get up, I would just be going, “Today is going to be another amazing new song.” And whether it became “Moonlight” or “New Orleans” or “Cheaper Than Free,” which I personally think —I look at Dave sometimes and say, “This song, ‘Cheaper Than Free,’ may be the best song either of us ever writes,” because it’s such a precious song—I’m just very proud of it. This has been a big thing for me, to make a record that I think is this good at my age.

And out of that—the diversification of “Secret Love” to “Soldier’s Angel” to “New Orleans” to “Ghosts Are Gone” to “Wide Sargasso Sea” to “You May Be The One”—I think of these songs and they’re all so different, and that’s what I love. My guitar player and musical director, Waddy Wachtel, always says, “In a way, since you only know six chords, you kind of just write one song.” And just after I kick him for saying that I say, “Well you’re right, actually.” So this allowed me to go places with my voice and with my creativity that I couldn’t go because I don’t know a thousand chords. I really do only know six or seven guitar chords and I never took piano lessons, so what I do on the piano is very much, the right hand never moves and the bottom hand moves bass notes, and that’s how I play. Which totally works for me, don’t get me wrong, it’s worked very well for me my whole life, but I’m really flying by the seat of my pants a lot of the time. And to have somebody like Dave, who just enjoys my life, enjoys my friends, enjoys the way I live, enjoys my hippie flowy things on the lamps and the candles and all that, he enjoys all that, he embraced all that, it really was like going back in time to when, like, Led Zeppelin made records at the Grange or that kind of situation. Every day when I would get up, I would just be going, “Today is going to be another amazing new song.” And whether it became “Moonlight” or “New Orleans” or “Cheaper Than Free,” which I personally think—I look at Dave sometimes and say, “This song, ‘Cheaper Than Free,’ may be the best song either of us ever writes,” because it’s such a precious song —I’m just very proud of it. This has been a big thing for me, to make a record that I think is this good at my age.

Live review: Stevie Nicks at Red Rocks Amphitheatre

By Ray Mark Rinaldi
Hey Reverb
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stevie Nicks is on the road pushing her best new album in two decades and she wasn’t about to let the crowd held captive at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Tuesday night get away without hearing it — a lot of it. The veteran rocker, whose iconic compositions “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” are as familiar as the national anthem, loaded this kick-off show to her latest tour with six tunes from the listenable new disc In Your Dreams.

That’s an unusual move, but it made for a fine evening under the stars at Red Rocks and allowed Nicks to step away from the cliches that have defined her career. This night wasn’t about tambourines with flowing ribbons (though she banged a few) and it wasn’t about her trademark whirling dervish bit (though she spun a few times during “Stand Back”). And it wasn’t even about the whole gypsy get up (though she she was done over in lacey things and changed from a sparkly red shawl to a sparkly gold one for the song “Gold Dust Woman”).

It was more about Stevie the songwriter. Nicks saved up her best efforts for the fresh “Annabel Lee,” the country-fied “For What It’s Worth,” the poppy “Secret Love,” and mostly, for the anthemic “Soldier’s Angel,” a song she wrote after a visit with ailing soldiers at a military hospital.

Fans gave her the benefit of the doubt — even if those songs didn’t inspire as much dancing and arm-waving as the familiar tunes they paid to hear. It helped that Red Rocks was cooperating. The night was balmy and clear and just as Nicks launched into her finale, a pumped-up “Edge of Seventeen,” the wind kicked up big-time swirling around the stage. Nicks knew to make the most of it. She leaned in, let hair and her ribbons and her voice fly, and delivered a high-energy version of her rock’n’roll hit that was pure Stevie.

Stevie Nicks talks gays, ‘Glee’ controversy, losing weight…with her own music?

By Chris Azzopardi
Pride Source (Issue 1918 – Between The Lines News)
May 5, 2011

Ten years have passed since Stevie Nicks released her last solo album, but she’s still the same gay-loved goddess of earthy rock she built her legend on. The new release, In Your Dreams, is exactly how the gypsy queen left us — with that uniform sense of mystical otherworldliness that’s made Nicks a go-her-own-way virtuoso since her days with Fleetwood Mac. White horses, vampire tales and ethereal love parables all seep into this set, Nick’s first all-new studio project after reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for 2003’s Say You Will.

Nicks recently spoke with us about taking a trip to “the magical world of fairies and angels,” the dress drag queens love, and how her own music motivated her to lose a dozen pounds.

Why did it take so long to release another solo album?

Even though I haven’t made another solo record in 10 years, I’ve been making music solid since Trouble in Shangri-La. I came off the road from 135 shows in 2005 with Fleetwood Mac and was going to make a record, and the business people around me said, “We don’t think you should do it because the music business is in chaos” — you know, with Internet piracy, which was really hitting us in the face in 2005 — “and it’s just going to be a really emotional pull on you. We don’t think you should do it. Tour while you can, do big shows and sell lots of tickets, that’s what you can do.” And I just was stupid enough to kind of go, “OK.”

When did you wise up?

At the end of the Fleetwood Mac tour in 2009. We were in Australia, and I wrote the “Moonlight” song (from “In Your Dreams”) there, and when I got done with that song — I started it in Melbourne and I finished it in Brisbane — there was a piano. I stood up and I said to my assistant, “I’m ready to make a record now.”

What was it like recording “In Your Dreams”?

The whole year of recording this record was like this magical mystery tour that we did at my house. We recorded the whole thing at my house and (the Eurythmics’) Dave Stewart, and his entourage were there every day, and my girls and everybody were there every day. It was just a fantastic experience. We started in February and ended in December, and when it was over I was heartbroken. I didn’t want it to ever end.

The concept of the video for the first single, “Secret Love,” is intriguing — it merges your older self with your younger self. How do you feel now versus then?

That’s why the little girl that’s in the video, Kelly, is wearing the green outfit that was my first colored outfit made in 1976, 1977 — that’s when my designer, Margi Kent, started making my clothes. But my outfits were black, and that’s one of the only colored ones she made; it’s a kind of tie-dyed green outfit. The little girl that’s playing me, she’s 15 and she’s one of my goddaughters, she, like, fits into this and we’re looking at her going, “Oh my god, we were that tiny!”

But anyway, that’s what I wanted. I wanted Kelly to be the 25-year-old Stevie, and then there’s the older Stevie. That song was written in 1975, so I wanted the spirits to blend. That’s why you see her leaving the white horse and then you see me leaving the white horse and then we’re both together, because in my dreams as a little girl that white horse was very important.

That horse was so beautiful. (While shooting the video) we looked down out of my bedroom window and saw this horse — and there was a fog machine on and the actual sun was coming through all the evergreens in my backyard — and I was like, “That can’t possibly be real.” If that horse had a horn you would’ve thought, “OK, I’ve died and gone to fairyland,” because it was so, so mystical and so real in its magicness. This horse was like Guinevere.

Let’s talk about those fairies, because you know a lot of gays adore you.

I know. I’m glad. All these visions that I see, I love when people get them. Sometimes people don’t get it, you know, and I love when people do, because I think that everybody needs to move into that magical world sometimes. A lot of people do not ever move into the magical land of fairies and angels and they just live in the hardcore miserable world that this world is right now. It’s chaotic, horrible, there’s nothing we can do — it’s such a bummer.

I can do benefits and go to Africa, but the reason I make music — the reason I’ve always made music — was to try to just make a record of songs that makes everybody, for an hour a day, feel better. We can all stay friends and we can all be in this world and we can rise above everything else for a minute. And that’s really the only reason I wanted to make music.

When did you know you were a gay icon?

When “Night of a Thousand Stevies” (a New York City-based salute to Stevie Nicks featuring impersonators) started happening 20 years ago, it was a clue. And you know, I always felt it was because I was not a fashion statement like Madonna was. I’m very different than her; she’s very chameleon-esque. That little outfit that Kelly is wearing is exactly the same as the black outfit I have on in the video. The eye makeup she has on is the makeup that I’ve been wearing since high school. I don’t change much.

Right. You stay very true to yourself, and I think a lot of gay people can admire that because we strive for that, too.

I do, and I think that brings a little bit of comfort to my audience. I still have the two girls singing with me, because I love them and they’re my dear friends. But I could’ve been changing background singers every year, and I chose to stay with Sharon (Celani) and Lori (Nicks) because the sound of the three of us is comforting to my audience. And those clothes are comforting to my audience.

Any impersonators stand out to you?

Well, I just think it’s very fun to see. When I was wearing my beautiful white Morgane Le Fay dress and my black velvet jacket, that dress just took off. I noticed how popular that dress was from the impersonators. (Laughs) I was laughing, and Morgane Le Fay was just tickled pink. So every time I’d do a little change, like in the “Secret Love” video with the long floor-length, we’re laughing — Lori and Sharon and I are laughing going, “We’re single-handedly going to bring back the Victorian ball gown.” There’s a whole new fashion statement coming out of the three or four or more videos that will come from this record, where we really stayed very Victorian.

Drag queens will be all about that, you know.

Yeah — I love it!

“Glee” recently dedicated an entire episode to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours album. How do you feel about having your work on a show that’s been so controversial regarding using other artists’ songs?

You know, I went down there when they were doing “Landslide” and I stayed there for six hours and watched them film the whole thing. I watched Gwyneth (Paltrow) and Brittany (Heather Morris) and Santana (Naya Rivera) sing the song 50 times, and I had such a good time. What I was very touched by was that Lea Michele, who plays Rachel, said to me, “You know, in all the big songs that we’ve done, which is many, nobody’s ever called us or come down or even written a note thanking us for doing ‘Jessie’s Girl’ or a Journey song.” They do such great versions of all these songs; the original writers cannot fault them. They’re magnificent — every one of them. And she goes, “Nobody except you has ever come down and told us that they thought we were doing a good job.” And I thought that was so sad. Very, very disrespectful.

As someone whose music has spanned many generations, how does it feel working with a new generation of performers like the “Glee” cast or, for instance, Taylor Swift at the Grammys?

I love that. A lot of the songs they love are songs that I wrote when I was really young. “Landslide” was written in 1973; I was 27. I may sing it now at 62, but I was 27 when I wrote that song. It’s not like they love a song that was written by a 62-year-old woman. They love a song that was written by a 27-year-old girl.

So I’m thrilled, and I don’t write any differently now than I did when I was 27. I just go to the piano — inspired by something that happens to me — with a cup of tea, incense burning and the fire in the fireplace.

Was your muse for “Moonlight (A Vampire’s Dream),” which was “Twilight”-inspired, Taylor Lautner’s abs?

No. It’s nothing about him at all. The first and third verses were written about me and Lindsey (Buckingham, of Fleetwood Mac) in 1976; the second verse and the chorus were written about Bella and Edward. It really is an amazing blend — an ancient story blending Lindsey, Stevie, Bella and Edward, and everything in between. It’s my favorite. And by the way, I have listened to “Secret Love” and “A Vampire’s Dream” for the last two-and-a-half months and I’ve lost 12-and-a-half pounds just from treadmilling to “Secret Love” and “A Vampire’s Dream.”

No way. You treadmill to your own music?

Way! And I have never gotten tired of either of those songs. I’ve just been listening to those two songs for two-and-a-half solid months, and I am thinner than I’ve been since 1989. I really attribute it all to those two songs.

Best Hippie-Queen Earth Mother: Stevie Nicks

The Florence and the Machine singer pays tribute to her hero
By Florence Welch
Rolling Stone
Thursday, April 28, 2011

THE FIRST TIME I HEARD Stevie Nicks, I had just fallen in love with a boy in a band. I was on a family holiday in Italy. Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours was one of the only CDs at the house where we stayed, and I was like, “Oh, OK. What’s this?” I listened to the whole thing nonstop. There’s something about Stevie that’s really pure. When she sings, she sounds angelic but also wild and free, like she’s getting completely lost in the song. Her new album, In Your Dreams, is just classic, classic songwriting. With the big, expansive guitar sounds, it’s moving in a more modern direction, but it still sounds like Stevie Nicks. She’s very much a storyteller, and she has a fantastic ability to make songs that you feel immediately connected to. Creating that intimacy while also retaining a mystique is something I learned from her. She also definitely influenced me to wear a cape. I love a cape onstage.