Dave Stewart recalls his fling with Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks & Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart recalls his fling with Stevie Nicks — and how it led to a hit with Tom Petty

In an exclusive excerpt from Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music, Dave Stewart’s scintillating memoir (Feb. 4, NAL), the former Eurythmics member recalls a wild night of love — and drugs — with Stevie Nicks (and the drama that followed)

Memoir Excerpt:

We continued touring America for the remainder of 1984. When Annie [Lennox] and I played the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, the place was absolutely packed with half of the L.A. music industry and a host of famous ­musicians. There was hardly room for the general public. It was a wild show. There were a lot of ­musicians and ­singers backstage, and one of them was Stevie Nicks.

Stevie was in my dressing room doorway, wearing a faux-fur coat just like the first time I met Annie. Underneath she wore a black lace dress and she had long, flowing hair. I didn’t know who she was, but there was something about her that I was instantly attracted to. Stevie remembers that I looked her straight in the eye and said, “I want to be your ­boyfriend.” Little did I know that the day before, [The Eagles’] Joe Walsh and Stevie had had a big fight and had broken up. She invited me back to her house for a party, and 10 minutes later, still in full sweaty leather stage gear, I was in the back of a limo with Stevie and her backing singers. When we got there it wasn’t really a party: just Stevie and her singers being very speedy, ­laughing and talking. The house seemed enormous to me, so I wandered around, and when I came back to the ­living room, they had all disappeared into a bathroom for what seemed like hours. Actually it was hours. At around three in the morning, I ended up saying to myself, “OK, I’m really tired now and I have no idea where I am or which hotel Annie and the band are staying in.”

Dave Stewart and Stevie NicksI just went to bed in one of the four bedrooms upstairs. I woke up at about 5 a.m. to the sound of doors rustling open and in the half-light saw Stevie opening and closing closets, as if it was the middle of the afternoon. Obviously they were all still ­wide awake, aided, I imagine, by what we in England call “marching powder.” Stevie went back in the bathroom and about an hour later came out in a long Victorian ­nightdress and quietly slipped into the other side of the bed. Stevie is an incredibly talented, soulful and ­beautiful woman. There was a fair amount of what I’d call skirmishing that went on. I remember at one point actually falling backward out of bed onto the floor, which made us both laugh hysterically. Stevie recently told me that all she could see when she came out of the bathroom that night was a mound of black leather and chains on the floor and a wild head of hair poking out of the bed covers. I remember making love once, but she later told me we made love twice. And then she said, “I remember clearly because I was wide awake, wired on cocaine.” It was all very good-humored and sweet, but also romantic in a rock’n’roll kind of way.

I was woken up at about 9:30 a.m. by Stevie saying I had to leave because someone might have been coming around to collect their clothes, and things could get tricky. I didn’t like the sound of “tricky,” so I phoned my management, found out where the band was ­staying and jumped in a cab.

After San Francisco we had some time off, and I decided to go back to L.A. to see Stevie again. Jimmy Iovine, the great producer who went on to start Interscope Records in the early ’90s, had invited me to stay with him at his house, and this was where it got interesting. I had no idea of the complexity of the relationships among Jimmy, Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty at the time. But I was soon to find out more than I ever imagined.

Jimmy had been living with Stevie in 1981 when he was producing her album Bella Donna, which was a huge success. Now he was working on her next album, except this time around they were not together. Stevie said later that it was because she was so addicted to drugs at that time.

I played Jimmy the demo of “Don’t Come Around Here No More” [which Stewart co-wrote and co-produced], and he said, “Wow! This is going to be great. Let’s make it for Stevie’s album.”

I jumped at the chance to work with Stevie, and we went right into the studio a few days later. When we started recording, Stevie was acting strangely and not really coming out of the bathroom much.

There seemed to have been quite a bit of friction between them. I had no idea that it was because they had been living together and were now broken up. Finally, Stevie appeared with her lyric book and started to sing into the microphone.

I was mesmerized until Jimmy said, “She’s ­reciting f–ing Shakespeare!” He did have a point; it was kind of Shakespearean and very odd. He was trying to get Stevie to change the lyrics. Stevie was upset and the discussion became very tense. He was saying, “Can you stop arguing with me in front of my friend David? You don’t really know him.” And she said, “Your friend? What are you talking about? We slept together the other night.” I turned white and stared at the floor, ­wondering what was coming next. Fortunately Stevie turned, walked out the door and left the studio.

I thought Jimmy was going to ask, “What does that mean?” But he just said, “I know what we should do. We should get Tom Petty down here to finish writing the song with you. He’s great.”

—Dave Stewart

Dave Stewart Sweet Dreams Are Made of This Memoir

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 6 issue of Billboard.

Billboard / Saturday, February 6, 2016

Double dose of Stevie in February

Get ready a double dose of Stevie in February!

On Friday, February 5, Charles Kelley releases his first solo album The Driver, which features harmony vocals from Stevie on the Tom Petty cover “Southern Accent.”

Listen to Charles Kelley’s cover of  ‘Southern Accents featuring Stevie Nicks now!

Then on Tuesday, Feburary 9, Dave Stewart releases his first autobiography Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music, in which Dave describes meeting Stevie for the first time and recording Stevie’s 2011 album In Your Dreams. The autobiography includes several pictures, including a few with Stevie. Here is Stevie’s comment about Dave, which is printed on the back cover of the book:

“In 2010, I spent an entire year with Dave making a record called In Your Dreams at my house in Los Angeles. It was the ‘best year of my life.’ But now, I really see what it meant to me; it meant everything. He allowed me to be my most creative self. He is my hero. The memories of those days still take my breath away. Thanks Dave. It was real….beautiful.”—Stevie Nicks

Both releases are available for preorder now!

Amazon: The Driver and Sweet Dreams Are Made of This: A Life in Music
iTunes: The Driver

Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart talks about his new film with Stevie Nicks

2013-0701-in-your-dreams-bonus12

Over their respective careers, Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart have accomplished more than just about anyone else in rock ‘n’ roll. Nicks, as both a solo artist and a driving force behind Fleetwood Mac, continues to captivate audiences young and not so young (including much of the Refinery29 staff), while Stewart’s work with the Eurythmics, as well as his career as a producer and activist, has kept him in the limelight for more than three decades. Considering their histories, when we heard that Stewart would be working with Nicks on her latest solo album, we were more than a little bit excited. What we didn’t know is that Stewart and Nicks had decided to film the whole process.

The result is In Your Dreams, a documentary that serves as a time capsule for the months the two spent writing and recording the 2011 album of the same name in Nicks’ beautiful California home. The film shows what it’s like to have two icons (and friends) throwing ideas back and forth, arguing about creative decisions and shaping the sound of the record. Along the way, there are guest appearances by Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, and Reese Witherspoon, who helped contribute to the album. We caught up with Stewart to talk about working with Nicks, recording the album, and staying inspired. If you’re interested, you can purchase the film from iTunes here.

Was it hard to get used to the constant presence of the cameras during the recording process?

“No, not once I’d established how omnipresent they were. And also nowadays, there are these great, very small cameras. Sometimes we’d set up cameras on tripods, and they’d capture hours of unusable stuff, but then you’d capture magic moments.”

Was there any moment in particular that you were amazed you had captured?

“There were loads, actually. I loved watching how spot on and focused Stevie was. All these nuances that captured her focus. A lot of artists don’t particularly want cameras, but in that sense, she was surprisingly open. It was pretty amazing.”

In the documentary, you mention that you’ve been filming for much of your life, but Stevie also has a directing credit.

“I sort of suggested she had a directing credit, [because of her role in] the editing process. She was devouring information. I think because of that it took a lot longer because, interestingly enough, she wanted to [be involved] with the editing process.”

Stevie called making the record “the greatest year of my life.” Do you have the same fondness for that period of time?

“Oh yeah. A lot of people who make films — actors, actresses, directors — describe it like they were in the Air Force or the Army. You do get a great fondness for the people. There is a camaraderie and understanding that you’re doing it together. And I think Stevie loved that. [Before] she was making albums in studios or touring nonstop. Then her life wasn’t so much [about] fun and creating. It was more her on her own writing songs and poems and things like that. So, it opened her eyes up to an album that was just creating.”

How do you stay inspired to make new music after so many years in the industry?

“I think it might be a creative gene. The idea not to create has never entered my head. It doesn’t have to be for me. It could be photography or design — all sorts of different ways. Or it could be working with somebody else who is creating something. That’s just what I do.”

Considering how well the album went, do you think you and Stevie will work together on another album?

“Yeah, sure. I’m sure there will be more collaborative ideas. The world is changing so fast, so I’m not sure how much longer the word ‘album’ will be around, but there will always be music. There will be [more] collaborations because we get on so well.”

Is there a moment in film that encapsulates the time you spent together making the record?

“There’s a bit in the end credits where they are blasting ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ out of the stereo. It’s the end of shooting, and we’re both singing at the top of our voices, and camera pans back and you see all the crew and her friends, and everyone is laughing and having a really good time.”

Nathan Reese / Refinery29 / Wednesday, July 3, 2013

IN YOUR DREAMS: Stevie Nicks gives a live chat with fans at TIFF Bell Lightbox

(Rene Johnston / Toronto Star)
(Rene Johnston / Toronto Star)

In advance of Fleetwood Mac’s Tuesday concert, singer Stevie Nicks stopped by a screening of her new documentary for a Q&A.

By Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Stevie Nicks says it was a “million-to-one” serendipitous event that allowed her to present In Your Dreams, the documentary she co-directed with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, at two sold-out screenings at TIFF Bell Lightbox Monday night.

“Really, seriously, what are the chances that Toronto would ask us to show this film? They didn’t know that Fleetwood Mac would have one day off here and I would be able to come to this showing,” said Nicks during the first of two post-screening Q&A sessions for the film, about the making of her 2011 solo album. “What are the chances of that?”

Fleetwood Mac plays the Air Canada Centre Tuesday night. With bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie in the house to cheer her on, singer-songwriter Nicks shared insight into her art and her life with appreciative fans. They brought albums, photos and even paid tribute by imitation, like Nicks female impersonator Crystal Visions, who was outfitted in a blonde wig, flowing black dress with a sparkling shawl and a scarf-ringed tambourine.

Nicks took her time on a red carpet leading into the theatre, stopping for photos and interviews. Slim and looking younger than her 62 years, Nicks was dressed all in black with her trademark high-heeled boots, fingerless gloves and a shimmering half-moon necklace at her throat.

The film is an up-close look at Nicks’ songwriting process and, since the album was recorded in her California home, a rare look inside her life.

Working with Stewart and the added pressure of shooting a film while writing and recording an album took some getting used to, Nicks admitted. He showed up daily to start work at 2 p.m., “which was ridiculous because I don’t get up until 1 o’clock,” Nicks laughed.

So she simplified. “I wore exactly the same thing every day. It was a different top, but it was a closetful of these black tops made by (New York designer) Morgane Le Fay. I didn’t want to think about what I was wearing.”

Nicks made several jokes at her own expense during the brief Q&A session. She said that what’s onscreen, the portrait of an uncompromising artist who has a stellar ear, a silly side and a stubborn streak, is true to who she is. “If you know me, if you had known me for the last 35 years, you would say, ‘That’s really her. That’s the way she really is.’”

But she became quiet and her voice quavered when Nicks talked about her mother, Barbara Nicks, who died at age 84 in December 2011.

“Ever since I lost my mother, I really realized how important what you do is and that your journeys are much, much more important than what you come out with,” she said, adding her mom often reminded her during the making of In Your Dreams to enjoy the moment when creating the album.

“It’s a journey,” said Nicks. “You’re just making memories. That’s all you’re doing.”

In Your Dreams screenings continue until Thursday at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The songs to be played at Tuesday’s Fleetwood Mac concert at the ACC are under wraps, but here’s what the band performed at its most recent show, on Saturday in Chicago, according to setlist.fm:

1. Second Hand News

2. The Chain

3. Dreams

4. Sad Angel

5. Rhiannon

6. Not That Funny

7. Tusk

8. Sisters of the Moon

9. Sara

10. Big Love

11. Landslide

12. Never Going Back Again

13. Without You

14. Gypsy

15. Eyes of the World

16. Gold Dust Woman

17. I’m So Afraid

18. Stand Back

19. Go Your Own Way

(Encore)

20. World Turning

21. Don’t Stop

(Second encore)

22. Silver Springs

23. Say Goodbye

Fleetwood Mac plays Toronto

By Erin Criger
City News Toronto
April 16, 2013 8:32 AM

Stevie Nicks was in Toronto this week ahead of Fleetwood Mac’s show Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The singer was promoting her new documentary In Your Dreams. The movie, filmed with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, follows Nicks as she makes her 2011 album, also called In Your Dreams.

The Canadian premiere was held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on Monday night.

“We got stuff that nobody ever gets. We got the actual writing of the songs – nobody ever gets that, because you usually don’t let anybody in while you’re doing it,” Nicks told CityNews at the Lightbox.

“Everybody got a camera. There were like 12 people there with a camera,” Nicks said.

Nicks said Stewart persuaded her to make the documentary and to film it in her house. At first, she said, they were only going to record the album at her home.

When he proposed the idea, she said, “Are you serious? Are you kidding? You mean I have to put makeup on every day?”

She said Stewart promised that if she didn’t like the footage, they wouldn’t use it.

“It was a promise made between the caterpillar and Alice. And I knew it was true,” Nicks said.

In Your Dreams will play at the Lightbox until April 18.

IN YOUR DREAMS: Dave Stewart Q&A

(Weapons of Mass Entertainment)
(Weapons of Mass Entertainment)

Dave Stewart: Co-director, Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams

By Susan G. Cole
Now Toronto
Monday, April 15, 2013

Dave Stewart put on every one of his musical hats – producer, guitarist, songwriter – for Stevie Nicks’s 2011 disc, In Your Dreams. He adds feature film co-director to his artistic resumé with this documentary tracking the album’s creative process and probing Nicks’s personal history and inspirations. He talked with NOW about that collaboration and why it worked. Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams screens at the TIFF Bell Lightbox April 15 to 18.

Continue reading “IN YOUR DREAMS: Dave Stewart Q&A”

MOVIE REVIEW: Stevie Nicks fans will get their fill with In Your Dreams

Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams

Stevie Nicks: Nicks In Your Dreams is an affectionate documentary about the Fleetwood Mac singer co-directed by Eurythmics Dave Stewart.

By Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Monday, April 15, 2013

Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams
*** (3 stars out of 4)

A documentary about the making of Stevie Nicks’ album. Directed by Nicks and Dave Stewart. 100 minutes. Screens April 16-18 at TIFF Bell Lightbox. G

Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams shows devotion to its raspy-voiced rock goddess subject immediately, with a montage of concert-goers professing their love for the poetic Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter who went on to solo success.

Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Stevie Nicks fans will get their fill with In Your Dreams”

Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams: Q&A with Dave Stewart

(MLW/SolarPix Inc.)
Musician Dave Stewart co-produced Stevie Nicks’s In Your Dreams album and co-directed the subsequent film. (MLW/SolarPix Inc.)

By Brad Wheeler
The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Sunday, Apr. 14 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

Billed as an “intimate portrait of one of rock’s most enduring and legendary artists,” In Your Dreams, a documentary on the making of Stevie Nicks’s 2011 album of the same name, runs the risk of being too intimate for its own good. Musician Dave Stewart, who co-produced the album, shared directorial credit on the film with the singer herself. We spoke with him about a documentary being too close to its subject.

Continue reading “Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams: Q&A with Dave Stewart”

Stevie Nicks, Dave Stewart team up for In Your Dreams movie

(WENN)
Dave Stewart and Stevie Nicks at the 20th Hamptons International Film Festival, Long Island, New York, Oct. 7, 2012. (WENN.com)

By Jane Stevenson
The Sun (Canada)
Sunday, April 14, 2013 10:00 PM MDT

Two rock icons, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics, worked together on Nicks’ first album solo album in a decade, 2011’s In Your Dreams

But their creative collaboration didn’t end there.

There’s also a Stewart-directed 2013 behind-the-scenes documentary of the same name about making the record, co-produced by Glen Ballard, that will debut in Toronto Monday night. The film then moves across Canada over the next several weeks.
“It’s a movie that Stevie Nicks’ fans love,” says Stewart, 60, from L.A.

“Obviously, she’s been a bit of an enigma and very sort of mysterious and there’s an insight not only into her world and her home and how she works but inside her mind as well. How she works creatively and how she thinks. What’s good is that if you’re not a Stevie Nicks fan in particular and you watch it, you get kind of surprised at how kind of intense and focused she is working. Because I think a lot of the views or people’s opinions about artists during certain periods of their life is kind of spaced out, hippie like. And then you see Stevie at work in the film and you go, ‘Holy s—!’ She’s like a force of nature.”

Turns out Stewart and Nicks met 30 years ago.

The occasion was an Eurythmics show in Los Angeles and Nicks came backstage.

“We got on really well,” says Stewart. “And I went back to stay in L.A. for a bit and we hung out and I was writing just experimental stuff with her and I ended up writing this song for her but then Tom Petty liked it and wanted to record it — Don’t Come Around Here No More — that’s why at the end (of the film, Stevie) says, ‘Hey, Dave, definitely come around here!’ Because it became this epic sort of song for Tom.”
Stewart and Nicks regrouped again significantly in 2006 when Nicks appeared on a pilot for Stewart’s HBO music-themed interview show and they performed a 15-minute version of Rhiannon together.

In the documentary, she reveals after that collaboration she knew she wanted Stewart to produce either her next solo album or a Fleetwood Mac record.

“It all sort of organically turned into the record and the movie,” says Stewart.

He says after recording the album with Nicks and shooting about 50 hours of footage — boiled down to one hour and 40 minutes on-screen — he learned two significant things about her.

“Stevie’s incredibly generous. She’s always kept the same backing singers, the same friends… even the sounds guys and everybody. They’ve all stuck by her. They’re so loyal to her. And that’s an amazing thing that I discovered about Stevie of how deep that runs within her, this loyalty. And then all of the time and effort she puts into putting her lyrics together. Training herself in books and reading so much literature. She’s steeped in her job. She said it herself. She purposely decided not to have children because she just knew she couldn’t do both. It’s a massive decision.”

In Your Dreams screenings in Canada:

Toronto / TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King St W) / April 15 (7 p.m and 7:30 p.m. with Stevie Nicks Q&A) and then April 16-18.
Ottawa / Mayfair Theatre (1074 Bank St) / April 19 & 20
Winnipeg / Winnipeg Cinema theque (100 Arthur St) / May 4 & 5
Edmonton / Metro Cinema at the Garneau (8712 109th Street NW) May 14
Calgary / Globe Cinema (617 8 Ave SW) / May 16
Vancouver / Vancity Theatre (1181 Seymour St) / May 18
Montreal/ Cinema du Parc (3575 Park Ave) / June 14-17

Stevie Nicks on In Your Dreams doc, Twilight-inspired song, Dave Grohl

Stevie Nicks In Your Dreams

Why she and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham are getting along better than ever

By Melinda Newman
Hit Fix
Monday, April 1, 2013 6:53 PM

When Dave Stewart first suggested to Stevie Nicks that he film the making of her 2011 solo album, In Your Dreams, which he co-produced, her blunt reaction was “I think you’re nuts.”

However, the Eurythmics co-founder convinced Nicks by simply reassuring her “If you don’t like it, we don’t use it.” And in the end, she not only liked it, but she saw the documentary as a way to extend the shelf life of the critically-acclaimed album, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200, but did not have the high-profile run Nicks hoped it would and fell off the charts after 16 weeks. Continue reading “Stevie Nicks on In Your Dreams doc, Twilight-inspired song, Dave Grohl”