You’re the Inspiration

(Photo: Jonathan Skow)

In Style
July 2003

The fan: Singer-songwriter Michelle Branch, a Grammy winner for her collaboration with Santana. Her second CD is Hotel Paper (Maverick).

The idol: Rock and Roll icon Stevie Nicks, whose combined album sales from Fleetwood Mac and solo projects total more than 60 million (the group’s latest is Say You Will, on Reprise).

Branch on Nicks: “I grew up listening to my mom’s Fleetwood Mac records. I remember hearing Stevie’s voice on ‘Rhiannon’ for the first time. It just sucks you in. She was my favorite part – in front of that whole band, carrying it with her voice and songs as a female, as a writer, as a musician. I’m from Arizona and she’s from Arizona, and as I got older, it was kind of like, Wow, someone actually made it out of Arizona and did this? I admire her for being strong and living through it. She’s a rock chick, one of the girls that you’re always jealous of because she’s hanging out with the guys.”

Nicks on Branch:
“Michelle’s got a little funky thing going on. I can see that she wants to be kind of what I wanted to be like: able to kick butt in order to have people take me seriously. I didn’t want to be too beautiful. As far as being a music maven goes, I’m still doing this, and I want her to see that the road is unending if you get into your craft and fight for it. It’s a lot about your attitude-your attitude to not give up.”

Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks

By James McNair
The Independent
(UK)
Sunday, July 21, 2002

Sheryl Crow, 40, was born in Missouri. Having sung backing vocals with Michael Jackson and Don Henley, she released her Grammy award-winning debut album, ‘Tuesday Night Music Club’ in 1993. Briefly engaged to Eric Clapton, she wrote ‘My favourite Mistake,’ allegedly about him, in 1998. Her new album, ‘C’mon C’mon’, features Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks.

Stevie Nicks, 53, was born in Arizona. She found fame with Fleetwood Mac and co-wrote ‘Rumours’, one of the bestselling albums ever. Currently single, she had long-term relationships with fellow band-mate Lindsey Buckingham and The Eagles’s Don Henley. Last years she released her sixth solo album, ‘Trouble In Shangri La’, on which Sheryl guested.

Stevie Nicks: I first became aware of Sheryl in 1994 when I heard her singing “All I Wanna Do” on the radio. A year or two after that, I did a song of hers for a movie soundtrack, Boys On The Side. I didn’t know that she was a fan of mine until we met at the launch party for that album in LA. And it wasn’t until we both did a charity benefit for Don Henley that we sat down and talked properly about recording together. I thought, “If it doesn’t work out at least we’ll each have a new friend.” I love that Sheryl does what I do. I’ve never really had a female friend like that before. I’m a rock star and I always wanted to be one. Sheryl is a rock star too, and under that umbrella, each of us listens to what the other says. If Sheryl says, “I don’t think you should do that,” I’m probably not going to do it. Only a few people in my life have that authority. Sheryl’s life, like mine, is very busy. And when I was her age, I didn’t want to have a day off, either. Now, if I can work for three days and rest for two, I’m happy. But Sheryl just wants to keep going. In one of my more maternal moments, I did convince her to take a holiday. We went to Hawaii: me, my assistant, Sheryl, her assistant, and Sheryl’s best friend. We took a catamaran and sailed to Molokai for 10 days. It was great, because nobody was going to mess with Sheryl and me together. We were like Thelma and Louise. My friends have begun to become Sheryl’s friends, but she’s kind of a loner. She’s not from here; her family is back East. She has a house in Florida and she’s thinking of buying one in Nashville. She’s not really settled, and she knows that being a famous woman in rock makes it hard to find relationships. I love living in LA but my real foundation is a house in Phoenix that I’ve owned since 1980. I think Sheryl’s looking for somewhere like that; a place where her heart wants to stay. We expect a lot from each other. Are we possessive of each other? I would say, “Yes.” I’m possessive in a way where I want what she does to be great. If she plays me something and I don’t like it, I’m going to tell her. And she’s not going to save my feelings either. We both know that you can’t pussy-foot around saying bad songs are great. How else do we differ? Well, Sheryl likes to go to parties and stuff. But then she’s 40 and I’m 53. I don’t like to party so much any more, and even when I was her age I was a little more private. We’re actually more similar than different. I’ve never found anything important enough to give up my music for, and Sheryl’s the same. If you want to get married and have a child, you have to stop. The world is fickle. If you give up the gauntlet — and that’s Sheryl’s phrase — you may not be able to come back. Our friendship will continue forever. Sheryl did a benefit for my father and the Heart Association, so my family loves her as much as I do. She committed first and then we got everyone else in and we raised enough to build a hospital. Now that’s girl power.

Sheryl Crow: I first met Stevie at a Grammy’s party about 6 years ago. She’d just recorded “Somebody Stand By Me,” a song of mine. I liked her, and she said, “We should get together and work some time.” I thought, “Great!” But then I didn’t hear from her for two years. My first impression was that I’d known her forever, that she was really open. I think the kindred spirit thing is also partly to do with us having similar backgrounds and both becoming well known around 28. Musically we both have a similar dictionary of references, too. She’s totally like a sister: one of the few people who takes care of me. If I’m sick, Stevie will come over with a cashmere blanket; that’s how she is. She’s a big rock star, and she doesn’t need to drop everything, but she cares about people. When I was first Grammy nominated she was very supportive at the awards ceremony. Other female artists in the room seemed to ignore me but Stevie didn’t have any of that. She doesn’t have an ego about music. Clothing wise, I have more masculine tastes. I like cowboy stuff, she’s more into frills. Neither of us is into furs or expensive cars but we do like to go to extravagant getaways. We went to Hawaii together and Stevie rented a house on the ocean. She knows how to live. Stevie can never know how much of an inspiration she’s been to me. Even when I was at school, I had my hair cut like hers and I was wearing shawls and stuff and my friends thought I was a freak. Also her singing style. Somewhere in there, she came out of blues and country, and when I first heard it, it validated what I liked. To me she was the greatest female songwriter of her generation, and I don’t know of anybody today who gets so lost in the mystery and power of their music. And she’s still like that. When we last played together here in LA, it was like a church revival, you could feel it in the air. It was right after 11 September and Stevie had people in the palm of her hand. She’s become quite matriarchal in recent years and she gave people a lot of strength and comfort that night. We disagree about personal things. When we were on the road together, I got on to her about not looking after herself. She drinks too much coffee and no water — ever. When she lost her voice, I said, “Well, you have to cut out the caffeine.” I’m the bossy little sister. We both know how hard it is to meet a partner when you’re a successful woman in music. In some ways I think we sacrificed our romantic and social lives for our work because we derive so much satisfaction and self worth from it. Stevie says that her songs are her children; that they go out and work on her behalf. And they do, because they are very healing for people. I’ve yet to make that peace with my work because it doesn’t have that depth. But if I ever wrote something as good as “Landslide,” say, I’d just get in my car, drive to Tennessee and have kids. I’d feel completely sated. Stevie should tell herself the wonderful things that she tells me — she’s way too tough on herself. It’s hard to be in the public eye, and getting older isn’t easier for any of us gals. Stevie’s still gorgeous, though, and I get frustrated with her because she doesn’t realise it.

Fleetwood changing diapers, still rocking at 55

Reuters
Monday, Jun 24 2002

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Drummer Mick Fleetwood, who turned 55 Monday, finds himself in the odd position of changing diapers at middle age even as he toils in the studio with members of the veteran rock band he co-founded in the late 1960s. The tall, lanky, British-born musician divides his time these days between working on a new Fleetwood Mac album, dabbling in various entrepreneurial activities and raising twin baby girls with his wife of about 10 years, Lynn.

During a telephone interview, Fleetwood told Reuters that both his creative and parenting skills had improved with age.

He also said he and his fellow bandmates are more at peace with themselves and each other, in stark contrast to the old days when Fleetwood Mac endured bitter internal rivalries and turmoil as the group churned out hit after hit.

“Our last outing was better than ever,” he said, referring to Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 reunion album, “The Dance,” which sold more than 4 million copies in the United States and paved the way for a successful U.S. tour.

“It has to be happy. We don’t want to go back into the dark ages of Fleetwood Mac, when it was way too crazy, not all that happy. We’re so much over that. We came out on the other side, survivors and incredibly intact, and it’s very conducive to the creative process,” he said.

The new album reunites Fleetwood with three members of the band’s most popular incarnation — bass player and British co-founder John McVie, along with American songwriters and former lovers Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Sitting this one out is McVie’s ex-wife, singer-keyboardist Christine McVie, who has retired and is living in England.

DON’T STOP

The band, which shot to fame in the 1970s at the peak of its progression from British blues combo to California rock institution, has already produced enough material in the past 18 months to fill a double CD, Fleetwood said. The material was recorded in a Los Angeles house leased by the band.

Fleetwood expects the band to have the album out by early next year and to follow up with a tour in April 2003. The band also is releasing a greatest hits package around Christmas 2002, he said.

Fleetwood said there are “mumblings” from time to time of contributions by Christine McVie, but that the remaining four members have been moving ahead at full steam. In some ways, he said, the Buckingham/Nicks creative connection has been rekindled in the absence of Christine McVie.

“It’s a major thing for Stevie and Lindsey. They came in as a couple, and in a strange way it’s come full circle. Now that Christine is not in the mix, the Buckingham/Nicks chemistry is back, and they’re having the chance to live out some of the things and energies that couldn’t exist in the past 27 years,” he said.

The band has changed its lineup many times through the years, with the best-known formula occurring in 1975 when Buckingham and Nicks joined Fleetwood and the McVies. They powered the band to mega-success with the 1977 album “Rumours,” which sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

“Rumours” chronicled the band’s dramas at the time, with both the McVies and Buckingham and Nicks splitting up.

Fleetwood’s own wife at the time was sleeping with his best friend, and the whole band struggled with drug and alcohol abuse problems.

Fleetwood, who has two grown daughters as well as a grandson, is now back to putting diapers on his 4-month-old twins, Tessa and Ruby.

He said that being an older dad has definite advantages.

“It’s way more interesting the second time around and when you’re older. You’re more focused,” he said. “I was on the road when the others were younger. I am from memory a lot more hands on than I was. And it’s a great benefit that I’m not on the road.”

Of course, next year could be different when he plans to take the band back on the road, with the families in tow.

“With all the children, it will be like a band of gypsies,” he said, joking that he expected everyone will want the babies and nannies “way in the back of the plane.”

Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz on new Sheryl Crow LP

By Corey Moss
MTV News
Thursday, January 10, 2002

All of Sheryl Crow’s collaborating over the last couple of years apparently gave the singer some ideas for her fourth studio album.

The as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1998’s The Globe Sessions, due in late March, will include contributions from several big-name artists, including Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, Lenny Kravitz and the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines, according to Crow’s Interscope Records spokesperson. “Soak up the Sun,” the album’s first single, is due in February and features additional vocals by fellow female rocker (and could-be twin sister) Liz Phair.

Nicks, who appeared on Crow’s 1999 live album, Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park , sings on “You’re Not the One.” Crow and Nicks recently collaborated on Nicks’ Trouble in Shangri-La (2001), sharing vocals on “It’s Only Love.” Crow also produced several tracks on Nicks’ record.

Eagles singer Henley, who’s among the artists Crow sang backup for early on in her career, appears on the track “It’s So Easy.” Kravitz sings on “You’re an Original,” and Maines adds her signature twang to “Abilene.” Crow and Maines performed several songs together at a breast cancer benefit in Los Angeles last fall, including Crow’s “It Don’t Hurt”. Maines’ Dixie Chicks also appear on Sheryl Crow and Friends: Live From Central Park.

Other guests on the upcoming album are folk and country veteran Emmylou Harris (“Weather Channel”) and blues guitarist Doyle Bramhall II (“Steve McQueen,” “Over You”).

Since the release of The Globe Sessions, which featured the single “My Favorite Mistake,” Crow has recorded with an array of artists, from Tony Bennett to Kid Rock .

While recording in New York last summer, Crow played several high-profile club shows that included many of the guests on her album along with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards .

In other Crow news, she was just added to the list of presenters for the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The show will be broadcast live on ABC.

Tentative track list for Sheryl Crow’s upcoming album, according to her spokesperson:

* “Steve McQueen”
* “Soak up the Sun”
* “You’re an Original”
* “It’s So Easy”
* “Over You”
* “It’s Only Love”
* “Weather Channel”
* “You’re Not the One”
* “Missing”
* “Abilene”
* “Slave”
* “Safe and Sound”

Production Profile: Stevie Nicks ‘Trouble in Shangri La’ Tour

By Steve Jennings
Projection, Lights and Staging News
Jan 2002

Like a fine wine, the Fleetwood Mac story seems to improve with age. Since their return a few years ago, Fleetwood’s—and Stevie Nick’s popularity remains unchallenged in a sea of resurged classic rock bands. Vari*Lite’s Curry Grant, who has designed tours for Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, is once again illuminating diva Nicks on her solo outing. Curry has also designed and directed lighting for many other artists since he started in 1975, from Van Morrison to Crosby Stills and Nash to Supertramp. “I even designed a small touring show for Whoopi Goldberg once!

“Supertramp was one of my favorites. That’s fantastic music to light and different from most of what I had done to that point. Crosby, Stills and Nash was the last time Curry toured with one of his designs before joining Vari*Lite in 1988. “And since then Vari*Lite Inc has always been kind enough to give me whatever time I’ve needed to continue designing for Fleetwood Mac and Stevie.”

For Stevie’s tour, Curry looked for input and collaboration from the artist as well as industry contemporaries. “The basic stage concept is Stevie’s,” Curry explains. “She loves her current album cover photo for ‘Trouble In Shangri-La’, which features her going through an archway with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It looks like she’s about to step through the arch and onto the water. Stevie insisted on the arch being a part of the stage, so that pretty much became the centerpiece.

But I knew that we needed more to finish it, and I always felt like Maxwell Parrish lent itself really well to Stevie’s image. (Stevie’s own art often includes stylized castles, mountains, etc.) The simplicity of the arch left the rest of the concept pretty wide open, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to try to incorporate some of those Parrish elements. That’s where the vine—wrapped columns, the pedestals, and the urns came from.

For this tour, Stevie had some ideas about color, not so much lighting-wise but for the set. She spent a lot of time choosing artwork, pictures and colors for her CD insert and wanted to continue that general palette, which was a lot of muted colors….lots of pale ambers and pale blue-greens.” After the first meeting with Stevie, I went to Jim Lenahan (Tom Petty LD) who agreed to help me get it started. Jim is a brilliant designer himself and does some incredible graphic renderings. We did some rough ideas, experimenting with different styles of arches and different placements on the stage, and trying to incorporate the Maxfield Parrish stuff. Then about a month went by while I tried to get together with Stevie again. Meanwhile, Jim went on the road to do another few weeks of his Tom Petty tour.

When I thought I had a good basic idea, I took it to Louis Mawcinitt. Louis has designed many of Stevie’s past sets and is also a brilliant artist. He actually came up with the final set design rendering that we used. He also supervised the construction of all the pieces. Everything from having the columns made to all the painting of the drops, etc. He was there every day at rehearsals as well, until she was happy with the final product. And we did make some changes in rehearsal. Ultimately I think we ended up with a good combination of all the elements. With the columns downstage as foreground pieces, the pedestals and urns upstage of them, and the arch with the ocean behind it all the way upstage, we certainly did a good job of creating depth on the stage.

“When it came to lighting I wanted to use a little of everything on this show. I wanted to show off all the new fixtures as well. These new fixtures really are the best lights that Vari*Lite has developed recently. The colors you can get from the VL2402 are absolutely amazing. The best color system in a wash light to date, if you ask me. The VL2416s gave us the punch we needed upstage and the lens rotation makes for a great effect.

Curry stressed the collaborative spirit achieved on the tour. “This was a collaboration between myself, Paul Guthrie, who is Sheryl Crow’s designer, and Bryan Faris, the lighting director. Paul and Bryan did the majority of the actual programming. They built the songs. I’ve programmed those songs so many times myself, with different systems. So I enjoy having other people’s input. It’s interesting to see how someone else might interpret the same music. Those guys are incredibly talented and did some fantastic programming.”

LD Bryan Faris whose past credits include No Doubt (designer), John Tesh (designer), Matchbox Twenty (club tour) as well as Megadeth and Whitney Houston (programmer), has been with Vari*Lite since 1989. According to Bryan, “ We’re using our newer luminaires—the VL2402’s, VL2416’s, VL6c’s, and the VL5’s. The 2416’s (1200W source) are really punchy, it’s really like a canon of light. Some of these fixtures I’ve never toured with before and they’re holding up really well. LD Paul Guthrie is involved with the show as well, with great input and programming.”

“I’ve been adding a bit of the flashy rock n’ roll looks to the show over the duration of the tour. We try to keep Stevie’s key light uncontaminated; we either punch the air or the set, only the newer songs have really changed a little over the course of the show. We ran the gamut of colors in rehearsal, and there was no color that was outlawed in the show. It’s a good looking show, and I’m having a lot of fun.”

Trouble in Shangri-La Tour Personnel:
Lighting Designer — Curry Grant
Lighting Director — Bryan Faris
Production Mgr. — Omar Abderrahman
Stage Manager — Chris Malta
Production Coordinator — Nancy Ghosh
Lighting Company — VLPS
Rigger — Seyton Pooley
Carpenters — Michael Garrigan, Eddy Sato
Lighting Crew Chief — Bill Shittaker
Lighting Crew — Mel Dorough, Blake Rogers,
Robert Simoneaux, Wayne Boehning

Lighting Equipment:
(14) VARI*LITE VL4 Wash Luminaires
(21) VARI*LITE VL5 Wash Luminaires
(29) VARI*LITE VL6C Spot Luminaires
(12) VARI*LITE VL2402 Spot Luminaires
(13) VARI*LITE VL2416 Wash Luminaires
(1) VARI*LITE Virtuoso Control Console
(5) 4-Lites
(8) 3K Diversitronics Strobes
(8) ETC Source Four Lekos
(24) PAR 64’s
(1) Robert Juliat Followspot
(2) Reel EFX DF—50 Foggers
(346′) 20.5″ Medium Duty Truss
(1) 15′ Diameter Circle Truss
(2) CM Hoist 1/2 Ton Motors
(27) CM Hoist 1 Ton Motors

Nicks gets by with a lotta help from her friends

By Cathalena E. Burch
Arizona Daily Star
Friday, December 7, 2001

PHOENIX — Stevie Nicks’ waited until taking her final bow before choking back a tear that was welling for the better part of her 2 1/2-hour show Thursday night.

“Take care of each other and be good to each other. Life is so fragile,” she said, referring to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York.

The 9,000 people loosely filling Nicks’ hometown arena cheered in support and allowed their favorite daughter a moment of emotional indulgence.

They owed her that much for helping them to forgot about the attacks, the war on terrorism and much else to do about the world outside of America West Arena.

Nicks and a few of her friends took the audience back to the cold war 1980s, before anyone had really heard of a madman named Osama bin Laden.

Thursday night’s show was a fund-raiser for the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation. But with the exception of State Attorney General Janet Napolitano and a suit-clad foundation official saying a few words, you never would have known that the evening was dedicated to such warm-and-fuzzy pursuits.

The audience came to see the legendary Nicks and her enviable cast of friends — Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Sheryl Crow and Natalie Maines.

From the opening chords of “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” Nicks turned back the clock 20 years, to the days when her ethereal, mystical voice ruled the radio.

Not daunted by age or the ever changing pop music landscape, she sounded and looked just as she had back then, sans the after-effects of heavy partying. She swirled, she twirled, she bent down in that swoop and turn that made everyone want to be a gypsy like her.

Granted, she didn’t bend as low as she did in her youth, but the magic was just as tangible.

And infectious.

Nicks barely uttered the first words of “Stand Back” when the crowd took over, their chorus overflowing the arena. They boldly and loudly sang along to every song she performed: “Edge of Seventeen,” “Rhiannon,” “Gold Dust Woman,” “Enchanted.”

One by one she invited each of her special friends to share the mike on a song that forever ties them to Nicks: Henley on “Leather and Lace,” Maines on “Too Far From Texas,” Crow on “Sorcerer” and Buckingham on the classic “Landslide,” a song the pair dedicated to Nicks’ father, Jess.

As Buckingham picked the intricate notes on his guitar, Nicks let the words slip out like lines of poetry, softly and packed with the emotional weight they’ve carried since she penned the song 30 years ago.

The pair share a musical bond that can’t be broken, which could explain why they and their Fleetwood Mac bandmates, sans Christy McVie, are in the studio now recording a new album.

Nicks is forging new but seemingly just as solid bonds with her newest friends, Crow and Maines. She gushed over both women, crediting Crow with the very existence of her latest album, “Trouble in Shangri-La.” She said that after two days in the studio with Maines, she felt as if they pair had been performing together a lifetime.

Nicks also let her friends hog the spotlight individually, which gave Henley a chance to resurrect two of his classics: “End of the Innocence” and “Boys of Summer.” Buckingham jammed on the guitar and then invited Fleetwood to bang on the drums for a number.

But the applause was most deafening when Nicks was solo, spinning a tale of a “Gold Dust Woman” or asking the question “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You,” not anticipating an answer.

The crowd answered back by singing along.

For a little while, Sept. 11 and all that has come after it didn’t exist, and the tears that Stevie Nicks was holding back could just as easily have been tears of joy.

From the heart

By Leigh Flayton
City AZ
Friday, November 30, 2001

Local hero Stevie Nicks’ national tour culminates in a hometown show that’s dear to her family’s heart — it’s also the hottest ticket of the year.

She’s back. Phoenix’s favorite songbird returns home this December 6 to play her annual benefit concert for the Arizona Heart Institute at America West Arena. And, what can fans expect this year, whether they score the premium $1,000 tickets–which include access to the private post-concert party — or the more affordable, yet still intimate, seats throughout the venue?

We’ll have many of the same guests this year: Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Lindsey Buckingham,” Nicks said recently via telephone. “They’re all my friends; they’re my circle.”

Also in attendance will be any of us who were smart enough to purchase tickets, for we will not only see a one-of-a-kind show, we’ll be supporting a terrific cause. The benefit concert is the passion of Stevie’s father, Jess Nicks — whose brother and mother died of heart disease — and who has suffered from the disease himself, along with Stevie’s mother, Barbara.

“My dad is almost 77 years old, and when you get to be 77 you get to thinking, ‘I better start doing all this,'” Nicks says. “He is determined to build heart hospitals, and these benefits keep him going because he really goes to work on this. It makes him young again.”

Last year’s show was a magical musical moment. Nicks sang unforgettable versions of her greatest works, including acoustic renderings of “Landslide” and “Gypsy”, with longtime friend, collaborator, and former lover Lindsey Buckingham. Also, many of the Nicks’ friends were onhand singing duets with her in addition to their own songs. Yet the best part was that every cent derived from the performance — titled “Stevie Nicks and Friends” — went to the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation’s efforts to eradicate heart disease, and to provide for advanced research into the treatments.

“It’s not like collecting funds that spray into the wind and you have no idea where they go,” Nicks says. “The second my father gets that money in his hand, he takes it to where it’s gotta go.”

Nicks has been benefiting millions with her music during the last three decades, beginning with her days with Fleetwood Mac. Since 1981, when her solo career took off upon the release of her first album, Bella Donna, she has been one of America’s premier artists — a fact that she takes very seriously.

Her dedication to what she does was almost usurped, like most Americans’, last fall. Nicks was on tour in New York on September 11, the 21st-century’s very own date of infamy. Four days later, her first performance since the attacks was scheduled for Atlantic City.

“It’s been very hard for me to be out on the road [since the attacks],” Nicks admits. “I thought about going home, because I just didn’t know that I could stand up there and smile. There were some days when I was calling home every day, really hysterical.” But Nicks got through that difficult first show. “It was hard to go back onstage. I have been very afraid, but we all have to get back on the plane. If we don’t, this country isn’t going to make it.”

That concern inspired Nicks to write a poem “We Get Back on the Plane” which she composed aboard the nerve-racking flight out of Atlantic City, which was accompanied by an F-16 fighter plane. When we spoke a week later, she admitted she had been “song creeping” around the piano, knowing she would soon set the words she wrote to music.

“My Mom and Dad keep going back to World War II,” Nicks says. “They keep saying, ‘You’re part of the USO right now; you must do this.’ I know that if we don’t get back to work, we’re in huge trouble.”

So Stevie Nicks — the artist — took her own advice and got back to work. “I told the audience in Atlantic City to ‘let us let the music just take us away,'” she says. And, she admits, it did.

Nicks says she knows that music does make a difference, and now, during the height of the greatest American crisis in a generation, she still believes music can help change the world.

“During Desert Storm I received a flag from one of the first tanks that went in,” she recalls. “They were listening to my music and they made a very big deal to me about how important it was, to listen to my records. Entertainment — per se — is really uplifting. And now, of course, all my songs take on a different meaning.”

Nicks has said she’s made sacrifices in her pursuit of the artist’s life, but her returns have meant so much to her listeners as well as for herself. She says she “knows” when she’s written something particularly meaningful; usually because it happens so quickly.

I knew at the end of “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You”, I knew at the end of “Landslide”, and I knew at the end of “Love Is” from the new album,” she admits about realizing the brilliance of her songwriting. “I do have a feeling of it because what happens with songs is, sometimes you get halfway through and stop. Something isn’t right.”

But sometimes, according to Nicks, it’s a flawless process.

“There are ones that just flow out with no problem,” she admits. “I really did write a poem called “We Get Back On the Plane”, and I don’t know when I’m going to write it [as a song]. I might write it; I could write it. Those songs all have a really great story; they all have a real reason to be written. The ones that are really memorable are the ones that give that feeling of I have to do this. And, it’s going to be forever.”

Like the heart hospitals Jess Nicks is determined to build, this year’s teaming of Nicks & Nicks will be yet another gift to the Valley. Jess will take his annual seat in the front row and beam — no doubt — as our desert angel takes the stage.

For tickets call 602.266.2200 ext. 4619 or go to http://www.azheart.com.

The latest Fleetwood Mac ‘Rumours’: Crow is joining

New York Daily News
Thursday, October 25, 2001

Fleetwood Mac has not stopped thinking about tomorrow.

Word has it that Sheryl Crow will join the ’70s rock band and fill the slot originally occupied by Christine McVie, who retired a few years ago to the English countryside.

Remaining Mac members Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks are said to be working on new material, and Crow’s participation is seen as a positive step. She already has a close working relationship with Nicks, and is an accomplished keyboard player (she once taught piano). This makes her a perfect replacement for Christine, ex-wife of John and the band’s original keyboardist.

Reached last night in Manhattan, a rep for the band said: “The only discussion I know about Crow and Fleetwood Mac is for Crow to open for the band when they tour again. A rep for Crow was unaware of the news but promised to look into it.

Sheryl Crow not a new member of Fleetwood Mac

By Sue Falco and Bruce Simon
Yahoo! Entertainment News
Thursday October 25, 2001

Fleetwood Mac is working on a new album, engaged in its first recording sessions since singer-keyboardist Christine McVie left after the band’s last tour. While there are published rumors that Sheryl Crow might replace McVie in the group’s lineup, representative for Crow has denied that she would be joining the group. Drummer and founding member Mick Fleetwood says that while there are no hard feelings, Fleetwood Mac is more than willing to go on without McVie.

“Just the four of us are going to continue and we’ll augment the band for live performance,” he says. “We’re blessed that we have a lot of material that Stevie (Nicks) and Lindsey (Buckingham) are way capable of demonstrating, and it will be a different band to some extent. As of the moment, no, there’s been no thought of adding anyone. Stevie’s had a lot of fun working and touring a lot with Sheryl Crow…and…I don’t anticipate anything like that happening. We’re certainly not planning to do that, and that’s where we’re at.”

The new Fleetwood Mac album isn’t expected until well into next year.

Stevie Nicks in her own words

ABCNews.com
Friday, September 7, 2001

For years, superstar Stevie Nicks’ life was fueled by cocaine. She talks to Cynthia McFadden about the successes and failures of her tumultuous life.

Stevie Nicks has been in the public spotlight for 30 years as a member of Fleetwood Mac and then as a successful solo artist. In an interview during her “Trouble in Shangri-La” tour, ABCNEWS’ Cynthia McFadden talked to the rock icon.

You got your first guitar at 16… then what happened?

The day before my 16th birthday I got my guitar. And on my birthday, then I wrote a song about my first love affair… It was a relationship at 15-and-a-half, where I was absolutely crazy about this guy. And he broke up with me. Thank God he broke up with me, because if he hadn’t… I wouldn’t have been spurred on to write that song… I don’t know what would have happened if it hadn’t have been for that. And when that song was done, I knew that I was going to be a songwriter. And I think my mom and dad knew it too.

When did you first use cocaine?

I think the first time that I used coke was when I was a cleaning lady and I was cleaning somebody’s house and as a joke, they left a line of coke underneath something, just to see if I was really a thorough house cleaner. And of course I was, and of course I found it. That’s the first time that I actually remember using it… That was like 1973…

It was amazing how when people talked about it, how not a big thing it was. Nobody was scared. Nobody had any idea how insidious and dangerous and horrible it was.

How much did you spend on cocaine?

Millions. Millions. And yes, don’t I wish that we had that money and I could give it to cancer research today. Yes, I do.

I would be happy if nobody had ever shown me that drug. And that’s what I always want to be careful to tell people is that… just like everything else, for two, three years it was really fun. But it turns into a monster. So it’s not worth it to do it for those two or three years of fun because it will eventually kill you.

How do you finally realize that you have to stop?

I went to a plastic surgeon who told me, “You know, you’re really going to have a lot of problems with your nose if you don’t stop doing this.” And [that] really scared me. And then I went and did a seven-month tour… and I came home and I went straight to Betty Ford. And nobody had to make me go. I wanted to go as quick as possible.

I realized that I had this problem with my nose and that that could affect my voice. And then what would I do if I couldn’t sing anymore?… I could not get to Betty Ford fast enough at the end of that tour in 1986… Once I really realized it and really realized that it was just killing me, that drive to Betty Ford wasn’t so very difficult.

Do you drink or use drugs now?

I never want to be drunk in public again, ever, because that is not me. I never want to be totally drugged out again in public, ever, because I like me, I like who I am. And so that stops me from even considering going down any kind of a route like that again, ever.

Was Lindsey Buckingham the love of your life?

He was the musical love of my life. And I would have really given up anything for him, because of that. It was more than just a love relationship. It was everything… We really did get in a car and drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and having no idea what we were going to do or how we were going to do it… But we were going to do it.

What I tell Sheryl Crow [who collaborated with Nicks on her new cd]: Don’t get interested in somebody who’s going to go back on the road… Men are going to go out on the road and they’re going to find other women. So if you really want to save yourself a whole lot of heartache, do not fall in love with somebody in a band. Just don’t. Because it just doesn’t ever work. It’s too much to ask of them to be true… In my book, it’s a rule. It’s just an invitation to heartache… If you want to find somebody and you want to be married and you want to have children, don’t make it a rock star.

You chose career over family. Why?

I couldn’t have really done both. Now, many women can do both. I’m not saying it can’t be done. But for me, I knew that if I had a baby, I would have to take care of that baby, and I wouldn’t have been happy with a nanny taking care of my baby and walking into the room and having my child run across the room to another woman. I am very jealous and I would have hated that. So under those circumstances, if I couldn’t be a great mom, then I decided it would be better not to, and to go ahead and do what I do, write my songs, try to help people that way…

There’s an old country psalm that goes: “I never will marry, I’ll be no man’s wife, I intend to stay single all the rest of my life.” Well, I was singing that song at 16, so I think I just kind of always knew. That just wasn’t going to be for me. And, who knows, maybe when I’m 65 I’ll meet my soul mate and that’s very possible. But for now and for the last many, many years I needed to devote myself to this…

If everything came to an end for some reason tomorrow, I would feel OK about it. I would feel like I did most of what I need to do.

Why do you think your music touches people?

I think that’s what makes people connect to my songs is that they are, each one a little very truthful vignette about an experience that we’re all going to have.

Why did you do your first album cover naked?

That was not my idea. And I was not happy about that either. And I really was kind of forced to do that. That was one of those things, “Well don’t be a child, and don’t be a prude, and you know, this is art”… And I was like “Well, my parents are not going to be happy about this art. “… I was truly horrified. As horrified as I’ve ever been in my life. I was horrified on that day … I should have said no because I didn’t want to do it.

Now all those years are gone. It’s been so long that it’s all right now. And I know people love the cover. I know people love that picture. So I can kind of deal with it and accept it more now.

What’s it like to be a rock star at 53?

I really actually like being my age. I like all that I know. I like how wise I am now. And I wasn’t so very wise 25 years ago, so I like the knowledge. I like the fact that I’m very experienced. I like the fact that I know exactly what I’m doing when I’m on stage. I like the fact that if I had to completely take care of myself, pack my bags, get in a car and drive back to Los Angeles, I could do it.… If I get tired, I tend to blame everything on the fact that I’m older. And I think that really I’m as strong and as healthy and as able to do stuff as I ever was. I’m much more physical now than I was when I was in my 20s.… I was just a lazy rock star in those days.

What’s next for you?

When I stop doing this, I’ll write books and I’ll write children’s books and I’ll do children’s books with music. So I have so many things that I want to do, that when I decide I’m too old to rock on the stage, then I will switch into a whole other art thing.

And a little bit of me looks forward to that because there are many things that I really want to do. I paint and I draw and I have 40 or 50 of what I think are really beautiful paintings. And nobody’s seen them. So I have a whole ‘nother life that I can go into.