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

Mick Fleetwood Blues band to perform Jan shows

Starting on January 5, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band will be performing a series of Tuesday night shows at Mick Fleetwood’s popular Fleetwood’s on Front Street restaurant in Lahaina, Maui. This Tuesday’s show will feature former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito.

Click HERE to buy tickets for show on the 5th (with Rick Vito), 12th, 19th, and 26th.

Stevie revisits ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ in Petty bio

Tom Petty The Biography Warren Zanes November 10, 2015Tom Petty’s new biography Petty: The Biography will be released on Tuesday, November 10. Here is an exclusive excerpt from the book on the recording of Petty’s 1985 hit single “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” originally intended for Stevie Nicks to record for her third solo album Rock a Little.

1985’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” was a breakthrough smash for Petty, but it almost didn’t happen: He, co-writer/producer Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and co-producer Jimmy Iovine made it in a recording session for Stevie Nicks.

“Tom had come down, and he liked what we were working on,” explains Nicks. “I was writing madly. I had my little book, and I was just writing, writing. Tom, Jimmy, and Dave were sort of talking. But it was five in the morning, and I was really tired. So I said, ‘I’m going to go. I’m leaving you guys, and I’ll be back tomorrow.’ I left, and when I got back the next day, at something like 3 p.m., the whole song was written. And not only was it written, it was spectacular. Dave was standing there saying to me, ‘Well, it’s terrific, and now you can go out…and you can sing it.’ Tom had done a great vocal, a great vocal. I just looked at them and said, ‘I’m going to top that? Really? I got up, thanked Dave, thanked Tom, fired Jimmy and left.”

Lady A’s Charles Kelley, Stevie Nicks to cover Tom Petty

Stevie Nicks will be adding harmony vocals to the Lady Antebellum singer’s cover of Tom Petty’s ‘Southern Accents.’

On Wednesday, Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley announced at a private music industry event in Nashville that he would be recording a new version of Tom Petty’s “Southern Accents” (from Petty’s 1985 album of the same name) with Stevie Nicks on harmony vocals. Kelley will head into the studio to record his first solo album after Lady Antebellum wraps up their Wheels Up Tour.

According to Billboard, Kelley said the lyrics of the song reminded him of his father, who sold Bibles to pay his way through medical school.

No release date information for Kelley’s solo album has been announced.

Kingdom up for sale

Going to go her own way: Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie puts her 19-acre Grade II listed Kent home on the market for £3.5million ($8 million).

  • Christine McVie, 72, has been spending an increasing amount of time in London since rejoining Fleetwood Mac
  • So now, she has decided to put stunning Grade II-listed country home in Kent village of Wickhambreaux on sale
  • She is selling the mansion – where she wrote some solo material following band’s disintegration – for £3.5million
  • It boasts six bedrooms, four reception rooms, a three-bedroom outhouse, two cottages and sprawling gardens

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McVie, a famed vocalist and pianist, purchased her six-bedroom Wickhambreaux home, dubbed The Quaives, in 1990. She worked on solo material in the 19-acre estate’s converted barn following the continued disintegration of Fleetwood Mac through the 1990s. When McVie moved into the property, it was in dire need of refurbishment, and over the past 25 years, she has overhauled the entire estate.

The star officially left Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and all but retired from public view. She released just one solo album in 2004, written with her nephew Dan Perfect at The Quaives. But now, she has listed her home for sale – less than a year after stunning the music world by rejoining Fleetwood Mac for the On With The Show tour.

Strutt and Parker estate agents, which is selling the mansion, said McVie has been spending more time in London since the band’s reform.

Simon Backhouse, of Strutt and Parker, said:

  • Christine McVie bought this house in 1990 and when she did it was in a bit of a state.
  • She has spent an enormous amount of money on it since then, putting a new roof on it and restoring it to its former glory.
  • She has family in Kent and it’s a very beautiful and private house. It’s quiet and you can’t see it from anywhere so that ticked a lot of boxes for her.
  • The house itself is stunning and the village it’s in is a quintessential chocolate box village.
  • The full Fleetwood Mac line-up have reformed recently and Christine now spends more time in London than she had been doing.
  • She’s looking to upsize in London and downsize in the country.
  • The Quaives is new to the market but already there has been much interest in it.
  • Whether you’re a music fan or not, this is an incredible opportunity to own something very special indeed.

As well as six bedrooms and a converted barn, The Quaives boasts four reception rooms, a massive kitchen, a saloon and a thatched stable. It also features a three-bedroom outhouse, two separate cottages, a tennis court, a croquet lawn, paddocks and extensive gardens.

McVie, who is currently on tour with Fleetwood Mac in Australia and New Zealand, spoke fondly of the property.

“I have whiled away many peaceful days song writing in this tranquil home. Much fun was had by all on the croquet lawn,” she said.

McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970, where she joined her husband John McVie, the band’s bassist, and drummer Mick Fleetwood. American guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his singer girlfriend Stevie Nicks were added in 1974. Three years later the group released their most celebrated album, Rumours. Fleetwood Mac were one of the biggest bands in the world until Buckingham and Nicks left in 1987.

The band then went on to perform in various incarnations but only appeared again as the full Rumours line-up in September last year. McVie is responsible for some of the most-loved songs including “Songbird,” “Everywhere,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy.”

The singer and her husband divorced in 1976 and she went on to marry keyboardist Eddy Quintela in October 1986. She and Quintela split up in the mid-1990s. McVie has no children.

Sophie Jane Evans / Daily Mail (UK) / Thursday, September 24, 2015

Vanessa Carlton: ‘Stevie is like a queen’

Vanessa Carlton, who just released a new album called Liberman, recently talked to CBS News about how good friend Stevie Nicks has continued to be an inspiration to her. “Her greatest form of advice is how she lives her life. The way that she looks at her career and looks at her role is so extraordinary because she’s obviously in such a position of power [that] in a sense she’s like a queen, you know? But she is so warm and connected. I just love how she connects all the dots of her life.”

View the video here: Vanessa Carlton CBS News interview.

Lady Antebellum wrap up shows with ‘Landslide’ encore

The country trio continues to pay respect, tribute at shows for the music of Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac

Lady Antebellum have been closing their summer shows with Fleetwood Mac’s classic “Landslide.” The band, which is currently in the middle of the Wheels Up Tour with special guest Hunter Hayes, added the perennial favorite as an encore to their set in June. From the videos below, it’s clear that their rendition has been a good-old-fashioned-sing-along session with audiences.

Stevie Nicks has shared a special bond with the country trio ever since they collaborated on CMT Crossroads in 2013. In 2014, the two powerhouse acts found themselves together once again, first with Stevie adding her vocals to a special rerecorded version of the band’s 2013 song “Golden” and then Lady Antebellum turning up on Stevie’s “Blue Water” from 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault.

Here are two recent performances of “Landslide” from the band’s June 2 concert in Irvine, California and July 29 pre-show acoustic performance in West Valley City, near Salt Lake City. (Get ready to bust out the tissues!)

Irvine, CA (June 27, 2015)

Pre-show Acoustic Performance (July 29, 2015)

 

Fleetwood’s hits three-year mark with big bash

It’s been three years since legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood opened his restaurant in Lahaina. Now, Fleetwood’s on Front Street has a grand plan to celebrate, all weekend long.

Plan to start the party early? So do they. There’s a Throwback Thursday dance party on the restaurant’s rooftop patio from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. tonight, with deejay Gary O’Neal and “oldies” from around the year 2000.

Friday, August 21 features a Leather & Lace party to kick off the anniversary weekend, with a another rooftop dance party, this time to the live music of Maui’s own Kona Storm from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Guests are encouraged to wear their best “Leather & Lace,” the title of a popular song by Stevie Nicks, who joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975. If you get there early, happy hour runs 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday, August 22, “Elvis” enters the building in a Burnin’ Love show from 7:15 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the rooftop. Award-winning singer Darren Lee will perform as Elvis, in a show that’s known to be among Mick Fleetwood’s favorites.

A four-course dinner comes with that show, with offerings inspired by places Elvis used to live. They include chicken and waffles (Memphis) and steak au poivre (Hollywood), and even Executive Chef Eric Morrissette’s take on Elvis’ favorite sandwich, with a Peanut Butter Brûlée and Banana Tartlet for dessert.

Package prices for dinner and the show on Saturday range from $110 to $160.

As for Sunday August 23, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band will take to the rooftop stage to perform with recording artist Gretchen Rhodes and other local musicians. Rooftop doors open at 6 p.m. with music by the House Shakers, then a four-course dinner service begins up there at 6:30 p.m.

The menu includes chilled jumbo shrimp, summer melon salad, a petite filet and Mahi Mahi combo, and Fleetwood’s signature pineapple rum cake. There’s also a vegetarian option with roasted cauliflower and butternut squash.

Elvis, performed again by Darren Lee, leads off the show at 7:45 p.m., then Mick Fleetwood takes the stage for an anniversary toast and live music until 9:30 p.m.

There are six different packages that include the Sunday show and dinner. Prices start at $133 for cabana seating and a standing-room show with television monitors, and run up to $503 for the Rockstar Package, which provides center-stage seating in Mick Fleetwood’s private section, along with autographed copies of his biography Play On and a Fleetwood Mac CD.

Kiaora Bohlool / Maui Now / Thursday, August 20, 2015

Christine McVie: Why I went back to Fleetwood Mac

She wrote some of the band’s best known hits but walked away for a quiet life in the country. But now Christine McVie is back with Fleetwood Mac on a tour which is heading to New Zealand. She talks about her return to the fold.

Fleetwood Mac, from left: Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie.

Speaking from London, Christine McVie sounds a bit like a more mellow, less posh Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.

There’s a lovely, light, warm huskiness, and plenty of character in the voice that’s been missing from the Fleetwood Mac line-up for the past 17 years – the voice (and pen) behind many of their hits, like Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Songbird, and You Make Loving Fun.

But now that voice is back.

Rumours swirled after McVie appeared on stage with the band in Dublin and London during their 2013 tour, and in January 2014 it was announced that she was officially back in the band.

And now, more than halfway through their current world tour – entitled On With The Show – the 71-year-old sounds totally convinced she made the right decision, and is thrilled to be touring again.

“We’re having a ball. Every night, I look across the stage from where I’m playing piano, stage right, and I can see the rest of them, John, Mick, Stevie, and Lindsey, and it awes me every night. I just think, blimey, you guys are fantastic. I think the difference this time is that we’re all smiling.”

Not that she had any dissatisfaction with the band or the music, or even the performing when she left the group in 1998. McVie felt she had to leave for a far more simple reason: she couldn’t deal with aeroplanes anymore.

“It was never the playing or the people, it was just that I’d developed a hideous fear of flying! And I loathed living out of a suitcase forever and I really longed for some roots. I wanted to have a home, where I could go home, and unlock my door, and go in, and be settled. I was tired of being a gypsy. And that was fine really.”

She’d been doing it for nearly 30 years, after all, and as has been well documented, some of those years were pretty rocky – McVie was probably the least naughty of the five.

But the band had its fair share of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll excess. So the appeal of some time out at an old country farmhouse in England was understandable. She wanted a bit of isolation, a bit of quiet, and a different kind of life.

“I restored the house from the roof downwards, and I had fun with that for about five years, imagining I was living this country life with the welly boots and the dogs and the Range Rover. And then I just started to get bored.

“And I hadn’t really sat at a piano very much at all during that time, so I started to play again, and drifted around, writing and so on, and I did make a solo album with my nephew Dan Perfect, called In The Mean Time. But because of my fear of flying, I didn’t promote it. And so it was released and did nothing at all” she laughs.

She pottered about for another few years, but her boredom and isolation got worse, and so she decided to seek help for her fear of flying, and for the various other issues she was grappling with.

“I went to a psychiatrist, and I was looking for help with other problems as well, isolation problems – all sorts of stuff started happening being in the country on my own – so I sought help, and this chap, who has since become a really good friend, he said, ‘Well what are you going to do for the rest of your life? Are you going to sit around, and drive your Range Rover, and put your Hunter boots on, and that’s it?”

That got her thinking. He also asked where she’d most like to go if she could get on a plane, and she knew the answer immediately: Hawaii – where Mick Fleetwood is based on Maui.

“So my psychiatrist said ‘Why don’t you book yourself a ticket? You don’t have to get on the plane, just book the ticket. So I did.”

Serendipitously, Fleetwood happened to be coming to London for promotional duties around the same time, and decided to align his return ticket with McVie’s so she could (hopefully) fly to Maui with him. And she did it.

“It was funny, I stepped on the aeroplane, and I texted my psychiatrist and said, ‘Oooh, I don’t know about this, I’m smelling the jet fumes’, and he replied ‘No, that’s the perfume of freedom’. And I thought, ‘Yeah! That’s cool’.

“So we took off and I didn’t even think about it, and I haven’t since. I’m free! It’s an incredible feeling when you’re grounded and you feel like you can’t really go anywhere, I felt like I was stuck. No chance of coming to Australia and New Zealand. But now it’s fantastic.”

Of course overcoming her fear of flying was one step, but rejoining the band was another.

Christine McVie performing in LA in 1979, at the height of Fleetwood Mac’s fame.

While she was in Maui, she got up on stage with Fleetwood at his local venue, and really enjoyed jamming along. So then when whole band went to Britain in 2013, she thought she’d try getting up on stage as part of Fleetwood Mac again, as a special guest.

“I was terrified. I had met them in Dublin, and rehearsed with them. But it was a very strange feeling walking on to the stage – I was terrified, because the technology has changed so much since I was in the band originally, now we use these really sophisticated in-ear contraptions, which I wasn’t used to at all, and all those little things took a bit of getting used to.”

But the overwhelmingly positive response to her appearance convinced McVie it was time to ask her bandmates if she could rejoin the band – and they welcomed her with open arms.

Now she’s convinced Fleetwood Mac are the best they’ve ever been.

“I feel more at home on stage than ever, much more confident, and happier.

” I love the way we sound. And, not trying to blow my own trumpet, but we sound better than we’ve ever sounded before I believe. I think we all now have an appreciation of what we were 18 years ago. Because for quite a few years in the middle there they couldn’t play things like Little Lies and Make Loving Fun. And then me rejoining and playing my part on the piano, and the little nuances I contribute, and the backing vocals, it’s making us all realise ‘Gosh, that really is a great song’.”

In fact things are going so well that they’ve already started recording a new album.

Lindsey Buckingham and McVie started writing new songs together in February last year, and the band has recently finished a nearly two-month run in Studio D at the Village Recorder in Los Angeles, where they also made 1979’s Tusk.

“We did about eight songs so far, which are all fantastic. One is about my flying fear, which is called Carnival Begin, which is a really beautiful song.

“Stevie was working on another project so she hasn’t come in yet, but she will. And we’re planning on trying to have an album finished by early next year, and releasing it in the spring.

“It’s exciting, because the songs feel fresh – they’re modern, they’re sexy, they’re great.”

Writing with Buckingham again felt completely natural too – like the proverbial pair of worn slippers.

“We just fell right back into the same slot,” she laughs. “It was as though time had not existed all those years, we just fell into this great songwriting partnership again immediately. It’s chemistry really.”

And the things that inspire her songwriting haven’t changed much either. “I’m still emotionally a 17-year-old, always looking for the right man, you know!”

But even though she professes to still be searching for Mr Right, the tumultuous relationships of her 20s and 30s are well laid to rest, including her 1976 divorce from bandmate, bassist John McVie, and now they feel more like a family than ever.

“When we’re flying between shows, I just often look around our little plane, and look at everybody, and everyone is chatting and laughing or sleeping or eating, and I just feel, this is really a family.

“For all our differences and history and unsettled times in the past, we’ve come out of it, on the other side, and we can celebrate that. Our diversity is still keeping us together somehow. Don’t ask me how, but it’s magic.”

Who: Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac
What: On With The Show tour
Where and when: Performing at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on November 21 and 22.

Lydia Jenkin / New Zealand Herald / Saturday, 6th June 2015