How Stevie Nicks created a coven of Gold Dust Women

Sitting in a suite at the top of one of the fanciest hotels in Manhattan, Stevie Nicks plays with a diamond-encrusted silver moon necklace. The charm was given to her by the father of a young woman named Sara, who Nicks met through the Make-A-Wish foundation in 2005. Sara died in 2008 of a rare type of cancer and Nicks dedicated her 2011 album In Your Dreams to her. “I need to wear this because it’s the 32 diamonds of the 32 shows she came to,” Nicks said, pressing her fingertips to the moon. “If you flip it, it’s a gold moon. It’s whatever you want it to be.”

It had been a month since Nicks released her most recent album, 24 Karat Gold: Songs From The Vault, comprised of unrecorded songs written between 1969 and 1995. “To me, these songs are the pieces of jewelry you put away in your special jewelry box and save and will someday give to your daughters,” she said, “or your fairy goddaughters or your nieces or the people you love that you will leave your jewelry to.”

At 66, Nicks is in the midst of some of the busiest years of her life. In the last 42 months, she released In Your Dreams and a documentary about its creation, toured endlessly with Fleetwood Mac, welcomed keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie back to the band, appeared on both NBC’s The Voice and FX’s American Horror Story: Coven, debuted 24 Karat Gold and opened a well-received exhibit of Polaroid self-portraits at the Morrison Hotel Gallery. With just a few days to spare in between show dates, Nicks came to New York to promote the record. She booked an appearance on “The Tonight Show,” a “Today” show spot and multiple interviews.

“I don’t want this record to die,” she said, leaning back in a massive armchair draped in a bath towel to calm her dust allergy. “These old hotels,” she said before arranging herself. The sun had set hours ago, but ombre sunglasses sat low on her nose. “When I made this record I didn’t know it was going to be what I consider one of the best record I’ve ever made. I was just doing it to fulfill an obligation to my record company.”

Recorded in Nashville, 24 Karat Gold was made in just 10 weeks, before Fleetwood Mac started rehearsals for the “On With The Show” tour. It’s a look back at Nicks’ storied past, dotted with allusions to former lovers and idols. “Mabel Normand” is her warning song against drugs. “Cathouse Blues” and “Lady” are specifically about her former lover and constant bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, whose shared history with Nicks could fill a book. Two tracks, “24 Karat Gold” and “Watch Chain,” were written about Mick Fleetwood, the six-foot-five Fleetwood Mac drummer whom Nicks had an affair with after she and Buckingham broke up. Fleetwood was married at the time, but is credited with introducing Nicks to the album’s namesake, 24-karat gold. She’d never seen that kind of metal before. “I was in love with Stevie, or the closest thing to knowing what that is,” Fleetwood said. “Who knows, I maybe bought her a few things of 24 karat. I hope I did.”

The songs were meant for the mothers and daughters who attend her concerts in matching, floor-length velvet coats. For the obsessive Stevie Nicks fan who goes to the Night of 1000 Stevies, the annual Stevie Nicks tribute party in New York City, like it’s church. For the American Horror Story fans who just discovered her witchy ways. For the diehard Fleetwood Mac fan who will listen to anything she writes because in a world where everything changes, Stevie Nicks is one constant.

“Any woman that is close with her would do anything for her.”

“My songs are just one continuation from beginning to end, from 1965 when I wrote my first song when I was 15,” Nicks said, “just kind of the same song, goes along and we twist it and scramble it and change it a little bit. I just tell a neverending story.”

Along the way, she’s invented a mythology that explains her extreme Stevie-ness. She sings about birds, horses and fantastical magical castles where Nicks, or perhaps her alter-egos Rhiannon or the Gold Dust Woman, lives, reincarnated in real-time. Her Victorian aesthetic — fitted velvet riding coats, long black skirts, top hats, platform boots and shawls (oh, those shawls!) — never changes. On stage she’s a force, twirling expertly with a tambourine, often in front of two ex-boyfriends. “There’s really such a thin veil between the everyday Stevie and the Stevie on the stage,” her close friend , singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton, said. “That is a testament to her really knowing who she is as a woman.”

Nicks’ influence on music is easily seen in bands like Haim, Destiny’s Child, Lady Antebellum and the Dixie Chicks. A long list of artists that includes Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Florence Welch and Courtney Love have spoken at length about how Nicks inspired them to be their own kinds of rock stars.

From where she stands now, arguably as rock and roll’s reigning queen, Nicks has found a greater role as mentor. From Carlton and Sheryl Crow to Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson and the Haim sisters, Nicks has created a coven, filled with disciples who aspire to the Stevie Nicks gospel: being emotionally direct in your work and the most honest version of yourself you can be.

“I’m looking for the great people, the legends,” she said. “These, I think, are legendary women. I want to do what I can do to help them stay on track.”

Stevie Nicks, left, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac perform at the Staples Center on July 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
Stevie Nicks, left, and Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac perform at the Staples Center on July 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

The one time I ever went to therapy,” Nicks said, sinking into her chair, “this lady said to me, ‘I think the saddest day of your life in a lot of ways was the day you joined Fleetwood Mac because you are such a caretaker. From that day on everybody wanted to take care of you and you didn’t really want that.’”

Nicks doesn’t drive, own a phone or a computer. Her assistant of 25 years, Karen Johnston, lives barely a mile from her in Los Angeles. She’s one of the biggest celebrities on the planet and has had to admit that, yes, she needs people to help her out. But her natural caretaking instincts kick in constantly. They fuel her desire to nurture relationships with the next generation of artists who are as dedicated to their crafts as she is to hers.

“She showed me how to put on a show,” Carlton said, referring to the North American leg of Nicks’ 2005 tour. That was the first time the two toured together. “As much as she herself is crafting and creating all of this stuff on her own, it’s really interesting to see how important the other element is to her, to serve and really entertain.”

The Haim sisters connected with Nicks for a T Magazine story and remembered having dozens of questions to ask her during the five-hour shoot. “We asked her, ‘Were you ever scared of the future? Were you ever worried about things?'” Alana Haim said. “And she said, ‘Honestly from the start, I knew exactly what I wanted and I walked into a room saying, This is who I am. This is what I want.'” They spoke at length about their music and Danielle Haim came away with Nicks’ biggest piece of advice: Don’t ever release a song you don’t believe in. “It was that song, ‘Reconsider Me,'” Alana said. “She was like, ‘No one could ever make me sing a song like that. I would never ask a man to reconsider me.’ We would never do that either.”

2014-1124-HuffPost-haimAny psychology student could muster up a connection between Nicks’ natural attraction to mentorship and not having kids. She’s quick to make the comparison herself, before waving the notion off. “But even if I had had a couple of daughters, I would still be doing this. I would still be looking around the music business or the arts business for people that I like and respect, that I think can carry on my tradition, which is just the tradition of simply being as great as you can be.”

“I feel like we maybe as a society have grown into what Stevie has always represented,” said New York Magazine reporter Jada Yuan, who wrote a profile of Nicks in 2013. “But there are so many women that are taking the path that she took, which was she found a love of music and she gave up being a mother and having a family to pursue something that she felt she had a greater purpose doing.”

For Nicks, her greater purpose lies in cultivation, in growth. “They know they can call me. I’m never far away,” she said. “I like to say a fairy godmother as opposed to a mom because I don’t become their moms. They have moms. They don’t need another mom, but maybe they need a fairy godmother.”

When I read that quote back to Carlton a few days later, she laughed. “That’s so Stevie. She very much looks at herself as a service to the people. I think that Stevie is like a sister to us. She feels more like an older sister to me than a mother.”

One word comes up in nearly every conversation about Stevie Nicks: generous.

“She’s a straight shooter,” Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield, who’s been writing about Nicks for 25 years, said. “It’s fascinating to hear her talk because it’s coming from the same place, same wild heart, so to speak, as her music.”

It’s the same kind of selflessness that she puts into her performances. If you buy tickets to a Stevie Nicks show, you know she will twirl, bring out a gold shawl and seem infinitely taller than her five-foot-one frame. “The first time we performed together,” her longtime guitar player and bandleader Waddy Wachtel said, “I told her, ‘You’re a rock and roller. I never knew that about you and I will never forget it.’”

After Yuan’s profile hit newsstands, Nicks dedicated “Landslide,” the fan-favorite Fleetwood Mac ballad, to her at a Jones Beach concert. “I cried,” Yuan said. “This is this incredibly generous act that somebody’s doing for me. That’s who she is. She knows what kind of impact that would have on me, for someone like her to do that for someone like me.”

Come Christmas, Nicks said she will fly back to New York to welcome Carlton’s new daughter with her husband, Deer Tick singer-guitarist John McCauley, whose wedding Nicks officiated. Last year, Carlton had emergency surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. “It almost killed me,” she said. “Honestly, Stevie is the first one to get me on the phone before and after that surgery. She’s right there with a hilarious story making me laugh even though you’re on all these drugs in the hospital. That’s the kind of friend she is.”

“She makes you feel good,” Carlton added. “The biggest thing I’ve taken away from my time knowing Stevie is that warmth. It doesn’t take much and it’s really powerful.”

As we spoke, Nicks brought up a letter she had written to the Haim sisters. The T Magazine shoot was meaningful for both parties, and Nicks was eager to continue a relationship with Este, Danielle and Alana. “When I get back, I want to spend time with them,” she said. “I would love to make a record with them. I would love to go on tour with them. I would love to be a part of their lives because I think they’re the best of the best to come along in a long, long time. I think they’re going to be a major force in rock and roll.”
We asked Nicks to pick her favorite songs from newer artists. Here’s what she’s listening to these days.

2014-1124-HuffPost-vcAt the end of their interview, Nicks gave each of the sisters (and their mother) a moon necklace, declaring them all Sisters of the Moon, a phrase taken from a 1979 Fleetwood Mac song by the same name. When performed, it’s known as the “speaking in tongues” song. Nicks becomes otherworldly, as if reaching out to gather her literal sisters of the moon. Nicks has given moons to Carlton, Gevinson and other people she’s fallen in love with over the years. “They deserve to have a moon. They deserve to have that inspiration and that little tip of my top hat to them to say I believe in you and I think that you’re amazing. So I’m telling you right now, you can have it all if you want it.”

“That moon necklace holds a lot of power,” Alana said. “Ever since I put it on, every single person I’ve met has been like, ‘Where did you get that necklace?’ People are drawn to the moon. I can’t express it.”

Nicks gave Carlton her moon a few weeks into their first tour together, and four years later “upgraded” it to a more solid gold one, Carlton remembered. “Jewelry holds energy so when you’ve worn something for five years it’s good to give it to your next person,” she said. “It’s her band of people. I think that’s what matters the most, connecting. Any woman that is close with her would do anything for her.”

Nicks didn’t have a true musical mentor in her early years. She was extremely close with her mother, who died suddenly after a bout with pneumonia in 2011, but her only female pseudo-role model came when she joined Fleetwood Mac. McVie, who was five years older, had experienced success and helped Nicks navigate the early stages of fame. “I did have a mentor and I did have somebody who was able to help me and be my friend, but understood that I was a really strong woman and that I didn’t need her to take care of me,” she said. “But did I have Stevie Nickses around to give me 24-karat moons or just the wisdom? No, I didn’t. I just had to figure it out … and I did figure it out.”

Last month, after Fleetwood Mac’s two-night Madison Square Garden run, I sat in my apartment with two friends rewatching old Stevie Nicks clips. Someone queued up the one where she doesn’t know she’s being filmed singing “Wild Heart” at a Rolling Stone cover shoot. I picked the one where she and Buckingham stare each other down on stage while singing “Silver Springs,” a song that can make your heart hurt just a little bit. We tried to pinpoint why we were all drawn to her, and came up with this: It was just music in the purest sense. You can love Stevie Nicks and her winding stories when you’re 8, 25 or 70 years old. Accessible and friendly, but dark and dramatic, Nicks’ music holds the answers to secret love affairs and bitter tragedies. She describes the scary parts of our world in ways we can understand: awe in “Seven Wonders,” innocence in “Edge of Seventeen,” courage in “Stand Back” and the comedown in “After The Glitter Fades.” “She has this confidence and magic,” Carlton said. “Her wings cannot be nailed down.”

“I want every woman in the world to meet her,” Alana Haim said. “After I met her, I’m telling you, I looked at the world a different way. She makes you feel like you’re a better person. Every time I see her I feel like I can lift a bus and throw it across the world.”

Stevie Nicks doesn’t care if her taste is “cool.” She likes what she likes: Twilight and NCIS, fairies and tiny dogs. She hasn’t changed her stage uniform in 40 years because she knows what looks best. She has lived on the brink of death, snorted enough cocaine to blow out her nose, gone to rehab twice, experienced great, tragic love stories, and lived to tell the tales in ways that rival the Pied Piper. “I got to sing, I got to dance/ I got to be a part of a great romance still forbidden, still outrageous,” she sings on “For What It’s Worth,” a song from In Your Dreams. It’s one of many Nicks songs that gets at the heart of human pain. She doesn’t apologize for broadcasting her emotions. She doesn’t have to. Neither do we.

“Maybe you don’t have the greatest voice in the world, but maybe you have the greatest soul in the world and your music is going to be spectacular because you just have so much soul,” Nicks said. “You might not be the best of the best, but you might be the one that’s famous.”

Jessica Goodman / Huffington Post / Tuesday, November 24, 2014

Stevie returns to the Coven for season finale

Stevie returned to American Horror Story: Coven on Wednesday night, appearing in the final episode of the season. The episode, aptly titled “The Seven Wonders” starts like a music video with Stevie returning to the Coven, singing along to “Seven Wonders,” a Top 20 hit from Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 album Tango in the Night. Toward the end of the song, Stevie says “good luck, girls” and turns to exit the house. Fleetwood Mac’s classic song “Silver Springs” was also used for the episode.

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See other Stevie Nicks songs used for the show.

Ryan Murphy chats about Stevie Nicks’ debut on ‘Coven,’ what witches are actually dead

(Photo: FX)
(Photo: FX)

The “White Witch” finally made her much-anticipated debut last night on American Horror Story: Coven. Yes, the one and only Stevie Nicks popped up as a pal of Fiona’s and gave the Miss Robichaux ladies a little private concert. Elsewhere, Nan, Joan and (maybe?) Misty perished. Plus, Marie did an awesome thing her tongue. EW talked to co-creator Ryan Murphy about all this and more, like which witches are gone for good.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s talk about Stevie first. Did she have a blast? How did she feel about the experience?

RYAN MURPHY: She did have a blast. She was nervous because she’s never acted. But it’s one of those weird things where you mythologize somebody for months and months and months in the scripts and then you tell the actors “Oh by the way, that person is coming.” So the anticipation for her on the set with the cast and the crew was great and everybody wanted to meet her and take pictures with her and talk to her. She’s one of those ladies that’s so gracious. She’s just an amazing soul and kind. I love that she did those songs. She just had a ball. She was also very interested in the acting part of it so she spent a lot of time on set watching them and really getting into it. Everybody couldn’t say enough good things about Stevie Nicks nor could I. She’s a great person.

How did you come up with which songs she sings?

I chose “Rhiannon.” At the end, I definitely knew I wanted her to do “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You” which is one of my favorite songs. I thought it oddly applied to the Jessica Lange character where Fiona has had all these great opportunities and squandered them and is just looking for some peace after her horrific acts. So that was great and Stevie loved that idea. And “Rhiannon,” we put that in the script months ago and at that point I hadn’t even imagined Stevie could do the show. That song is very witchy and fun.

Now, everyone at home can learn to twirl like Stevie Nicks.

I’ve seen her in concert and Stevie Nicks is famous for her twirling and her shawl changes. I said to the writers, “Do you think Stevie would have a sense of humor about this?” Knowing her I thought I think she’ll go for it and she did. Nobody twirls like Stevie Nicks.

Lily is a pretty good twirler.

All the girls watched Stevie Nicks on repeat to get that twirl down, believe you me.

And she’ll be back still?

Yes, she’s the complete cold opening of the last episode.

Can you say if she sings?

Oh yes! Yes! It’s a Stevie Nicks music video extravagaaaaanza!

Misty sort of had the best day and the worst day. She met Stevie and then was buried alive by Madison. Is that the last we’ve seen of her?

Well there’s two things going on with Misty Day. How does one get out of a tomb? Can she get out of it or is she buried alive? We’ll revisit her torment as the clock is ticking.

I think that might have been one of our favorite scenes we’ve ever done with Lily and Emma. I love how Emma twirls away. It was great fun!

Speaking of people dying, is Joan really dead? Also, I love that you got Patti LuPone to drink bleach. Only you, Ryan Murphy!

[Laughs] I know. God bless Patti LuPone. Yes that is the end of Patti LuPone’s character this season.

Have you talked to her about coming back for season four?

You know there’s always a place for Patti on the show. I wanted her to do more episodes. The thing about Patti is she has such an extensive life as a concert vocalist and she travels all over the country. We were just lucky to get her for the number of episodes we did. Everybody knows she’s a great singer but I thought her acting was incredible. I thought she took a very big character and made it very real and relatable and not insane. I think she’s fantastic.

What about Nan? Is she definitely dead?

Nan is sadly gone for good. I can confirm that Nan is no more.

So Marie gives Papa Legba a baby each year to maintain immortality? Does he like eat that baby? What does he do with them?

It’s not always a baby—it’s an innocent soul. I just think he takes them, he collects them. That’s based on a long myth of that character. I like that there’s a voodoo version of the devil.

His look was great. He was sorta like a scarier Rob Zombie.

We worked on his look. He’s a very fascinating character. There’s a lot of pictures of different versions of what he looked like. So we looked a lot of them and took a bit from this and a bit from that but he does have sort of a great Rob Zombie style.

He’s back for more episodes, too, right?

Oh yeah. Papa is back.

One of my favorite moments all season is Angela Bassett sticking out her tongue rapidly and screaming in the opening sequence. Who came up with that?

Alfonso [Gomez-Rejon] is such a great director. I think that’s something that he and Angela came up with together. She’s come up with her own Marie Laveau vernacular and we’re glad she has!

Will the truce between Marie and Fiona hold?

Well we have been building towards a truce and I think the viewers want there to be. If you’re watching the show, you’re very invested in these two powerful women joining forces because then they would be unstoppable. But Fiona is not to be trusted and neither is Marie. Is it real? Do they have an agenda and what is that agenda?

We explore that in the next couple of episodes.

We didn’t see LaLaurie in this episode. Will she be back next week?

Yes. Next week is Kathy’s heaviest episode that we’ve ever done with her on the show. It’s a great episode for her. It’s really upsetting because a lot of it is about the origin story for Madame LaLaurie. We read a lot about her and the question I always had is How does this woman who’s a cultured socialite and someone educated become such a brutal serial killer monster? Where does that come from? What was the first moment where she did what she did? We see that, we explore that. It’s a great Kathy Bates gets her revenge moment.

We didn’t see Queenie either. Is there a chance we’ll see her again?

Yes Queenie is in the next episode. We find out what happens to her.

It seems to be building to a battle between the witch hunters and the covens. Will that happen sooner rather than later?

That’s next week’s episode which is called “Protect the Coven” so all the stories in that are about different people having their own agendas about having to protect that sect of witchdom. There’s a great, great scene that is a big stand-off that we do in there that I give Jessica Lange complete credit for.

Cordelia had such a bummer episode. Will she figure out her place?

I don’t know that she’s so much lost as she doesn’t have a belief in her powers. The question is Can she come into her own? Will she come into her own?
So will things get better for her?

It gets much worse before it gets better, in typical fashion. The next episode Sarah had to do one of the most upsetting things she’s ever had to do on the show but it’s great. She’s really desperate to get that power back and what lengths will she go to do it?

What was Myrtle playing?!

A theremin. If you’re a fan of science fiction films of the ‘50s, it’s connected to horror/outer space movies usually. It’s just a very odd instrument that’s very specific to the sci-fi horror genre. I just thought Myrtle would definitely play and instrument and it had to be the theremin.

One of my favorite images—and this is what the spin-off should be—is Myrtle’s suggestion that Cordelia become a cruise director.

Right? I love that. Poor Myrtle. I thought that was really funny. Myrtle means well but her advice is terrible.

Tim Stack / Inside TV – EW / Thursday, January 9, 2014

Watch Stevie act, sing, and twirl on American Horror story: Coven

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Stevie kicked off the winter return of American Horror Story: Coven, appearing as herself in Episode 10, aptly titled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks.” In the episode, Stevie sang “Rhiannon” (from the 1975 album Fleetwood Mac) and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” (from the 1985 album Rock a Little) while playing the piano and acted briefly in the scene, in which she presents Misty Day with a special shawl that had “danced across the stages of the world.”

The video includes all the important and relevant scenes that deal with Stevie!

Stevie Nicks talks witches, her role on Wednesday’s American Horror Story: Coven

Stevie with Lily Rabe, who plays Misty Day on American Horror Story Coven.
Stevie with Lily Rabe, who plays Misty Day on American Horror Story Coven.

Stand back, Stevie Nicks fans: The legendary songstress makes her much-anticipated appearance on “American Horror Story: Coven” at 9 p.m. Wednesday on FX.

The longtime Fleetwood Mac rocker, famous for her singular voice, signature shawls and on-stage twirls, has a guest-starring gig on this season’s 10th episode, titled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks.”

In the show, swamp witch Misty Day (Lily Rabe) is obsessed with the singer. Misty gets to meet her idol in Wednesday’s episode when Fiona (Jessica Lange) invites Nicks to the young witches’ New Orleans home.

Nicks talked about her “AHS” debut during a phone interview Tuesday from her house in Phoenix (edited Q&A below). Nicks hasn’t seen the episode yet; she wants to be surprised when she sits down to watch it later that night after performing a concert in Vegas with Fleetwood Mac.

“I’ll be walking around telling everybody, ‘If you’ve seen it, don’t tell me what happens — or I’ll have to put a spell on you,” Nicks said.

You became friends with “AHS” and “Glee” co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk when “Glee” did its Fleetwood Mac episode. What did you think when they asked you to be on “AHS?”

In my stupid mind I’m thinking I’ll wear a long black dress and walk through the beautiful white house and just say, ‘Hello witches!’ and keep on going.

Were you nervous?

My assistant read the script out loud to me and at the end I’m like, ‘They do know I’m not an actress, right?’ I didn’t sleep too good that night. I was seriously worried I was going to suck. Strangely enough, I walked into that big, gorgeous white house — it’s incredibly similar to my house — and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, it’s my house on steroids.’ I just said, ‘Stevie, you’re going to have to focus and listen to what they say. Listen to your director Alfonso [Gomez-Rejon] who’s amazing and listen to all the girls. They’re going to help you.’

You perform two songs in the show. Did you pick them?

They decided everything. I was pretty sure ‘Rhiannon’ would be in it. It’s Misty’s anthem. It’s Stevie’s anthem. I was really glad because that’s probably the only song I sit and play whenever I walk into a hotel that has a piano. I hadn’t played piano in eight or nine months. I’m like, ‘Not only am I going to be terrible at reciting lines but I’m going to make lots of mistakes on the piano because I haven’t played in so long.’ I didn’t [make mistakes], actually. I was even able to look up once in a while. It was pretty great.

Are you worried your appearance on the show will resurrect the witch rumors that have dogged you for so long?

No. Everybody is smart enough to know that I wore black for one reason. Why do we all wear black? Because it makes you look skinnier, of course. When Ryan asked me, he knew about all [the rumors]. He said, ‘I know you kind of had a problem with it.’ I said I don’t have a problem with it. I am a) not a witch and b) even if I was a witch, it’s my life. I’m 65 years old and I can do anything I want. I’m not going to not do stuff because there might be a crazy little bunch of wacko fans out there that are going to take it the wrong way.

You hadn’t seen previous seasons of “AHS” when they first asked to use your music. What did you think when you saw this season’s premiere?

I’ve never been to a horror show in my life, ever. When I saw the first episode I was a little shocked, honestly. I was like, ‘Oh my God, if my mom was still alive, what would she say?’

Why did you let them use your songs in the show?

They basically told me my music was needed because there was a character who was a witch that wasn’t part of the coven, who lived out in the swamp and basically heals people and animals and was really nice. She had no friends, no family. My songs were like her go-to self-help book. That’s how I hope my songs will affect everybody — the same way they affect Misty in the show. So I was thrilled. Misty was going to singlehandedly take my music to a whole new generation of people who probably never heard of Fleetwood Mac or me. That’s that age-14 to age-40 group. What a gift that is for me as a writer to know that my music would be picked up by a whole other generation of young people.

You give Misty your shawl in the episode. Did you give anything to the actress, (Northwestern alum) Lily Rabe, who’s a big fan of your music in real life?

I did give Lily a really beautiful black skirt and velvet jacket that is just fantasmagorical. I just made that word up. She has done me a huge favor by being that girl that takes on my spirit and sends that music out into the world to a whole other generation. There is no greater gift. I thought a beautiful black outfit was the least I could do for Lily Rabe. She lost her mom [actress Jill Clayburgh] not very long ago, one year before I lost my mom. When I wrote her the note that went with her outfit I said, ‘I know you lost your mom and so did I. I’m around if you need me.’ We’ll probably be friends forever.

Television can entail long hours on the set. Was it tiring?

[My routine is] I go into makeup at 5, I go on stage at 8, I come off at 11. I change, get in an airplane, fly to the next city and order room service. This is my life. By the time we got through six or seven hours and they’re like, ‘One more time,’ I’m like, ‘Are you insane? Again?’ Sixteen hours in, I thought I was going to turn into the old crone witch any second. I’d been wearing my high-heeled Stevie boots all day long. I couldn’t have been more tired if I tried.

Would you do it again?

This is a step into a whole other world for me. It does not mean that I want to be an actress. It means that there are other things out there for me to do beside just touring and just singing. I look forward to seeing what happens to me after this. I feel like this is going to change my life in a lot of really good ways. It’s proven to people I can step out of the mold.

Before we hung up, Nicks asked how we were coping with the brutal cold in Chicago. Her parents lived here for three years in the late ’60s while she was in college.
“It was the only move I didn’t make with them,” the Arizona native said. “I went there when they were looking for a house. It was so damn cold I said I don’t think I can live there. And I love Chicago.”

“I know you guys are suffering,” she added. “I just want you to know I’m blowing hot wind toward you.”

Lori Rackl / Voices – Chicago Sun Times / Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stevie Nicks on Coven cameo: ‘Don’t you know? I have powers now!’

(Photo: Michele K Short / FX)

The White Witch has arrived! As promised, tonight’s new American Horror Story: Coven will feature a special guest turn from rock legend Stevie Nicks. It’s shaping up to be an exciting episode for Fleetwood Mac fans and Lily Rabes everywhere: Nicks will not only cross paths with her biggest fan, the supernatural swampstress Misty Day (Rabe), but she’ll also perform a certain witchy Fleetwood Mac classic.

Plus, she’s bringing a new course to Miss Robichaux’s Academy: Shawl Twirling 101 (which you can catch a sneak peak of in the video below). EW talked to Nicks about her AHS: Coven debut, meeting Rabe and the gang, and the presents she brought to the set. And if you’re worried about those old rumors about her being an actual real-life witch resurfacing, don’t be: “Don’t you know? I have powers now!” she says.

EW: Ryan Murphy had told us that when he first pitched you to be on the show, you were hesitant. What ultimately made you decide to do it?

STEVIE NICKS: When they called and asked me if they could use my music, they just explained it a little bit: there’s a character, and you’re a muse because she listens only to you — and she lives out in the swamp. And that was good enough for me! I’m like, sure you can! So whether it was a Fleetwood Mac song or Stevie Nicks song, they were going to choose a song that fit into their story. I thought, fantastic — as a songwriter, you could not ask for anything more. And I’m pretty close to them because of Glee, of course. So I said, sure, take my music — absolutely.

We [Fleetwood Mac] were in Europe at that point, but we were able to pull up the first couple of episodes [of Coven]. And I was a little shocked, because I hadn’t seen the first two seasons. So I was kind of like, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. Of course, I fell into the spell, so during the tour we would do whatever we could to find that week’s episode.

I had five weeks [at] home, and I was like, you know what? Call Ryan. This is what I said, seriously: Can I just do a walk-through? I’ll just wear a long black dress, really super-super high heels, and be shot from above. I would just walk through and go, “Hello, witches! Goodbye, witches!” I really thought that was going to be it. I had no idea that I’d be written in until I got to New Orleans. I got into the hotel, the script came at 2 in the morning, my assistant read it out loud to me…. Then I walked [onto the set], there’s this spectacular house that’s very similar to my house in a lot of ways. I was like, “Oh my god, did they see my house before they built it?”

How much did you get to dig into the role?

Well, I did these scenes with Jessica [Lange], and I got to really watch an amazing actress act. Because, you know, we’d do something, I’d play piano and then be like, “Well, that was great – we’re done!” Nope. Fifty times later, after they’d filmed from under the piano and hanging from the ceiling and every possible angle, I realize, boy, this is a lot of work. This is much harder than what I do. I get on, I’m on for two and a half hours, I get off stage, I get on the plane and go to the next city and order room service. This is not like that.

Earlier in the season, Lily Rabe had told us that if she were to ever meet you, she “might die on the spot.” Did she survive?

She did faint about 700 times when we were doing that one scene! I was afraid she was going to have to go the hospital. [laughs] She’s really a lovely girl, and she does love my music. Every time I’d play a specific song, she would start to cry. I would say to her, “You know, you don’t really have to cry.” And she said, “No, no — that’s not acting.” So I said, well, then that’s okay, you go right on ahead and cry.

I love Lily. Right before I left, I gave her an amazing black outfit that I’d had a long time. I felt that she should have something, because with her character, she’s really brought a lot of my music to a whole other generation. There’s not enough diamonds and pearls in the world that I could give her to show her how much that means to me.

You give her a shawl-twirling lesson after playing “Rhiannon.” Did you bring your own shawl?

Oh no, that was my shawl [that I wore]. And I brought a couple of really beautiful shawls for [her to wear], but she couldn’t use them because they needed to keep her in hers for continuity. But listen, as far as my signature twirl? Lily needs no coaching on twirling. In the shot, I’m playing, going on and on with the “Rhiannon” take, and I’m thinking she’s just going to drop dead because she’s been twirling for a good minute and a half! So she doesn’t need any pointers from me.

Ryan Murphy mentioned that you’d be returning for another episode later in the season, and that you actually came up with the idea for the scene. Can you tell us anything about it?

It was very serendipitous. I do get on the phone like, “Well, what about this?” I know they’re like, so what, are you part of the writing team now? [laughs] It’s just that I’m so unfortunately full of ideas that they can’t prohibit. So I give my opinion.

So who’s your favorite witch on the show?

Jessica is slinky and sexy and sultry — just the kind of witch I’d want to be. And Kathy Bates is so evil — she’s not even a witch! She’s just an evil, mean, fantastically crazy woman that did horrible, horrible things. And Angela Bassett is just so beautiful, and so voodoo’d out and vibey. She walks into the room, and you’re afraid. So really, all of those ladies.

Ray Rahman/ EW / Wednesday, January 8, 2014

VIDEOS: Stevie visits the Coven

[slideshow_deploy id=’13346′]
Something wickedly amazing this way comes!

Stevie Nicks makes her American Horror Story: Coven debut in the appropriately titled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks,” airing tomorrow night, and we’ve got your exclusive first look at the singer-songwriter in action.

So what brings the Fleetwood Mac singer to New Orleans? She’s there to sing (!) with her No. 1 fan Misty Day (Lily Rabe) and to wish her luck with the Seven Wonders, a test which will prove the hippie swamp witch is the coven’s next Supreme. In our exclusive sneak peek, Nicks makes Misty’s dreams come true when she teaches her how to shawl-twirl. Oh, and she gifts Misty with one of her legendary shawls as well. Who needs the Seven Wonders when you have One Stevie Nicks Shawl?!

And as if an exclusive sneak peek wasn’t enough, we also chatted with Nicks (Yes, our hearts are still shawl-twirling over this fact) about her highly anticipated guest appearance, and we just had to know if the shawl she gifted Rabe with in that scene was actually one from her own collection. It was…but the one Misty ends up wearing in the episode isn’t. We’ll let Nicks explain.

“That was my shawl that I was wearing, but that shawl Lily was wearing was not [mine] because that shawl is in another scene that I haven’t seen, but that I read in the script,” she tells us. “I wasn’t there, so she used a shawl that they had and it got dragged through the mud or something. They couldn’t just switch shawls. They’re all about continuity; they’re photographing your earrings and every single thing you wear. I would have loved for her to wear one of my shawls, but I did give her my shawl at the end of the twirl. She got the Stevie shawl, but it wasn’t to have a starring role.”

We’re happy to report no real Stevie Nicks shawls were harmed in the making of this episode.

Check back with us tomorrow for more shawl-related scoop from Stevie Nicks. And yes, we managed to ask her some other stuff about her guest appearance on

American Horror Story: Coven airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

[jwplayer mediaid=”13390″]

Tierney Bricker / E! Online / Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Stevie Nicks talks American Horror Story Coven appearance

Keith Caulfield / Billboard / Wednesday, January 8, 2014

INTERVIEW: Stevie Nicks talks twirling, shawls, playing American Horror Story’s white witch


In advance of tonight’s Stevie Nicks party on American Horror Story — accurately titled “The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks” — Vulture was granted a quick chat with the fairy godmother of rock-wedding officiator to talk about her acting debut. You already know she sings two songs; the obvious one is spoiled below. Selfishly, though, we wanted to hear about twirling dos and don’ts and the history of her shawl obsession first. There are other places on the Internet to go if you really want to ruin the how and why of Nicks’s involvement with the coven — suffice it to say, she and Fiona are thick as thieves. Because of course they are!

What’s the secret to doing a good twirl?

Taking lots of ballet lessons.


Really. Yeah, that’s where you learn how to twirl! When I’m playing “Rhiannon,” I do this thing at the end when the music’s going duh-duh-duh-duh-duh … to me it’s like the horses are running through the forest and the goddesses and gods are all there. It’s a really dramatic part, and when I perform “Rhiannon” myself onstage, I always twirl to it and I love it.

I don’t know if Lily Rabe, who plays Stevie Nicks devotee Misty Day, did ballet. But she seems to twirl well.

I had to watch my fingers when we were filming because I don’t play it all the time [Nicks plays the piano while singing to “Rhiannon” in the episode], and so at first I wasn’t even thinking about this poor girl twirling herself into the universe. Lily gets an Academy Award for that. You can twirl for so long and then you just drop dead. But she did it. She almost passed out at the end of every take because no one is used to twirling that much [laughs]. I thought she did great. I didn’t have to teach her how to twirl, but she had to summon up the strength to be able to twirl for a minute and a half, and get faster and faster and faster and faster and not look dorky. When you twirl, you want to look beautiful, you know? You want to have your hands up, and you definitely want to spot or you will get dizzy. I was like, “Bravo, Lily!”

She’s really been working the shawls, too. When did you first start using them?

Well, first of all, when I used to be 105 pounds and five-foot-one-and-a-half-inches, I could be pretty much dressed in floor-length shawls at all times. They’re a way to make big movements look huge. You have to be a showgirl when you’re up there on that stage, and if you stretch out your hand, you have to really stretch it out, and be seen from the back of the place. Shawls enhance that. They allow you to be a bigger person than you are. I just thought they were fun in the beginning.

I remember really getting into them after someone brought me one from Colombia or Peru or somewhere and it was sort of like what I wear but made out of a more wooly material. I loved the way it looked, and when I got it, I thought, Boy, if I ever make it in this business, I’m going to re-create this shawl in silk chiffon. And that’s what I did. I said to my designer, “I want you to make square ponchos.” I also had ones that didn’t have a hole in the middle, that were just solid, and when you twirl in those it’s really magnificent. It just became a part of what I did. Then I had this other designer who was able to find the fabric from all over the world, and every time I’d go out, she’d make a new one. I have a vault of these shawls that never fall apart because they’re made out of the silk chiffon that they make sails out of. They never disintegrate so long as you keep them in an air-controlled place.

Did you bring your own shawls to wear in the episode?

I took a couple with me, yes. I was going to give Lily one, a red one, to wear as Misty, but we couldn’t swap it out. It would have screwed up the continuity of what she’d been wearing in other scenes. I’m like, “But, but, but, I brought … ” The one I wear is mine. I gotta tell you, it was so cool to be in that house with them. It’s so beautiful. More ornate than my house, but similar.

Similar how? 

It has the same white fireplaces, the oval fireplaces, the same kitchen, a very similar living room. When I walked in I was like, “Did you guys see my house? Am I in your dreams?”

Possibly in Ryan Murphy’s dreams! He said you were hesitant to appear on the show at first, not because you’d never acted, but because of crazy Wiccans assaulting you.

In 1977 probably, because I wore black — and why did I wear black? because it’s the thinnest color — I started getting some really stupid wacky mail from witchy weirdos. I didn’t like it. I’d only been famous for two years, and it scared me. So I had some colored outfits made. I wore red and green and salmon for a year, and then I said, Well, this is not going to work for me, so I’m going back to black, and I did.

What happened was when Ryan asked for my music, I said yes. I’d been watching the episodes diligently, and later I called Ryan and said, “I would love to just do a walk-through where I’m in a long black dress and I look amazing and a fan is blowing my hair and I could just be really tall. I could just walk through and say [pitches her voice higher], “Good morning, witches! Good-bye, witches!” And then I’m gone. I could be like a vision: She comes, she’s gone. Deal. Well, when I got to New Orleans very, very late in the day, we got the script and my assistant read it out loud to me and I’m pretty horrified, honestly. I’m going, “This isn’t just a walk-through.” I’m terrified. I didn’t sleep very well. I’m thinking, Oh my God. Do they know I’m not an actress? Have I not told them that already? But when I got to set, everyone of course was just open arms and so loving and like, “You can do it! Don’t worry about it. If you don’t get it, we’ll do it again. Nobody gets it on the first time.” That gave me a safety net. I tried to let all that fear go and think to myself, This is probably the funnest thing you’ll ever do. Also, this is taking my music to a generation of kids from 15 to 40 that have never really probably been associated with it.

You’ve had problems in the past with people thinking you’re a real witch, and on the show you’re referred to as “The White Witch.” Did that bug you at all, or are you over it?

I looked at it differently. I looked at it as my being Misty’s only hope. I was her friend. Like all of us do when we’re upset, I go and put on my favorite treadmill song and I rock out in my bathroom. Twenty minutes later, I feel like a new person. That’s how I looked at it: I was there for her, and for goodness’ sake, she lives in a swamp with alligators! She has no friends, no parents. She knows she’s crazy because she’s got witchy powers, but she doesn’t know what that is, or why. I was her blanket, and I love that relationship. I hope that’s what everyone feels about my music. That’s why I write it. Misty is just a personification of the person who I write for, and that doesn’t have anything to do with her being a witch. It has everything to do with her being a human being like all the rest of us who have hard times and music gets us all through it.

Denise Martin / Vulture / Wednesday, January 8, 2014

INTERVIEW: Stevie Nicks talks filming American Horror Story

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN The Magical Delights of Stevie Nicks - Episode 310 (Airs Wednesday, January 8, 10:00 PM e/p) --Pictured: (L-R) Lily Rabe as Misty Day, Stevie Nicks as herself -- CR. Michele K. Short/FX
(Photo: Michele K Short / FX)

Stand back, because Stevie Nicks has a whole lot to tell Us Weekly! Just before her much-anticipated episode of American Horror Story: Coven airs on FX Wednesday, Jan. 8, the legendary “Gypsy” singer, 65, spoke with Us’ Entertainment Director Ian Drew for an  extended chit-chat about her acting debut, her lifelong connection with witches, a bumpy, hilarious jet flight with Kathy Bates, why she hopes her friends Katy Perry and John Mayer make it as a couple — and Nicks’ own talked-about romantic history, including a lesser-known relationship with The Eagle’s Don Henley. Read the full interview with Nicks now!

Us: Were you a fan of AHS before? How’d you get involved?

Stevie Nicks: I had heard of AHS, because I had a lot of really young friends, but I didn’t know what it was about. I was contacted by creator Ryan Murphy. He said, ‘This season is called Coven, and there’s one of the witches [Misty, played by Lily Rabe] who lives in the swamp and she has no family, no friends, no nothing, but she has an eight-track and a couple of your albums, and you’re like her only friend. We would like to know if we can use your music for this.’ And I said, ‘That’s perfect! Because that’s exactly how I like to affect people. I want people to put my songs on because they are unhappy and need a boost to dance around their apartment a little and feel good. That’s why I write. Of course you can use my music. Take it!’

What’d you think once you watched a few episodes?

I was like, ‘Oh my God! I had no idea.’ Everybody in it is frightening. Especially Kathy Bates. I never want to run into her ever. And, geez, I hope I made the right decision on this. Because I’ve never even seen a horror movie. Never, in my life. I was a little freaked out. By the time we got to the end of episode two, I said, ‘I’m in.’ I totally get it. I’m seeing this as a fairy tale. These witches are misfits, the Glee kids are misfits. I totally understand this and the relationship between my music and Misty.

So how did you end up actually shooting a cameo role?

I had five weeks off. So I said, ‘You know what? I wanna be on the show. I just want to walk through the house in a long black dress and look stunningly beautiful and say, ‘Witches! I’m here!’ and goodbye, and then walk down a long hall and out a back door.’ When I arrived in New Orleans to film, the script was waiting for us, and my assistant read it to me and I’m like, ‘They do know that I’m not an actress, right?’ I was really nervous. But you walk into their world — they built that house in the middle of a big soundstage, but they had an architect who spent six weeks, 24 hours a day building that house. It is a real house with bedrooms and plumbing and a kitchen. It all works!

Tell Us about the filming process.

I was there for two days. These people work a lot harder than me. They work 16-hour days. They work until they’re done. I got there at 10 and we didn’t leave until late, and they asked me to stay another day. Very magical experience; I got to really watch Jessica Lange work. I’ve never gotten to watch a really great actress be a great actress. They had to film me from every side. I said, ‘Are you insane? I’ve never done this!’ I got to meet everybody, too. Emma Roberts, Lily Rabe, Jessica. I didn’t get to meet Angela Bassett — she’s so amazing! — but I will, I’m sure. And I didn’t get to meet Kathy Bates, because I didn’t do a scene with her.  But then the second day she came down to watch and we were leaving, so we took Kathy Bates and her sister on our little 7-person plane back. We seriously got to know Kathy Bates, because we had a long, very turbulent trip back. She is one funny woman! We were bumping around in the sky thinking we were never gonna make it. So it was quite a trip.  When I’m very old, I will remember this until the day I die. I had a blast doing it!

Any more acting for you in the future?

I don’t know of anything that will ever come along that will be this cool. I’m not an actress. This was a perfect fit for me. I’d have to be super interested in it, like I was in this. I’m totally into fairytales. I’m into the supernatural. I’m not as much into normal. If someone wanted me to be the mom or grandmother next door, I don’t know that I’d want to do that.

What about the long-rumored-about biopic of your life?

That’s not going to happen, because I don’t want it to happen. I don’t want a movie about me until I’m very, very old — when I’m very, very old, everybody that wants to play me will be middle-aged. It’s up to me to decide. It’s the same thing with a book: Everybody wants me to write a book. I’m not. Because I wouldn’t write a book unless I could really tell the truth, and say all the people are in it are represented right. Did I go out with Don Henley? Yes, but I won’t change his name to Bob. If Don is in it, Don is going to be Don. If I’m gonna talk about all the people in my life, I need to be old enough and so do they that nobody’s gonna care. Don’s wife is not gonna care, and Lindsey Buckingham’s wife is not gonna care, and all the men that I went out with in my life, their wives are not gonna care. I want to tell the real story of what happened with all these people, and why they didn’t work out, and why I’m not married to one of them. I want to be truthful. I would never write a book about the bad parts. I would gently touch on them. I would mostly revel in the fantastic parts, of which there were so many.

You dedicated “Landslide” to Katy Perry and John Mayer during a recent Fleetwood Mac concert in Las Vegas. How did you become friends with them?

I like Katy’s songs and her energy. I dance to them and I treadmill to them. Anybody who makes my treadmill list is my friend because they are helping me to keep my weight exactly where I want it to be. When I listen to that music I get very involved with it.  I think Katy’s really fun, funny and quirky. I met her in London months ago. We sat down at 11:30 at night. We sat in the coffee shop  for three hours. We ran the gamut of her life, my life and everything. I just really like her. And I have been friends with John Mayer for a long time. I think John Mayer is one of the finest songwriters ever. He is right up there with James Taylor, Don Henley and those people. I really love him and respect him for those beautiful songs. So I just saw them on December 30 in Vegas, and that’s where I dedicated “Landslide” to them. They seem to be a really great couple, and they seem to really care about each other. I am just hoping for the best for them. It would be great if that relationship really worked out and they were together forever. I think they’re really good for each other. They’re very different people, and that’s the best way to go out with somebody. I always love to dedicate “Landslide” to people I know really get it and appreciate it. Because it doesn’t go out to anybody.

Your Fleetwood Mac bandmate John McVie was recently diagnosed with cancer. How is he doing?

He’s good. He’s got his treatment, and now he did a show on the 30th and 31st, another tomorrow night, then he has surgery next week. He’s good. He’s gonna be fine. I’m not the least bit worried about John. He’s very, very strong and a man of very few words. He’s not a person to mess with.

Ian Drew & Justin Ravitz / Us Weekly / January 8, 2014