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"I always seem to come back to the fact that no matter how incredible my relationship with somebody is, it’s not going to be quite as incredible as my relationship with the arts."
NICKS PICK TO CLICK
Fleetwod Mac Diva Returns With "Trouble In Shangri-La"
"Trouble in Shangri-La" is rock poet Stevie Nicks’ aptly named latest CD on Reprise, a melodic compilation of 13 acoustic-layered tracks, and her first solo release after a seven-year break. Nick’s raw, sultry voice bares itself, singing intimate confessionals, accompanied by an all-powerful musical cast—Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, Sarah McLachlan, Macy Gray, most of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers, and even famed ex-lover Lindsey Buckingham. The well-publicized sorrow after overcoming her drug addiction, and her subsequent years of diverse personal reckonings, including the deeper ramifications of the double-edged sword of success, have inspired the material in this earthy pop collection, five tracks of which were produced by close friend Sheryl Crow.

Now at 53, the years of rock and roll living have added a deep rasp to Nick’s voice. She speaks with candor, acceptance and directness, a woman accustomed to the good and bad inherent in public adoration and its ensuing darker scrutiny. Looking ethereal, and whittled down to good shape, her still-cherubic face framed by flowing hair, Stevie Nicks appears to be a more mature fairy gothic princess, as she attempts to make HITS' own enchantress, Nadine "I" Kijner "Not," disappear.

The first song you wrote at 16 was called "I’ve Loved and Lost," which turned out to be a recurrent theme in your work.
The real story is that I had just transferred from Salt Lake City to Arcadia, CA, the month after tenth grade started, and about halfway through the year, I met this guy I was crazy about. I was as in love with him as I have been with any man since. I’ve had a few great loves in my life—two, maybe three. I was so taken with him, but anyway, he broke up with me, of course, because he was the captain of the football team and he was totally popular and he was the President of the tenth grade class. We went out for a month-and-a-half and he went back to his girlfriend that he’d been with for five years before I met him. I had the whole summer to be traumatized. It was on May 26, which is my birthday, and my parents gave me a guitar. I was so sad and devastated about this guy, but I wrote that song and I think I realized at 16 that that was going to be a way for me to really get through stuff. In my little writer’s head, even at 16, I said, this is tragic, I am miserable, but I am going to use this. I wonder sometimes if he actually knows how important he was. Because it takes that kind of a high to run to your piano.

Your intensity of feeling is part of your genius. Is it difficult in day-to-day reality?
Well, you know, in my life, at almost 53 years old, I’ve had a lot of wonderful relationships, three of them very intense. And people always say, "Oh the incredible affairs you’ve had…" I am a passionate person, so I am intense. There’s a song on this record called "Fall from Grace" and there’s a line in it that asks, "Why am I always so intense?" And I just am.

What helps you calm that energy in everyday life?
I spend a lot of time by myself. I’m really a loner. I prefer at midnight to go into my writing room, which hangs out over the ocean, and write or draw, do something creative.

If you were not a musician, what would you be?
That’s all I ever wanted to do. I draw now. I probably would have been some kind of a teacher. And I would have been totally passionate about that. I look at myself now, I’m not married, I don’t have children, I definitely made that decision because I knew if I did get married and have children, I wouldn’t have been able to continue to be creative.

You consciously made that choice?
I’ve been singing, "I never will marry, I’ll be no man’s wife," since I was 20. I always seem to come back to the fact that no matter how incredible my relationship with somebody is, it’s not going to be quite as incredible as my relationship with the arts. And no matter who is here sleeping at my house, at midnight, I am going to be creeping down the hallway to the art room. Music's like my therapy. It cools me out, chills me out, it totally brings me back to feeling like I’m a little bit normal and that everything is OK. The only thing I can really compare this to is I have a dog that I got two and a half years ago and everybody said to me, maybe you shouldn’t get a dog because it’s such a big responsibility but I went out, I picked this little dog out myself, and I raised her, and I totally trained her. If I had had a baby, I would have stopped because I wouldn’t have let somebody else raise my child.

What are your metaphysical interests?
I do the Warrior Spirit Rune cards, the Viking cards. I have many Buddhas in my house and peace entities everywhere you look. I'm not of any specific religion, but yet I feel very religious. I totally believe in God. I totally believe that there are angels. Otherwise I would be dead. I truly believe I am very spiritual because really, that is all I have. I don’t have a partner. I’m not going out with anybody. So I’m not getting the spirit from that. My spirit really does come from actual spirit.

How do you feel your writing has changed as you grow older?
I certainly have much more to write about now than when I was 16. However, the way that I write is very similar. I always get a rush, run in, get my guitar, sit down and with paper and pencil on my bed or I run to the piano. It’s just like someone touches me on the shoulder. Like the song, "Sarah, you’re the poet in my heart." I saw that somewhere and I just knew that those words were the beginning of a song for me, so within five minutes I started to write the song.

What is it you wish for?
To be really healthy and strong because I would like to be able at 70- or 80-years-old— because I just know I’m going to live forever—to travel and do stuff that I have never been able to do living the life I lead now. I’d love to really see the Sistine Chapel.

What is your favorite part of making a record?
The writing of the songs was pretty intense this time. I really would prepare—put the incense on, get all my journals out and thumb through them on the floor. That’s a really fun part of the process.

What is your least favorite part?
Doing TV. I’m too old, I don’t like to be filmed, it’s like you have to worry way too much about how you look and that’s not the most important thing to me. What I do is sing and entertain. As soon as people are filming me, it’s like then I start to become worried—like all women—that that’s not a good angle and if you weighed 15 pounds less you would look better. I hate when the media forces me there.

Will Fleetwood Mac play together again?
We will, but we’re going to do it without Chris because she doesn’t want to do it. She's five years older than I am, and she's moved back to England. Believe me, we have all come up with our best stories—from you can’t be serious to please don’t leave us, but she’s adamant, so we have to gracefully let her go because we love her. So that pushes Lindsey and I right back to Buckingham/Nicks, which is why we moved to L.A. in the first place. So now we can have the best of both worlds.

What qualities attract you in a man?
Somebody that has a great sense of humor and is compassionate. When a man comes into my life, he really has to have an understanding of what I do.

 

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