Stephanie Lynn Nicks (Stevie Nicks) was born May 26, 1948 in Phoenix, AZ. Her father, Jess Nicks was a food business executive and the family moved quite often: from Phoenix to Albuquerque then onto El Paso and Salt Lake City. Eventually the family moved to the Los Angeles suburbs in 1964 (the year she received her first guitar and wrote her first song “I’ve Loved and I’ve Lost”) Stevie Attends Arcadia High School joining the folk/rock group The Changing Times and then onto San Francisco where her musical roots truly began. She attended Menlo-Atherton High School and met Lindsey Buckingham for the first time at a party where they sang California Dreaming together. She and Lindsey don’t see each other for another two years. In 1967 Stevie attends San Jose Sate University, where she meets up with Lindsey again and joins the rock group Fritz. She and Lindsey perform all around the Bay Area and open for every major act until 1971 when they left the group and moved to Los Angeles to pursue their musical dreams…
Stevie and Lindsey are turned down by every major label after putting together seven songs for their demo. In 1973, Polydor Records engineer, Keith Olsen decided to take a chance on the duo and the Buckingham Nicks lp was born. They had a small yet loyal following even though they were dropped from their label soon after its release. During this time Stevie cleaned Keith’s house and waited tables at a local restaurant while Lindsey stayed home to work on the music. It was in Keith’s studio, Mick Fleetwood wandered in one day and just happened to listen to a track (Frozen Love) from that fateful lp. Soon after, Mick found Lindsey and asked him to join Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey informed Mick that he and Stevie were a ‘package deal’. So in order for him to accept the position Stevie had to be included. And on New Years Day 1975 Stevie and Lindsey became members of Fleetwood Mac after a very informal meeting.
They spent one week rehearsing, four weeks recording and had their first lp within three months. The self titled Fleetwood Mac (white album) included Rhiannon, Landslide and Crystal (from the Buckingham Nicks lp). Stevie wrote Rhiannon and Landslide one year earlier (in Aspen, CO) as she contemplated her life and career in music. The band toured steadily from May 1975 to September 1976.
During the recording of Rumours, Stevie and Lindsey’s relationship began to fall apart. Stevie kept to herself during this time pouring her emotions into her songs (Planets of the Universe, Silver Springs, Gold Dust Woman & Dreams were written during this time) Dreams became the only #1 hit for Fleetwood Mac. Unfortunately, Silver Springs was cut from the album (Stevie was very upset over this for a very long time) and showed up as a ‘B’ side to Go Your Own Way. When Rumours was released on Feburary 4, 1977 it was the fastest selling album of all time. To date it has sold 40 million copies worldwide.
After the whirlwind Rumours ride, the band’s 1979 follow up, Tusk was a musical voyage that took 13 months to complete. Stevie has said it is her favorite Fleetwood Mac album. The band embarked on a very long tour in support of the double lp. The Tusk tour produced a Fleetwood Mac Live lp as well as the Tusk Tour and Documentary VHS. After the mega tour Stevie had amassed a huge volume of work, she needed an outlet for her songs. Being in a band with three writers proved difficult at best. With Stevie barely getting 3 songs per album.
In 1981 Bella Donna was born as was the record label, Modern, just for Stevie’s songs. Jimmie Iovine produced and brought in seasoned musicians to allow for a brilliant work environment. In 1982, she was nominated at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards for best rock vocal performance by a female for Edge of Seventeen. Bella Donna was the best selling album by a female artist for two consecutive years by the NARM (something that has never been done before or since). She did a very short 11 date tour in support of Bella Donna. She has said she never really got to enjoy Bella Donna, due to her best friend, Robin Anderson’s, illness (Robin found out she had leukemia the very day Bella Donna went #1 in September of 1981).
With her personal life in an uproar, Stevie went to France to begin recording for Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage. She gets 3 tracks complete; That’s Alright (written during the Buckingham Nicks era), Straight Back and Gypsy. Released in June 1982, Mirage went #1 in September and stayed there for 5 weeks. The band toured from September through October in support of the album. It was during this tour, on October 5, 1982, that Robin Anderson passed away. Mirage Live VHS/Laser Disc was made available later that year, being filmed in Los Angeles, CA October 21 & 22. Is it any wonder Stevie gave her most emotional performances to date during that time.
While Mirage was happening, Stevie had enough material for her second solo album, The Wild Heart. Released on June 10, 1983 it quickly rose to the #5 position the very next month. It stayed in the top ten spot for 11 weeks. The Wild Heart reached multi-platinum status by the end of the tour in November that same year. The lp produced her most successful single Stand Back, which reached the #5 position on August 20, 1983. Again, she was nominated for a grammy at the 26th Annual Grammy Awards in 1984 for best rock vocal performance by a female.
Stevie’s third solo album, Rock a Little, was scheduled for release in late 1984. Though Jimmy Iovine produced a majority of the tracks, he and Stevie had been romantically involved since Bella Donna, and were now calling it quits, both romantically and professionally. Rick Nowels took over and eventually the album was released nearly a year later on November 18, 1985. The singles Talk to Me reached #4 on January 25,1986, I Can’t Wait the MTV induced track went #16 April 12, 1986 and Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You (co-written with former producer Keith Olsen and dedicated to Joe Walsh) hit #60 May 31, 1986. The album reached the #12 spot in December 1985 and went on to platinum status January 21, 1986.
Stevie toured in support of Rock a Little from April 11, 1986 through August 28, 1986 and did a few dates in Australia in September and October that year. At the end of the tour in 1986, Stevie checked herself to the Betty Ford clinic for drug rehabilitation. Unfortunately, her doctor at the time prescribed to her the powerful tranquilizer, Klonopin. Stevie has stated that this drug was far worse than cocaine in terms of addiction. She was under its influence for 8 years after checking out of Betty Ford.
During the recording of Tango in the Night Stevie was absent during many of the sessions, yet 3 of her songs (Seven Wonders, Welcome to the Room…Sara, and When I See You Again) managed to find their way on the lp. By the time the album was released, Lindsey had decided he could no longer support the band or a tour. He left the band to carry on without him. It wasn’t until 1992 that they reunited for President Clinton’s Inaugural Celebration to perform Don’t Stop.
After the Tango tour ended in 1988 Stevie went back to the studio to begin work on her next solo effort, The Other Side of the Mirror. Recording took less than 4 months and the tour that followed included several European stops.
Fleetwood Mac’s Behind the Mask soon followed in 1990 with a world tour that lasted a better part of the year. Though Stevie was able to get 4 songs (Love is Dangerous, Affairs of the Heart, Freedom and The Second Time) on this lp it never got above gold status several months after release.
In 1991 Stevie released her first greatest hits package, Timespace. The lp included 3 new tracks (Sometimes It’s a Bitch, Love’s a Hard Game to Play and Desert Angel) along with 11 of her favorites. She toured for only 2 months in support of the album.
During this time in 1991, Fleetwood Mac released The Chain box set which included 1 new track (Paper Doll) from Stevie along with a live version of Stand Back and the obscure Silver Springs. Mick had also published a tell all book released during the same year. He was trying desperately to regain the band’s magic and money from former years.
In May of 1994 Stevie’s Street Angel was released to little fanfare. She has stated the album was all about a sad street urchin and that the album itself is very sad because she just didn’t care while writing the material for it. It was her least favorite album and sold far less copies than any of her previous lps. She did 20 dates in support of Street Angel and went directly back to her home in Phoenix when the tour ended where she stayed out of the public eye with the exception of a few benefit concerts.
It wasn’t until 1997, the 20th anniversary of Rumours, that marked the band’s triumphant reunion. The Dance (MTV special) premiered on August 12, 1997 and also continued on local PBS stations across the nation for several months. The band embarked on a short yet very profitable 2 month tour. It was Christine this time who had decided she had had enough. The old wounds were healed as Stevie’s beloved Silver Springs was performed live for the first time and eventually became nominated at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1998. The band was also nominated for Best Pop Album and Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for The Chain. Along with Grammy nods came the ultimate…the induction to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (where they gave their final performance) that same year prior to the Grammy’s, on January 12th.
In May of 1998 Stevie embarked on a 3 disc box set collection The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks. Containing all her favorite tracks along with 1 disc full of songs she had written for movies, B-sides and a piano demo version of Rhiannon. To the delight of her fans she toured in support of the release from May 27, 1998 until August 14, 1998. She did several television specials including VH1’s Storytellers (August 18, 1998), Behind the Music and MTV’s Fanatic.
After the media blitz of the Enchanted box set Stevie returned home to begin work on her next release Trouble in Shangri-La, her crowning achievement and one she is most proud of. The project took well over a year to complete due to co-producer Sheryl Crow’s busy schedule. Yet the effort was well worth the wait, tracks included the long lost Planets of the Universe, Sorcerer, Candlebright and Fall From Grace (All the Kings Horses) she toured in support from July 6, 2001 through October 10, 2001.
Immediately following the end of the 2001 tour, she went back to the studio for Fleetwood Mac’s 2003 release, Say You Will. In fact, the ‘boys’ Lindsey, Mick and John were ‘shacking up’ at a upscale rental in LA during her 2001 tour. After many months the album was finally finished and a huge 2 year tour followed soon after. Again, several of Stevie’s older songs surfaced on this latest release. Including Thrown Down, Smile at You and Running Through the Garden along with the elusive and haunting Illume (9/11) which first appeared in written excerpts from her journal on her official site The Nicks Fix. The tour began May 7, 2003 and ended September 14, 2004.
In 2005, Stevie barely had time to rest as she embarked on yet another tour. She was asked to do a 4 date venue in Las Vegas and then onto several dates with Don Henely. She then went solo with her Gold Dust tour to several cities and eventually wound up in Australia and New Zealand in early 2006.
Stevie has worked at an amazingly fast pace and she continues that phenomenal pace…all the while, she continues to remain ageless, timeless and above all the silly dreamer we have all come to respect, love and admire.
May her story be an inspiration to all who dream…
to be continued…