Stevie - Spin Magazine (October 1997)

Stevie Nicks: You have to understand. I didn’t want to be a waitress, but I believed that Lindsey shouldn’t have to work, that he should just lay on the floor and practice his guitar and become more brilliant every day. And as I watched him become more brilliant every day, I felt very gratified. I was totally devoted to making it happen for him. I never worried about not being successful; I wanted to make it possible for him to be successful. And when you really feel that way about somebody, it’s very easy to take your own personality and quiet it way down. I knew my career was going to work out fine. I knew I wasn’t going to lose myself.

Courtney Love: How did you two meet?

SN: I met Lindsey in high school in San Francisco. We had gone to some party and he was sitting in the middle of this gorgeous living room playing a song. I walked over and stood next to him, and the song was "California Dreaming," and I just started singing with him.

CL: He was playing "California Dreaming"? Oh my God!!

SN: And so I just threw in my Michelle Phillips harmony and..he was so beautiful. And then I didn’t really see him again until two years later, when he called me and asked me if I wanted to be in his rock’n’roll band, which I didn’t even know existed. And within two or three months we were opening for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, all the San Francisco bands. Two years later, we packed up and moved to Los Angeles with about 12 demos.

CL: When you and Lindsey joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, it sounded like you were really coming into your own. I mean, songs like "Rhiannon" and "Landslide." Those are profound. But here was a band that had been together a thousand years, right? They originally came from this time and place--Yardbirds, zeppelin, etc.--and while everyone had made it out of there, they were the dog with fleas. John Mayall was bigger than them. I mean, everybody. And then what happens? They get you and Lindsey, and here you are, this world-class beauty with a voice from heaven and these amazing songs, and it makes them huge. And you huger. And you’re just the girlfriend, the silent supporter of the tortured genius. That must have made everyone crazy.

SN: success was not easy for Lindsey, not easy for any of them. And I knew that, and I felt terrible about it. There’s a part of me that would have said, Let’s tell everybody to stop talking about Steve. Stop giving Stevie all this attention, because, guess what, it’s making Stevie miserable. Because I have to live with these other four people who know it’s not my fault, but they can’t help but blame me a little, and it’s killing me. But I also remember getting very upset with Lindsey one night when I realized that he and Christine [McVie] had written "World Turning." I had been with Lindsey all those years and we had never written a song together. Plus, I walked into the studio and they were singing it together.

CL: You never wrote songs together?

SN: No, no. I would sit down and play him "Gold Dust Woman" on the guitar, my simple little version, and two days later it would be recorded, and it would be recorded really well. He could take my songs and do what I would do if I had his musical talent. When he wasn’t angry with me, that is. That’s why there’s seven or eight great songs, and there’s 50 more where he wasn’t happy with me and didn’t help me.

CL: Tell me more about your love life.

SN: Well, when Lindsey and I broke up during Rumours, I started going out with Don Henley. And you know, I was like the biggest Eagles fan of life.

CL: "Warm smell of colitas..."

SN: [Laughing] Totally. And we went out, off and on, for about two years.

SN: It’s like Mar-a-Lago. Anyway, he sends a limousine driver over to our hotel with a box of presents for me, and they’re delivered right into the breakfast room where everyone’s eating. There’s a stereo, a bunch of fabulous records. There’s incredible flowers and fruits, beautiful..

CL: Pomegranates and figs and dates, of course.

SN: Yes. And...

CL: Oh, I love him!

SN: The limousine driver is taking all this out onto the table and I’m going, Oh, please, please, this is not going to go down well. And they want to know who it’s from. And Lindsey is not happy.

CL: Gardenias?

SN: Yeah. So I started going out with him. And this is not popular. Sure, Lindsey and I are totally broken up, I have every right in the world to go out with people, but...I spend most of my time with the band, and it’s not real conducive to having a relationship. So, I went out with Don for awhile. I went out with [Eagles songwriter] J.D. Souther for awhile. We had an incredible time.

CL: But he wasn’t as famous as you. It must have been a lot more fun going out with somebody just as famous.

SN: Well, all those Eagles were an interesting group of guys. They were such good songwriters. I was blown away. I was totally awestruck. I mean, I was very, very famous, but it didn’t make me less awestruck with these men than anybody else. I was just as big a fan. And then..We’re just doing a condensed version of what happened with me. And then I fell in love with Mick [Fleetwood]. And that went on for two years. Never in a million years could you have told me that would happen. That was the biggest surprise. Mick is definitely one of my great, great loves.

CL: How was that between Lindsey and Mick?

SN: That was not good. That was not good for anybody else in the band. Everybody was so angry, because Mick was married. To a wonderful girl and he had two wonderful children, and I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. So it couldn’t have possibly worked out. And it didn’t. It just couldn’t.

CL: But it seems more like a sexual identity song or a romantic identity song. There’s some amazing lines in the song. Like, "Rulers make bad lovers / You better put your kingdom up for sale."

SN: I was definitely swept away by how big Fleetwood Mac was and how famous I suddenly was. Me, who couldn’t buy anything before, could now go in any store, and buy anything I wanted. And I wondered what that would do to me on down the line. I might be ruler, but maybe I’d be a lousy lover.