Stevie on Tracks Of My Years (16th Sept. 2011)

Subject: Stevie Nicks
When did it air? 16th September 2011

Stevie Nicks: The Eagles were famous before Lindsey and I ever moved to Los Angeles. We drove to LA and I remember listening to that song, thinking what a great song it was. And of course, as all women my age did at that point, we were all hoping that we would actually be the witchy woman. Premonition-wise, you know, I would come to know Don Henley quite well. I, in fact, even do know who the actual Witchy Woman was. It was somebody who became a very famous jeweller.

Ken Bruce: Ooh.

SN: The Eagles were very inspirational to both Lindsey and I because we loved their singing. And we loved their ability to bridge country and rock'n'roll so beautifully. I thought that 'Witchy Woman' was just the perfect mix of country rock'n'roll, and so we were very inspired by that, Lindsey and I. We were very inspired by The Eagles, never knowing that, you know, that on down the line, six years from then, we would meet all The Eagles and know them. And it was kind of cool because I think I felt that somehow we would end up knowing them in the years to come. 

KB: It was written in the stars, sort of.

SN: It was. Definitely.

[Witchy Woman - The Eagles]

KB: Well, next you've chosen Kate Bush and 'Running Up That Hill'.

SN: Well, that song I really loved because what a great writer she is. And 'Running Up That Hill' was one of those songs that, when I first heard it, I went, "Oh, I want to record that song one day." As writers we do that; whenever a song comes on the radio that we love, we say, "Oh, I want to record it and re-interpret it." Every once in a while we do it, but you finally smarten up and go, "I can't really do that song better than Kate Bush did so I'm not going to do it." Because if you can't outdo her then don't bother. And I just really loved her because she was a woman songwriter, and she was really standing out from the fray, you know, a real, serious writer who could compare with any of the guys. And then you'd see her in her videos and she was kind of like a ninja. So she was like tough, you know, and yet she was a beautiful dancer. And she wrote beautiful songs but she wrote interesting, on the edge songs. As a writer, I just really respected her because of that. 

[Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush]

SN: To this day, when that song comes on, it makes me cry. Because I think that we have all run into somebody that we absolutely loved a long time ago. And you meet them and you're older, but that's when you go, 'Real love never dies.' Because it doesn't matter that they're older and it doesn't matter that they don't look exactly like they did when they were nineteen. They still have that light that attracted you in the beginning, and you feel that. And in the market where he sees her, they stand and they talk and he feels it, you know. And he still, in his own way, he still loves her, even though he knows it can never be. And I love that he wrote it so beautifully, and when it goes into, at the end, the old lang syne thing, it just makes me want to sit down and put my head in my hands and cry, you know. And I think when a writer can bring that out in you, he has won the lottery. Because it just doesn't happen all the time. So if somebody can reach in and touch your soul that deeply, they get the big gold star for songwriting because it's not easy to do.

KB: It's a beautiful, beautiful song. It's lovely to hear it again. 

SN: Yeah.

KB: Dan Fogelberg. 

[Same Old Lang Syne - Dan Fogelberg]

KB: Next one is Pat Benatar, 'Love Is A Battlefield.' 

SN: Well, 'Love Is A Battlefield', I think I saw the video before I heard the song. Because that was when we were all sitting wanting our MTV. So I saw this video and I was just so knocked out. I loved the dancing, I loved her raggy outfit, I loved the words to it, and I loved the fact that she was writing about love being a battlefield. Because I was definitely in the midst of love is a battlefield in my life at that point. That was really when videos were really superb, and they were like movies. This was a song that I think will just live on forever, and I think every generation of women that sees the video is very taken with it. So I think it's just one of those songs that, for women, is fantastic because it's romantic and it's sexy, so that's how I feel about that.

[Love Is A Battlefield - Pat Benatar]

SN: Jackson Browne was one of my big three influences for songwriting. This particular song, I think, made you really want to be Jackson Browne's baby. Absolutely. It was really just a great song. It was really, really sexy, but it was really fun and, you know, Jackson Browne was soooo drop-dead gorgeous that when he was inducted into the Rock'N'Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen went on for twenty minutes about what a babe magnet he was. Because they just wanted to hang out with Jackson 'cos if they were with Jackson, the girls would just like schoooop like magnets. And then he had this amazing voice and he wrote these amazing songs. Him and Joni Mitchell were my two great lyric poet inspirations.'Somebody's Baby' was a great song. It just drew you in. 

KB: Well, we still play it and people love it -

SN: Yeah. Absolutely.

KB: That's why it's there.

[Somebody's Baby - Jackson Browne]

KB: Chicago next. And the one of theirs you've chosen is 'Hard Habit To Break.'

SN: 'Hard Habit To Break.' A great love song. And Chicago, great band. Lindsey and I opened for Chicago for their Colour My World album, first couple of concerts that they had done to promote that record. *sings* "Colour my world." That one. It was fantastic. It was like an amazing show. It was at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. It was so romantic. But this 'Hard Habit To Break' song, to me, was one of those songs that you have to kinda sit down when you hear it. Because it reaches in and breaks your heart. Again, as a writer, it's a song that go, "Gee, I wish I'd written that song. I wish I'd thought of that. 'You're a hard habit to break.'" We all have people in our lives that we're not with anymore and so, when you hear a song like that, it just revives those memories. Some people don't want those memories revived, but for me, my Mom always told me that life is just memories, you know. And those great memories are really what life's all about. Because sometimes the real life that you're leading really isn't all that great, but those classic memories that you have? That's really what makes your life, those hard habit to break moments.

[Hard Habit To Break - Chicago]

SN: This song, to me, was really the quintessential Beach Boys song. It does make you think, I need to go get on a boat and go out to sea. And I happen to love to sail. I live by the ocean and I need to be by the ocean or I'm not happy. I want to live where I can hear it and see it and watch the waves crash, and so 'Sail On Sailor' - It's like, whenever I make a record, I like to go out on a boat and listen to it. Because if it makes sense to me out on the water then it really makes sense. And a lot of the big groups really did play off The Beach Boys, and really did get so much inspiration from them, and really listen to them carefully and how they worked out all their little intense background parts. They were the reason why a lot of us sang and put stuff together the way we did. The Beach Boys are hugely important to all of us.

[Sail On Sailor - The Beach Boys]

KB: Next is Tom Petty, a person who have a great working relationship with and have had for years. And 'Don't Come Around Here No More'.

SN: Right. 'Don't Come Around Here No More' was actually written for me by Dave Stewart. And he sent it to me and I loved it. All he did was sing, *sings* 'Don't come around here no more.' That's all. But that was enough. We got together - me and him and Jimmy Iovine - at a studio. It was late and I was tired so I went home. And they called up Tom Petty and asked him to come down, and when I came back the next night, it was written. I was not happy because I had some ideas, and I sat down and I listened to it in this big studio on this big fantastic speakers, and Stevie Nicks, the Tom Petty fan, said, "Tom, the song is yours. This is the second coming of Tom Petty. And it's brilliant. And Dave, it is truly brilliant. And Jimmy Iovine? You're fired." I just walked out. And I actually didn't talk to any of them for awhile. But I understood how great the song was. And I understood that this was fate. The thing is is that sometimes there are destiny moments, and this was a destiny moment for Tom. And it was a way for me to be a part of that.

[Don't Come Around No More - Tom Petty]

SN: Well, Vanessa Carlton's a very good friend of mine. She is an amazing songwriter, and 'Thousand Miles' I heard before I met her. And I just fell in love with this song. I really do like a lot of the younger girls that are out now but she's my favorite.

[A Thousand Miles - Vanessa Carlton] 

KB: And the last choice, Justin Timberlake, 'Cry Me A River'. 

SN: 'Cry Me A River'. Well, I just thought it was so interesting that he wrote that about Britney Spears, and then the video is so good, and the decoy that looks like Britney is just fantastic. Cos it really does tell the story of what happened. But at the same time, when it first came out, I was really mad at Lindsey. So this song comes out and I was in Maui for like two months, and I just walked around that house playing this song over and over and over, just going, "Cry me a river." I listened to it so many times, it just became part of the tapestry of my head for months. And it's just a brilliant song. And I think that Justin Timberlake's pretty brilliant too, so it just become one of the songs that went on my collections of stuff that I listen to again before I go onstage. And so I love it.

KB: Tell me about 'In Your Dreams', because you were mentioning Dave Stewart yesterday about 'Don't Come Around Here No More' and he has been producing this album. You've been working quite closely with him. How easy was that collaborative process?

SN: It was a fantastic collaborative process. I wrote seven songs with Dave, which I've never written a song with anyone. So this was huge for me. After being, you know, in Fleetwood Mac for a hundred years, I never wrote a song with Lindsey or Chris. Dave's easy, you know. He makes things easy. And it was like, you know, making a record in the Sixties. It was a happening. He's like a Master of Ceremonies, Dave, and when we finished our first song, which was the third from the last song on this record - it's called 'You May Be The One - I just had an epiphany where I really just understand why people like John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote together. Or Carole King and Jerry Goffin. Or Rodgers and Hammerstein. There's so many more great songwriting teams. Why they did that when they didn't have to. And the reason is is because people bring different things to the table. I can't pick up the guitar and play fifty thousand different amazing chords all the way from rock'n'roll to jazz. I don't know that. And he doesn't have hundreds of pages of poetry. So together, with our egos down, we were able to blend that. Anyway, I may never write with anybody else but I know forever I'll be writing with Dave Stewart. Because it was that magical of an experience that, if it was up to me, I would just let this record finish and then I'd say, "Okay, meet me at my house at two-thirty in the afternoon on Monday and let's just start again," because that's what we could've done. We could've made a double album. It was everything we could do to just stop.

KB: Well, the album we've got is great.

SN: Thank you.

KB: 'In Your Dreams'. Thank you so much for choosing these tracks.

SN: Thank you.

[Cry Me A River - Justin Timberlake]