Bella Donna was my idea for the name of this album before I even wrote the song Bella Donna. I always loved the sound of the words ‘bella donna’. And that’s really how I get my ideas for songs. Rhiannon was a sound before it was a song, to me
— Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

BELLA DONNA

"'Bella Donna' is a term of endearment I use and the title is about making a lot of decisions in my life, making a change based on the turmoil in my soul. You get to a certain age where you want to slow down, be quieter. The title song was basically a warning to myself and a question to others. I'm thirty-three years old, and my life has been very up and down in the last six years."
~Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stone, 1981

"The white outfit I'm wearing is the exact opposite of my black outfit on Rumours. Over that it says, 'Come in from the darkness...' [which is] the dark side of anyone, the side that isn't optimistic, that isn't strong. I've got to become stronger because I am very sensitive, and everything really touches me."
~Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stone, 1981

"When I came off the road with Fleetwood Mac last year, the year Tusk tour, I really had decided that it was time for me to make some decisions and some changes in my life. One of them being that I wanted to make sure that I could still exist alone without Fleetwood Mac and without the entourage and without everything that went along with being in a very big and rock and roll band. And after six or seven years of that, you don't really know anymore until you actually try to so something alone. So I saw some time coming up that I was going to be free enough to actually pick out the songs and do it, and I did it to prove to myself that I could still exist alone. If you listen to the words to Bella Donna, you will realize that I'm not writing about a beautiful woman, I'm writing about the possibility of any woman not being beautiful anymore. And just turning into an old, used up woman. And if you listen once again to the words, you hear me say 'no speed limit, this is the fast lane. That's just the way that it is here.' That *is* the way that it is there. And the woman becomes tired and the woman disappears. And you never thought your face would become thin, but it did. And it scared me. And I didn't like it. And I decided that I had to go out and do something alone without everybody that had surrounded me for a long time. And Bella Donna is really the symbol of that and when you turn over the album and it says 'come in out of the darkness,' was telling myself to come in out of the darkness and also offering the same question to everybody else. And it was a decision whether or not to remain in the darkness or not. And that's really the significance of Bella Donna."
~Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

"Bella Donna is just a trip through me needing to get a little stronger after six, seven years of Fleetwood Mac, where I was really very much taken care of and kept away from the people and very literally cloistered... and then going to do my own thing, and suddenly there was not all these people around keeping me away from everybody. And I had to really change the way I looked at the world. And I had to get very strong or I wouldn't have made it through this album."
~Stevie Nicks, WIOQ Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"It says 'and your face becomes thin and you never thought it would.' Come in out of the darkness... it meant come back. There is still a life and houses and babies and friends and dogs and cats and candlelights and good things, and you don't have to live this crazy, insane life. And I just had to find some inner strength, and that's what Bella Donna is about."
~Stevie Nicks, WIOQ Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"When I decided that I was going to do this album, I really decided that I had to make some changes in my life, and that I was really not going to be this, uh, hidden from the world girl anymore. And I was a little bit afraid that it was going to be difficult for me to come back down to earth after the six years of, kind of, insanity, being in a very big rock and roll band. And so Bella Donna was really a warning to me... where it says 'and the woman is so tired, and the woman disappears...' and you never thought your face would become thin, but it did. And I saw all the warning signals that said to me, 'you're 33 years old; you really don't want to be 50 by next year. So it's time to stop and re-look at all this, and if you can't do Fleetwood Mac and do your own things together, then you really shouldn't be in this business. You should get out.' So I decided that I would do this, and prove to myself that I could stand alone, or I would stop. Because I wanted to have a regular life, and I wanted to someday maybe get married, and I maybe someday wanted to have a child, and I wanted to do the things that everybody else gets to do, and that I hadn't gotten to do. So I did, I said 'that's it, I'm changing everything, and I'm going to do this now, and I'm going to do it well.' And it was hard."
~Stevie Nicks, Robert Kline Radio Show, 1981

[On 'no speed limit/this is the fast lane' and bands losing members to self abuse]
"That's just the way that it is here. That's just the way that it is there. There's nothing you can do about it-- that's the way it is. So you have to live within it, and survive."
~Stevie Nicks, Robert Kline Radio Show, 1981

"I spent six weeks [after recording Tusk] thinking about what my life was and where it was I was going, and how I wanted to deal with the rest of it... Bella Donna says "come in out of the darkness," and that's basically what the whole song means. It was me making a decision whether I wanted to continue in that unhappy vein or whether I wanted to be lifted up out of it, and in Bella Donna it says "and your face becomes thin and you never thought it would." That's basically what it’s saying. It was me asking myself to come in out of the darkness, and in so asking myself, asking everybody else to come in out of the darkness too.”
~Stevie Nicks, The Source Event with Denny Somach, 1981 

"The most recent [song on the Bella Donna album] is Edge of  Seventeen, which is also my favorite song on the record... Edge of  Seventeen closes it [the album]--chronologically, anyway--with the loss of John Lennon and an uncle at the same time. That song is sort of about how no amount of money or power could save them. I was angry, helpless, hurt, sad."
~Stevie Nicks, BAM Magazine, 1981

"It's a cautionary tale to myself on the prizes and pitfalls of superstardom."
~Stevie Nicks, Smash Hits, 1-82

"That's what Bella Donna is about. I mean, the song Bella Donna, which says "come in out of the darkness," was, as you said, what rock 'n' roll is. You live with somebody... well, it doesn't make for a terrifically strong and independent woman. It doesn't allow you to be that very much. I think the music industry is very male oriented. Although there are a lot of wonderful girl singers around, still I think it's their world. I fought through six years to make this LP. In Fleetwood Mac, they would have done it. I wouldn't have. And I would've let them make me as dependent as I have always been on them, because when somebody is dependent, they're under your thumb. And they knew that I had to go and do this by myself because I had to prove to myself that I could exist on my own."
~Stevie Nicks, High Times Magazine, March 1982

"I need to do this to fulfill myself as a writer. I mean, it says, 'come in out of the darkness.' That's saying, save yourself and come back. And it's a serious thing. I had to do that to do the LP. I had to stop being crazy, or it wasn't going to be done. Bella Donna was serious... I was not talking about a beautiful woman. I was talking about a beautiful woman becoming old and not beautiful. And skinny and too tired, the woman disappears."
~Stevie Nicks, High Times, 1982

"The song Bella Donna is about getting a little bit of my normal life back."
~Stevie Nicks, Everything You Wanted to Know About Stevie Nicks, 1985

"It was one of those times when I was very disenchanted with with the whole rock and roll life. I was too tired to feel very creative or to be very spiritual. I felt like I was a mom to a lot of children. 'Bella Donna' means 'beautiful lady' and 'poisonous herb.; I felt somewhere between the two images. This whole life can just kill you. I was looking for some sort of balance when I wrote that song. I was constantly looking for something to lead me out of it. I was not in a happy place."
~Stevie Nicks, "Scene" (Ohio) May 28-June 3 1998 issue

KIND OF WOMAN

(Regarding "Kind of Woman" & Lindsey Buckingham) "I was afraid that women would go for him because he was so darling."
~Stevie Nicks, Jim Ladd Innerview, 1981

"Well, this has to be Lindsey's song. 'Cause I wrote this song about Lindsey... in 1973, we weren't exactly rolling in the money. And Lindsey got an offer to go on the road with the Everly Brothers, minus one brother. But Lindsey and me were the original, after-the-Everly-Brothers-Everly Brothers! [laughs] And so, uh, we needed money, and he didn't want to work as a waitress, so he went. And I was very, very jealous and very heartsick and very bummed out that I didn't get to go. In fact, I was really, really unhappy about it. So I wrote this song about what I thought it would be for somebody who was, you know, I mean, Lindsey was darling, and I thought, 'somebody's gonna snag him out there for sure!' And so I was imagining the groupies with the black feathers and the rhinestones and the boots and the black stockings, and I was dying. I was like, 'so right, I get to go to work every morning, and you are out there on the road being an Everly Brother!' So Kind of Woman was, you know, 'You didn't mean to meet her.' Right, right, you're gonna call me and tell me that?" [laughs]
~Stevie Nicks, Rockline 1981  

STOP DRAGGIN' MY HEART AROUND

(Regarding "Insider" & "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" w/Tom Petty) "I spent two hours, probably, singing on it, and then I put another little high harmony on it at some point through the months. And 'Stop Dragging My Heart', Tom came in with me twice. We stood there with our little music stands and he kind of directed me a little bit. It just didn't take hardly any time at all, and it was lots of fun. And it was funny, and you know, because I'm like a real big Tom Petty fan.  And after being on stage with him a few times, there's a lot more camaraderie amongst the band and me. At first, I was a little bit in awe of him and little afraid of him, you know. And I wanted to really sing good and I wanted him to like what I was doing, 'cause I really wanted to sing with him. And so I was really willing to do anything I could do to make it as good as possible, so that he would like it, because I thought it was such a great idea. But he never sang with a girl before, and that like, real heavy harmony singing that I've been doing with Lindsey and anybody else who ever asks me, for years, it just makes it real easy for me to just sing right in there with Tom, just like Tom."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

[On releasing Stop Draggin' My Heart Around as Bella Donna's first single] "I am a rock and roll singer, even though people don't really realize it. I didn't want to put out a real soft song first... I wanted it to be a rock and roll album. And if we had put, say, Leather and Lace, or After the Glitter Fades or something like that, then it would have been... it would have started off in more of a soft, soft rock thing, like "petal rock," somebody said... I thought that was very funny. So I wanted to hit the stage dancing."
~Stevie Nicks, Chris Eric Stevens Spotlight Special, 2-21-82 

"He [Tom Petty] wrote Stop Draggin' My Heart Around specifically for *his* album, and recorded it, and for some reason it just wasn't going to go on his album. And he just let me have it. Which is... what a guy. And for some reason, he didn't *completely* put his heart into Stop Draggin' My Heart Around. And when I sang it, I did. And then he caught the magic. And then our little duet part of it became... he picked up on *my* excitement and together it became, I think, a real incredible duet, and it's also real incredible on stage."
~Stevie Nicks, Startrack Profiles, 1986

"Inspired by Jimmy Iovine
Jimmy (Iovine) played this song to me while he was still finishing Tom's album; it was one of those songs that Tom was not going to do, and he told Jim that I could do it. I wasn't used to doing other people's songs, so I didn't really like the idea at first... but I loved Tom Petty, so I agreed to try. So we went into the studio and sang it live, together. I was completely entranced, and I instantly fell into love with the song. Duets were the things I loved the most... maybe this was a second beginning... And we would sing like no one else, and nobdy else would ever sing... like us.
~Stevie Nicks, Timespace liner notes, 1991

THINK ABOUT IT

"I wrote that for Chris when she and John were really seriously getting divorced... on the road, which was one of your larger, unpleasant times. And Lindsey and I were sort of the same thing, except that you know, when somebody else is going through it, too... one person gets strong and the other person gets weak. So you know, Chris and I would be constantly be like, 'Okay, I'm gonna be strong now and you can fall apart, and then she'll be strong and I'll fall apart.' And that was on a particular time when she was falling apart and I was being strong. I didn't want her to quit. And so I was trying in my little philosophic way to give her some strength and hold her up a little bit. You know, people are asking me about these dedications and I just really wanted everybody to know that I wrote that for my friend, Chris... when she was sad."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"I wrote Think About It in 1975 for Chris [McVie] and for myself, too... I wrote it for her because I needed to write it for somebody else. She was going through her divorce with John, and in those days there were no wardrobe mistresses or speech therapists or anything, there was just me and Chris. So all she had, really, was me. And so I really had to be her friend and really be strong beside her at that point because she was really going to leave. And I had had my problems with Lindsey and *I* was really going to leave. And so this was just a song to remind her and remind me at the same time that we were giving up a lot if we left. And that it was really something that should be taken to the heart and thought about heavily before we walked out."
~Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

"This particular song was written because Christine and John were breaking up. And she was very upset. And this was in the very beginning of Fleetwood Mac, and we had no wardrobe mistresses, no makeup artists... it was just us. And so she and I just had eachother to lean on. All over the country, alone. And so I was really her backbone for a few weeks in that period of time. Oh, and it turned around many times... but that was when I wrote that song. I didn't want her to leave, you know? And I was telling myself 'don't leave,' too. We knew... I mean, 'what are you going to do, Chris, what am I going to do? Work in a restaurant?' It's ridiculous. We can't give all this up... the music is fabulous, we can't just give it up because our men are messing up our lives."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

AFTER THE GLITTER FADES

"After the Glitter Fades was written in 1972; it was copyrighted in 1975... which is a strange sort of preminition to have in 1972 because that was two years before Fleetwood Mac. And that was when the Buckingham Nicks album had been dropped. So we were going nowhere. Fast. And I... I seemed to have some idea what was going to happen. And that I was really going to face some serious glitter and see some serious glitter fade."
~Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

"That was written in 1972, two years before Fleetwood Mac. I had a very heavy premonition then that this was all going to happen.
DJ: You really did?
Yeah. Cause this was two years before Fleetwood Mac that I wrote that song. I knew there was nothing else for me to do. It *was* the only life that I had ever known."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"I wanted her [Dolly Parton] to do After the Glitter Fades. Cause I really thought it would be perfect for her. And it got sent to her, and I don't think Dolly ever really got it. And I think if she'd ever really got the song, she would have wanted to do it."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"The feeling remains even after the glitter fades. Which meant that the singing never changes, that my love of singing, my love of writing a song, my love of sining it to somebody and watching their face... or getting something back with two or three of, you know, 'thunder only happens when it's raining,' comes back to me and says to me, well, it was worth it. Somebody got something out of that, somebody was made to feel a little better."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"After the Glitter Fades was written in 1972, two years before Fleetwood Mac, so that's a premonition in itself because I had no idea what a rock and roll woman's face looked like when her heart broke, or what a one night stand was, or that the feeling remains even after the glitter fades. The glitter had faded from me, pretty much. I understood that the glitter faded in Hollywood and I knew what I was getting into."
~Stevie Nicks, The Source Event with Denny Somach, 1981 

"I knew exactly what was going to happen. I knew it was going to be difficult. I knew that the glitter was going to be everywhere... but I also realized that the glitter would absolutely fade."
~Stevie Nicks, Chris Eric Stevens Spotlight Special, 2-21-82 

"That was written in 1972 and Lindsey and I had never been on the road at all. We had certainly never had a one-night stand because we had been together and there were no one-night stands between Lindsey and me. That was a real premonition. I just had some idea about Fleetwood Mac. I wasn't talking about one-night stands with a man. I was talking about your one-night stands in a concert where you run in, played, and left."
~Stevie Nicks, High Times, 1982

"That was written in the very beginning, when Lindsey and I first went to Hollywood, and it was just about, you know, this part of it; loving to do this part of it, and being able to balance it with the other part of it. And so, there's the glitter part, and the not glitter part. So... this was a song about the glitter part getting you through. And it's called After the Glitter Fades... and we just did it!"
~Stevie Nicks after performing the song on VH1 Storytellers, 1998

EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

"'Edge of Seventeen' is a song that I began to write in, I guess, around January. And we started recording in February. I lost an uncle around the same time that John Lennon died. And my uncle's name was Johnathan, too. And my uncle got real sick around the beginning of December, of cancer, and we just sort of watched him go. And my aunt's house, when my uncle died, was like, very pale yellow... very ethereal. And there was just real quiet music playing. And, 'So I went today, maybe I will go again tomorrow. The music there, it was hauntingly familiar. And I see you doing what I tried to do for me, with the words of a poet, and the voice of a choir and a melody... and nothing else mattered.' And I just sat there and held his little hand, and he died. The end of the song, it says, 'I hear the call of a nightbird, singing come away...', and that's when I felt that the black bird was taking the white bird to where ever. And it was terribly sad. And I was like, holding his hand when he died. And I really felt the loss of these spirits. And that's the white winged dove, that's the spirit."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"And when we recorded the song, the energy that was written into that song was so intense that it took us about two nights to get the track to that, and it's like nobody's feet ever stopped moving. It was like there was this energy that was so strong. I cried in the middle of the bridge thing, about the sea never expects it when it rains but the sea changes color, but the sea does not change. And so with the slow graceful flow of age, I went forth with an age old desire to please. It was like, well we have to keep going now. And I wanted that song to have all that energy of them and of us going on. And it was quite incredible to see, especially that entity of the band that played on that song. And they just put every bit of their heart and soul into it. It was like they just stood right there and held my elbows, you know, so that I could just stand really tall and sing that song for my uncle and for John Lennon and for everybody. And understand that we were doing what both of them would have wanted us to do. I said, 'My Uncle John wouldn't have wanted me to cry. He would have wanted me to write. He would have wanted me to go straight to the piano.' You want the story and I'll give it to you."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"The most recent [song on Bella Donna] is Edge of Seventeen, which is also my favorite song on the record... Edge of Seventeen closes it... [the album] chronologically, anyway... with the loss of John Lennon and an uncle at the same time. That song is sort of about how no amount of money or power could save them. I was angry, helpless, hurt, sad."
~Stevie Nicks, BAM, 1981

"The line 'And the days go by like a strand in the wind' that's how fast those days were going by during my uncle's illness, and it was so upsetting to me. The part that says 'I went today... maybe I will go again... tomorrow' refers to seeing him the day before he died. He was home and my aunt had some music softly playing, and it was a perfect place for the spirit to go away. The white-winged dove in the song is a spirit that is leaving a body, and I felt a great loss at how both Johns were taken. 'I hear the call of the nightbird singing... come away... come away...' "
~Stevie Nicks, Rolling Stone, September 1981

"The immediate inspiration is from Jane Petty, who is Tom's wife, because she told me that when she met Tom he was, she said, 'at the age of seventeen' but she has this incredible southern drawl so it sounded like 'edge of seventeen' and I said, 'Jane, (I 'm writing it on the menu, right! Im going...) I'm writing a song called Edge of Seventeen.' And she laughs, you know, she didn't ever think I was ever serious. So it started out about Tom and Jane basically, who I have no idea what they were at 17, but I made it up. And, uh it went into being written about [her Uncle John and John Lennon]."
~Stevie Nicks, The Stevie Nicks Story from The Source, 1981

"The Edge of Seventeen is my favorite tune. It's the one that I really can't wait to do onstage. The place that it came from when it was written was sad because it came out of my frustration in not knowing exactly how to accept the death of John Lennon or the death of an uncle that I had that died in the same time period of cancer. And that's what the white winged dove is, the white winged dove is the spirit going, and the nightbird at the end is the one that is taking. It was a period of time that I just didn't know what to do so I just sat down and wrote about it. I spent a lot of time thinking about how I would write this song and I spent a little bit of time with my uncle as he was dying, and I knew a lot of people that knew John Lennon and I felt their pain for him... and my own pain of losing him, too. And the Edge of Seventeen just was born out of that. Recording it was the most exciting thing I've ever done, because everybody felt that there was an electrical charge going through this white winged dove all the way through that song."
~Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

"The Edge of Seventeen is really a very abstract song. The Edge of Seventeen was really written about the time of John Lennon's death. And I also lost an uncle right at the same time who was also John and I was very, very, very lost at that point; I just felt such a deep loss. And it was somewhere between those two things that happened came Edge of Seventeen. It was very frustrated, you know, 'there was no one left standing in the hall...'
[DJ comments on feeling the pain of losing John Lennon without having known him]
Oh, I didn't either. 'In a flood of tears that no one really heard fall at all.' That's how I felt, the whole world was crying... and that's really what that was about."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"Edge of Seventeen was written around the time of John Lennon's death. And also I was losing an uncle at the same time. And I was just very sad, and I felt a real deep loss. And that's really what it was about.
[DJ mentions dedication to Jane Petty]
Well, Jane told me once that she met Tom when he was seventeen, but Jane has the most incredible southern accent that you have ever heard, and said 'I met Tom on the edge of seventeen.' She said *age.* And I thought she said edge, and I said, 'Jane, I'm writing a song called the Edge of Seventeen!' She didn't believe me. She called a couple of days ago and said 'you did it, wow, I love it!' [laughs]
~Stevie Nicks, WIOQ Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"The immediate inspiration is from Jane Petty, Tom's wife, because she told me that when she met Tom she said he was at the *age* of seventeen but she has this incredible southern drawl, so it sounded like she said the *edge* of seventeen. It started out about Tom and Jane at seventeen who I have no idea what they were like at seventeen, but I made it up and it went in to being written about, I have an uncle who died right when John Lennon died and their names are both John and I was with my uncle when he died. Nothing else mattered to me except my uncle, John Lennon, and my family."
~Stevie Nicks, The Source Event with Denny Somach, 1981 

"Edge of Seventeen, definitely... that's probably the closest to being my favorite [song]. It was written about my uncle Jon having cancer and and that was about the time of [the death of] John Lennon, and it was right before we knew Robin was sick... the final 'white winged dove.' When it starts playing, my head turns around."
~Stevie Nicks, Arizona Living, September 1983

"Jane [Petty] met Tom when he was seventeen. And she was telling me that they met when they were seventeen, and I was imagining them both, these little blonds, right, in their car, in Florida, just racing along, you know, at seventeen. I'm trying to imagine Jane and Tom at seventeen. And it sounded like she said the *edge* of seventeen. And I said, 'can I use that?' I said 'I want to write a song about it. I'm gonna have to make up your life, but you know...' she said absolutely. She never thought I'd do it. So that line is her, was her idea. The song itself is not about Jane or Tom. The song is about an uncle I lost, and John Lennon."
~Stevie Nicks, Startrack Profile, 1986

"I had lived up in the hills with Jimmy [Iovine] for almost six months. He was coming to the end of Tom Petty's album... it seemed I had waited a long time, and since no one really knew where I was, I was starting to get very edgy to do something... I was also starting to feel very unimportant and very sorry for myself. I was ready to begin Bella Donna and it seemed like it would just never happen. Jimmy had told me many times about his incredible friendship with John Lennon; how John had taken Jimmy in and taught him to record. He was his teacher... and I was entranced because I could not imagine these two together. Anyway, it was a real life fairy tale and I believed it. Then one grey day, the fairy tale ended... Jimmy's friend was dead... But Jimmy's love for John did not die. A terrible sadness set in over the house, there was simply nothing I could say. So I went home... Jimmy would have to go this one alone.

I went home to Phoenix... and went to visit my uncle (who was very sick), not knowing that no one but his son, John, was there... and I sat on his bedside, while John sat on the floor beside him, and we stayed there. My father did not come, nor my mother... nor my aunt... so I sat there and held his hand, and sometime right about sunset, he turned his head slightly to John, and then to me, and his hand slowly let go of mine. I did run out into the hallway, but no one was there... and the white winged dove took flight...
'Well I hear you, in the morning....
And I hear you, at nightfall/
But sometimes, to be near you....
Is to be unable...to hear you....'

Goodbye to you both, I said....
There was nothing else left to say."

~Stevie Nicks, Timespace Liner Notes, 1991

"I did run out into the hallway, but no one was there. The white winged dove had taken flight. In one week, John Lennon was dead-- and so was my beloved uncle-- his name was John, too..."
~Stevie Nicks, Timespace tourbook, 1991

"Jimmy [Iovine] was absolutely best friends with John Lennon. So when that happened, a hush came over the house that was so overwhelming that there was nothing that I could do to help. There was nothing I could say, there was no way I could comfort him. [Unable to help, Nicks flew home to Phoenix] I went straight over to my uncle's house, and my uncle died that day. He died right there with me holding his hand, just me and my cousin, who's a little younger than me, sitting there on the bed and on the floor next to him.  I have to deal with it every single night when I sing it. That's why I can [sing it]. When that song starts, I go back to that week. And it's not like I try. I don't make a physical effort to do it. In my mind, my little timespace, I'm back in the house at Encino finding out that news, and when I sing it to everybody, I try to make them understand in a way what I was talking about without actually telling them. That's why I can sing Edge of Seventeen just like I wrote it yesterday. Because it will never, ever lose the intensity. I will never forget how I felt when that happened to me. And when people read this, they're going to understand that this hasn't been so glamorous, and each one of these songs was one more chip off an already broken heart."
~Stevie Nicks, The Sun (Maryland), July 1991

"And when we recorded the song, the energy that was written into that song was so intense that it took us about two nights to get the track to that, and it's like nobody's feet ever stopped moving. It was like there was this energy that was so strong. I cried in the middle of the bridge thing, about the sea never expects it when it rains but the sea changes color, but the sea does not change. And so with the slow graceful flow of age, I went forth with an age old desire to please. It was like, well we have to keep going now. And I wanted that song to have all that energy of them and of us going on.

And it was quite incredible to see, especially that entity of the band that played on that song. And they just put every bit of their heart and soul into it. It was like they just stood right there and held my elbows, you know, so that I could just stand really tall and sing that song for my uncle and for John Lennon and for everybody. And understand that we were doing what both of them would have wanted us to do. I said, 'My Uncle John wouldn't have wanted me to cry. He would have wanted me to write. He would have wanted me to go straight to the piano. ' You want the story and I'll give it to you.'"
~Stevie Nicks Interview, Vox Magazine, February 1992

"What happened with this song was I was in Australia with, hanging out, playing, doing something with some band and uh, John Lennon died. So, I was of course upset by this and I was very far away and it was really strange to not be in the country when he died.

"Um, I went home to Phoenix and I had this idea about writing a song about him about the white wing dove. Which comes from uh, Arizona and like nests in the Saguaro cactus. But I didn't know that until I got to Phoenix and started writing this song and somebody told me that. And then to make a bad situation worse, um my uncle who was my dad's older brother, very close brothers ~ family my dad's. And uh, he was very sick. And um, I went to visit him one day, couple weeks after that. And my cousin Jon, whose name also was Jon, we, we were both there and for some reason nobody else was there and my uncle died. And we were, we were just there by ourselves with him and we didn't even know what to do. It was like, I can't believe this is happening. So when it says you know, 'And I went running down the hall searching for somebody and up the stairs and down the hall, I did not hear an answer but I did hear the call of the nightbird,' that's what that was about."
~Stevie Nicks, VH1 Storytellers, 1998

"It was written right after John Lennon died. A week later, my uncle died and this was a very close uncle. Between John Lennon and my Uncle Bill, "Edge of Seventeen" came out of that. [sings] "Oh I went searchin’ for an answer / Up the stairs and down the hall / Not to find an answer just to hear the call of a nightbird singing." And the nightbird is the bird of death, really. I can get up on stage and sing "Edge of Seventeen" and still feel just as traumatized today as I did then, when I first sang it at my piano. It’s just so heavy. I use that word "heavy" a lot, and I know that it’s an old hippie word, but it just really seems to be the right word. Some of the songs are so heavy. John Lennon being shot to death in front of his apartment for absolutely no reason, when I was a rock star also, so immediately that transfers to, 'Is somebody going to shoot me? Is somebody going to shoot me because I didn’t write back to a fan?' And that’s why I wrote the song."
~Stevie Nicks, Performing Songwriter magazine, 2003

HOW STILL MY LOVE

"This is my favorite song. It's called In the Still of the Night."
~Stevie Nicks before performing it, 12-13-81

LEATHER AND LACE

(Regarding "Leather and Lace") "I called him and said, 'Don, I'm really gonna do you a big favor.' I said, 'The problem, Don, with you singing this song with me, once they get to you, they can't remember who was singing in the beginning.' I mean, women run to the bathroom to get a handkerchief to fan their face, you know. It's like, I'm going, 'I was actually on the song myself.' Because he just comes in with that, 'You in the moonlight...', and of course, it's my words that he's singing, and I'm going, 'Oh! That's great, Don!' He's so funny, you know. He's such a critic that just the fact that he sang on the record is about the nicest thing anybody ever did for me. 'Cause he never would have put his voice on anything if he didn't like it. He never really liked the title, 'Leather and Lace' too much. So I really had to make it acceptable to him in 1975, 'cause we did a demo of it in 1975 that was very much like the record. I mean, bar for bar, note for note, very similar. And when I decided, when everybody wanted me to do 'Leather and Lace', I said, 'I don't really know if Don's gonna want to sing on this.' 'Cause, you know, this was a real disciplined song of mine and I was going out with Don when I wrote this song and I was complaining to him all the time about, you know, 'Is it good enough?' And he'd say, 'No, actually, it's terrible. Start over.' And you'd go, 'Rats. Start over.' And I'd start over. Because I really wanted him to tell me that it was a cool song, and finally he said it's acceptable."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"I wrote Leather and Lace for Waylon [Jennings] because he called and asked me to write a song called Leather and Lace. And I had never written a song for somebody, especially for somebody that had given me a title. Well, I wrote the chorus. And I called him and said 'I've written the chorus,' and we sent it to him, and he called back and said 'finish it.' So I was under a lot of pressure to finish this song, where usually, if I don't want to finish something, I don't finish it. I was going out with Don Henley at the time and I would play it for Don and he would say 'that's terrible, start over.' And I would say, 'oh, I can't believe you said that,' and I would start over. And not that he ever jumped up and down about it, but there did come a time when he said 'ok, it's acceptable.' And *we* recorded it. We made a demo of it that is so similar to the record, that a lot of people don't even notice it if I put the demo on, it's *that* similar. And I was playing guitar, *sterling* guitar, and he was singing, we're singing, you know, 'sometimes I'm a strong man' exactly, exactly the same. And so when I started to do this album, we called him and I said, 'Don, I can't do this song without you. So if Waylon doesn't do it, and you don't do it, then it doesn't get done. Cause I wrote this song for a man and a woman in the music business that are trying to work out their problems together. And, you know, your spirit and my spirit is as greatly in it as Waylon's and Jessi's [Colter], in fact much more. Cause I don't know them. And so will you please come down and listen to the track and see what you think?' And he came down, and I was working on another song and I guess he must have been pleased. Because he sang on the record. And he's a hard one to get to, even for me, and he'd do anything for me. But he wouldn't do it if he didn't think it was good. So that was probably the greatest compliment of all-- that he is even on this record. Because he wouldn't have put his voice on this record if he didn't think it was up to his standards."
~Stevie Nicks, WLIR New York interview, 1981

"He [Waylon Jennings] asked me to write the song. He called in about 1975, and said 'I'm going to do an album called Leather and Lace and I'd really love it if you would write a song called Leather and Lace.' And I said, 'well, I've never really written a song that somebody had asked me to do, especially with a title.' But I said, ok, this sounds like a good disciplinary trip for me, so I'll do it. It was really the most disciplined song I ever wrote because I had to finish it. I couldn't quit. And see, sometimes if I'm not happening, I'll just say 'well... I'm not going to finish it.' So I *had* to finish it. And I think that Jessi and Waylon sort of broke up then. And he said, 'well, I will do it, by myself,' and I said 'but you *can't* because I wrote it for a man in the music business working with a woman in the music business, also having a relationship.' I spent a lot of time trying to to bring the psychology of letting Waylon be a little weak for a moment and Jessi be a little strong and I *really* worked on that idea, which was no different than Lindsey and I or Christine and John. I used all of us, and to break it up for myself or for Waylon and let one of us do it and just change the other verse around... so I said 'it should be saved. It should be done by Don and I or it should be done by Waylon and Jessi and that's it.' He [Don] did it with me in 1975, we had a very cool demo that was very similar to the record. And so for five years I've been hearing me and Don sing Leather and Lace, and I just said it either has to Waylon or it has to be Don."
~Stevie Nicks, WMMR Pennsylvania interview, 1981

"He [Don Henley] really helped me with that song [Leather and Lace] a lot... he helped me write it... he didn't help me *write* it, but he walked in and would say to me, 'it's not that good, start over.' And I didn't know whether Don would want to [sing Leather and Lace] or not... he, out of the goodness of his little Eagle heart, did it for me."
~Stevie Nicks, Chris Eric Stevens Spotlight Special, 2-21-82

"I wrote it for them and I wanted them to do it. Waylon Jennings asked me to write a song called "Leather and Lace." That's his title. So I did and I spent a lot of time on the psychology of the man and the woman in the music business both being stars in their own right and trying to live with each other and work and give Waylon a break and let him be a little weaker for a minute and let Jessi be a little stronger for a minute. This is a long time ago. This is what I was searching for even then. I mean, I was writing about Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter, but I was writing about me and Lindsey. And I was, at that point, going out with Don Henley and I was writing about Don and me. I was writing about the few couples that I knew and what they went through to try and work it out. And I guess Jessi and Waylon sort of broke up around then. And I felt in my heart that either I had to do this song with Don, or Waylon had to do it with Jessi, or Waylon and I had to do it. Those were the only three possibilities for that song to be done. It was the most disciplined song I had ever written and I had to finish it."
~Stevie Nicks, High Times, 1982

"I just love singing with people and they know it. So when people call me up they know I'll come down 'cause I just love to sing duets. That's how the duets come about. "Leather and Lace" I wrote for Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter who were going to do an album five years ago. Waylon had asked me to write a song called "Leather and Lace" and I spent a long time on it. I tried to give it a little bit of Waylon, a little bit of Jessi and a little bit of what I knew it was like to be in show business, what it was like to work with your husband or your old man. But they (Jennings and Colter) broke up, and Waylon decided he was going to do it alone. But I said no, because I had put a lot of time into the psychology of the song and felt it was a mistake to do it alone. It's a wonderful song. So when Bella Donna came out, there was no reason for it not to be done just because Waylon and Jessi broke up. But I did want everyone to know I wrote the song for them. I didn't write it for myself."
~Stevie Nicks, ROCK magazine, 1983

"I wrote this song because Waylon Jennings called me up and asked me to write a song called "Leather and Lace." It was to be a duet for him and his wife, and I worked very hard trying to explain what it was like to be in love with someone in the same business, and how to approach dealing with each other. It's probably the hardest thing in the world to do because it falls out of your hands and into the hands of the world, which tends to want you to not be able to handle it. I have to tell you now that Mr. Don Henley was pretty much responsible for this song because he came over every day and told me to either start over, or that I was on the right track, and he made me finish it (because I almost gave up many times). When it was finally finished, Don and I made a very simple demo of it... he sang it with me, and it was... truly wonderful. And then I found out that Waylon and Jessi were breaking up, and Waylon wanted to just sing it by himself. After all the work I had put into the philosophy of two people dealing with this problem, I told Waylon that only four people in the world could sing this song: he and his wife, or myself and Don Henley. Don and I had been going out for quite awhile, and, bless his heart, he did sing it with me, and again, as fate would have it... it became one of the most special love songs that I would ever write... and remains that, even today, after all these years. All in all, it was an unforgettable experience, as was he... Blame it on my wild heart."
~Stevie Nicks, Timespace liner notes, 1991

OUTSIDE THE RAIN

"'Outside The Rain' was the only link between Fleetwood Mac and me. It was the true, it was the song that Fleetwood Mac would have done if they had been involved in this record. It was sort of the 'Dreams' or the 'Sara' - that. It was that. It was those chords. And I thought that it was really important that there be that link in the chain, there, since the rest of it was very much me and very much not Fleetwood Mac, I wanted there to be the link, because it's dear to me and it's important to me that Fleetwood Mac is still a part of my life and that they understand what I'm doing. That was the Fleetwood Mac song."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

THE HIGHWAYMAN

"My first knowledge of anybody else except outside of Fleetwood Mac was the Eagles, of whom, you have to realize, I've been singing along with forever on the radio, you know. And who am I to meet the Eagles? 'The Highwayman' is the highwayman of the road, the one that's always on the road, that sometimes gives to the rich and sometimes keeps it. In 'The Highwayman', it says 'She considers slowing down, but then he would never win. Enter competition, she chases beneath the sky, the pale and violent rider.' It's like, you kind of half to let them be their dramatic selves, and go with it, and not try to be anything else except an intelligent woman with them, that accidentally happens to be songwriter, because if you ever want to sit down and work with them, that's the only way you can be."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"The old rogue - the highwayman, who travelled on the road, and you hear his little horse's hoof beats, you know, in the sparkling and shining night and you hope he drops by your inn with a glass of wine, the horse can be fed. Basically, a thief. Totally romantic. Probably die young. And every woman's fantasy, absolute. And the new highwayman, for me, is definitely the rock and roll musician who is always gone and always travelling, and... you know, lear jets in and lear jets out. And you know, for me, I realized that in order to be a part of them at all, from the standpoint of being a songwriter, and not a woman, just a songwriter... that I would have to walk very quietly and be not pushy if I wanted ever to be accepted. So I decided to do whatever I had to do to get at least somewhat into their good graces, so I could learn from them. 'Cause I felt they had a lot to teach me. And when it says, 'And then she hears him coming, heartbeats on the wind... consider slowing down, but then he would never win...', she considers slowing down, because she has to let him win. In order for them ever to get together and do anything, from writing a song to being married, to just being good friends, due to the fact that she is not only a writer, but she is also a woman."
~Stevie Nicks, 1981

"It's about what a woman in rock & roll has to do to keep up with the men. It's their world. To be taken seriously a woman has to walk softly and carry a big stick."
~Stevie Nicks, Smash Hits, 1-82