30 Rare Photos Of Stevie Nicks That Show Another Side Of The Dreamy Fleetwood Mac Singer
Stevie Nicks Was The 'Gold Dust Woman'
The way Nicks sang "Gold Dust Woman" on the 1977 Fleetwood Mac album Rumours was impressive. The take that made the album was reportedly recorded a 4:00 am after a grueling studio recording session trying to get it right. During the recording, Nicks had wrapped a black scarf around her head in an attempt to get into character with her real emotions. This song has included an electric harpsichord and sound effects of broken glass to accentuate Nicks’ vocals. Mick Fleetwood said that he used a hammer to break the glass and had to wear goggles and coveralls to protect himself from the flying shards.
The "gold dust" mentioned in the lyrics was cocaine, a drug that Nicks was starting to take, and would later become seriously addicted to.
Her voice has always been singular
Stevie Nicks had a distinguishing voice which was raspy, sultry and a touch mysterious. That signature voice had so many qualities that could lend itself to all types of songs and music. She was a lovely feminine voice in a very male dominated 70’s music scene. Nicks always had a steady and confident command of her voice. When she performed, she sang from her soul and captivated her audiences. Fans were drawn in and mesmerized. Nicks had the ability to make audiences feel like one with the song; as if she was singing right to them.
Stevie Nicks Is The Queen Of Rock
Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac is the Queen of Rock, or so the fans say -- and seeing as she's the only two-time female inductee into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame, they do have a point. Nicks has been a one-of-a-kind performer ever since reinvigorating Fleetwood Mac in the mid-'70s, and her continued work with that band and as a solo artist has only cemented her legacy and grown her legend. Fortunately for music fans, Nicks likes to share her wisdom these days, and always makes for a good interview. How does Stevie see the world, and her place in it? Read on for some entertaining pearls of wisdom from the Gold Dust Woman herself.
Stevie Nicks Always Had Star Quality
As with so many future rock stars, you can see the superstar waiting to happen in Stevie Nicks’ high school yearbook photo. All it would take is some self-exploration -- in the years following her 1966 graduation, she literally let her hair down, and the legend took shape
Stevie Nicks' Personal Style Was Next-Level Hippie
Angelic, ethereal, and retro-glamorous, Stevie Nicks managed to create a fashion sense and aura based on the hippie sensibility, but so much better. By rejecting dull and conformist clothing, the hippies had given women and men alike a license to wear just about anything. And that's what hippies wore -- just about anything. Stevie Nicks brought some taste and judgment back into the picture, assembling outfits that expressed countercultural freedom without looking like she'd just come from a rummage sale. Nicks' style never really goes out of fashion (particularly not for her), but it does experience surges in popularity -- any time you see a magazine touting the latest return of "boho chic," you have Stevie Nicks to thank.
Lindsey Buckingham Made Her Take Her Clothes Off
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were an item before they joined Fleetwood Mac, releasing one album of their own as Buckingham Nicks. Their self-titled LP, released in 1973, is most memorable for its cover photo. Buckingham wanted a photo of the two of them sans clothing, and was said to have flown into a rage when Nicks initially refused to pose without a top. Eventually, he got his way.
Buckingham slowly lost the upper hand in the relationship as Nicks stole the show. He had singlehandedly destroyed their relationship because he was jealous of her success. He demeaned Nicks every chance he got and ruined what they once had. After it was all said and done, she soared and his career all but fizzled out.
An Outtake From The Buckingham-Nicks Album Cover
While the album cover is a great photo, the story behind it is not so great. Nicks recounted:
I was crying when we took that picture. And Lindsey was mad at me. He said, 'You know, you're just being a child. This is art.' And I'm going, 'This is not art... and I don't dig it... I thought, 'Who are you? Don't you know me?' . . . I couldn't breathe. But I did it because I felt like a rat in a trap.
Stevie's Glad She Joined The 'Mac, Eve If Lindsey Isn't
In the greatest two-fer rock music has ever seen, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in the early '70s and proceeded to change the long-running band for the better, putting their stamp on Fleetwood Mac (1975) and Rumours (1977). Nicks is glad she did it, but believes Buckingham regrets it. She told The Guardian:
Fleetwood Mac was our destiny. ... [But] I think [Lindsey Buckingham] regrets it totally. I think he wishes we hadn't ever joined Fleetwood Mac and had just stayed together. Even though his life has now wound around to where he's married to a lovely girl and he's got three absolutely beautiful kids.
She burned a hole in her septum
After a decade of using cocaine regularly Nicks began suffering from blackouts and extreme nasal drainage. After visiting a plastic surgeon she learned that she'd burned a hole in her nasal cartilage, although it wasn't from the cocaine. Nicks explains that the hole was created by a solution of Aspirin and water she would squirt up her nose in an attempt to cure her headaches. Aspirin is acidic, and eventually dissolved her nasal cartilage. Nicks explained:
I thought I was being the best, most hygienic nurse ever... That really didn’t help our irritability levels.
Stevie Nicks Is, And Always Was, A Rock And Roll Legend
From the moment she joined Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks demonstrated a presence and mystique that loomed larger than her contributions to the group. It's strange to think that she was clearly the standout on Fleetwood Mac and Rumours even though she only sang lead vocals on three tracks on each album. Rolling Stone magazine got it right in 1981, when they called Stevie Nicks, then starting her solo career, the "reigning queen of rock 'n roll."
Stevie And Christine McVie Decided To Float Into The Room Like Goddesses
When Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, she was entering into established rock society. Mick Fleetwood was married to Jenny Boyd, sister of Pattie Boyd, who'd been immortalized in Eric Clapton's "Layla." Clapton, Steve Winwood, people Nicks had been listening to for years were now in her professional and social orbit -- and what's more, Fleetwood Mac was more successful than it had ever been. Nicks took preemptive action to make sure that she and Christine McVie weren't left out of the boys' club. She told NPR:
I said to Chris, you know, we can never be treated like second class citizens here. So when we walk into the room, we have to walk in with a big attitude. Which does not mean a snotty conceited attitude. But it means like we have to float in like goddesses, because that is how we want to be treated. And we will never not be invited to the party, because we are women. ... So, our boys never went anywhere without us. And we were always invited to the party. But it was because we demanded that from the very beginning. 'Cause you know, you can't just, like, be a wimp and then a year and a half or two years later decide to not be a wimp anymore. Because people will always treat you like a wimp once they have decided that's what you are. So you can never, ever be that. You have to be strong and tough and intelligent and smart and kind of plan out what you're going to say and know who you are. So that people will get that right away. Because then they're always going to be great to you. And they're always going to treat you with respect. And that's what you want, because then they listen to you. And then they listen to your songs. And then they give you a chance. Otherwise, you get nowhere.
Stevie Nicks Was Too Popular For Fleetwood Mac
No one looked or sounded like Stevie Nicks; she stood out as the hypnotic superstar in the five-piece Fleetwood Mac. Not only that, she was also a prolific songwriter. As she was playing a key part in Fleetwood Mac's massive success in the '70s, she was also becoming frustrated. Nicks, Buckingham and Christine McVie were all songwriters, and there just wasn't enough space on an LP for them all to contribute as much as they liked.
Nicks had to branch out, and did when she launched her solo career with her first album, Bella Donna, which went to the top of the album chart and contained three hit singles: "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (with Tom Petty), "Leather And Lace" (with Don Henley), and "Edge Of Seventeen." Nicks never left Fleetwood Mac -- she just had more to give the world, and her successful solo career has continued alongside her band's ever since.
You Can Think Tom Petty For Some Of Her Most Memorable Solo Songs
Not only did the leader of The Heartbreakers give Stevie the star on top of her top hat, but Nicks said that Tom Petty’s responsible for her solo success:
He gave me ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around.’ Had he not given me that song, let me candidly tell you, Bella Donna might not have been a hit. That song kicked Bella Donna right into the universe. My biggest sadness about the Hall of Fame is that Tom is not here to enjoy this with me, because he would have been the proudest of me of anyone.
The Solo Rock Goddess Likes Being A Team Player
Stevie Nicks was the whole package, from day one: The mystique, the voice, the songwriting, the style, the beauty. Solo stardom seemed inevitable -- did she really ever need to be in a group? According to Stevie, being in a band and sharing the spotlight is plenty rewarding. She told Classic Rock Magazine:
From the very beginning, when I was seventeen, I wanted to be in a band. When you’re in a band you’re a team. When I’m in solo work, I’m the boss. I have gone back and forth about it in my head. I’ve decided I do like being the boss, but I’ve been in Fleetwood Mac for so long I understand how to not be the boss and be part of a team and a team player and it’s okay. Part of it knocks your ego down, makes you humble. So there’s a lot of good things about being in a band.
Prince Still Walks With Stevie Nicks
Tom Petty wasn’t the only rock star that Stevie Nicks wrote hits with. She famously sang her song “Stand Back” over Prince's single “Little Red Corvette,” and when she told Prince about it, he popped down to the studio to play synth and guitar on the track. Nicks told Rolling Stone that she always wanted to play the song live with the singer, but he passed before they could do it:
The saddest thing of all is Prince and I never played that song onstage together. And that just breaks my heart. I guess we all think we’re immortal — I always thought we had plenty of time. I should have told Prince 10 years ago or 15 years ago, ‘Hey, Prince, we should do this song onstage together — some night, some city, call me.’
But death cannot keep Stevie from communing with her heroes.
But you know, I feel like Prince is with me. When I’m nervous, I’ll talk to Prince. In my solo act, when I do ‘Moonlight,’ I wear this white wolfy coat — I put this coat on and I try to transform into a Dire Wolf from Game of Thrones. And before I go on, I always say, ‘Walk with me, Prince.’
She Believes In 'The Art Of Mystery'
Stevie Nicks plays it close to the shawl. She told Paris Jackson of CR13:
It’s always been my way, since I joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975. I really didn’t want people to know that much about me, except the crazy things building up to joining Fleetwood Mac that I was willing to share, but as far as my life or my boyfriends or my love affairs or my friends or any of that, I preferred to be the...forbidden queen. We all built a persona, and that was mine, and I have pretty much followed it to now. It’s still the way I run my life.
Stevie Nicks Is A Romantic, Because She Has To Be
How has Stevie Nicks continued her career for so long? Remaining a romantic while others don't is one secret. As she told The Creative Independent:
It’s very sad, once you stop being a romantic, you can no longer be a poet. If you are, you’re a lousy poet and nobody’s going to want to read your poems because they’re just jaded and miserable. If you can’t write something that’s going to inspire people they’re not going to read it. They’re going to look at your work and then they’re going to say, 'This person is done. That career is over.'
Stevie Nicks Feels A Responsibility To The Rest Of Us
Is art supposed to help people? Whether art is meant to improve the world is an issue artists have debated -- after all, the world can be full of bitterness, ugliness, and anger. Should art reflect that, or rise above it? For Nicks, it's definitely the latter, as she told singer Lana Del Rey in a conversation for V Magazine:
There’s a lot of songs I’d like to write that wouldn’t be very nice songs, but I’m not going to do it because we’re not going to help anybody by doing that. Then we’re just going to be in with the masses and we’re not going to be above the fray. Write your songs, but remember that we’re the ones that are here to lighten, to lighten life, to light the lanterns and the little fairy lights, and try to keep people going. We have to have hope. We have to believe that this will all end up okay and that we’ll all end up okay. Because if we don’t do it, then who the hell is gonna do it?
She Captured The Essence Of The 70's
Stevie Nicks soared to epic stardom in the 1970s as the stylish and beautiful gypsy songstress of Fleetwood Mac, enchanting audiences with her raspy voice and fashion sense. Nicks was mysterious, earthy, angelic, and -- let's face it -- hot. With her appearance and her seductive vocals on tracks like "Dreams," "Rhiannon," and "Gold Dust Woman," Stevie Nicks seemed to embody the sexy feminine side of the '70s California music scene, a desert flower and urban enchantress to balance out the masculinity of the Eagles, Crosby Stills & Nash, and her own bandmate and (then) lover Lindsey Buckingham. Throughout her iconic career as an artist, she has enjoyed many successes. She one of the most popular and one of the hottest female vocalists of her time.
Decked out in her capes, hats, scarves, shawls, skirts and other assorted drapey textiles, Nicks commanded the stage like a creature audiences hadn't seen before. She was a hippie with style, and a style maven with bohemian blood. The '70s were a wild time, and Nicks had her share of strange days, but the persona she created never lost its allure. In these rare pictures of the living legend, we see Stevie Nicks as the Gold Dust Woman who's always fascinated us.
Stevie Nicks Was The Gypsy Babe Of The California Rock Scene
Los Angeles in the mid-'70s was a musical hotbed with its own vibe. The laid-back style included elements of country-rock, folk-rock and leftover psychedelia -- acts such as the Byrds; Flying Burrito Brothers; Poco; Crosby, Stills & Nash; the Eagles; and Jackson Browne. Fleetwood Mac was a British group, but when Nicks and Buckingham joined, they immediately put a Californian stamp on the band's sound. It could not have been any other way -- in her looks, stage presence, style, Nicks was a poster girl for the mystique of Southern California.
Stevie Nicks Is A Style Icon
Stevie Nicks' style championed hair that she is famous for to this day. Never before seen photos of Stevie Nicks aren't usually candids, they're usually from a show, but when you can find newly-discovered candid pictures of her, it is always a treat because she is such a time capsule of the Groovy Era.
She's A Living Legend
At 70 years old the Gold Dust Woman herself was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for the second time (she's already in as a member of Fleetwood Mac), making her the first woman to be inducted twice. On top of this unfortunately groundbreaking announcement, Stevie Nicks led a Lindsey Buckingham-less Fleetwood Mac on a tour that took the band across the world throughout 2019.
Of Course Stevie Nicks Has A Shawl Vault
Whether she’s casting spells on American Horror Story: Coven, or whirling her way across stage with The Mac, Stevie Nicks is never seen without a scarf. She’s quick to point out that she doesn’t just keep them in a closet, but rather a “shawl vault.” As she puts it:
I have my shawl vault—they’re all in temperature-controlled storage. I have these huge red cases Fleetwood Mac bought, all the way back in 1975—my clothes are saved in these cases. All my vintage stuff is protected for all my little goddaughters and nieces. I’m trying to give my shawls away—but there’s thousands of them. If I ever write my life story, maybe that should be the name of my book: There’s Enough Shawls to Go Around.
She Thinks The Internet Killed Romance
It’s no secret that dating in the modern era is a nightmare. Things were so much simpler back 1960s and ‘70s when you could just date your guitarist and then move onto your drummer for a while before a dating a couple of members of the Eagles. Nicks is despondent over the way the internet has sapped romance from our lives:
I don’t like what the Internet has done to people and I don’t like the fact that it’s nailed romance to the wall. I think it’s hard for people to find love these days. That makes me sad as a songwriter, because I want to write about love — I write about my friends’ relationships. People who call me up and say, ‘Oh my God, I met this gorgeous man and I totally fell in love with him,’ and and I’m like, ‘Tell me more!’ But it’s not happening near as much. Girls, don’t take it personally. It’s not you — it’s the Internet. There has to be romance before there can be love and it’s very hard to find romance in this hardcore high-tech world.
She Says Harry Styles Is Her ‘Love Child’
You wouldn’t expect Nicks to cite the former One Direction singer and boy band member as the heir to her rock and roll dynasty, but she’s proud that he decided to pick up a guitar and cool it with the dance moves. She said:
He’s Mick [Fleetwood]’s and my love child. When Harry came into our lives, I said, ‘Oh my God, this is the son I never had.’ So I adopted him. I love Harry, and I’m so happy Harry made a rock & roll record — he could have made a pop record and that would have been the easy way for him. But I guess he decided he wanted to be born in 1948, too — he made a record that was more like 1975.
Stevie’s Always Writing, Even If It’s Poetry About Game Of Thrones And Anthony Bourdain
Between 1975 and 1985 hardly a year went by without either a Fleetwood Mac album or a solo release from Nicks. She told Rolling Stone that she can’t stop writing, and even though she’s not putting out as much musical material now she’s still jotting things down - specifically poems about Game of Thrones:
When you’re in a band with three prolific writers, you get two or three songs per album — maybe four. But I was writing all the time, so they just went into my Gothic trunk of lost songs.
Christine would walk by me — my totally sarcastic best friend. She’d say [imitation of Christine McVie’s English accent] “Soooo. Writing another song, are we?” To this day, I write all the time. I have a poem that I’ve written about Game of Thrones, and I have a really beautiful poem that I’m writing about Anthony Bourdain.
Don’t Expect Stevie Nicks To Slow Down Any Time Soon
Before you ask, yes, Stevie Nicks can still do the splits, and according to the singer she plans on doing them on stage until she drops which isn’t happening any time soon. She told Rolling Stone:
At the ripe and totally young age of 70, my voice hasn’t changed. As long as I take care of myself, I am still going to be doing this when I’m 80. There’s so many things I want to do. I want to do another record. I want to make a mini-series. If the coven reforms, I want to go back to American Horror Story. I tell myself, ‘Do it now, because you’re spry, you’re in good shape, you can still do the splits, you can still dance onstage and wear a short skirt and high six-inch heels.’
She doesn't read her journal entries from early days in the Mac
While speaking with the New Yorker, Nicks explained that she's kept a journal since her early days singing for Fleetwood Mac but she doesn't read the old entries because she'd rather focus on the future. She says:
When I keep my journal, it’s big, like a telephone book, because I always feel that that will never get lost. So what I do is I write on the right side of the page, and then on the left-hand side I write poetry, which I usually take right out of my prose. So lots of times, when I go back to them, it’s to look at the poetry for songs. I would rather spend the time writing a new journal entry than going back and reading old journal entries, because if you go back you’re not going to go forward. I just try to keep going forward.
A suitcase full of her unheard songs were returned to her in the 2010s
In an interview with the New Yorker, Nicks explained that in the early '80s an ex-husband sold one of her old suitcases full of cassette tape demos on accident. She assumed that the songs were lost forever, but then a miracle happened. She said:
He had, like, a yard sale, and I don’t think that the people who bought it necessarily even knew what was exactly in it either. But somebody [eventually] figured out what it was, and then all of a sudden all these demos were out there in the world. So some fans who found out about this bought them and sent them back to me. That’s how cool my fans are.
She's still performing
Rather than rest on her laurels - which she's totally warranted to do - Nicks is still out there performing and giving the fans what they want. She kicked off a solo tour in September 2022 and shows no signs of slowing down.