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Stevie Nicks, Hot '70s Queen Of Rock 'N Roll, In Rare Photos

Music | May 24, 2018

Stevie Nicks circa 1975.Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns

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 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 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 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' 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.

Stevie Nicks Is A Style Icon

Stevie Nicks's 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. 

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 nude, and was said to have flown into a rage when Nicks initially refused to pose topless. 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.

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.

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 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.

An Outtake From The Buckingham-Nicks Album Cover

Reddit

While this 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*. This is me taking a nude photograph with you, 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."

Tags: 1970s Rock History | Fleetwood Mac | Ladies | Lindsey Buckingham | Rare Facts And Stories About History | Rock History | Stevie Nicks

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.