Being Stevie Nicks: The Gypsy Gold Dust Woman's Life Lessons

Music | November 17, 2017

Stevie Nicks in the recording studio, with dog, circa 1975. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)

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.

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'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.

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.

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 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 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?

Tags: Fleetwood Mac | Ladies | Stevie Nicks | What Did She Do?...

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Rebeka Knott


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.