Stevie Nicks: the return of Fleetwood Mac

The Guardian UK
Caspar Llewellyn Smith
Jan 12th 2013

Stevie Nicks’s tumultuous life as a rock queen led her to addiction, heartbreak and “insanity”. As Fleetwood Mac reunite, she tells Caspar Llewellyn Smith why she’s going back for more
Stevie NicksStevie Nicks: ‘I always wanted to be a songwriter: I told my parents when I was 15 and a half.’ Photograph: Jason Bell/Camera Press



Before I meet Stevie Nicks, I hear her. She is downstairs somewhere in the houseshe’s renting on the beach in Malibu – a short drive, traffic allowing, up the Californian coastline from the two homes she owns in LA – and looking for her dark glasses. It’s early eveninginDecember and has long since turned dark outside, but if you’re the ultimate rock goddess – NME‘s recent description, testament to an ongoing revaluation of interest inFleetwood Mac among the younger generation – wearing shades at night goes with the territory.

Scented candles are spaced throughout the room and there’s a well-thumbed copy of the first book inThe TwilightSaga on a side table – signsthat suggest that the 64-year-old singer is comfortably in residence. Plus there’s her Yorkshire terrier, getting stuck continuously under my feet. But, as Nicks says, when all five feet one-and-a-half inches of her does emerge at the top of the stairs, she can’t seem to settle.

In factshe shouldn’t be here at all (and wasn’t planning any interviews), but on holiday in the Florida Keys she was getting bitten to death by bugs and, besides, felt bored. Going home to either of her places in the city wasn’t an option because right now she’s “making a molecular change”: parking her solo career, which saw her tour the world with her solo album In Your Dreamsfor the past two years, and getting ready for the return of the Mac.

Instead she asked to see if this place, which she’d rented previously, was available. “I’m trying to rest and it’s really hard to rest because in either one of my own houses I feel like I should be working,” she explains. “I’ve been coming here off and on for nearly 10 years and there’s absolutely nothing for me to do except draw or sit and write poetry or bring the electric piano down.” Problem is, “I’ve been here since Tuesday and I haven’t managed yet to actually come up here at three in the afternoon and go sit on that miserable couch and draw for a few hours – because that’s when I know I’ve made a change.”

Despite the homely touches, the house looks perfectly nondescript from theoutside, and it’s modestly apportioned by the standards of LA rock aristocracy. But then Nicks doesn’t play the diva either – kooky fan of fantasy, yes (her fondness for the oeuvre of Stephenie Meyer and liking for US fantasy TV series Game of Thrones fits right into that), but not the figure who insisted during Fleetwood Mac‘s Tusk tour that every hotel room she stayed in be painted pink and must house a white piano.

It is now 40 years since her first album, Buckingham Nicks – the fruit of her relationship, both musical and romantic, with Lindsey Buckingham – and life is coming full circle. Later this month, the most classic of all Fleetwood Mac albums, Rumours, gets the full reissue treatment, and the band will hit the road again for a US tour that will also likely come to Europe. (Of the rumours that they’ll headline Glastonbury, Nicks is noncommittal, though she does say she’d love to do it.) Continue reading