By Craig McLean
May 27th, 2017
Turning her back on Fleetwood Mac. Teaming up with Chrissie Hynde. And ditching drugs with a little help from Prince. The rock icon confronts all those rumours
Now this is a treat. It’s Saturday night in a cavernous rehearsal facility in the San Fernando Valley, over the hills from Hollywood, and I’m enjoying a private concert from rock ’n’ roll’s greatest woman – a living, breathing, dancing, sunglasses-indoors legend. Ahead of an American tour, Stevie Nicks is running through a selection of hits from her multi-million-selling career as a solo artist and as frontwoman with Fleetwood Mac.
Rhiannon, Gold Dust Woman, Stand Back, The Wild Heart, Edge Of Seventeen: these are some of the best-loved songs of the past 40 years. And the woman who wrote them – more used to wowing arenas – is standing a few feet away, singing them to me, bashing a tambourine as if her life depended on it, swirling in a vision of black scarves and drapes.
During a break, I sit down with Nicks and, as she cradles her beloved terrier Lily, she talks. And talks. At the age of 69, this warm, witty woman remains as irrepressible as ever. As is usual in the world of Fleetwood Mac, there’s a lot to discuss. One topic is her upcoming US shows with fellow icon Chrissie Hynde, in support of Nicks’ 24 Karat Gold album. Another is rumours of a Fleetwood Mac tour – a tour that’s possibly a farewell one.
But more pressing is the imminent release of Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie. It’s ostensibly a duo album from Mac guitarist Buckingham and keyboard player/singer McVie. In the set-up and billing, it feels like a successor to Buckingham Nicks. This legendary ‘lost’ 1973 album was made by Stevie and Lindsey – then a couple – before the Californians joined a mouldering English blues band led by drummer Mick Fleetwood and assisted by bass player John McVie.
Their duo act didn’t last, and neither did their relationship. But Nicks’ and Buckingham’s songwriting contribution – not to mention their split, as famously documented in their songs on 1977’s 40-million-selling album Rumours – helped rocket-power Fleetwood Mac to Seventies rock’s mega-league.