Stevie Puts Vacation On Hold, Aug 2005

She’ll bring her hits and those of Fleetwood Mac for Reno show

by Neil Baron

Stevie Nicks returns to Reno July 31.

When Stevie Nicks performs July 31 at the Reno Events Center, she’ll do it with a show that shouldn’t exist and an opening act that makes her cry.

“This tour wasn’t even supposed to happen,” Nicks said by phone during a tour stop in Laguna Beach, Calif. “I was supposed to have this whole year off.”

So much for rest. When Eagles frontman Don Henley invited Nicks on a co-headline tour, she accepted (Henley is not performing in Reno). Nicks then was offered four dates to perform in Las Vegas at the Celine Dion Theater in Caesars Palace.

“I would like to be able to play Vegas a couple times a year because then I don’t have to travel,” said Nicks, who lives in Los Angeles. “So I said, `OK, I’ll put my summer off. Let’s go do this.’ But this is a show that we would never have put together had it not been for going into Celine’s theater that is like 110 feet wide with 300-foot IMAX screens. You just can’t take your band in there and play. You have to build a world, and we did. We spent two months doing it and it’s an amazing world. So we came out of Vegas with an outrageous show that we never would have had otherwise.”

Without giving away too much, Nicks’ concert features lots of film and video from the vaults of the past. She also got permission to use the art and paintings of her favorite painter, the late Sulamith Wulfing.

“This has touches and moments of, say, Fillmore West or Winterland or the Avalon Ballroom,” Nicks said. “It reminds me of an amazing show from 1971.”Nicks would know. In 1971, she was a 23-year-old musical neophyte. Now, she is arguably one of the most influential and recognizable female artists in rock `n’ roll history.

With her sultry good looks and gypsy-like appearance, Nicks helped Fleetwood Mac in 1977 create, “Rumours,” one of the best-selling rock albums of all time at more than 17 million copies.When she branched out to release her debut solo album, “Bella Donna,” in 1981, it was an instant hit. Buoyed by the top 20 hits “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Leather and Lace,” and “Edge of Seventeen,” the album reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

After 35 years of entertaining audiences, some might say that Nicks owes her fans little more than to show up, sing her hits and go home. But the 57-year-old chanteuse couldn’t disagree more. During every show, Nicks takes 10 minutes to walk slowly across the stage to shake as many fans’ hands as possible while her band continues to play. For some artists, such a gesture would seem staged and bogus.But not for Nicks.

“It’s physically very hard on my back,” she said by phone during a tour stop in Laguna Beach, Calif. “But it’s something that I’ve always felt was important to do. And I love it because then I have that emotional connection every night with the people that come to see me.

“We also do meet-and-greets every night except for when we have to leave right away. It’s something Fleetwood Mac has always done and I’ve done it in my solo career. It’s a thing that’s good to do. It gives you a minute to have some personal time with your fans. And I have the greatest fans in the world.”

If record sales are any indication, she’s right. Every album Nicks has released has gone platinum, she said. The only exception is her 2001 release, “Trouble in Shangri-La,” which is soon to go platinum, she said. That album, Nicks first studio release since 1994’s “Street Angel,” is one of her favorites. She spent nearly four years pouring her emotions into her words at a time when she was having doubts about her songwriting skills.

When it came time to record, Nicks recruited the vocal talents of Macy Gray, Sarah McLachlan and Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks, each of whom performed on one song. Nicks’ main collaborator was Sheryl Crow, who credits Nicks as one of her main musical inspirations.

“I really felt that was my masterpiece,” Nicks said. “But considering what happened, I can’t be too upset.”Like many albums released in the summer of 2001, “Trouble in Shangri-La” got lost in the madness that was the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Nicks said she is unsure if she’ll release another solo record.

“I really don’t know what to do,” she said. “I’m totally writing. I could go into the studio tomorrow and start a solo record. I think I get better as a writer every day because I work on it constantly. So it’s not like I couldn’t do it, but …”Her voice trails off. Why bother when it has little chance of playing on the radio, which means fewer people have a chance to hear the record?

Nicks doesn’t lament the current state of radio as much for herself as she does for those she’ll likely never know.”There’s a lot of amazing talented groups and solo singer-songwriters that are never going to make it because there’s nobody to give them a chance. I know they’re out there, but whether or not we ever get to know they exist is another question.”

Nicks is helping to change that in her own small way by offering Vanessa Carlton the opportunity to open the show.”She is my baby chick,” Nicks said. “I adore her and I think she is one of the best singer-songwriters to come along in a long time. Like many others,
if she has some people behind her that nurture her and let her spend time to develop who she is, I think that she’ll be around in 30 years, like myself. “She kills me every night. Sometimes, I can’t watch her because she makes me cry. She makes me think of me when I was 24 and it chokes me up. It chokes me up so bad I have to leave. I can’t watch her. That’s the biggest compliment I could give to anybody. She’s amazing.”

A random thought from Nicks

Usually in interviews, we’ll ask if the artist has anything they want to add. The answer usually is “no.” Stevie Nicks had something to add. She took time from her busy schedule recently to visit extremely injured soldiers returning from war at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C. “I spent the whole day with them,” she said. “It opened my eyes to the fact that there’s a lot of kids out there that are so injured their lives will never be the same. If you happen to be in a city with a military hospital, get a plate of cookies together and go visit them because they are so isolated and so lonely. It broke my heart. It was an eye-opening experience for me. It really doesn’t matter how you feel about war. What matters is that these kids are paying a price and they’re alone and they’re lonely. That’s what I would like people to do. Take some candy and spend a little time with them. You’d be amazed what it means to them.”

* Stevie Nicks online:

If you want to go:
Stevie Nicks performs at 8 p.m. July 31 at the downtown Reno Events Center with opening act Vanessa Carlson. Tickets are $85, $65, $55 and $45 at Ticketmaster outlets and fee-free at the Silver Legacy, Eldorado, Harrah’s Reno and Circus Circus.

Details: 787-8497.


Stevie Nicks and Vanessa Carlton, Borgato Casino Pre Show, June 2005

Stevie Nicks with Vanessa Carlton

June 24, 2005
For At The Shore, (609) 272-7017

Stevie Nicks’ latest concert is even `more witchy’ than some of her previous tours.

Nicks shows off `dark side’

Nicks’ “Gold Dust Tour,” making a stop at Borgata on June 30 and July 1, will have a touch of Vegas flash, thanks to the unlikely influence of Celine Dion and Elton John.

The Fleetwood Mac frontwoman originally designed her latest solo concert for a four-night stand in May at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, the 4,100-seat theater where Dion and John each perform on a massive 110-foot-wide stage.

“We watched Celine Dion — we don’t have 50 dancers. We watched Elton John — we don’t have 50 years of film … Elton filmed everything he did,” Nicks recalls of her first visits to the theater. “We said, `What in the world are we going to do?'”

The singer/songwriter and her team developed elaborate visuals, including images from one of her favorite films, Jean Cocteau’s 1946 version of “Beauty and the Beast,” and her favorite artists, Sulamith Wülfing (for whom she named one of her beloved Yorkshire terriers), to create a “dark” show that’s even “more witchy” than previous efforts.

“The show we’ve come out with now is pretty amazing because of all that extra thought that went into putting it all together,” Nicks says. “If we hadn’t had the Vegas show, it would have been good, but it wouldn’t have been like this.”

Having warmed up with the Vegas gig, Nicks moved into a tour with Don Henley, with whom she recorded “Leather and Lace” on her 1981 solo debut, “Bella Donna.” The two played sets of their own material and performed several duets.

“I sang `Hotel California’ (and I thought) I lived through that,” says Nicks, who kicked off the joint tour on June 3 in Philadelphia. “Don and I went out when he was recording `Hotel California’ at the end of the `Rumours’ recording. We lived those words in `Hotel California.’

“I’m up there singing, going, `Oh my God, here’s my life.’ I couldn’t help but be somewhat groupied out. I was a little stunned every night at the amazing gift to be able to sing that song every night with an Eagle.”

When the tour was shortened to 10 dates due to Henley’s commitments with the Eagles, Nicks decided to schedule her own summer outing; originally she planned to take most of this year off after wrapping a two-and-a-half-year, 135-date tour with Fleetwood Mac last fall.

“It’s always interesting to leave the Fleetwood Mac world and come back into my own world,” she says. “`Gold Dust Woman’ is different in my world, and so is `Dreams’ and so is `Rhiannon.’ I always feel with these songs that it’s been a blessing for me to be able to go back and forth.

“We always go back and start from the original version with Fleetwood Mac and my band. But they always come out slightly different.”

In addition to those staples and hits like “Edge of Seventeen,” “The Chain” and “Stand Back,” Nicks has added to her set list some little performed gems, including “Beauty and the Beast” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You.”

“I’ve taken the French movie `Beauty and the Beast’ from the ’40s, which is the reason I wrote the song — we put (footage) behind me,” Nicks says. “It’s just stunning. I can hardly keep from bursting into tears … it’s so poignant when I’m singing it.”

Joining Nicks for “Circle Dance,” a Bonnie Raitt cover, will be her opening act, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton, who’s touring behind her sophomore release, “Harmonium.”

“I’ve been friends with Vanessa for quite a while,” Nicks says. “Really, I think she’s one of the great ones. I want to take her on tour so I can put her in front of a lot of people, so people can see how great she is and remember that amazing first album.

“She’s a new artist … in this age of total chaos in the music business, if you don’t sell 10 million copies of your album, you’re just out of luck. It’s so hard. I want to do what I can to help her. I think she’s great. I think she’s one of those people who will still be around in 30 years when I’m dead. I want some of these women to not give up. We need them.”

Having survived numerous personal and career ups and downs, including drug addiction and sometimes turbulent relations with Fleetwood Mac, Nicks has been embraced by many female artists who followed her.

Her last solo album, 2001’s “Trouble in Shangri-La” featured contributions from Sheryl Crow, who produced some tracks, Macy Gray and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines, who subsequently covered “Landslide,” Nicks’ 1975 Fleetwood Mac hit.

“I’m thrilled that I can be some sort of an influence to these women,” Nicks says. “I hope I’ve been a good influence to them, so they’ll totally keep going.

“I think the music business is in terrible trouble. They don’t nurture artists. If you have a big hit record and a big hit single and you don’t follow it up, you are s–t out of luck.”

Nicks knows of what she speaks. Originally a duo with Lindsay Buckingham, her then-boyfriend, the two were dropped by their label after their 1973 debut didn’t sell well.

“Lindsay and I were dropped like a rock,” she recalls. “If it weren’t that we had a great producer who supported us full on for three years, we never would have made it.”

They joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and helped turn the band into one of the most successful groups of the 1970s and ’80s. The group’s Grammy-winning 1977 release, “Rumours,” sold 17 million copies, making it one of the best sellers of all time. Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Today, the group’s best-known line up, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Buckingham and Nicks (minus Christine McVie), is on hiatus, but still together. Nicks says the Mac probably will tour in 2007.

“We get all the rumors that Fleetwood Mac is going to break up,” Nicks says. “Fleetwood Mac is never going to break up. We have our problems. We go away from each other. We spend time with family and and friends and the problems go away, and you get back together and everyone’s excited.”

However, Christine McVie, has left the group, much to Nicks’ disappointment.

“In my wildest dreams, I would hope Christine would change her mind and come back,” she says. “If there’s anything I could do to change her mind, I would be in London to get her back.

“Unless she has a total mind meld and decides she’s ready to rock again, I don’t think she’s every going to come back.”

Once Nicks wraps her solo tour in September, she will come full circle to a favorite project: to make a film based on the books of Rhiannon, the mythical character who inspired one of her best known songs.

“This would be somewhere between `Braveheart’ and `The Lord of the Rings’ and `Star Wars,'” Nicks says. “It’s generations of gods and goddesses … it’s the stories the Welsh left behind — how to be in love, how to have kids, how not to fight your benefactors, how to run the world basically — told through the eyes of a fairy tale.

“I feel like it’s my spiritual path to do this. I wanted to do this in 1980. It was in my original contract with Atlantic Records. I was excited then as I am now. Then my whole solo career was busting. It had to be put on the back burner. I feel like it’s come to the surface in a big way.

“People might go, `Oh, I’m so sure.’ But when I get in my head I’m going to do something, I’m never not successful. I feel like when you’re as passionate about something like this as I am, you can make it happen.”


Stevie Nicks with Vanessa Carlton
WHEN: 8 p.m. Thursday, June 30, and 8 p.m. Friday, July 1
WHERE: Event Center at Borgata, Atlantic City
HOW MUCH: Tickets are $75, $95 and $125 and available at Borgata box office or Ticketmaster at (800) 736-1420 or

Stevie Nicks – Summerfest Review, July 2005

Nicks’ power isn’t fleeting – She makes most of her own show


July 4, 2005

Who needs Don Henley?

Stevie Nicks performs Monday night at the Marcus Amphitheater. The amphitheater was only half-full, but Nicks gave a full-scale performance in her Summerfest appearance.

Stevie Nicks, originally scheduled to co-headline a Summerfest show with her occasional duet partner, put on a heady “Leather and Lace” show all on her own Monday night at the Marcus Amphitheater. Alternating dreamy power ballads with utter rock-outs – including her first encore, a feisty run-through of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” -Nicks was more force of nature than mere front woman during a two-hour set. At a time when the women of pop music are too often stripper wannabes lip-synching to a song someone else wrote, Nicks’ classy and commanding presence felt like a revelation.

With her sleek blond hair and a succession of floaty, sparkly, mostly black outfits, Nicks’ appearance remained timeless, as did her voice. Her distinctive smoky alto was as powerful as ever, particularly on “Landslide,” final encore “Beauty and the Beast” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You,” a song Nicks dedicated to “all those kids who we’re going to help” after making a pitch to the audience to sign an online petition to end world poverty.

Nicks mixed signature hits from her time in Fleetwood Mac, such as “Rhiannon,” with unexpected gems that included a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “Circle Dance.”

But it was arguably the chunks of the set from her own successful solo career that packed the most power, including “Fall From Grace” and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” with longtime guitarist Waddy Wachtel standing in for Tom Petty on the vocal duel with Nicks.

Despite an amphitheater that was barely half-full, Nicks and her nine-piece backing band never lagged in their energy or seemed in a hurry to get back to the tour bus.

Before the encores, the band riffed on “Edge of 17” for several minutes as a gracious Nicks shook fans’ hands and kissed one little girl in the crowd.

Wouldn’t it be nice if that little girl went home realizing chicks can write their own songs and rock out well into their 50s?

Self-possessed beyond her years and downright charming, opening act Vanessa Carlton overcame some early breathiness on set opener “Ordinary Day” to wow the crowd with a half-hour collection of songs, including the new “This Time.” Alone on stage with her piano, Carlton proved she has much more substance to offer than her vanilla hit “Thousand Miles.” Among the highlights was “White Houses,” a thoughtful reflection on losing one’s virginity – and a song deemed too risqué for booty-loving MTV, an irony Carlton noted during her tart introduction of the song.