I was lucky enough to see Stevie perform live with Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden this April and it was rad, like exceptionally so. Like so rad that I came home and bought tickets for their Jones Beach concert in June.
Unlike most people I was a Stevie fan (really!) before I knew Fleetwood Mac's music, or more appropriately, before I knew the music I was listening to was played by Fleetwood Mac (those eternal two-for-Tuesday jams that everyone knows, moms bouncing in the driver's seat, cousins twirling out on the dock at sunset). I stole Stevie's album, Trouble in Shangri-La, from my mother in 2002, and spent a year listening to it on repeat, wondering who the sorcerer was.
This is the album cover of Trouble in Shangri-La, and if you've ever been sort of a cape (read: fantasy nerd), then Stevie's outfit probably caught your attention as it did mine. The corset, granny boots, and handkerchief skirt could have come out of my mom's closet from anytime between 1979 and 1992, or out of many of the books I’ve enjoyed between 1999 and now. So this was my introduction to Stevie Nicks, this album, not a trace of Lindsey Buckingham to be found artistically, just Stevie warbling over synthesizers dramatically and, in my mind, wandering through mystical landscapes, cape flowing proudly.
Fast-forward to 2011, when Stevie Nicks became less of an artist I liked and more of an artist who made me cry on the floor in my apartment. A friend introduced me to Tusk, which is Fleetwood Mac’s strangest and most exciting album as far as I’m concerned. I only listened to two songs during this period of my Fleetwood life: “Beautiful Child,” and “Storms”. I’ve heard Fleetwood Mac be described as Divorce Rock; these two songs pretty much crystallize that notion.
I tell you this because that’s what Stevie does to you. She makes you listen, and when the listening is over, you sort of want to curl up and cry, or somehow take her into yourself and keep her there. You may not know this, but over the course of her career Stevie’s gotten a lot of flack. She’s flake, a ditz, a mooncalf, not talented, blah blah blah. It’s all crap. Stevie’s music stays with you, Stevie stays with you. No -- she haunts you.
They say that 2013 is the Year of Fleetwood Mac. I’ve been having the adulthood of Stevie Nicks. Stevie wasn’t a feminist, she said so herself, but she was an independent woman and despite being a rock pioneer, she took a lot of that aforementioned flack for the very basic “crime” of being a woman. Not to mention being a beautiful woman who did drugs, slept around, and sang about wolves and shit. It could not have been easy, and it still isn’t, and if you ever see her solo she talks a lot of shit and so what, she totally should.
It's true, Stevie Nicks and I don’t have very much in common on the average day. She’s a flowy-skirt moon goddess and I’m a jeans/blouse/clogs kind of girl. She’s an international sensation with a career spanning decades and I sit at a desk. We both have blonde hair and an affection (me: currently, her: previously) for klonopin and that’s where the similarities end. But despite this, I feel that you should know that Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal. Inside of me every day there’s a woman holding a lace covered tambourine, stamping her granny boots on the ground in time to the beat, and hoping she doesn’t trip over her flowing skirt. There's a woman who knows really sincerely that she's just as good as everyone else. A fearless woman, working her look, the look she chose, the look that's evolving with her. That Stevie, that timeless Stevie, is my inspiration every day.
When I walk around my neighborhood and I see girls rocking top hats and fringed blouses, when I see girls in belled sleeves and long skirts and platforms, when I encounter this exciting “pastel goth” thing that’s happening right now, I think of Stevie. I think of her incredible commitment to “her thing,” (or as she calls it, her uniform), which is kind of a California girl meets Victorian orphan meets witch meets John William Waterhouse painting combo. I see traces of Stevie all over the place. Do I wish that my personal wardrobe had more Stevie? Sure. Do I get my hair done every 4 months or so and say, “we’re going for Stevie Nicks-ish thing?” Yes. Do I want to show you pictures of Stevie now and talk about her some more? Yes.
This is what I'm talking about. The hair, even the permed bangs, everything about this. The simple gold jewelry and that purple pattern blouse? Gah. And my attempt, because I think you can really see what I'm trying to get my hairstylist to figure out over here.
Ok, enough of me. Can you even handle this? Is that a parrot? What's going on here? I think she has crystals woven into her hair. She's basically the love-child of this:
You know I'm right. Seriously:
It's not a minor obsession. It's a major obsession. And I can seriously relate to all of her weird interpersonal stuff.
A very young Stevie with Lindsey Buckingham. She hates this photograph. After it was taken she decided on being "very sexy under 18 pounds of lace and chiffon." It worked for her, clearly.
An adorable top-hatted Stevie with a very tall, also hatted Mick Fleetwood. I like to think about Mick Fleetwood meeting Lindsey and Stevie, and having this very real "I knew they were trouble when they walked in" kind of moment but being super taken with them despite this because they were beautiful and 10 years his junior and so talented.
Stevie with Lindsey really WEARING his hair. His velvet blazer is worth noting. Her bangs look wonderful.
Finally, Stevie in a beautiful silk nightgown, posing for a photo shoot with Mick Fleetwood -- I think it's pretty obvious that her sex life was complicated.
The evolution of her look is outstanding.
Long nails, lots of rings, layered necklaces, aviators, sick bangs, a shawl and a fuck-you expression: perfection.
Simultaneously angelic and bad-ass. Again, layered necklaces, rings, a scarf.
Pink, lace, silk, chiffon, so much hair. Yes. Yes forever.
Stevie lives. Long live Stevie.