WHILE I am far too loud and proud about my love of Fleetwood Mac for it to be truly counted as a ‘guilty pleasure’, I fear that my lifelong obsession with singer Stevie Nicks does rather fit the bill owing the love-hate nature of my relationship with her (one of which she is, of course, entirely unaware).
Nicks appeals to the fairy princess in all women. Even past 60. she’s like a timeless sorceress. I’m sure that’s got more to do with good cosmetic surgery than actual witchcraft, but nevertheless, she looks damn fine, even if she can no longer hit the highest notes (septum damage from years of cocaine use may have something to do with that). I believe it should be a right of passage for all teenage girls to want to be Stevie Nicks. I certainly did. It’s a natural progression from wanting to be Barbie. Or, in my case, Sindy. It’s a combination of the floaty stage outfits and the elemental, mysterious sounding song titles (Dreams, Sisters of the Moon, Gypsy, and of course, Rhiannon, named after a mythical Welsh witch).
On the other hand, there are all those rather silly life decisions Nicks appears to have made (marry your best friend’s widower; swop a hardcore coke addition for an even heavier one to prescription tranquillisers - see the video to Big Love for the consequences; and, most heinously of all, dumping the godlike Lindsey Buckingham just because he achieves the impossible and manages to be even more narcissistic than you). This is is a clearly a woman who needs drama in her life, and if it’s not happening naturally, she’ll create it. As she sings in Storms: “Never have I been a blue calm sea; I have always been a storm.”
She may be a strong character, but Nicks doesn’t do much for the feminist cause. It’s quite clear from her lyrics that she falls far to heavily for virtually every man who shows a passing interest in her (think there’s been a few of those), and in Beautiful Child sets the cause of womankind back a fair few years by not only suggesting that she is “too trusting, yes... but then women usually are”, but also that from now on “I will do as I am told”. Grrr.
But in her wonderfully wibbly way, NIcks reflects the innate madness in every woman, and we should applaud her for that. She appears to have no qualms about wearing her heart on her sleeve in her lyrics, even if it might make her look a teensy bit silly (who else would describe drummer Mick Fleetwood, a man who looks like he has been smashed in the face with a spade, as a “Beautiful Child”, as she allegedly does in her song of the same name? No wonder he dumped Nicks for her presumably more sane friend Sara. Guess what Nicks did to get over him...? Yes, she wrote a song about it. Called Sara. Bet that really helped smooth things over between the three of them.
It’s totally apt that the among Nicks’ most high profile devotees is Lindsay Lohan, herself not the most stable of young women. Lohan has not only covered Nicks’ revenge-on-guitarists-everywhere Edge of Seventeen during her short-lived pop career, but apparently wants to buy the rights to her life and play her in a biopic. In response to which, Nicks has apparently said: “Over my dead body. She [Lohan] needs to stop doing drugs and get a grip.”
Oh yes, this woman has a sense of humour alright. That’s clear from the name of her official website, The Nicks Fix. Former drug habit... fix... getit? Stevie Nicks, loving you goes against all rational thought, yet love you I do. You are indeed my guilty pleasure.
- This article was first written for Issue 7 of the fabulous Lights Go Out punk fanzine in April 2010. I did write it, though.
For more guilty pleasures, plus interviews with The Arteries, Tony Sly from No Use For A Name, Joey Cape from Lagwagon, Hearts Under Fire, The Dangerous Summer, Manda Rin from bis and I.C.H. (nope, I don't know who they are either), plus CD and gig reviews and columns, get your copy for £1 (plus 50p for postage) from
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