Q & A with Stevie Nicks

I used my sexuality a certain way. I think being a little mysterious works better

Rolling Stone Magazine
Issue 872
Published: 5th July 2001

A Fog is pouring over the Pacific Coast Highway toward Stevie Nicks' Sourthern California home, but the singer's mood could hardly be brighter. The Fleetwood Mac alumna's Trouble in Shangri-La has just entered the Billboard 200 at an impressive Number Five. Sheryl Crow, who co-produced five racks, joined Nicks on the album, as did Macy Gary Sarah McClachan and Dixie Chick Natalie Maims, Nicks is also recovering from drug addiction - her latest was to the tranquiliser Klonopin.

More recently, she's come back from shooting her part in Destiny's Child's video for Bootylicious, which samples the Nicks classic "Edge of Seventeen." The wild thing is we're together at like, Number One and Number Five, and, of course, there's about a S,000 year age difference," Nicks says with a sunny laugh.

[Rolling Stone] Do you feel you have become a sort of Mother Superior for women in music?
[Stevie Nicks] I do. I do. And it's a nice feeling - I certainly would have never gone out Looking far that, but it seems to be coming to me. I guess these are just all my lost children coming back into my arms.

[RS] What do you think of how women in music sell their sexuality these days?
[SN] I definitely used my sexuality in a certain way I kind of draped it all in chiffon and soft light and suede boots. Everybody now is just much more blatant. Personally, I think that being a little more mysterious works better and it lasts longer. You should be very careful that you don't build everything you have around hear cute you are or hear sexy you are, because, unfortunately no matter how cute you are or how sexy you are, in fifteen years, that won't be the most important part of your music. I knew that in my twenties and  I really prepared for that.

[RS] Do Players really only love you when they're playing?
[SN] That's just about groupies and rock stars and what happens out there on the mad. It really doesn't happen out there on the road to women. It didn't really happen to me, but I saw it happening all around me.

[RS] I hear you're into doing Pilates these days. Has Pilates replaced Klonopin for you'
[SN] No, nothing replaces Klonopin. I'm not addicted to working out. I enjoy it, and I am doing it now not because I want to be thin but because I want to be healthy, and I want to be healthy in twenty years.

[RS] With all that you've lived through, are you surprised you're still alive?
[SN] I am amazed. I feel very lucky. If I had not caught that Klonopin thing, I am absolutely sure I would have been dead in a year - no doubt in my mind. I feel really lucky that somebody tapped me on my shoulder- some little spirit - and said, you know what? You better go to a hospital right now and get better.

[RS] Did drugs ever erode your love for music?
[SN] The Klonopin eroded my love for everything. Klonopin is a tranquilliser. So between Klonopin for the calm and some Prozac for the wellness feeling, you are never inspired. That's what it does.

[RS] Did you sense that this album was going to turn things around for you?
[SN] Well, I knew that this record would either make me or break me. I figured if I could do an album that the world loved after being addicted to that Klonopin stuff for eight years, and just having that be such a black hole, that I would be back on my way That's kind of how I feel. And the Fleetwood Mac reunion just flipped in there. I didn't ever think that Fleetwood Mac would get back together. On that tour, I really regained my power, so when I came home from the Fleetwood Mac tour I was really ready to finish the record.

[RS] Even though Christine McVie has now retired from the group, is it safe to say that there is a future for Fleetwood Mac?
[SN] Totally. Lindsey Buckingham and I and Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, we are going to do this. Christine is OK. She has set us free and let us go. And she wants us to do this if we want to. And so were going to do it. As soon as l am done with this Shangri-La tour, and Lindsey is finished doing whatever he does in the next year, we'll be done and we'll come together, and we'll do a record. And there's a possibility that Sheryl could be a little involved in that.

[RS] As someone who lived though the ultimate rock n' roll interoffice romance, do you have any advice for us on the subject?
[SN] It doesn't work. It just doesn't, because when all the business and everything else is blended. You don't have any space for anything.

[RS] On the other hand, you've had some fascinating men in your life - Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Jimmy Iovine.
[SN] They are all still my really good friends today. I just talked to Don Henley an hour and a half ago. We just did an incredible benefit for MS in Dallas two weeks ago. All the men who were in my life I'm friends with now, and it's really nice. I chose to not be married I chose to be single. I have alot of fun this way I can do anything I want, go anywhere I want, be with anybody I want, and I'm not angering anybody Nobody is ever upset with me.

[RS] It must be intimidating to ask you out. It's like asking out Cinderella
[SN] I would think it would be very intimidating for people. That's probably why most people don't, you know because they're scared [laughs]. I figure if there's a soul mate for me out there somewhere I'll find him. He'll find me.

[RS] Is the secret of your success that you really are a witch after all?
[SN] I'm not a Witch.

[RS] Not even, a goad witch, Stevie?
[SN] I just like Halloween, and I thought that blondes look skinnier in black. That was my whole idea for that whole thing - a long cool woman in a black dress, right?