Q&A: Stevie Nicks on Comedy, Fan Gifts, and ‘Star Trek’

Popular on Rolling Stone

Stevie Nicks is not merely a woman, she’s a way of life: the shawls, the candies, the boots, the white-winged doves singin’, “Whoo, baby, whoo, I say, whoo. Refreshingly, Nicks will gamely answer any question posed to her, which reflects her newfound, sometimes startling candor in interviews. Nicks, who recent took up permanent residence in Phoenix, is currently on the road in support of her fifth solo endeavor, Street Angel, which marks a return to the guitars of her past. She dials us up from a tour stop in Pittsburgh.

Suddenly, you’re in all the magazines. Y’know, you’re funny.
I am funny. [Laughs] I crack up my band constantly. I could have been a comedian if I’d really wanted to. In Fleetwood Mac, I was pretty much told to be quiet at all times. I was so intimidated because I didn’t feel like anybody really wanted me to be in that band and that they only wanted Lindsey [Buckingham] and me along for the ride.

How has it been on the road so far?
I love being on the road. I’m going on a bus this time, which I’ve never done. I realized that since I don’t go to sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning anyway, it’s stupid for me to go home from a concert and sleep, because I can’t. And my bus is so comfy. I have my quilt and my fishnet hanging from the ceiling and all my special pillows —

How many?
We’re talking eight fabulous feather pillows. And, of course, my king-size quilt completely takes up the entire double bed, and my thing hanging from the ceiling completely takes up the entire room.

What do you do with all the stuff people throw onstage?
We take it with us. I get it all back to Phoenix, and we give to a children’s hospital or to charities. I got a beautiful necklace that belonged to somebody’s grandmother last night. And I keep flowers. On the last tour I took all the flowers and dried them and made incredible potpourri and made little velvet bags and filled them with the petals for the crew. We gave them this fabulous little magic bag at the end of the tour. The crew are such guy guys, but they’re so precious. They seem to love the little bit of a feminine touch that going on the road with me gives them.

Indulge me for a moment. Is your bedroom everything I picture?
Yes, it is. It’s fabulous, not because there’s a lot of expensive stuff in it but because of all the neat stuff I’ve collected since I was in high schooL There’s a lamp that my mom bought for me when I first joined Fleetwood Mac. It’s a blue Tiffany lamp, dark blue, and it’s called the blue lamp. I keep a fireplace burning – even when it’s 99 degrees. I just turn the air-conditioning down. My mother goes crazy. She says, “Do you know how much money you spend to keep this house cool, and then you burn fires in every single room? You’re so weird, Stevie.” A fire creates ambience. I need that fire. So back off, Mom.

How did you lure Bob Dylan out to join in on “Just Like a Woman”?
I called him and told him that I had recorded the song. I nearly finished it because I wasn’t going to ask him to come down and hear an unfinished track. You just don’t do that to Bob Dylan. You’re very careful, everything you do and say around him, because he’s really sensitive. You don’t want to frighten him.

When’s the last time you and Lindsey Buckingham spoke?
[Resignedly] I haven’t talked to him since the inauguration. We’re really not friends. We’re really not anything. We did not break up friends, and we have never been friends since. He is not really able to have any kind of relationship with me. I just bug him to death. Everything I do is abrasive to him. He’s scary when he gets mad.

Are you aware of the Night of a Thousand Stevies that happens periodically at different clubs in New York? Everyone, both men and women, dresses up as you and performs as you.
You’re kidding. How amazing! Wow.

If you were in New York, would you ever show up, or would that freak you out?
If they’re willing to go to the trouble to do something like that, Id have to go.

How many pairs of platform boots do you think you have?
About 25 pairs. I have them in rose pink and gray blue and mauve. I have three or four or five pairs I wear every night.

What TV show do you never miss?
You’re gonna laugh. One of my favorite shows is Star Trek: The Next Generation. I don’t usually like science fiction. But I particularly like Capt. Jean-Luc Picard. When everything’s closing in on me, I can go to my living room at home, put on my surround sound, and the whole room sounds like we’re flying. I have the Enterprise at my fingertips.

If you were a whitewinged dove, where would you perch?
In Arizona.

You said recently that you have a teen-age personality. How so?
I think probably that comes from the dancing me, because I love to dance, and I can do cartwheels, and I can jump down into splits. Yesterday my assistant was dying, because back here they have the ESPN hip-hop aerobics at 6 in the morning, and I’m doing this. She said, “Nobody would believe this, Stevie. You’re 46 years old.” I land of have a cheerleadery side.

When’s the last time you did a cartwheel?
Probably the last time I was in my ballet room in Phoenix. It has a really fabulous ballet bar that some fan carved for me. It has my name and the year. It’s wood, and it’s just beautiful. I built this room around this bar.

You can do the full splits?
Both legs. I’m really limber.


This story is from the September 22nd, 1994 issue of Rolling Stone.