most of my friends will know this already, but i have an obsession with stevie nicks. i love her. i grew up on classic rock, & fleetwood mac was always one of my favorites…of course not for christine mcvie’s gross, deep drone, but for stevie’s raspy coo. i believe it was grace slick who once called stevie nicks “the magic witch” on some sort of vh1 countdown a few years ago, and i think that’s a pretty accurate description. magic witch indeed.
i was 8 when the other side of the mirror was released. and you’d better believe i took my little 8 year old ass straight to the music section of payless & bought that shit with my allowance. i think i may have wet myself when i saw the cover…lots of heavy makeup, huge hair, puffy red dress…what is not to love?
naturally, after purchasing this little gem, i set up shop in my bedroom. while mom & dad were busy watching miami vice, i’d shut my door, turn out the lights & go to town. this involved meticulous placement of a lavender flashlight on my window sill (for a spotlight), and then tying a whole bunch of scarves to my very tall bed post, which acted as my microphone. lip syncing, kids. it was so rad. my favorite song was the first track, “rooms on fire”. i’d rewind it for the encore at the end of my set & wrap it up just in time to watch the wonder years.
my love for stevie has never really piped down; when i heard that she would be making a stop in portland supporting her 2001 record trouble in shangri-la, i knew we had to go. i remember the exact day i bought trouble. it was an unseasonably hot may (15th) day, & we had gone to the record store down the street to pick it up, along with the new depeche mode, exciter. i waited patiently until sam & i got home to crack the seal on stevie, and instantly i was so in love with this record. some of the songs are really embarrassing, with dumb lyrics like, “sorcerer, who is the master…a man and woman on a star stream…” but even still, it’s so good. i listened to that all summer long, and with each subsequent listen it takes me right back to that summer in our eastside apartment…i can almost smell the wretched berry insense sam & i had at the time. gross. but anyway. when we finally made it to the show that august, oh my god. what. an. amazing. show. except for the tweaked out & drunk aging hippies seated directly in behind us, yelling out “go on, stevie! get it, girl! go stevie, yeah!” every two seconds. ugh. but seeing the magic witch twirl in strobe lights to “stand back” was face-melting. in a good way. really.
after some of the songs, she would slip backstage & do a quick wardrobe change. but it wasn’t graceful. she would have someone come grab her arm and guide her back, while she stumbled & shuffled along. sam & i figured it was because she was completely loaded. but, it turns out, her vision is so shot she can hardly see a thing & needs a human seeing-eye dog! fascinating. i also learned that as she’s aged, her voice has gotten a bit more nasally here & there. but why, you ask? she has a huge whole in her nose the size of a quarter(!)…from doing so much coke in her younger years. she quit in 1985, but was addicted to tranquilizers for many years following that…and then was poisoned with the epstien-barr virus, caused by getting breast implants. yikes. the epstein-barr thing made her lethargic, which in turn, as we all know, equals fat. poor thing. she was so mortified by her weight, that she was actually quoted as saying she’d “never perform live again”. what a heartbreaking thought. i thank baby jesus every day that she lost all that weight, and continues to perform.
even though i love her dearly, i can’t speak highly of her style. i love that she has a signature look, what with the velvet, scarves, lace, long skirts, platform boots & top hats…really? a top hat? i would rather see her in that puffy red dress from the mirror cover. but i do love a short girl trying to be tall, so i can respect her famous 6 inch platforms…
“even when platforms went completely out of style, i kept wearing them because i didn’t want to go back to being 5-foot-3 inches in heels”
god. i know exactly how she feels. she has also been accused of being a witch, which again, i can totally relate to. people are so fucking stupid. just because she would begin performing “rhiannon” by stating, “this is a song about a welsh witch” and then naming her record company welsh witch music, all whilst wearing loads of black doesn’t mean she’s a witch. but anyway, she has a forthcoming live record that will be released in january, mostly live rarites & singles, but a couple new tracks as well…she does a cover of dave matthews band’s “crash into me” which should be interesting…but i’m especially excited for the live version of my favorite-favorite nicks song, “sara”. so very excited. you can bet i’ll be wringing my hands bloody with anticipation until then.