Stevie Nicks was in her early 30s when her father told her she’d never get married.
She had just released her solo album, 1981’s “Bella Donna,” embarking on a second career that would fill any time she wasn’t spending with Fleetwood Mac. Her music, Nicks’ dad said, would always consume her.
She considered the possibility. She certainly was not a woman who liked to be told what to do. Still, the words stung: “No man would be happy being Mr. Stevie Nicks for very long.” Had he doomed her to a life of solitude simply by speaking the thought into existence?
“Nobody,” she laughs now, decades later, “dooms me to anything but myself.”
At 72, Nicks has had a few great loves. Some we know about — Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, JD Souther — and many we don’t. She did get married once, back in 1983, an ill-fated three-month relationship with the husband of her best friend, who had just died of leukemia. She would have considered taking another spouse, had she met the right person — someone who wasn’t jealous of her, who got a kick out of her crazy girlfriends. But ultimately, her father pretty much got it right: She has yet to feel more devoted toward a man than her muse.
Which is why, in part, this pandemic has hit her so hard. Two projects due out this month have, she says, offered a vestige of normalcy: “24 Karat Gold: The Concert,” a cinematic version of her 2017 solo show, and a politically minded new single, “Show Them the Way,” which will be accompanied by a Cameron Crowe-directed music video. She’s also decided that she wants to make another solo album and plans to spend the rest of quarantine turning the poetry from her journals into lyrics.
But with touring on hold, she’s bored and depressed, conditions she’s claimed to never before suffer from. She’s cripplingly afraid of catching the coronavirus, fearing that going on a ventilator would leave her hoarse and ruin her voice.
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“I have put a magical shield around me, because I am not going to give up the last eight years — what I call my last youthful years — of doing this,” she vows. “I want to be able to pull up those black velvet platform boots and put on my black chiffon outfit and twirl onto a stage again.”
It’s 9 p.m. on a Saturday when Nicks first calls from her home in the Pacific Palisades, where she has been sequestered with a close friend, her assistant and her housekeeper.
She has always been a night owl, but has recently become nocturnal, typically going to bed around 8 a.m. She attributes the change in her sleep pattern to the news, which she says she watches constantly. Usually, she likes to open the French doors to her bedroom, but tonight it’s dark outside because of the wildfires — “and not like, foggy, romantic dark. It’s just weird dark.” The smoke and ash in the air triggers her asthma, so she is not even venturing into her backyard.
Nicks is speaking from a landline. She has a personal line that she dances around when it rings, wondering “Who could it be? Is this a two-hour call? Is this going to be a tragedy?” and an emergency line to which her assistant attends. She does not have a computer. She does have an iPhone, but it doesn’t have cellular service and she uses it only as a camera.
Despite her distaste for social media, Nicks has gone viral a few times in recent months. Earlier this week, the internet discovered a TikTok video in which “doggface208″ skateboards while singing along to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” swigging from a container of cran-raspberry juice and generally living his best life.
After the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Nicks paid tribute to the Supreme Court justice, admitting her into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of Life.” (Nicks is the only woman to be inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, first with Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and then on her own in 2019.) The reactions to the RBG post were largely positive, but she saw one comment that ignored her sentiment entirely and instead lambasted her for her band’s interpersonal drama.