15 Witchy Facts About Stevie Nicks
Stevie Nicks is such a legend of the ‘70s and ‘80s that it’s kind of hard to believe she exists in the same physical realm as us, you, and the guy on the bus who smells like pencils. Fortunately, she can never die, so that will continue being true, even though she’s lived enough for several of the lives she believes she’s had.
Her Father Was the King of Transience
On May 26, 1948, Stevie Nicks was born to Barbara and Jess Nicks, the latter of whom became president of Greyhound. This entitled his daughter to free rides any time she liked, probably inspiring her devotion to a nomadic lifestyle and regrettable perpetuation of a racial slur for the Romani people.
She Claimed to Have Never Heard a White-Winged Dove
In 2020, Nicks excitedly announced that she’d finally heard a dove. She explained that she’d written “Edge of Seventeen” in 1980 after reading a fun fact on an airplane menu that said “The white-winged dove sings a song that sounds like she’s singing ooh, ooh, ooh,” but she’d never actually heard one before. In a twist of Shyamalanian proportions, it turns out that’s not possible, since the Phoenix area where she grew up is absolutely lousy with the things, so she’s either lying or super unaware of birds, even the ones she made famous.
Fleetwood Mac Didn’t Want Her
When Fleetwood Mac first approached Lindsey Buckingham, who was still dating Nicks at the time, they had no interest in the other half of Buckingham Nicks. In fact, she made a bewildering first impression when she showed up to their first meeting still in her flapper-girl waitressing uniform. But Buckingham told them he wouldn’t join if they didn’t take his weird girlfriend, too, and fortunately for everyone, he’s just that good at playing guitar.
She Had a Gang of Mini Hers
Nicks was anxious and lonely on the road, and her relationship with the volatile Buckingham was breaking down, so she formed a human shield of “talented, young, beautiful girls who would then dress like her and follow her around all the time,” according to Kenny Loggins, who toured with Fleetwood Mac in the late ‘70s. It’s unclear if this cult-coven still exists or, most importantly, if she’s still taking applications.
She Constantly Threatened to Quit
Nicks turned out to be Fleetwood Mac’s biggest star, but you don’t really forget how your boyfriend had to talk someone into hiring you, so she seemed to be always contemplating leaving the band. Most memorably, she threatened to quit after her song “Silver Springs” was cut from Rumours and then actually left when the band refused to let her use it on a solo album, and in between, she told Mick Fleetwood she would leave if he named their 1979 album Tusk (which was what he called his penis).
Even Her Dog Was Addicted to Cocaine
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Nicks had a legendary cocaine habit, quite literally blowing through about $1 million by her own estimate and burning a hole in her septum the size of a dime. According to one of Buckingham’s ex-girlfriends, even her dog was addicted to cocaine. “Stevie’s poodle Jenny was famous for its love of cocaine,” she wrote. “She said she couldn’t leave a packet on any of her tables at home -- if she did, the dog would eat it, paper and all -- and then run around in little energetic circles.”
Her Only (Extremely Brief) Marriage Was Real Complicated
Nicks has had many high-profile relationships, but she was only married once for three months. To her best friend’s husband. After she died. It’s not what it sounds like. “Robin was one of the few women who ever got leukemia and then got pregnant,” she said. “And I was determined to take care of that baby, so I said to Kim, 'I don't know, I guess we should just get married.' And so we got married three months after she died, and it was a terrible, terrible mistake.”
She Has One of the Princest Prince Stories
It was after her 1982 wedding that Nicks was driving to Santa Barbera with her new husband, heard “Little Red Corvette” on the radio, and got the idea for “Stand Back.” It was so close to his song that she “track down Prince's phone number — and because I'm Stevie Nicks, I can get it” to let him know she was crediting him and invite him to record with her. She didn’t expect him to actually accept, but “he was there in 20 minutes and he played on 'Stand Back,' and he was there an hour and a half, and then he left." He later told her she inspired him to write “When Doves Cry” and asked her to write lyrics for “Purple Rain.”
She Was the Subject of a Real Witch Hunt
From the moment she became famous, Nicks has been music’s witchiest woman, what with all her shawls and candles and such, and she played it up until she started getting letters from “wacky, creepy people” who thought she really was a witch and were pretty mad about it. “And there I am like, ‘No, I’m not! I just wear black because it makes me look thinner, you idiots,’” she said. Still, the letters scared her so much that she stopped wearing black for about a year.
She Thinks She Was Beheaded in a Past Life
Nicks’s religious beliefs may be more conventional than you’d think, but she does have the (very) odd new age conviction. She believes, for instance, that she was beheaded in a past life, which is why she doesn’t like leaning her head back into the sink when she gets her hair washed. It could also be that nobody likes that, but don’t argue with Stevie Nicks.
Her Onstage Costume Changes Are Downright Impressive
It’s not unusual for pop stars to cycle through several costumes over the course of a performance, but not usually when they’re part of bands who are left awkwardly standing around onstage while they change. Nicks thinks nothing of this, even changing clothes for every single song during a 1986 concert.
The “Velvet Underground” is Real
You know how Nicks sings “So I’m back to the velvet underground, back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers” in “Gypsy”? It sounds like some metaphysical realm, but it’s a fucking fashion boutique. Nicks visited the Velvet Underground in San Francisco after hearing that Janis Joplin and Grace Slick shopped there, and it became a nostalgic symbol for her, like how you mentally revisit the plastic tunnels at Discovery Zone.
Her Tambourine Isn’t
It’s just a prop. She’s the only member of the band that doesn’t play an instrument onstage, so she started shaking a tambourine taped down with gaffer’s tape just to have something to do when she wasn’t singing. This led to an embarrassing moment during Bill Clinton’s inauguration when she offered him her tambourine and watched with horror as he tried to actually use it and slowly realized she was a fraud.
She’s the Only Woman to be Inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Twice
Not because she just rocks that hard, though nobody would argue with them. She was inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and then as a solo artist 20 years later.
She Owns So Many Shawls
Nicks’s shawls are about as famous as her voice, but how many would you say she owns? 50? 100? Try thousands. As of 2019, she told Rolling Stone that her temperature-controlled shawl vault -- really let those words sink in -- numbers in the quadruple digits, though she’s “trying to give her shawls away.” She can’t be trying that hard, though, because there are definitely more people who want them (us, it’s us) than available shawls. Can someone hook her up with an Etsy store? And then hook us up with the link? Thaaaanks.
Top image: Ueli Frey/Wikimedia Commons