Stevie Nicks: ‘I absolutely know that my mom is around all the time’

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Stevie Nicks has a new interview with The Guardian that was a delight to read. I hope that I can take a lesson from these older women, like Stevie, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton, that I should be myself and say my piece while I can. The last time we talked about Stevie she was saying that she’s ready for the pandemic to be over because she’s 72 and only has so many youthful years left. It was said to see but true. Stevie is getting the most headlines in this Guardian interview for saying that an abortion she had during Fleetwood Mac’s heyday helped her career and ultimately the future of music. (She didn’t phrase it like that, that’s my interpretation.) There are so many good quotes in this interview it’s hard to know what to include. I really liked what she said about spirituality and how she feels her mom’s presence and wanted to talk about that too. Here’s some of what she told The Guardian, with more at the source.

On her approach to spirituality
“Some people are really afraid of dying, but I’m not. I’ve always believed in spiritual forces. I absolutely know that my mom is around all the time.” Just after her mother died, in 2012, Nicks was standing in her kitchen with “really bad acid reflux”. “And I felt something almost tap my shoulder and this voice go: ‘It’s that Gatorade you’re drinking,’” she says. “I’d been sick and chugging down the Hawaiian Punch. Now, that’s not some romantic, gothic story of your mother coming back to you. It’s your real mother, walking into your kitchen and saying” – she puts on a rasp – “‘Don’t drink any more of that shit.’” She pauses, waiting for me to laugh, then cackles.

Her mom’s advice
“She said to me: you will never stand in a room full of men and feel like you can’t keep up with them. And you will never depend upon a man to support you. She drummed that into me, and I’m so glad she did.”

On her abortion
Women’s rights have been on Nicks’ mind since the death of her “hero”, the US supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, last month. “Abortion rights, that was really my generation’s fight. If President Trump wins this election and puts the judge he wants in, she will absolutely outlaw it and push women back into back-alley abortions.”

Nicks terminated a pregnancy in 1979, when Fleetwood Mac were at their height and she was dating the Eagles singer Don Henley. What did it mean to be able to make that choice? “If I had not had that abortion, I’m pretty sure there would have been no Fleetwood Mac. There’s just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly. And there were a lot of drugs, I was doing a lot of drugs … I would have had to walk away.” She pauses. “And I knew that the music we were going to bring to the world was going to heal so many people’s hearts and make people so happy. And I thought: you know what? That’s really important. There’s not another band in the world that has two lead women singers, two lead women writers. That was my world’s mission.”

On her non-relationship with the other Fleetwood Mac members
Has she spoken to Buckingham since he left? “No.” Do you really think you’ll never appear on stage with him again? “Probably never.” Really? “Uh-uh,” she says, indicating a firm no.

She says people always ask the band: “‘Do you get along?’ We’d go: ‘Not really.’ They’d say: ‘Are you friends?’ and we’d go: ‘Not really.’ ‘Do you see each other when you’re not on tour?’ ‘Er, no.’ It has been like that since 1976.”

On men trying to dim her light
When her first solo album, the brilliant Bella Donna, topped the charts in 1981, she gave Buckingham a copy. He left it on the studio floor and never listened to it. “They were full-on jealous. And you know what? I should have cared less.” “They” as in the band members or the producers? “Oh, all of them. They hated that kind of confidence in a woman. People would say to me: ‘It would be very hard to be Mr Stevie Nicks.’ And I’m going: well, yeah, probably, unless you were just a really nice guy that was really confident in himself, not jealous of me, liked my friends, enjoyed my crazy life and had fun with it. And, of course, there are very few men like that. I’m an independent woman and am able to take care of myself, and that is not attractive to men.”

She’s not with Harry Styles and she’s not dating
Is she dating now? “I’m not going out with anyone. And I haven’t gone out with anyone in a long, long time. But I will say, I am always a romantic and I’m never averse to the fact that it is possible that you might turn a street corner and walk into somebody that just catches your eye, because it’s happened to me a million times. So, could I fall in love and run away with somebody at 72 years old? Yeah. It’s probably not gonna happen, but it’s possible.”

I ask about her friendship with Harry Styles. “Can I just say that Harry Styles is not my younger boyfriend,” she says – deadpan, but with a smile in her voice. “He is my friend. My very good friend.”

On Botox
We talk about what it is like for women to age in the public eye. “Oh God, the Botox,” she says. “Let me tell you, Botox only makes you look like you’re in a satanic cult. I only had it once and it destroyed my face for four months. I would look in the mirror and try and lift my eyebrow and go: ‘Oh, there you are, Satan’s angry daughter.’ Never again. I watch a lot of news and I see all the lady newscasters looking like Satan’s angry daughters, too.”

[From The Guardian]

There were so many other gems in this interview I didn’t include. She said when she was 50 she dated a 30-year-old guy but realized it wasn’t going to work because she didn’t want to live those 20 years over again. The stuff she said about men not wanting to be with an independent woman made me sad but it’s true. I keep telling myself I only need one guy though and he’s out there for me.

As for that story about her mom, I am so lucky not to have lost anyone yet, knock all the wood for that, but I appreciated how her mom comes to her in small moments with mom advice. “It’s the Gatorade!” I love my mom’s advice although it bugs me sometimes because it’s true and I don’t want to hear it. I’m sure I do the same thing to my kid every day.

So many women have stories about abortions like Stevie’s story. Her life would have been so different otherwise. Abortion is basic healthcare, it is a right and not a privilege that only rich women should have. I’m scared for the future of our country, I’m tired but I will fight for the next generation. Abortion rights have been eroded throughout the US at the state level, with this handmaid on the Supreme Court we are likely to lose them and our access to birth control. It’s a dark time in our country.

Here’s Stevie’s new song, “Show Them The Way.” All proceeds benefit Musicares. I come from a family of old school Democrats and this got me choked up. My mom lived through this too.

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