This feels odd because 30 or so years ago, this house was very different. I was spending the night with my grandparents because my mother was working second or third shift. I was supposed to be sleeping in the guest room at the front of the house. The bedroom was off the living room. My grandparents had placed a small black and white TV on top of their sixties Hi-Fi stereo cabinet. I guess that it was for me. I slipped out of the bedroom in the middle of the night and found Stevie Nicks.
This performance was several years old when I first viewed it on that little television. I was born in 1973 and was probably 11 or 12 when one of the three major networks, or more probably UHF, re-aired this concert. It was like being in the presence of some mystic occurrence. It was like an evangelical baptism. I became an ecstatic member of the church of Stevie Nicks.
Stevie has never disappointed me. She has always been a role model, creatively and personally. She hasn’t always been perfect, but she’s always been human, and reachable. She’s influenced so many of us creatively but as I get older, I admire her lifestyle more and more. She’s a class act. She’s been through a lot of shit and beat all the addictions and she’s on another solo tour at age 68.
She’s my spirit animal. Rhiannon is my spirit animal. Not the Rhiannon she plays at the piano today, but the Rhiannon in this video. I don’t feel attached to the Rhiannon that has evolved over the decades since I saw this concert in the middle of the night. I feel attached to the ballsy, whiskey-voiced Rhiannon who came through Stevie that night in 1978.
Stevie’s original Rhiannon introduced me to feminism. Rhiannon ruled her own life. Even as young as I was, I got it. I find myself turning back to this performance to ground myself in these backwards days.