. . . by Ms. Stevie Nicks, born this day in 1948, two and a half months younger than my mom.
The first time I saw Stevie Nicks perform was sometime in my early teens, probably age 13. My younger sisters and I were spending the night at my mom’s parents’ house because my mom had to work third shift. I was sleeping in the front guest room. My sisters were in the back bedroom, the one that had two twin beds. My grandparents were in the room between. My bedroom opened into the living room that we only really used at Christmas. There was a tiny black and white TV on the hi-fi. I slipped out of the bedroom in the middle of the night to see if there was a horror movie playing. What I found was:
This tiny woman, draped in black, veiled, in towering boots, with a giant moon criss-crossed by tree branches behind her. She was whispering and wailing incantations. Rhiannon, Sister of the Moon. Be my sister of the moon. I have been ever since.
My father took all the albums that belonged to both him and my mother when he left. He took my mom’s Fleetwood Mac albums. Vinyl was on the way out when I discovered Stevie Nicks in the mid-1980s, but we still had record stores. For years, maybe a decade, I searched record stores. I found the Fleetwood Mac albums, and the same Janis Joplin and Heart albums my mom had. Finding all of Stevie’s solo albums became such a quest that I dreamed about it. The last one I located was The Wild Heart.
I’ve had a lot of upheaval in my life. Stevie has always been a constant. Stevie has always been a touchstone, fascinating, beautiful, holding just enough of herself back to be a mystery while at the same time being a kick-ass rock star. Being “the girl in the band” was not good enough for her. She was one of the women in the late 1970s who broke out of that stereotype and defined her own career. She’s a feminist. She’s a style icon. Women who weren’t born when I posed for the picture above fell in love with her with just as much passion as I did.
Stevie made it through the drugs and drama. She’s writing songs for a new Fleetwood Mac album right now, and preparing for another tour. She just came off a solo tour. She’s earned the title Rock and Roll Woman, the title she defined in her song After the Glitter Fades.
I’m going to see Fleetwood Mac on the upcoming tour, and I’m wearing the shawl from the picture.
Edit: Huge embarrassment over the typo in the post title. Fixed 5/29/18 – Robin