10 COMMANDMENTS: STEVIE NICKS - Q Magazine, March 2017
THE FLEETWOOD MAC SINGER DELIVERS HER GOLDEN RULES FOR LIVING.
1 MAKE LIKE A BOY OR GIRL SCOUT: BE PREPARED
I’m scared, that’s what I am. Before shows, some people – me, Mick [Fleetwood, [ drummer], we get panic attacks. I have always been terribly nervous before shows. So I am so rehearsed and ready that I could be dead and stand up there and still sing the right words and do the right thing. Cocaine almost killed me. It’s better to just not do it. Eventually you’ll have to stop so start saving your money for rehab now.
2 THE DRUGS DON’T WORK, THEY JUST MAKE IT WORSE
Touring with Fleetwood Mac in the ’70s, cocaine was almost part of the daily routine. But when I talk about it now, I would never want the kids of today to think that I’m saying it was something good. Cos it really wasn’t something good. It almost destroyed my life. It almost killed me, and almost killed a lot of people I know. So if anybody thinks it’s safe now – it’s not. It’s better to just not do it. Because you will eventually have to stop, so start saving your money for rehab now. It’s so expensive.
3 LYRICISTS! WATCH YOUR CUSS WORDS
I’ve been listening to The Weeknd’s records. I play them one after the other when I’m in my bathroom getting ready to go out, or just hanging out with myself. He’s brilliant. And his voice – he could have come straight out of 1975 – he could have been like Stevie Winwood. He’s over-talented. But if I were to meet him, I would probably say: “You say over and over again words that I would prefer you didn’t say. I think they’re unnecessary. However, even though I think a lot of your songs are super-dirty, I still really like ’em! So I’ve given you a pass on that!”
4 SINGERS! WATCH YOUR SYLLABLES
I saw Adele at the Grammys [Adele had to restart a performance of George Michael’s Fastlove], and that song was a very hard song to sing for George Michael. It’s all about the syllables. I have a song on my 24 Karat Gold album, Mabel Normand, that’s exactly the same. That’s the reason we’re not doing it onstage. Because if you take a breath, you get off the beat. You’re one word too late, you can never get back on, and you’re dead in the water.
5 YOU’RE A ROCK STAR – THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A SICKIE
Onstage is the one time you can’t bemoan how you feel. Even if you have pneumonia, you have to say: “I’m leaving that in the dressing room and I’m walking out and I’m gonna be great. And when I come offstage, then I can burst into tears.”
6 WRITING TIMELESS POP OR EPIC FANTASY – EACH IS AS HARD AS THE OTHER
I love Game Of Thrones. [Author Author] George RR Martin is my age [68 ] and it blows my mind that he’s able to create this vast, interlinked world. As a songwriter I write little movies, but I can’t imagine writing even one small book. But then, probably, somebody like him would say, “I couldn’t imagine writing Landslide.”
7 DON’T FEAR THE PRODUCER
In the 24 Karat Gold show, I’m singing songs that are new old songs – the ones that should have gone on [Fleetwood Mac’s] Tusk and Tango In The Night, and on [solo albums] Bella Donna, The Wild Heart and Rock A Little. And they didn’t: not because they weren’t good enough, but because I didn’t like how they were done at the time. I didn’t like the producers’ concept, whether it was Lindsey [Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac bandmate] or Jimmy Iovine. So I pulled them. So the way the songs are recorded on 24 Karat Gold is exactly how they were done as demos.
8 LEARN FROM THE GREATS. AND TAKE FROM THE GREATS
I give Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and [Jefferson Airplane singer] Grace Slick the three nods. From Grace I got her slinky-ness. Janis was just little with a big attitude and big hair and feathers, and a drop-dead amazing voice. And Jimi was completely and utterly humble. So from those three people I got slinky, attitude and humility – and that was my stage performance.
9 RESPECT OTHER ARTISTS, WHEREVER THEY ARE ON THE BILL
Chrissie Hynde and I have been touring America together. She’s just fantastic. A lot of the people in her group say they haven’t seen her that happy in 30 years. And I love that so much. Because I never wanted Chrissie to feel like she was opening for me. I wanted her to feel that it was a complete and utter double bill. But because the tour was my idea, I got to go on last, basically.
10 BE AN EASY WRITER, AND AN EASY ROCKER
I’ve always loved Tom Petty, from Refugee to Breakdown, all thosesongs. Tom’s an easy writer – very unlike Lindsey, more like myself. When Tom goes up there onstage, he might as well be in his studio or his living room with the stereo banging.
Stevie Nicks plays BST Hyde Park on 9 July. Tickets are available now.