Stevie Nicks … there’s only one like her in music history, truly, and today, May 26, the legendary singer/songwriter celebrates her 72nd birthday.
From the 1973 album Buckingham Nicks, a collaboration with her then-boyfriend, Lindsey Buckingham, that predated both musicians joining Fleetwood Mac two years later (and setting in action an unparalleled run of hit albums and classic music with the band) to her solo career and beyond, Nicks has forged her own path in the music business and culture as a whole.
Buckingham Nicks is something of an odd little record, especially through the lens of time. Recorded at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles and mostly ignored and unnoticed when it was initially released, the album — which, of course, is a relic of music history now that both musicians became legends with Fleetwood Mac shortly after it was created — has yet to be officially remastered or reissued, and it is not available on digital streaming platforms.
That’s rather unheard of in our era of immediacy and everything available all the time when we want it, and it only adds to the allure and mythical status of that vibrant bit of music laid down by Stevie and Lindsey.
Hopefully, one day in the not-too-distant future, Buckingham Nicks will be given the treatment it deserves and be reissued to the masses — as a chronicling of the roots of the version of Fleetwood Mac that would become an institution for decades to come.
During the COVID-19 pandemic of the past few months, Nicks’ social media pages have been a welcomed source of inspiration and uplift, too. In late March, the throes of lockdown and uncertainty enveloping the country, Stevie Nicks posted a message on Instagram, updating her fans about how she was keeping busy during stay-at-home orders — namely, drawing, painting and listening to Harry Styles’ 2019 album Fine Line:
She also shouted-out the new record from Vanessa Carlton as among her favorites during that span:
Perhaps most amazingly, Stevie Nicks later revealed that she had finally, for the very first time, witnessed a dove singing. Yes, she’d sung about the concept before in her hit solo single “Edge of Seventeen,” but somehow the singer had not actually seen it happen in her life.
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In 1980 I was flying home from Phoenix Arizona and I was handed a menu that said, “The white wing dove sings a song that sounds like she’s singing ooh, ooh, ooh. She makes her home here in the great Saguaro cactus that provides shelter and protection for her…” As you well know, I was very taken with that whole picture and went on to write “Edge of Seventeen.” But over the last 40 years I can honestly say, I have never heard a dove sing~ until now. Several days ago, outside my room, I started to hear the sound of a bird singing the same thing over and over. One little Ahhh~ and then three OOH’s~ over and over again. I thought it was an owl, but a friend said, “No, that’s a dove!” I started to cry. This dove had come here to watch over me. So we filmed her singing her song and I am sending her out to you. With love, Stevie Nicks p.s. She has been here for days. I think she’s here for good.
In early May, Nicks spoke with Rolling Stone in greater detail about what she’s been up to during the pandemic, again emphasizing how much she’s been quite obsessed with that Harry Styles record. As she explained:
To me, it’s just like the summer of Crosby, Stills and Nash, where I listened to nothing but [their debut album]for six months. And then it’s the same way I felt when Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark came out; I listened to nothing but Court and Spark for six months. Harry is recounting a lot of experiences that I had in my own life, beautifully. And making me remember stuff, and bringing back memories that I really didn’t love and memories that I did love. For me to hear a record made by somebody in his mid-20s that says a lot of things that I haven’t gotten around to saying yet blows my mind.
On a more reflective and serious note, this past Monday, Memorial Day, Nicks recalled her many visits to Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda Hospital over the years.
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To All my Friends and Fans~ I would like to share this video with you because it makes me remember that the 4 years I spent visiting Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda Hospital were the proudest moments of my life. I never spent less than 11 hours when I was at Walter Reed and never less than 7 hours at Bethesda. I went 19 times. This was enough time for me to feel like I was a soldier in the Army and Navy. Laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was the most emotionally difficult and the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced. I also toured Arlington Cemetery ~ walked through it~ and saw many funeral processions ride by me with the horses in the lead~ I’ll never forget it. This is not the time for me to talk about the pandemic or the President's lack of empathy. It is my time to celebrate being a soldier; to celebrate all soldiers and what they give up the day they enlist. I hope you spend your Memorial Day being safe and~ as the golden rule says~ “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” From the bottom of my heart, I pray for this country~ and that we will survive this, and that life will return to at least some kind of normalcy~ but for today, just be a soldier’s angel. It is their day. Love, Stevie Nicks P.S. I am printing the words to Soldier’s Angel~ the poem song I wrote while visiting the hospital. P.S.S. Also, thank you Mick for holding me up at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
All this to say: Stevie Nicks has been relatively active on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic, so you might as well give her a follow if you weren’t already doing so.
Happy birthday, Stevie Nicks!