Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born on May 26, 1948 in Phoenix, Arizona. Her family instilled in her a love of music, fairy tales and fantasy. The family moved around a lot due to her father's job eventually settling down in San Francisco. It was there during high school that Stevie met Lindsey Buckingham and the two formed their first band with two other friends, the Fritz Raybyne Memorial Band. Fritz lasted from 1968-71 and gained local notoriety opening up for Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and CCR. It was during these times that Stevie honed her stage skills using influence from watching Joplin perform. She said "You couldn't have pried me away with a million dollar check...I was absolutely glued to her. It was there that I learned a lot of what I do onstage...I said, 'If ever I am a performer of any value, I want to be able to create the same kind of feeling that is going on between her and her audience."
After Fritz broke up, Lindsey & Stevie, at this point romantically involved, headed to L.A. and landed a deal with Polydor Records and made the Buckingham Nicks album. It is said Stevie spent her last $111 on a beautiful white blouse to wear for the cover shoot but, in the end, ironically her and Lindsey are shirtless. The album did not do well and both Stevie & Lindsey were broke. She found work as a waitress and house cleaner while Lindsey landed a guitar-playing gig with the Everly Brothers.
In 1974 Lindsey was offered to be Fleetwood Mac's guitar player. He accepted on the condition that Stevie was part of the deal. Within the next year, the band released a self titled album Fleetwood Mac which went to the number one spot and had several top twenty songs in 1976. Stevie's "Rhiannon," which was to become one of her signature songs, reached #11. By 1977 the hit album Rumours was released and Stevie and Lindsey's relationship had come to end. Neither one wanted to leave the band so they tried to work through it. The end of the seventies saw a lot of relationship drama among the members of Fleetwood Mac which fueled both song writing and live performances. Along with many of the hits she had with the band Stevie had a stellar solo career going for her. She managed to keep writing, performing, collaborating and recording into the 80's and 90's.
Throughout her career Stevie has always been a unique presence in rock & roll. Her style is her own and easily identifiable. It is a beautiful blend of vintage, mystical, gypsy, street urchin, and gothic, with her own ethereal twist. It has been copied by other artists and has inspired many designers.