July 21, 2002
Sheryl Crow and Stevie Nicks
interview by James McNair
Sheryl Crow, 40, was born in Missouri. Having sung backing vocals with Michael Jackson and Don Henley, she released her Grammy award-winning debut album, 'Tuesday Night Music Club' in 1993. Briefly engaged to Eric Clapton, she wrote 'My favourite Mistake', allegedly about him, in 1998. Her new album, 'C'mon C'mon', features Gwyneth Paltrow, Emmylou Harris and Stevie Nicks.
Stevie Nicks, 53, was born in Arizona. She found fame with Fleetwood Mac and co-wrote 'Rumours', one of the bestselling albums ever. Currently single, she had long-term relationships with fellow band-mate Lindsey Buckingham and The Eagles's Don Henley. Last years she released her sixth solo album, 'Trouble In Shangri La', on which Sheryl guested.
Stevie Nicks: I first became aware of Sheryl in 1994 when I heard her singing "All I Wanna Do" on the radio. A year or two after that, I did a song of hers for a movie soundtrack, Boys On The Side. I didn't know that she was a fan of mine until we met at the launch party for that album in LA. And it wasn't until we both did a charity benefit for Don Henley that we sat down and talked properly about recording together. I thought, "If it doesn't work out at least we'll each have a new friend." I love that Sheryl does what I do. I've never really had a female friend like that before. I'm a rock star and I always wanted to be one. Sheryl is a rock star too, and under that umbrella, each of us listens to what the other says. If Sheryl says, "I don't think you should do that", I'm probably not going to do it. Only a few people in my life have that authority. Sheryl's life, like mine, is very busy. And when I was her age, I didn't want to have a day off, either. Now, if I can work for three days and rest for two, I'm happy. But Sheryl just wants to keep going. In one of my more maternal moments, I did convince her to take a holiday. We went to Hawaii: me, my assistant, Sheryl, her assistant, and Sheryl's best friend. We took a catamaran and sailed to Molokai for 10 days. It was great, because nobody was going to mess with Sheryl and me together. We were like Thelma and Louise. My friends have begun to become Sheryl's friends, but she's kind of a loner. She's not from here; her family is back East. She has a house in Florida and she's thinking of buying one in Nashville. She's not really settled, and she knows that being a famous woman in rock makes it hard to find relationships. I love living in LA but my real foundation is a house in Phoenix that I've owned since 1980. I think Sheryl's looking for somewhere like that; a place where her heart wants to stay. We expect a lot from each other. Are we possessive of each other? I would say, "Yes." I'm possessive in a way where I want what she does to be great. If she plays me something and I don't like it, I'm going to tell her. And she's not going to save my feelings either. We both know that you can't pussy-foot around saying bad songs are great. How else do we differ? Well, Sheryl likes to go to parties and stuff. But then she's 40 and I'm 53. I don't like to party so much any more, and even when I was her age I was a little more private. We're actually more similar than different. I've never found anything important enough to give up my music for, and Sheryl's the same. If you want to get married and have a child, you have to stop. The world is fickle. If you give up the gauntlet - and that's Sheryl's phrase - you may not be able to come back. Our friendship will continue forever. Sheryl did a benefit for my father and the Heart Association, so my family loves her as much as I do. She committed first and then we got everyone else in and we raised enough to build a hospital. Now that's girl power.
Sheryl Crow: I first met Stevie at a Grammy's party about 6 years ago. She'd just recorded "Somebody Stand By Me", a song of mine. I liked her, and she said, "We should get together and work some time." I thought, "Great!" But then I didn't hear from her for two years. My first impression was that I'd known her forever, that she was really open. I think the kindred spirit thing is also partly to do with us having similar backgrounds and both becoming well known around 28. Musically we both have a similar dictionary of references,too. She's totally like a sister: one of the few people who takes care of me. If I'm sick, Stevie will come over with a cashmere blanket; that's how she is. She's a big rock star, and she doesn't need to drop everything, but she cares about people. When I was first Grammy nominated she was very supportive at the awards ceremony. Other female artists in the room seemed to ignore me but Stevie didn't have any of that. She doesn't have an ego about music. Clothing wise, I have more masculine tastes. I like cowboy stuff, she's more into frills. Neither of us is into furs or expensive cars but we do like to go to extravagant getaways. We went to Hawaii together and Stevie rented a house on the ocean. She knows how to live. Stevie can never know how much of an inspiration she's been to me. Even when I was at school, I had my hair cut like hers and I was wearing shawls and stuff and my friends thought I was a freak. Also her singing style. Somewhere in there, she came out of blues and country, and when I first heard it, it validated what I liked. To me she was the greatest female songwriter of her generation, and I don't know of anybody today who gets so lost in the mystery and power of their music. And she's still like that. When we last played together here in LA, it was like a church revival, you could feel it in the air. It was right after 11 September and Stevie had people in the palm of her hand. She's become quite matriarchal in recent years and she gave people a lot of strength and comfort that night. We disagree about personal things. When we were on the road together, I got on to her about not looking after herself. She drinks too much coffee and no water - ever. When she lost her voice, I said, "Well, you have to cut out the caffeine." I'm the bossy little sister. We both know how hard it is to meet a partner when you're a successful woman in music. In some ways I think we sacrificed our romantic and social lives for our work because we derive so much satisfaction and self worth from it. Stevie says that her songs are her children;that they go out and work on her behalf. And they do, because they are very healing for people. I've yet to make that peace with my work because it doesn't have that depth. But if I ever wrote something as good as "Landslide",say, I'd just get in my car, drive to Tennessee and have kids. I'd feel completely sated. Stevie should tell herself the wonderful things that she tells me - she's way too tough on herself. It's hard to be in the public eye, and getting older isn't easier for any of us gals. Stevie's still gorgeous, though, and I get frustrated with her because she doesn't realise it.
The article was transcribed by Pip Fidler.