This is a transcript of the VH1 Storytellers special. Storytellers was taped on August 18th, 1998 at Sony Music Studios in New York. It has been broadcast multiple times on VH1 since November. Below you can read Stevie's conversation between the songs. You can also read the reviews of the Storytellers taping from fans who attended on the reviews page.
It begins with Stevie singing "Dreams".
Thank you very much everybody. Welcome to Storytellers. I'm gonna try to ease into this talking thing. (Stevie smiles) I've actually done a little bit of it on the last, on this tour that we've been on for the last three months. But not quite as much as I have to do tonight. So if I sound like my, I'm shaking from the bottom of my toes, I am. (Stevie smiles and audience laughs) So, I'm gonna tell you very quickly what I can remember about the story of "Dreams". Um, when we were first recording the Rumors record we spent two months in Sausalito at the record plant, and as far as I'm concerned that's when we actually recorded the record. It took another eight months after that , but the tracks were all done there. Um, while they're doing all kinds of stuff and there's nothing for me to do, I went next door to Sly Stones studio, within, the building, this big like black and red room with a kind of a stairway that went down into this like kind of tunnel thing where people would set up and play around this like light house sort of setup. And I took my little Fender Rhodes piano in there and I wrote "Dreams". And I spent about an hour in there, and then I went back in to Fleetwood Mac and actually was brave enough to just play, play it for them, cause I really thought it was good, (smiles) and uh, and they liked it and we recorded it that night. That is the story of "Dreams". (Stevie smiles and audience applauds)
(Stevie looks and Frank and says,) Quickly, into the story of "Landslide". (turns to audience) Everybody, everybody seems to think that I wrote this song about them. Everybody in my family, all my friends, everybody. (audience laughs) And, and my Dad, my Dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason that it was ever written. I guess it was about in September, 1974, I was home at my Dad and Mom's house in Phoenix and my father said, "You know, I think that maybe, you've really put a lot of time in this and maybe, maybe you should give this six months. And if you want to go back to school we'll pay for it." (smiles) And uh then basically you can do whatever you want to and we'll pay for it. So, I have wonderful parents. And I went, "Cool, I can do that." Lindsey and I went up to Aspen and uh, we went to somebody's incredible house and they had a piano and I had my guitar with me and I went in their living room, looking out over the incredible like Aspen skyway and I wrote "Landslide". And I also wrote Rhiannon, which we'll talk about later. Um, three months later Mick Fleetwood called on the, on the, on New Years Eve 1974, called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. (smiles) So it was three months, I still had three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my Dad gave me. So that's what "Landslide" is about.
Stevie sings "Landslide".
(Audience applauds and Stevie and Frank bow to one another)
Thank you, Frank. Thank you very much. (Stevie puts her hands together and gives a little bow to the audience) All right, well, the story of "Stand Back." Uh, many years ago, like in the beginning of the 1980's , um I got married. And my husband Kim and I were driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara for like a honeymoon. (Stevie smiles then laughs) And we heard this incredible Prince song called "Little Red Corvette". And we were like so knocked out at this song. So, we were like (Stevie dances a little) all the way, so we pulled over and we got it. And I just kind of hummed this song along to it. It's very, very different, you'll, you'll try it, you'll all go home and try this. But it's, you'll have to find where it fits in, but it was very, it was perfectly in there and we got to the , to the, hotel or wherever we went and we recorded it, and like it was a song, it was done. And, also to add that when I went in to record it, we were in the middle of recording it and I thought well, you know what? I could just call Prince and tell him this. And somebody got me his number, and that's not an easy thing to do, (audience laughs) and, and we contacted him. I was at Sunset Sound in Los Angeles. We contacted him and he called me back, he called me right back and I kinda told him the story. I said I kinda hummed along this song and I'm at Sunset Sound, and how do you feel about that. And twenty minutes later her roared into the parking lot (Stevie makes a little driving motion with her hands and audience laughs) and uh, came in, listened to the song you know, very cool, very quiet. And he said, "Okay", and I said, "Do you hate it?" , and he said "No, I, it's okay, it's cool" and he uh, they set up an OB8 for him and he played the doo doo doo doo doo the 1/16 note thing and then, he did it like one time. And then he went to the middle part where it goes deedat deedat deedat deedat, he did that, he finished it, he said good bye and he kinda walked out of my life. (audience laughs) So that's my Prince story and it's also my story of "Stand Back". (big smile)
The music starts and Stevie twirls around and sings "Stand Back"
(Stevie does her famous high kick!!!, audience applauds, Stevie gives Carlos a high five and then waves her hands in front of her face as if she's hot, and smiles)
Thank you. All right so who has a question?
Fan: Um, my question is about your musical influences. I know you talk a lot about Tom Petty and Bob Dylan and how they influenced you and how you're like a big, you know, groupie. (audience laughs and Stevie raises her hands in the air as if to say, "look at me, the big groupie" and smiles) I was just wondering though, well, I'm a Stevie groupie, so. Um I was just wondering um, who were your female singer/songwriter influences growing up?
(Stevie is sitting at the piano) This is truly the first time that I've ever um, played Rhiannon in front of anybody. I mean except, you know, people that are walking through as I'm playing it in my house. Um, Rhiannon was not written about the mythological mebanogian from Wales. She was written about a name that came up in a book that I read that somebody gave me. A little paperback novel. it was called Triad. You can trace it down and find it. There was two women in it, they were named Rhiannon and Branwen. So, this story truly is uh, when everybody wants to say, "Oh you write premonition, premonitions, you know you have premonitions," I don't think that I consciously have premonitions, but I do seem to have some sort of a psychic knowledge of what's gonna happen in the future. Um, the whole thing about the birds and the sky and the, all this, this is all intricately woven through the myth. So I always think it's pretty interesting when I listen to it or when I play it that uh, that I had no idea about any of this when I wrote it. I just thought it was a really beautiful name and I thought if I ever have a little girl maybe I'll name her Rhiannon or you know, and that's really what I took to the piano to write the song. I also wrote this song in Aspen, same time I wrote Landslide. Um, there must have been a very creative force going on in Colorado at that moment that night. (smiles) So I'm gonna try to play this for you. If I make a mistake I'll stop and do it over. Maybe I wont make a mistake. (Stevie takes a deep breathe, clears her throat and begins to play)
Stevie plays and sings "Rhiannon"
(audience applauds then stands)
Fan: Um, hi Stevie. I just want to say that I love you very much, first of all, and I uh, had heard that um, you write a lot of your music in your bathroom, is that true?
Stevie sings "After the Glitter Fades"
Thank you very much. (smiles) So quickly I didn't really uh, get to tell you what that was about. That was about uh, that was written in the very beginning when Lindsey and I first went to , to Hollywood. And uh, it was just a about you know this part of it. Loving to do this part of it, and being able to balance it with the other part of it. And uh, so there's the glitter part and there's the not glitter part. So this was a song about the glitter part getting you through. And it's called, "After the Glitter Fades". (audience applauds) And we just did it. (big, big smile)
All right, so, "Edge of Seventeen". what happened with this song was I was in Australia with, hanging out, playing, doing something with some band and uh, John Lennon died. So, I was of course upset by this and I was very far away and it was really strange to not be in the country when he died. Um, I went home to Phoenix and I had this idea about writing a song about him about the white wing dove. Which comes from uh, Arizona and like nests in the Saguaro cactus. But I didn't know that until I got to Phoenix and started writing this song and somebody told me that. And then to make a bad situation worse, um my uncle who was my Dad's older brother, very close brothers, family, my dad's. And uh, he was very sick. And um, I went to visit him one day, couple weeks after that. And my cousin John, whose also name was John, we, we were both there and for some reason nobody else was there and my uncle died. And we were, we were just there by ourselves with him and we didn't even know what to do. It was like, I can't believe this is happening. So when it says you know, and , and I went running down the hall searching for somebody and up the stairs and down the hall I did not hear an answer but I did hear the call of the nightbird, that's what that was about. So, that's what it's about.(smiles)
Stevie sings "Edge of Seventeen"
Fan: Hi, in a couple of your songs you refer to the Blue Lamp and on the box set there's a great song called the "Blue Lamp", and a photo of you with the Blue Lamp. What's the deal with the Blue Lamp? (audience laughs)
Um, "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You". Probably um, in my own way this is probably my most intense song. What happened with this song is uh, I was, we went on the Wild Heart Tour in like, I guess it was 1984, something like that. Joe Walsh was opening for me and we became friends. And I was very uptight about something that was going on and, I don't even remember what it was. But Joe felt that is was important in the scheme of our lives to tell me a story that would make me rise above all of it. And so, we were in Denver and he rented a jeep and he drove me up to Boulder, which is like an hour and a half, and told me this story on the way of a little girl that was killed in an accident in the morning on her way to nursery school. His little girl, in Boulder. And he kinda drove up to this park and I knew something, I knew he was gonna show me something that was gonna freak me out 'cause I was already totally upset by the time we got to Boulder. And we walked across this park and there was this little silver drinking fountain, and it said uh, "To Emma Kristen, for all those who can't, or aren't big enough to get a drink." And something about this story touched me so deeply that I went home to me house in Phoenix, I got out of the car, I walked into the front entryway, where my Bosendorfer piano is, I sat down at the piano and I wrote this song. And I wrote it in about five minutes, the whole thing. (smiles) So that is what this song is about.
Stevie sings "Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You"
(audience applauds, then stands)
You can come to my like, my little singing thing anytime. Thank you so much.
(Stevie gives a big smile, then goes to greet fans)
Thanks to Shannon Henley for transcribing this and sending it to The Nicks Fix.
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