[The Nicks Fix]

Addicted to Noise
May 5, 1998
Stevie Nicks Casts Spell Over 'Enchanted' Box Set

The gypsy songstress looks into crystal ball to talk about her past and future with Fleetwood Mac.

Contributing Editor Frank Tortorici reports:

Rock chanteuse Stevie Nicks went to the Web recently to promote her new CD-retrospective set, The Enchanted Works of Stevie Nicks (Atlantic), on a live SonicNet chat (link to chat).

But she didn't do it without misgivings.

"I don't have a computer," the earthy songstress Nicks said at one point when asked about her experiences with high technology. "The Stevie photo thing that scares me is that I'll be replaced, like drummers and musicians [have been] ... I hate the idea that I can be sampled. I'm still alive!"

"I'll never stop making music." -- Stevie Nicks

Alive and still singing her bewitching ballads.

Two decades after she blazed up the charts with her bandmates in Fleetwood Mac and subsequently launched a successful solo career, the 49-year-old gypsy rocker is back with the three-CD compilation and an upcoming tour (the first solo effort since her career was reignited with the big Mac's highly successful 1997 reunion album and tour).

During the live SonicNet chat, Nicks talked about her career and herself in a rambling dialogue that included thoughts about her illustrious past and where her future might lead her -- it was almost as if she were using the retrospective nature of the CD set to re-evaluate things and take stock. (Ironically, the wispy, bohemian waif of '70s rock said that she has never seen any of the dozens of websites designed in her honor -- check out www.nicksfix.com for the best example -- and is ignorant of the web of devotion that she has spun in cyberspace.)

First things being first, Nicks discussed the compilation set itself. Though lacking much of the prolific songwriter's most bootlegged work (which is traded and sold surreptitiously on the Web), Enchanted does feature Nicks' favorite cuts from her 6 solo albums, her hit singles -- including "Stand Back" off The Wild Heart (1983) and "Talk To Me" off Rock A Little (1985) -- and many previously-unavailable-on-CD B-sides, live cuts and soundtrack contributions. There is also an unreleased version of her Mac hit "Rhiannon" (RealAudio excerpt), a song originally released on Fleetwood Mac (1975).

At least one of the bootlegged cuts, "The Forest of The Black Roses," was omitted from the set because she's saving about 10 demos that she calls "Rhiannon" songs for future issue "together ... (as) a group." The title refers to her signature 1976 top-20 Fleetwood Mac hit that was based on a Welsh myth. Many of the songs originated as part of a soundtrack to a film -- which never materialized -- she had planned to do based on her Welsh witch muse.

Nicks also discussed her influence on the newer generation of trendy rockers, including such talented and famous artists as Billy Corgan, whose Smashing Pumpkins recorded her 1975 Mac ballad "Landslide" on their 1994 Pisces Iscariot CD; and Courtney Love, who with her band Hole redid Nicks' Rumours classic "Gold Dust Woman" for the soundtrack to the 1996 film "The Crow: City of Angels."

"There's nothing more pleasing to a songwriter than [someone else] doing one of their songs," Nicks said. "['Landslide'] also led me to being friends with Billy [Corgan] and the possibility that we'll work together. Over this song, there's been this incredible connection ... he reached out ... I believe that my poetry is really meant for everyone no matter what age."

Of Hole's cover, Nicks added, "The fact that Courtney found it herself ... when someone wants to interpret something you wrote and bring it to a whole new generation of people, it's great."

As she prepares to turn 50 later this month, Nicks has made no secret of her battles with cocaine, alcohol, food and broken relationships; and that she has risen above it all to a new peak from which she can now look at her accomplishments. "I would like to think there is a part of me that's a good role model," she said.

Despite her wild rock-'n'-roll youth, she looks back fondly on the record industry of 20 years ago, which she considered not as money-oriented as the music machinery of today. But Nicks said she is, nonetheless, optimistic about the future. She plans on finishing a new album this year and, at some point, definitely reuniting yet again with her famous band, despite Mac keyboardist Christine McVie's reluctance to tour again.

"I'll never stop making music," Nicks said. "In my case, it's really my life. If it stopped, I wouldn't have a reason to be here."

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