[The Nicks Fix]

Reviews of the Arizona Heart Institute Benefit

Paradise Valley, Arizona, April 21, 1996

An Evening With Stevie Nicks
(as seen by Debbi Radford)

Stevie Nicks performed at the 25 year anniversary/benefit for the Arizona Heart Institute on Sunday, April 21. The event was held at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Edward Dietrich. Dr. Dietrich is the founder of the Institute and Jess Nicks (Stevie's father) is the chairman. Dinner was provided by Chef Vincent Guerithault. This was a very intimate setting on the patio of Dr. Dietrich's home on a beautiful Sunday evening. This event was invitation only, and most of the 200 guests were involved with the Heart Institute. Amenities included valet parking only, extensive hors d'oeurves, all evening open liquor bar, gifts from Tiffany's for the guests and patio seating overlooking Camelback Mountain. Dr. Dietrich gave a short speech pertaining to the Institute and showed a video on the many monitors (on which Stevie's performance was also displayed) placed throughout the patio. He then introduced Jess Nicks and the two chatted for awhile. Finally, Jess Nicks introduces Stevie, says she is very happy to support the cause, very excited about playing to a small, intimate audience and that she has been practicing hard for the past three weeks. Stevie had on a long, flowing black dress and brown boots with laces. She wore a large cross around her neck and large cross-shaped rhinestone earrings. Her hair was completely straight and she was absolutely beautiful; a hypnotic vision for the audience. Stevie begins her set according to the song list taped to the floor:


{Stevie talks about how the atmosphere is so great here and likens the "huge red mountain" in the backround, the mountain she refers to in her Desert Angel song, to being at Red Rocks, Colorado. Prior to singing this song, she says whenever she sings this song, it is dedicated to her father}

Rooms on Fire
{Prior to singing this song, Stevie tells us this song is off a CD that her father told her was her worst CD ever, but then this song charted at #10. A friend thought she heard Stevie say that this was her Dad's favorite song, but I missed that. At the end of the song, she repeats emphatically several times "And I Know You, Yes, I Know you"}

After the Glitter Fades
{Before this song, Stevie says this song was written after the Buckingham Nicks record deal fell through and prior to her getting together with Fleetwood Mac. She says it is about being a success, even though she was not successful yet}

(She starts out by saying this is an old welsh mythological thing that the audience would not understand anyway. Then Stevie launches into the fact that she wrote this 3 months before joining Fleetwood Mac, which was 3 months after her record deal fell through and coincided with her father's ultimatum that she only had 6 more months to put something together or she had to quit and return back to school to get her degree. It is also right about here that she tells the audience she has never had the chance to play to a smaller crowd, that she started out playing in huge gymnasiums from the beginning and mentions that her Dad has asked her to "pitter-patter" with the audience, which is not something she is used to doing, but she will try}

Leather & Lace
(She essentially tells the story written in the Timespace CD booklet about writing the song for Waylon and Jessi and how Don Henley really pushed her to write an excellent song. "You don't argue with an Eagle" she says}

Gold Dust Woman
(Before this song, Stevie tells of writing the song in Arizona and that it now represents to her all the trials and tribulations of a rock and roll woman's life. She starts to talk about the cocaine addiction, but then says the audience does not need to hear about that now. She asks us to listen to the song because it is about her life as it happened even though she wrote it before...here her voice trails off...}

(When introducing this song, Stevie gets all giggly and starts telling Sharon Celani and Lori Perry-Nicks that she simply can't tell the audience what this song is about; does not know how to phrase it with her parents in the audience. She starts to say something three times, but finally says the song is basically about making a decision to either stay in the business or move out to California and live with this gorgeous, blue-eyed man with lots of blonde curls. She said "I opted to stay"}

{First, she introduces the band members and says she will only say first names because she can't recall their last names. She had to be prompted on two of the first names and seemed a bit embarrassed. She did note it was not her touring band and that it was difficult to find time to practice as "these guys have regular jobs as well". She tells that she was asked about 6 or 7 weeks ago to come up with a song for this soon-to-be released Steven Spielberg movie called TWISTER. The movie is about someone who chases tornadoes, and their lover, who basically says "I can't live like this anymore". She had the words to the song taped to the floor and did look at them a few times. It is a very good, upbeat song. Parts of it are a duet, which she did with the guitarist}

Talk to Me
{Stevie says her management at the time told her to do this song because it would be a big hit. She said Chas Sanford wrote it and she enjoys singing it in a variety of ways with the girls, Sharon Celani and Lori Perry Nicks, her brother, Christopher's wife. She did not introduce the girls, however. Sharon looked particularly slim and stunning in a very tight black dress and I have never seen Lori look better}

Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You (encore)
{Stevie told the Timespace CD booklet story. She said she was in a complaining mood and then Joe Walsh, whom she was having a relationship with at the time, said he was taking her somewhere. Then she mentioned that Joe was the opening act for her, so it set them up for a power struggle that was not good for the relationship. Joe told her about a 3 year old girl who was killed by a drunk driver and how he had a tiny sterling drinking fountain erected in this park for all of those that could not reach the big drinking fountain. Stevie was very moved retelling this story and her eyes welled up. She also said many times during the song "well I want you to remember me", which also caused her to get teary eyed. She ended the song the way she does on the Red Rocks video "And sometimes when they ask her about the men in her life..."}

At the end of the set, she said she could not believe it went by so quickly and that she would be happy to do it all over again if we would each pay another $200; the cost of each invitation. She was only kidding though. Throughout the performance, Stevie was in excellent voice. Her vocals were clear and strong and better than I have ever heard her live. She did mingle with guests after the performance and seemed very happy throughout the entire affair.

Stevie Nicks at the Heart Institute Benefit
(as seen by Ron Cooper)

The evening was magical, in that after speaking to Stevie's father Jess Nicks I learned that this was something that Stevie had always wanted to do. He told me Stevie was having a busy year doing things, including a new Song called Twisted. Jess and Barbara Nicks were a pleasure to talk to, and very very friendly. There was a quarter moon that night, with Venus shining very brightly next to it, and shining down on CamelBack mountain which made for a very enchanting evening when Stevie finally did show up.

Stevie was supported by a full band which was locals from the Phoenix community. Of course Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks was there to do backup vocals. Stevie was very talkative as well. She gave the story behind each song before she sang it, and explained why the song was special to her. She sang a total of 11 songs which included in order:

Stevie sounded absolutely wonderful. The first few words from her mouth sent shivers down my spine. She sung like an angel. And she looks so good! She has lost a lot of weight and her face is very very thin like it was in the late 70's and early 80's. Her hair is very straight with bangs and she looks 10 years younger and very beautiful.

I was fortunate enough to talk to Stevie for quite a few minutes and have my picture taken with her. Our conversation was very personal and intimate. She gave me her undivided attention the entire time. She is a very caring and sensitive lady. She held my hands and caressed my cheek as we spoke. She told me I would never know how much her fans means to her. Stevie Nicks IS NOT a bitch as some social reject obsessed fans would have you believe. She is very much in love with her fans and shows it. After spending 22 years admiring Stevie Nicks, It was a a dream come true for me. If I didnt have the pictures of us together I would have believed it was all a dream. It is truly something I will never forget. Stevie's smile and the way she caressed my face is etched in my memories forever. She seemed to correctly sense what her music meant to me, and how it helped me through some rather difficult times. Thank you for that Stevie. Many of us love you for your influence in our lives.

There were 2 other people with me, Sylvia Priwo my sweetheart and John kinney who runs the NicksFix web page. All said and done there were only a hand full of us hardcore Stevie fans at the benefit including Jackie from San Antonio and Brian from Dallas. They have similar experiences with Stevie, which you may want to check out on the AOL Stevie Board if you can.

All said and done, it was an experience I would not trade for the world. For years I have wanted to thank Stevie for her efforts and with that dream fulfilled I can only sit here in total awe of what happened. It was something none of us expected to happen in our wildest dreams.

The Nicks Fix main page