[The Nicks Fix]

The Denver Post

Sunday, August 11, 1991
Younger Crowd Gets Nicks On The Rocks
by G. Brown

The most consistently popular female rock artist of the '80's has an album coming out September 3 that includes two songs written for her by '90's rockers.

In addition to the choice tracks culled from the singer-songwriter's 4 million-selling solo albums, "Timespace: The Best Of Stevie Nicks" has songs that were written and produced by Jon Bon Jovi and Poison's Bret Michaels.

"Everybody feels I should have a relationship with a whole other generation of rock 'n' rollers," Nicks, 43, said prior to a recent concert in Arizona. Her "Whole Lotta Trouble" tour is at Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight.

"At first I was very hostile about it---and I'm not a very fun person when I'm hostile. 'Is my career finished if I don't? Can I not write songs anymore?' They explained that it might open up an audience of people that are a whole lot younger than me. "And I can dig that, but I happen to have my own baby fans that I love a lot---people send me videos of 6-year-olds that know my entire set, little girls who know every word and move.

"So I said, 'Let me meet the people, hear the songs---I'll see if I can relate to them.'"

Thus, Bon Jovi's "Sometimes It's A Bitch" and Michaels' "Love's A Hard Game To Play" were submitted.

"Jon played me his song, and I said, 'I'm going to have to interpret this to sing this.' I wasn't nuts about saying, 'Sometimes it's a bitch, sometimes it's a breeze,' because I've never sort of sworn in a song before.

"And his generation cannot possibly understand what my life has been like since 1974 with Fleetwood Mac, and I could never explain it to anybody. How in the world could he figure out how to write a song for Stevie Nicks?

"Well, he did, like he was on my shoulder or something, took a time machine back and fast-forwarded through the real bad parts and the real great parts of rock 'n' roll---'I've run through castles of candy and darkness,' 'I've laid down with love and I've broke up with life,' 'It's not what's in the mirror, but what's left inside.'"

But Bon Jovi had a specific way that he wanted Nicks to sing his custom-made tune.

"I'm not real good at being told how to sing," Nicks admitted. "I did exactly what he told me, and after we worked on it for 10 days, I stood up and said, 'I've been very sweet, I have sung it your way, it's done.' Jon said, 'I'm bailing to a beach---later.'

"I went in the next night, lit my incense and candles, drank my strong coffee and resang the song myself. I got it on the first take---now it sounds like I wrote it.

"Jon came back two weeks later, and I don't think he was really pleased with what I did---but after what we'd been through I don't think he was gonna come up and tell me that."

Crazily enough, Nicks instantly became best friends with Poison's lead singer.

"This is not the Bret Michaels you see on MTV," she mused. "This is a guy with a sensitive soul---he has childhood diabetes, and he takes life a lot more seriously than the rest of us. He lives each day.

"He sat down with an acoustic guitar and played me his song. Sometimes you meet a person and you feel like you've known them for years. Someone took a Polaroid and we look like siblings or cousins---it's real strange.

"I'll love him forever. He's younger than me, he has a girlfriend so I'll never have a relationship with this guy, but I'm gonna take him under my wing and work with him for a long time. I want to be around his energy. After the hassle of getting 'Sometimes It's a Bitch' done, he gave me back my laughter and self-esteem."

The "Timespace" CD will include a bonus track, Nicks' tribute to the U.S. men and women involved in Operation Desert Storm, called "Desert Angel." The music was written by Mike Campbell, guitarist with Tom Petty's Heartbreakers.

"I got a lot of mail from the troops over there. What could I say to make them feel better? I descended to my room and wrote a letter (it eventually went into Stars & Stripes, the Armed Forces magazine), and I was on my way to writing a song.

"Someone said I'd never be able to put it out because it was dated. I flipped out, looked at him with daggers---'Are you out of your mind? Do you think this war has ended for the families of people who were killed?' I'm setting up a trust for the money the song makes."

Fans will love Nicks' liner notes for the rest of "Timespace"---"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," "Talk To Me," "If Anyone Falls," "Beauty And The Beast."

"I put 'best of' on it, but it's really my favorite songs, my 'space in time,' the personal hits in my heart. I figured if I was going to pull them out, it was time to explain why they were written. So I typed two pages about every song, what experience caused me to write it. "'Edge Of Seventeen' will really surprise a lot of people. I tried to read 'Has Anyone Ever Written Anything About You' to my parents, and we all choked up---my father, who will not shed a tear, walked out of the room to compose himself. "You'll never listen to them the same way again. You'll know me a lot better in your heart."

Thanks to Claudia Brady-Drake for sending the article to The Nicks Fix.

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