Music Box: Stevie Nicks Rocks A Little

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Interviewed in Los Angeles, on May 11 1985, a few months before the release of her 3rd solo LP ROCK A LITTLE, Stevie Nicks – the Rolling Stone-anointed “Queen Of Rock & Roll” – takes on a myriad of subjects.

In part 1, Stevie discusses the hopefully-imminent release of ROCK A LITTLE and what that means, working with her band and the recording of a few of the tracks in a Dallas church, with Jimmy Iovine, music videos (at this point, the first single wasn’t even chosen – eventually it was “Talk To Me”, which hit #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100) and touring, the surge of women in Rock N Roll that year and how Fleetwood Mac helped her become the rock star she is and how they protected her as “the little sister”.

In part 2, Stevie discusses her influence on other artists and how she hopes that, through her energy – if not her singing – those artists could learn something; her fashion influences (Madonna gets out of such comparative influences easily, Prince does not!), the admiration she has for up-and-coming newbie Cyndi Lauper’s strength and Tina Turner’s tenacity and fortitude. She also happily discusses her back-up singers Lori Perry and Sharon Celani (and “Minnie” – you have to watch) and how having them as friends and support make her life so much easier, and the relations and alleged competition between women in general, in music and in life.

She also discusses where her passion for her love of painting comes from, how it sedates her and grounds her and how it’s never been an innate ability or desire until only a few years prior.  She opens up about how this passion started due to the sickness of her friend Robin (whom she doesn’t mention by name) and how she started drawing so, when Stevie could not be with her, the image of her drawings kept them connected.  She “summons” Sister Honey for the interviewer (which can be seen in the next part of the video), a painting that has become a favorite over the years for Nicks’ fans.

The video is damaged around the 7 minute mark in part 2, but it’s only briefly – and you can still hear the audio.

In the final part, her painting Sister Honey is brought into the room and Nicks explains her origins and again states that this is all (painting, that is) still very new to her. Stevie is then asked about her “book that is coming out”, called “The Wild Heart” and its contents:

“A lot of poetry, it’s some journalistic stuff; it’s a lot of the actual nights of recording of THE WILD HEART and the experiences that happened during that 2-3 year period. There are some things from my Fleetwood Mac stash of 10 years of writing….the real essence of that isn’t in this book because that’s a book in itself…it’s my life, and it’s very honest.”

The book has a lot of “advice” and “philosophy” and a way to “give a little bit more of me”.  She’s “very excited about them (her fans) receiving it” more than actually putting it out (We fans have been wishing for years for any book from Stevie – but sadly, “The Wild Heart” was never published.)

She talks about what she does in her down time – which is a foreign concept to her. She’s been working non-stop for over a year and a half, and hopes to take a vacation when it’s over. She talks a little about love, and the possible resurrection of Fleetwood Mac and the bond they share…and how she liked Christine McVie’s solo album and loved the video for McVie’s “Got A Hold On Me” video.

Before the interview is over, Stevie wants to add an an addendum to her earlier philosophy of love, and how she doesn’t want anyone to misinterpret that it’s an  impossible ideal – she does believe one can find it…one just has to look hard.

On The 11th Day Of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas…

 

…Jeffrey gave to you…Stevie Nicks’ version of “Silent Night”…

 

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Stevie’s house, not a Gypsy was stirring…”

Stevie’s haunting reading of “Silent Night” was recorded for the A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS charity album in 1987, the first (and the best) in the long line of Christmas albums benefiting the Special Olympics produced by long-time Stevie fan, producer and now chairman of Interscope records, Jimmy Iovine.

AVSC consists of some wonderful holiday tracks (including Eurythmics’ enchanting “Winter Wonderland”, the Pointer Sisters’ jovial “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (featured as my 7th Day Of (Jeffrey)Christ-mas), Bruce Springsteen’s fantastic “Merry Christmas, Baby” and Run-DMC’s classic “Christmas In Hollis”, accompanied by an even better VIDEO), and needless to say to anyone who knows me – at all – the Stevie Nicks reading of “Silent Night” is amongst my very favorite Christmas recordings.

Below is a video I put together called “Silent Night Suite”. It begins with an excerpt of an old MTV special about the making of the album (which includes an interview with Stevie and Iovine), and then the full Iovine interview where that  footage was taken from.  To, of course, the sterling live version.

With two-maybe-three hit wonder Robbie Nevil lending his vocal, this version of “Silent Night” was performed on the “A Very Special Christmas” concert TV special that aired on CBS in 1987.  Hosted by FAME actress Nia Peeples, it featured some of the album’s artists performing their tracks. The show closed with “Silent Night”. When Stevie sings with her long-time backup singers Lori Perry-Nicks and Sharon Celani, the result is always stunningly ethereal, and here is no exception…blending with Robbie’s call-and-response, this live version is actually more exquisite than the recorded version, and sweeps you away into another dimension.

Open your eyes, and you see a Rock ‘N Roll queen sing in celebration. Close your eyes and you are encompassed by the beauty of the song, the luxurious harmony, and the spirit of the holidays.