Book Reviews

Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumors (Overlook Press)

stevie-nicks

Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumors
Zoe Howe
Overlook Books
352 Pages

Oh, Stevie, Stevie, Stevie…how beautiful you are. The rags-to-witches story of the Fleetwood Mac frontwoman is a tale of a woman duly indebted to an unwavering muse, a love of music that is undeniable, and, inexorably in love with her bandmate, Lindsey Buckingham. She’s also the subject of dumb rumors and the occasional mean-spirited jabs about her physical appearance. And yet…and yet…there’s something so undeniable wonderful about Stevie Nicks, one that enchants the listener.

At the height of her success, there was something every-woman about Stevie. For the pretty, she was a glamorous spirit, possessor of heavenly beauty and a keen fashion sense that was chic yet down-to-earth. For the arty, she wrote lyrics that painted vivid images that were fantastic but not fantastical. For the sensitive, her songs captured an emotion that was real, that was human, that were true.

Oh, and then there was the coke. A lot of coke. And then there was the unintentional addiction to anxiety medicine.

And after that? The music.

Author Zoe Howe documents these things quite wonderfully in Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumors. Like many 70s-era musical icons, the conception many have of Nicks is based on a persona that may or may not be to her liking–overexposure will do that to you–and sometimes, it’s easy to forget that her music was and is timeless; from an early age, she learned how to document her feelings in song.

And what wonderful songs they are!

There’s a reason you hear “Dreams,” “Rhiannon,” and “Edge of Seventeen” on the radio decades after their release: a combination of the purity of her voice and the quality of her lyrics. But it hasn’t been an easy ride, with lots of emotional tumult, and a lifelong connection with her creative partner and foil, Lindsey Buckingham. One should never forget, too, that Fleetwood Mac was only a minor (but veteran) band when the duo joined–and it was their joining the band that turned them into superstars.

This straightforward biography offers a good overview of her life, and as talented as she is, it seems Nicks–or perhaps Howe’s telling of Nicks’ story–gets caught up in repeat spirals: bad relationships, creative insecurities, drug abuse; it’s not until towards the end of the book that Nicks isn’t caught up in one of those sticky webs. Sure, it’s good to see her out of it, but at the same time, one feels the frustration that must have been felt in her inner circle. At times, you just wanna get into a Wayback machine, go back to whatever era you’re reading about, and give Nicks some good advice about what she’s doing with her life.

If you’ve read many books about Fleetwood Mac, you’ll most likely know most of the story found here. If you’re not familiar with the Stevie Nicks tale, Stevie Nicks: Dreams, Visions, and Rumors, is a good place to start.

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