"Edge of Seventeen" plays...
Narrator: She was crowned "The Queen of Rock and Roll".
Mick Fleetwood: She has an aura to her that's extremely powerful.
Narrator: A country girl who cast a spell on the world of pop music.
Sheryl Crow: Stevie to me was like the Rock and Roll princess. She's total attitude, but not only that, she's an excellent songwriter.
Narrator: For decades Stevie Nicks and her witchy ways have been a mystical force to be reckoned with.
Keith Olsen: She was either gonna be a super star or nobody. There was no in between for her.
Narrator: She seduced music fans with her haunting lyrics and bewitched men with her passionate spirit.
Lindsey Buckingham: Stevie and I were not married but we were as good as married.
Mick: I was very much in love with Stevie.
Narrator: She ascended to the top with Fleetwood Mac.
Stevie: It was one big outrageous morning 'til night party everyday, for years.
Narrator: Then stole the spotlight when she struck out on her own.
Mick: I said, "Oh God. This is always like a death wish for a band."
Narrator: Stevie Nicks accomplished the unprecedented feat of launching a successful solo career while still key member of one of rock's most successful bands.
Mick: She's incredibly creative. Her demands on herself are strong ones.
Narrator: Then her fairy tale life was turned upside down. First by cocaine abuse and later by a debilitating dependency on tranquilizers.
Paul: There were times, you know, when she, we had to just scrape her off the floor, Fishkin near overdoses on the road.
Stevie: I realized that I was gonna have to stop doing drugs or they were gonna kill me.
Narrator: But Stevie turned her pain into song, reclaiming her confidence and her career.
Courtney: She's just part of our collective unconscious. We all grew up with her. She's the first feminine, lovely but strong, female songwriter.
Narrator: Tonight, Stevie Nicks, the story behind the music...
"Stand Back" plays...
For more than two decades Stevie Nicks has held her loyal fans spellbound with her mystical songs and enchanting stage presence. And along the way inspired a generation of female rockers.
Sheryl: There are a lot of people that are really talented, but there are a few people that are really stars, that have the whole energy package. When your standing next to them, that you know your in the presence of something powerful and great. And that's, for me, that's what Stevie's like.
Courtney: She's like your fairy-princess-godmother who's, you know, gonna save you and Love lives in a magical kingdom somewhere and has like, fabulous romances.
Narrator: Throughout her fairy tale career, Stevie Nicks has sold more than 50 million records and has had 17 top 40 hits, but in 1994 she walked away from it all. After a concert in Los Angeles, Stevie left the stage and vowed never to sing in public again.
After achieving sex symbol status in the 70's, and eight-year battle with tranquilizers left Stevie unhealthy and overweight.
Stevie: I just wouldn't go on stage and perform anymore if I didn't lose the weight, if I didn't get back to a fairly normal weight because it was just too hard, it was just too difficult to, to have everybody expect me to be a different way, you know, and, and not be able to get back to that so I just was very depressed about it.
Narrator: For over three year Stevie Nicks lived in a self-imposed exile. She was fighting her way back from depression by writing songs and reclaiming her health.
"Talk to Me" plays..
Today she is reemerged. Celebrating her remarkable career, Stevie released her most personal project to date, Enchanted, a three CD box set chronicling her dramatic life story. Each song is a chapter of her past, the lyrics torn from the pages of her journals.
Stevie: It is like a photo album for me. These songs are all written about something. So there is a memory and an experience that goes along with each of them. For me it's like seeing all of my experiences spread out all over the floor. It was kind of intense, actually putting this together. More intense than putting together a new album.
Narrator: Stevie's extraordinary life began quite ordinarily in 1948 in Phoenix, Arizona. As a child, her mother introduced Stevie to the magical world of fairy tales and fantasy. Her grandfather, a frustrated country singer, encouraged Stevie to develop her musical talent.
Stevie: sings: "My grandfather taught me to sing at four, took me everywhere, had me dancing on bars" And then the chorus went: "Sing like you mean it, Granddaughter, put your heart into it"
Narrator: When she turned 16 her parents bought Stevie her own guitar. That very day she wrote her first song, "I've Loved and I've Lost".It would mark the beginning of a career for a songwriter who would become famous, expressing her joy and her pain through her music.
Stevie: From that minute it was very clear to me that this was what I was gonna do.
Narrator: At college near San Francisco, Stevie ran into an old friend from high school, Lindsey Buckingham. Remembering Stevie and her distinctive voice, Lindsey invited her to join his band called Fritz.
Stevie: This was a really heavy San Francisco Rock and Roll band with, you know, intricate uh solos in the middle and that whole kind of thing. So I really had no idea what I was doing or getting into when I said, "Yes, I'd like to do this."
Narrator: Fritz attracted a local following, but it was Stevie and Lindsey who stole the show. In '71 producer Keith Olsen convinced Stevie and Lindsey to leave the band, move to Los Angeles, and record some demos.
"Frozen Love" plays...
Keith: There was a timber that happened when the two voices would join. That was Olsen unique and it was, you never heard that before. I don't think you've heard it since. Those two voices sing like that and sound like that for a reason. They were meant to sing together.
Stevie: We were on a mission. So it Ws our whole reason for getting up and going to bed every night, was, you know, becoming successful in the music business and getting our songs out.
"Long Distance Winner" plays...
Narrator: Once in L.A., Stevie had something new to sing about. Her musical union with Lindsey evolved into a romance. Stevie revealed her passion in her lyrics and trusted Lindsey to arrange the music.
Lindsey: Whatever her music was, I mean, I was always this soul mate who knew exactly what to do with it.
Narrator: While Lindsey stayed home arranging and recording, Stevie supported them both waiting tables and cleaning producer Keith Olsen's house.
Keith: When Stevie would come to my door and say, "Okay, I'm gonna clean it." She Olsen looked just like Carol Bernett. It was absolutely hilarious. (laughs)
Narrator: After struggling for a year, Stevie and Lindsey got their first big break. In 1972 Olsen landed landed Buckingham-Nicks a deal with Polydor Records.
Narrator: But just as Stevie and Lindsey's career seemed to be taking off their bubble burst. Record sales were disappointing, just months after the album's release, Stevie and Lindsey were dropped by the label.
Stevie: Lindsey and I think that the world has ended because we have had a taste of the finer things. We have recorded in a big studio, we have been introduced to fabulous musicians, we have met a lot of people. We are very proud of our record, and it just gets dropped. And we are back to square one.
Narrator: Stevie's dreams had crumbled. Distraught, she vented her pain through the lyrics of a song that would eventually become a classic.
Stevie: My dad said, "You know, I think that this is time to put a limit on this. You're not very happy. You and Lindsey aren't happy. Um, I think you should put a six-month limit on this. And then I think you should go back to school. And you can still sing and stuff but, but, I think you need to do this. " And I said, "Okay."
Narrator: Next, Stevie is a washing success.
Stevie: Money everywhere. Money on the floor. Money in pockets. Money in the washing machine.
Narrator: Then fame's glitter fades.
Stevie: I was dead tired, exhausted, wondering, you know, if uh, this was really gonna make me very happy for the rest of my life.
Narrator: When Behind the Music continues...
"Crying in the Night" plays...
Narrator: By the end of '74, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were losing hope in their stalled music careers. Their first album together was a disappointment, and Polydor Records dropped them. Stevie told her parents she was coming home if she didn't make it in the next six months.
Stevie: My mom and dad said, "If you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it and we will basically support you. And I thought, "Well, hey, who am I to turn that down at this point, you know.
Narrator: Two months later Stevie received a phone call that would forever change her life. It was Mick: Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. After hearing a Buckingham-Nicks demo, Mick: invited Stevie and Lindsey to join his English Blues band.
Stevie: We ooh'd and ahh'd and laughed and cried and said, "We'll call you back." And I went out and bought all the Fleetwood Mac records, and I listened to them back to front and I went to Lindsey and I said, "I think it's worth it. I do. I think we can bring something to this band. I don't think we're gonna lose ourselves. I think it's okay."
Narrator: Stevie and Lindsey accepted the offer. Within six months the band had recorded the album "Fleetwood Mac" and embarked on a 35 city tour. Stevie Nicks was 27 years old.
Stevie: The first record that we did, it was really easy. It was probably the easiest of all because of the newness and the whole fun of the whole thing and how excited everybody was and, um, so it was easy. That record was done in three months.
Narrator: Fleetwood Mac's self titles album would go on to sell 5 million copies.
Narrator: Stevie's song Rhiannon, became the album's big hit, and Stevie's big breakthrough. With her enchanting voice and ethereal style she distinguished herself from the rest of the band and began making her mark as rock's most mystical star. Her possessed performances left audiences spellbound.
Mick: She's not a person that half cooks anything, so her Rhiannon in those days was like an exorcism.
Narrator: Then in early 1976 Fleetwood Mac headed to Sausalito, California to record the Rumors album. While those sessions produced a historic recording, they also marked the end of Stevie's relationship with Lindsey.
Stevie: We couldn't be together and also work together. I couldn't have him, you know, telling me that, you know, this song that I wrote wasn't that good and, and knowing he was saying that because he was angry about me because of our relationship. It just didn't leave us anywhere to go, anywhere to grow or get better.
Lindsey: It's very difficult to be in the process of breaking up with someone and to have to see them everyday. It's just not natural, it's not healthy.
Narrator: Stevie and Lindsey struggled to keep their troubled relationship from affecting the band. Expressing their heartache only in their songs.
Lindsey: During the making of Rumors, Stevie and I would have to work together. I mean I was the one who was sorting out her songs and making them into records. And there were times when I had the urge, not to want to do that, not to want to help her.
Stevie: Lindsey didn't want this breakup. He didn't want to not be with me. He and, he and I were really, you know, we'd been together for a long time, many, many, many years. We definitely felt married.
Lindsey: It , it, it made for some, some hurtful times. It made for some, some times that were, that were, uh, definitely rife with, with anger. And um, and you had to push through anyway.
:Go Your Own Way" plays...
Narrator: The emotionally charged Rumors album took Fleetwood Mac a year to complete. Then on April 2nd, 1977, after just two months in stores, the record hit #1 on the charts. It would eventually sell 25 million copies, making it the best selling record the world had ever heard.
Stevie: We all went out and bought a lot of stuff, a lot of expensive stuff, you know, houses, cars. I mean we spent a lot of money.
Narrator: Stevie was enjoying the riches of fame, but to deal with her breakup with Lindsey and to keep up with her demanding schedule, Stevie says she turned to cocaine.
Stevie: In the first couple of years it was very, very much something to get energy from, you know. Oh I'll never get through this if I don't do some coke, you know. I've got 15 interviews, I've got a show, I've got 20 fittings, I've got this, that. I can't do it all, I'm too tired. So yeah it was like, you know, it was like, like taking one of your mom's diet pills.
"Gold Dust Woman" plays...
Narrator: If cocaine was Stevie's way of coping, songs were her emotional outlet and the complications in her life only fueled her passion for writing.
Stevie: Christine would laughingly say, "Ope, the mad songwriter, she's writing another song." And I would feel like, you know they're right, I'm mad. Because I don't need to write another song. There is no place for another song.
Narrator: With two other songwriters in Fleetwood Mac, there was only room for three or four of Stevie's songs per album, but she had amassed a library of material, so Stevie began contemplating a solo career.
Stevie: It had nothing to do with me wanting to leave the band and everything to do with me just wanting to have another outlet for my songs, so that I didn't feel like I was writing for nothing. You know, three songs every two or three years is not very much for , for a prolific songwriter.
Narrator: Then in '77 Stevie met Paul Fishkin, a top record executive who was convinced Stevie could make it on her own.
Paul: She was the hottest female in the world, at the time. Albeit in a group, not as a, not as a solo artist, and had all these wonderful songs. I never had any doubt that she could sell millions of records.
Narrator: As Fishkin devised a plan to launch her solo career, Stevie returned to the band for the Rumors tour. On the road she began a passionate but secret affair with married band mate Mick Fleetwood and once again, the emotions came out in her music.
Mick: (Sara plays... ) It had an intrigue, it had all sorts of naughtiness that appeal to me in Stevie. But I was, I was very much in love with Stevie.
Stevie: And I loved Mick and Mick loved me, and it was really you know, there were some very special moments.
Narrator: As Mick and Stevie's relationship became more serious, it became harder to hide. Fearing Lindsey would be hurt and leave the band if he learned of their relationship from someone else, Mick decided to come clean.
Lindsey: I remember very clearly, uh, Mick called me up and said, " I have, I have something I just want to talk to you about." And he came over and we sat down at my kitchen table and he said, "Well, I, you know, I've been seeing Stevie." It was just one more thing. You know, I mean by that time we, our armor was, was pretty thick and I don't think anything that would have happened could have, would have surprised anybody.
Mick: I'm really glad that I did that and he didn't find out through some road manager or something. It was not a flippant situation. I wanted it to be known that this was what was happening.
Narrator: Though Lindsey seemed to understand, Stevie and Mick realized that Fleetwood Mac was already a fragile web of egos and emotions that couldn't handle another complication. So they ended their romance only a few months after it started.
Stevie: We just knew it couldn't work. That would have broken up Fleetwood Mac, absolutely would have. So we dropped it.
Narrator: While Stevie continued to tour with Fleetwood Mac, record executive and friend Paul Fishkin created a new label, Modern Records, just for Stevie's solo work. When her band mates found out they were less than pleased.
Stevie: Everybody was worried, what if it's a flop, then that's gonna hurt Fleetwood Mac. And then, what if it's a hit, then that could hurt Fleetwood Mac. So it was like whatever happened in the beginning, to me, was like you know, nobody was real happy about it. Because, I could, because of the affect it would have on my band. I knew from the beginning it was not gonna affect my band. I wasn't gonna let it.
Narrator: Next, just as Stevie's solo album hits #1, she receives tragic news.
Stevie: My very best friend, Robin, called me and told me that she had terminal leukemia. It was horrible. It was such an upsetting situation, you know.
Narrator: Then, years of hard living threatened Stevie's health.
Stevie: He looked at my nose and he said, "You could have a brain hemorrhage."
Narrator: When Behind the Music continues...
By 1981 Stevie Nicks had reached legendary status as the charismatic songstress of Fleetwood Mac. She had also written dozens of songs she knew Fleetwood Mac would never record. Now Stevie was embarking on a solo career that left the future of rock's biggest band uncertain.
Mick: I said, "Oh God. This is always like a, a death wish for a band." And once I'd gone through that process, her loyalty to Fleetwood Mac was still so very much in tact that it really was not a threat.
Narrator: In the Spring of '81 Stevie and her two backup singers Sharon Celani and Lori Perry went into the studio and began work on Stevie's first solo album.
Lori: I think she was probably scared to death. I mean that was a big, big step and that's why she had Sharon and I there with her because she didn't want to do it alone. (laughs) If I fail, I don't want to fail by myself.
Narrator: To strike gold, record executive Paul Fishkin believed it was important to stay clear of the ethereal image Stevie had developed with Fleetwood Mac. He planned to market her as a straight ahead rocker.
Paul: She was a rocker, you know, her whole thing was Janis Joplin, so we really worked hard, very consciously to go after, make sure we had a rock song or two as the first single. We knew that we had a lock in the rock guys, you know, the rock programmers and the rock stations and we also, and we also knew that a lot of those guys even though they kind of like the way she looked, but didn't quite take her seriously because of that sort of witch, airy fairy image that kind of came out of the Fleetwood Mac thing.
Narrator: Jimmy Iovine signed on the produce Stevie. But Jimmy was convinced Stevie had been spoiled by Fleetwood Mac's notorious studio excesses so his first act was laying down the law.
Jimmy: I just said, "Look, if we're gonna do this it's not a part-time job. We have to approach it like you've never made an album before. 'Cause the band, you can't trick them, you can't trick very seasoned musicians. They have to believe it. If they feel that this is a hobby of yours they're gonna treat it like a hobby and everyone around it will treat it like a hobby. So if that's what you want to do then I'm not interested."
Stevie: He said, "This is not big rock and roll. This is something you have never done before, you are not a proven solo artist in any way, shape, or form. You have been protected like the little baby egg for seven years. This is something that you have to do alone, Stevie, and if you want to do this then I have to know that you are going to be very, very strong and very disciplined.
Narrator: Jimmy's tough love tactics worked. Stevie was determined to finish her first solo album on schedule. Long hours in the studio brought Stevie and Jimmy together and soon their musical partnership evolved into a romance that would last for years.
Jimmy: We just hooked up for a while and it was really great and we, we were young and having a good time making a record.
Stevie: Jimmy was everything, you know, he said, "I will be there with you to make you strong enough to do this and it won't hurt your band and it won't hurt anybody else and you'll be happier."
Narrator: Not only was a solo career an outlet for her songs, it also allowed Stevie the freedom to sing duets with artists she admired.
Jimmy: Her harmony, her sense of harmony is completely unique. I think it's every bit as good as the Everly Brothers, you know. That's one of her strong suits, is singing harmony to someone else she can mold her voice any way she wants.
"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" plays...
Narrator: Stevie's raw talent and newfound discipline earned her the respect of established rock stars like Tom Petty and Don Henley.
Paul: Tom and Henley, they knew, they knew how brilliant she was. That voice and those songs, I mean they were around her, they knew. They met her and they really saw it.
Narrator: In July 1981, Stevie released her first solo album, Belladonna. She dedicated it to the man she first sang duets with, her grandfather AJ.
"Edge of Seventeen" plays...
Narrator: Stevie's first solo tour was a huge success and could have gone on for months, but she cut it short. Stevie wanted to let Fleetwood Mac know that the band was still a priority. After only a dozen shows she rushed back to the studio to begin work on their Mirage album.
Stevie: We didn't even talk about it. You know, I went in and we, we didn't really discuss Belladonna. So I kept it away from them, you know, I tried , I kept it out of their face so it wouldn't hurt them.
Narrator: But there was no stopping Stevie's solo career. Within two months Belladonna had sold nearly 2 million records and on September 3rd, 1981, Rolling Stone crowned Stevie the "Queen of Rock and Roll".
Paul: Whoa, that was it. (laughs) He, you couldn't uh, couldn't hit a better bulls eye than that one.
Narrator: Then just days later Belladonna reached number 1. But that very day Stevie received devastating news.
Stevie: My very best friend, Robin, called me and told me that she had terminal leukemia and that they thought maybe she might last for three months. So, it, without a doubt was, you know, the absolute high and low of success. I didn't really ever get to enjoy Belladonna at all, because my friend was dying so it just, you know, something went out that day, something left that day.
Narrator: To further complicate matters, Robin discovered she was pregnant. Given only 3 months to live it seemed impossible to save the baby.But Robin was determined to hang on long enough to have her child. Wanting to comfort her best friend in her final days, Stevie took Robin to Hawaii. They relaxed, sailed, and relived old times.
Stevie: She'd just been in my life since I was 14. She was the one person that knew me for what I really was and not for the famous Stevie, and it was good to have somebody that knew the real you besides just your mom and dad.
"Beauty and the Beast" plays...
Narrator: In October of 1982 Robin's condition worsened and she underwent an emergency C-section to save her baby. Five days later Robin Anderson lost her battle with cancer. She was just 32 years old. Robin's husband Kim would have to raise the baby alone.
Stevie: She died and they took the baby, so it was like he was three months premature so, it was horrible, it was such and upsetting situation, you know. Everybody was so devastated and there was this little premature baby, and I just went crazy.
Sharon: It was a couple years before Stevie was the same. It was hard for her to really come back from that whole experience.
Paul: There's a part of Stevie that's very fragile, you know, but there's another part of her that's just tough as nails and, uh, it's like what anybody does, they reach down for that inside and you know, get through it, but it was brutal. It was brutal.
Narrator: To make matters worse for Stevie, she had no time to grieve for her best friend. She was in the middle of the Mirage tour with Fleetwood Mac and couldn't take time off.
Stevie: I just had to keep working and it was like, you know, I mean, any, any song would come on the radio and I'd burst into tears. You know, any, anything I sang, I would make me burst into tears.
Narrator: Eventually Stevie emerged from the tragedy with a new appreciation for life. The loss had fueled her creativity and soon she had enough songs for her second solo album, The Wild Heart.
Stevie: The Wild Heart was truly the wild heart. Everybody around me was in love, finding somebody to be in love with. It was like the big love time. We went on The Wild Heart Tour and there was like, everybody was either getting divorced or getting married, or walked on the plane and looked at somebody and fell in love with them at first sight, immediately. So it was like the wildest tour because it was just all about love affairs.
"If Anyone Falls" plays...
Narrator: In just three years Stevie had recorded two solo albums and Fleetwood Mac's Mirage. She was pushing herself hard and her overloaded schedule was beginning to burn her out.
Mick: I think she suffered physically, uh, a lot. She was running two gigs and two lives, separate lives that were equally as powerful, and it took a hell of a lot out of her to retain that loyalty to Fleetwood Mac and not go, "See ya." Um, and I think it was quite devastation for her.
Narrator: In '85 Stevie and Jimmy Iovine returned to the studio to record "Rock A Little", but Stevie says by then she had developed a serious cocaine addiction and it was affecting her performance. Before the album was completed Jimmy Iovine walked out.
"Rock a Little" plays...
Stevie: I think it got to a point with Jimmy and I, where, I really just got a little bit too crazy. It wasn't any fun for him anymore, you know, and I understood that. I wasn't , it wasn't hard to understand, why he wouldn't want to do it anymore.
Paul: Jimmy had helped create the magic for her, and now that they weren't getting along, we all started getting nervous about it.
Lori: Drugs were getting in the way, a lot of stuff was getting in the way. Um again, we didn't have that real tight unit that we had in the very beginning.
"Has Anyone Ever Written Anything For You" plays...
Narrator: With her world crumbling around her, Stevie turned again to the piano to express her anguish. During the Rock a Little Tour Stevie's cocaine use escalated. On stage she slipped and fell in front of her audience. Off stage she suffered nose bleeds. Stevie was an addict living in denial, until she saw her doctor.
Stevie: He looked at my nose and he said, "You could have a brain hemorrhage, and it could be the next time that you do cocaine. So you should live knowing that. And it won't be pretty.And it won't be nice. And it will be painful." That was all it took. Scared me to death, scared me, absolutely scared me to death.
Narrator: Next, Stevie checks into Betty Ford.
Stevie: I realized that I was gonna have to stop doing drugs or they were gonna kill me and I won't gonna be alive to rock a little anymore.
Narrator: Then Stevie vows never to perform again.
Stevie: I was never gonna walk on stage at that weight again, period.
Narrator: When behind the music continues...
"After the Glitter Fades" plays...
Narrator: In the spring of 1987, Stevie Nicks checked herself into the Betty Ford clinic to end more than a decade of cocaine abuse. After undergoing a 30-day treatment, she was released. Stevie was determined to stay clean and anxious to continue her demanding career. Stevie immediately went into the studio to record Tango in the Night with Fleetwood Mac. It would be their last album together for more than a decade. (Seven Wonders plays... ) By early 1988 Stevie Nicks was running out of steam. She was diagnosed with a chronic fatigue syndrome known as Ebsteinbar virus. After four months on the Tango in the Night Tour, her final few shows had to be canceled.
Mick: She had a battle with that for years as far as I remember. No one would understand, you can't be that tired. Well, your sleeping all the time, you know. Of course she's sleeping all the time, she's ill.
Narrator: Stevie retreated to her home in Phoenix. Over the next two years she rested to recover from the virus and worked on new songs. She had been through some difficult times but she was determined to continue writing.
"Talk to Me" plays...
Narrator: In 1989 Stevie was back. She was healthy and ready to make her fourth solo album. To record it, Stevie transformed a Dutch-style castle in Los Angeles into a studio.
Stevie: I can talk about this now because, who cares? It cost $25,000 a month, all right. It's like, it was like, forget it! Nobody should rent this house! This incredible house. We changed the formal dining room into a recording studio and recorded the record, the whole record there. So it was my magic album.
"Rooms On Fire" plays...
Narrator: But while touring to support her new album Stevie's clear creative vision began to blur. Since leaving Betty Ford three years earlier, Stevie had been taking a prescription tranquilizer called Klonopin. Prescribed by doctors for stress, Stevie assumed the tranquilizers were helping her. But instead she said the drug sacked her energy.
Stevie: It just made you a nonentity. It just, you know, valumed you out so much that you didn't really care about anything. But it was hard to know because I was taking it everyday, like you would take a, you know, like you would take vitamin C .
Narrator: Despite her addiction to Klonopin, Stevie managed to record two more albums over the next five years, Time Space and Street Angel. Though Time Space would eventually turn platinum and Street Angel gold, the drug caused Stevie to become progressively distant and disconnected.
Paul: It created over a period of time a deterioration of the whole thing, you know. Records went, started selling less. Each record actually, sold almost half the one before that, you know. And she started getting more and more isolated.
Narrator: Then in late '93 Stevie had a moment of clarity, and she decided to get her life back on track.
Stevie: I realized that I was gonna have to stop doing drugs or they were gonna kill me and I wasn't gonna be alive to rock a little anymore.
Narrator: Desperate to save herself, Stevie checked in to Exodus Drug rehabilitation Center in Los Angeles. Beating her addiction to Klonopin was excruciating, much tougher, Stevie says, than kicking cocaine.
Paul: That was so painful, beyond belief, what she went through in that rehab. Prescription drugs are the worse to recover from. I mean she was in dreadful pain. I mean I can't, I , I can't believe, I mean she did it and she, she, there's that side of her that just, um, just willed herself to do it.
Narrator: After completing a difficult six-week program, Stevie went home. It was the first time in almost two decades she was completely drug free.
Stevie: I went straight to Phoenix. Didn't even go back to my house in LA. In that four months that I was home that's when I gained like another ten pounds somehow. Uh, and it really hit me very hard.
Narrator: Her eight years of addiction to Klonopin had taken it's toll. Stevie says the drug had made her lethargic and that had caused her to gain weight. On the Street Angel tour in 1994, Stevie says the press seemed more interested in her size than her songs.
Stevie: It makes you feel bad. It makes you feel like, Well, I'm not a good songwriter anymore because I'm, you know, 25 pounds too heavy. I'm not a good songwriter, I'm not talented anymore?
Narrator: Dejected, Stevie again took refuge in Arizona. For the next three years she lived there as a recluse out of the public eye.
Lori: She was getting to know herself and getting to know Stevie again. It's a long process of healing and there was nothing anybody could really do. She was very sad for a long time. Very unhappy. Um, just there was nothing that she could find in life that really mattered that much to her.
Narrator: As she had since childhood, Stevie found salvation in her music. She poured her heart into her song and in the process reclaimed her identity.
"Sweet Girl" plays...
Stevie: I wrote a lot of songs during that time, and I managed to lose about 30 pounds, and my life got better, you know, my life got a lot better.
Lori: Writing those songs was in a way a catharsis, for a healing process. We recordedlike ten songs, demos, you know, just piano or guitar, but I mean, we had practically an album.
Sharon: She really feels that if she doesn't work, she feels worthless, and she doesn't feel deserving of all of the fame and the riches. She, she feels like she has to give back. So she really feels compelled to write.
"The Chain" plays...
Narrator: Then in 1997, three years after Stevie vowed never to sing in public again, Fleetwood Mac shocked the world and reunited. Stevie was back in shape and eager to front the band that had made her famous. A television special kicked off the release of their eighth album, The Dance. Then they launched a three-month sold out world tour. Fleetwood Mac was back with a vengeance,and Stevie had never sounded so good.
Stevie: It was really magic on stage. As magic as it gets, it was.
Courtney: I think she probably has probably the sexiest voice of anyone that I can think of.
Sheryl: She is sort of this timeless character to me, and she doesn't change and she still maintains her integrity and she just is able to sort of, kind of um, radiate this youthfulness.
"Silver Springs" plays...
Narrator: Grammy nominations followed for Stevie's song Silver Springs. Their passion for music finally brought Stevie and Lindsey back together and with a renewed vibrancy Fleetwood Mac recaptured the excitement of the past. Stevie proved she was the same bewitching siren who stole the hearts of her fans more than 20 years before.
Lindsey: This was the girl that I used to live with, and it was no longer bittersweet, which it had been for so long. It was just sweet.
Stevie: Lindsey and I, you know, we have something very special. We decided to do this a long, long time ago. And we fought for it, you know, we had a pot of gold that we were searching for together and we never gave up until we got it. So now that's a pretty great thing. Now the two of us can link arms and walk out on stage and say to everyone without saying it, "We worked very hard for this."
Narrator: Next, Stevie Nicks has no regrets.
Stevie: If I did it all over again I'd probably do the same thing. I love my music. I'm not willing to give up my music for anybody.
Narrator: When Behind the Music continues...
Narrator: After more than 25 years in the music business, Stevie Nicks is still enchanting her fans. In the spring of 1998, she released a 3 CD box set and returned to the stage as a solo artist. Stevie is back and once again inspiring a new generation of rockers.
Sheryl: She made it possible for a lot of women to write lyrics that were personal and have men not be freaked out by that, or even women for that matter. She made it possible for you to, you know, incorporate sensual lyrics into a rock forum.
Courtney: There's a lot of fabric and there's a lot of detail and her compositions are really, really good and you know, the way that she changes keys is very sophisticated. She's a very sophisticated songwriter.
Narrator: Stevie hopes that the next generation of women in rock will not only learn form her music but also from her mistakes.
Stevie: The girls that I know, I tell them all these stories and so that maybe at some point in their lives, one of my stories will pop up and save them making a really bad mistake. Because I made it, so let me be the only one to have made it then. Don't you make it too.
Narrator: Through the highs and lows of her illustrious career, Stevie has artfully revealed her secret passions, her pain and personal triumphs through her lyrics. Writing each song like a love letter to her loyal fans.
"I Sing For the Things" plays...
Mick: She has an audience that is incredibly forgiving where things have gone wrong for Stevie and I'm talking about times when she didn't remember that she was walking out on stage, you know. Which is my God, not the case now. They literally adore her, it's as simple as that.
Stevie: Once I write a song that connects with people, they don't ever forget that connection. So I think a lot of connections were made in the very, very beginning that made it last through now. Because those were such strong ties that were made then, that they just were never broken.
Narrator: Health, privacy, and love. Stevie Nicks sacrificed them all for her career, but says she has no regrets.
Stevie: If I did it all over again I would probably do the same thing. I love my music. I am really more interested in becoming a really great songwriter and you know, doing other things in this world besides being a mother and having children and being in a marriage. You know, it's just not my priority.
Mick: Her child is her career or, you know, she loves what she does. She absolutely loves it. And she gets nervous and she gets fretted out. I think she'll be doing this for donkeys years, because she has a loyalty to that.
Paul: She's, you know, top of the world. (laughs) She's, uh, I love her. Always will.
Narrator: With a half a century behind her, Stevie says she's never been happier. She's doing what she loves, making music and touring and giving back to the fans that have given her so much.
Stevie: I am a very different girl from the girl that was so wrapped up in rock and roll and the drugs and everything else. I'll never take it all for granted again, ever. Because I also now really realize how quickly that it can go, and that you can be the darling one year, and be nobody the next year. So you have to learn to accept and deal with that.
Narrator: When Stevie was just four her grandfather paid her 50 cents to practice guitar and dreamed she'd someday become a star. Today, after almost three decades in the music business, Stevie's still the raining Queen of Rock and Roll. Stevie believes somewhere in heaven her grandfather is smiling.
Stevie: He wanted to be a famous country western star so badly. I have to believe he's up there enjoying this with me. He would be really happy now for me because I think that he and everybody else are seeing that for the first time in a long time, I'm really enjoying this. This is fun and this is really all I ever wanted.
This VH1 special was transcribed by Shannon Henley (email@example.com)
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