On December 19, 1997, The KTAR Players (620 AM) staged the third production of A Christmas Carol in which Stevie Nicks played The Ghost of Christmas Past. The show was simulcast over the radio station and videotaped by Cox Communications for television airing on the local Phoenix Public Access Station Channel 11.
Although I was unable to attend the actual production due to a work-related function, I did manage to show up at the stage exit door to see Stevie leaving the Theatre. This year she left from a different door and there were many security people around; nothing like the casual atmosphere after the show last year. It had been pouring rain for the past half hour and I fell on the sidewalk in the rush over to the Theatre; soaking the Best Buy CD Tour Booklet I had hoped to get Stevie to autograph. The crowd was about twice as large as last year; including a few children. Luckily, it stopped raining before Stevie exited. Jess Nicks came out with his granddaughter, Jessica Nicks, following. Jessica was one of the Carolers in the production and was wearing a frilly, burgundy colored dress. She had lovely ringlets in her long and very blonde hair. At some point, the limo driver got in Stevie's vehicle (the same white limo from the past two years) and drove around the building to the side exit. Of course, we were in hot pursuit; only to find out he had been asked to move the vehicle off the main drag. He told us Stevie would still be exiting out the back door. He also told us not to worry; Stevie is very gracious and would never just exit without spending some time with her fans. I believe he said "Stevie is very good about that". He is also the same driver that has been with Stevie in the past. Barbara Nicks stood outside talking with the crowd while Jessica and Jess stayed in the vehicle for the most part. We were twice told that Stevie would be signing autographs, but photos were forbidden. This was a big disappointment after getting two personal photos with her last year. Yet, we were relieved to know that she would sign autographs. This was especially comforting to a fan who had flown from New Jersey to Phoenix just for this event!
During this time, Stevie was doing her usual post-production interview with KTAR's Pat McMahon. I am sorry to say that it was not a very good interview. Mr. McMahon was trying to talk with the local weathermen and Joe Garagiola, Sr.. at the same time. Stevie was barely asked 3 questions. First, I want to state that at the end of her performance, Stevie was identified as Fleetwood Mac's Lead Singer and Arizona's Favorite Daughter. I thought this was more appropriate than her past introductions. She mentioned that an inspirational performer to her was Bob Dylan during his tour with Tom Petty in Australia. She said it was her first time on radio speaking about the end of Fleetwood Mac's current tour and that it was all very sad. The Band is currently at its peak musically and they had all discussed and planned touring Europe and Australia for a month each after the holidays, but Christine was just tired of it. Stevie said they are holding out some hope that once Christine rests for a few months, she will change her mind; but Stevie did not sound very hopeful as she talked about it. One of the weathermen bought up how Stevie musically appeals across the generations as evidenced by her rendition of "I Need To Know" at the end of a Gin Blossoms concert two years ago. He said he was blown away by the younger fans who recognized and loved her. Joe Garagiola, Sr.. said he was very impressed by Stevie going out and buying her own outfit for this performance. Stevie said she specifically picked it out in LA.
Someone came out and announced again that Stevie would be coming out and signing autographs, but no photos were to be taken. Stevie then came quickly out dressed in a long brown velvet outfit. She had on those tan platform boots pictured in the Harpers Bazaar Magazine. She looked lovely and was very gracious signing autographs for all who asked. The instant she appeared we all automatically shot our cameras up for a photo and we were sternly warned by a girl who I believe to be Stevie's longtime wardrobe mistress, Kim. She too has been at the past two performances of this production. As far as I know, no photos were taken at this time. A friend, Kent Nevitt, did take some fairly decent photos during the production, inside the Theatre. The guy from New Jersey got a hug and started shaking and crying uncontrollably; he went back two more times! Stevie stated she planned to do a solo tour this Spring! Kent told her that he had attended the Phoenix concert and two out of state concerts and thanked her for the group reuniting. She seemed surprised someone would go out of state to see the same concert and Kent's wife Lisa announced that "he has a very understanding wife". Stevie enjoyed that comment a lot and autographed Lisa's program with a heart. The girl who was getting an autograph before me told Stevie her name was Becky. Stevie wanted to know how she spelled that and the girl said "nothing fancy; the usual way". She and Stevie talked about the funny ways people spell their names and how awful it is if she signs someone's prized possession with their name spelled wrong. I decided then and there not to ask her to spell my name correctly! A few more signings and she was off. It was sad that she would not take photos with people; but it just makes last year's coup all the more special. Anytime spent with Stevie is always so special!
Marc Bailey made like Stevie Nicks during his role as a robber during KTAR's production of A Christmas Carol last Friday. The Channel 15 news anchor held a blanket and spun around just like the popular singer. "I'm glad I got my CD signed before the show," Bailey joked. Nicks played one of the ghosts in the 12th annual production of the Dickens classic. "It's great," she said as she signed autographs in a glittering gold cape and veil after the show. "I have to wake up at 7 a.m. That's very early for me. I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun... Nicks' niece Jessica played one of the carolers. Others who participated included former Today show broadcaster Joe Garagiola, Attorney General Grant Woods....etc.
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