Interview with Jim Ladd|
I'm Jim Ladd and it is exactly 9:00 and time for "An Enchanted Hour With Stevie Nicks".
[EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS]
JL: She has been called a rock-and-roll diva, a gypsy singer in silk and lace spinning magic as she twirls and dances across the stages of the world--a woman whose songs of love and loss have touched the hearts of millions. She first came to public attention in 1973 with the release of Buckingham Nicks, an album which brought her and Lindsey Buckingham to the attention of Mick Fleetwood and lead to the creation of one of the most successful bands in the history of rock and roll. Along the way she's recorded six solo albums and she just released a 3 CD boxed set called "Enchanted". This new box set not only encapsulates her solo career but includes previously unreleased songs, demos, movie soundtracks and a 64 page book of photographs and lyrics which she personally selected. What you're about to hear is an hour of conversation and music with one of rock's most beloved voices recorded as she was preparing to embark on a 40-city concert tour of the U.S. So prepare yourself for an enchanted hour with Stevie Nicks.
[EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS]
JL: I met with Stevie at about 10:30 one evening in her home near the beach in Southern California. And as we sat down in her living room amidst the soft candlelight and gentle smell of incense, we began our conversation with how the Enchanted box set got its name.
[SLEEPING ANGEL MUSIC PLAYS IN BACKGROUND]
Stevie: Well, when I got off the Fleetwood Mac tour, I came here on December 1st and I put together the list of songs pretty much…and I went home to Phoenix around the 15th and I started working on this thing with my brother and the first day I was there I said to him what do you think the title for this should be, I mean, not expecting him to give me an answer-just play the devil's advocate and say anything and then I'll have something to argue with you about. He said 'wait a minute' and ran out to his cottage and he came in with a long oblong piece of white paper and it had a white feather stamped on it and my signature at the bottom and in block letters across the front it said "Enchanted" and he said 'what do you think' and I said 'well, I think its great! I think its perfect…we didn't really even … it's his favorite song too. We didn't even really go into that…you know…it was Enchanted before we even really…he didn't say after the song "Enchanted" he just put Enchanted there.
JL: By the way, who was the idiot in the song who wanted you but didn't try?
Stevie: I can't tell you that.
JL: But there was a guy.
Stevie: Oh, yeah. Mmm hmmm.
JL: Well, what a jerk.
Stevie: That's kinda a Na Na Na Na song. Isn't it?
JL: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
Stevie: Kind of, you know…
JL: Oh, yeah. Well, uh, hopefully he's living in a trailer park with twelve kids.
Stevie: Right. He's very sorry. (Laughs).
JL: It has 46 tracks in all. I know that because I listened to all 46 over the weekend and I understand that the sequencing of the songs is very important to you.
Stevie: Mmm hmmm
JL: Why is that, tell me. And how do you go about doing that?
Stevie: The sequencing has always been important to me since I realized how important it is. I sequenced Rumors. Nobody really remembers that, but I did. That's what I said to Lindsey. I did. I know you don't remember this, but I did. (laughs) What I try to do is make the beginnings and the ends-you know--because being a radio man, its like you go into something it's good and then the way it comes out and goes into the next song might mean the difference between whether or not they listen to that next song or not. They might not even love the next song but if the beginnings and the ends are good, they might put up with it at least to give it a chance, right? So, I when I went to sequence this whole thing I didn't want to do it chronologically, I wanted to do the songs that sounded good next to each other and it didn't matter if it was 1973 Buckingham Nicks or if it was 1997 Twister. So that's why on the beginning of the third disc it has Twister going into Long Distance Winner. It's amazing, those two songs to me, what an incredible detour I went around to get from singing fairly the same on a fairly similar song. So that's what I tried to do. I tried to make there be no time. This was like one long enchanted recording session.
[LONG DISTANCE WINNER PLAYS]
JL: Contrast your view of the music business or your dreams of the music business then when your were making Buckingham Nicks and this song Long Distance Winner to now.
Stevie: Well, you know, when you haven't had any real success in awhile, you start feeling more like it's the beginning again. So you can be terribly successful and then two or three years down the road maybe, you know, you put out another record and it did well but it didn't do great and you still have a career and people still like you but you're kinda starting over in a way. It's like, oh are they going to make a comeback are they gonna do this again? I think in that way my dreams kinda remain the same. My dream is always that I'm going to write that song that is going to affect people-that people are going to love and keep with them-that's not going to be forgotten-that's not going to be like another movie that people forget, you know, it's going to be something that will remain. I think the way I felt about that has always been really the same. Just work really hard and try to be inspired and try to write stuff that means something to people and make people happy, you know, take people away from there miserable problems…for a minute.
[TALK TO ME PLAYS]
JL: We were talking about you spent 1997 touring with your old pals Fleetwood Mac.
JL: And I saw the Hollywood Bowl show. It was wonderful. It was great to see the combination of musicians back together again. Did you personally have as much fun as it appeared that you were and did you guys leave as friends?
Stevie: I absolutely did have a great time and we did leave as friends, yes.
JL: Everybody wants to hear that.
Stevie: It's totally true.
JL: And everybody else is doing fine? Mick, Christine and John and Lindsey are all good?
Stevie: Everybody's good. You know, we spent a lot of time together. We spent from last April 1st until the Grammys. That was our last thing. The Grammys was our last thing. And it was constant. I mean when you're on the road for three months and you do 45 shows and you're together all day long and you're together 3 hours before the show getting ready, you know, you are. You're in a backstage dressing room for three hours before you ever go on stage. It was every other day, you know, every day, for every gig. So it was, we spent a lot of time together. We had a lot of fun. We got up on each other's lives, you know, our families and everything and the shows were like as close to the shows in the 70's that I remember that were absolutely the reason why I wanted to do this-they were so exciting and so electrically charged, that there's just no even explaining it. There were some times when Lindsey and I were standing at the bottom of the ramp and we'd look at each other and the applause would be so loud that it was almost frightening. We couldn't hear. I had an ear monitor, I couldn't hear the ear monitor so we would hand signal each other 'do you believe this?' 'this is just so incredible." because it did have an absolute magic of the years gone by that we wish were still here in our own way.
[THE CHAIN from THE DANCE PLAYS]
JL: The song Stand Back", this hit #5 on the charts. I didn't realize that and unless I'm misunderstanding the meaning, this is yet another guy who did not pick up on the signals that you were sending. Now either he was blind, a homosexual or you gotta start working on your flirting technique.
Stevie: No. That's not what it was.
JL: Yes, it was.
Stevie: It was not.
JL: Yes, it was. I'm sorry.
Stevie: Did I already tell you that before? A couple of years ago I already told you that? (laughs) Oh my god. I can't even really tell you what Stand Back is about. Stand Back's kinda about more than one thing. There was a lot going on when Stand Back was written so it kinda pulled together all the things that were happening so it wasn't about one thing. It was written very quickly and I really did hum along to Little Red Corvette.
JL: Did ya?
Stevie: Yeah. And of course, now you can go home and do it too. If you search you will be able to find it. So, it was kinda more built around that whole thing, you know? Stand Back and Dreams are my two favorite songs to perform on stage.
JL: I don't mean to nail it too closely, but I always wondered what does the lyrics "you'll be standing in a line" mean or what does that connote to you?
Stevie: To be standing in a line….like a welfare line…
Stevie: (laughs) …standing in a line to get money or something…standing in a line waiting…you'll be standing in a line. It was another angry song! (laughs) (STAND BACK PLAYS]
JL: Do you remember the night that you came up to my house at 2:30 in the morning?
Stevie: Mmm hmm.
JL: With the ladies?
Stevie: Mmm hmm
JL: Oh, turn the tape off for just a second I just want to reminisce.
Stevie: (laughs) Turn the tape off (laughs)
JL: Yeah. Well, An Enchanted Evening With Stevie Nicks will continue in a minute and by the way, we're gonna give you an exclusive peek behind the scenes and let you listen in as Stevie rehearses for the road so don't go away. Is the tape off yet?
[I CAN'T WAIT PLAYS IN THE BACKGROUND]
JL: Leather and Lace is on this from Bella Donna.
Stevie: Yes. Yes.
JL: A wonderful duet that you did with Don Henley.
Stevie: Every once in awhile, Don and I still sing that song. He did a benefit about a year and a half ago in Phoenix, three in a row in two days and we did Leather and Lace.
JL: Did you?
Stevie: Yeah and it has remained a really fun thing to do every once in awhile because we know the song so well we don't have to practice so much so people love it. I can't take Don with me everywhere that's the problem you know? Really. When you do a duet with someone you're kinda stuck because they don't go with you they're not there to sing it so…
JL: There's not a bunch of people you can get to sound like Don Henley.
Stevie: No. There's really not. You know? "You just sing Don Henley's part" "Oh, okay." And have all the people sitting out there going "man, she should have gotten Don Henley!" (laughs)
[LEATHER AND LACE PLAYS]
JL: There is another famous duet that Stevie wanted on the Enchanted box set, the song she did with Tom Petty.
Stevie: I realized that it was going to be an important part of my life…that it was going to be a little bit of a career changer…that song. That's what I realized about that song.
JL: How did you know that?
Stevie: I don't know how I knew that. I think maybe the first time Tom and I sang it to each other I knew it. I didn't get it from just hearing Tom sing it. I didn't really get how it applied to me that much. But when we sang it as a duet then it just made all kinds of sense and then I liked it.
JL: Now when you think of doing a duet like with Don Henley or Tom Petty or whoever, do you start out as a fan like everybody else or is it because there's some alchemy there that we don't know about? Did you think, yeah, my voice would sound good with these guys or…
Stevie: Well with Tom, you know, I was such a big Tom Petty fan that really all I wanted to talk to Jimmy Iovine about was Tom. So, then the idea of Tom letting me have one of his songs and then Tom doing a duet with me was like incredible. But I didn't ask for that, you know, that came through Jimmy and Tom, I mean, somehow, together. I would never have the guts to ask Tom Petty to sing a song with me…not then. You know, now I would get on the phone and call just about anybody if I thought it was that important, but then, I would have never have done that then.
JL: You never asked me to sing a duet with you.
Stevie: I never did.
Stevie: And I probably never will.
JL: Thanks Stevie! You know, that will be left in too.
Stevie: You know, there haven't been a whole lot of people I've asked to sing duets with me!
JL: Oh yes there is. There's a list miles and miles long. C'mon!
Stevie: It's just over along period of time.
[STOP DRAGGING MY HEART AROUND PLAYS]
JL: The first preview from the box set is a previously unreleased song written by Warren Zevon that Stevie recorded several years ago.
Stevie: Okay, the great story that goes along with Reconsider Me is in 1985 when I was doing Rock A Little, Jimmy Iovine brought me this song. Warren Zevon wrote it, and, of course I love Warren because I've known Warren since before Lindsey and I joined Fleetwood Mac. Warren and Waddy were some of our friends so we go back a long way. He brought this song to me. Jimmy thought it was a very important song for me to do. He thought it was like "Stop Draggin More Heart" was in a way. It was that kind of a career changing song. And, of course, you couldn't tell me anything in 1985 and I just really didn't want to do another person's song, you know? So, I at the end, I did record I it and then when all the songs were recorded in the end, you know, a couple songs had to go, I pulled it because it wasn't one of my songs and now, I didn't even remember that Reconsider Me existed until Atlantic went back in all their vaults and found a bunch of stuff-a bunch of wild and crazy stuff that's been lost forever…and um…they loved it and I said great, you know, great. It's a great song. I was very surprised that I sung it well because I didn't really remember recording it that much so I didn't really remember the fine tune parts of it, but when they played it for me I thought 'wow, it's a great song'. I'm not a real 'reconsider me' gal but it's okay because I didn't write this. I can sing this and I can interpret this for Warren and I hope everybody really likes it.
[RECONDSIDER ME PLAYS]
JL: The final track on the box set is the song which is arguably the song most closely linked to Stevie as a performer.
Stevie: I decided to do a demo of Rhiannon for this box set because…for a couple different reasons. First of all, I played this song similar to that a million times. It has been recorded a million times in different studios and at my houses. We really ried to find a really good version of the piano demo of Rhiannon and I really couldn't find anything that I thought was good enough quality. So, I was determined to redo it, to just go and do it now like I would have done it then or like I've always done it. I went in about two months ago and spent a couple hours, tried to record it. I had a bad cold and the pedal of the piano was broken. So I actually got a good version of it. It's not the one that's on the record but it was good. I sounded like I had a cold. But it was really good so we really went back and forth about it. Then I went, I had to get on a plane and go and do the Brits in England so I go do that and I came back and everybody says, you know, if you wanna do this you've got to do this now. And I've said, you know, this record is not going out without the right Rhiannon on it because I think, in the long run, this could be the most important song on these whole 3 CDs. So, it's not going out without this song. So I went right in when I got back from there and I just played it twice and it's the second time.
[RHIANNON FROM ENCHANTED PLAYS]
JL: What you're about to hear is a rare glimpse inside the rehearsal room as Stevie prepared to embark on a 40 city tour. But keep in mind that she spent all of last year touring with Fleetwood Mac. I wondered if she felt ready to go back on the road so soon.
Stevie: I am ready because I'm making myself ready. We got off the road on December 1st and we finished with Fleetwood Mac, you know, at the Grammys but I have really stayed up. I've been exercising and taking really good care of myself and I've been doing a lot of stuff everyday because I didn't want to go in shock after having four months off so I've kinda kept in the momentum that I had with Fleetwood Mac because I never really lost that. Because I knew, on December 1st, they said we want you to do the box set and we want you to tour. So if Fleetwood isn't going out, then you are. So I knew immediately so I just didn't let myself sink into that total vacation thing where its really hard to come out of.
[GOLD DUST WOMAN FROM A REHEARSAL SESSION PLAYS]
JL: After the Glitter Fades. Let me tell ya, that is personally my all time favorite Stevie Nicks song and I'm so glad that she let us listen in on that one. Before that, Gold Dust Woman and that's how they sounded on the last night of rehearsals. You, of course, can see and hear the real thing on Stevie's current 40 city tour across North America.
[LIVE VERSION OF EDGE OF SEVENTEEN PLAYS UNDER CREDITS]
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