Writings About Music
Stevie Nicks is certainly among the great singer-songwriters of our time, including being the diamond centerpiece of that great band, Fleetwood Mac. The mesmeric depth and drama of her spiritual-emotive expression and vocal timbre phantasmagoria is comparable to Ray Charles.
A friend who knew her in Maui in the seventies likes to tell the story of how Nicks, herself and two other young women went to a bar in Lahaina one night where a local band was playing. Stevie was invited to sing a song at one point, and she agreed to on the condition that one of her friends lend their dress because she was wearing jeans and that was not dressing she felt comfortable singing in.
What transpired once Nicks hit the stage and began singing was something truly remarkable according to my friend. Wherein Stevie had seemed like another ordinary person seated at the table with friends socializing and drinking, she underwent a breathtaking transformation from the moment of performance, thrilling everyone with a transcendent sound and presence almost extra-human and entirely unforgettable given the unexpected and intimate setting of her appearance.
There is something beautifully ritualistic about her performances, almost like a goddess of the moon, and I was also told she was fond of giving silver moon necklaces to her best female friends by someone who was so gifted.
My one humorous encounter with Stevie was at a doctor’s office in Beverly Hills in the nineties. I was seated on a table undressed and facing the door waiting for my consultation when Nicks burst in and almost fainted at the surprise of finding an undressed man there. An hour or so later we saw each other again in the pharmacy off the lobby, exchanging hellos - I now had my pants on - followed by waiting for our respective rides outside on the sidewalk. Hers came first, a limousine.
My composition, Welsh Witch, was named for a story Stevie Nicks likes to tell about the inspiration for one of her songs. You are invited to take it for a spin to unexpected places.
Last night around 11, after staying inside all day due to getting over a brief cold, including writing the above after reading Amanda's article, I stepped outside into the backyard for some air, and was surprised to hear music from nearby Molly Malone's on Fairfax because they typically are very careful about the sound disturbing neighbors. I recognized the harmonic progression, and sure enough it was a female vocalist singing Dreams, composed by Stevie Nicks. It sounded like someone had opened the doors for my benefit, but I know it was just a lovely coincidence. Included in that masterpiece are flowing words expressing the essence of music and composition:
It's only right that you should
I met Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac's phenomenal drummer, in Lahaina one winter evening, and he had a handshake so powerful I still recall the sensation.
- Michael Robinson, December 2016, Los Angeles
© 2016 Michael Robinson All rights reserved
Michael Robinson is a Los Angeles-based composer and writer.