Stevie Nicks has lived a life that few other people could even dream of. Her drug-fueled years with Fleetwood Mac were full of drama, dancing, death, and of course, music.
We know about the music, but we don’t know much about what happened behind the scenes. Keep reading to learn about all of the crazy stories that almost cost Stevie Nicks her life.
Producer Keith Olsen Ditched His Date On New Years Eve To Convince Stevie Nicks To Join Fleetwood Mac
On New Year’s Eve 1974, a lot of things happened in the world of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks. Bob Welch, Fleetwood Mac’s longtime guitarist, decided to quit the band because of the band’s legal issues.
Mick Fleetwood asked producer Keith Olsen to ask Lindsay Buckingham to join the band, but Olsen insisted that Buckingham came along with Stevie Nicks. Instead of going to a New Year’s Eve party with his date, Keith Olsen spent the evening convincing Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham to join Fleetwood Mac. They did, obviously.
During The Recording Of Fleetwood Mac Stevie Rarely Stopped Dancing
In the early days of Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks was a free spirit who really got into the music. It was 1975 and drugs and music went together like shag carpeting and wooden wall paneling.
In the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours, one of the album’s engineers, Ken Calliat, remembers that while he mixed “Rhiannon,” Stevie “whirled” around the studio. “She believed she had magical powers,” he said. “She probably thought she was chanting up a good mix.”
The Pre-Show Bumps
Speaking of drugs, Fleetwood Mac was no stranger to cocaine. Here’s a crazy bit of information that’s included in Stevie Nicks’ biography — the band would often do a bump together before performances.
The band’s tour manager, John Courage, would line the band up and have them hold out their wrists. Then he’d pour a bump onto each of their wrists and they would snort it before walking on stage.
Life On The Road Nearly Destroyed Her
Everyone interviewed in Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours talked about how much Stevie’s first tour with Fleetwood Mac absolutely destroyed her. She got super weak and gaunt and often huddled in a corner, drinking tea, and writing in her journal.
Even Stevie herself admits that she almost lost her mind on that first tour.
She Traveled With Her Own Coven
To cope with life on the road, Stevie Nicks turned to witchcraft (as you do). She forged a strong friendship with her bandmate Christine McVie, and started traveling with a bunch of blonde women who dressed just like her.
Kenny Loggins remembers: “My first impression of touring with Fleetwood Mac was seeing Stevie and her acolytes… She seemed to collect talented, young, beautiful girls who would then dress like her and follow her around all the time.” I kind of want my own coven.
She Had A “Ladylike” Coke Vial
According to Christine McVie, during the recording of Rumours she and Stevie Nicks took a break from the studio to go shopping for coke vials.
They didn’t want to be seen snorting fat rails of coke like the guys in the band so they bought “little beautiful coke bottles” that they wore around their necks. These weren’t just any old coke vials. They were adorned with “gold, turquoise, and diamonds.” If you’re going to do coke, do it in style, I guess.
Stevie Partied So Hard That She Almost Went Blind
Any person who wears contacts knows that you shouldn’t fall asleep in those things. At a huge album party in 1977, Nicks partied all night and then forgot to take out her contact lenses.
The lenses wore off her cornea and nearly caused her to go blind. She had to have her eyes bandaged for days.
All Of Steve Nicks’ Furniture Was Made Of Wicker
So this may not be as crazy as Nicks burning a hole in her nose (yeah, we’ll get to that in a minute), or going blind from partying, but Stevie Nicks did have a thing for wicker. It was the ’70s after all.
Carol Anne wrote about Stevie’s wicker obsession in her memoir, “The room was furnished with light wicker furniture that was almost buried under pillows covered in Laura Ashley fabric.”
Her Affair With Mick Fleetwood Is All Because Of Cocaine
Even though Nicks describes Mick Fleetwood as one of the great loves of her life, she says they would never have gotten together if they weren’t doing so many drugs.
She told Oprah that they were always the “last two people at a party,” and that, “It was a doomed thing [that] caused pain for everybody.”
She Married Her Recently Deceased Best Friend’s Husband
After Stevie’s best friend and vocal coach, Robyn Anderson, passed away in 1982, she married Kim Anders, her friend’s widowed husband. Nobody thought this was a good idea.
Before Anderson died, she gave birth to a premature baby. Nicks decided that it was her duty to form a family unit, marry the baby’s father, and take care of the baby.
Stevie Nicks Burned A Hole In Her Nose
If you’ve been paying attention to this article at all, you know one thing for sure: Stevie Nicks did a lot of cocaine. And I mean a lot. One day, at the height of Fleetwood Mac’s fame, Stevie bought a million dollars worth of cocaine and snorted almost all of it in one night.
All of that snorting caused her to burn a hole the size of a dime in her nose.
Yup, you heard me correctly. She did so much cocaine she actually eroded her cartilage. The hole stopped her from being able to snort any more coke, so she had her assistant blow it up her behind.
Looking back on this time in her life, Nicks said, “There was no way to get off the white horse and I didn’t want to.”
She Almost Died In The ’80s
After the death of her best friend and the end of several meaningful relationships, Stevie’s drug use intensified (apparently that’s possible).
In the ’80s she was constantly suffering from nosebleeds, falls, and blackouts. When she finally saw a doctor, he told her that she was dangerously close to dying of a brain hemorrhage.
That Didn’t Stop Her
The doctor told her that she was at risk of hemorrhaging the next time she did cocaine. Of course, that wasn’t enough to make Stevie quit.
Before leaving for her Australian tour, she spent more time with Fleetwood Mac and did even more drugs. It’s a miracle that she’s alive today.
Lindsey Buckingham And Stevie Nicks Had A Complicated Relationship
There had been tension between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks from the moment they joined the band in the mid ’70s.
They broke up, wrote songs about their break up, and then went on tour together and sang songs about their break up. I guess that’s just what the rock and roll life is about.
Lindsey Buckingham Physically Assaulted Stevie Nicks When He Quit The Band
Violence is the only certain outcome of that much cocaine in such a short span of time. after the band recorded Tango in the Night, Buckingham announced that he was leaving Fleetwood Mac.
Buckingham’s exit led to a huge fight between him and Stevie. Lindsey slapped Stevie across the face and pushed her against the hood of his car. Buckingham has said that he doesn’t remember what happened that afternoon, because of course not.
She Hates Street Angel
Stevie Nicks’ fifth studio album, Street Angel, was a commercial success. It didn’t do so well with critics thought. It reached number 45 on the Billboard 200 chart and it was poorly reviewed.
Stevie has since expressed that she’s majorly disappointed in the project. A lot of its production work happened while she was in rehab for the second time, so she had little say over the final product.
Stevie Nicks Is Really Short
Nicks is a large presence on stage, but in real life, she’s only 5’1. She’s said that she felt “a little ridiculous” standing next to Mick Fleetwood, who is 6’6.
That’s why she started wearing super tall platform boots. Now she wears platform boots all the time. They go with her whole witchy look.
She Wasn’t Destined To Be A Mom
Nicks never had any children of her own, and that was no accident. She wanted to dedicate herself fully to her career.
Nicks said, “My mission maybe wasn’t to be a mom and a wife; maybe my particular mission was to write songs to make moms and wives feel better.”
She Wrote In A Journal Every Day
Stevie Nicks has written in a journal every day since Fleetwood Mac began.
She said, “I like to tell all my fairy goddaughters and my niece that when I’m gone they can sit on the floor and go through all these journals, and they can walk through my life, and they can smell the gardenia perfume on the pages. They can have it in their hands, who I was.”