When you meet Stevie Nicks, she doesn't disappoint.
Curling into an armchair draped with a sheepskin rug, she begins to explain why her new album, In Your Dreams, comes 10 years after her last. In 2005, she spent a long, difficult day at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC, to which badly injured soldiers from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are invalided. Her eyes well up at the memory. "I can honestly say I walked in there, Stevie Nicks, a rock'n'roll star, without a care in the world. And I walked out of there a mother. With a whole lotta children."
Ever since, Stevie's been a frequent visitor to army hospitals, a rock'n'roll Florence Nightingale, giving autographed iPod Nanos to patients loaded up with songs she chose herself. The experience inspired a song on the new album, "Soldier's Angel", whose royalties will go to the Walter Reed rehabilitation centre. She carries a British Legion poppy in her handbag to honour the British fallen, too. She's very clear that supporting wounded soldiers does not imply an endorsement of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. "It does not! You take them cake and iPods, and you sit on the end of their beds while they tell you their story. You're not going there to say 'I don't believe in this war!'"
Another recurring theme on In Your Dreams is the idea of love as fleeting. "Certainly it is for me, in my life as a travelling woman who is never anywhere for long, and will be gone the morning after the big show. There's a line on In Your Dreams that goes 'I'm always in and out of your light', and to lovers, ex-lovers, people we used to love, people we don't even love any more, I'm saying 'You'll never be rid of me, I'm right down the middle of all your dreams'."
Without any prompting, Nicks brings up Buckingham, whom she met as 16-year-old at school in California and stayed with for 11 years.
women rockers rule. seriously. stevie nicks and the wilson sisters show how to rock, have you noticed that?
while men who started at the same time seem unable to do anything but other genres, these women rock fearlessly and forthrightly.
THE SONG I PLAY BEFORE A SHOW
'Blonde in the Bleachers', Joni Mitchell (1972)
This is about a girl who [sings] "tapes her regrets to the microphone stand, she says 'you can't hold the hand of a rock'n'roll man for very long'". I never saw myself as the girl in the song – I identified with the rock'n'roll star. I was never gonna be the groupie. I was the star, I was sure of that. I listen to that song to this day. It's on the playlist I have for when I'm preparing to go on stage. I felt sorry for the girl in the song, and for all the girls who got their hearts broken going out with rock'n'roll stars. I don't think much has changed. Guys become famous, go on the road, all the beautiful girls come to their show, and it's a free for all. My advice to the young women I know is don't go out with a rock star. It's never gonna work.
I went out with Lindsey but he was a colleague, and he was very in love with me. I was not worried one bit about Lindsey Buckingham straying from me. We came to LA together, hand-in-hand, to conquer the world.
ann and i are on the phone comparing stevie stories. be sure to check out ann's site tonight and also read mike's '' about superheroes.
In Your Dreams is 63-year-old Nicks' first album in 10 years.
Co-written with and produced by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, it has received great response from critics and the public alike, going top 10 in the US.
It is an insight into Nicks' world, not only her Twilight fascination, but also her love of other gothic literary works.
Annabel Lee is based on a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.
The rocking Wide Sargasso Sea is based on the 1966 novel by Jean Rhys, written as a prequel to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.
In the upbeat New Orleans, she sings about wearing feathers and lace, and references Anne Rice, the queen of vampire tales before Stephenie Meyer usurped her.
Italian Summer is just that - a song Nicks wrote while on holiday abroad.
The most talked-about track, though, is Secret Love which was written around the time of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album but didn't make the final cut. There has been much speculation about who her secret love was but Nicks won't be drawn on his identity.
christina fuoco-karasinski (soundspike) interviews stevie as well:
From what I could tell listening to the album, it seems like there were a variety of inspirations on the record.
Definitely. It's a very diversified record for me. I'm usually kind of locked on to one thing. This goes all the way from vampires to Italy, and from Italy to the blues, from the blues to New Orleans, from New Orleans to techno-pop "Secret Love," from "Secret Love" to "Cheaper Than Free," a beautiful country ballad. That's why I think I love it so much. It is very different. And it was very fun to sequence. Most people don't even care about sequencing anymore. [Colleagues would say] "Nobody's going to listen to more than three songs." [I said,] "I refuse to believe that. I am sequencing the record just exactly like I sequenced the 'Rumours' record." I believe that the sequence of the "Rumours" record really contributed to the success of that record. I believe the sequence of this record is going to contribute to the success of this record.
let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'
Each Monday morning (except during pledge drives), the latest Law and Disorder Radio airs on WBAI and around the country on various radio stations throughout the week. Attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights are the co-hosts of the program. On this week's program, Michael Ratner spoke with former FBI agent and now an attorney Mike German about the war on dissent in this country. Michael Ratner has teamed with Margaret Ratner Kunstler for the new book Hell No, Your Right To Dissent. And until it's August 9th release by the New Press, you can read the column that Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler have written (The Progressive) about the current war on protest and dissent in the US. Excerpt:
President Obama campaigned on protecting our civil liberties, so you might have expected his attorney general, Eric Holder, to provide people with greater protections from FBI snoops. But he has not. And it is about to get even worse.
The new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide will empower the FBI to dispatch surveillance teams, to follow targets, to dig through trash, to search commercial databases and to expand the use of informants to infiltrate a wide range of organizations.
If you are part of a group that disagrees with government policy in Iraq or Afghanistan, or that dislikes nuclear energy, the next time you throw out your trash, an FBI agent may be examining it a few hours later -- from what you eat to what you buy to what you read and think.
The next time you attend a meeting to fight for better schools, protest drug testing on animals or criticize almost any aspect of government policy, the person next to you may be an informant, recording everything you say. Or perhaps the informant will participate in the meeting, steering the organization's activities in ways the government wishes.
It is now almost ten years after 9/11, the event that frightened many into giving the FBI broad spying authority -- authority that now threatens the very essence of democracy. Piece by piece, the constitutional protections for dissent are disappearing.