a monthly look at the faces
that have made history
Rhiaaaaaaaaaanon. The long, drawn-out chorus of the 1975 Fleetwood Mac hit plays in our head at the mere mention of the name Stevie Nicks—let alone when we get a glimpse of the hippie high priestess in her heyday. While Nicks wasn't a founding member of the band, it didn't take long for her contralto to define the rock outfit's indelible sound.
Once she and then boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham were in, pop music superstardom soon followed: Grammy awards, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, and even presidential endorsements have all been a part of the Fleetwood Mac story—as has some serious Behind the Music drama. As bassist John McVie and pianist/vocalist Christine McVie grew apart, Nicks' own relationship with Buckingham fizzled. And while Stevie's short, contentious affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood would contribute to the band's ultimate demise, it sure made for one hell of an amazing record. The emotional tension that colored much of the group's late-seventies experience gave us Rumours. One of the most universally acclaimed records ever made, it has stood the test of time, as evidenced by a recent episode of Glee that covered it almost in its entirety. "We had a good time, bad time, fun time, sad time," John McVie has said of the album's recording process, "[but] something great came out of it."
Through the highs (many of them drug-induced) and lows, Nicks has never failed to enchant. She went solo in the early eighties, further immortalizing her voice and a gypsy style that embraced top hats, fringed cloaks, bell-sleeved dresses, and platform boots as well as, of course, that signature shag haircut. She didn't lose her crystal vision, either, passing pieces of it along to many songbirds who came after her. Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino croons Rhiannon on the Fleetwood Mac tribute album due out this month.
—Rebecca Willa Davis