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Stevie Nicks: Visions Dreams & Rumours

April 4th, 2017

Like most guys my age, I had a crush on Stevie Nicks back in the 70’s and early bit of the 80’s. Besides being gorgeous, there’s a real sexiness to her, the long flowing dresses being far more intriguing than the more usual attempts to stimulate through under-dressing.

Reading Zoë Howe’s Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams & Rumors, it’s clear I was not alone. As Nicks’ friend Sara Recor comments, “Jim (Recor, Sara’s then husband) had a crush on her (Stevie), but who wouldn’t?”

The thing that comes across in Visions Dreams & Rumours is outside of the rock star adoration young adolescents like I gave Nicks, she was worthy of those attentions and crushes. She was, is, what she seems to be, an entirely likeable, classy, and classic, lady.

Howe balances the writing of a biography very well between not hiding the foibles of the subject, and presenting her as a likeable human. Nicks comes across as very much a real person, not some caricature or over the top personality. In fact, what becomes clear is that what you see with Nicks, is pretty much the real thing. Her onstage persona is not a character so much as an exaggeration of her true self. Nicks really does dress like that. Nicks really does talk like a dreamy hippy. She carries around notebooks of poetry and will stop what she’s doing to write down a line she heard or thought of.

On top of presenting a likeable Nicks, reading Visions Dreams & Rumours has made me go back and re-examine Nicks’ catalogue. I had forgotten how good a singer she is, and the great songs she writes. Her first solo effort, Bella Donna, is a revelation, although there was a time when I gave it a lot of airplay. It is better than I remembered.

It’s nice when you read a biography and come away liking the subject more than when you went in, and get a chance to rediscover a forgotten artist. Visions Dreams & Rumours did exactly that. It is a well written enjoyable read, which makes Stevie Nicks seem a vivid and real person. It presents her life in the context of her work, without belabouring the salacious details inevitable in a 70’s rock star biography. And it reintroduced me to some great music.

 

 


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