If Stevie Nicks ever admitted to having a persona, most people would assume it’d be that of a witch. Nicks has always had a little witchiness in her, even though she never practiced witchcraft. No, the persona Nicks often took, especially while performing with Fleetwood Mac, was that of the “Spider Woman.”
Stevie Nicks used to have a persona she called the ‘Spider Woman’
Nicks had always been known for her gypsy-like persona. However, there was another persona that Nicks adopted that many people didn’t know about. We all know that Nicks loves to dance as light as a feather on stage, but can you picture her “suspended in animation?” In a 1987 interview (per In Her Words), Nicks revealed that while in Fleetwood Mac, she had a persona she called the “Spider Woman.”
“In Fleetwood Mac I have a persona, I call myself the ‘Spider Woman.’ I try to imagine myself putting on a spider mask. I become very subdued and quieter, I don’t move so fast. I’m in a state of suspended animation,” Nicks explained.
However, the “Spider Woman” didn’t come out when she was touring solo. That was another person. “The only time you see that other girl from Red Rocks is in Stand Back. I could never be like that in Fleetwood Mac, that’s why I have two careers. I like being in a band, I like being in Fleetwood Mac. It’s a whole other deal where I make up this character every night and she’s interesting but she never gets crazy and she keeps all her emotion very much within herself. Stevie from Red Rocks really lets go.”
There might be a bigger metaphor at work here. Maybe Nicks felt like she was “in a state of suspended animation” while in Fleetwood Mac because being in the band sometimes made her feel suffocated. She kept “all her emotion within herself” because that was the only way she could sing songs that talked about how vulnerable she was, especially during her breakup with Lindsey Buckingham.
Nicks revealed the rest of Fleetwood Mac’s personas when they’re in the recording studio
Away from prying eyes, in the safety of the recording studio, the other members of Fleetwood Mac seem to have had just as interesting personas.
“Mick is the king,” Nicks told Rock World in 1993. “He’s the head of the band. He comes in and you think you ought to curtsy. In the studio, Lindsey’s word was law. Christine almost always delivered the hits. She’s like an earth mother, and I’m her little sister. John is the other fixed point around which the band revolves. Sometimes it got really funny, this giant percussionist and two couples in front of him. Especially when all the relationships broke up.”
What was Nicks like in the studio beside Christine McVie’s little sister? Most likely the gypsy she often called herself. That’s what “Gypsy” is about, after all; returning to “the gypsy that I was.”
Nicks said being in Fleetwood Mac is like living in a ‘soap opera’ that goes on ‘like a min-series’
Being in Fleetwood Mac all these years has been trying for all of the band members. Nicks said that being in the band sometimes feels like living in a soap opera because of all the drama. It all goes on like a mini-series.
“Oh I’ve been close to leaving Fleetwood Mac ever since I joined Fleetwood Mac. But so has everybody else. To be in Fleetwood Mac is to live in a soap opera. And it has been pretty scandalous and pretty incestuous, and pretty wonderful in a lot of ways,” Nicks told Us Magazine in 1990.
“I threaten to quit all the time. I threaten to quit once a month,” Nicks continued. “But I’m never gonna be the one to break up Fleetwood Mac. Somebody else will break it up, not me. And it’s hard for me to imagine Fleetwood Mac ever breaking up. It’s kind of like, you know, it’s just an entity that just seems to go on and on and on. I figure Fleetwood Mac will go on until it doesn’t want to go on anymore.”
She told the Boston Globe in 1991, “Fleetwood Mac goes on like a miniseries. It’s one of those ‘Gone With the Wind’ things that goes on and on; I never really know what’s going to happen… I never burn bridges, but right now I don’t think I’ll work with them.”
Nicks once said that it was her destiny to join Fleetwood Mac, and Nicks has clearly done everything in her power to stay in the band… even adopt personas.
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