An Inspirational Artist
October 16th, 2010
Stevie Nicks: An Inspirational Artist
Stephanie Lynn Nicks was born in Phoenix, Arizona on May 26th, 1948. Growing up, she had a strong interest in music. Stevie Nicks was influenced by her grandfather, a struggling country western singer who taught her how to sing. On her sixteenth birthday, she received a guitar and began writing her own songs. Nicks formed her first band The Changing Times while attending high school. The Changing Times was inspired by the harmonies of The Mamas and The Papas (Stevie Nicks Biography). Another band Nicks joined in high school was the Fritz Raybyne Memorial Band. Fritz was given the opportunity to open for celebrity musician, Janis Joplin. Nicks recalls, “You couldn’t have pried me away with a million dollar check…I was absolutely glued to her. It was there that learned a lot of what I do onstage…I said, ‘If ever I am a performer of any value, I want to be able to create the same kind of feeling that is going on between her and her audience” (Stevie Nicks Biography). Sure enough, Nicks did accomplish what she set out to do and much more.
Stevie Nicks’ educational career continued when she decided to enroll at San Jose State University as a speech communication major. Stevie planned on becoming an English teacher but the enrollment was short-lived and she eventually dropped out of San Jose to pursue her musical aspirations in Los Angeles. Stevie moved to L.A. with her musical partner, Lindsey Buckingham, who eventually became her romantic partner as well. Together they signed a record deal with Polydor Records and created the Buckingham Nicks album. Unfortunately, the public did not respond and the duo was unable to produce a significant profit from the album. Nicks decided she would not let this setback end her musical career. Little did she know, she was about to the land the opportunity of a lifetime. My favorite part of Stevie’s career, her journey with Fleetwood Mac, could not have come at a better time in Stevie Nick’s life. She was struggling financially and desperate to have a career breakthrough.
I believe “The Chain”, by Fleetwood Mac, is without a doubt the front-runner of all the songs Stevie has participated in writing. Her collaboration on this song with Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and John McVie showed Stevie has the ability to work well with others. “The Chain” includes Stevie’s preferred instrument, the tambourine, as well as another percussion instrument, the drums, and a string instrument, the guitar. One similarity this song has with most of Stevie’s other songs is that it falls in the rock music genre. The upbeat and dramatic tone of this song captivates the audience from the beginning and holds their attention until the end, leaving the listener with a desire to hear more.
Another one of my favorites performed by Fleetwood Mac is the song “Rhiannon”, a song Stevie states was written in only ten minutes. This musical creation is about a mystical woman who finds it very hard to be tied down (Kilger). Stevie wanted this song to be uplifting. I believe the song does have a mystical quality about it, however, not much of an uplifting one. In “Rhiannon”, Stevie Nicks crosses over from her traditional musical genre, rock, to a separate musical genre, pop. Once again, you can clearly hear the drums, played by Mic Fleetwood, and two guitars, one played by Lindsey Buckingham and the other by John McVie. There is another instrument that is introduced in this song and that is the keyboard, which is played by Christine McVie (Pillar). The combination of these musical instruments sounds beautiful, and Nicks did a remarkable job putting this piece together.
I also enjoy the song “Dreams,” which Stevie Nicks wrote concerning love affairs and relationships ending. It was very personal to Stevie, as she was going through this experience herself. After an eight year...
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Kilger, Christine. Stevie Nicks in her own words. 16 October 2010 <http://www.inherownwords.com/>.
Kinney, John. The Nicks Fix. 16 October 2010 <http://rockalittle.com/>.
McCabe, Kathy. "Review - Fleetwood Mac rock Syndey at Acer Arena." The Daily Telegraph 8 December 2009.
Pillar, Callie. AllExperts. 7 April 2005. 15 October 2010 <http://en.allexperts.com/q/Fleetwood-Mac-461/fleetwood-mac-members-instruments.htm>.
Purcell, Steve & Myrlia. Look to the Stars. 18 October 2010 <http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/186-stevie-nicks>.
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