Thursday, September 15, 2011

Welsh Witch

It is impossible to express the impact Stevie Nicks had on my young life and formative years. I remember being about 11 years old and finally understanding that the woman singing the beautiful songs I loved at that time, "Edge of Seventeen" and "Stand Back," was also the woman who sang the beautiful songs I loved as a child, "Dreams" and "Sara." So, as I slid precariously into those impressionable years, I reached out to learn more about this woman. What I discovered was far more than I'd bargained for.

Imagine a blank canvas of a mind waiting for inspiration. Mix that with the extreme confluence of ego and desire. Now imagine the first time I laid eyes on Stevie Nicks in all her Welsh witch glory, being a beautiful, magnificent, terrifying freak. The word "galvanizing" does not describe it.

Remember, this is the age before the Internet. Now I can Google her and find a zillion pictures, but then I was left with Circus magazine (she was more "rock," so Bop wasn't really where one would find her) and record stores (Musicland I remember the most). The more I accumulated, the more obsessed I became. So many stars one would choose to emulate were far more simple or mainstream--think Olivia Newton John--and Stevie Nicks was anything but that.

When we would go grocery shopping, Mom was off to purchase the sustenance, I was off to the magazine rack. My very favorite picture of her was Stevie crouching in the dark, reaching out with a terrifying claw of a hand. I cannot find this image now, so if you run across it, tell me immediately. It was both beautiful and scary. Remember, I was 11 or 12 at the time: my concept of witches was formed entirely by my Christian upbringing. They were from the devil. I even checked out the Witches handbook from the library to try to get a grasp on the thing. Thank Stevie Nicks for my early understanding of Wiccans and the true nature of that religion. Not. Devil. Worshippers.

However, I was still terribly scared of her. All while being completely fascinated and charmed. I wanted to be her daughter, best friend, back up singer. I wanted desperately to be a Sister of the Moon.

I will tell you honestly that it bothers me when people make fun of her. I love South Park, I don't love the sheep bit. I generally care about humans on this earth, I do NOT like it when they make fun of Stevie's voice, lyrics, appearance, anything. Imagine this woman in the world of rock, she's inducted into Fleetwood Mac as a couple, and her singularity and talent brought her to the forefront. It speaks volumes that she was able to go on and create a wildly successful solo career based on her truly unusual talent. I cannot think of anyone that was anything like her. Can you?

Anyway, here's one of my favorite performances. Why is the mic square? Why is it set for a 7 foot tall person? Who cares? She's magnificent. And continues to be.



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