Stevie Nicks has never gone out of fashion, but in the past few years her star has been on the rise: with a Glee episode dedicated to Rumours, a showstopping cameo on American Horror Story: Coven, and a mentor spot on The Voice.
In advance of the October 7 release of 24 Karat Gold, a collection of songs she wrote between 1969 and 1987 and demoed on cassettes that she stored in shoeboxes, she spoke with Michael Martin at her Los Angeles home about her career, love affairs, and why she cherishes her gay fans. Read the full story, "Edge of Everything;" these are five things you don't want to miss.
On American Horror Story: Coven:
“I called [Ryan Murphy] and said, ‘You know, I could do just a walk-through in a long black dress and just be like, ‘Hello witches, goodbye witches!’ Just something really dramatic and fun.” Murphy immediately summoned her to New Orleans, where production on AHS: Coven was under way. She showed up on set and was handed a 20-page script, which induced “a panic attack,” as she puts it. “I’m not an actress, never wanted to be an actress. I can’t remember lines. I have to have a teleprompter.” She ultimately played the show’s version of Glinda, a good witch with powers who chooses not to practice. She sang “Seven Wonders,” “Rhiannon,” and “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You” as Jessica Lange looked on and wept. Twitter instantly went crazy. “My favorite thing of all time is those scenes with Jessica Lange,” she says. “That show took my music to a lot of people. Television is really the new movies. I love sitting right there on my big couch watching TV by myself. A couple of hours of Law and Order, and I’m good.”
On aspirin vs. cocaine:
Nicks went to a plastic surgeon in 1985, who found a hole in her nasal cartilage big enough to cause a brain hemorrhage with her next introduction of pharmaceuticals. “He said, ‘I know people who probably do more drugs than you who don’t have a hole in their nose like this, so what have you done differently?’ ” she says. “I would get terrible headaches, so I used to put aspirin in water, then take an eyedropper and put the aspirin in my nose. I thought I was being the best nurse ever. The plastic surgeon said, ‘Well, the aspirin ate your nose, not the coke.’ ”
On the current state of gayness & coming out:
“I can’t say that I’m so glad that gay people like my music, because I have never looked at gay people as different from any other people,” she says. “We are all one consciousness. The fact that anybody loves my music makes me feel very good, because this is what I do. I didn’t get married; I don’t have kids. I have lots of godchildren, but it is just me and my dogs. And then I have my straight friends and I have my gay friends.”
“The idea of carrying that secret around would have killed me. So I wouldn’t have [been in the closet]. If I were gay, the second that I knew, I would have said, ‘OK, everybody, this is how it is, and either you still like me or I don’t care.’ I think that if you are gay, you just have to say ‘It’s great!’ And hopefully you will find a great relationship. And hopefully all the straight people will find a relationship. And hopefully all the people like me who don’t care about having a relationship will continue to not care and just have a great dog. I’m not putting relationships down — I’ve had amazing relationships. But that is how I look at life.”
On Night of 1,000 Stevies:
“I was so tickled because Halloween is my night!” she says of her very specific approach to fashion. “I read about it and told my dad, ‘It’s a huge party thrown by fabulous gay men and women. They love my clothes and my fashion and my songs, and they all go to it and play my music and lip synch!’ And my dad was very conservative, but he said, ‘That is really great, honey!’ One day I’m going to show up, and they are not going to know it, because I’m going to be dressed as the best Stevie ever,” she says. “I will be unrecognizably fantastic until I go up on stage and take the mic and burst into ‘Edge of Seventeen’ and blow everyone away.”
On the advice she gives for living a full life:
“The best thing I actually said to all of [The Voice contestants] was, ‘No matter what happens after this, just this day, never forget about it. It’s a dream come true. Take everything that happens today and tomorrow with you for the rest of your life and just totally dig on it, and tell everybody the story. Enjoy it, and think about it when you’re going to sleep, and never forget it. Because these kinds of times never come again.’ ”