The curious case of Stevie Nicks and her touring coven

The curious case of Stevie Nicks and her touring coven

Stevie Nicks is an artist shrouded in magic. From her powerful performances to her whirling dancing, Nicks more than any other artist is often described with a sparkling of spell-binding magic. On her first tour with Fleetwood Mac she leaned into that notion by touring with her very own coven. Sort of.

In a recent book, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours, almost every single person interviewed described the tough time that Nicks faced on her first tour. Having recently joined the band, and with an increasing demand on her performance, Nicks found touring a taxing task.

On those first dates, according to Mick Fleetwood, Stevie was often found hiding in a corner, drinking tea and furiously writing lyrics and notes in her journal. Stevie was finding the road a very difficult place to be. She herself admitted to almost losing her sanity amid the imposing loneliness she was enduring following the ending of her turbulent relationship with Lindsey Buckingham.

Nicks decided to not be defeated by loneliness or indeed the pressures of touring. She refused to be confined to her lot and decided to take action. Stevie forged a strong relationship with her bandmate Christine McVie and together they created some kind of curious coven.

Stevie decided to lean into the ‘witch’ framing that had been provided for her and found herself a coven of supportive women, looking to find power in one another. Her and McVie gathered a group of young, blonde women who dressed primarily in black lace and followed her everywhere. It was Nicks’ way of finding strength in her situation and allowed her to have back-up in any band confrontation.

The moment Stevie Nicks turned a Rolling Stone photo shoot into a spontaneous gig, 1981

Kenny Loggins remembers: “My first impression of touring with Fleetwood Mac was seeing Stevie and her acolytes… She seemed to collect talented, young, beautiful girls who would then dress like her and follow her around all the time.”

It may seem like a strange thing to do but when you look back at the situation you can completely understand why Nicks needed her coven. The singer was adrift from the partner she entered the band with, pushed upfront to the spotlight, lyrically driving the band forward, and now with a waiting audience ready to devour anything she said. She needed support, she needed comfort, and she needed her coven.

While it might be a curious case to look at, one thing is for sure, Stevie Nicks and her coven gave her the power and performance she needed to become one of rock and roll’s leading stars.

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