Credit: Ueli Frey

The curious case of Stevie Nicks and her touring coven

Stevie Nicks is an artist shrouded in magic and mystique. From her powerful performances to her whirling, swirling and utterly mesmerising dancing. Nicks, more than any other artist, is often described with a sprinkling of spell-binding magic.

In fact, on her first tour with Fleetwood Mac, she heavily leaned into that notion by touring with her very own coven. Well, kind of.

In a recent book, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumours, almost every single person interviewed described the mentally and emotionally 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 both within herself and physically.

On those first dates, according to bonafide bandleader Mick Fleetwood, Stevie was often found hiding in a corner, drinking tea and furiously writing lyrics and notes in her journal rather than lavishly enjoying touring life. For Nicks, the road was a very difficult place to be. The artist herself admitted to almost losing her sanity amid the imposing, crushing loneliness she was enduring following within the band. Something that was heightened following the ending of her turbulent relationship with Lindsey Buckingham.

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

Deciding to lean into the ‘witch’ framing that had been provided for her, Nicks found herself a coven of supportive women, looking to find power in one another. Alongside McVie, Nicks 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 later allowed her to have a proverbial and physical back-up in any band confrontation.

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 had not only entered the band with but spent most of her life. She had been 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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