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Stevie Nicks on how Neil Young inspires her


Stevie Nicks was raised during a pivotal time in California. Growing up in the San Francisco metropolis town of Atherton, Nicks was exposed both to the psychedelic sounds of Bay Area groups like the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane as well as the more dulcet tones of the Los Angeles Laurel Canyon scene. It was towards the latter that she gravitated to, and the results would find their way into her own work with Fleetwood Mac.

While sitting down with Forbes back in 2020, Nicks explained her love of the late ’60s California scene and how Neil Young specifically inspired her. “I love Neil Young. I’ve been listening to a lot of Crosby, Stills, Nash And Young and Joni Mitchell and just that whole era of people. Buffalo Springfield in the last seven, eight months. I’ve been listening to a lot of their music on my Sonos and it makes me happy.”

“I’ve decided that Neil Young was actually a lot more…he wrote a lot of very loving love ballads,” Nicks observed. “He was not only the huge rock and roll crazy guy that I always thought. There are so many ballads I’ve gone, ‘Wow, you know what? You’re just a big pussycat. I can’t believe it.’ No wonder they chose him to come into Crosby, Stills And Nash.”

“They wanted somebody like the Eagles wanted Joe Walsh, they wanted somebody that would have that heavy hand. But then when you listen to something like ‘Slowpoke’ or some of these amazing songs, I’ve been blown away over the last couple of months listening to his ballads going like, ‘This guy, really seriously, in a way, wanted to be in love.'”

Nicks has yet to formally collaborate with Young, likely because Young is slightly prickly when it comes to who he’s willing to work with, but there’s always time for a dream duet in the future.