Waddy Wachtel and Stevie Nicks listen to a question from a high school student at the Grammy Museum Wednesday during its "Backstage Pass" session. (Photo: Mauury Phillips/WireImage.com)
Stevie Nicks spent Wednesday afternoon and evening discussing her career and ambitions for the future for two different audiences at Los Angeles' Grammy Museum. She first spoke to 200 high school students about songwriting and her career, and then to an audience of fans. She performed three songs for the students -- "Landslide," "For What It's Worth" from her recent "In Your Dreams" album, and "Rhiannon" -- doing the same at the evening session but adding "Moonlight (A Vampire's Dream)."
"I went to San Jose State for five years, majoring in speech communication and psychology. I was going to be some kind of teacher," Nicks said. "Doing this with this type of program [with students] makes me realize I would have loved it. It's a real cool give-and-take thing. It also makes me feel like I would have been a really great mother."
Interviewed by museum executive director Robert Santelli, Nicks was forthcoming about joining Fleetwood Mac in early 1975. "We met at a Mexican restaurant," she recalled. "I thought 'These people are a riot" -- the stress of working with Lindsey Buckingham after their romance broke up and the way she has balanced songwriting, a solo career and Fleetwood Mac tours.
"Lindsey is my miserable muse, which is important to have," she said.
One particular bump occurred in in 2005 after the Fleetwood Mac "Say You Will" tour. At the time Nicks wanted to make a solo album.
"I was told by people in the industry: 'Now is not a good time to make a record,' " she said. " 'Your best bet is to stay on tour and get while the getting is good.' I was so overwhelmed by that. It was the first time anyone had ever told me that I shouldn't [make music]. I was horrified. But if I had done a record then, maybe I wouldn't have done ['In Your Dreams']."
Having finished the album -- her first in a decade -- and two tours this year, Nicks said she would like to explore two visual media projects: Turning the mythological stories of Rhiannon into a film and making a cartoon out of "Goldfish and the Ladybug," a song and children's story that she's had on back burner for decades.
Nicks brought members of her band with her, including veteran guitarist Waddy Wachtel, who was being followed by a film crew for the day (who were filming a documentary, details of which were elusive). Wachtel told the kids the story of the evolution of the late Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London": It started with Phil Everly giving Zevon the title, who then mentioned it to Wachtel, who wrote the first verse, basically as a joke. Zevon then finished the song with LeRoy Marinell. The extra connection to Nicks? Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood and John McVie backed Zevon on the original recording with Wachtel.