I’ve been meaning to write something about the importance and influence of Stevie Nicks, but with the launch of Richard Dashut’s new blog, and reading all of the heartfelt commentary on it, I’ve really kicked myself to finally do it.
I kept thinking about one night when I was home a few months ago. I lay in bed with my mother and watched Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams. (Side note: It’s on Netflix, so if you haven’t watched it yet, you have no excuses. It’s phenom.) “You have to see this,” I told her. “We have to watch it together.” It was a bittersweet moment of coming full circle. My mother was — is — a huge Stevie fan, and has been since the 70s. And now there’s me: the next generation.
At one point, as Stevie read her old journals, my mother sighed wistfully: “I always thought it was so sad that she never had any children. That she never had a daughter to pass all of this onto.”
I got sad, too. It really does break my heart in a lot of ways. But I’ve been thinking about it and the truth is, Stevie has thousands of daughters: all of her fans. All of the girls who look up to her and learn from her and look to her for guidance. All those girls who nicknamed themselves sisters of the moon. We’re all her daughters in one way or another.
Some are more famous than others, of course. There’s Vanessa Carlton, her “little song child,” the singer-songwriter who first toured with her at 25 and was married by her after nearly a decade of mentorship. There’s Tavi Gevinson, the teenage powerhouse editor/actress/internet influencer wise beyond her years who Stevie reached out to after hearing how she was praised in Tavi’s TED talk. And then there’s all the goddaughters and daughters of friends who have been mentioned over the years.
But you don’t have to be famous or wear a Stevie-bestowed crescent moon necklace or even know her in real life to be the daughter of Stevie Nicks. She’s been our mother in more ways than one:
Mothers are the best teachers in the subject of life. They share their wisdom and knowledge with you, unsolicited, and it’s those nuggets that guide you through life. Stevie has doled out beautiful, motherly guiding words so many times, it’s impossible to pick just one.
"Your graciousness is what carries you. It isn’t how old you are, how young you are, how beautiful you are, how short your skirt is… What it is, is what comes out of your heart." (x)
Mothers also urge you not to make the same mistakes. Do as I say, not as I did. It may seem nagging sometimes. It may seem like tough love. But they’ve been there and done that. Believe me, they just want what’s best for you. And Stevie does, too.
“Everybody else thought you looked beautiful, but that’s because everybody else was stoned.” (x)
But mothers love you unconditionally. If you do happen to make those mistakes, they will still love you. They will always love you because you are a part of them, and nothing you do will change that.
And mothers are fiercely protective. When security guards manhandled and bullied fans at a concert in the 80s, Stevie was not having any of it:
"This is a special and important time for me, because it’s the only time I get to spend with you. And… if you fuck with my people, I get real fuckin’ angry!"
Mothers are always there for you during the tough times. Stevie was there for you when you had your first adolescent crisis, terrified at the prospect of growing up. You listened to “Landslide” on repeat while fat tears pooled in your eyes, knowing that someone else had been in your same position and that it was going to be okay.
“Well, I’ve been afraid of changing because I’ve built my life around you.
But time makes you bolder, children are getting older
I’m getting older, too.”
And when you needed relationship advice, Stevie has taught you many lessons. Know how to be independent, and know that there’s nothing wrong with choosing it over a relationship. Never date rock stars, it will only lead to heartache. Never compromise your life for a man’s:
He must have a good job. He must be happy and satisfied with his own life. You are there to enhance his life, not take away from it, and he is there to enhance your life, not fuck it up.
- Stevie Nicks’s Rules of Engagement (x)
She’s the one we go to when we’re heartbroken and listen to “Silver Springs” in anger, fighting back bitter tears of rage. Her words give you strength and power. She assures you that it’s your voice that will follow that boy for the rest of his life.
Mothers share their past with their daughters, who they were before. Stevie’s shared journals, old demos, old photos. This is who I was, this is who I still am, they say. Sure, there is a wealth of knowledge and secrets and memories that we aren’t privy to, but that doesn’t negate or cheapen what gifts we’ve been given.
And in return, we love Stevie like we love our own mothers. There are times when we are proud of her, times we are even angry — after all, we are all still human, and even heroes aren’t perfect — times we shake our heads, a bit embarrassed oh, mom…. The times we let the soothing sound of her music hug us when we need it, let it stroke our hair as we fall asleep.
Even after all of this, I often still feel like my own mom. I see something and sadly think of what an amazing mother Stevie Nicks would have been.
(Giving life lessons to Dave Stewart’s daughter)
But in the end, it’s okay. It is. Moms are the greatest. You can never have too much of a good thing when it comes to them. And mothers come in all different shapes and forms. I think you’re very lucky to have more than one mother-like figure in your life, to have more than just the woman who had you.
Just because you don’t have children doesn’t mean you’re not a mother, and we have Stevie Nicks as proof. And shouldn’t we all be thankful for that? She may never see this, she may never know it exists, or even know how much her love is reciprocated. She may never know that words can’t even begin to say thank you for her influence, at least from me, but at least it’s here for the crowd.