Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis

Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Biography, Non-Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. She’s one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who’s a real rock ‘n’ roller.

Gold Dust Woman gives “the gold standard of rock biographers” (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks’ work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the “shot of adrenaline” they needed to become real rock stars―according to Christine McVie―Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard:
―How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars
―The affairs that informed Nicks’ greatest songs
―Her relationships with the Eagles’ Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself
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―Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her
― Nicks’ successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden
―The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks

Stevie Nicks is a more complicated person than I ever imagined and she’d underrated, too.

I’ve been a fan of Stevie Nicks since I was a kid. My parents reared me on the classics, mellow gold, 70s rock and primarily Fleetwood Mac. My father once claimed he wanted to name me Stephanie, Stevie’s given name, but my mother outlawed it. Shrugs. I’ve seen Stevie Nicks’ videos and wondered about the person in the swishy skirts and flowing shawls. Now I know.

As I said above, she’s much more complicated than you might think. She had a decent childhood and was encouraged to be a musician, but once she got out on her own, she found out how hard it is to make it big. I liked the emphasis on her early musical career. She tried, fell down, tried again, got knocked down and never gave up. She went for her chance. Honestly, she’s the kind of rock star women need. She never quit.

There are tidbits about who she dated, when she dated them, her drug use, getting clean, getting hooked on Klonopin and other things that seem salacious, but really, this is the story of a woman trying to find her way, despite the crooked road, and making her career her own.


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