Just Like a White Winged Dove

by Angeliska on May 27, 2010

Okay, so even though it’s a little bit late, I want to wish a happy belated
birthday to Stevie Nicks. I’m a latecomer to the enchantments of the Welsh Witch,
as my parents were definitely not into soft rock of any kind. I was raised listening to
old country music like Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, Jimmie Rodgers, and The Carter
Family. My parents played traditional old-time folk music and Irish reels, and were
more likely to drag me to a Sacred Harp Shape-Note singing revival than to a concert
where people were wearing feathered roach clips in their hair. My dad plays bagpipes,
banjo and concertina (as well as a dozen other instruments), and has exposed me to
incredible music my whole life. When I was in high-school, all the rich hippie kids would
be wearing their mom’s crochet blouses and listening to all their old Fleetwood Mac and
Led Zeppelin records. I scorned them, scowling in my dog collar and ripped black rags,
listening to Skinny Puppy, Legendary Pink Dots and (oh yes) My Life With The Thrill Kill
Kult. Cokehead faux 70′s bourgeois brats could suck it, as far as I was concerned. I can
remember a few times hearing a snatch of Stevie on the radio, and being oddly captivated
by the catchy hooks and mystical allusions, but then feeling sort of guilty and embarrassed.
I managed to grow up completely innocent of almost an entire era of music featuring permed
performers, but there was something alluring and forbidden about the songs I’d hear still being
played at the dingy Playland roller-rink amid the disco lights and the constant danger of falling over.
I’ve never been able to successfully enjoy roller-skating (gasp! I know.) so maybe that’s why
I focused so hard on the music while waiting for my friends to finish their spins and join me in a heated
game of air hockey (still obsessed!) This might explain how I came to adore ABBA as well. (My thing with
Cher, I promise I’ll get into another time! I know!) I remember an afternoon shortly after I moved
to New Orleans, getting dressed to go into the French Quarter to get coffee. My sister was watching me
lace up my black platform boots and giggling. I was wearing them with a long, tattered cream lace dress
and, a gold fringed shawl. I thought I looked very magical. “What, it is too Stevie?” Uh, yeah – it was.

It looked rad though! I think I changed, but now I wish I hadn’t! I wish I’d rocked my Stevie look without
shame, man. A few years later, I had a spate of loved ones dying in quick succession, and was mired
in some of the darkest times in the Crescent City. All of the sad, bleak music I’d always relied on for years
fell short. I couldn’t listen to Death in June or whatever, because there was no music depressing enough
to resonate with where I was at, and I knew I needed not to feed it. In order to keep going, and keep my
head above water, I found the only solution to be music I had previously scoffed and cackled at.


Fleetwood Mac – Gold Dust Woman – Live in Japan 1977
(Naysayers, behold! I think this video is spectacular — surreal, dark and oh so Biba!)

Oh yes, my darlings. That spring and summer, I listened almost exclusively to the Mac, and to George Michael.
“Father Figure” was guaranteed to make me laugh instead on wanting to lay on the floor weeping, and when it
seems like everyone around you is dying, well – sometimes you just need to listen to some ridiculous shit to make
it through. What’s the word for a sense of nostalgia for a time and place you only barely experienced? I must admit,
out of all my passionate anachronisms, I’m most embarrassed by my weird thing about some of the tackiest elements
of the 1980′s. To be fair, or at least more specific, I get really excited by anachronisms of anachronisms – like 70′s does
Art Deco/Art Nouveau (swoon! My favorite!) or 80′s does the 30′s-40′s (shoulder pads, draping, killer hair, red lips) as
well as 80′s does renaissance (unicorns, flowing shifts, fluffy perms with bangs). The fluffy renaissance redux perm is
my hair fixation of late. Why can’t I have this hair? Flashdance hair! I think it’s so, so pretty and I love seeing curly-headed
girls rock it. So tired of blow-outs and silicon stick-straight mendacity. I’m ready for big hair to come back. Let’s do it, y’all.


NIGHTBIRD by Stevie Nicks and her sister in law Lori, who I think is really gorgeous. Kohl-eyed sorceress, yes!


Obviously my favorite Fleetwood Mac song. The video is absurd, and I love it.

I’d love to go to Night of a Thousand Stevies in New York one day, speaking of absurd — have you ever been?
Imagine a thousand queens, spanking each other with tambourines and twirling, twirling the night away! Too dreamy.
While I’m at it, I’m afraid you might need to go see this video of Xena, Warrior Princess playing Stevie in a SNL skit -
she actually kind of nails it, and it’s so right. We won’t go into any backstage stories or witchcraft denials (lame),
since it’s the lady’s special day (or it was earlier, anyhow). It’s all part of the magic, right? Viva la Belladonna!

I still look up
I try hard not to look up
That girl was me
Track a ghost through the fog
A charmed hour–a haunted song
Track a ghost through the fog, baby…

14 comments

Oh my lord, that SNL skit is a scream. I adore Lucy Lawless and do quite love to see her doing comedic bits! That “flour tortilla” part of the song – PERFECT!

(my mother listened to tons of Stevie Nicks & Judy Collins when I was growing up…I am sure that has so much to do with my sensibilities today!)

by mlle ghoul on May 27, 2010 at 4:15 am. #

i used to steal my mom’s stevie cassette tapes over and over and over as a kid. we would rock out to her in the family mini-van when dad wasn’t around. definitely a mother-daughter bonding experience for me.

by katinka on May 27, 2010 at 4:53 am. #

Hmmm, I have not yet yielded to the magic of Stevie but I do find Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart wonderfully satisfying. I too had two albums that kept me from diving into the depths of depression and would play them on repeat.
M.J.’s Thriller and The Muppet Adventure soundtrack.

by Whiskey Deer Wolf on May 27, 2010 at 7:07 am. #

OMG I just watched this movie the other day all about a girl traveling to NY to go to The Night of A Thousand Stevies – very cute Gypsy 83 with Sara Rue as the main character Gypsy. You’ll LOVE the music! Part Goth music part Stevie. I adored the soundtrack!
http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Gypsy_83/60033305?strackid=4c106f28e2af33c7_0_srl&strkid=409016417_0_0&trkid=222336

by Shana - flutterby3 on May 27, 2010 at 7:58 am. #

I totally have a thing about Cher as well. Sometimes I want to be her daughter.

by Sophie on May 27, 2010 at 8:08 am. #

I wasn’t raised with Stevie Nicks either… Oh how I would have loved it in my adolescence, the magical/goth/hippie that I was.. scarves, flowing skirts, dark plum make-up, bare foot or combat boot clad, skipping school to to spend time with trees and write. My mom still roles her eyes when I subject her to the music that she rejected as a teenager.

YES, I will be perming my hair. For weeks, no months, my roommate and I have been pining for huge fluffy tresses. I’m totally in!

by Johna on May 27, 2010 at 8:34 am. #

Legendary Pink Dots! You are one of the few I have heard utter the name!

by Gabriel on May 27, 2010 at 9:41 am. #

GYPSY 83!

by VJESCI on May 27, 2010 at 8:17 pm. #

Ok, I suppose this is the place to admit. Sometimes, I think to myself “what would stevie do in this situation?” and it makes certain things more interesting ;] I love this black magic woman. Thanks for posting all of this!

by Runic Rhyme on May 28, 2010 at 2:28 pm. #

ohhh how i do love stevie nicks! my favorite song by her is “blue lamp” off the “heavy metal” soundtrack! oh yes….although gypsy is a close second. i have loved her for many years but i thought i had to tell you this story. in middle school i had this nutty theatre teacher who told us all sorts of incorrect things like “how amazing it must be for audrey hepburn to be the daughter of such an equally amazing actress”, etc. well, she told us a story of how she LOVED stevie nicks until once in the eighties, she went to a concert in houston to see her and she was so drunk and high on the cocaine that during the set, she tripped and fell off the stage and broke a bone, thereby cancelling the show mid-set and forever rendering my middle school teacher a no-longer fan of Stevie Nicks. !!! :)

by patience smeliora on June 1, 2010 at 6:10 pm. #

Dear Patience,
Your former teacher sounds hilarious – and very familiar. Is there a rule that middle school drama teachers have to be total wingnut?
Mine all were, that’s for sure. I don’t think I’ve ever heard “Blue Lamp”.. Mix CD, whaaaat? Oh, you want to trade? Why yes, I love
that idea! See you tomorrow for class? Maybe we need to have sushi after to celebrate your freedom!
xoxoxo,
A.

by Angeliska on June 1, 2010 at 6:30 pm. #

gypsy ; rediculous video . . going even further on that it WAS the most expensive video produced when i came out ; the excesses of the 80′s indeed ! . . . i remember tucking a bunch of sheer white curtains into a belt and spinning around in the living room alone when ‘ gypsy ‘ played on the ‘ nightflight ‘ programme ! Stevie was an icon for me during my teen years .
The mystery of the joy and sorrows of life is what she gave to me .

by deepbluehue on June 6, 2010 at 6:58 am. #

Sorry , i meant ‘ absurd ‘ not ‘ rediculous ‘ …

by deepbluehue on June 6, 2010 at 7:03 am. #

Great post! There is something magical about Stevie. She seems like she knows herself and confidence is sexy. Of course, that could have been the coke giving her that confidence.

by Hipstercrite on June 23, 2010 at 7:26 am. #

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