Stevie Nicks Learned a ‘Big Lesson’ After Her Dad Discovered Her ‘Terrifying’ Topless Photoshoot

In the early 1970s, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham released their first and only album as a duo. While shooting the cover, Buckingham and the photographer insisted that they take a nude photo. Nicks wasn’t thrilled with the idea. When her father saw the cover, he gave her a lesson that she greatly valued.

A black and white photo of Stevie Nicks wearing a ruffled white shirt.
Stevie Nicks | Richard McCaffrey/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham formed a musical duo in the 1970s

After briefly meeting in high school, Buckingham invited Nicks to join his band, Fritz, as a singer. The band was moderately successful in the Bay Area, but a record producer advised that Nicks and Buckingham would have more luck as a duo. They left the band and moved to Los Angeles, where they began a relationship. Nicks feels that betraying their bandmates sparked the romance between them.

“It was like, ‘Well, we’ve done it now,’” she told Rolling Stone. “‘We’ve completely screwed up their lives forever now. So why not?’ So we became a couple. And from the very beginning, Lindsey was very controlling and very possessive. And after hearing all of the stories from my mother and how independent she was and how independent she made me, I was never very good with possessive people or with controlling people.”

She begrudgingly posed topless for an album cover

The cover of the Buckingham Nicks album features an image of the couple, topless. Nicks said she felt like a “rat in a trap” taking the photo.

“I’m actually quite prudish,” she said, per the book Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac: Interviews and Encounters. “So when they suggested they shoot Lindsey and I nude, I could not have been more terrified if you’d asked me to jump off a speeding train. Lindsey was like, ‘Oh, come on — this is art. Don’t be a child!’ I thought, Who are you? Don’t you know me?

Looking back, Nicks said the photos represented the “most terrifying moment of my entire life,” per the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours by Zoë Howe. She meant to show her parents the album cover right away, but she said that she got sidetracked.

“I’d taken it home to show them because I didn’t want them taken by surprise,” she said. “But then I got sidetracked by an ovarian cyst operation, and I kept the picture under my bed for five weeks while I was back home recovering. When the record came out and I saw my father, it was ‘Why didn’t you just say no, Stevie?’ I said, ‘Daddy, I don’t know. I didn’t feel like I had a choice — I’m so sorry.’”

Nicks explained that her father did not react with anger. Instead, he offered her advice.

“He said, ‘OK — move on. But you always have a choice,’” Nicks explained. “I learned a big lesson that day.”

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham broke up shortly after joining Fleetwood Mac

Nicks and Buckingham’s album didn’t perform well, but they found major success when they joined Fleetwood Mac. Their relationship did not improve, however, and the pair broke up while recording their second album with the band. Still, Nicks once said that their connection will never fade away.

“That electric crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away,” she told MTV. “He’s married, he’s happy, he has three beautiful children that I love. You know, he’s found a good, happy, calm, safe place — but who Lindsey and I are to each other will never change.”

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