Stevie Nicks Said Songwriting Allows Her to Get Revenge

Stevie Nicks is inspired by everywhere, especially her breakups. Fleetwood Mac wouldn’t be anything without her perfectly crafted revenge songs that she wrote following her tumultuous breakup with Lindsey Buckingham. It’s not fair that Nicks got to vent her frustrations out in her hit songs which eventually made her millions. Most of us only get Ben and Jerry’s ice cream after our breakups.

Stevie Nicks performing with Fleetwood Mac in New York, 1997.
Stevie Nicks | John Keating/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Stevie Nicks said getting revenge is one reason it’s good to be a writer

During a 2014 interview with Billboard, Nicks elaborated on why she thinks it’s great being a songwriter. She said you could get revenge through your songs but in a nice way.

“Yes, but you also have to be kind. Just because a relationship ended badly, and s***** things happened, you cannot tell that to the world. But you can write a song about it, in three verses and a bridge and a chorus, that tells the really magical moments,” Nicks explained.

Nicks is the queen of revenge songs. Following her split from Buckingham, Nicks couldn’t stop writing songs about their breakup. Tracks continuously poured out of her until virtually all of her tracks on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours were revenge songs against Buckingham. She wrote “Dreams,” “Silver Springs,” and “Gold Dust Woman,” all in response to one of the biggest breakups of the 20th century.

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Nicks wrote revenge songs but at least she was always honest in her songwriting

During a 2011 interview, Nicks said that if she did write a breakup song, she vowed to herself that she would always tell the story honestly. She wasn’t going to fudge the truth to make herself look better, saying she broke up with someone when they really broke up with her.

“I think you have to be very honest, and from the very beginning, I said, I think I even said this to my mom, I’m never going to be dishonest in my songs. If he broke up with me, I’m not going to write the song and say I broke up with him. I’m never going to not tell the truth,” Nicks said.

“So you’re much better off to actually share what really happened with your audience and not try to make up a story. If you have a good story, there’s no reason to try to change the story.”

Nicks also explained that she’s superstitious about changing her lyrics in general. That’s why she could never write songs with Buckingham. But that would have been awkward anyway, considering Nicks often wrote about him.

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Nicks said she could never write songs with Lindsey Buckingham

Nicks said she’s superstitious about changing the lyrics of any of her songs. That’s why she could never write songs with Buckingham. He always suggests changing things.

“I’m very superstitious,” Nicks said. “Once I’ve written a line-it’s like every once in a while, Lindsey will say, ‘You know, well you’re writing in the third person, and then all of a sudden you flip back into first person. You can’t really do that.’ And I’m like, ‘So would you say that to Bob Dylan?’ I snap back at him, you know?

“And that’s why Lindsey and I don’t write songs together. He’ll say, ‘Well-No, I guess…’ So, that ends that conversation right there.”

However, Nicks couldn’t really write anything without getting some criticism from the rest of Fleetwood Mac at some point. Nicks told Billboard that Fleetwood Mac wouldn’t have recorded 17 songs in 15 months because everyone constantly wanted to change things.

“They couldn’t, not even if you offered them $5 million apiece,” Nicks said. “In Fleetwood Mac, I play them a demo, and someone says, ‘That’s great, but why don’t we work on that second verse?’ I might say, ‘Are you crazy?’ or I might say, ‘That’s a good idea.’ You mull it over.”

At least Nicks could vent some of her frustrations out in her music, even though it might have been awkward writing about her breakup with her bandmate.