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June 7, 2015 / thackersam

June 7 – Stevie Nicks – Bella Donna

Nicks - Bella DonnaThe ever-beautiful Stevie Nicks, who just turned 67, had made a mighty big impression when she and Lindsey Buckingham joined the long-established Fleetwood Mac back in the late 70s, as we all know. It’s classic rock ‘n roll history, plus she and Lindsey have been highlighted in my Fleetwood Mac posts of the cassettes I was lucky to listen to and review before my tape deck died.

The very talented, very pretty singer with the unique voice and style, broke out on her own releasing her first solo album in the summer of 1981. It includes none of my favorite Stevie Nicks songs, least of which may well be her collaboration with Don Henley on “Leather and Lace,” a song for some reason I find annoying. It was also before I began to appreciate Henley, but I don’t think that would make a difference. I still don’t like it. I do remember being fascinated by an interview with Nicks on WNEW-FM back when she released Bella Donna, during which she showed she was not only an accomplished songwriter, but a storyteller as well, and I particularly enjoyed her explanation of how she came up with “The Edge of Seventeen.” Turns out she was conversing with Tom Petty’s wife one day, as Nicks and Petty performed “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” together on the album, and Petty’s wife told Nicks that they had met at the age of seventeen, but with Petty’s wife’s southern accent, Nicks thought she had said at the edge of seventeen, and so the song was born. (It should be mentioned that we are referring to Petty’s first wife, to whom he was married for more than 20 years before typically trading her in for a younger facsimile.)

I like when you can form a story around a title. I do that all the time. Trouble is I’ve got so many titles, and so many first lines.

While I find this album dated, it does stir up memories, like working for a radio production company back then and hanging out most Friday nights with my colleague and her husband. It was also the year Vicki came home to New York and fun times were had by all. Stevie however, was not on either of our playlists as I was all about the Bruce and Vicki was into the likes of The Talking Heads and Elvis Costello. She also leaned towards punk and I remember the vision of her one night at Cagney’s wearing a muscle tee and rolled up jeans, drinking a vodka martini while reconnecting with a guy friend from high school who had just become a corporate lawyer and was wearing a suit and tie. At the time, Vicki was an unemployed social worker, who was working the nightshift at her local Taco Bell. Within the year, I too would be unemployed after my company lost funding for one of its programs and moved its headquarters to the Poconos. I think I made the right choice not to go with them, as those were some of the best times of my life, you know, when you could still be frivolous and somewhat dim-witted. And of course, cute. Good times.

Damn – now I want Taco Bell, even though a Chipotle just opened up downstairs. Btw, this is not a good exercise CD.


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