For me the circus came to town in 2010. That’s the year I wrote and recorded “In Your Dreams,” my new CD. It was the year Dave Stewart returned to my life. He returned to my life after several years. He actually arrived at my front door, walked into my living room and we started writing songs for my new album.
It was glorious. We were two people extremely committed to having fun along the way. Every day was an adventure. Every day was a gala. The environment was magical. I’ve never worked harder in my life but it never seemed like I was working. It was a circus after all.
I’ve always tried to have fun making records with Fleetwood Mac and with my solo ones. I didn’t succeed very often though certainly the music did. But this time, it was perfection. It was everything I always wished making a record would be. We laughed all the time. We were little kids in a sandbox. We were happy parents and the songs we created were our children. We were a big happy family – me and Dave, the engineers, Waddy, the girls, Glenn Ballard, my assistant Karen and my friend Kellianne who prepared elaborate dinners every night where we talked about music, art, politics and “the songs.” Dave would have a martini. There was never a harsh word or raised voice. It felt pretty much like I imagine a Paris salon of artists who adored each other might gather in the twenties. If all that wasn’t enough, I had the ride of a lifetime creating an album of songs that I am so proud to share with you. Did I mention that we dressed up in ridiculous outfits all the time?
Maybe it was destiny for Dave and I to come together and create “In Your Dreams.” We’d met years ago – 1985 to be exact. We were going to work on the song “Don’t Come Around Here No More” which he eventually completed with Tom Petty. Phenomenal song by the way. Wish I’d gotten to do it. Our paths didn’t cross again until 2006 when Dave was working on a pilot for a TV show and I was a guest. We talked for two hours about everything. At the end, he suggested I play something at the piano…I did a 15 minute version of “Rhiannon.” Dave joined in as if we’d been singing it together for years. I realized then that if I were ever to make a solo album again (believe me I had my doubts) – but if the day came, I knew I wanted Dave on board.
So beginning February into March and then April, three days a week, Dave would arrive with Ned Douglas the engineer. At the entrance to my house as soon as you walk in, you are greeted by two huge pianos, a black Bosendorfer and a white Steinway. Other special touches were added as we went along – a pair of black antique dancing shoes, a perfume bottle and of course a chandelier. Lots of atmosphere. We would work on the songs day after day. “Ned, how about some bass and add that drum part,” I would say and he knew exactly what was needed. The living room of my home metamorphasized into our recording studio…We also set up a recording area in the curve of the big staircase where we did vocals and that’s how we made “In Your Dreams.”
On Tuesday and Thursday and weekends, I would work with the girls Lori Nicks and Sharon Celani, who are truly the backbone of the Stevie Nicks sound. We love to sing together. I have the utmost respect for their point of view on the music and they know when it sounds right. My good friend and sidekick Waddy Wachtel would be there as well. I’ve been with Lori, Sharon and Waddy since 1979. With me, they are the Stevie Nicks band. You can imagine the level of trust that we’ve developed after all this time.
Then Glen Ballard arrived at my door one day a couple of months later (he’s Dave Stewart’s partner). I call him “the beautiful quiet one.” He is the voice of reason. The rest of us were all circus people who were running amok. Glen kept it all together. He could simply stroll over and start playing something on one of those pianos or pick up his guitar to explain something. He also arrived with Scott the engineer who took over from Ned. Scott was another magician in our midst. And now you have our merry cast of characters.
We all took time off in May when Dave went to London and I went to Hawaii where I wrote “For What It’s Worth.” By June 1st we had 13 songs completed – I co-wrote seven with Dave and five by myself. In the Fall, the circus moved to Village Recording for two weeks where we tracked and Mick Fleetwood and Steve Faroni came in to play.
I want “In Your Dreams” to have a big impact on people to give at least one moment of joy and hope to anyone listening. Well, even more than a moment. I wanted my music to make you feel like you wanted to dance around the house. That’s what it does for me.