Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide”: The Career That Almost Wasn’t


Along with “Rhiannon” Stevie Nicks’ “Landslide” was the top ten hit from the breakthrough album, eponymously titled “Fleetwood Mac”, that established Nicks as a musical force to be reckoned with. The story behind this song was a wistful and fragile as the song itself.

Until then Nicks’ musical career had been fairly rocky. She had met future band-mate Lindsey Buckingham while the two were still in high school. They both attended San Jose State University. Nicks majored in Speech Communication and originally was intending on becoming an English teacher.

It was not to be. Both she and Buckingham dropped out in 1968 and moved to Los Angeles to continue a potential career in music. The two became a duo and even released an unsuccessful record for Polydor records. After being dropped from the label Nicks (if you can picture this) worked odd jobs including waiting tables and cleaning houses. Buckingham was unable to assist because he was recovering from Infectious Mononucleosis.

The pair relocated briefly to Aspen, Colorado. Shortly before the move Nicks was at her parents’ home in Phoenix where her father generously offered to support her if she decided to quit music and go back to school, suggesting that she give music six more months.

After the move Nicks stayed behind in Aspen while Buckingham toured with the Everly Brothers, which was just as well because the two were having trouble with their relationship. It was there that she had to make up her mind what to do with her life. While in a visitor’s living room she looked out at the mantle of snow in the Rockies surrounding Aspen and marveled, “Wow, all this snow could just come tumbling down around me and there is nothing I can do about it.” For her it was the perfect metaphor for “the avalanche of everything that had come crashing down on us… at that moment, my life truly felt like a landslide in many ways.” The fact that very next day her father, who was by then no less than the president of Greyhound Bus lines, was to undergo surgery at the Mayo Clinic may have had something to do with her emotions. You can hear it reflected in the lyrics of the refrain: “Well, I’ve been afraid of changing ’cause I, I built my life around you. But time makes you bolder. Children get older. I’m getting older, too.”


Source by Garrett Sawyer

Agnes Brown

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