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Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks

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Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. At sixty-nine, she's one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who's a real rock 'n' roller. Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. At sixty-nine, she's one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who's a real rock 'n' roller. Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the "shot of adrenaline" they needed to become real rock stars--according to Christine McVie--Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard: --How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars --The affairs that informed Nicks' greatest songs --Her relationships with the Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself --Why Nicks married her best friend's widower --Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her -- Nicks' successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden --The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks


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Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. At sixty-nine, she's one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who's a real rock 'n' roller. Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Stevie Nicks is a legend of rock, but her energy and magnetism sparked new interest in this icon. At sixty-nine, she's one of the most glamorous creatures rock has known, and the rare woman who's a real rock 'n' roller. Gold Dust Woman gives "the gold standard of rock biographers" (The Boston Globe) his ideal topic: Nicks' work and life are equally sexy and interesting, and Davis delves deeply into each, unearthing fresh details from new, intimate interviews and interpreting them to present a rich new portrait of the star. Just as Nicks (and Lindsey Buckingham) gave Fleetwood Mac the "shot of adrenaline" they needed to become real rock stars--according to Christine McVie--Gold Dust Woman is vibrant with stories and with a life lived large and hard: --How Nicks and Buckingham were asked to join Fleetwood Mac and how they turned the band into stars --The affairs that informed Nicks' greatest songs --Her relationships with the Eagles' Don Henley and Joe Walsh, and with Fleetwood himself --Why Nicks married her best friend's widower --Her dependency on cocaine, drinking and pot, but how it was a decade-long addiction to Klonopin that almost killed her -- Nicks' successful solo career that has her still performing in venues like Madison Square Garden --The cult of Nicks and its extension to chart-toppers like Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks

30 review for Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks

  1. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Steven Davis is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication. She rings like a bell through the night And wouldn't you love to love her? She rules her life like a bird in flight And who will be her lover? All your life you've never seen a woman taken by the wind Would you stay if she promised to you heaven? Will you ever win? Will you ever win? In the past year or so, I’ve read several rock memoirs and biographies with very mixed results. I swore them off for a Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Steven Davis is a 2017 St. Martin’s Press publication. She rings like a bell through the night And wouldn't you love to love her? She rules her life like a bird in flight And who will be her lover? All your life you've never seen a woman taken by the wind Would you stay if she promised to you heaven? Will you ever win? Will you ever win? In the past year or so, I’ve read several rock memoirs and biographies with very mixed results. I swore them off for a while because I found myself losing respect for the artist, or because the biographer did a very poor job and I felt the subject deserved better. But, I’ve been a fan of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks since junior high, but Stevie has always been somewhat of an enigma, so I when I saw this biography, I caved and took a chance on this book. Some may view Fleetwood Mac with no small amount of disdain, feeling they represent the very picture of bloated, overproduced corporate rock. But, I don’t care. The first time I heard the Nicks/Buckingham incarnation of the group I fell hard. Ironically, it was a Christine McVie’s voice that made the biggest impression on me, not Stevie’s, and I still maintain she is a vastly under appreciated vocalist. However, when I first heard ‘Dreams’ I found myself grudgingly admitting that Stevie’s haunting vocals were deserving of the same respect. Over the years, and in between tours and reunions with Fleetwood Mac, I loved Stevie’s collaborations and duets with Tom Petty and Don Henley and instantly felt a vast appreciation for her solo material as well. So, it goes without saying that I loved the music. But, like many others I was also curious about Stevie’s well- crafted mystical aura, was captivated by her fashions, and mesmerized by her stage performances. Introducing ‘Rhiannon’ as a song about a Welsh witch, sparked speculation that Nicks was into the occult or was a witch herself. Her fashions and hairstyles were copied by scores of women attending concerts, who wanted to look ‘very Rhiannon.’ But, Stevie’s personal life? Well, it’s complicated. Reviews of biographies and memoirs are hard for me to write. With a memoir I feel free to leave a personal opinion about the subject. The author has put themselves out there and can expect a bit of scrutiny, but with a biography, especially an unauthorized one, I feel it may be best to focus on how the biographer presented the material, if it was well researched and documented and if the author managed to capture the essence of his subject- or not. In this case, I felt the author did an admirable job of organizing the material, going in chronological order, offering insights into Stevie’s upbringing, her musical roots, and her journey to stardom. He did not put words in her mouth or attempt to analyze her feelings, and for the most part remained neutral, not allowing his personal opinions of Stevie to surface in his writing. There was only one occasion where I felt the author attempted to gloss over or sugarcoat the facts by avoiding certain key words surrounding a very personal and delicate situation. Watching it all unfold, it is easy to see the ways in which Stevie changed and developed over the years, going from Lindsey Buckingham’s protégé, to a headlining act, surrounding herself with top writers and musicians, taking center stage and owning it. I can’t say I would want that kind of lifestyle for myself. It sounds rigorous and lonely, and not at all glamorous, fraught with terrible pitfalls that wrought ghastly consequences. While there were incredible professional triumphs, there were also many pitfalls, and embarrassing lows, most of which are common traps in the life of a rock star. As with any unauthorized biography, you may find a few discrepancies, but, overall, I felt like the book was as true and honest as possible, and was very respectful to the artist. But, remember, Stevie's presence is notably absent, as is the case with many unauthorized bios. I suppose, when you get right down to it, any of us can write one of these, if you have some skill as a writer, the resources, and the time and organizational skills, but here someone has done all the work for us! It would have been nice if Stevie had been a part of it, since it appears she has flatly refused to write a memoir. Overall, I was pleased with how the biography turned out. Stevie Nick’s musical achievements are balanced with her interesting history and personal life. I don’t know if I got a real feeling of true happiness or contentment from Stevie, or if the book captured Stevie's spiritual essence, at all. It seemed as though she was always working, working, working, or going through a personal crisis. I think her thoughts these days tend to lean more towards resignation and acceptance, which does seem to give her a measure of peace. Her journey has been a fascinating one, for sure, and she’s still out there surrounded by that trademark mythical aura, performing and working regularly, even as she approaches her seventh decade. As a rock biography I've read better, but I've also read far worse. This one did have some little known facts and some information regarding early television appearances I don't remember after all these years, and reminded me of all the great FM songs I never stopped listening to, and passed down to my own kids, as well as the many solo hits Stevie had. Alexa/Echo has been ordered to play a lot of Fleetwod Mac the past few days. 3.5 stars rounded up.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 My husband and I have often told our now grown children, that we grew up with the best music. They actually agreed, there was so much diversity in the seventies and eighties, meaningful music, but also so much that was new, unique. Have been a Stevie Nix fan for a very long time, just love her unique voice, so haunting at times. This was a biggie for me in more ways than one. It is only the second audio book I have listened to, and I thought the narrator Christine Delaine did a superb job. 3.5 My husband and I have often told our now grown children, that we grew up with the best music. They actually agreed, there was so much diversity in the seventies and eighties, meaningful music, but also so much that was new, unique. Have been a Stevie Nix fan for a very long time, just love her unique voice, so haunting at times. This was a biggie for me in more ways than one. It is only the second audio book I have listened to, and I thought the narrator Christine Delaine did a superb job. Being a long time fan girl I knew much of the later parts of this book. What was new, and a big surprise to me was how long she worked for her career and how hard she worked because it took such a time. I enjoyed this, was so happy when they started to become successful, but not sure I envy her her life style, nor her success. Went through such hard times, pressures, so much sacrifice, personal and health wise go into careers as long lasting and successful as Nixs. I think I'll just stay in my nice, calm living room, and just continue listening to their wonderful music. Seems safer!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    3.5 stars I honestly didn't know that much about Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac prior to reading this book. I've heard many of their hit songs, was aware that Stevie and Lindsay Buckingham dated years ago, and knew that the group continues to tour but sometimes certain members are missing, but that was about it when it came to my knowledge. Given this is an unathorized biography, the information presented in the book is most likely already known by fans of Stevie who have followed her throughout 3.5 stars I honestly didn't know that much about Stevie Nicks or Fleetwood Mac prior to reading this book. I've heard many of their hit songs, was aware that Stevie and Lindsay Buckingham dated years ago, and knew that the group continues to tour but sometimes certain members are missing, but that was about it when it came to my knowledge. Given this is an unathorized biography, the information presented in the book is most likely already known by fans of Stevie who have followed her throughout the years. Basically the author used old interviews and articles about Stevie and Fleetwood Mac to write the book. So if you are a super fan hoping to learn all this brand new information about her, this probably isn't the book for you. It's interesting because even though I found this to be a very through look into Stevie's life and career, she still remains a little bit mysterious. I have to respect the fact she doesn't want to write a memoir and potentially hurt people she loves and instead shares parts of herself through her music. I'm walking away from the book admiring the fact she has managed to survive in not just the music industry, but in life. A really remarkable woman and it's not difficult to see why she has inspired so many other female musicians. She's pretty awesome. My only complaints about the book are the author tended to repeat himself and despite the fact the book is only around 350 pages, it felt much longer. I'm usually a fast reader and this book felt like it took forever to get through. Overall though this is a pretty informative read and I recommend it those wanting to learn a bit about the history of Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks' solo career.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book will take you twice as long as you think it will to read it because you'll have to re-listen to a lot of great songs.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    Initially, I thought that this was a bit lifeless. I've changed my tune. Gold Dust Woman is a serious look at the career of Stevie Nicks and by association Fleetwood Mac. I was surprised to learn that the talented front woman actually had little power within the band at least at first. This is an unauthorized biography so Davis relies on previously published interviews Nicks gave throughout her career as well as interviews by other band members and various comments by hangers on. Davis is Initially, I thought that this was a bit lifeless. I've changed my tune. Gold Dust Woman is a serious look at the career of Stevie Nicks and by association Fleetwood Mac. I was surprised to learn that the talented front woman actually had little power within the band at least at first. This is an unauthorized biography so Davis relies on previously published interviews Nicks gave throughout her career as well as interviews by other band members and various comments by hangers on. Davis is respectful if somewhat reverent of Nicks. Buckingham doesn't fare as well depicted as controlling, petulant as well as verbally and physically abusive. In all, Stevie Nicks has lived a helluva a life and fans will find much to like in Gold Dust Woman.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    Prior to listening to this book: Here's what I know/have heard about Stevie Nicks. --Stevie Nicks is legally blind. I was a kid when I learned this and I thought it meant she couldn't see at all because kids who don't live near or with blindness don't understand it's not an all or nothing thing. --Stevie Nicks was always on-again/off-again with Lindsay Buckingham. Related: when single, she caused all sorts of trouble in the band because she was so beautiful and mystical. --I didn't like her as much Prior to listening to this book: Here's what I know/have heard about Stevie Nicks. --Stevie Nicks is legally blind. I was a kid when I learned this and I thought it meant she couldn't see at all because kids who don't live near or with blindness don't understand it's not an all or nothing thing. --Stevie Nicks was always on-again/off-again with Lindsay Buckingham. Related: when single, she caused all sorts of trouble in the band because she was so beautiful and mystical. --I didn't like her as much as I liked Christine McVie, author of most of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs and who was much more dynamic in interviews. --Her aunt lived on property near Cripple Creek, CO, where she, the aunt, would sunbathe naked. Stevie Nicks would sometimes visit this aunt but I don't know whether or not she also sunbathed naked. This was my favorite Stevie Nicks "fact" because it was given to me by my own aunt, a woman I'd adored early in life, and because I had been to Cripple Creek many times so I could imagine one of the little houses tucked back in the mountains belonging to Stevie Nicks' naked-in-the-sun aunt. --I do not enjoy her singing voice (a former boyfriend said she sounded like a goat and I couldn't argue) but I associate all her songs performed with the band as the sound of Fleetwood Mac even though they're not my favorites and even though she is not an original band member. --That said, I love her "Trouble in Shangri-La" album. I think it was one of those Needed At The Right Time things and it imprinted on me. --Her witchy persona automatically makes people think I am a devotee of hers, which irritates my youngest sister who is the die-hard fan and irritates me because, again, no, I'm not a fan and I preferred Christine McVie. (Sources: my opinions, rock magazines from my youth, V-H1, and, mainly, my aunt who always had a strange fascination with Nicks. I think she loved/hated the woman because she gossiped about her often, kind of like you do with that person you envy and want to tear down but also secretly admire) So why am I reading this? To find out if any of my preconceived understandings are true, excepting my opinions, of course. I already know those are true. Also because this person has been a constant in my life. By the time I could identify Mac songs and sing along, she was a band member so her voice was the voice of the band. She's just always been there so I felt I should learn something about her. Let's see how this goes! After listening to this book: It went poorly. According to what I just heard, everything listed above with exception to the Cripple Creek Aunt (I was so disappointed she was not the Lady of the Mountain), was pretty much confirmed. The author sketches - not paints because that would have involved effort - a persona who starts out dreamy, child-like, hyper-feminine, kinda Sapphic, girlish, and self-involved and morphs into a mystical, magical, witchy, completely Sapphic drug addict who then becomes a fat, old lady who has earned any and all accolades heaped upon her simply by surviving her life. I did learn two things about Stevie Nicks that aren't really about Stevie Nicks. 1) She collaborated with Prince. I probably could have guessed that on my own since it seems Prince worked with any type of creator who wandered within 100 miles of his sphere of influence. Still, that was something I had not known before. 2) She is an "honorary Foo Fighter" and I think if I asked Noelle if this is true (she is madly in love with Dave Grohl and has been since Nirvana so knows all about his life because she's a stalker), she would argue. She is also biased; she hates Stevie Nicks because our youngest sister loves Stevie Nicks and Noelle does not like our youngest sister at all so there is no way she'd allow Stevie Nicks any room in her favorite band. Still. I did not know Stevie Nicks and The Foo were a thing. Otherwise, I learned nothing. This is both poorly written and badly narrated. Let's talk about the writing first. This reads like the final rough draft of final English paper written by a favorite, though maybe a little slackerly, student who is on the high school newspaper and is passionate about certain subjects so always finds a way to write about said subjects even if the assignment is about something completely unrelated. The primary resource is weak - the author co-wrote Mick Fleetwood's biography back in the '90's - and is ridiculously disingenuous about himself as he describes those years in this book - and used some of what he'd gleaned then to create Nicks' story. That's his sole primary resource. Everything else comes from articles, interviews, documentaries, and other peoples' books. So while he may have done a lot of reading to get his information, I think most of Nicks' fans have done that same reading because they're fans and that's what fans do. Hell, I'm not a fan and I knew a lot of this stuff already, I'd read several of the same articles and watched the same interviews. The timeline is jittery, jumping up and down decades as it progresses. In one paragraph, Stevie has reached 1986 but in the next, we're back to 1984 and then there's talk about someone doing something during a recording session after we were told two pages ago that that person had already left the band's employ. That was frustrating and the length of this thing could have been cut down by a good 10-20 pages had the story just been made linear. There is a lot of extraneous detailing going on, so many clothing descriptions, so many times a lover is mentioned in passing. They're not moments that impact the tale of Nicks' life in any way nor do these things add to the reader's understanding of who she is. Why does it matter if she slept with this one guy that one time? Who cares if she dated a waiter for three months? Did a song come of it? Did she get a debilitating disease from it? Did it change her life? No? Then it doesn't matter, it's just gossip. Similarly, you only need to read about black tulle and red shawls, stacked boots and big hair so many times before you understand this artist's sartorial style. Seriously, what was the point of hearing that she was wearing a black chiffon dress and a tailored cutaway coat, white nails, red toenail polish and red stacked sandals, a thumb ring, and a delicate, white shell bracelet in the last 1/4 of the story? We know her look, we are well acquainted by this point. None of the pieces symbolize anything, none have been mentioned before and they won't be mentioned again. It's just filler. Is Nicks racist? Her record company wouldn't allow black chauffeurs to drive her around in one sentence. There's mention of one black backup singer and that's it, which seemed weird to me because I lived off V-H1 (we didn't have MTV) and black backup singers were part of every retinue for every singer in the '80's. Except the racist ones, apparently. But we don't know if she's racist because the author just drops these sentences in out of nowhere and then runs off to describe another outfit, another fight with Lindsay Buckingham, another journal entry. This is a tedious and repetitive log of Nicks' musical creations, her travels, her clothing and hair choices, her girlfriends, her drinking and drug use, her pianos, and her houses. We know she went home for Christmas a lot. We don't know what happened while she was there, we just know she went home for Christmas a lot. It's obvious she grew as a songwriter but it's all show, not tell. I guess there are no interviews where she talks about that growth, you can only see it by liner notes, whether or not she's writing with Buckingham or someone else. And then there's a ton of misinformation, bias, vagueness and contradiction. Other reviewers have noted he got her birth date wrong along with other personal details. He'll describe a concert or a TV spot but will attribute the wrong date or place. Also, the Welsh did not invent rock and roll. Maybe it's the author who is racist, not Nicks? He talks a lot about her music. This is his bias - this story is more about his opinions of Nicks as a songwriter, as a performer, as a band member, and as a solo artist. It has very little to do with examining her as a person, about removing the myth and presenting the reality - actually, that whole mystic witch nympho story is played-up extravagantly in these pages. This guy's a music writer, his job is being critical of music and bands and it seems he couldn't tuck that away while writing about Nicks, more's the pity, because I was taken aback by his personal and unwarranted descriptions of her performances and deliveries, describing how she sang a song, how she danced, how she twirled in her shawl. I mean, just how is her Sound Stage rendition of "Crash Into Me" an "earthy, sexy chant" and how was that subjective opinion important to the story? And that's the thing about this book - you can look up a lot of the information online and form your own opinions. That doesn't get you any closer to knowing just who this artist is and was but neither does this book. Personally horrifying to me was the incessant mention of her weight and age and the whole marriage/baby thing that she supposedly kept bringing up but it felt more like the author was pointing out that her womanliness came from something other than marriage and motherhood. I can't think of any other biography that wasn't written about a person losing weight mentioning how much the subject weighed so often. I get that it was a concern, I understand that the public felt Fat Stevie wasn't marketable, but this was too much. Similarly, the author writes that Nicks says she doesn't want to get married or have children and then he describes her wrestling with her lack of permanent romantic attachment and lack of children from midpoint on. Is this something she truly regrets? We don't know! There are only out-of-context quotes as clues that her life was ruined and maybe she could have been married with children had the ruination not happened. And now the narrator. She speaks in a low, serious tone, like this is a true crime investigation and horrible things are going to happen. It's sinister but also misleading. I think perhaps the producer was all, "Make this sound witchy!" and this was the result? I don't know. This woman should be reading psychological thrillers and mystery novels, not biographies about musicians. Oh, and she has strange pronunciations for words, like feral is “feerull” and touring is “tohr-ing" and if a word or name is from a Europeon country, she says them in a European way, really barking out that Italian or French pronunciation. She also likes to do accents for the people from England and Australia. That's fun. (It's not) Tell ya what. I thought this sucked big time. However If you're a huge fan of Nicks and will read anything about her to bring yourself joy, buy this, read it, love it. If you want to learn things about the artist, maybe just follow the same path the author did - YouTube is your friend. If you want the abridged version, watch this for about 10 minutes and you'll have all the same information contained in this biography:

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Schneck

    Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a die hard Stevie Nicks-aholic. I gobble up info on Stevie like it's going out of style, and even have a crescent moon tattoo on my wrist dedicated to the original Sister of the Moon. I was lucky enough to see her live a few months ago, and have never been the same. This is why when I had the opportunity to have early access to the newest Stevie biography I jumped at the chance to absorb even more information on this musical queen. Gold Dust Woman by Stephen Anyone that knows me knows that I'm a die hard Stevie Nicks-aholic. I gobble up info on Stevie like it's going out of style, and even have a crescent moon tattoo on my wrist dedicated to the original Sister of the Moon. I was lucky enough to see her live a few months ago, and have never been the same. This is why when I had the opportunity to have early access to the newest Stevie biography I jumped at the chance to absorb even more information on this musical queen. Gold Dust Woman by Stephen Davis is yet another unauthorized biography on Stevie, but it is filled with so many wonderful quotes and stories that there's really no way to tell. She has reportedly said in the past she would write an autobiography of her own, but has since nixed the idea due to not wanting to expose and hurt those around her. I went into this biography expecting to know most of the information already as a self-proclaimed Stevie addict, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn things I hadn't known before, and to get more detail on some of the things I did already know. Like your typical biography, it starts with Stevie (or Teedie as her friends and family called her) as a child, detailing how she came to discover music (through her grandfather) and the early years of the soon to be rock goddess. There it moved on to her meeting Lindsey (Buckingham that is) and embarking on a career she couldn't have imagined in a million years. Through her time with Fleetwood Mac (the good, the bad, and the ugly) to her self-discovery as a solo artist in her own right, to battles with drugs and exes, Gold Dust Woman gives great insight into the life and mind of Stevie, up until this past year. I loved many things about this book. First, it didn't read like a typical biography in the sense that it was fast-paced and easy to get through. Normally nonfiction in general is harder to read, with an abundance of details that make it difficult to wade through, but this was different and I flew through this book (the subject matter definitely helped with that as well!). I liked how it tied current events into Stevie's life, like Kennedy's election and Hurricane Katrina, and how all of these things impacted her both personally and musically. In addition, it gave so much more depth and detail in relation to the band dynamic of Fleetwood Mac than I'd ever seen before. I had no idea how much they walked all over her, and I was proud to see the parts in her life where she finally started to assert herself and exercise her star-power as the cash cow of the band. I was also shocked to find out some of the details that Gold Dust Woman revealed about Lindsey and how he treated Stevie (and the band). I have always been one of those to promote the great Stevie/Lindsey love affair, but after learning more about it I'm glad that Stevie was able to escape the control and abuse that came with a relationship with Lindsey. And finally, I loved the detail that Davis went into on Stevie's relationship with Joe Walsh. Of all her boyfriends over the years, I didn't realize until now how much Joe really meant to her, and that he truly was her one great love. Overall this biography was a phenomenal read. Gold Dust Woman by Stephen Davis paints the life of Stevie Nicks as glamorous, if not difficult, and her well fought-for (and well-deserved) fame as something to be admired. In the man's world of music, Stevie was able to fight and claw her way to the top with a raw talent and drive that proved she had what it takes to earn (and maintain) her celebrity status. This book further solidified my love of Stevie Nicks and her ambition, and reminded me once again, in Stevie's own words, to continue to "walk like a queen." Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis hits shelves on November 21, 2017. Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Thanks to St. Martin's Press for providing me an advance copy to review! All opinions are 100% my own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    June

    I could have just Googled old Stevie Nicks interviews which apparently is JUST WHAT THIS AUTHOR DID. No original reporting, because there are some things that could really use follow-up questions. Like when the author talks about Nicks picking up someone in NYC in a limo. "Some livery companies used by Fleetwood Mac in those days were reportedly instructed not to send black drivers for Stevie Nicks." Umm...what? And THAT IS ALL THE AUTHOR SAYS. And how about this description of a Halloween I could have just Googled old Stevie Nicks interviews which apparently is JUST WHAT THIS AUTHOR DID. No original reporting, because there are some things that could really use follow-up questions. Like when the author talks about Nicks picking up someone in NYC in a limo. "Some livery companies used by Fleetwood Mac in those days were reportedly instructed not to send black drivers for Stevie Nicks." Umm...what? And THAT IS ALL THE AUTHOR SAYS. And how about this description of a Halloween Party: "Christine was Aunt Jemima in full mammy outfit and blackface. McVie was uniformed in full Nazi SS regalia (one of his obsessions)." Oh, author!I have some questions that perhaps you should have asked! Seriously, no further comment about this? You just drop some Nazi, racist info and move on down the line? Also, there appears to be another unaddressed question. "There were other girls around, Stevie's acolytes, none of whom seemed to be attached to any man." "She spent a lot of time at home cosseted in her tribe of women, watching favorite movies like The Hunger, a vampire film with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve." [And also one HOT HOT HOT lesbian scene with Deneuve and Susan Sarandon] Commenting on a backup singer: "She was quickly assimilated as a Sister of the Moon by Stevie and her initiates..." No, no follow-up questions about any of these rumors or cosseted tribes of women. But from an author who writes this gem, "...communicating with the rapt girls and women down front looking at her in pure female rapture," I don't expect much. Yes, gotta love that PURE FEMALE RAPTURE. How about something nice from this book, you say? Okay, here it is so you don't have to slog through 300 pages. "Just because a relationship ended badly, and shitty things happened, you cannot tell 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." Amen. Thank you, Stevie.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I got through this book — this whole entire BOOK! — not suspecting that it was UNAUTHORIZED. Stevie has not approved it. Being the verbose public figure that she is, she has put out enough of her own story to satisfy herself, I suppose. And so the author culled many many many interviews and firsthand accounts, and he had passed her backstage more than a few times, enough to generate one or two mental snapshots of Behind-the-Scenes Stevie. Author very cleverly used a smoke and mirror effect to I got through this book — this whole entire BOOK! — not suspecting that it was UNAUTHORIZED. Stevie has not approved it. Being the verbose public figure that she is, she has put out enough of her own story to satisfy herself, I suppose. And so the author culled many many many interviews and firsthand accounts, and he had passed her backstage more than a few times, enough to generate one or two mental snapshots of Behind-the-Scenes Stevie. Author very cleverly used a smoke and mirror effect to hide himself from this exchange. He let this be Stevie's book, indeed, and he did a fantastic job of presenting the idea: "I love you, but I don't like you very much," regarding the perfect, luminous Stevie. At this point, does it matter what she is like in her private time? We're definitely glad that she is still living, having survived the mountains of drugs she consumed throughout her career. Her public persona is a goddess. She has inspired a yearly event titled "Night of a Thousand Stevies" in New York City. It's a party hosted by drag queens, I think, and all the party attendees come costumed in Stevie-type things: shawls, wings, dance shoes, giant hair . . . Speaking of hair, I have enjoyed going to Youtube and seeing the various music videos showing Fleetwood Mac and Stevie's solo songs. In an interview, Stevie has reported that she regrets being so messed up during video shoots. She wishes she could have been sober for just a few hours during filming; she hated to see her own eyes dull and "swimming." Personally, I didn't notice that her eyes looked heinous at all. Just kind of blank. When I was looking for an indication of bad judgement, I just noticed the inflation of her hair. It got bigger and bigger with each video released during the 1980s. I think "I Can't Wait" was the high point before the crash. It Stevie's hair was a power plant, it would have been blasting alarm warnings. MAXIMUM CAPACITY!!! The book spends a lot of the time describing Stevie's love affairs. She was with Lindsey Buckingham for a long time. As cute as he was, he was a real monster so it seems. Same for Mick Fleetwood, but his cuteness is incredibly elusive. Sometimes he's all right; sometimes just the right camera angle on the Rumors album cover catches him, and we're all wanting to climb him like a tree, yes? And then sometimes we're watching concert footage and we're thinking OH God Make it STOP!! Most likely the author presents all this in his bio of Mick, and now it's on my To-Read list, for some rainy day. I'm still angry at the author though. He mentions an argument that Stevie had with Joe Walsh, and the stupid man took Joe Walsh's side! Listen up, loser. There isn't a thing called "Night of a Thousand Joe Walshes," is there?! It's about Stevie. You wrote the book about Stevie! Take her damn side, numbskull.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    Davis co-wrote Mick Fleetwood's autobiography, however this unauthorized effort lacks an insider status. Sources include album liner notes, song lyrics, Stevie's commentary from her DVD "Crystal Visions," and magazine articles. As such it reads more like a compendium or "greatest hits" account of widely available material. There are also several inaccuracies, beginning with getting Nicks' birthday wrong, oof. Nevertheless, it might be of interest for new fans who lack the broad outline of Nicks Davis co-wrote Mick Fleetwood's autobiography, however this unauthorized effort lacks an insider status. Sources include album liner notes, song lyrics, Stevie's commentary from her DVD "Crystal Visions," and magazine articles. As such it reads more like a compendium or "greatest hits" account of widely available material. There are also several inaccuracies, beginning with getting Nicks' birthday wrong, oof. Nevertheless, it might be of interest for new fans who lack the broad outline of Nicks adventures -- or for someone like me who will devour anything about Nicks - I read the whole enchilada in two days, and it inspired me to revisit her catalogue.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    This is an unauthorized biography, meaning that Stevie Nicks had no say in how it was written and that the author did not interview her directly but based his book on interviews with others who knew or worked with Stevie and on other media sources. Given that overall shortcoming, it is still pretty good. If you are or were a Stevie Nicks fan and a Fleetwood Mac fan, there is plenty to like and learn as well as plenty of inside dirt and snark. Good old celebrity culture at work. I read it in a This is an unauthorized biography, meaning that Stevie Nicks had no say in how it was written and that the author did not interview her directly but based his book on interviews with others who knew or worked with Stevie and on other media sources. Given that overall shortcoming, it is still pretty good. If you are or were a Stevie Nicks fan and a Fleetwood Mac fan, there is plenty to like and learn as well as plenty of inside dirt and snark. Good old celebrity culture at work. I read it in a three day haze of reminiscence, watching videos on YouTube and having those songs running like constant ear worms. Total immersion! When I made my second attempt at having a career in music, it was 1977. I formed a duo with the man who became my second and current husband. After learning about thirty cover songs in my attic bedroom in Ann Arbor, MI, we went out on auditions. I was a newly divorced single mom with two small sons and barely any child support from their father, so I had to make a living. I tried working in retail, running daycare in my apartment, spent some time on welfare and food stamps, but the only marketable skill I had was singing. Those auditions led to playing gigs in restaurants and bars, with a live-in nanny to stay with my boys at night. For a year or so my signature song was "Landslide." Girls would come up to the stage and leave notes requesting the song. Often we played it three times a night. So yes, I have plenty of memories about Stevie and Fleetwood Mac. We loved the Buckingham Nicks album and my partner practiced Lindsey Buckingham licks for hours. We saw them in concert. We went on to form one of the top cover bands in the Detroit, MI area. It is amazing how much music I have embedded in my mind. Every time I read one of these biographies, they all come floating up. I loved learning so much about this complicated woman. She is five feet of emotion, drive, creativity, and a tough tenderness. The story follows her entire life from childhood through the Fleetwood Mac years and her solo career, including all her lovers and how she wrote the songs and made the albums. It is a wonder she survived. I have read other musician biographies by Stephen Davis. He wrote a version of Michael Jackson's Moonwalk, (the published book was edited by Jackson and Jackie Onassis and Davis got no credit for it.) He also co-wrote This Wheel's On Fire with Levon Helm of The Band and, the one I have yet to read, Mick Fleetwood's My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac. Davis is a pro. Still I hope we eventually get an authorized biography of Stevie Nicks written by a woman or better yet an autobiography.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Incredibly boring book full of errors such as wrong date of birth, "leathern" journal, her age in 2008.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    It's all here . . . Stevie Nicks and her pact with the devil! White witches in spangly dresses summoning Satan, swearing loyalty with the most intimate acts . . . until the Devil chooses the prettiest, emptiest, most untalented daughter of white-bread depravity and gives her superhuman powers. Her mission: destroy rock and roll, remove all the nasty funk and leering sexual innuendo. Erase every trace of soul, all the unpleasant gut-bucket blues that jarringly recalls the music's beginnings, on It's all here . . . Stevie Nicks and her pact with the devil! White witches in spangly dresses summoning Satan, swearing loyalty with the most intimate acts . . . until the Devil chooses the prettiest, emptiest, most untalented daughter of white-bread depravity and gives her superhuman powers. Her mission: destroy rock and roll, remove all the nasty funk and leering sexual innuendo. Erase every trace of soul, all the unpleasant gut-bucket blues that jarringly recalls the music's beginnings, on the slave ships and in the cotton fields. "Yes, my daughter, yes. Drain the soul from millions and make popular music safe again for the Devil's own chosen people!!!" See --- Chuck Berry crucified on his own guitar! See -- Little Richard impaled on Satan's pitchfork! See -- Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles play their fuzzy warbles while Jimi Hendrix howls for mercy from beyond the grave!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I had read and enjoyed Davis' bio of Led Zeppelin so I was anxious to read this new in-depth biography of Stevie Nicks and it was very well done. It spanned her entire life, from her childhood experiences to meeting Buckingham, through the trials and tribulations of her involvement with Fleetwood Mac, to her solo life and work to late 2016. Casual fans or those who aren't aware of her work may find this too detailed but die-hard fans will eat this up. I am a casual fan, and even though I've read I had read and enjoyed Davis' bio of Led Zeppelin so I was anxious to read this new in-depth biography of Stevie Nicks and it was very well done. It spanned her entire life, from her childhood experiences to meeting Buckingham, through the trials and tribulations of her involvement with Fleetwood Mac, to her solo life and work to late 2016. Casual fans or those who aren't aware of her work may find this too detailed but die-hard fans will eat this up. I am a casual fan, and even though I've read Mick Fleetwood's memoirs, Carol Harris' Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac, and Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams Rumors, I still found a few tidbits of her life that aren't widely known. It also substantiated a few alleged "rumours" about Lindsay's treatment and abusiveness; however, I'll add the caveat that until Stevie is candid about her own life, no one will ever know the entire truth behind everything that went on with her and Lindsay.What I enjoyed the most, though, was the reporting the inspirations behind her songwriting. This book will be perfect for readers who are interested in her life and experiences with FM but those who have read the books I mentioned above may wish to just read the last 1/4 of this to satisfy their curiosity about her later life. Added note to those who will be reading this: Plan on taking lots of notes or highlighting phrases on your e-reader as if you are like me you'll want to search for those rare appearances and performances on YouTube. Thanks to Macmillan Publishers for the advance reading copy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    Great book on a.legendary performer I write this review as an unabashed fan of Stevie Nicks and reading this book was just as good as listening to the Fleetwood Mac album "Rumours" or singing along ( badly) to one of my favorite songs of all.time, "Edge of Seventeen." I loved the entire story of Stevie, drugs and heartbreak included. The most interesting fact I learned from.the book was that the title of that song came about because Stevie misunderstood a comment from.Tom Petty's wife. She met Great book on a.legendary performer I write this review as an unabashed fan of Stevie Nicks and reading this book was just as good as listening to the Fleetwood Mac album "Rumours" or singing along ( badly) to one of my favorite songs of all.time, "Edge of Seventeen." I loved the entire story of Stevie, drugs and heartbreak included. The most interesting fact I learned from.the book was that the title of that song came about because Stevie misunderstood a comment from.Tom Petty's wife. She met Tom at the age of 17, Stevie thought she said Edge of 17. And the rest is history.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emerald

    Reading this was like a walk down memory lane for me. I've always been a fan of Fleetwood Mac and grew up listening to them. Landslide is my favorite recording of Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and many others. There were so many famous bands and music titles I recognized. I was really surprised to find out that most of her songs that she wrote were about her intimate friendships and relationships in her professional and personal life. This struck me as odd that she didn't find inspiration from other Reading this was like a walk down memory lane for me. I've always been a fan of Fleetwood Mac and grew up listening to them. Landslide is my favorite recording of Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and many others. There were so many famous bands and music titles I recognized. I was really surprised to find out that most of her songs that she wrote were about her intimate friendships and relationships in her professional and personal life. This struck me as odd that she didn't find inspiration from other sources until later on in her life besides the Welsh mythology surrounding the Welsh goddess Rhiannon. She is from Welsh ancestry herself. The bio, I felt for the most part was as truthful as it could be considering that this also involves other performers lives. I felt great care and respect was given consideration in these areas. I'm fairly confident there are still some secrets that fans will never know and that is fine with me. Some stories were shocking and some of her relationships as well. I found some of her comments regarding 9-11 rather narcissistic. It's a great read for any Fleetwood Mac fans and for those of younger generations getting a look inside Rock N Roll Fame and the ups and downs that life can bring.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dorie

    Gold Dust Woman:The Biography of Stevie Nicks By Stephen Davis 2017 St Martin's press I truly enjoyed this biography. Stephen Davis, for me, has a style of writing that is personal and makes me feel like I know the subject and understand them. It makes this a fun and memorable read. I have been a fan of Stevie Nicks, and loved her music and mystique. Her legend and talent, her ability to persevere and always move forward, and her love of music are inspiring. This bio delves into her past Gold Dust Woman:The Biography of Stevie Nicks🍒🍒🍒🍒 By Stephen Davis 2017 St Martin's press I truly enjoyed this biography. Stephen Davis, for me, has a style of writing that is personal and makes me feel like I know the subject and understand them. It makes this a fun and memorable read. I have been a fan of Stevie Nicks, and loved her music and mystique. Her legend and talent, her ability to persevere and always move forward, and her love of music are inspiring. This bio delves into her past relationships and affairs, her long successful career and her magnetism. Using interviews and reviews, he shares her days in Buckingham Nicks, her affairs and their influence on her life and lyrics, and how she has influenced so many young rising talented artists throughout her life and still today. He explores her relationship with Buckingham, Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Mick Fleetwood. She is a legendary figure that will never be forgotten. Her lyrics will be recited for years. Her mystique is soft and light, but full of a deep and hard lived past. Her life shiny stories, her larger than life image .....she is like Gold Dust. But so much more. Well written, well researched. An easy, enlightening fun......highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Incredibly thorough & comprehensive considering it's an unauthorized biography. Recommended for lifelong fans of Stevie but it may be too much for casual fans of Nicks & Fleetwood Mac. A lot of the insight & quotes shared in this book were obtained when the author was working on an authorized biography of Mick Fleetwood so although this one is unauthorized, there was band participation in the form of interviews in the late 80's resulting in authentic quotes obtained by the author Incredibly thorough & comprehensive considering it's an unauthorized biography. Recommended for lifelong fans of Stevie but it may be too much for casual fans of Nicks & Fleetwood Mac. A lot of the insight & quotes shared in this book were obtained when the author was working on an authorized biography of Mick Fleetwood so although this one is unauthorized, there was band participation in the form of interviews in the late 80's resulting in authentic quotes obtained by the author instead of relying solely on other sources (newspaper, magazine, tv, & radio interviews). The author includes a significant amount of quotes from Stevie Nicks found in media interviews that it feels as if Nicks was involved in the biography. Overall, this may be the best unauthorized biography I've had the pleasure of reading/listening to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Beck

    Stevie Nicks is my absolute favorite singer, songwriter, performer, and all around person in general, so I definitely took forever to finish this book on purpose, because it's the best Stevie biography I've ever read. Stevie has said that she hasn't written her own memoirs because she's loyal and knows too much, and wouldn't want to hurt anyone by spilling secrets, but this book is a fantastic record of her life, feelings, failures, accomplishments, and incredible star power. I'd recommend it to Stevie Nicks is my absolute favorite singer, songwriter, performer, and all around person in general, so I definitely took forever to finish this book on purpose, because it's the best Stevie biography I've ever read. Stevie has said that she hasn't written her own memoirs because she's loyal and knows too much, and wouldn't want to hurt anyone by spilling secrets, but this book is a fantastic record of her life, feelings, failures, accomplishments, and incredible star power. I'd recommend it to any Stevie fan; if you're like me, you'll cry multiple times and cherish it forever.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    I honestly don't know how to rate this book. It's fair to say I was obsessed with it when I first began reading. I borrowed it to listen to while I fall asleep, but it was so addictive, I had trouble getting to sleep. I would dream about it, think about first thing when I woke up, and would play the songs from the time period covered in the current chapter I was reading. It was complete emersion and complete bliss. However, as time went on, I liked Stevie Nicks less and less. I can't tell if I honestly don't know how to rate this book. It's fair to say I was obsessed with it when I first began reading. I borrowed it to listen to while I fall asleep, but it was so addictive, I had trouble getting to sleep. I would dream about it, think about first thing when I woke up, and would play the songs from the time period covered in the current chapter I was reading. It was complete emersion and complete bliss. However, as time went on, I liked Stevie Nicks less and less. I can't tell if that means the author did a good job or bad job of detailing her character. What I do know is that his writing drove me crazy a lot of the time. Since he had a lot of ground to cover, so many of the stories included have almost no rich detail, to a shocking degree. Despite how many days of her life were included, it often felt extremely shallow and lacked any type of insight. It was frustrating. One line said that the car company used by Fleetwood Mac was asked not to send black drivers for Ms. Nicks. What?? Either say why or address it in some way or leave that out of the book. Shockingly bad writing at times. And yet, I cannot deny I was addicted for many of its chapters. So how do you rate a book like that?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Interesting since I didn’t know very much about Stevie Nicks to begin with but the fact that it was an unauthorized biography often seemed glaring. It would have been a much better book if the subject had actually been involved.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Watson

    How did this even get published? It's just thrown together from old interviews, often out of context. He got facts like her birthday wrong. Ridiculous.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    3.5 stars. A tad too detailed for my taste in a few instances but over all really informative and entertaining! (I also can't get over the fact Stevie is a Twiheart)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Stefanie Onieal

    I’m a sucker for any book by a favorite lady of rock. This book inspired me to watch hours of old Fleetwood Mac concert footage, play it on an endless loop in my car, and watch Dave Grohl’s documentary about Sound City.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    If you are a fan of Fleetwood Mac or Stevie Nicks (solo) music, you’ll love the history documented in this book. I listened on audiobook and paused several times to listen to each album as it was referenced in the book. Only one error that I caught, otherwise very impressed with the details and way he showed Stevie evolving through her experiences, both personally and professionally.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deborah

    Returned to the library--very poorly written.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    Christmas 2017 present from Sweeter. I read this in the month after Christmas, and loved it. So cool! From her age five stage debut at the elbow of a well-meaning drunkard grandfather to her current third solo album before Dreams was written as the creative result of an intense love affair with the Eagles lead guitarist Joe Walsh. In her own words, the years 1983-86 were a blur. When she came to after he left her, she had a trove of romantic songs waiting to be written. The Welsh Witch is Christmas 2017 present from Sweeter. I read this in the month after Christmas, and loved it. So cool! From her age five stage debut at the elbow of a well-meaning drunkard grandfather to her current third solo album before Dreams was written as the creative result of an intense love affair with the Eagles lead guitarist Joe Walsh. In her own words, the years 1983-86 were a blur. When she came to after he left her, she had a trove of romantic songs waiting to be written. The Welsh Witch is enchanting, no doubt about that. I still go into a trance with every playing of "Rhiannon" and "Little Lies." The end of the 80's led to her sobriety in the early 90's, and her enduring presence in the world of music is legendary. LOVED this book, like I seem to love all Stephen Davis. But this the most. Great read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Donie Nelson

    This is a book for the super fan of Nicks or Fleetwood Mac. An unauthorized bio in which author readily admits the contents are taken from other published material, It reads as the "Cliff Notes" for the names & dates of Nicks' lovers, drugs & songs. I have a hunch the author used a spreadsheet and then sorted by date.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Noel

    While I liked this biography, I did not care for the narrator on the audible version I listened to which took away from the story a bit. Her constant attempts to imitate the voices of the characters in the story, especially the deep voiced British Mick Fleetwood drove me crazy. The book could have also been titled Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks and History of the Song Rhiannon (the many ways it was sang, where, when, and why it was sang), and I grew slightly tired of the (at one While I liked this biography, I did not care for the narrator on the audible version I listened to which took away from the story a bit. Her constant attempts to imitate the voices of the characters in the story, especially the deep voiced British Mick Fleetwood drove me crazy. The book could have also been titled Gold Dust Woman: A Biography of Stevie Nicks and History of the Song Rhiannon (the many ways it was sang, where, when, and why it was sang), and I grew slightly tired of the (at one point) near constant phrase "(name) is VERY Rhiannon" "(object or place) is VERY Rhiannon", it just got a little old...and at times the story was a bit all over the place, injecting a little bit of something here and there that seemingly had nothing to do with the current bit being told, and other bits that could have used some elaboration. But overall I enjoyed it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Pitterman

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As a pretty much life long fan, I thought I knew a lot about Stevie Nicks. After reading this book, I have to say about 75% is brand new information. I am pleased to say that the book was not exploitive or gratuitous in its depiction of her struggles. If you are a fan, you will come away from this book feeling you got to know your hero a little better. Considering our #metoo era, this book chronicles a woman’s rise from a male dominated rock world to a place of total empowerment. It is a story As a pretty much life long fan, I thought I knew a lot about Stevie Nicks. After reading this book, I have to say about 75% is brand new information. I am pleased to say that the book was not exploitive or gratuitous in its depiction of her struggles. If you are a fan, you will come away from this book feeling you got to know your hero a little better. Considering our #metoo era, this book chronicles a woman’s rise from a male dominated rock world to a place of total empowerment. It is a story with a happy ending which is rare in the entertainment industry. Warning: if Lindsey Buckingham is your hero, be prepared to be severely disappointed. He is definitely painted as a villain in this tale. I think it would be interesting to read a book telling his side of the story. I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Enjoy!

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