Originally Posted by David
Norma Desmond, Miss Havisham, Sylvia Browne, Elizabeth Taylor. The references aren't very flattering—not the way they're intended.
Everything Stevie says and does is forced through her own gills. She romanticizes herself. She writes about other women real and fictional in the third person—Rhiannon, Mabel Normand, Garbo, Julia, Cecilia, sisters of the moon (or the moon and her sisters). But everybody knows those "characters" are really Stevie. That's why fans all interpret Stevie's hundreds of songs autobiographically. Those third-person princesses suffer just like Stevie. They're waifs with flowing golden hair trapped in ancient windswept castles, and it's all metaphorical for Stevie Nicks and her life circumstances. (Notice how the female faces in all the Maxfield Parrish paintings all look like the same girl?)
Back in her heyday, concert critics used to say the same thing about her in every review: "She has shed some, though far from all, of the spacey narcissism that has made her something of a caricature in rock," "Stripped of all her dying swan poses and faerie queen pretensions, Nicks was riveting," and so on. I know them all practically from memory. One of them wrote, "She is simply too flighty and fluttery to command a stage." The rock press accurately called out her narcissism back in the day, and we Macheads got really pissed off at them. (Treat yourself to the old reviews in the Blue Letter Archives.) But they were right. Stevie can't talk about anything without referring back to herself—the movies she loves, the movie stars she believes she resembles, the career choices other people make, the other members of Fleetwood Mac or Lady Antebellum or the Heartbreakers or any other band she takes a shine to, or those dozens of younger singer-songwriters she promotes in creepy ways, like Vanessa Carlton. Stevie thinks they're all younger versions of her.
She is obsessed with herself to a degree that seems to indicate a certain degree of pathology. It was compelling in a 30-year-old, but it seems twisted or creepy in a 70-year-old. Last year's 60 Minutes piece on Stevie and Chrissie Hynde was intended to celebrate two tough old rock stars, but the incongruity in their respective psychiatric health left me with a sour stomach and a crabbed fatigue. Chrissie sounded like a normal, healthy post-Freudian woman ("Why should I care if other people don't like the way I talk about my rape? I did some stupid sh|t when I was younger. I'm not here to give my critics the warm fuzzies."), and there was Stevie, locked in her self-worship, romanticizing her every golden curl, engaging in ditzy, pre-Freudian Barbie doll commentary. What other 60-year-old woman was moved beyond description by the Twilight movies? She has something wrong with her.