The Real Story Behind Stevie Nicks’ Song About Mick Fleetwood

via @Stevie Nicks / YouTube

Stevie Nicks rose to fame as a vocalist in Fleetwood Mac during the 1970s. Her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham and her talent as a singer and songwriter contributed to her success. In 1981, Nicks started her solo career with her debut album, Bella Donna, which became popular worldwide. Her songwriting often drew from her personal life, revealing intimate details about her romantic relationships.

One of her affairs was with Mick Fleetwood, the band’s founding member, while Fleetwood was still married to Jenny Boyd. Fleetwood and Boyd had been married for seven years before Fleetwood cheated on her with Nicks. However, Boyd had previously had an affair with another band member, Bob Weston. At the time of her affair with Fleetwood, Nicks was in a relationship with Don Henley of the Eagles. Fleetwood wrote about this affair in his book Play On.

“Eventually I fell in love with [Nicks] and it was chaotic, it was on the road and it was a crazy love affair that went on longer than any of us really remember — probably several years by the end of it.”

Multiple songs on Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 album Tusk were written by Nicks about her affair with Mick Fleetwood, reflecting a period of tension and romantic strife within the band during the late ’70s. In particular, the song “Storms” sees Nicks acknowledging her mistake in getting involved with Fleetwood. The album’s liner notes also contain information about this tumultuous time.

Nicks wrote, “Here’s that song in a nutshell: Don’t break up other people’s marriages. It will never work and will haunt you for the rest of your miserable days.”

She told The Guardian: “Oh, that one was a – excuse my language – fuck-you to Mick,” adding, “I sat at my piano, a feminist woman, and I wrote it, to say that nothing you or anybody else can do to me can change the fact that, as the opening line goes: ‘Every night that goes between / I feel a little less.’”

The Fleetwood Mac hit ‘Sara’ is one of several songs written by Stevie Nicks about her heartbreak after discovering Fleetwood had been seeing someone else. Although Nicks loved Fleetwood at the time of their affair, she found herself devastated when she learnt he had eyes for others. The song is rumoured to also contain references to Nicks’ former lover, Don Henley. However, Nicks clarified in the liner notes that “Mick was the ‘great dark wing within the wings of a storm.’”

In ‘Beauty and The Beast,’ a song from her album The Wild Heart, Nicks addresses Fleetwood, referencing their ill-fated relationship. Nicks acknowledged that the song was inspired by the 1946 Jean Cocteau movie, which she saw for the first time when she was with Fleetwood. She also spoke about Fleetwood’s “Beauty and the Beast-esque” character and his unattainable nature. In the song, Nicks refers to her love as “a man who’s not been tamed” and notes that their relationship exists “in a world of false pleasure and pain.”