In 1983, music videos were becoming increasingly important for artists to gain success, especially with the rise of MTV. Stevie Nicks, of Fleetwood Mac fame, wanted to create a spectacular video for her first single from her second solo album, “The Wild Heart”. The director, Brian Grant, aimed to make it a grand production, not only for Nicks but to showcase his abilities to direct feature-length films. He wanted to create a three-minute version of “Gone with the Wind.” However, the video shoot for “Stand Back” was a dangerous and almost deadly experience for Nicks, which was unplanned.
Stephanie Lynn Nicks, known professionally as Stevie Nicks, was born on May 26, 1948, in Phoenix, Arizona. Nicks showed musical talent from a young age and met her long-time boyfriend and musical partner, Lindsey Buckingham, in high school in Palo Alto, California, as reported by Biography. The couple joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and became successful. By 1983, Nicks had already released one solo hit album and was working on her second.
Nicks was involved in the creation of a music video for her single “Stand Back.” The concept of the video was to re-create the famous 1939 film “Gone with the Wind” in three minutes, with Nicks contributing to the storyboard. However, the project faced challenges such as a rising budget, a fire that broke out on set at a Beverly Hills mansion, Nicks’ dissatisfaction with her acting, and an unexpected incident during a scene involving Nicks riding a galloping horse. In the scene, Nicks was dressed in an emerald green velvet dress, wearing a brown top hat, and riding a white horse, but things did not go as planned.
After the first failed attempt at making the video for “Stand Back,” Nicks and her team made a second attempt. Despite the challenges and difficulties experienced in the first go, they were determined to make the vision come to life. This time around, they worked to ensure that the budget was more controlled, the shooting process was more organized, and all necessary precautions were taken to prevent any accidents. With everyone working together, they were able to create the final product that was eventually aired on MTV, solidifying Nicks’ status as a pop icon and a leading lady in the music industry.
“I almost got killed riding that horse,” she shared details about the video with Stephen Davis for his book “Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks.” “He bolted into a grove of trees and the crew in the car driving alongside were screaming at me to jump off.”
When Nicks saw the final version of the music video for “Stand Back,” she was unhappy with it, saying it did not match the song. She told her manager she did not want it to be released, even if it cost a lot of money. However, the director Brian Grant claimed that when she watched the video, she hugged him and said she looked fat. As a result, they decided not to release the first video and instead found another director who had worked on the hit film “Flashdance.” The second video was much more successful and featured dark lighting, lots of dancing, and Nicks singing directly to the camera. The song and video were well-received, reaching the number 5 spot on the Top 40 Singles chart that August.