Stevie Nicks is coming to the Hamptons. But not to sing. Well, not exactly. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy winner is coming to take part in the Hamptons International Film Festival, which will be screening In Your Dreams, an intimate documentary about the making of her latest album. She’s also looking forward to a little R&R.
“Last night I just did my last 2 hour and 10 minute performance. We’ve been out on the road since June, and I really need a break from that.” Speaking from her hotel room in Florida, the rock icon who sang in Fleetwood Mac starting in 1975 and wrote many of their hits before launching her fabulous solo career sounds thoroughly pleased to be on her way to spend a few days in our neck of the woods.
“I’ve been to the Hamptons three times before, to do benefit performances, but this will be the first time I’ll have a chance to really look around. I’m a real water person, so I’m looking forward to getting down to see the ocean. And so many people have told me that I’ve got to see Sag Harbor!”
Nicks is also tremendously excited about what she calls “this little film” that is showing during HIFF, one that documents the nearly yearlong process of writing and recording the CD In Your Dreams in her Malibu home. It was a process that Nicks likens to a “happening,” with at least ten people in and out every day. “It was the best year of my life,” she says, which is saying a lot for a rock queen who has surely had many a great year, even if they were sometimes legendarily tumultuous.
The idea to film the In Your Dreams sessions originated with producer Dave Stewart (best known as Annie Lennox’s partner in Eurythmics), who is in the habit of filming everything. Initially, Nicks was skeptical.
“I don’t care who you are, every woman has a problem with being photographed,” she observes. “But David said”—and here she imitates Stewart’s British accent—“Stevie, I’ve been filming women all my life. I know how to do it.”
In the end what truly convinced Nicks to allow cameras was revisiting the short film that captured the recording sessions where George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan got together as the Traveling Wilburys—an event made more poignant by the early passing of both Orbison and Harrison not so long after. “It will never happen again, not this way,” Nicks points out. A singular creative process cannot be repeated. Why not film a record of the day-to-day work and play that goes on in making an album?
Nicks is also practical. Given what she calls the “dire straits” of the music business (i.e. nobody buys records anymore), she hopes that people will be inspired by the sounds they hear in the film to seek out the CD. She is indeed quite disturbed by the now ubiquitous practice of musical file-sharing, and of all the other technologies that have put musicians out of work. As a result of her deeply held convictions in this regard, she herself refuses to own a computer or any other device that she blames for the music business’s current plight.
Nicks’s Hamptons fans will no doubt want to learn more about her thoughts on these and other issues, and we’ll get our chance at noon on Sunday, October 7th at Bay Street Theatre, where she will be interviewed live before an audience before the screening of In Your Dreams at the Sag Harbor Cinema that same Sunday at 3 p.m. After that, maybe it’s off to the beach.