Stevie Nicks talks about the scary downward spiral of addiction and her wake up call…
For her latest album “24 Karat Gold,” Stevie Nicks reached into her shoeboxes, where she stored her old demos of songs she wrote between 1969 and 1987.
Her favorite track among them, “Mabel Normand,” is something of a cautionary tale about the dangers of drug addiction.
The 66-year-old Fleetwood Mac singer wrote the song in 1985 after watching a documentary about the eponymous 1920s silent performer whom she called “the rock star of her time.” Normand, like Nicks, at the time, was a cocaine addict.
“In 1985, I was dancing at the edge of danger myself, just like she was. I was just doing so much coke. And it already backfired on me completely,” Nicks told the latest issue of Out magazine. “I saw this documentary, and I felt this union with her: Oh my God, the same thing that happened to this woman in the ’20s is happening to me in the ’80s – how can this be? Then she died, and that really scared me.”
Nicks continued, “She was rich, she was famous, she had everything. She had it all. And I very well could have died just as easily as she did.”
The singer was not only putting cocaine up her nose, but aspirin she dissolved in water to combat terrible headaches. After visiting a plastic surgeon, who found a hole in her nasal cartilage big enough to cause a brain hemorrhage, she said the surgeon told her, “The aspirin ate your nose, not the coke.”
After a trip to the Betty Ford clinic, Nicks began seeing a psychiatrist who put her on the tranquilizer Klonopin to prevent a relapse and gradually increased her dosage over eight years until she was left dazed, overweight and unable to write.
Looking at a Polaroid self-portrait one night, Nicks told Out she had another epiphany: “I thought, ’You are going to OD on something really stupid like NyQuil or Benadryl, over-the-counter stuff, on top of the Klonopin.’ I thought, ’I’m definitely not going to go out that way. If I go out, I’m going out in a blaze of glory. I’m not going out OD’ing on aspirin.’ So I said to myself, ‘This is it, and it is over.’”
After a 47-day detox, Nicks has been clean ever since. She hopes her song, “Mabel Normand,” will help others.
“I wanted it to be something that somebody having a problem with drugs can sit down and listen to 5,000 times,” she told the magazine. “Try and let it be an epiphany for you, 18-year-old person that is doing a lot of coke and smoking heroin and taking ecstasy and is on a dead-end road to hell.”
She added, “I want anybody who hears a doctor say ‘Would you like me to write you a prescription of Klonopin?’ to get up and run out of the room screaming and take the air out of that doctor’s tires. I want them to hear the word ‘cocaine’ and think ’brain hemorrhage, beauty gone, lines, aging, fat.’”