How Stevie Nicks Learned to ’Stuff’ Poetry Into Songs
Stevie Nicks recalled the lessons she learned from Joni Mitchell and Crosby, Still and Nash, saying that two albums in particular taught her about writing lyrics.
CSN’s self-titled debut, released in 1969, and Mitchell’s fifth release, 1972’s For the Roses, provided great examples of how to make complex word patterns work with music, as she told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.
“Crosby, Still and Nash because I wanted to get a three-part harmony that was that amazing going,” Nicks replied when asked about where she found her start in songwriting. “And just the way they phrased; and the same with Joni – the way that she phrased her words and how she could get so many words into one sentence. [She] could really write formal poetry and still stuff it into a song. Whereas most people were more simple.”
Nicks noted that Crosby, Still and Nash "were a group, they all hung out together, so I think they inspired each other. They all had that same deal where they were writing formal poetry, and then taking them and putting them to music. That kind of sets you free.”
She recalled a connected influence that had made an impression. “Going back to Buffalo Springfield, that very much influenced Lindsey [Buckingham] and I," she said. "We saw them at the Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco – the fantastic leather coats and the fringe … they were so darn cute that you were just awestruck.”
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