Insights • Inspirations • Destinations • Design

Monday, February 4, 2013

Living The Life You Want, Stevie Nicks Style...

Exactly forty years ago, twenty five-year-old Stevie Nicks sat down, picked up her guitar and started strumming some lyrics. She was holed up in the Rocky Mountains, during a particularly jagged part of her life. Her partner, singer Lindsey Buckingham, had left to go touring on the road with the Everly Brothers and she was lonely, sad and disenchanted. All she had was $40, a Toyota that had frozen the day she'd arrived in Aspen, and her dog. 

Then Buckingham returned to Aspen. But they fought and he left again, taking the dog and the semi-frozen Toyota with him. He told Nicks to use a buss pass to find her way out, seeing as her dad was president of Greyhound. So she said: "Fine, take the car and the dog." Not long after he'd left, Nicks heard on the radio that Greyhound had gone on strike all across the USA. She was alone.

I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
Till the landslide brought me down...

To add to her pain, her father was ill, and about to be operated on, and she had no way of getting home. Fearful of her father dying, and even more fearful of her musical career  going nowhere, Stevie Nicks did the only thing she knew how to do. She sang. 

She picked up that worn-out guitar, looked up at the mountains, and sung until her heart broke.

Oh mirror in the sky, what is love?

She sung about her life, her dreams; her struggles to reconcile the two. She sang about Aspen, and the weariness of existing. She sang about the inner turmoil of making the most important decision of her life: go home and pick up the pieces of her years and carry on in an ordinary career, or brave the elements and find the courage to follow her dreams.

Stevie Nicks sang for her life.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Then she called her parents to ask if they'd send her a plane ticket to get out of Colorado.

The song 'Landslide' went on to become Stevie Nick's defining moment in her now-incredible career, and one of the most successful songs of all time. It was her impasse: the point in the mountains of life where you face the wall. The point where you take a good hard look at the elements around you, and, with a deep breath, find the mental strength to tackle them. 

"I realized that everything could tumble," she later said. "When you're in Colorado and you're surrounded by these incredible mountains, you think 'avalanche'. And when you're in that kind of a snow-covered place, you don't just go out and yell, because the whole mountain could come down."

So Nicks sang instead.  

Well, I've been afraid of changing
'Cause I've built my life around you

Then she found her way off that mountain, and followed Buckingham to LA. Two months later Mick Fleetwood called them both and offered them the chance of a lifetime by joining the Fleetwood Mac band.

Everybody has a Landslide moment. Everybody has a day when life seems too much and the peaks build up and you think you're never gonna make it. These moments are the winters of our lives. As Stevie Nicks knows, they are the ones that make us who we are.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

So this is my offering to you all, dear readers, on today, my 44th birthday. If you're facing your own Landslide, whether today or at any time in your life, know this: you can weather it. Weather it, you will. 

Because what else are you going to do? Stay on top of that mountain?

We all have an inner strength we don't realise we possess. We can all achieve the lives we want. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes it takes many long years of hard work, exhaustion, and sometimes even tears, too. Sometimes it requires being true to who you are; faithful to who you want to be, and rising above others' constant criticisms, with dignity and grace.

But time makes you bolder
Even children get older and I'm getting older too...

So get out there. Grab those dreams and lives. Grab them with two hands and shake the them with all you can.

I wish you all the very best of luck. 

But really, you're not going to need it. 

Because you'll do just fine.

Formed in 1967, Fleetwood Mac have released 17 studio albums and sold more than 40m copies of their 1977 smash, 'Rumours', making it one of the bestselling records of all time. 

Fleetwood Mac's World Tour kicks off on April 4, 2013 and will travel to Europe, the US and Australia. This year also marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the 'Rumours' album. 
{Images from Fleetwood Mac publicity archives}

Karise Eden, winner of last year's The Voice giving her rendition – Karise | Landslide. This makes me cry, every single time. How many foster homes did she live in as a child? And here she is, on national television.

Steveie Nick's version of events –


  1. Hip Hip Hooray! Happy Birthday Janelle. Hope RR spoils you, and you have a wonderful year ahead. Love this post - I'd never heard the back story to Stevie.... xx

  2. I loved this post and I did not know the history behind that song, which is one of my favourites.
    I wish you a very happy birthday and many many more to celebrate!

  3. Happy Birthday. This is the best gift you shared to us. I loved that song "Landslide" and Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." I will listen to the song after writing this. Thank you for reminding us that our trials and challenges will soon shall pass.

  4. Dear J

    Happy 44th Birthday. I hope you have a lovely day and are showered with gift.

    I have Landslide on my ipod and play it a lot.I always feel sad about Fleetwood Mac literally imploding and Stevie turning to drugs etc.

    I don't know if we can all truly achieve the lives we want, but I spose with discipline and will power and good luck we can create a semblance of something ideal that'll comfort and sustain when the going gets tough. Which it always does.

    My friend likes to say "No One gets it all". She's very beautiful and owns real estate in fancy spots all over the globe. But she's had a challenging complicated marriage and never had children. It's one of my favourite sayings and I think it a lot.

    This might be my favourite post of yours ever.

    Wishing you every success for the coming 12 months. xxx

  5. Happy birthday, dear Janelle. How wonderful to be 44 - 40 plus GST.
    Love it that us readers got the present of the Stevie Nicks story.
    Hope you have a wonderful day, and I am sure you will have wonderful year.

  6. Every best birthday wish Miss Janelle! This post sent shivers down my spine as have often pondered the words to 'Landslide' while singing in the car.....'children get older & I'm getting older too' is an in incredible song & Stevie is an amazing woman. Hope I can catch a Fleetwood Mac add to the list of other golden oldies who still rock on that I've seen in the last couple of months....'Blondie' & David would be another box to tick! Rx
    Ps hope you are on the bubbly & cake by now!

  7. hope you had a really happy birthday .

    Rumours released in 1977 ! I had it then.... and it was about 1977 I left art school for the day to see Fleetwood Mac amongst others, either at Randwick Racecourse or SCG, it was the first time in Sydney huge video screens were up. We would sit on the grass for hours ..had to get the good spot.

    The Dixie Chicks also do a great version

  8. Hope you had a wonderful Birthday Janelle! Sorry to be late to the party! And MANY HAPPY RETURNS!

    This is probably your most heartfelt, sad, inspiring and beautiful post. We are going to miss you so much. No-one else writes blogs like this!

    So agree with FF, "No-one gets it all". Even people who seem to be so successful and happy are often hiding sadness and stories they can't talk about except to those who are closest.

    I'm a great believer in giving things your best shot, especially things you value, in kindness and humour, in standing up for what you believe in, in learning to accept that you can't succeed at everything and not be upset by this, in seeing the glass is half full and not half empty, in trying to make a difference and especially in giving all the love we can to those dear to us. Warmest wishes, Pamela

    These are reasons I've appreciated your blog so much because I see these values in your posts and emails.

  9. Adore Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac - wonder if I will be able to see them again ?
    - I saw them in California on their Tusk tour - amazing. Happiest of birthdays to you Janelle and I hope you were deservedly spoilt rotten. S x

  10. Oh Janelle, my heartiest bleated birthday wishes to you, you spring chicken. This is one of your most moving posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.This winter of my life seems to be rather prolonged. Hmm, head up and look for the light. J x


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