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Gold Dust Woman | Stephen Davis | Book Review

Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks opens with a recap of one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac performances: Rhiannon live on Midnight Special in 1976. I was introduced to this performance by my boyfriend Shane when we first started dating. Watching Stevie Nicks get lost in her music and tell her story was just so powerful. It gives me chills every single time I watch or listen to it. She really is the force of a nature.

Gold Dust Woman is an unauthorized biography of Stevie Nicks written by Stephen Davis. For those who may not be aware, Stevie is an American singer and song-writer whose career started in 1975 when she joined the band Fleetwood Mac. She has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice (once as a member of Fleetwood Mac and again as a solo artist) and is known for her original poetic song lyrics and strong stage presence.

Prior to reading Gold Dust Woman, I knew bits and pieces about Stevie Nicks. I knew that she was a singer, songwriter, and had originally joined Fleetwood Mac with her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham (and that their breakup was a very toxic period of time). I also knew that she had a history with drug use and was an artist that has influenced so many newer artists over the years. Otherwise, my information regarding Stevie was relatively limited, and this book helped fill in some of those gaps.

Gold Dust Woman discusses Stevie’s life from childhood, to a young adult, to joining Fleetwood Mac, and eventually becoming a solo artist. It does not shy away from discussing the grittier details of her life including her various relationships, her decision not to have any children, her addictions to cocaine and Klonopin, and her two stints in rehab. You also learn when some of her most popular music was written and how it was influenced by what was going on in her life at various points. And how little control she had over her career at the beginning (example; the decision that was made not to release Silver Springs on Rumours) and how she learns to take control and not follow anyone else’s directions. All of this is done using previously recorded interviews, quotes, journal entries and other media sources. To me that was the one short-coming of this book – the fact that it was second hand information and not fully coming from the artist herself.

I read Gold Dust Woman because I wanted to learn more about Stevie Nicks who just happens to be one of my boyfriend Shane’s favorite artists. In fact, I gave him the copy of this book for his birthday. Learning more about her has given me a stronger appreciation for her a woman, an artist, and an icon. This is a woman who has been through so much over the years but continues to keep pushing through and finding new and innovative ways to be exactly who she is. I really hope that one day she feels comfortable enough to release her own memoir where her story can be told in her own words. I know that would be one hell of a story!

Rating: 4 Stars

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