Fleetwood Mac may be the very definition of rock royalty and astounding longevity. Just prior to the band embarking on a UK arena tour this month (a full 46 years into their career), frontwoman Stevie Nicks had reason for a London fanfare of her own.
In Your Dreams, a documentary about the making of Nicks’s last album (of the same name) was given its UK premiere at Curzon Mayfair cinema on 16 September. The album was co-written and co-produced by Dave Stewart, who also largely filmed and directed the documentary. Stewart, donning a hat and dark glasses, was in attendance at the premiere, alongside Mick Fleetwood (who appears in the film) and former bandmate Christine McVie.
The album was recorded at Nicks’s own house, Tara, in California, giving the viewer a peek into her home as well as the recording of the music. The film breaks down the album song by song, showing the inspiration, the trials and tribulations of writing and recording and clips of elaborate music videos for some of the tracks.
The heavier topics of inspiration such as the devastation wrecked on New Orleans by hurricane Katrina are balanced with lighter musical anecdotes. One such being Nicks’s admission that she once stole a tune from Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers) from a demo cassette she heard. She added lyrics, recorded it with Fleetwood Mac – claiming to have written the whole thing – and then presented it to Petty as a finished work. Understandably, he flew into a rage and demanded she confess to Fleetwood Mac and scrap it. Petty later turned the tune into Runaway Trains.
In a Q&A session with Nicks and Stewart after the screening, she spoke of how this album was her first experience of writing with someone who was in the same room at the same time. She also highlighted how important she felt documentaries are in both revealing the process of artistic creation but also as a tribute, citing the documentary of The Travelling Willburys and how poignant and precious that was when two of the band members passed away.
On a lighter note she joked that it was good for people to finally see her “doing something” in a studio setting. In the film, she’s depicted as fully involved with all aspects of the musical process, explaining ideas, directing musicians and arguing for rearrangements of songs. In contrast, footage of her in the studio with Fleetwood Mac over the years, tends to show her drawing or writing in her journal whilst she hangs around waiting for her turn to sing!
She clearly found the entire project refreshing and deeply enjoyable and advocated that everyone make their own documentary footage of their lives in whatever way they could.
As the event drew to a close, the audience got to their feet to applaud and Nicks waved goodbye to her fans, disappearing back into her ethereal world of dreams.
Review and photos by Imelda Michalczyk on 16 September 2013, London.
You can also see a cameo by the great guitarist Waddy Watchel who plays on the Stevie Nicks album.
In Your Dreams will be released on DVD in November 2013. Trailer available at: buy.inyourdreamsmovie.com