Skip to main content

Stevie Nicks' ode to tragic actress Mabel Normand

Stevie Nicks recalls how writing a song about a drug-addicted actress led her to tackle her own addictions.

The Fleetwood Mac star releases her new solo album_ 24 Karat Gold – Songs From The Vault_ on October 6. And one of the tracks, Mabel Normand, was written in 1985 after Nicks watched a documentary on the 1920s star./o:p

Nicks tells Billboard: “Give Mabel Normand a special listen. Mabel was an amazing actress and comedian from the 20s, and she was a terrible cocaine addict. She eventually died of tuberculosis, but it was really her drug addiction that killed her/o:p

“She was in love with a famous director, who tried to get her off coke, and he was murdered. Rumour has it, drug dealers killed him. I saw a documentary of her in 1985, when I was at my lowest point with the blow. I was watching TV one night, the movie came on, and I really felt a connection with her. That’s when I wrote the song. Less than a year later, I went to rehab at Betty Ford.”/o:p

Nicks recalls being told by her doctor that continued use of cocaine could lead to a fatal brain haemorrhage. She adds: “The documentary really scared me, because I saw this beautiful girl go downhill so fast. Sometimes you can’t see it in yourself, but you sure as heck can see it in someone else./o:p

“I’m basically a happy person. I was a happy person back then. I just got addicted to coke, and that was a very bad drug for me. It was obviously a very bad drug for Mabel too.”

Nicks and Fleetwood Mac will reunite with keyboardist Christine McVie for a North American tour this later this month, starting September 30 in Minnesota.

Stef wrote close to 5000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind in late 2016 and has since moved to his beloved Canada.