Watch Stevie Nicks give a fabulous impromptu performance during a 1981 Rolling Stone photoshoot, captured in this rare behind-the-scenes footage

Stevie Nicks
(Image credit: YouTube, Rolling Stone)

In 1981, the year she released her chart-topping debut solo album, Bella Donna, Stevie Nicks would grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine for the first time without her band, Fleetwood Mac.

The photoshoot for Nicks' September 3 cover was conducted in Manhattan by photographer Annie Leibovitz (who famously photographed Fleetwood Mac's first ever Rolling Stone cover in 1977), to promote Nicks' new solo venture, which she would discuss in the magazine across a four page spread.

In rare behind-the-scenes footage documenting the day, the singer-songwriter can be seen glamorously posing while draped in pink and white fabric, with her permed hair volumized and blowing extravagantly behind her, thanks to that wind machine. 

Meanwhile, the Rolling Stone team play out her songs - both solo and Fleetwood Mac releases - through the sound system to set the mood for the shoot, as Nicks sings along, dances, and happily goofs around. 

Across the day, the Fleetwood Mac star performs to a number of tracks, including some that were at that time unreleased, such as Enchanted, which would go on to feature on her 1983 solo album The Wild Heart. There's also footage where her solo swansong Edge Of Seventeen is played through the speakers: however during this moment the vocalist undergoes multiple wardrobe adjustments, which prevents her from dancing around too much.

Elsewhere, she sings to tracks then just recently recorded for Fleetwood Mac's thirteenth studio album, Mirage, which would be released the following year, including That's Alright and Only Over You. At the time, Nicks had just returned from recording sessions for the album held in the Château d'Hérouville in France.

During the That's Alright video, Nicks also appears to go on a humorous rant about - what sounds like - some altercation where she was stopped from singing her songs inside a club, although the details aren't entirely clear. Either way, it makes for a surreal and entertaining viewing.

The end result of the photoshoot would see Nicks posing on the magazine cover with a white cockatoo called Maxwellington, owned by her brother Chris, which appears in the section of the video where Rumours' Gold Dust Woman can be heard.

Check out the footage below:


Liz Scarlett

Liz works on keeping the Louder sites up to date with the latest news from the world of rock and metal. Prior to joining Louder as a full time staff writer, she completed a Diploma with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and received a First Class Honours Degree in Popular Music Journalism. She enjoys writing about anything from neo-glam rock to stoner, doom and progressive metal, and loves celebrating women in music.