Stevie Nicks Looks Back On ‘Bella Donna’


Stevie Nicks posted a note to fans in commemoration of the 40th anniversary this week of her 1981 solo debut, Bella Donna. She wrote candidly about being inspired by her then-boyfriend, Fleetwood Mac assistant engineer, Hernan Rojas, whose family played a role in the album's title track: "This song was written about my boyfriend's mother who was involved with a man in Chile during the coup that happened there in 1973. The man she loved was banished to France. Banished — or imprisoned, that was the choice. The love story never really ended, but she never saw him again. I was so touched by this story of lost love that I wrote 'Bella Donna.'"

Nicks went on to explain, "The moment the poem and then the song was finished, l knew I had the basis for my first solo record. I believed in it deeply from the bottom of my heart. . . I never doubted for a moment that this song would be the title of the record and that it would change my life in so many ways — on so many levels. . . It defined how I would feel about love forever. It broke my heart and gave me the strength to fight for it."

In recording the album, she recalled how she chose her longtime singing partners, "I chose Lori Perry-Nicks and Sharon Celani as my army to go on that journey with me. I wanted us to sound like the girl version of Crosby, Stills, & Nash. I did not want the record to sound anything like Fleetwood Mac — that would have defeated the dream.”

Nicks spoke about how she was a rare case of a solo artist having tremendous success and not quitting her band: "It did not break up Fleetwood Mac. If anything, it kept us together. And then — as all never-ending dreams always do — it opened the doors of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, took my hand, and invited me in for my own work, for the women of the world. The thing I am most proud of. Thank you, Maria Teresa Rojas, for being my inspiration.”

Stevie Nicks told us that launching a solo career in 1981 had everything to do with songwriting — and nothing to do with the pursuit of individual super-stardom. She explained that her solo career simply provided relief from the backlog of songs he'd been stockpiling for years: ["When you're in a band with three writers, you only get one-third of the writer thing — and that's the whole reason that I did a solo career. And that's. . . Y'know, when I told Fleetwood Mac that I was gonna do that, they were of course terrified that I would do that record and then I would quit. And I said to them, 'I just need a vehicle. I have trunks of songs from 1973 that are never going to be heard. The only reason I'm doing this solo thing is so I can throw a few more songs out. I'll make a record, I'll put it out, I'll do a month of shows, and I'll be done, and I'll come back. It's never going to be. . . It's never going to be Fleetwood Mac.'"] SOUNDCUE (:34 OC: . . . be Fleetwood Mac)

Stevie Nicks On Why She Launched Solo Career :