I’m watching a music documentary series about music producers Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre. I’d thought, in advance, that I knew nothing about either of them, but I couldn’t have imagined how wrong I was. Independently and together these guys have shaped music and culture for decades. We all know something of their work.
There are many stories- gang culture, winning, innovation, jail, murder, collaborations, family, fame, success, loss, performing arts school, community, and hard work. And headphones. Extraordinary experiences, and varieties of moving from nothing to beyond all dreams. Fascinating, compulsive viewing.
But one wee story, an aside really, certainly not meant to be the take away, is stuck in my head.
Jimmy was working with Tom Petty, and Stevie Nicks was about. Jimmy and Stevie got together, but didn’t tell anyone. Stevie stayed at home and made mini muffin pizzas while Jimmy went out to the studio and did whatever it is producers do. Sometimes Tom came round to chat and hang out away from work. Guess what Stevie did then? Lots of singing with Tom? More muffin making?
Stevie Nicks, the Stevie Nicks, hid in the basement until Tom went away. She hid herself until their mate left, in case the relationship reflected badly on Jimmy. She listened to them chat and carry on, but was no part of it.
I was still at school when Stevie and Jimmy were making those choices. Nicks was a rock goddess, in her early 30s. I was 15- quiet and dumpy with frizzy hair and big specs. But it is remarkable to me to think that my choices may have been different. A woman who’d been abused by a previous partner and who had a cocaine problem was hiding herself away because her boyfriend thought it was a good idea …
The documentary series The Defiant Ones has lots to capture the mind. What catches your imagination will be different from mine. But I can’t get my head round Stevie Nicks hiding. In a powerful story about two men and how they define our soundscape, I’m caught wondering about the women and the choices we all make.