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Stevie Nicks' ode to tragic actress Mabel Normand

Track from new solo album helped Fleetwood Mac star conquer her own demons

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.

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

“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.”

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.

“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.

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