What I tell Sheryl Crow [who collaborated with Nicks on her new cd]: Don't get interested in somebody who's going to go back on the road… Men are going to go out on the road and they're going to find other women. So if you really want to save yourself a whole lot of heartache, do not fall in love with somebody in a band. Just don't. Because it just doesn't ever work. It's too much to ask of them to be true… In my book, it's a rule. It's just an invitation to heartache… If you want to find somebody and you want to be married and you want to have children, don't make it a rock star.
You chose career over family. Why?
I couldn't have really done both. Now, many women can do both. I'm not saying it can't be done. But for me, I knew that if I had a baby, I would have to take care of that baby, and I wouldn't have been happy with a nanny taking care of my baby and walking into the room and having my child run across the room to another woman. I am very jealous and I would have hated that. So under those circumstances, if I couldn't be a great mom, then I decided it would be better not to, and to go ahead and do what I do, write my songs, try to help people that way…
There's an old country psalm that goes: "I never will marry, I'll be no man's wife, I intend to stay single all the rest of my life." Well, I was singing that song at 16, so I think I just kind of always knew. That just wasn't going to be for me. And, who knows, maybe when I'm 65 I'll meet my soul mate and that's very possible. But for now and for the last many, many years I needed to devote myself to this…
If everything came to an end for some reason tomorrow, I would feel OK about it. I would feel like I did most of what I need to do.
Why do you think your music touches people?
I think that's what makes people connect to my songs is that they are, each one a little very truthful vignette about an experience that we're all going to have.
Why did you do your first album cover naked?
That was not my idea. And I was not happy about that either. And I really was kind of forced to do that. That was one of those things, "Well don't be a child, and don't be a prude, and you know, this is art"… And I was like "Well, my parents are not going to be happy about this art."… I was truly horrified. As horrified as I've ever been in my life. I was horrified on that day … I should have said no because I didn't want to do it.
Now all those years are gone. It's been so long that it's all right now. And I know people love the cover. I know people love that picture. So I can kind of deal with it and accept it more now.
What's it like to be a rock star at 53?
I really actually like being my age. I like all that I know. I like how wise I am now. And I wasn't so very wise 25 years ago, so I like the knowledge. I like the fact that I'm very experienced. I like the fact that I know exactly what I'm doing when I'm on stage. I like the fact that if I had to completely take care of myself, pack my bags, get in a car and drive back to Los Angeles, I could do it.… If I get tired, I tend to blame everything on the fact that I'm older. And I think that really I'm as strong and as healthy and as able to do stuff as I ever was. I'm much more physical now than I was when I was in my 20s.… I was just a lazy rock star in those days.
What's next for you?
When I stop doing this, I'll write books and I'll write children's books and I'll do children's books with music. So I have so many things that I want to do, that when I decide I'm too old to rock on the stage, then I will switch into a whole other art thing.
And a little bit of me looks forward to that because there are many things that I really want to do. I paint and I draw and I have 40 or 50 of what I think are really beautiful paintings. And nobody's seen them. So I have a whole 'nother life that I can go into.