Extraordinary questions are the impetus of exceptional answers.
Truth Be Told: "Behind the Set"
I was in LA over a three-day period to broadcast from the pre-Grammy Awards festivities. It was the second time we had been invited out there to do so.
Over the course of those few days, I was scheduled to conduct between 20 and 25 interviews a day during our four-hour program. To single out only one conversation is difficult, because two wonderful and memorable stories come to mind of prominence. However, since one story is that of a musician, while the other – though a great story – is not, I'll select the one that centers on music.
I knew that Stevie Nicks was set to release a new solo CD, and everything was in order for us to sit down face to face for an interview.
As I waited for her arrival, I couldn't help but think she would be surrounded by a bodyguard (or two), record executives, publicity and staff people, execs from the network who invited us to LA for our broadcast, and a plethora of other people who believed they were important enough figureheads who needed to be present while Stevie made her rounds. I also expected her to have a matter of fact air about her. It turned out to be one of the few times I had terribly misjudged an artist. As I have written in another one of these pieces, I know we shouldn't have a preconceived notion about someone, even as most of us do project onto others. Regarding this first time I had ever met Stevie Nicks, she must be described as the absolute perfect Lady with a capital L.
Stevie walk directly over to me, made eye contact the entire time, put out her hand – which I kissed, and told me she had heard of the style of interview I conducted. She went on to comment that she was looking forward to our conversation. I stood until she had taken her seat, and as the time passed waiting for our time on the air, we talked about an array of different topics. Again, she never took her eyes off mine. She never looked around, always stayed interested in what I was saying, and never acted a trifle antsy or rushed.
I got my cue to begin, and proceeded to read the opening bio on her. The moment I finished, Stevie's first few words were, "What a lovely introduction." From there, this interview went on to be another one of my favorite top 10 interviews. I'll fast forward to the end of what transpired.
All of Stevie's fans liken her to an angelic-like figure. She possesses qualities that give one the sense that there is an aura of mysticism and magic that follows her. That stated, this was my final question to her:
"Stevie you were born into a family of wealth and privilege. You have had not one, but a few successful points in your career that have brought you fame and fortune: Buckingham/Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, and a most successful solo career. You are a very handsome woman… most attractive. Your personal life has been filled with a number of men (as we are all familiar with) in your pursuit. You couldn't possibly want for too much more. However, if I had a magic wand and could have you bow as I waived it over your head and grant you anything you could wish for, any one wish at all, Stevie Nicks would wish for what?"
There was more than a couple of seconds of silence. I did not choose to fill in a fragment of it. I actually wanted to amplify it, so that the listeners would feel every subtle nuance of understanding in its duration. And as all of us waited on each of those seconds, Stevie pondered her reply. Once again, there was that eye contact between us, and then her response: "I wish I would have had a child," she said.
At that very instant, I got my cue that our time had reached fruition. There could be no follow up question. I had to leave it at that. I thanked her for being the perfect guest, much like she was the perfect lady, and brought the interview – as well as the broadcast – to its end.
Stevie looked at me before we got up from our seats, and I could see everyone rushing over to her to do what all those execs always do with their artists. However, in that brief couple of seconds before the powers that be converged on her, she complimented me about the interview and told me how much she loved it. There was that eye contact again.
I kissed her hand, we exchanged a few last words and said our goodbyes, and Stevie Nicks left like the angel she truly is.