Stevie Nicks just released an album of demos she wrote between 1969 and 1987. The album is called “24 Karat Gold.” On it, she features a song called “Mabel Normand,” which is inspired by Nicks’ battle with drug addiction.
The documentary that started it all
Nicks told Out magazine that she originally wrote the song in 1985. Nicks stated she was inspired to write the song after watching a documentary on the female 1920s silent performer who dealt with a cocaine addiction. Nicks called Normand “the rock star of her time.”
Nicks tells the story of her cocaine addiction, admitting she was playing with fire. Nicks saw the documentary and related to the 1920s performer, noting that her fame and fortune also caused her to become involved with the drug. Then, Normand died from her addiction, and Nicks felt scared. Nicks stated she could have had a very similar fate.
Discussing cocaine addiction
This is not the first time Nicks has opened up about her cocaine addiction. In 2013, Nicks discussed her drug use on an episode of “Oprah’s Master Class,” where she noted the detrimental effects of the drug physically and emotionally. She blamed the drug for her affair with bandmate Mick Fleetwood and her appearance.
“You didn’t look beautiful,” Nicks said to her younger self. “You looked high. And unattractive. So unattractive.”
She also noted how expensive the drug was. Nicks was using the drug so regularly that two weeks of cocaine was equivalent to six months of rent payments.
Nicks was regularly snorting cocaine, but also dissolving aspirin in water to help fight migraines. She visited a plastic surgeon who discovered a hole in her nose large enough to cause a brain hemorrhage. The plastic surgeon blamed the aspirin for the hole, not the cocaine.
Nicks sought help at an addiction treatment center and then visited a psychiatrist to continue her rehabilitation. He prescribed her Klonopin, a tranquilizer, to help avoid relapsing. Over time, her dosage was raised, causing her to become so sedated that she could not even write.
Nicks remembers studying a self-portrait and having a second epiphany.
“I thought, ‘You are going to OD on something really stupid like NyQuil or Benadryl, over-the-counter stuff, on top of the Klonopin.’ I thought, ‘I’m definitely not going to go out that way. If I go out, I’m going out in a blaze of glory. I’m not going out OD’ing on aspirin.’ So I said to myself, ‘This is it, and it is over.'”
Nicks went on a 47-day detox and has been sober since.
Nicks hopes the song will help inspire others who were in her position.
“I wanted it to be something that somebody having a problem with drugs can sit down and listen to 5,000 times,” she said. She hopes the song will be an epiphany for others, just as the documentary was an epiphany for her. Nicks also discourages the use of Klonopin, telling anyone who is prescribed it to “run.”