It’s hard being Stevie Nicks.
Last weekend, I decided to transform into the twirling goddess for Halloween. After all, I’ve long said that Stevie is my co-pilot. Her lyrics about love and loss resonate in unexplainable ways, and her beliefs in magic and goodness aren’t bad traits to adopt in this cynical, bitter world.
Such a costume made even more sense considering for years I’ve bought a lot of clothes and accessories influenced, perhaps subconsciously, at times, by Stevie. Velvet cape? Check. Gold crochet shawl? Yep. Suede boots? Of course. Black coats and dresses? Naturally.
Look at a picture of Stevie Nicks and you quickly realize she wears a lot of clothes.
She is far from a scantily clad rock-n-roll skank. If anything, Stevie may wear too many clothes, layered like a spirit from a cold land.
Stevie enchants without showing much skin, a testament to her aura. Then again, perhaps it’s no surprise that Stevie is single. As one male friend told me, by the time Stevie strips out of all of her witchy attire, her date may be asleep.
Indeed, dressing like Stevie takes time and energy. You also work up a sweat – tugging tights, wrapping shawls, zipping boots. The saving grace in Stevie world is that her makeup is fairly boho simple. If she had eye makeup like Siouxsie Sioux (who I have dressed as for Halloween in years past), I may have thrown in the towel, grabbed a sheet and gone to the party as a ghost.
Once out the door, Stevie’s outfit creates a tricky situation. Stevie doesn’t drive. She is a rock star, after all, with limos at her beck and call. I’m not so lucky. Long fringe scarves don’t exactly mesh well with seat belts. Decapitation is a real possibility.
Then there’s the top hat.
Stevie wears a 1920s one-of-a-kind top hat. She recently said, “So the hat has its own roadie, its own box and its own cage — it’s always protected.” I needed my own roadie the other night, but my friend doubled as such, picking up my $12.99 Halloween Express top hat as it repeatedly slid off my head and bounced to the ground. Trust me, you burn a lot of calories chasing a top hat, grasping a shawl and holding a tambourine.
People stare at a short woman with out-of-control super-long blond curls. Our first stop of the night was one of our usual watering hole haunts where a woman approached us, wanting to know if we were headed to a costume party. (Duh.)
“Who are you?” she asked.
“Stevie Nicks,” I said.
“Ohhh right,” she said.
She hung around, mesmerized by me, struggling to think of anything to say but coaxing my hair like it was a pet chinchilla. We couldn’t figure out if she was hypnotized or thinking of a way to ask us to indulge in a threesome. Finally, she mumbled “have fun” and vanished. (We were slightly relieved.)
We popped in to a store to buy beer for the party, and a male clerk thought I was Dolly Parton. I guess he didn’t bother to look at my chest. A female clerk said, “I feel like I should know who you are but I just can’t place you.” Finally, I told her.
“White witch, yes,” she said. “We need more of those.”
You don’t meet many people who don’t like the goodness of Stevie Nicks.
People seemed less confused at the party about my costume, but maybe that was because the house was extremely dark and few people could see me trying to hold the top hat with one hand and a beer bottle with the other while flipping stray golden wig hairs out of my mouth.
After the party, we stopped at one last bar, a hipster hangout where the median age is 25. Some people may have shuddered to enter a crowded place so boldly dressed a week before Halloween. But not me.
A group of college-aged frat boys asked if my get-up was a costume. Dressing like Stevie offers a glimpse of just-enough reality meshed with gauzy fantasy. The boys didn’t quite buy Stevie instead they kept mentioning Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations”, Estella and Miss Haversham. My mind spun as I tried to remember my high school literature class, but I knew being compared to Miss Haversham was not good. Did I look like a cobweb bride?
Still, these well-read, tipsy boys kept repeating that Estella and Miss Haversham were smokin’ women – whichever one I was. Who knew a Dickens’ fetish existed?
Standing at the bar at night’s end, a girl approached and asked if my hair was real. I wish. She, too, wanted to touch it. In all my years as a long-haired brunette, no woman has ever asked to touch my hair. But blonde curls? They can’t get enough of them.
The top hat and wig teasingly beckon me back to Stevie’s universe. Perhaps, I’ll revisit without the distraction of Halloween. Just to see if gypsy magic is real. I suspect it is.
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt” and “1000 Best Bartender’s Recipes.” She writes frequently for Reuters, TakePart, and numerous other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker.