Posts Tagged ‘Gypsy’

Caught On Tape: Fleetwood Mac Hit The Studio, And Their “Gypsy” Demo Is Unbelievable | Society Of Rock Videos

Fleetwood Mac are one of the only bands whose rarities and outtakes are good enough to make us wish they’d included them on each albums, This rare demo version of ‘Gypsy’ is absolutely beautiful; instead of a full band behind Stevie Nicks, she’s accompanied by only an electric keyboard playing softly in the background, giving ‘Gypsy’ an ethereal, almost dreamlike feel to it.

There are two points of inspiration behind ‘Gypsy’, as stated by Stevie Nicks. The first of which is a point of nostalgia for Nicks: her life before Fleetwood Mac, and the second being a tribute to someone’s passing.

Stevie Nicks wrote this as a tribute to her friend Robin who at the time wa dying from leukemia.

This demo of ‘Gypsy’ is one that very well could have stood on its own as a track on the album, or even as a B-side. Especially knowing that it’s about a dear friend of Stevie’s, the ethereal factor would have definitely worked as opposed to something a little more upbeat. In any event, ‘Gypsy’ still remains one of our favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, in any of its forms!

Stevie Nicks wrote the song originally around. 1979, and the earliest demo recordings were recorded in early 1980 with Tom Moncrieff for possible inclusion on her solo debut “Bella Donna”.  However, when Nicks’ friend Robin Anderson died of  leukemia, the song took on a new significance and Nicks held it over for Fleetwood Mac. “Gypsy” was the second single release and second biggest hit from the “Mirage” album,

The video for this song was the highest-budget music video ever produced at the time. It used several locations including a highly detailed portrayal of a forest, and required many costumes and dancers.

Stevie Nicks especially remembers the experience as unpleasant. Two weeks beforehand, she had gone into rehab to attempt to end her cocaine addiction. However, the video shoot could not be rescheduled, and she had to take a break for it. Near the end of the first of three days, she was exhausted and said she wanted some cocaine. A small bottle that was discreetly brought to her was later thrown out before she could use any.

Those issues were further strained by having to work closely with former boyfriend, Lindsay Buckingham. “We weren’t getting along well then. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him; I certainly didn’t want to be in his arms,” she says of the scene where the two are dancing. “If you watch the video, you’ll see I wasn’t happy. And he wasn’t a very good dancer.

On March 25, 2009 during a show in Montreal on Fleetwood Mac’s Unleashed Tour, Stevie Nicks gave a short history of the inspiration behind Gypsy. She explained it was written sometime in 1978-79, when the band had become “very famous, very fast,” and it was a song that brought her back to an earlier time, to an apartment in San Francisco where she had taken the mattress off her bed and put it on the floor. To contextualize, she voiced the lyrics: “So I’m back, to the velvet underground. Back to the floor, that I love. To a room with some lace and paper flowers. Back to the gypsy that I was.” Those are the words: ‘So I’m back to the velvet underground’—which is a clothing store in downtown San Francisco, where Janis Joplin got her clothes, and Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane. It was this little hole in the wall, amazing, beautiful stuff—’back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was.'”