Bella Donna Groupies

Memories of a Stevie Nicks fan

Stevie Nicks is coming to town—as if we didn't know. The relentless airplay of "Peacekeeper" and the barrage of ticket giveaways that uniquely span both classic and modern-rock radio stations say Fleetwood Mac is still hot. Or at least lukewarm.

But with all the press during the last three decades, what's left to know about the classic overexposed band and its biggest star?

We've all seen the VH1 Behind the Music story of the Mac and of Stevie's solo career. We know she slept with Lindsey Buckingham. And with Mick Fleetwood. There are the rumors she was a total coker and had to have the cartilage in her nose rebuilt, and that she's practically blind. But the Weekly strives to bring you the news the other newshounds won't—or can't—and thus we offer you a rare perspective: the groupie.

In the 1980s, Cindy Halwick and her best friends Maria and Heidi were Stevie-holics.

"We used to dress up like Stevie," Halwick says. "We'd wear all black and lace and capes—the whole nine yards. In high school, everyone thought we were freaks, which was true. In 1986, Stevie did the Rock a Little tour and came to Hartford [Connecticut], so we had plans A through F drawn up on how we were gonna meet her—dress up as roadies, caterers, flower-delivery people.

"We bought scalped front-row tickets for $75 each. Then we got a room in the hotel where we thought she was staying; it turned out she wasn't. So we saw the show and kept our ticket stubs, because later the tour also went to Providence and Worcester and all those venues had the same floor plan. So what we'd do is buy crappy tickets for those shows and then hold our thumbs over the date on our old stubs and get on to the floor and bum-rush the stage.

"So every concert for the first five shows, we're front row. And Stevie's backup singer, Lori Perry, keeps seeing us and she gets this eye contact thing going with Maria. So for the next concert we're in Providence, front row, and after the show, Lori tells Maria to 'stay there.' Pretty soon a bouncer comes around and takes us backstage. We meet all the band and everyone who's hanging out, and we're totally jazzed because we're finally going to meet Stevie. So we're waiting and waiting, and suddenly she comes in, and she's loaded. She couldn't even walk. And we're all excited, you know, so we don't care. And she has this big plastic cup full of whiskey on ice, and she comes over as Lori introduces us, and she's slurring out all her words and holding her cup and saying, 'Now don't drink this, kids, this isn't for you.' She starts hugging us, and she's reeking with her booze breath all over us and she's the heaviest she's ever been—pushing 200 pounds, definitely.

"So we sort of talk to her, and then it's time for her to get on her bus, and she starts walking down the hallway in these three-inch-high 'elephant blue' suede boots, and she's falling into the walls and slurring. Then suddenly she yells out, 'I don't know why I bought these fucking boots, I can't even walk in them!'

"We all follow her out, and when she gets to her bus, her brother Chris, who we had met a couple concerts before and done lines with, says to us, 'She doesn't even party anymore—all she does is drink, smoke pot and eat cheeseburgers. We have to drive the goddamned bus through the McDonald's drive-thru all the time. That's how she got so fat.'

"Later on, at other concerts, we ran into her and she'd say hi. Once we got stranded at a concert and Chris had to give us $20 for gas to get back home. We kept following her, and through the whole tour, she was totally wasted on stage, and she'd always forget the lines to her songs, so we'd yell them to her from the front row. She entered rehab shortly after that."

Fleetwood Mac, with a hopefully cleaned-up Stevie Nicks, performs at The Arrowhead Pond, 2695 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, (714) 704-2500. Wed.-Thurs., July 16-17, 8 p.m. $49.50-$135.
 
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