The doors of the TIFF Bell Lightbox open and in saunters the gypsy queen of rock & roll herself: Stevie Nicks.
Flanked by bodyguards, media pit at the ready– it was a picture-perfect moment. Nicks, 64, still does Margi Kent proud; garbed in black, fingerless leather gloves, and killer platform boots.
It was a whirlwind tour of Toronto for Nicks, who was in town Monday evening for the Canadian premiere of her new documentary, Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams, and later, the Toronto leg of Fleetwood Mac’s world tour.
Bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie also turned up for the premiere — arriving late and sneaking quietly into their seats.
The film, directed by Nicks and Dave Stewart, is a 112 minute song-by-song telling of the creative process behind the making of Nicks’ most recent album, also titled In Your Dreams.
It is, perhaps, mislabeled as a documentary. Verging on indulgent at times, the film is a great window into Nicks’ magical world for superfans, but perhaps a bit too long, and self-serving for the average film viewer expecting a classic documentary.
That said, there’s a lot for the casual fan to love. Reese Witherspoon makes a cameo and helps Nicks pen a song. And there’s a lot of humour — something not often seen from a rocktar of Nicks’ caliber.
Nicks comes off as a motley cocktail of self-awareness — equally humble and vain. In one breath, she shows an awe-inspiring empathic ability to connect and relate. In another, she unabashedly trumpets her own rock & roll legacy.
“You wouldn’t say that to Dylan,” she says… more than once (usually when someone challenges a creative decision she’s made). For most, comparing one’s self to Bob Dylan would be a faux pas, but for Nicks… it’s just awesome.
Off screen, the gamut of Nicks’ personality was also on display as she indulged the crowd with a duo of post-screening Q&A sessions. Nicks chatted earnestly about her career, the future of the music business, and her creative process as a writer.
What an opportunity it is, even for a fleeting hour or two, to enter the world of a woman who has danced across the stages of the world. She’s a feminist, she’s a lover, she’s an artist, and now, entering what might be the last stage of a storied career, she’s a mentor.
“Your journey is much more important than what you come out with,” says Nicks, tearing up as she relays advice she received just before her mother’s passing. “You’re just making memories. It’s all you’re doing.”
For the rest of this gallery, visit CDaily.ca.
Photos and words by Ryan Emberley. Follow Ryan on Twitter @RyanEmberley.