Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 288
Saturday, Oct 27, 2012
Stevie Nicks once admitted, “All the characters in my songs ~ the Gypsies, the Sara’s, and the on this album, Alice and Juliet ~ they’re all me. But they’re all different sides of me.” I’m may not be a songwriter but I feel like all my favorite songs are also different reflections of me. And “Gypsy” is no different. “Gypsy” conjures up lazy clouds, hazy fog of innocence yawns so wet behind my ears I was blissfully drowning, sheltered by my parents from anything immoral, protection or censorship. I guess that’s why my brothers and I were so curious about wine, women, sex, drugs and rock and roll songs. But right before the curiosity begat the probing were songs from my Mami’s FM radio that she played every day.
Stevie Nicks talked about her favorite lyric from “Gypsy” when she said, “In the song Gypsy it says, Going back to the velvet underground/ Back to the floor… which means my bed went back on the floor, with the paper flowers and the, you know, there’s a part of that that [era] there will never be again …except that it does live in my house because it was so special.”
Songs like “Gypsy” are reflections from a time without fear, pain or worry. It was all about being young, dumb mama’s boy who loved TV, sports and getting in trouble. It started with “Gypsy” I wanted to know what the song meant. When I was younger, the sheltered me, was actually shocked that there were people who were so unhappy with their family’s home life they had no other option than to leave home. Ironically enough, leaving home would be my eventual fate. I would become that “Gypsy.” I went out to discover what “the wisdom” of Blake’s road of excess led to. For some that wisdom was death, others was rehab for me, excess was a dead end. I may have dabbled with chemical experimentation but I liked myself too much for all that jazz.
Stevie expanded on her “back to the floor” when she explained, “Oh boy, I’ve never really spoken about this, In the old days, before Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had no money, so we had a king-size mattress, but we just had it on the floor. I had old vintage coverlets on it, and even though we had no money it was still really pretty… Just that and a lamp on the floor, and that was it—there was a certain calmness about it. To this day, when I’m feeling cluttered, I will take my mattress off of my beautiful bed, wherever that may be, and put it outside my bedroom, with a table and a little lamp.”
“Gypsy” also reminds me of my floor Chicago mattress circa 2006, so many memories and scores of love lessons yet to be learned. What if Stevie’s “Gypsy,” is about honoring the past—that inner essence we inherited from our parents and that grew up and out of but is still inside. Maybe “Gypsy” touches that chord, blurry but evocative just out of reach, so you have to spin it again and hopefully this time you’ve connected and that meaning will become clearer timeless like that stranger you once wanted to discover but never had the courage to face. Within the lyrical drifter guise of Stevie Nicks, she comes back to life with “Gypsy” revealing shades of her mystery, and maybe this time you may get closer before that drifting “Gypsy” fades to black again.