In her five decades as a performer, Stevie Nicks has developed a reputation for her formidable stage presence, unique fashion sense, and powerful, husky voice. Best known as a member of Fleetwood Mac – and for her solo career as a singer-songwriter – Nicks is a rock icon. But did you know that she is also iconic in the world of self-defense?
In 1983, Stevie Nicks took part in a photoshoot for Fleetwood Mac bodyguard Bob Jones's self-defense book Hands Off!: A Unique New System of Self Defence Against Assault for the Women of Today. Aimed at teaching women how to protect themselves against assailants, Nicks threw herself into the assignment – literally. With her hair done up like the "mane of a lion" and dressed in a long flowery dress with flowing sleeves and chunky knee-length platform boots, Nicks demonstrated the martial arts moves that Jones thought everyone woman should know. The images made the book especially compelling, especially those with Nicks demonstrating high kicks.
Don't mess with Stevie Nicks:
- Bob Jones was an Australian martial arts teacher who had worked security for rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Fleetwood Mac – hence the Nicks connection. In many ways, his book was ahead of its time, discussing not just the physical impact but the far-reaching emotional toll of sexual assault.
- Jones was awed by his experience working with Nicks. "This lady was a professional: in two hours I had a hundred of the most magnificent photos ever offered to the martial arts, and just one would make the cover," he said about the photoshoot. ABBA's Frida Lyngstad also made an appearance in the book demonstrating some martial arts moves.
- Nicks' platform boots were more than just a fashion statement – at 5 foot 1 inch (1.55 m), the six-inch (15 cm) boots made her feel less "ridiculous" on stage with Fleetwood Mac co-founder Mick Fleetwood, who is 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m).
- Unfortunately, the book is now out of print, but some of the photographs are still floating around online.