Bekka Bramlett discussed the first opinion Stevie Nicks had of her taking over Fleetwood Mac in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Bramlett joined Traffic for the record Time after Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie left.
Three of the original members of Fleetwood Mac’s lineup were replaced when the band went on tour in 1994: Not everyone was pleased with Stevie Nicks’ replacement performer Bekka Bramlett’s performance.
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks left the band in 1990 after Lindsey Buckingham left in 1987 to concentrate on his solo career, allegedly out of a desire to work on their own projects but also as a result of rumors of tensions within the group. The surviving band members persisted, however, and embarked on a tour with drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, and three new additions: guitarists Billy Burnette and Dave Mason, as well as Bekka Bramlett, a descendant of legendary 1970s rockers Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett.
In the interview, In order to escape the cliché of simply copying Nicks’ style, Bramlett said she wanted to create a unique appearance. She said, “I wasn’t a moron. I also knew this was a dangerous job when I took it. I knew I was facing tomatoes. But I didn’t want to wear a top hat. I didn’t want to twirl around. I wanted to be me. I even dyed my hair brown just so people in the cheap seats would know that Stevie wasn’t going to be here.”
She did not want to perform any of Stevie Nicks’s tracks, with the exception of a cover of “Imagine” by John Lennon and songs from her work with Traffic. She added, “There is no replacing Stevie Nicks. Everybody knows that. You can be a fan or an anti-fan. I did choose not to do her signature songs because that would be weird. I was like, “I’m not doing ‘Rhiannon.’ I’m not doing ‘Dreams’”.
Bekka also met Nicks on tour and said that she had a cold reception towards her. According to her, “The first thing she said was, ‘Oh, I didn’t know she was blonde. And she over-sings.’ Everyone at the table said the same thing, so I know it’s true. But it’s OK. I still love her. She probably felt like I pissed on her tree. I can understand that.”
While acknowledging her admiration for Nicks, Bramlett also expressed her resentment at being replaced by the traditional lineup, stating, “I felt broken. What you have to understand is that Mick and I were the guys that did all the radio and promotion and TV stuff. We did all of it. I was definitely looking forward to the tour we had already just promoted. Evidently, someone said, ‘Get her out of here'”.
Nicks soon returned to the group, and Bramlett was swiftly forgotten.
I love Stevie Nicks. But she can be jealous and catty like any of us. I’m sure I could’ve been a fan of Bekka Bramlett too, given more exposure and the right songs — she’s a fantastic singer with notes and endurance that Nicks simply does not possess. But octaves are not why Stevie fans love Stevie … and these were her songs no matter what Mick says. This was just an impossible job to take on.