Stevie Nicks’ Decision That Hurt Don Henley’s Ego

Stevie Nicks and Don Henley‘s relationship surely went beyond being your regular couple, as they were close friends, confidants, and two young rockers with quite the egos… What could go wrong with that, you might wonder. Well, a few things did.

The pair were dating in the early-to-mid ’70s, and their relationship lasted until the end of the decade when the duo probably realized things wouldn’t work out for them. Still, while they were at it, Nicks and Henley were one of the most popular couples in the ’70s rock scene, as the Eagles had taken off with numerous hits and Fleetwood Mac had proved they were set to sail into a new era by releasing the ever-iconic, ‘Rumours.’

Perhaps, it was a twist of fate for Stevie to be dating Don while she was penning down a few future hits from the album. As Henley was making a name for himself as a promising songwriter, he couldn’t help but take a few peeks at Nicks’ drabbles and share a few ‘friendly’ recommendations.

The musician, however, didn’t like that at all, wanting to have things her way rather than listening to her boyfriend. Stevie even recalled a particular instance while chatting with American Songwriter in 2011, disclosing how Henley wanted her to rework a particular line from her track, ‘Dreams,’ and how she had to gently let him down so as not to bruise his ego.

Well, the pair argued quite a bit over where Stevie emphasized the line, ‘When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know,’ as the singer preferred to accent the end of the word, ‘washes,’ her boyfriend Don wished she would accent only the word ‘wash‘ rather than focusing on ‘es.’ Nicks admitted that she struggled quite while dealing with Don Henley’s ego.

Nicks’s words on how Henley wanted her to fix her emphasis on a ‘Dreams’ line:

“I was going out with Don Henley when I was writing ‘Dreams,’ and it says [sings], ‘When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know.’ Well, he didn’t like that [sings] ‘washes you’ [accent on ‘es’], and he wanted me to go, ‘When the rain washes you clean’ [accent on ‘wash’]

And I’m like, ‘No, I don’t like it.’ [laughs] And he’s like, ‘Well, wash-es doesn’t sound good,’ and I’m like, ‘Well, wash-ES is the way it’s gonna be.’ So then you start getting into that with somebody, and we’re talking an ego [of] a fantastic songwriter here… I’m arguing with Don Henley over this, you know? That’s why I really stayed away from writing songs with other people.”

The rocker then further explained why she didn’t write with others and whether she ‘specifically’ didn’t collaborate or write with men:

“Well, yeah, and but then if you slip it over to women, then, of course, women are more sensitive. So then you’re really actually going to hurt somebody’s feelings. It didn’t hurt Don’s feelings that I didn’t like his idea. I think he just—he was like, way more famous than me, you know, Don Henley and the Eagles—so I think he probably just thought, ‘Well, you’re an idiot.’

And just left it at that because, certainly, me not liking the word ‘washes’ is not going to wreck Don Henley’s confidence. But at the same time, it was a little thorn there for a moment.”

So, as Henley received the spotlight and appreciation from the rock scene for his Eagles hits, Nicks thought it was a bit of a bruise on his ego to see his girlfriend not taking and following his recommendations. Still, the rocker didn’t think it wrecked Don Henley’s confidence, and the two got over it pretty quickly.

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