The Stevie Nicks Song That Don Henley Was Responsible For

All the songs composed by artists have a different story behind the creation process. Every professional songwriter has their own way of working, so the completion time may vary accordingly. While some can finish an entire song in just 15 minutes or a day or two, other works can sometimes take years to complete.

Some songs require musicians to gradually work on them over a more extended period of time, whereas other tracks might come to them very quickly. Sometimes, artists arrange the pieces they create over and over until they feel they are good enough to share with an audience.

While working on her debut solo studio album, ‘Bella Donna,’ something similar happened to the Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks. She was trying to complete the songs she would include in the record but writing the eighth song, ‘Leather and Lace,’ took longer than she expected due to Don Henley’s picky nature.

When Stevie Nicks started working on ‘Bella Donna’ in the late 1970s, she was involved in a romantic relationship with the Eagles icon Don Henley. Thus, it is not surprising that she frequently asked for Henley’s opinion during the creation process of the record. The couple also performed a duet on the track ‘Leather and Lace.’

Yet, the writing process of this song was a little bit challenging for Stevie Nicks. During a previous appearance on Joe Benson’s ‘Off the Record,’ the singer revealed that Henley had never liked ‘Leather and Lace’ very much because he wasn’t satisfied with the song’s overall structure.

“He never really liked it very much,” Nicks said during a conversation with Joe Benson when reminded of her duet with Don Henley. “But see, I never liked it that much either. And I only finished it because Waylon Jennings liked it a lot and wanted it finished. He heard the chorus, and he loved it and said, ‘Please do this,’ and it was the only really disciplined thing I ever did in my life, you know, to where I had to finish it.”

The vocalist continued, “And so, you know, Don and his cryptic way were very responsible for that song because I must have rewritten it 875 times, which I don’t ever do. I mean, I just usually stick with the original thing. And I rewrote this many times because, like, I’d go, ‘What do you think?’ and then, it’s like, I’d like [laughing] head and shoulders bent, slink back down the hall to try to, you know, make it better.”

So, Stevie Nicks disclosed that she would generally remain faithful to the original version of her creations, but writing ‘Leather and Lace’ was the total opposite of that. She would arrange the song and then take it to Don Henley to ask for his opinion. Yet, the Eagles singer was never satisfied, and thus, Nicks had to rearrange it numerous times. It can be concluded that the final output eventually didn’t sit well with neither Nicks nor Henley.