How Stevie Nicks Remembers Her ‘Special’ Romance With Eagles Founder Don Henley

by Emily Morgan

During Stevie Nick’s heyday as the frontwoman for Fleetwood Mac, she had several muses. In fact, Nicks had a “special romance” with another icon from a classic rock band from the ’70s. 

During her life, Nicks has had a string of high-profile romances with several rock stars. For instance, her most notorious fling was with ex-Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham. As die-hard fans will know, their breakup significantly influenced the writing of the band’s 1977 iconic record, Rumours.

However, some fans may not know she shared a romance with Eagles drummer and co-vocalist Don Henley. 

Their short-lived love affair came at the end of the 1970s. It would later be the inspiration for the song “Sara,” which appears on the Rumours follow-up album, 1979’s Tusk

Nicks penned the ballad after her romance with Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood ended after discovering he was having an affair with her best friend, Sara. The song’s inspiration also stemmed from her unplanned pregnancy with Henley. 

Henley and Nicks began their short-lived relationship after she left Fleetwood. Later, in 1979, Nicks discovered she was pregnant with Henley’s child. However, at the time, she decided to terminate the pregnancy. 

At the time, Nicks was at the height of her career and wanted to continue working on her dream of making music. 

In 2001 she revealed her life’s mission, hinting that it didn’t involve motherhood. “My mission maybe wasn’t to be a mom and a wife; maybe my particular mission was to write songs to make moms and wives feel better,” she said at the time. 

Stevie Nicks and Don Henley nearly welcomed a child together

Nicks also confirmed that if she continued her pregnancy with Henley, she would’ve named the child Sara.

“Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara,” Nicks told Billboard magazine, 

Although they broke up, Henley and Nicks remained as good friends. In 1981, the two paired up on the track “Leather and Lace.” Nicks featured the song on her debut solo album, Bella Donna

Later, the pair even hit the road together in 2005 for The Two Voices Tour

Earlier in the ’80s, Stevie Nicks discussed her relationship with Don Henley and explained how it was unlike any of her other romantic relationships. 

“Well, Don always treated me very special,” she began. “He always kinda treated me like we were married, in that strange sorta way, he still does, whenever I see him. I think he found in me something that he has not probably found since, and that was somebody that was very…”

She added, “It was 1976, this was right after the beginning of when Fleetwood Mac really made it, and The Eagles had been big for a long time. So, he found a very different kind of girl in me than in most of the women that he was used to hanging out with, and we had a very special relationship because of that.”