Stevie Nicks Remembers 9/11: ‘I Became a New Yorker That Day’

by Jennifer Shea

Musician Stevie Nicks had just arrived in New York City on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Nicks landed from Canada at 2:30 a.m. and decamped to the Waldorf Astoria. It was there that she eventually went to bed around 7:30 a.m., roughly an hour before the first plane hit the World Trade Center.

According to Nicks’ remembrance, which she included in a note to her fans, she enjoyed what would turn out to be her last view of pre-9/11 New York before her head hit the pillow.

“By the time I went to bed it was almost 7:30 a.m.,” Nicks wrote, per Rolling Stone. “I sat in the window for a minute and looked dawn on a glorious day. The whole city was up. I actually thought about just not going to bed and going out to have breakfast and then out to walk the streets. Well, I’m too old to do that now, so, I laughed and went to bed.”

Stevie Nicks Was in New York As the Planes Hit the Towers

Nicks’ assistant woke her up when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. And suddenly, everything was different.

“We had been attacked,” Nicks wrote. “It couldn’t have been an accident. Not two accidents in a row… I walked over to the window where I had been sitting (it seemed like minutes ago) and looked down. Everything was grey. There were no cars, there were no yellow cabs. There were no people. It looked like death. It looked like the end of the world.”

Nicks explained that because heads of state and foreign diplomats tend to stay at the Waldorf, her hotel TV showed things that most Americans didn’t see that day. Afraid to set foot outside, she stayed in her room, glued to the TV.

The three shows that she was scheduled to play in New York got canceled. As was the case for people across the country, but especially in New York and Washington, D.C., plans suddenly changed.

The Show Must Go On

So Stevie Nicks hopped a bus to Atlantic City, where she was supposed to perform at the Etess Arena on Sept. 15. But before she sang, she consulted some trusted confidants.

“I called my mom and Don Henley to ask, ‘Should I come home?’” she wrote. “And they both said, ‘If the people aren’t asking for their money back, then they must want to see you.’ So, we put a big American flag up behind me and went on. It was like everyone just wanted to be with everyone that night.”

In her message to fans, Nicks included her drawing of an angel dating back to 1994. She named the angel “A Soldiers’ Angel,” and she brought it with her on visits to Walter Reed and Bethesda. Soldiers would sign their names on the back and tell Nicks their war stories. So on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Nicks tweeted the image out to her followers “to be your angel.”

“I am so sorry, so broken hearted for all that we lost that day,” Nicks added. “But I would not have wanted to be anywhere else but there in New York with the people of New York. I became a New Yorker on that day. I was honored.”