Today, Stevie Nicks has the benefit of hindsight.
In a newly published interview with The Guardian, the iconic singer reflected on the abortion she underwent in 1979 after she got pregnant with Don Henley and the impact of that decision on the fate of Fleetwood Mac and herself.
"If I had not had that abortion, I'm pretty sure there would have been no Fleetwood Mac," she told the newspaper. "There's just no way that I could have had a child then, working as hard as we worked constantly. And there were a lot of drugs, I was doing a lot of drugs…I would have had to walk away."
To put that time in context, 1979 came two years after the release of the band's album, Rumours—one of the best-selling albums of all time. That same year, the group—whose influence can still be felt today—released its 12th studio album, Tusk. "I knew that the music we were going to bring to the world was going to heal so many people's hearts and make people so happy. And I thought: you know what? That's really important," Stevie explained. "There's not another band in the world that has two lead women singers, two lead women writers. That was my world's mission."
In 2014, she confirmed the name she would have given that baby with Henley. "Had I married Don and had that baby, and had she been a girl, I would have named her Sara," the singer had told Billboard, in response to a story Don had previously told about her 1979 song, "Sara."
However, according to the songwriter, that wasn't the full story behind the track. "There was another woman in my life named Sara, who shortly after that became Mick [Fleetwood]'s wife, Sara Fleetwood." As the turbulent story goes, Sara was Stevie's friend, but also had a relationship with Mick, who Stevie had been involved with.
"I had started to see Mick Fleetwood romantically. I had a very dear friend whose name was Sara [Recor] who just went after Mick. And they fell in love, and the next thing, Sara's husband is calling me to say 'Sara moved in with Mick this morning. And I just thought you might wanna know,'" Stevie recalled to The Independent in 2011. "That was three months into a 13-month album. So I lost Mick, which honestly wasn't that big of a deal because that was a rocky relationship. But losing my friend Sara? That was a huge blow. Sara was banished from the studio by the rest of the band...No one was speaking, and I wouldn't even look directly at Mick. That went on for months."
However, there was a silver lining in the midst of it all: "It was great fodder for writing!" she told the newspaper. "The songs poured out of us."