The Making of V: William Defebaugh (V108)

On Lana Del Rey by Stevie Nicks

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To illustrate our V family values, we revisit some of our most scrapbook-worthy clips. Ahead, former V editor William Defebaugh’s recollection of putting together V108, starring Lana Del Rey.


WILLIAM DEFEBAUGH: I never imagined that I would spend the eve of my 27th birthday listening to my two music idols sing to one another over the phone—but it’s exactly that brand of magic that makes V so special. I got into publishing because it makes fantasies a reality, and nowhere is that truer than V. In the half-decade I spent on Mercer Street, I watched dreams manifested on a daily basis. Around the time we were putting together V108, I was considering stepping down as editor to see where else my career might take me—but I promised myself I wouldn’t leave until I had told all of the stories I felt were there to tell. For that issue, I had the idea to put Lana Del Rey in conversation with Stevie Nicks. The new music Lana was putting out harkened back to the activist songs of the late 1960s when Stevie was first rising to fame. I had a feeling the two would be kindred spirits, and it turned out they already were; the next day, the news leaked that they had a duet coming out on Lana’s new album, and I knew it was fate. They both happily agreed, and a month later, there we were having a conversation about the universal forces that bring people together, and what it means to be a beacon of hope in dark times. I left shortly after that issue went to press with the assurance that my work was done. When I look back on my time at V, it’s the story I’m most proud of—one last dream come true.

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