If the two McVies are now friends again, and Fleetwood still adept at playing the role of peacemaker, the relationship between Buckingham and Nicks seems as dysfunctional as ever. Most bands, with a tour raking it in and a new album in the planning stages, would, you feel, have a fairly clear idea of how the near future was going to pan out. Yet that mooted album — their first in the classic line-up since Tango in the Night in 1987; Buckingham and Christine McVie have collaborated on seven songs — already sounds fraught with some of the same old problems.

“Chris’s return has been a huge help for some of the things that Stevie and Lindsey continue to go through,” says Fleetwood, with a hint of exasperation, “in terms of … well, it’s a form of button-pushing, about which Christine would say, ‘This should long since have been over.’”

Buckingham sounds wary when the album comes up. "We had planned at reconvening at the start of next year, but, again, there is the politics. Stevie has not involved herself in it, and has not committed to involving herself in it either, so that's something we're working on.”


Christine McVie admits to some bemusement about the continuing discord between the band's Californian contingent. She describes the appeal of returning to the band as one of "chemistry, simple chemistry. I'm drawn to these four people. How can you not love Mick? He's bold, eccentric, arrogant, pompous, vulnerable, warm and sweet. Lindsey is another type of character altogether. He has the darkest, most caustic sense of humour ever. He really makes me laugh, but he can also be so twitchy and edgy; you know, 'Keep away.' He's always crossing his arms, his legs. And you just think, 'Relax.' He and Stevie don't get on. On stage, they act. Privately, no.

"John and I genuinely have a friendship, I love Mick, and I love both of them. But it's like putting a wet hand in a plug socket, it's an electric shock every time. Who knows how long it will last? The idea is to try to finish the album, and then tour it. But Stevie says: 'You've just had 16 years off. Now it's my turn.'"  


Of the Buckingham-Nicks relationship, Fleetwood speculates: "On some level they must be addicted to it, to something - to love, probably. It's strange when you're a friend to both parties, and I do sometimes get drawn in, but you don't want to be like the messenger in El Cid, bringing in the head. I want them to be sitting on an amp, like John and Chris. I don't think it will ever happen, but I don't know that for sure.”

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