I grew up in Atherton, right near Stanford. Stevie [Nicks] and I were in a band that bottomed out, but there was interest in us as a duo. We came up with enough material for an album, and we intuited that if we were going to make things happen, we needed to move to where the action was. We lived right off Coldwater — it wasn’t a dirt road, but it was close. L.A. was an adjustment, for sure — it’s big, it’s random.
Less than six months after we moved, we got a record deal. We had one album, Buckingham Nicks, and it didn’t sell, so we lost our deal. We had to make ends meet, so we did a lot of shows to get extra money. I remember playing a club with Stevie called the Starwood on Santa Monica. We also played the Troubadour. At Sound City studios the owner was very gracious to let us use Studio B when there was nobody booked to work on a second album. It was there that we ran into Mick Fleetwood, who was really just looking for a studio. He didn’t know [guitarist-vocalist] Bob Welch was going to quit Fleetwood Mac. I walked into Studio A, and the band was listening to our song “Frozen Love” at top volume and Mick was completely grooving to the guitar solo. A couple of weeks later Mick called and said, “Do you want to join Fleetwood Mac?” and I said, “You have to take my girlfriend, too.” That was a very lucky moment for us.
I’ve thought about whether it would be advisable or possible to move out, but this is the thing about Los Angeles: People come here and they stay. It’s not just because there is an illusionary carrot, although that is part of it. You could probably find actors or musicians who are not much younger than
I don’t think I would’ve wanted to raise my kids elsewhere, but it is a mixed bag. Growing up in Atherton, you could just get on your bike, go to school, and come home. You had a level of autonomy that doesn’t exist for kids today. Some of that