“The interpersonal dynamics were challenging,” he said. “It is difficult to break up with someone and see them move away slowly or not so slowly and then try to find it within yourself to keep doing your job in the band and doing it well, that job being constructing the music for everyone.”
“It wasn’t always easy to feel unconflicted about that,” Buckingham said. “Also, obviously, we lived in a subculture where no one was taking care of themselves very well.”
When the band reunited in 1997 for a tour and live album, there was still lingering bitterness. That began to dissipate only recently, Buckingham said.
What people have to remember, Buckingham said, is that Fleetwood Mac’s sense of itself is more about the relationships than the hits.
“All of that is something that remains and is more present to me now than any of the success,” he said. “Bands are a lot less connected to their success than what goes on behind the scenes.”
“Sheryl took it upon herself to tell anyone and everyone that she was joining Fleetwood Mac, an announcement that wasn’t just premature, it wasn’t on solid ground,” Buckingham said.
But the misunderstanding led to “some good conversations” between Buckingham and Nicks.
“That’s one thing that came out of this Crow thing is that we started talking,” he said. “We acknowledged that we do need to approach whatever is going to come in the sense of caring for each other as people more than anything.”
The band has none of the pressures it experienced in the ’70s, Buckingham said, and that frees it up to focus on more important matters.
“We just have to enjoy each other as people up there (onstage),” he said. “We don’t have to have any more musical agendas. It is absurd for us to try and keep competing with bands in their 20s.”