Buckingham, the band's producer, saw Nicks' gift as a test. And the Fleetwood Mac soap opera began a new installment.

"Her involvement emotionally came in stages," he says. "She had sent stuff over, but I don't think she had a lot invested in what she sent over."

Not so, Nicks says.

"I didn't feel like I was dipping in my toe," she says. "I had to go on this tour because Warner Bros. had just released my record. … I gave them the CD and said, 'I'll be back as soon as I can.' "

Buckingham and Nicks with different interpretations of the same event?

There's a shock. Even cursory fans know their history: The couple's romantic breakup fueled the mega-selling album "Rumours," and they've danced delicately around each other's psyches ever since.

"All of that is never going to be behind us," says Nicks, as she gazes at the ocean from her California home. "Our destinies are so entwined. We fight a lot. We have a lot of arguments. But in the long run, we've worked it all out."


"Stevie and I were just checking each other out for a long time when she showed up," Buckingham says. "What's going to happen? Is it all going to explode and degrade to what it used to be or have we truly grown and can we truly elevate this beyond what it used to be?"

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