“Oh boy, I’ve never really spoken about this, so I get verklempt, and then I’ve got the story and I start to screw it up. Okay: In the old days, before Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey [Buckingham] and I had no money, so we had a king-size mattress, but we just had it on the floor. I had old vintage coverlets on it, and even though we had no money it was still really pretty… Just that and a lamp on the floor, and that was it—there was a certain calmness about it. To this day, when I’m feeling cluttered, I will take my mattress off of my beautiful bed, wherever that may be, and put it outside my bedroom, with a table and a little lamp.
That’s the words: “So I’m back to the velvet underground”—which is a clothing store in downtown San Francisco, where Janis Joplin got her clothes, and Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane, it was this little hole in the wall, amazing, beautiful stuff—”back to the floor that I love, to a room with some lace and paper flowers, back to the gypsy that I was.”
So that’s what “Gypsy” means: it’s just a search for before this all happened. And later, I tacked on a line for my friend Robin, my best friend, who died of leukemia: “I still see your bright eyes.” But then, Robin wasn’t sick yet. She got cancer, and died within a year.”
“Beauty and the Beast”
“It was definitely about Mick, but it’s also based on the 1946 Jean Cocteau movie. I first saw it on TV one night when Mick and I were first together, and I always thought of Mick as being sort of Beauty and the Beast-
Lindsey had barely survived the breakup of Lindsey and Stevie, much less would he not survive the relationship of Stevie and Mick. So Mick told Lindsey, even though I thought it was totally the wrong thing to do, and two days later we broke up. But
“I was in Colorado around 1973, after me and Lindsey’s first record, and we’d just been dropped. Lindsey had been offered a tour with the Everly Brothers, it was a good salary and we really needed the money, so we went to where either Don or Phil Everly lived, in Aspen, to rehearse. I had my best friend with me, and we went out to dinner one night and met these great guys, they just gave us their living room in their three-bedroom apartment—we stayed there for three months.
So one day while I was sitting there on their floor, looking out the window at all the snow, I made a decision whether I wanted to continue a relationship with Lindsey, musically and romantically, and I decided that I was gonna give it another try, because we weren’t getting along very well, but the music was important. But I never told him what it was about ‘til years and years later, maybe only in the last five. I knew it was a good song. Whether I had [the] sense if it would do anything or go anywhere? I don’t know [laughs]. But I knew it was really good.”