Stevie Nicks arrived at the sessions towards the end, and Buckingham presented her with “Sad Angel.” “I wrote that song for Stevie,” he says. “She always had to fight for everything. She was coming off a solo album and was in the process of reintegrating herself mentally in the band, and we’re all warriors with a sword in one sort or another. She and I have known each other since high school. So I just wrote, ‘Sad Angel have you come to fight the war/We fall to earth together, the crowd calling out for more.’”

Like many of the group’s greatest songs, “Sad Angel” reflects on Lindsey and Stevie’s complex relationship. “All these years later, we are still writing songs that are dialogues for each other,” he says. “That was part of the appeal of Rumours, and of the group in general . . . Of all the things we cut, ‘Sad Angel’ was, for lack of a better term, the most Fleetwood Mac-y. It was really kind of the best stuff that we have done in a while.”

They also recorded “Without You,” a song that’s roughly 40 years old. “Stevie and I had a little disagreement over when it was written,” Buckingham says. “It definitely predates our involvement in Fleetwood Mac. I believe it was written when we were in the process of culling material for a possible second Buckingham-Nicks album, before we were dropped by Polydor. She claims it was written earlier, but I’m not so sure. But it’s a very sweet song that really harkens back to a time when we were far more innocent. She’s writing to me and it’s about our relationship, when we’d only been together for a very short time.”

Stevie Nicks says that she rediscovered the song on YouTube. “I’m not really sure how it resurfaced,” says Buckingham. “She brought it in one day and she brought it by my house. John and Mick didn’t really work on that. There’s kind of an appropriateness in doing something that predates Fleetwood Mac, because at this stage in time Stevie and I have more of a connection than we’ve had for a while. That’s a nice thing.”


The show wraps with “Say Goodbye,” the only song of the night drawn from the group’s 2003 LP Say You Will. “As I said, Stevie and I have probably more of a connection now than we have in years,” says Buckingham. “You can feel it. It’s tangible on stage. In many ways, that song is the embodiment of that. When you look at ‘Without You,’ it’s Stevie writing a song about me when everything was before us and all those illusions were intact. ‘Say Goodbye’ was written 10 years ago, when most of our experience together was behind us. Part of those illusions had fallen away.”

Much of their story may be behind them, but Lindsey and Stevie are still taking the stage together night after night and collaborating on new material. “It was difficult for years to get complete closure,” Buckingham says. “There was never any time to not be together. It was kind of like picking the scab off an open wound again and again. That’s part of the legacy of the band. But ‘Say Goodbye’ is a very sweet song, and it’s about her: ‘Once you said goodbye to me/Now I say goodbye to you.’ It took a long time. All those illusions have fallen away, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t resolve and hope and belief in the future in a different context. That’s really what the song is about, and we end the set with just the two of us singing that song.”

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