It is December 2009, and Stevie Nicks is sitting in a movie theater in Melbourne, Australia, watching The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the second in the popular gothic romance series. The movie’s protagonist, teenaged Bella, is feeling lost and alone without her paramour, a vampire named Edward — and something about her reminds Nicks of a song she began writing, but did not quite complete, in 1976. “I started reciting these words during the movie,” she recalls. “I was spellbound. It was almost like I’d written these words about what was going on in this movie.” Nicks’ original song fragment had been inspired by the alienation she felt after moving from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1972 with then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham, two years before both of them joined legendary rock band Fleetwood Mac.
The making of the most recent Mac effort, 2004’s Say You Will, was also difficult — which is why Nicks insists that she wants Stewart and Ballard behind the board for the group’s next studio effort. She reports that Buckingham, who has typically held sway over the group’s productions, has already endorsed the idea. “Lindsey doesn’t want to produce the next Fleetwood Mac record,” she says. “He is absolutely not into that. I think it would be a pleasure for him to be able to sit back, play his parts, write his songs, have fun and not be worried all the time.”
You know, making an album with Fleetwood Mac is angst-ridden. This was not angst-ridden. This was a lot of fun, and if it ever started to roll off into that angst-ridden place, we all went, “Oh no, not going there.” Life is too short.
It doesn’t discourage me from it, because I have already told Lindsey, “I am never making another record that isn’t as much fun as the record I just made with Dave and Glen Ballard.” He came in and worked with us on “Soldier’s Angel,” and he was fantastic. He saw the relationship between Dave and me, and the relationship between Glen and me. I’m more like Dave, and Glen is more like Lindsey, so that seems like a great combination. Dave and Glen would be the perfect guys to help us make a record.
Has Lindsey’s production involvement thrown off the balance before?
It makes him be a player, a writer and also the producer. That’s hard — sometimes all the weight of the world is on your shoulders. It’s more fun to not have to do that. I mean, I could produce a record, and I feel I produced a lot of this record we just did. But I’m not getting producer points for it, because I didn’t want to be the producer.
[about meaning of Secret Love] I don’t remember exactly, but it sounds to me like it’s a song about something that happened between me and somebody. Was that guy married? Did he have children? For whatever reason, I didn’t want anybody to find out about it. Even the people in my life who were around in 1975 can’t seem to remember exactly what that song was about. I obviously never played it for Fleetwood Mac, because had I offered that up to them they absolutely would have recorded it and put it on a record. It’s Lindsey’s kind of song: It’s simple, it’s precise and he would have loved it. But clearly I didn’t want to bring that song out. I think it’s timeless, because we’re all capable of doing secret things that we don’t tell anybody about. That is the beauty in that song.