Stevie - New Zealand Herald (02.25.2006)

I think the people take the songs where they want to take them. I throw them out there, and it doesn’t matter that I wrote Landslide in 73 and have been singing it since then, which was two years before I joined Fleetwood Mac.

Whenever I sing that song I remember clearly writing that song while I was sitting in the house in Aspen and wondering whether I was going to give Lindsey [Buckingham] and the music another chance, or whether I was just going to stay in Aspen and follow my own music career there.

So whenever I sing that song I can just close my eyes and be taken back to looking out that window and seeing the Rocky Mountains. I’m able to then sing the song with that in mind.

You mentioned Lindsey before. People have said that while you have worked with other writers and producers, like Sheryl Crow for example, that he still brings the best out of you. Despite whatever else that has happened between you, in a working relationship you can still do it even today.

Yes, that’s fair. I have a lot of respect for his ability to take one of my songs and … I’m not the best musician in the world so if I sit down at the piano and play Sara for example it is very, very simple. And very, very long. Someone like Lindsey can take a 15 minute song and – much to my horror – edit it down to seven minutes then makes it build and arrange it. That blows my mind because that is something that I can never do.

So we have a great relationship when it comes to making our music.

And where does the Mac thing sit now?

We just finished 135 shows not quite two years ago but when I go home after this tour I am going to take October and November off, and we are discussing whether Fleetwood Mac wants to tour next year. It’s 50:50 there and it's just down to what we decide over the next few months.

We had a meeting right before I left and it looks good. Its good for me to keep the both going because it's fun and they are very different. Never a boring moment if you have both. I’ve had the both since 1980 so I run back and forth between the two.

In the last year I have written a lot about Walter Reed Hospital and the soldiers, and the metamorphosis of Fleetwood Mac, and of course Lindsey and I write about each other constantly because even though it has been 300 years since we broke up – and he has a wife and three kids – we feel totally right about each other.

So we will always be that amazing inspiration for each other, because we will always be mad at each other is some shape or form, and that makes for good material for songs.

Can’t live with him and…

Exactly. The love-hate things stands as a beacon for writers, and for both of us.

We are delighted you make the effort to dress up. It was 1980 the last time you were in New Zealand. I guess you remember that.

The big Fleetwood Mac fight. It has become a thing of mythology that night. I remember it quite well because Lindsey and I got into a fight at the end of the show when I was singing during one of his solos and he threw his guitar at me. He didn’t hit me because I ducked and it missed me. The song ended and we went off stage. It was the only time in our whole existence we did not do an encore.

It was as unprofessional as Fleetwood Mac have ever been. Needless to say he was not forgiven for 10 years. We felt bad because so many people were there and had been bussed in from all over New Zealand. And for something that stupid to happen, we were so angry with him.

Is what kept Fleetwood Mac together was that anything could happen offstage and be difficult emotionally and personally, but when you got up under the lights you were there for the music and the show?

When you got on stage you were a professional and you rose above your private problems, so that was an unacceptable moment. It’s also something now that everybody knows about all over the world. The fight that went around the world.

You can’t do much in private in front of 60,000 people.

No, you can be loving and emotional and maybe even angry – but you can’t let it become what is going on between you.