IT HAS been twenty years since Fleetwood Mac formed as a blues quartet, and long-time member Lindsey Buckingham celebrated the anniversary by leaving the group. As the group begins a new tour with two new members, Stevie Nicks is still fuming.
When Lindsey Buckingham announced his departure from Fleetwood Mac in mid-August, he threw the band’s future into doubt. “A lot of people probably expected us to do the old roll over on your back trick,” recalls Mick Fleetwood.
“What were we supposed to do?” asks Stevie Nicks, “Lindsey left. So did that mean we were done? No. Why should the rest of us quit just because of him?”
Stevie Nicks, whose stormy relationship with Buckingham has been well-documented, offers a different viewpoint. “In the studio, if Lindsey said the wall was gray, I will be absolutely sure it was pink. In order to get one of my songs on a record I will have to say, OK, the wall is gray, Lindsey. Otherwise, it was the back of the bus. Now this has nothing to do with the other members of Fleetwood Mac, who, from the beginning, have always been lovely to me, have always known how important my songs are to me, whereas, with Lindsey, he would rather I just stayed at home doing laundry. We are talking about a man who was in love with a woman and would just as soon she had faded out and just been his old lady or wife. Period.”
“Whooo,” sighs Christine after a full five seconds of silence. Mick interjects, “That situation changed somewhat, in my opinion.”
Stevie narrows her eyes and says, “Not when it came down to the real thing. Uh uh. Never changed.” When she launched her solo career in 1981 with the release of Bella Donna, Stevie admits, “There was a part of me that was saying, ‘See, I can do it myself. I do not need you every second to do everything for me.’”
Here is Lindsey’s statement, issued through his manager. “In 1985, I was working on my third solo album when the band came to me and asked me to produce the next Fleetwood Mac project. At that point, I put aside my solo work, which was half-finished, and committed myself for the next 17 months to produce Tango in the Night. It was always our understanding that upon completion of the Tango album I would return to my solo work.