“That may have something to do with why Stevie is the way she is now,” Buckingham suggests. “Because she is not a musician, she doesn’t share in that thing with us. She can feel totally out of her depth – which she is, on some levels – and you can understand why she doesn’t want to come down to the studio or be involved in certain things.”
Buckingham, Nicks’s former lover and bandmate of hers since the late ‘60s, when both were members of a Bay Area group called Fritz, admits to having always considered her songs “a little flaky.” But, “there’s obviously something about her material that people relate to. She’s always been a little bit hard for me to take seriously, because I really appreciate a beat, having been weaned on Elvis and Little Richard and Chuck Berry.
“There’s something emotional that gets through, through,” he says, “and her voice’s so recognizable. I’ve been listening to Stevie sing for years and years, and when you’re that close to it, it’s easy to overlook certain aspects of anything.”
Between her songs and the way she appears to be conducting her life, Stevie Nicks comes off as a modern-day equivalent to the movie queens of the ‘30s, reaching inside herself for some ill-defined personal misery to fuel her creative machinery. Buckingham says that in all the time he’s known her, “Stevie has never been very happy, and I don’t think the success of her album has made her any happier. In fact it may have made her less happy.
“She’s flexing come kind of emotional muscles that she feels she can flex now that she’s in a more powerful position. There’s a certain amount of leeway in how you can interpret Stevie’s behavior, I’d say, but at the same time there’s no denying that her success is making her feel that she can pull things that she wouldn’t have felt comfortable pulling before. And most of them aren’t particularly worthwhile, but she’s venting something — loneliness, unhappiness or something.”