Stevie - Mix 96.9 Phoenix (May 2001)

Some of these songs have been around for years, haven’t they?

“The old ones are ‘Candlebright,’ ‘Sorcerer’ and ‘Planets Of The Universe.’ ‘Sorcerer’ was written in ’74, ‘Planets Of The Universe’ was written in the end of 1976 and ‘Candlebright’ in 1970. Those were in the Rumours group of songs—it’s not that they weren’t considered or that they weren’t really good, it was just that there was not room. That’s why I did a solo career. Bella Donna was simply the songs that could not fit on the first three Fleetwood Mac records. 
“And these were really, really precious songs to me, too, so I waited for the right time.” 

The opening guitar line in “Planets” is a nod to Lindsey’s guitar part from “Rhiannon.” Did you write it that way back in ’76?

“Well, it’s the same chords basically as ‘Rhiannon’; it’s not exactly the same, but there are parts of it that are the same. ‘Planets Of The Universe’ was one of the ‘Rhiannon’ songs—I have 11 songs over all of these years that if I ever wanted to [I could] do a movie or something built around the story of ‘Rhiannon.’ Those songs are all continuations of each other—‘Planets,’ ‘Rhiannon’ and ‘Sorcerer.’ I have recorded all 11 of them, just sat and played them all in a row to see what my line was through the whole thing, and for a long time I didn’t want to separate them.” 

So then that begs the question in 2001, 2002, who’s Fleetwood Mac?

“Fleetwood Mac is a power trio.”

A power trio? Who? You, Mick and Lindsey or Mick, you and John?

“Mick and John and me and Lindsey, but you know I don’t play.”

Oh, okay; the Led Zeppelin/Who format. So are you gonna play Robert Plant or Roger Daltrey?

“I’m gonna be Robert Plant. It’s very exciting and actually we just had a great meeting—Mick and Lindsey and I—and I gave Lindsey 17 more songs. It’ll happen.”

Getting back to your new CD, one of the things I noticed that’s dramatically different from your earlier albums is that where those albums had a lot of keyboards and synthesizer sounds, this one is...

“More guitars.”

You’ve done a lot of duets: Don Henley, Kenny Loggins, Bruce Hornsby, John Stewart, Tom Petty, and now Natalie Mains of the Dixie Chicks. What’s the appeal to duet?

“Because I’m really a harmony singer. That’s why Lindsey and I came to this town as a package. I love to sing harmony. I love to sing with people. That’s why I have Lori [Nicks] and Sharon [Celani], who are not just background singers. When we sing, the three of us, it’s amazing, just like when Chris and Lindsey and I sing. Since I first started singing in the fourth grade, I can remember always going to a harmony. I very seldom ever sang melody.

“That’s why it was very hard when Christine came into Lindsey’s and my thing, because we were so practiced and we were such a good duo. As soon as we had to sing with a third person, our duo singing became less and less and we became more trio singers. I loved singing with the three of us, but I also was very sad to see the Lindsey/Stevie thing start to go.”

What have you heard about Lindsey’s next record?

“He has a double-album and he’s in the midst of making a decision whether or not he wants to turn it around and make it into a Fleetwood Mac record. He’s got way too many songs for one record, so even if he puts a record out, he’s still gonna have another 15 songs left that aren’t chopped-liver songs. So we don’t really know exactly what he’s gonna do yet.

“And you know Lindsey, he’s worse than me moving furniture—he changes stuff constantly. That artist thing, when you have to say, ‘I’m done,’ is hard for him.

“So anyway, I really don’t know exactly what he’s gonna do, but he’s very much thinking about it right now. I mean, Tango In The Night was [going to be] a solo record and he decided to flip it to a Fleetwood Mac record. And we’re all behind him—we just want him to do whatever will make him happy. I’m gonna be gone for a year, so we really can’t start this until the end of this year. So even though I did give Lindsey 17 songs, who knows? What I basically feel, Jim, is that there’s a good feeling around everything, so I’m not worried about anything.”

You and Lindsey released Buckingham Nicks back in 1973. At the time, when it was still full of potential and everybody was excited about it, you must have had a dream of how it might be if that album took off and was successful. So here we are 28 years later—does the here and now match up in any way to what you thought it might be like in ’73?

“I knew we were gonna be famous—I really believed that. I don’t think I ever thought it would be this huge because how could I relate to that? I didn’t know any rock stars, you know? So now as I sit here in my beautiful home that I thank God for every day, I think, ‘I knew I would be here.’

“We moved to L.A. in 1970; in 1973 we did Buckingham Nicks; in 1974 they dropped it. The last day of 1974 Mick called us, so we had that one bad year. Lindsey and I were both seriously not believing in us, wondering if we were going to be able to overcome this incredible town. That never entered our minds until they dropped that record. So then we were really strapped for money. That’s the only time I thought it wasn’t gonna work out.”