Question: Stevie, were you receptive from the start?
Nicks: I was receptive, yeah. My defining moment came when I was getting ready to start a record. I called Lindsey and said, "Are we going or not? If we are going, then I'm going to stop my record. If we're not, I'm not going to stop." He said, "Yeah, we're going." I couldn't hear it from anybody else but Lindsey. Everybody else could say we're going and till he actually said yes, I could never believe it.
Question: Stevie, did you expect the reunion to jell?
Nicks: After the inauguration, it didn't look good for the five of us getting back together. So, if Lindsey wasn't ever going to be in the band again, then why should I be in the band anymore? We went in together. He had already quit six years before, and I hung in there hoping everything might work out again. I quit touring, but it's not like I really ever left. I just didn't want to be a part of it if it didn't include all of us. The passing of 20 years, from 1977 to 1997, I think that has a lot to do with it. Certainly everybody has pitched this to us every year since he left. There is something about the 20th anniversary of Rumours that made us all a little bit more nostalgic.
Question: Rumours was recorded amid so much personal upheaval. What does that album mean to you now, 20 years later?
Nicks: There wouldn't have been a Rumours if everything had been fabulous. We couldn't have changed anything.
Buckingham: There has been this cyclical thing where the music again has been reexamined and reappreciated. I see it for the music it was, and I can analyze it a little more and see other reasons it may have caught on, reasons that were not particularly musical, but more theatrical. I can see that now without the baggage. There was so much baggage, at least for the 12 years that I was in the band. You break up in '77 and think, "Hey, get on with it, buddy," but you see that person every day for the next 10 years, pretty much in your face. It wasn't until I left in '87 that I could face all the issues with Stevie. Certain things are very difficult to resolve. None of it was ever resolved, but I don't think we were focused enough to know what needed to be resolved. Things got so convoluted. I had a problem with her being thrust into the limelight. It was tough to deal with being the one constructing it all behind the scenes and yet not being visible. I fought to prove something to her as well as to myself. You wonder what you gave up in order to prove that.
Question: How have the personal dynamics changed?
Buckingham: We're appreciating each other as musicians and as a fivesome that is greater than the sum of its parts. The chemistry when we joined was Stevie and I as a couple, John and Chris as a couple, and this extra guy. And that chemistry was torn apart by dysfunction and disunity.
Question: What is the current chemistry like?
Buckingham: That's really elusive. The thing that's interesting now is that the chemistry is spread out evenly over the five people in the band. Ironically, because of where I'm at and where she's at, it's almost like I'm seeing the Stevie I used to live with.
Nicks: True. We're more similar to the way we were when we first joined Fleetwood Mac.
Question: This renewed harmony is a far cry from the feud that preceded it, isn't it?
Nicks: Let's put it this way, we hardly spoke. We would get on and off the same plane without interacting at all. It's not like that now. Even if Lindsey and I were to totally fall in love again, get married, and get divorced, we would never let it go to that negative place again. We're just too wise now. It got so bad between us that we couldn't even talk. We couldn't communicate. We couldn't work anything out because we couldn't even sit down for five minutes together.
Buckingham: We had a lot of problems by the time we joined, as did John and Chris. So it was one of the things that Stevie and Chris had in common. What drew them together was the need to commiserate. Without that catalyst, maybe it would have been drawn out longer. Or maybe we would have worked it out.
Nicks: We were all so freaked out and overwhelmed and famous and rich overnight that it was very hard to sit down and be adult about anything.
Question: Could Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham have done this interview together five years ago?
Nicks: No, because he wouldn't have felt this way five years ago, so I wouldn't have even considered trying to figure out how to do this.
Buckingham (to Nicks): You and I could have gotten together, and it could have been prickly or gotten off on a different foot. It used to be bittersweet and now it's just sweet, because there's not this underlying thing. Now it's kinda sweet, these two kids who came here...
Nicks: …all those years ago.
Buckingham: …all those years ago.