"Mick didn't really know anything about us," recollects Stevie. "All these relationships between us are so close and they were so heavy, even in the beginning, that it's easy for me to think that we were together, before, in another life." The combination of Mick, John McVie, Christine Mcvie, Stevie and Lindsey clicked immediately: commercially and artistically, the results were magic. "Fleetwood Mac" climbed into the Top 10 setting the stage for "Rumours", which shot to the top of the charts in 1977 and held the Number 1 position for over four months. As rock entered its third decade, the little band that would was catapulted to superstardom.
In view of "Rumours'" success, it is ironic that some of its lyrics alluded to the break-ups of the band's two couples --- John and Christine, after an 8-year marriage, and Lindsey and Stevie, after a 6-year romance. Life was hardly a bowl of cherries for Mick either. He and wife Jenny (Patti Boyd Harrison Clapton's sister) divorced, remarried, and, more recently, divorced again. As "Rumours" spun, the romantic upheavals seemed to transform Fleetwood Mac's personal crises into a rock and roll soap opera. And few people would bet on the band's future stability. Circumstances that would surely and easily signal the disintegration of just about any other band served to, as Lindsey puts it, "cleanse and strengthen" the band's foundation. "It was necessary to go through," he explains. "I'm not sure the stability of the band would have been very good if we had remained together as couples. Still, there's a lot of love, talent and energy involved with this band. We respect each other more now."
Says Christine: "I think a lot of people want something to go wrong with this band. They want to believe that we can't stay together." No one, however, denies the occasional flaring of tempers and emotions. "In the healthy sense of the word," says Mick, "you need a certain amount of conflict. That's a definite, obvious ingredient that HAS to be there. You can feel the sparks between Stevie and Lindsey because they're both sparky, wiry people together. I dare say, if they had to work together now without the influence of the band, it'd probably be a potential horror show. But, because of the way this group of people is, if anybody has to start putting up guards, which happens from time to time, everyone else drops everything right away and goes in and helps. No question about it."
When Stevie was quoted recently in a national magazine saying that the recording of "Tusk" was "Like being a hostage in Iran" and that Lindsey was the "Ayatollah," there was some concern as to how Lindsey might take it. Stevie had been avidly watching the nightly network coverage, and her quote came out sounding quite literal. Says Mick: "She and Lindsey talked about it right away and Stevie said 'I didn't mean for it to sound quite like that.' and Lindsey said, 'I don't mind.' Lindsey IS a very intense person," says Mick, "especially in the studio when he's trying to express his feelings or find the exact sound he's looking for and having to do that through other people, the engineers and all of us. He knows a lot about the technical aspects of recording, so he knows what he wants and I don't know a bugger about them, but he really wasn't a TYRANT." Mick chuckles. "When I asked Lindsey how he felt about being the Ayatollah, he started laughing."