When The Chain is finished and the audience whoop, a familiar opening riff begins, and all eyes turn to Stevie Nicks, dressed in her trademark black chiffon. For one who has in recent years waxed matronly, she looks oddly like, well, Stevie Nicks. And then it happens. Stevie sings the opening line to Dreams...and forgets the words. It is the only Number 1 single in her life - maybe her most important song ever - and she flubs it. She stops - this is TV, remember - and starts over. And then she flubs it again.
It is a tense moment. Some in the audience giggle, nervously. Others silently speculate on whether a refresher visit to the Betty Ford Clinic might be in order. But the moment passes. Stevie finally nails it, and Fleetwood Mac, as the saying goes, Then Play On.
"You know what?" Stevie Nicks asks me later. "I wasn't pissed off at myself, I was scared - the words went out of my head. The first time it was like, OK, this is all right. The second time I started to get a sick feeling. And then the third time I thought, Somebody, Lindsey, come over here and tell me these words, because we're not gonna get through this thing."
But there is indeed an important difference here, and it isn't only musical. Stevie Nicks - whose 1981 solo hit Leather and Lace featured a duet vocal by Eagle Don Henley - puts her bejewelled finger precisely on it. "You're never going to take away the fact that there's two ex-couples on that stage, you know. And you're never gonna take back the fact that a lot of those songs were written about each other. So no matter how cool anybody is, when you get up and sing them to each other...We can't ever look at each other as if we hadn't been totally involved. Especially when you get up there on the stage, and you're all wearing black, and I'm in black chiffon, and there's beautiful lights, and...you know, it's rock 'n' roll and everybody's in love again."