Back at the hotel the band unwinds. John McVie heads straight for the bar like a man on a mission. He is soon joined by Fleetwood, a gregarious fellow who wants to hear all the news from Britain. (All the band now live in Los Angeles.) Upstairs Christine McVie holds court over bottles of red wine in her suite. Buckingham and Nicks, both Americans who share a certain intensity typical of their nation, disappear immediately into separate elevators. Buckingham is up and about the next morning but Nicks doesn't re-emerge until mid-afternoon to take the band's plane to the next gig.

The former lovers insist they are good friends once again. "When I left in 1987 there was a lot of stuff still unresolved between Stevie and me," says Buckingham candidly. "That sounds strange when we had split up ten years earlier but most couples in that position don't carry on seeing each other all the time. Being in a band is almost like living with someone. Stevie hit a wall in her personal life but she came through it and I've grown, too. Maybe there are things that still aren't resolved but when I'm singing to her there's now someone real there."

Nicks agrees but doesn't think the band's story resembles a soap opera - she calls it a Gothic romance. "It's been a healing process for a lot of things between us that we still needed to work out."

Buckingham admits that it is strange to relive such intensely personal songs so many years later. "It sometimes feels like a time warp. I don't think we realized back then quite how raw the songs were emotionally, how they really were very direct messages to each other." Yet there will be no fairytale ending to their renewed relationship. "There are some sweet moments and when we go back on it seems natural to hold hands but there are parameters as to how far that can go," Buckingham says. Nicks adds: "It can happen on stage but there are moments we can't share off stage, things we still can't say." There are other elements that have been consigned to the past, too. "The drugs made it wild and exciting but it was very detrimental. Coke made you feel like everything was wonderful but it also made you see things that weren't happening," she says.

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