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Fleetwood Mac - 'Rumours' [Deluxe] Liner Notes (February 2013)


"In the end, what we were going through as people - as two couples who were falling apart - was something that was appealing and interesting to an audience," says Lindsey Buckingham. "I really think there came a time when the sales of Rumours became less about the music and started being more about the phenomenon and the musical soap opera of it all. Something about it really tapped into the voyeur in everyone - including us. And it was voyeuristic in the best way possible - not in a tabloid or exploitative way, but on a more honest and real level. The truth was not being hidden, but was being all put out there to be seen and heard."

SECOND HAND NEWS

Stevie:
I love "Second Hand News" because it's that rhythmic up-tempo rock 'n' roll thing that Lindsey does so well - like on "Monday Morning" from Fleetwood Mac. And those are always songs that transfer well to performing onstage - because they have that original rock 'n' roll power.

DREAMS

Lindsey:
It was a gift to me to help frame Stevie's songs because what she did was really wonderful. We could turn her amazing poems into these epic sonic movies. Stevie would have her epics typed out and so that was her center - the poetry of it all. By the same token, my words often came last, though I like to think I've gotten better. We were opposites who had attracted, and we brought out great things in one another. 

NEVER GOING BACK AGAIN

Stevie:
That's a song about the fact that we're broken up, and we're done forever, at that point he's glad. But at the end of the song, Lindsey comes around a little, and he's looking through the eyes of someone who's thinking that maybe somewhere down the line we'll be together again. He was being hopeful and not slamming doors in that song. Looking back in retrospect, that's nice. He always plays it live and I'm glad he does. To me, "Never Going Back Again" is Lindsey's "Landslide."

GO YOUR OWN WAY

Stevie:
Even though "Go Your Own Way" was a little angry, it was also honest. So then I wrote "Dreams," and because I'm the chiffony chick who believes in fairies and angels, and Lindsey is a hardcore guy, it comes out differently. Lindsey is saying go ahead and date other men and go live your crappy life, and Stevie is singing about the rain washing you clean. We were coming at it from opposite angles, but we were really saying the exact same thing.

I DON'T WANT TO KNOW

Stevie:
They decided they were going to take "Silver Springs" off the album because it was too long. They recorded "I Don't Want To Know" - a guitar song that I wrote before Lindsey and I joined the band - when I was not there. Then they took me out to the parking lot and said, "We're taking 'Silver Springs' off the record because it's too long." Needless to say, I didn't react well to that. Eventually, I said, "What song are you going to put on the album instead?" They said, "We recorded 'I Don't Want To Know'" and I think Lindsey thought it would be okay with me because I wrote it. But I wasn't okay with it. That always put a shadow over "I Don't Want To Know" unfortunately - even though I love it it and it came out great. We had so many great songs at the time. It [Silver Springs] took some decades to come out - like "Planets Of The Universe."

Lindsey:
"I Don't Want To Know" was a demo Stevie and I had before we joined the band. The tone of the song is quite upbeat, but the words are not, and that dichotomy seems to capture emotionally what was going on within the band, even though it was the closest thing to a Buckingham Nicks track on the album.

GOLD DUST WOMAN

Lindsey:
"Gold Dust Woman" is the perfect way to follow "Oh Daddy" - it almost picks up the thought and makes it more exotic and psychedelic. It's always been a fun one to do live because of the way it unwinds so powerfully. And it's just an excellent piece of writing from Stevie. It's one of my favorites she's ever written.  
  

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Fleetwood Mac - BBC Radio 4 (05.24.2012)

PP: What was your state of mind as you went in to start recording?

LB: Stevie and I broke up during ‘Rumours’. John and Christine McVie broke up. For myself, being someone who was in the trenches producing, I had to monitor my own choices and to make sure that I was doing the right thing for Stevie, for everyone. Because we obviously had this calling and we had to make sure that was going on in our personal lives wasn’t going to undermine that.


SN: He was very crazy at that time. He stopped being the tall, cool drink of water guy that was beautiful, that played guitar on the side of the stage and sang like an angel. He started to become this like radical guy. Cut all his hair off and, you know, and he was not the Lindsey that we knew. Cutting his hair was like, you know, like if my little boy had cut his hair off. I was horrified.

PP: Why did he do it?

SN: Just flipped out the night before, I think. You know, he was so handsome. His face was so chiseled. Like when he cut all the hair off it was very odd. 


SN: Sara was banished. By the band, not by me even. So Mick’s, you know, living with Sara and he’s coming in every day and he’s very stressed out and I’m not speaking to him. I’m not even looking him in the face. Because even Lindsey, who was horrified that I was having a relationship with Mick, was even more horrified that he had fallen in love with my friend, Sara, and broken my heart. 


PP: Your songs on it were so radical and have been so influential in the ensuing years. One critic commented on ‘What Makes You Think You’re The One’ - and I have to replace a word here because it is the BBC - who called it “the greatest break-up screw you song ever written”. 

LB: *laughs* Really, I think I was still working through my last little bits of issues with Stevie not that many years ago, you know. I was the one who had been left. 

SN: I said, “I’m going out with one of the engineers”, which also did not make Lindsey happy. I think that Lindsey used every single thing that was happening as a part of this tribal walk up to the top of the sacred mountain. 


PP: The logistics of getting Fleetwood Mac to turn up to the studio at the same time had always been a challenge. Ten million sales of ‘Rumours’ and the lifestyle that came with it did not do wonders for their timekeeping. Lindsey Buckingham.

LB: I was not really a nocturnal animal. Mick was very much a nocturnal animal and Stevie still is, really. 


PP: Is there a chance that you would record with Stevie again?

LB: I would love to record with Stevie again. It would be such a circular thing to come back to where you started, and I think it would be magical, you know, because that subplot is so built into the history of Fleetwood Mac. So if you talk to her, put in a good word for me! *laughs* You already talked to her, I guess. *laughs*

PP: I did. And she seemed to make all the right noises so, um - 

LB: Well, good. Yeah, well, I have written a bunch of songs and I do want her to hear them, and I hope that we do.

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Fleetwood Mac - BBC Radio 2 (09.28.2011)

ARCHIVE INTERVIEW

Whistle Test: Tell me how you and Stevie linked up with the band, Lindsey.

Lindsey Buckingham: Well, um, [laughs] Mick was looking for a studio in which to record. And this was last, uh, well, about a year and eight months ago, I guess now, and, um, he ended up in a place called Sound City out in the San Fernando valley, talking to an engineer called Keith Olsen. Just to check out the studio. So Keith put on a song of Stevie’s and mine off an album that we’d had out about a year earlier called Buckingham Nicks, just to show Mick what the monitors sounded like and what the whole studio’s sound was like. And so, um, Mick heard a song called ‘Frozen Love’ and I guess liked it, and about a week or so later, Bob Welch decided he was going to leave the group. And I guess Mick had been sensing Bob’s unrest for awhile anyway and had kind of, you know, filed the song that he had heard of ours away for future reference. And he just called us up and said, “Hey, would you like to join?” 

NEW INTERVIEW

Stevie Nicks: Even though we were already famous then - We were just famous, and so there was a certain demeanour that both Lindsey and Mick had that, um, was very kind of precious. And that’s, I guess, just youth, you know. Very easygoing and just kind of explaining the situation, and I think, you know, when you get really famous year after year after year, you get a little arrogant and a little conceited. And we all do. That’s not there then. And that’s really kind of lovely to see. 

Bob Harris: Yeah. There’s an innocence.

Stevie Nicks: There’s an innocence that’s very - Yeah. And that innocence is great, you know. I mean, that’s the guy that I loved, that’s the, you know. In fact, that, both of those men. I loved both of those men at different times. And, uh, THOSE are the guys that I loved, the more sweeter, younger versions of who they are now. Because of that innocence. I mean, I think that maybe, you know, when I watch Lindsey in that video and I know exactly why I fell in love with Lindsey and exactly why I spent, gosh, almost eight years with Lindsey, you know. It’s, I see it. And I remember it. And I really hadn’t seen anything like that in a long time. I mean, you see pictures of us at that age, you know, and they’re beautiful photographs, but you don’t hear them talking. So that is a, that’s a mind-blower.

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Fleetwood Mac - ‘Rock Lives’, Timothy White (1990)

The High Priestess of Pop-Rock is spitting mad.

"Mark my words," says Stevie Nicks, a furnace in her gaze, "tomorrow, in this very room, is the final reckoning, and if Lindsey Buckingham dares to insist his own projects are more important than the future of Fleetwood Mac - that's it! New beginnings have always been the best part of this band. I swear it to you now: if there needs to be a new Fleetwood Mac, we'll start all over again!"

It is Wednesday, July 8, 1987, and the wild-hearted head siren of rock and roll's longest-running passion play is storming around the art nouveau-packed living room of her hillside Los Angeles home, attired in full Good Witch of the West Coast finery. Stevie's startling fashion statement builds upwards from white lace anklets and black spandex hose to a vision of cemetery seduction. And there is disorder in the dark lady's realm.

"If that man tries to hang us up," she vows, regarding Fleetwood Mac's errant lead guitarist, "he is not gonna have the last laugh!"


“Big Love,” the first single from Tango, carried a hint of foreboding with its inscrutable choruses of sweaty ooohs and aaahs. Who, the rock rumor mill wondered, was responsible for such outbursts? With a wink and a shrug, Buckingham is now happy to ‘fess up.

“It surprised me there was a whole lot of interest in who was doing the female side of the song’s ‘love grunts,’ or whatever you want to call them,” says Lindsey, with a nasal laugh, while seated in the Slop, the cluttered twenty-four-track home studio inside his quasi-oriental Bel Air home. “That was actually me – with VSOs, variable-speed oscillators. There’s a lot you can do in terms of your arranging and your voicing with slowing and speeding tape machines. It was odd that so many people wondered if it was Stevie on there with me. I guess it just follows the same thread as everything that was brought to the public in Rumours – you know, the musical soap opera.”


“While Fleetwood Mac took only two or three months to record,” says Nicks, “Rumours took twelve months because we were all trying to hold the foundation of Fleetwood Mac together, and trying to speak to each other in a civil tone, while sitting in a tiny room listening to each other’s songs about our shattered relationship. It was very, very tense – a room full of divorced people who didn’t dare bring anybody new into the same room, because nobody was gonna be nice to anybody brought into the circle.”


“On August 5th, 1987, the new history of Fleetwood Mac began,” stated Stevie Nicks at a secret September band rehearsal in Venice, California, just before the revised Vito-Burnette edition embarked on its baptismal concert trek.

According to Nicks, the original July ’87 meeting in which the band was to have it out with Buckingham proved anticlimactic. All personnel arrived at Nicks’s house in the afternoon, arranging themselves on the semi-circular ivory leather couch in her living room. The atmosphere was taut, but Lindsey diffused the tensions by announcing that he might still be open to the road trip. A low-key dinner for final deliberations was scheduled for that evening – and Lindsey failed to show.

Nonetheless, a call came from his management several days later, informing one and all that Buckingham would indeed tour.  “We all got really excited,” Nicks recalls. “It was like, ‘Well, he’s gonna do it, even if it’s only for ten weeks. It’s gonna be great, we’ll get to play, and we’re gonna make some money; everybody needs to make some money.’” Instantly, all of the members’ separate management offices aligned to spend a frenetic week booking in intricate itinerary that more properly should have been arranged six months earlier.

The night before the final production meeting to settle on additional backup musicians, lighting and staging, etc, Buckingham’s representatives rang Nicks and guest Mick Fleetwood at her main manse in Phoenix, Arizona, to tell them Lindsey has rescinded his agreement. In collective shock, but unwilling to face the humiliation of informing the nation’s top concert promoters that the band was in dire disarray, the rest of Fleetwood Mac demanded a confrontation in Los Angeles with their delinquent whiz kid.

That conference on August 5 lasted a matter of minutes before Nicks was on her heels, tongue-lashing her old boyfriend. The duo’s mutual harangue culminated in an outdoors tiff in an L.A. parking lot that grew more deeply felt than either party ever intended or feared.

“It was horrifying for both of us,” says a somber Stevie Nicks, describing her August altercation with Lindsey Buckingham, a shouting match extraordinaire. “We said too much to each other. We said all the things that we had wanted to say for the last ten years, and we screamed at each other. Those things in a relationship that you try to never say just in case you do get back together – we said those things. Lindsey and I had been going together from about 1971 to around 1976. But we never really broke up until that moment. We’ve since patched up our friendship, because Lindsey is far too important to my life not to do that, but the creative ties are behind us.

“The thing about Fleetwood Mac is that everybody wants everybody to be free,” Nicks now reflects, “everybody wants you to be in this group because you want to. I think that in his heart Lindsey didn’t want to say, ‘I quit, I’m leaving.’ Everybody believes in dreams and fairy tales, we all hoped he’d change his mind. I knew he would never change his mind.

“He just wants to concentrate completely on his own music, recorded and played on his terms,” she summarizes. “And I admit he’s certainly earned that right.”

Not surprisingly, Buckingham concurs. “In the past,” he says, “what I’ve done is given over the commercial side to Fleetwood Mac, and tried to make, hopefully, more artistic statements on solo records.” And how would he describe those statements? “Ah, just lust, longing, loneliness,” he answers with a subtle grin. “Same old thing you always hear from me.”


Fritz was Lindsey’s rock combo, playing music he concocted in his four-track lair in the coffee factory. Stevie was the catalyst for its modest goals, and then some. After three and a half years of experience together, which Stevie helped fund through work as a dental assistant (for one day) and a hostess at a Bob’s Big Boy, Lindsey and his gal lit out for Los Angeles. They shared a house, much as Lindsey does now, with Richard Dashut, and peddled their demo tapes. Polydor Records bit, and issued the Buckingham-Nicks LP in November 1973. An exquisite folk-rock miniature just a tad ahead of its time, it could still be mistaken as modern Fleetwood Mac product.

When the LP bombed, Stevie resumed waitressing on the lunch shift at a Beverly Hills restaurant called Clementine’s, and Lindsey hit the road with a group Warren Zevon threw together to back Don Everly. On New Year’s Eve 1974, at a party at their house, Lindsey and Stevie were wondering if 1975 was worth welcoming in when Mick Fleetwood phoned with the invitation that made their dreams, and nightmares, come true.


"Absolutely," she assures, "and each of us has he skills to prove it. I've been writing songs again like mad, and I've got a killer one I put together with Mike Campbell, the guitarist in the Heartbreakers. Like I say, I always write songs about the truth, and this is definitely one of those. Hell, if it can't keep until the next Fleetwood Mac studio album, I might even make it the title of my next record."

What's the name of the song?"

"Oh! I call it 'Whole Lotta Trouble.' I mean, what else?"

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Lindsey - BBC R1 w/ Johnnie Walker (06.27.1992)

JW: Just talking about family and things, going back to that Buckingham/Nicks album, that we played a track from earlier on, it says dedicated to AJ Nicks - the grandfather of country music. Stevie's dad or?

LB: No, her grandfather. He was an aspiring country & western singer and he was quite a colourful guy. He never made it as a country singer and he was a little frustrated, but he had a lot of, he'd written a couple of great songs and I think he was probably somewhat of an influence on Stevie in her fledgling days.

JW: Well he got his name on a good album that should be out on CD, shouldn't it?

LB: You know, Stevie and I brought the rights back to that a couple of years OK, and there just hasn't been a time when it seemed opportune. Umm I've understood... about six months ago I found out that of the things you can't get on CD, that's like number one requested, so we'll probably put that out at the beginning of next year, I have a feeling.

JW: Yeah, I think you waiting for your album to do really well, maybe get a better deal.

LB: Well yeah, I don't want to complete with myself. (laughs)

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Fleetwood Mac - Q Magazine (December 1997)

Offstage, all five seem surprised, amused and even a little embarrassed about working together again.

"The music is easy," states Nicks earnestly. "It's the other stuff that's hard. But I realised a long time ago that there is no Fleetwood Mac without Lindsey. If it can't be with him, then let's not do it."

The "we all love each other" party line may be trotted out once too often, but Nicks's platitudes are not completely misguided. Buckingham remains the band's musical linchpin; instilling a touch of barely-controlled mania into the jerky, angular 1979 hit single Tusk ("Back then I really wanted to be in The Clash," he will confess later) and playing the tetchy, demanding musical foul to the more melodic Nicks and Christine McVie. It's little wonder the band foundered without him.

Go Your Own Way sees out the main set, Buckingham and Nicks once American rock's most beautiful couple, all too quickly a grudge match in cheesecloth and flares ham it up, trading knowing looks and even returning to the stage holding hands.

"Sure, we're playing it out," admits Buckingham, looking faintly appalled. 'But when I quit the band, Stevie and I still had unresolved issues. It's kinda nice to be getting along again.'


Cosseted by a 150-strong staff, including no less than seven fractious managers, the saga of this oddball gathering of ex-wives and husbands continues to play in the manner of what Christine McVie freely describes as ‘a mini-soap opera’.

"America wants a happy ending to the fairy story," she laughs. 'I'm sure there were people out there tonight who genuinely believe that Stevie and Lindsey will be reunited, and everything will be alright again. Let me say now that will never happen."


"Y'know before Lindsey and I joined we had to steal ourselves not to go into stores," recalls Nicks, stepping into the stretchiest of limousines. "Six months later we were earning $400 a week each and I was totally famous. We used to pin $100 bills up on the walls of our apartment just for fun. You go through that with someone, you don’t forget."

At the airstrip she follows her former other half into the plane. Strangely, this time they don't hold hands.

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Lindsey - Guitar World Acoustic (March 1998)

GWA: How much did drugs contribute to the dissolution that finally led to the split after Tango in '87?

BUCKINGHAM: As far as being creative, it kept getting worse and worse as did the way the individuals in the band conducted their lives. Drugs affect everything, because your priority becomes to do drugs. It was tough in the end. Stevie, you really couldn't talk to her, you couldn't make eye contact. It was hard to recognize someone I had known and lived with a few years before, and there were a lot of hurtful things going on.

GWA: And you have to share your deepest emotions with everyone through music.

BUCKINGHAM: Right, exactly! We were working on such a fundamental level with each other, giving over the most vulnerable parts of ourselves to people we've been so close to before. Really, getting through the whole 12 years was like an exercise in denial for me. Cut to 1997 and I'm in my garage working on my next solo album, and suddenly all these things come to the surface and I'm able to look at them in a more adult way. And you realize that everyone did the best they could. So finally all the baggage is gone.

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Fleetwood Mac - Sunday Express (10.27.2002)

Stevie Nicks had become the face of Fleetwood Mac. Her bee-stung lips, baby eyes and tumbling hair were the stuff of album covers and wall posters. Her on-stage dancing distracted from the serious and rather static approach of the other group members. The one person who found this hard to take was her lover of the past five years, Lindsey Buckingham. He had wanted her to be his muse, not a pin-up girl. At first he felt twinges of jealousy but this soon hardened into resentment. Nicks, on the other hand, emboldened by the public recognition she was getting, summoned up enough courage to tell Buckingham to get himself a life without her.

It bothered Lindsey when the audience went crazy for me," she told a journalist "He thought that I, being his girlfriend, was acting too sexy. on stage with my dancing But I liked doing that. l had to tell him that I couldn't be his Stevie  when I was up there. I would never have dreamed of telling him how to act on stage.”


WHEN Nicks, Buckingham and Christine McVie began writing songs, each found that the words they were coming up with were messages to their spouses "There were these dialogues shooting from member to member as Buckingham put it. "They really crackled on the record. He wrote Second Hand News as a comment on the Nicks-Henley romance. "I could see it coming," he said "I thought it would bum me out but it was a good thing to see her with him. It made me happy. I thought there was something to fear, but there wasn't."

Nicks barbed response was Dreams, a  song in which she taunted Buckingham about having given him the freedom he wanted "You say you want your freedom/ Well who am I to keep you down" Buckingham hit back with Go Your Own Way, containing the memorable put-down line: "Shacking up is all you wanna do." Thirty-fifteen to Buckingham.

As tracks were played back there were clenched teeth and averted eyes in the control room. "We were trying to speak to each other in a civil way, while listening to each other's shattered relationships." Nicks admitted. "It was very, very tense." She was furious when she heard Go Your Own Way for the first time. "I very much resented him telling the world that 'shacking up' with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn't true. It was just an angry thing that he said.”

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Lindsey & Stevie - CNN (03.19.2009)

CNN: What do you think about, Stevie, when you are out there on stage and you hear "Go Your Own Way?" Does it bring back memories of what you were going through at the time -- because that song was about you, wasn't it?

Nicks: I think.

CNN: Lindsey?

Buckingham: Indeed, it was. Yeah, completely autobiographical. You know, the funny thing was I don't think we were aware we were writing songs specifically to each other. It was really only when our audience picked up on it that it became obvious we were dealing with a completely transparent, autobiographical piece of work.

Nicks: If Lindsey and I had been happy, happy, happy, there would have been no "Go Your Own Way." It would have just been, "Here we are -- happy, happy." And the audience would have been like, "OK, well -- next couple."

So you know, we played off of it. We had fun with it. We could actually walk on stage and have our own little almost-love affair, and have the audience go, "Oh my God! They're getting back together!" And we'd be like, "They're falling for it!" You know, we would totally play it, and we did, and we do, and we always will.

CNN: Why do you continue to do this? Because you could just sit in your beautiful house in England, like Christine, and not have to worry about any of this.

Buckingham: That's a very interesting question. I think there are chapters yet to be written within this group. Look at Stevie and myself. We have known each other since we were in high school.

Nicks: 16 and 17.

Buckingham: And it's been a convoluted road, you know. It's been a great road, and often painful for both of us. We have been extremely close, we have been alienated. It's a road of contrast. But there are still things to be learned, and still things to be shared, and still a certain amount of growing up to do in the never-ending quest to become adults.

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Fleetwood Mac - Dan Neer (12.24.2012)

STEVIE: I think that this time everything’s going to really be better. I think that everybody’s in a much better place and, you know, Lindsey’s been out doing a lot of touring by himself. He seems softer and more friendly and sweeter to me, and I think that has a lot to do with those solo gigs. And also, you know, he has three children that are under fifteen. And two of them are girls. Uh, he lives in a very feminine world. He and son like they kind of hide in the back, you know, because there’s girls *everywhere*. He’s involved in a very girly world and that is very good for me, because he, you know, he is definitely got a much better take on women now than he did before he had those little girls.

LINDSEY: Well, I mean, there is some truth in that but that’s not something that just happened last week. I mean, I have a son who’s fourteen and two daughters who are twelve and soon to be nine. And, you know, I look at the whole idea of being a family member, a spouse and a parent as a great gift because it came to me relatively late and it came to me after I saw a lot of my friends and people I knew who in previous decades were not really there for their families in the way I would have wanted to see myself be. And it is. It’s been a great gift and she’s absolutely right that it’s been very grounding and it’s been, in many ways, the best thing that ever happened to me, and certainly in the larger picture musically and personal life-wise, this is clearly the best time in my life. But, you know, I don’t think it’s something that’s peculiar to the last few months, which is what she’s referring to. I think there are other things that come into play in terms of Stevie and me, um, having this time and having such a good time doing it. Um, I think part of it is that - Well, she came into my environment. That was one thing. You know, she had not been to my house before. We just hung out and, uh, you know, she was eating dinner with us, with the children, and I think she took on some of what my reality is too and was able to appreciate it and see me through that filter. So that’s part of what probably she’s saying. 

Another part is just really that she’s come, you know, from Point A to Point B from if you look at where she was, in terms of mindset, before she began working on this last solo album of hers. Again, as I say, she saw me going out, doing all these solo projects, which were very small-scale on a commercial level but were incredibly enriching on a psychic and a musical and a spiritual level to me, and she saw me bringing that back to the band and I think she hadn’t had one of those experiences for awhile. Um, she got together with Dave Stewart, had a wonderful time making this album, had a wonderful time touring it, and now she’s at the end of that and I think that, you know, to be fair, she is a different person too, and she needed to complete that arc. And I think now she has so it’s going to be very interesting to see how the dynamic that plays out between Stevie and myself - You know, I think there’s, you see this circle coming back around, the whole thing starts to feel cyclical and I think that that’s going to be, that’s going to inform a lot of what informs this year and I’m excited about that.

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Fleetwood Mac - Much More Music (2003)

*aired in 2003


MMM: I think there really is an inherent focus when you’re singing. In The Dance, several times, several lines in whatever song, you’ll look over or she’ll look over at you. All of a sudden your head will shift to Stevie.

Lindsey: That’s right.

MMM: Singing to her almost. 

Lindsey: That’s right. And we’re doing even more of that now, you know. One of the things that’s happened with the exist of Christine , aside from the ability to sort of present ourselves in a more explosive way, which is great, in a more masculine way, a little bit, as far as players, is the fact that Stevie and I are now facing off a little more as two writers. In the sense that we were before we joined the band. And there’s an irony there, y’know. 

It’s like we stuck it out for all these years in order to sort of get back to what we were doing all those years ago, and the circularness of that and the fact that there seems to be a destiny to that. And a fateful kind of sense of where one belongs, you know.


Mick: They came into this band together and then all hell broke loose. These two people had to really address what it was that’s gonna make this possible. Are there ghosts in the cupboard, skeletons in the cupboard? With regards to thing that could become problematic on a not happy level. Cos this was only gonna work if these two people could find themselves again and work as a couple, which they hadn’t done since they joined Fleetwood Mac. So that was an extreme thing. 


MMM: You said that many of the songs, even on this album, are about Lindsey in some way. 

Stevie: And it’s not purposeful. He said to me, “A lot of these songs are about me, huh?” And I said, “Well, aren’t you just so flattered that you have been such an incredible inspiration to me my whole life, Linds?”

Lindsey: With Stevie and myself, we’ve known each other since we were about seventeen years old, and have a long and varied history. And after all this time, we’re still, you know, writing songs about each other, even though it’s more in a reflective sense in the past tense, about, Gee, what did that all mean? How does that, you know, relate to us now? But, you know, it’s an extraordinary thing that that can still be going on after all this time and be so potent.

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Lindsey - Uncut Magazine (September 2011)

One could argue that the band, and Buckingham in particular, set up this vicious cycle by filling the LP with songs that deal overtly with the dissolution of a relationship and then slapping a titillating title on it. In a sense, Rumours and the press and public reaction to it accurately anticipated the metastasizing of celebrity gossip a quarter century later. 

“Yeah, but none of that was a choice,” Lindsey points out. “All of it was an outgrowth of the fact that we are this strange group of people who function through chemistry. We were two couples who had broken up, and while we were making Rumours I had to see Stevie every day and never really got a chance to get any closure, and still had to try to make the right choices to do the right thing for her and, in some ironic sense, help her to move away. We were also aware, because that first album had done very well, that there was this calling—this destiny—that we needed to fulfill. What was going on with one’s personal life was secondary to that calling. And we did stand up and try to fulfill that calling.”


Says Buckingham, “I’m at the point now where all these choices I’ve made add up to something more tangible, where I feel like they were not bad choices that I made, if not popular at the time. I feel like my street cred is better than it’s ever been. That does not translate to marketability, nor should it, necessarily. It’s just easier to come to terms with what it is and what it isn’t at this point, and then be completely happy to go out with Fleetwood Mac for a while. Because there’s something to be said for that, too, and if you do it properly, it has its own credibility. There’s a story that is still evolving with that band, if that’s possible after all these years—and with Stevie and me. We’re getting along better than ever. What?”

Nicks takes all the talk of a kinder, gentler Fleetwood Mac with a grain of salt. As she confessed to MTV.com in 2009, “When he goes onstage and does his little speech where he says, ‘You know, everything is great and we’re just all grown up now and we’re having fun,’ I’m just standing on the other side of the stage and going [rolls her eyes], ‘Whatever!’ Right now, we’re trying to be a little more on the high road, but let us go in and do another album, and bang, back down to the bad, low road go we.” 

But the tension between them appears to have largely dissipated. When Nicks did a show on May 26 in conjunction with her 63rd birthday, Buckingham came onstage for a guest appearance, as did Fleetwood.

“That electric, crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away,” Nicks said in the same interview, oddly opting to refer to herself in the third person. “He’s married, he’s happy, he has three beautiful children that I love. You know, he’s found a good, happy, calm, safe place—but who Lindsey and I are to each other will never change.” Nicks said she knew their tumultuous romance was definitively over on the day Buckingham’s first child was born. “It doesn’t mean the great feeling isn’t there, it must mean that, you know, we’re beauty and the beast. It means that the love is always there but we’ll never be together, so that’s even more romantic.”

In a sense, Buckingham and Nicks (“It’s actually Nicks-Buckingham now,” Lindsey quips) have come full circle. Since Christine McVie left Fleetwood Mac in 1998, they’re back to being the two intertwined voices they were as Buckingham Nicks four decades ago. “Back then, we were doing a pop-folk thing with Ian & Sylvia two-part harmonies,” he recalls. “We liked the blend we had, and it’s still a great blend—we just don’t do it very often in that pure context. Who knows, she and I could get together and do something. That would tug at a lot of people’s hearts, including our own. But that album came and went, at which point we were dealing with a lack of interest from the label, management, everybody, pretty much. And it was right at that moment that Mick Fleetwood contacted me. It wasn’t clear to us that we should do, but we once we all got together, we felt like, oh, there’s a vibe. And indeed there was.”

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Lindsey - LA Times (04.09.2003)

The album's even split between Buckingham and Nicks songs suggests an effort to maintain some equilibrium.

"It's a tenuous thing, certainly," notes Buckingham, tossing a note of caution into what's being generally portrayed as an upbeat situation. "There are large egos flying around all over the place."

"Lindsey and I are dramatic," Nicks said this week in a separate interview. "We argue a lot, we don't agree on a lot of things, but what we do agree on is that we love to sing together.... We are really trying to appreciate this opportunity that we have and not get stuck in stupid, dumb arguments that mean nothing to anybody.

"I've always been open to Fleetwood Mac whenever it is serious, whenever it wants to do something." Nicks is hoping that the tour -- booked for 36 arena dates -- will continue for a year and a half, with another album to follow.

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Lindsey - New York Times (09.29.2006)

Before the quintet’s ’97 reunion, “we had dinner at [singer] Christine McVie’s house. Everyone literally stood around me in a circle, as if it was an intervention, saying, ‘We’ve got to do this!’ But these are people that I love—I don’t take it lightly.”

The handsome, late-summer mistiness of Skin is a far cry from Fleetwood Mac’s rote reunion material, and Buckingham doesn’t hesitate to say which lies closer to his heart. But he also credits his return to the group with allowing him to grasp his past and arrive at his current work. “It took a long time for me to get over many things,” Buckingham says. “I think it took a long time for me to get over Stevie. It took time for me to come to terms with this huge success we had, which in my mind didn’t seem connected to anything that we were doing. But I’m a family member now and can be friends with the band in a way that I never was before. I’ve come to a point where I’m refining my craft—it doesn’t feel like I’m marking time or sliding down. It feels like an ongoing process of growth.”

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Lindsey - Associated Press (10.10.2006)

Asked how his relationship with the others is these days, he beams, replying cheerfully, “It’s good.”

So good there is talk of another reunion toward the end of next year, after he’s finished his “Under the Skin” tour and knocked out another album, a hard rocker. He’s been carrying the tunes for it around in his head for some time now.

“Obviously it would take a few more tours to regain the sense of trust and unity” that the band once had, Buckingham says, adding he and Nicks, who have known each other since junior high school, still have differences.

“She has a lot of issues with my style, not musically but just as a person,” he says. “I get things done but it’s not always in the most diplomatic way.”

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Lindsey - Boston Globe (10.11.2006)

We caught up with Buckingham by phone from a tour stop in Washington, D.C., where he chatted about the bad old days and the good new ones, and promised a reissue of 1973’s pre-Mac debut, “Buckingham Nicks” (now long out of print). Who knows, he says. He may even tour with his past and future songwriting foil, Stevie Nicks.


Q. You’ve said that working on this album enabled you, finally, to put your past in a context that you could understand. Was part of the difficulty in finding that context a product of how mythologized your history with Fleetwood Mac has been?

A. I think it’s partly that. I think with people who are, to some degree, defined by the outside world, there can be difficulty [figuring out] who you are or what’s important. But beyond that, with all of those years in Fleetwood Mac, I don’t think any of the four people that were part of the two couples at the beginning of the “Rumours” album ever really worked any of that [strife] through in a way that was particularly healthy. We all rose to the occasion in order to be successful, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have clarity about the path you’ve taken. And to some degree for Stevie, I think she still does not have the luxury of that. I was lucky enough to be ready to find someone who could help me get to the next point in my life.


Q. Guess that’s the price you pay for being the mastermind behind the scenes. Besides, Stevie got all the good outfits.

A. No comment.

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Lindsey - Chicago Tribune (10.24.2006)

We love the record, but one publication said your voice is “a raspy yelling sound … like a wet cat stuck under a couch.” Ouch.

Well, that’s nice. You can’t please everybody. That was probably a Stevie Nicks fan.


What lessons did you learn in Fleetwood Mac as you and Stevie–and John and Christine McVie–endured breakups?

There are a lot of lessons … the whole idea of breaking up with someone and not really having the closure and having to make the choice to sort of take the high road or to at least damn the torpedoes; however you want to look at it. And push through. It wasn’t necessarily the best for one’s emotions–for one’s mental health, shall we say–but, you know, it was sort of a destiny that we had to fulfill. The lesson of all that is hold on and don’t let yourself sink to the bottom, and eventually things will get better.

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Lindsey - Guitar World Acoustic (November 2006)

GWA Was there any danger of that this time?

BUCKINGHAM There wasn’t in terms of the material getting folded over. There was a little bit of pressure about my carving out a sufficient time frame to do this album, tour it, then finish the other one and, in all likelihood, tour that one too. But I talked to Stevie [Nicks] and everybody about it, and I don’t think anyone at the end of the day begrudged me the time to do what I felt I needed to do. The way they’re looking at it, I think is that at least I’ll get it out of my system: “He’ll be a nicer guy after he finishes this.” [laughs]

GWA You mentioned your tendency to allow many years to pass between solo albums. Is that because you find it hard to let things go? You’re certainly fond of recycling parts of songs. For instance, some sections of “Not That Funny” and “I Know I’m Not Wrong,” both on Tusk, are nearly identical; one of the verses in “You Do or You Don’t” on Out of the Cradle shows up again-words and music-as the bridge in “Bleed to Love Her” from Say You Will…

BUCKINGHAM And the acoustic guitar line in “Eyes of the World” [from 1982’s Mirage] came out of an instrumental piece on Buckingham Nicks [recorded in 1973 before the duo joined Fleetwood Mac]. That’s almost like a running gag, though it’s not meant to be. I’ve never had a problem with taking an element from another song-as long as it’s my song and I’m not gonna get sued for it-and reusing it in a different way, if if it has its own integrity in the new context. It’s like leaving little clues for the people who are really paying attention. Again, I don’t set out intentionally to do this. I hate to admit it, but it’s about expediency. I say, “Oh, that old bit would be cool there.” Some people might think it’s not cool to use it again, but my feeling is, as long as you don’t do it all the time, who cares?


GWA Speaking of Buckingham Nicks, will it ever be reissued? At this point, it’s got to be one of the most famous albums to have never been released on CD.

BUCKINGHAM I know, isn’t it ridiculous? Stevie and I own the 24-track masters, and one of Stevie’s managers has them at her house. I actually didn’t know where they were for a while; that’s one of those little power plays that goes on. It’s become almost an extension of Fleetwood Mac politics, convoluted as they are. Everyone agrees that the record needs to come out, but everyone also agrees that it needs to come out at a time when there can be some kind of event to promote it, and no one knows what that is. Do Stevie and I go out and do dates as a duo? What are we talking about here? So it’s in the ether. But the thing is, we’d better hurry up, because pretty soon it’s going to be a little late.

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Lindsey - Performing Songwriter (November 2006)

A couple of times, you’ve turned what was going to be a solo project into material for a Fleetwood Mac album [1987’s Tango in the Night and 2003’s Say You Will]. Do you regret that?
No, not at all. I don’t regret anything. I consider myself very lucky to have even found myself in the situation I was in. Obviously we [Fleetwood Mac] have all paid certain emotional tolls, but then again, who hasn’t?


What does the title of your new album signify?
You’re looking at a piece of work which has a completely different level of approach to it in terms of the musicality, but also [one by] someone whose personal life has changed significantly since the last time I made a solo album—becoming a husband and a father for the first time and being able to look at how important that is. Being able to look at the profundity of that, the fact that maybe a lot of what has driven you to work hard and to keep focusing on new creative endeavors might have been based in things that are no longer relevant. I think one of the things about having a family and being able to live in that world more is that you’re in the present. You’re not dealing with the past as much. It helps to put your past into a perspective and a context that you can understand. Obviously, a family precedes just about anything in terms of importance, and so you’re taking all the things that you’ve been holding in and putting them behind you. You’re able to look under the surface a little more at things that are authentic, not just at things that you’ve been suppressing or trying not to look at.

What kind of things were you suppressing?
It has taken a long time for everyone in Fleetwood Mac to get to a certain understanding of what [being in] the largest band in the world did to distort your self-image, what it can do to fragmentize your social and personal life. But more importantly, we had a band with two couples that broke up and continued to work together, but never really worked things out or got any closure on a personal level. There was a lot of emotional compartmentalizing that went on. For me, when I left the band in the late ’80s to seek more sedate pastures and to try to create an environment that was a little more nurturing to new creativity, Fleetwood Mac still loomed in the background. For one reason or another, I was a few times pulled back into that situation—by my own choice. There’s a group of people there that you’ve been through a lot with, and people that you know better than anyone, and you’ve got to keep that in mind and look at the big picture sometimes. So that’s one reason the catalog of solo work is slimmer than it could be, but you get past all that.


One last thing: Hardcore fans have been waiting for many years for your pre-Fleetwood Mac album with Stevie, Buckingham Nicks, to be released on CD. Is that ever going to happen?
My understanding is that the masters for that are hidden away somewhere in Stevie’s management’s vaults. I think everyone would be waiting for a situation around which there could be marketing for that album. I don’t know what that means, even (laughs). But I think, yes, it would have to come out on CD sooner or later.

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Lindsey - The Rock 106.7 (10.05.2006)

Buckingham told that he would think about doing something based around the Buckingham-Nicks album, which the pair released in 1973: “I think there are things Stevie and I could do, if we could find the common ground to coexist, you know, which is probably more up to me than it is her. The Buckingham-Nicks album, which has never been released on CD, you know, who’s to say that we couldn’t go out and tour that, that would be an interesting concept.”

Buckingham told that no matter what’s in store, he hopes to remain on good terms with Nicks: “Whatever happens with Stevie, I would just wanna, with the band in general obviously, but I mean with Stevie in particular, because I’ve known her for so long, since I was about 16, one thing that would be very important to me by the time we say ‘we’re not gonna do this any more,’ would be that Stevie and I end up in a really good space together, you know.”

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