Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham announces 2020 solo tour

Shows will mark first performances since he was sidelined by a heart attack in 2019

Two months after announcing that he’d be performing at Tennessee’s Beale Street Music Festival in MayLindsey Buckingham has rolled out dates for a 12-date tour of the U.S. It kicks off April 25th at the Smith Center in Las Vegas and wraps up May 13th at the Magnolia Performing Arts Center in El Cajon, California.

These will be his first concerts since he was sidelined by a heart attack in February 2019.

“Unfortunately, the life-saving procedure caused vocal cord damage,” his family said in a statement at the time, “the permanency of which is unclear.”

He re-emerged just three months after the surgery to perform the Fleetwood Mac classic “Landslide” at his daughter Leelee’s high school graduation ceremony, but the students handled the vocal parts. He has not sang in public since the surgery and the state of his voice is not known, but last year his wife Kristen Tweeted out that he had met with vocal specialists. “We’re ready for whatever is next,” she wrote. “Love conquers all.”

Buckingham was let go from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 after years of tension with Stevie Nicks and replaced by Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He sued the band for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage. The matter was settled out of court.

Last month, Mick Fleetwood ruled out any scenario where Buckingham would return to the band. “We’re very, very committed to Neil and Mike, and that passed away a time ago, when Lindsey left,” he told Rolling Stone. “And it’s not a point of conversation, so I have to say no. It’s a full drama of Fleetwood Mac, no doubt. His legacy is alive and well, and as it should be. A major, major part that will never be taken away, and never be down-spoken by any of us.”

Lindsey Buckingham Tour Dates

Apr 25th – Las Vegas, NV @ Smith Center
Apr 28th – Boulder CO @ Boulder Theater
Apr 30th – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
May 1st – St Louis, MO @ The Pageant
May 3rd – Memphis, TN @ Beale Street Music Festival
May 5th – Atlanta, GA @ The Woodruff Arts Center
May 6th – Knoxville, TN @ Bijou Theatre
May 7th – Huntsville, AL @ Von Braun Center Arena
May 9th – Wichita, KS @ Orpheum Theatre
May 10th – Oklahoma City, OK @ The Criterion
May 12th – Tucson, AZ @ Fox Tucson Theatre
May 13th – Cajon, CA @ Magnolia Performing Arts Center

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham performs post-surgery

Lindsey Buckingham plays guitar for first since open-heart surgery, as daughter sings ‘Landslide.’

Lindsey Buckingham has performed publicly for this first time since his open-heart surgery nearly four months ago, playing guitar to accompany his high-school daughter and her graduating class on their rendition of a classic Fleetwood Mac hit.

“Last night was epic,” tweeted Buckingham’s wife, Kristen Buckingham, who suggested that this might have been his first private performance since the surgery, too. “First time I’ve seen Lindsey play in the last 4 mos, all the while Leelee ending her high school career. AND she sings a little ‘Landslide’ with her dad. I cried, I’ll admit it. Never know what’s ahead so enjoy the moment…”​

She shared a video clip of the performance on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram

Last night 💫✨

A post shared by Kristen Buckingham (@kbchrush) on

That the song they performed was not one of his compositions, but one by Stevie Nicks was seen by some fans as possible evidence of a growing spirit of forgiveness between estranged former bandmates. But it could just as easily be a nod to Buckingham’s contributions to the song, or an indication that high school chorales naturally gravitate to “Landslide” more than, say, “I’m So Afraid.”

An earlier Instagram post from Kristen Buckingham showed Leelee posing in a USC shirt, indicating that their daughter may be in for a lot of marching band versions of “Tusk” over the next four years.

Left unaddressed by the instrumental performance is the state of Buckingham’s voice, first raised by his wife in a statement following the surgery in early February. At that time, she said, “While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if the damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.” Later in that month, she added, “Considering the massively invasive surgery, he is doing really well. Each day things get a little easier, but it is a slow process and sometimes a frustrating one.”

Kristen Buckingham has not re-addressed the subject of Lindsey’s vocal cord damage since — although she has responded to updated accounts of the split between Buckingham and the rest of the group in 2018, and how it reportedly came down to a he-goes-or-I-go ultimatum from Nicks following perceived friction at a MusiCares tribute dinner at the beginning of that year.

“They were togther at MusiCares and got along great,” Kristen Buckingham wrote in response to fan inquiries in March. “She has never spoken to him since and he has reached out repeatedly with no response. I guess she decided she didn’t like him anymore? Any conversation would have been nice. Reminds me of being really young and immature. When I wanted out of a relationship, for no real reason, I looked for and found some excuse to make it easy for me to break up instead of facing the truth. The ugly truth that I was just shitty. Girls, you know this move right?” She also directly addressed Mick Fleetwood: “You are so busy telling the world how ‘unhappy’ the band was. It would have been nice if you told Lindsey that. He’s still wondering what happened. You are a dishonest coward and I have zero respect for you. That goes for all of you FM, you really suck.”

Back in February, Kristen shared a photo of herself with Lindsey in recovery after surgery, writing, “Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician. We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time.”

Kristen had also taken to social media in recent months to offer their family’s support to another rocker who found himself in something of the same boat. “Wishing @MickJagger a speedy recovery!” she tweeted.

Chris Willman / Variety / Monday, May 20, 2019

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham settles lawsuit with Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham has quietly settled his lawsuit with Fleetwood Mac, he said in a new interview with CBS This Morning. The litigating parties signed off on the settlement in November.

Article Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham sues Fleetwood Mac over band dismissal

Musician alleges breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other charges, after firing earlier this year

Lindsey Buckingham has filed a lawsuit against Fleetwood Mac for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, among other charges, according to legal documents obtained by Rolling Stone. The group parted ways with Buckingham in January and replaced him with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that he asked the group to postpone their tour three months so he could play shows with his solo band. He says plans were in place for the Rumours-era lineup to play 60 shows across North America when he was let go without warning.

“This action is necessary to enforce Buckingham’s right to share in the economic opportunities he is entitled to as a member of the partnership created to operate the business of Fleetwood Mac,” the complaint states.

The complaint offers a detailed look at the buildup to Buckingham’s departure from the band, going back to late 2017 when the group began plotting a 2018/19 world tour. It claims that Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie wanted it to begin in August of this year, but Buckingham wanted it to start in November so he could tour behind his new solo release. When the others refused to delay the plans, the suit claims, he reluctantly agreed to postpone his album for a year to accommodate their wishes.

The suit alleges that a deal was made with Live Nation that would earn each member of the group an estimated $12 million to $14 million for 60 concerts. When Buckingham learned the group only wanted to play three shows a week, he asked permission to book his own shows during off-days. The band played the MusiCares benefit on January 26th, 2018 and two days later Buckingham learned they were carrying on without him.

“By excluding Buckingham from participating in the 2018-2019 Fleetwood Mac tour in breach of their fiduciary duties of loyalty and good faith and fair dealing,” reads the complaint, “the Defendants intentionally acted to interfere with Buckingham’s relationship with Live Nation and the prospective economic benefit he was to receive as a result of his participation in the tour.”

The complaint also states that “there has never been a written agreement among Christine McVie, John McVie, Buckingham, Fleetwood and Nicks,” but California’s Uniform Partnership Act of 1994 says that “absent a written partnership agreement, no partner in Fleetwood Mac may be terminated from the Partnership without cause.”

It ends with a copy of an e-mail that Buckingham sent to Mick Fleetwood on February 28th of this year where he tried to hash things out. “In the month since MusiCares I’ve tried to speak to both you and Stevie, to no avail,” he wrote. “I’ve only gotten radio silence this whole time. I haven’t tried Chris as I thought she might be feeling a bit fragile. I even e-mailed John, who responded that he couldn’t have contact with me … All of this breaks my heart.

“After 43 years and the finish line so clearly in sight, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter apart now would be the wrong thing,” Buckingham added in the e-mail. “At the moment, the band’s heart and soul has been diminished. But our center, which had seen us through so much, is only laying dormant.”

“Last January, Fleetwood Mac made the decision to continue to tour without me,” Buckingham said in a statement to Rolling Stone regarding the suit. “I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful 43-year legacy we built together. Over the last eight months, our many efforts to come to an agreement have unfortunately proved elusive. I’m looking forward to closure, and will always remain proud of all that we created, and what that legacy represents.”

A spokesperson for Fleetwood Mac provided Rolling Stone with a statement on the lawsuit: “It’s impossible for the band to offer comment on a legal complaint they have not seen. It’s fairly standard legal procedure to service the complaint to the parties involved, something that neither Mr. Buckingham nor his legal counsel have done. Which makes one wonder what the true motivations are when servicing press first with a legal complaint before the parties in dispute.”

Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac for the first time in 1987 shortly after the release of their hit album Tango in the Night, but rejoined in 1996 along with the rest of the Rumours-era lineup for the lucrative Dance reunion album and tour. He remained in the lineup over the next two decades, though old tensions remained, especially in the past few years when Nicks refused to record a new album with the band.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to spend a year and an amazing amount of money on a record that, even if it has great things, isn’t going to sell,” Nicks told Rolling Stone last year. “What we do is go on the road, do a ton of shows and make lots of money. We have a lot of fun. Making a record isn’t all that much fun.”

Buckingham had a very different read on the situation and wanted the band to be an ongoing creative unit. In 2012, he attempted to rally the group to record a new album, but was unable to get anything more than a four-song EP. “Stevie wasn’t really into doing it,” he told Rolling Stone. “She wasn’t into it at all. But I went ahead and got John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] over from Hawaii and we cut eight new songs of mine. All of them were done in the proper key for Stevie’s voice, if she were to sing the songs …That didn’t happen. I really just think she didn’t want to do an album.”

The group toured in 2013 and again the following year when Christine McVie returned to the band after a two-decade break, but things grew tense when they began plotting out another tour for this year. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until next November,” Nicks told Rolling Stone in April. “That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? We don’t want to stop playing music. We don’t have anything else to do. This is what we do.”

The group then recruited Campbell and Finn into the lineup to take his place. Despite that, they were unwilling to say that Buckingham was fired. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” Fleetwood told Rolling Stone in April. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall. This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band. To that purpose, we made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward.”

Earlier this month, Buckingham broke his silence about the situation in an interview with Rolling Stone’s David Fricke. In his telling, he learned he was leaving the band on January 28th when Irving Azoff, the group’s manager, called him while he was watching the Grammys. Two days earlier, Fleetwood Mac played the MusiCares benefit show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. According to Azoff, Nicks was angry that Buckingham smirked while she delivered a speech at the event. She was also upset over his angry reaction to the decision to play a recording of “Rhiannon” while they took the stage. “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” Buckingham said Azoff told him.

The guitarist thought that meant that Nicks was leaving the band. It was only a few days later when nobody in the band would return his e-mails that he feared something else was going on. He phoned up Azoff and learned that he was “getting ousted” from the band and they were going to carry on without him. “I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired,” he says. “We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group.”

Lindsey Buckingham v. Fleetwood Mac Complaint

Lindsey Buckingham – Fleetw… by on Scribd


UPDATE (10/12): “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court,” a rep for the band said Friday. “The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case.” Petrocelli, a Los Angeles attorney, had previously represented the Eagles’ Don Henley and Glenn Frey in their lawsuit against Don Felder, who was fired from the band in 2001.

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Friday, October 12, 2018


Article Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham: Life after Fleetwood Mac

The singer-guitarist on his new anthology, solo tour and getting fired from the band he helped make famous.

Lindsey Buckingham and his wife, Kristen, were at home in Los Angeles on January 28th, watching the Grammy Awards ceremony on television, when the phone rang. Fleetwood Mac’s manager Irving Azoff was calling with a message for Buckingham from Stevie Nicks. The gist of it, Buckingham says, quoting Azoff: “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again.”

Two nights earlier, the most popular and enduring lineup of Fleetwood Mac — Nicks, Buckingham, singer-keyboard player Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood — performed in New York at a MusiCares benefit show honoring the group. “We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great,” Buckingham claims. “We were getting along great.”

But on the phone, Azoff had a list of things that, as Buckingham puts it, “Stevie took issue with” that evening, including the guitarist’s outburst just before the band’s set over the intro music — the studio recording of Nicks’ “Rhiannon” — and the way he “smirked” during Nicks’ thank-you speech. Buckingham concedes the first point. “It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon,’ ” he says. “It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”

As for smirking, “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time,” Buckingham says. “I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”

At the end of that call, Buckingham assumed Nicks was quitting Fleetwood Mac. He wrote an e-mail to Fleetwood assuring the drummer that the group could continue. There was no reply. A couple of days later, Buckingham says, “I called Irving and said, ‘This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?’ ” Azoff told the guitarist he was “getting ousted” and that Nicks gave the rest of the band “an ultimatum: Either you go or she’s gonna go.”

Asked if those were Azoff’s exact words, Buckingham responds, “Pretty much. I don’t remember his exact words, but that was the message.” In April, Fleetwood Mac announced a major North American tour with two new guitarists: Neil Finn, formerly of Crowded House, and Mike Campbell, from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Azoff and the other members of Fleetwood Mac declined to comment for this story on Buckingham’s account of his dismissal. But in April, Fleetwood — who co-founded the group in 1967 with original guitarist Peter Green — told Rolling Stone that the band hit an “impasse” with Buckingham. “This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band.” The drummer did not elaborate but said, “We made a decision that we could not go on with him.”

Nicks — Buckingham’s romantic and musical partner when the two joined the Mac in 1975 — cited a disagreement over tour plans, saying Buckingham wanted too much time off for solo work. But, she added, “Our relationship has always been volatile. We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts and destroy everyone around them because it’s just hard.”

Buckingham confirms that, at a band meeting in late 2017 — shortly after a series of shows with McVie to promote their project, Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie — he asked for “three or four months extra” to do solo dates. There was “stonewalling,” he claims. “I left the meeting because there was nothing else to talk about.”

But he insists that Fleetwood Mac always “came first. And I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired. We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group.”

It is a warm late-summer morning, and Buckingham, who turned 69 on October 3rd, is sitting on the patio behind his house in a hilly neighborhood in West Los Angeles, giving his version — on the record for the first time — of his exit from Fleetwood Mac. Later in the day, he will rehearse with his own band for a fall tour to promote Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham, a compilation drawn from records he has made outside the Mac since the early Eighties. The guitarist had completed a new solo album, tentatively called Blue Light, when he was cut loose. It will come out next year.

“Am I heartbroken about not doing another tour with Fleetwood Mac? No,” Buckingham says, “because I can see that there are many other areas to look into.” But, he goes on, “The one thing that does bother me and breaks my heart is we spent 43 years always finding a way to rise above our personal differences and our difficulties to pursue and articulate a higher truth. That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this.”

Buckingham says he tried to contact Nicks, without success. On February 28th, a month after first writing to Fleetwood, Buckingham sent the drummer another e-mail expressing those sentiments and his frustration with the band’s “radio silence.” There was no response. Since their last show together, at MusiCares, Buckingham has not spoken to any of his former bandmates.

On September 5th, Fleetwood Mac’s new lineup made its television debut on Ellen. Buckingham did not watch it. His wife did. “I was just sad,” Kristen says. “I was thinking, ‘How did they get here?’ ” Kristen and Lindsey met in 1996, not long before the guitarist — who quit Fleetwood Mac in 1987 — rejoined, leading to the 1997 live reunion album, The Dance. “Even though we didn’t see them very often,” Kristen says of the other members, “it was still a family of sorts.” The Buckinghams’ three children “called them aunts and uncles.”

It is still a small world. But it has become awkward. The husband of Lindsey’s niece is a drum technician on Fleetwood Mac’s road crew. Buckingham’s advice to him: “Mick is still a great guy. Don’t be anything other than a centered, grounded person for him. Do your job well.” Also, John McVie and the Buckinghams are neighbors. The bassist’s home is “literally 300 yards from here,” the guitarist says, pointing through his house to the other side of the street.

Kristen recently ran into John’s wife, Julie, at a local nail salon. “My heart sank a bit,” Kristen says. “She said hello. I asked about her daughter — it was neutral ground.” But when Julie mentioned the tour, “She must have seen my face: ‘Oh, how is Lindsey doing?’ I didn’t want to sugarcoat it. I just said, ‘You know, not great.’ ”

“I had a visceral reaction to it for a long time,” Buckingham says, “completely hurt. I’d be fine for a while, and then it would come back.” He was also “disappointed” in what he calls “the disproportion in what happened and anything you can put on me in terms of behavior and the scale of what went on.”

Buckingham is not the first member of Fleetwood Mac to be fired. Guitarist Danny Kirwan was canned by Fleetwood in 1972 for alcoholism and violent behavior. (Kirwan died in June.) In 1973, singer Bob Weston got his pink slip after he had an affair with Fleetwood’s then-wife. Buckingham, in turn, has a long-standing reputation as a hard case, uncompromising and quick to ignite. He took over Fleetwood Mac’s musical direction after the megaplatinum sales of the group’s 1977 album, Rumours, pushing for the New Wave risk of 1979’s Tusk. After that record’s muted success, the guitarist made his first solo album, 1981’s Law and Order, because, he says, “I was pissed off” at what he saw as the band’s creative retreat. “Was I biting the hand that fed me? Oh, yeah.”

Kristen acknowledges that Lindsey was “definitely edgier when I met him,” adding that marriage and fatherhood “softened” that. Still, she admits, “He’s always been a prickly guy. That’s the truth.”

Practicing for his solo tour at a studio in Burbank, Buckingham is relaxed and chatty as he runs down the opening numbers in a 23-song set list with two members of his band, keyboard player Brett Tuggle and bassist Federico Pol. (Drummer Jimmy Paxson will arrive in a few days.) Buckingham is also focused on the details in the music, singing with his eyes shut tight in concentration and looking intently at his guitar as he picks the Bach-like introduction of “Don’t Look Down,” from 1992’s Out of the Cradle.

Buckingham is literally a solo artist in that he records mostly at home, singing and playing virtually all of the parts, and he is an obvious perfectionist in rehearsal as he stops songs to resolve the timing of a part or the volume in his monitors. It is easy to see how, in a historically dysfunctional setting like Fleetwood Mac, that kind of intensity could spill over into dissension and stalemate.

Ironically, when Buckingham starts his solo tour in early October, in Portland, Oregon, it is within days of the new Fleetwood Mac’s opening night, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The latter are playing arenas into next spring. Buckingham is appearing in theaters such as New York’s Town Hall. “That’s the story of my solo work: You lose nine-tenths of the listeners,” Buckingham concedes. The set list he rehearses in Burbank includes songs that he could be playing with Fleetwood Mac right now: “Big Love,” “Tusk,” “Go Your Own Way.” But the encores are from solo albums. One, from 2008’s Gift of Screws, is called “Treason.”

“It is not my place or intent to open that door,” Buckingham says of his former band. “I’ve done my best to reach out to them.” He has not “technically closed the book on anything. Nor would I. But I am not planning that anything will change from what it is now.”

Buckingham knows there will be moments on his solo tour, backstage, when well-meaning fans will hand him a copy of Rumours to sign. And “that’s OK,” he says. “Somebody handing me Rumours has no effect on anything more than it ever would have. It is just an affirmation that we’ve done our job right.”

David Fricke / Rolling Stone / October 10, 2018

Article Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham announces tour dates, solo anthology

Lindsey Buckingham announces solo tour, which begins four days after Fleetwood Mac’s tour; first-ever solo anthology due in November.

The 40-plus-year saga of the Lindsey BuckinghamStevie Nicks incarnation of Fleetwood Mac took another turn today, when Buckingham — who recently parted ways with the band — announced not just a three-disc compilation of his solo material but a tour to support it… which will begin four days after the Fleetwood Mac tour that he didn’t want to be on.

To be fair, according to Nicks, Buckingham said he didn’t want to be on the road for a year, and his tour lasts just two months (and in a deft bit of routing, does not visit any city at the same time as the Mac tour). Buckingham’s tour launches in Portland, OR on Oct. 7 and wraps in Pennsylvania on Dec. 9 (see the full dates below). Fleetwood Mac’s tour begins Oct. 3 in Oklahoma and is scheduled through April.

“This team wanted to get out on the road, and one of the members didn’t want to go out on the road for a year and we just couldn’t agree,” Nicks said in April. “And when you’re in a band it’s a team, I have a solo career and I love my solo career and I’m the boss. But I’m not the boss in this band.”

“It became just a huge impasse,” drummer and cofounder Mick Fleetwood said. “We hit a brick wall where we decided we had to part company.”

Lindsey Buckingham solo anthology, The Best of Lindsey Buckingham Buckingham’s Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham will be released as a 3-disc set on CD and digital, along with a 6-LP vinyl release in November. Studio recordings, live cuts, and alternate versions of songs from solo albums and collaborative works will be featured, including soundtrack cuts from “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Time Bomb Town” from Back to the Future,” along with live versions of Mac’s “Tusk” and “Go Your Own Way,” as well as two brand new songs: “Hunger” and “Ride This Road” will debut.

Last summer he released a duet album and toured with Fleetwood Mac singer-keyboardist Christine McVie; the two also played a pair of festival dates with the band.

Tickets for the North American tour go on sale Saturday, Aug. 18. Every ticket purchased online includes a CD or digital copy of the single-disc version of the new Anthology.

Oct 07 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
Oct 09 – Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
Oct 12 – Orpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
Oct 13 – Spreckels Theatre – San Diego, CA
Oct 15 – Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO
Oct 17 – Athenaeum Theater – Chicago, IL
Oct 18 – Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead – Munhall, PA
Oct 19 – Warner Theater – Washington DC
Oct 21 – Knight Theater – Charlotte, NC
Oct 22 – The Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College – Wilmington, NC*
Oct 24 – Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater – Peachtree City, GA
Oct 26 – Capitol Theater – Clearwater, FL
Oct 27 – Knight Concert Hall – Miami, FL
Oct 28 – King Center for the Performing Arts – Melbourne, FL
Nov 05 – Paramount Theater – Austin, TX
Nov 06 – Majestic Theater – Dallas, TX
Nov 08 – Brady Theater – Tulsa, OK
Nov 09 – Riverwind Casino – Norman, OK
Nov 10 – Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts – Salina, KS
Nov 12 – Lyric Fine Arts Theatre – Birmingham, AL
Nov 13 – Walker Theatre – Chattanooga, TN
Nov 14 – Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN
Nov 16 – Centre in the Square – Kitchener, ON
Nov 17 – Michigan Theater – Ann Arbor, MI
Nov 26 – Palace Theatre – North Canton, OH
Nov 27 – Riviera Theatre – New Tonowanda, NY
Nov 29 – Garde Arts Center – New London, CT*
Nov 30 – Appell Center for the Performing Arts – York, PA
Dec 01 – Scottish Rite Auditorium – Collingswood, NJ
Dec 04 – Town Hall – New York City, NY
Dec 05 – The Wilbur Theatre – Boston, MA
Dec 06 – Paramount Hudson Valley Theater – Peekskill, NY
Dec 08 – Capitol Center – Concord, NH
Dec 09 – Sands Event Center – Bethlehem, PA

*These markets are not included in the Anthology ticket bundle promotion

Lindsey Buckingham 2018 tour

Jem Aswad / Variety / August 14, 2018

Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham

Fleetwood Mac fires Lindsey Buckingham

The rumours are true. Variety has confirmed that Fleetwood Mac has fired guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, publishing the shocking news 15 minutes ahead of celebrity news giant TMZ. The band reportedly fired Buckingham over a dispute about its upcoming world tour.

Unsettling stories of the band’s ongoing personal turmoil first surfaced months ago after the MusiCares event in January, where the band was honored as Person of the Year. In March, the band had planned to rehearse for their upcoming world tour, but the rehearsals never took place. Then on April 4, former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette broke the news on his social media sites, declaring “Lindsey Buckingham is out,” leading to further speculation of turbulence in the Fleetwood Mac camp.

Fleetwood Mac plans to move forward with two replacement members: The Heartbreaker’s Michael Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn on its world tour, which is scheduled to begin this fall. Tour dates are expected to be announced soon.


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Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham to close out Grammys with supergroup


Nine Inch Nails, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and special guest Lindsey Buckingham will give the closing performance at the 56th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday night, SPIN can exclusively reveal.

“We’re incredibly excited about this number,” Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich said in a statement. “There’s nothing better than when the Grammys can rock out, and to have these artists all together on one stage, doing a number that, when they presented it to us, knocked us out, is going to turn out to be one of those Grammy moments that people talk about for a long time. Long live Trent, Josh, Dave and Lindsey and these great bands!” It will be the first-ever Grammy telecast performance for Nine Inch Nails and QOTSA.

Thirteen-time Grammy winner Grohl, as usual, is the connective tissue, having performed extensively with both bands, most prominently on QOTSA’s 2002 LP Songs for the Deaf and Nine Inch Nails’ 2005 album With Teeth. Fleetwood Mac guitarist/singer Buckingham, of course, is the wild card, and his role — singing a kickass version of “Tusk” or “The Chain,” maybe his solo hit “Go Insane”? — remains to be seen. However, it’s not as random as it might seem: Buckingham guested on Nine Inch Nails’ latest LP Hesitation Marks and also appears in Sound City: Real to Reel, the Grohl-directed documentary about the legendary, now-shuttered L.A. studio where many classic albums were recorded; his Fleetwood-Mac-mate, Stevie Nicks, appears in the film and also joined Grohl on the Sound City Players album and tour last year.

While the Foo Fighters did not release any new music during this year’s window of eligibility, Grohl has two nominations, both connected to Sound City: Best Rock Song for “Cut Me Some Slack” (with Paul McCartney and the other surviving members of Nirvana, a group often dubbed “Sirvana”), and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media; separately, he appears as a songwriter (again, with Nirvana) on a Best Rap Song nominee, Jay-Z’s “Holy Grail.” Queens are up for two awards: Best Rock Album (for …Like Clockwork), Best Rock Performance with the album’s “My God Is the Sun,” and, indirectly, Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. Two-time Grammy winners Nine Inch Nails’ Hesitation Marks is nominated for Best Alternative Music Album. Buckingham is not nominated but is featured on the Delta Rae song “If I Loved You,” which garnered Rob Cavallo a shot at Producer of the Year, Non-Classical.

While there’s no official word yet on the latest rumor – that Madonna and Beyonce will perform on the show – Sunday’s telecast, to be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, already boasts formidable star power: The most recent official additions were Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr — who will accept a Lifetime Achievement Awards for the Beatles — plus performers Jay Z and Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Keith Urban, and Sara Bareilles (with Carole King). They follow previously announced performers Daft Punk (with Nile Rodgers, Pharrell Williams, Stevie Wonder, and several Random Access Memories session players), Kendrick Lamar (with Imagine Dragons), Lorde, Metallica (with pianist Lang Lang), Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Pink (with fun.’s Nate Ruess), Robin Thicke (with Chicago), and multiple country legends (Merle Haggard, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson, with current nominee Blake Shelton).

The Grammy Awards will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. Stay with SPIN all week for much more on the show, the performers, the parties and beyond.

2014-0124-spin-jem-aswad-grammys-400Jem Aswad, New York / Spin / Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jem Aswad is Editor in Chief of Spin and the Editor of He has also held senior editorial posts at MTV News, Time Out New York, ASCAP and CMJ, and has written for New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, the Village Voice, Esquire, and other publications.

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham talks music, Sky Arts One

AOR craftsman on how he sprinkled fairy dust over Fleetwood Mac’s songs

Gerrie and Buckingham: the soft approach
Gerrie and Buckingham: the soft approach

Sometimes TV doesn’t need to be “challenging” or “groundbreaking” to be thoroughly worthwhile. The first episode of Sky Arts new “…talks music” series saw the familiar format of a live, seated interview applied to one of pop music’s highest achievers: Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. TV producer, Malcolm Gerrie led proceedings in an attractive theatre in front of an audience of students. Most memorable were some blistering live demonstrations of Buckingham’s craft.

Gerrie’s interview style may have been a little more One Show than Parkinson but still he kept the singer/guitarist well at ease. The ever-youthful 64-year-old fizzed and buzzed through his trip down memory lane. First, we learnt how he met Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks at high school when he was a music geek in the junior year, and she a feisty free spirit in the year above. The two met again a couple of years later and a romantic and musical union blossomed. After joining Buckingham’s college band, the two then split to form Buckingham-Nicks. The singer’s description of moving down to LA and scoring a record deal after six months conjured up images of palm trees and wide-eyed hope. Then, after hearing how Mick Fleetwood hired them almost on a whim, one imagined wild stories of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary excess to be just around the corner.

Buckingham’s healthy tan and cheerful philosophising seemed like the product of alpha genes. In the end, however, we didn’t get much gossip — at least not directly.

Buckingham told us in broad terms how the studio during the recording of Rumours consisted of two pairs of feuding exes and a whole lot of drugs. But, for all the dirt he didn’t spill about the personal dynamics, his manner and expression gave a vivid sense of the tension. Moreover, his dissection on the nuts and bolts of the album revealed the barbed subtexts to the words. Gerrie’s cue card then prompted a question on how the band survived the emotional and physical turmoil of this period. Buckingham’s reply was “youthful resilience.”

That still didn’t explain why he now look healthier than the others. Maybe it is just genetic? Buckingham’s healthy tan and cheerful philosophising certainy seemed like the product of alpha genes. Also his Californian manners betrayed no sense of the volatilite and difficult nature some have accused him of. Instead the impression he gave was of a well-centred man of huge natural talent — a craftsman whose forte is arranging and completing half-finished ideas. The various demonstrations he gave on an acoustic guitar prompted open-mouthed expressions of awe from the young audience. His rendition of “Big Love” was stunning.

Of course, after Rumours, the only way was down. When given the job of producing the follow-up, Tusk, Buckingham said he didn’t think it was worth even trying to compete with what had gone before. In a series of mischievous understatements he described how, despite the album being a creative success, the others took against him for his role in making it a, relative, commercial flop.

So, he then decided to look to solo albums for his personal expression. He called his own stuff the “small machine”, where instead of “bringing a script to the actors” he was able to “splash paint on canvass like an abstract artist.” At the end Gerrie asked Buckingham what his favourite Fleetwood Mac album was. The response was, predictably, Tusk. Unsurprisingly for such a thoroughly well-mannered chap, when then asked about his greatest achievement he said it was his children. Edgy stuff this series may not be but with the right guests — Tony Bennett next up looks promising — expect it to provide reliably fascinating chat that focuses on the music.

Russ Coffey / The Arts Desk / Monday, November 11, 2013

Christine McVie It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll Jenny Boyd Lindsey Buckingham

It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, Part 2

(Buckingham Archives)
(Buckingham Archives)

Here is another excerpt from Jenny Boyd’s new book, It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity. The following passages describe how Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie became interested in music.

“…songwriter, singer and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham got positive signals from his family to follow his heart: “In general, my parents were supportive of everything; they were supportive of me as a person. When I first started playing music at age six, I didn’t take lessons; I just learned to play by ear and by listening to my brother’s records. It was a hobby, something ingrained in me at a very young age, so the guitar has always been there. I never felt like I had to sit down and learn to play the guitar. It was something that excited me, that animated me; that charged me up. It meant a great deal to me. I would just play along to songs and learn chords, and my style just sort of evolved. I don’t think my mother was of a mind that music would be something that I should pursue professionally. I think she knew the entertainment business was a rough one, and that there was a lot of pitfalls and a heavy lack of stability. So she didn’t encourage me to seek that out, but she certainly encouraged me to play.”

(University of Salford Collection)
(University of Salford Collection)

Music was an essential part of her childhood, recalled songwriter, singer and pianist Christine McVie: “There was always a piano in the house, and I started playing it when I was about five years old. My dad wanted both my brother, John, and me to play. His father had played the organ in Westminster Abbey, but when he died, Dad had to become chief breadwinner. He had wanted to go to college to pursue his musical studies, but he couldn’t. Instead, he had to get a job playing in the orchestra pits during pantomimes and things like that. Later on he finished his studies and became a music teacher. I learned to play the cello at school when I was 11, and my dad also used to give me lessons. Our family had a string quartet playing in the house at Christmas time: my dad and John on violin, my mum on viola, and me on cello. It was fun.”

Lindsey Buckingham

Happy Birthday, Lindsey Buckingham!

Jeremy Cowart / © 2011
(© 2011 Jeremy Cowart)

Fleetwood Mac guitarist and singer-songwriter Lindsey Buckingham celebrates his 64th birthday today. Happy birthday, Lindsey…many happy returns!

Lindsey Buckingham Magazine Q

Fleetwood Mac’s creative glue

(Jeremy Cowart / © 2011)
Lindsey Buckingham, an emotional exhibitionist who bleeds all over his songs (Jeremy Cowart / © 2011)

The real Lindsey Buckingham: He’s their creative glue

Up close, there was something of the actor Kevin Kline about Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist, songwriter and producer Lindsey Buckingham in 1977. It isn’t the appearance, so much. It’s more that Buckingham’s nervy, jittery demeanour reminds me of Kline in one of his nervy, jittery film roles.

It’s 10:30am and the tray in Buckingham’s hotel suite contains evidence of a healthy breakfast: lots of juice and half-eaten fruit. Buckingham looks wiry in black shirt, black jeans and flip-flops, but I notice that he wiggles his toes and jiggles a knee when answering some questions. Critics and the other members of Fleetwood Mac have described him as “uptight.” He is, but then he’s earned the right to be. Without Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac would probably have finished in 1975.

The trouble is, Fleetwood Mac wasn’t what Lindsey Buckingham had in mind when he left the family home in suburban California to try and become a singer-songwriter. It was Stevie Nicks who persuaded him to join Fleetwood Mac. Their Buckingham Nicks album had tanked, and she was concerned they were going to starve. Buckingham, though, would have gone hungry for his “art.”

His painstaking approach to writing and arranging is what made Rumours so great. That he then stuffed the follow-up album, Tusk, with wonky non-pop songs such as “The Ledge” and “Not That Funny” only makes you admire him even more. Buckingham can “do” pop as well as Nicks and Christine McVie, it’s just that he prefers to sprinkle a little broken glass into the mix as well. Like Nicks, he’s an emotional exhibitionist who bleeds all over his songs. The mind boggles at what it must have been like to have been around that extraordinary couple “back in the day.”

Since the late ‘90s Buckingham has repeatedly parked his erratically brilliant solo career to make time for Fleetwood Mac. That’s where the money and the acclaim is, but it must have hurt handing over songs he’d earmarked for his own record to 2003’s Mac comeback album, Say You Will. That album went to Number 3 in the US; Buckingham’s next solo album, Under the Skin, made it to 80.

When I next spoke with him in 2005, he’d become a father to three young children, and had lost that Kevin Kline-like jitteriness. When we spoke again in 2012, he was back on Fleetwood Mac duties, and sounded uptight again. But as the conversation wore on, he gradually thawed out. He admitted that, at times, yes, it was hard being in Fleetwood Mac and dragging all that history and emotional baggage around. But, as he said, it could have ended up like Peter Green.

“Boy, I consider myself lucky,” he said, with a laugh. “I am one of the few who escaped…mostly unscathed.”

Mark Black / Q / October 2013 (from “The high times of Fleetwood Mac – 17-page collector’s special”)

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham

The Fleetwood Mac member on humble beginnings, Bel-Air bachelor pads, and digging in

Lindsey Buckingham (Jeremy Cowart / © 2011)
Lindsey Buckingham (Photo: Jeremy Cowart © 2011)

By Julia St. Pierre / Los Angeles Magazine
Thursday, May 23, 2013

I grew up in Atherton, right near Stanford. Stevie [Nicks] and I were in a band that bottomed out, but there was interest in us as a duo. We came up with enough material for an album, and we intuited that if we were going to make things happen, we needed to move to where the action was. We lived right off Coldwater — it wasn’t a dirt road, but it was close. L.A. was an adjustment, for sure — it’s big, it’s random.

Less than six months after we moved, we got a record deal. We had one album, Buckingham Nicks, and it didn’t sell, so we lost our deal. We had to make ends meet, so we did a lot of shows to get extra money. I remember playing a club with Stevie called the Starwood on Santa Monica. We also played the Troubadour. At Sound City studios the owner was very gracious to let us use Studio B when there was nobody booked to work on a second album. It was there that we ran into Mick Fleetwood, who was really just looking for a studio. He didn’t know [guitarist-vocalist] Bob Welch was going to quit Fleetwood Mac. I walked into Studio A, and the band was listening to our song “Frozen Love” at top volume and Mick was completely grooving to the guitar solo. A couple of weeks later Mick called and said, “Do you want to join Fleetwood Mac?” and I said, “You have to take my girlfriend, too.” That was a very lucky moment for us.

I had a house up in Bel-Air for a long time. It was not a family house; it was a bachelor house. So we bulldozed it. My wife was quite happy because there was a lot of symbolism to having everything that went before bulldozed. We are in Brentwood now. We needed to come down off the hill.

I’ve thought about whether it would be advisable or possible to move out, but this is the thing about Los Angeles: People come here and they stay. It’s not just because there is an illusionary carrot, although that is part of it. You could probably find actors or musicians who are not much younger than myself who still haven’t caught their break. So that’s part of what drives Los Angeles. If you do happen to get lucky, as Stevie and I did, then there are reasons to stay. Unless you want to be Neil Young and live up in the mountains, there’s not a lot of motivation to move. Whatever there may be about the city that you could take to task, it’s a pretty great place.

I don’t think I would’ve wanted to raise my kids elsewhere, but it is a mixed bag. Growing up in Atherton, you could just get on your bike, go to school, and come home. You had a level of autonomy that doesn’t exist for kids today. Some of that has to do with L.A. and some of it has to do with the times. I grew up in one place. Stevie, on the other hand — her dad was a businessman who uprooted his family regularly, so she learned how to make a splash everywhere they went. It took its toll on her in other ways, and that’s not something I want for my kids. We’re dug in here, and we’re happy.


Gift of Screws (2008)

On this solo effort, “Time Precious Time” shows off Buckingham’s guitar chops, while “Did You Miss Me” is pure, perfect pop.

Tusk (1979)

Yes, Rumours was the breakout Fleetwood Mac hit, but this double album, initially deemed a failure, was Buckinham’s creative magnum ops and became a band favorite.

Buckingham Nicks (1973)

The lesser-known album that started it all, this early LP may (finally) be re-released on CD for the first time this year.

Lindsey Buckingham

How Lindsey Buckingham took Fleetwood Mac to the top

1979-lindsey-buckinghamBy Ted Drozdowski
Saturday, April 6, 2013

In the annals of Fleetwood Mac’s guitar history, Peter Green gets nearly all the black — in part because of his key role in making the Gibson Les Paul Sunburst an integral part of rock and blues history. But the Mac also featured another great Les Paul player who took lead of the band and helped the group reach its zenith of popularity: Lindsey Buckingham.

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham on surviving Fleetwood Mac

On Stevie: "There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had." (Photo by Ture Lillegraven / Corbis)
On Stevie: “There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.” (Photo by Ture Lillegraven / Corbis)

As Fleetwood Mac kicks off its first tour in four years, Lindsey Buckingham reflects on the band’s drug-fueled nights, blowout fights, and unbreakable bonds.

By Brian Hiatt
Men’s Journal
April 2013

For Lindsey Buckingham, recording an album used to mean doing just enough coke to nail a guitar part at 3 am, getting in screaming fights with Stevie Nicks, and, in one case, allegedly throttling an engineer who erased the wrong track. But that was all long ago. These days, he wakes up at six, has breakfast with his three young kids, hits his home studio alone, and is done by dinner. “It’s a nice balance,” says Buckingham, 63, who is reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for an arena tour beginning this month (and has a solo live album, ‘One Man Show,’ out now). “That’s the whole lesson for me now. For many, many years in Fleetwood Mac, it was a study in life out of balance.”

You had your first child at 48. Do you recommend late-life fatherhood?

It depends on the man. You could almost say I’m someone who doesn’t practice age. I went to a high school reunion a few years back, and all these people seemed 20 years older than me, physically and mentally. So having kids late is good if you’re the kind of person who needs to wait – though in 20 years, I may have a different perspective.

Your most recent studio album, ‘Seeds We Sow,’ got great reviews but didn’t sell. Why?

There’s a disconnect between the preconceptions that go with being the age I am and what the music is. I sent the album to Daniel Glass, who runs [hip record label] Glassnote, and he loved it. Then he played it for his staff, guys in their twenties, and they said, “Well, what are we going to do with it?”

What do you remember about the argument that led to your leaving Fleetwood Mac for a while in 1987?

All I recall is that Stevie ran after me crying and yelling and kind of beating on my back. I don’t remember any physical confrontation, not to say there wasn’t.

Is it safe to say, though, that you had a temper in the past?

Sure. It’s been well documented. But we were doing all sorts of substances, too, that probably had something to do with blowing certain behaviors way out of proportion.

Has age calmed you down?

Some of it was situational. You’ve got to understand, it was very difficult for me to have Stevie break up with me and to still be in a band with her, to never get a sense of closure. It took its toll emotionally.

How come drugs never got too out of control for you?

The substances that were in the studio were not part of my lifestyle at home. I had to take them so I could stay up till two or three, and even then, Mick [Fleetwood] would want to go later. My MO if I really wanted to leave would be to say, “I’m going to the bathroom,” and then walk out the door and drive away.

Now that pot is practically legal in California, are you tempted by it?

No. I did a lot of that back then, and it was good for a certain kind of abstract thinking. But we all thought we had to be altering our consciousness on a daily basis in order to be creative, which turns out to be crap. It’s just about finding your center, that quiet place.

You and Stevie broke up decades ago, but you have to deal with her forever. What’s that like?

You get used to it. And for me, getting married and having children was a positive outcome. I wonder sometimes how Stevie feels about the choices she made, because she doesn’t really have a relationship – she has her career. But there are a few chapters to be written in the Stevie-Lindsey legacy. There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other. Maybe that’s fucked up, but this is someone I’ve known since I was 16, and I think on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out. There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.

It’s about as complicated as a relationship can be.

Oh, my Lord, yes.

Extended Play (2013) Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham talks new Fleetwood Mac music

Fans knew a Fleetwood Mac tour was imminent, but what they didn’t know was that new music was in the works. Two new songs, “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy,” will come out before the tour kicks off in April. But longtime fans of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks might be even more thrilled with this development: They’re seriously considering reviving their pre-Fleetwood Mac career as Buckingham Nicks – and recently recorded a song that was originally intended for the follow-up that never came to their one self-titled album. Buckingham sat down to talk exclusively to MSN about the new (and old) recordings.

MSN: When we spoke last year about your solo album Seeds We Sow you said a Fleetwood Mac reunion would happen.

Lindsey Buckingham: “Did I say it was going to happen in 2012?”

Yes, but you said you wanted to do an album first. Stevie told me she wanted to do an album but people aren’t interested in them anymore, so you have just the two songs for now.

“Oh no, that’s not true. I don’t know what she’s talking about. She just didn’t come with any songs. She didn’t want to do an album. I said ‘Stevie, what do you think?’ and she said ‘No, I don’t want to do that.’ So I didn’t push it. I’ve got all this stuff sitting around. I’ll get John (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood) over here from Hawaii and do a low-key, under-the-radar situation, producer-wise, just see what happens. We cut like seven, eight tracks with Mitchell Froom and the stuff turned out great. We did it all in the proper keys for Stevie’s range, and for her to drop in her parts. My hope she would hear some of this stuff and love it and get drawn in. She wasn’t really prepared to love it, so she didn’t. She’s starting to love it more now, now that she’s on a couple. She felt sort of put-upon and that’s fair enough I guess. She had her idea of not wanting to do it and here I was getting John and Mick over, doing this rah-rah thing. Come on guys!”

I have a feeling this interview is going to get the tour canceled before it begins…

“No, no, no, not at all. But I think probably she felt put-upon in the sense she didn’t have a lot of material sitting around to bring. Maybe there was a sense of pressure on her part. I was talking to Mick yesterday. At some point we’re going to be very glad we did this material. Something’s gonna happen with this. What that is remains to be seen. If we only use a couple of these for now, that’s fine. Stevie still needs to come with something. Who’s to say? I’m not pushing for an album. Down the line, maybe. I think it would be great. Stevie’s gotta be happy, she’s gotta be comfortable and that’s really the bottom line.”

How did you hook up with Mitchell Froom?

“I had never met Mitchell but spoke with him on the phone. I like the guy. I like some of his reference points that I was aware of. I also knew he was a very skillful string-arranger in case we wanted anything more outside the box like that. And to top it off he lives about five minutes from me. We did this whole thing in a very handcrafted way. I’d go into his house and gave him all my rough demos first, some of which were fleshed out, others just snippets of things hummed into my phone….we sort of agreed on what songs we’d do, worked on arrangements. We had the whole thing worked out before John and Mick showed up. Then it was pretty organic. It was interesting for him – the peculiarity of how we do things… for three weeks we came up with all that’s stuff. It’s all very pop. It hearkens back to the Fleetwood Mac classic feel. And John and Mick were just playing their asses off.”

With all your recent touring and solo albums and new songs are you in a particularly prolific phase?

“I’m not sure. It’s maybe the fruition, or something like that, of the choices I’ve been able to make and implement. You can take it way back if you wanna get really philosophical and go back to Tusk. Since 2005, we got off the road from doing the Say You Will tour. I was working on a certain level of frustration at having several attempts of solo projects being co-opted and turned into Fleetwood Mac projects. It happened several times. I asked for three years off in order to do two back-to-back albums, which I did, just trying to get it all out of my system … I did Under the Skin and Gift of Screws … I began to get a much stronger sense of myself by putting some chronological things together …confidence enters into it, I guess, but just focus and momentum.”

Let’s talk about the new music coming out. There’s another deluxe Rumours package coming out with more unreleased stuff. After the DVD-A and the previous deluxe release what’s left in the vaults for that?

“You’re asking the wrong guy (laughs). I probably shouldn’t be saying this, but it’s a marketing thing. I don’t have much invested in that. What my function is when these things come out – someone else finds this stuff, finds stuff that hasn’t come out before. Then it’s my job to make sure it’s OK, that it’s something I’m comfortable with… that the whole thing makes sense or even relates to the Rumours album. Having said that I’m not a fan of repackaging things over and over again. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if this package didn’t come out, let’s leave it at that.”

It’s frustrating to fans to get that again while the surround-sound mix of Tusk is still sitting in the vaults.

“We did it! Getting Warner Brothers to put it out is another matter. And getting the band to want to put it out. That was my baby and there’s a certain subtext of it being the undermining factor of the brand. Maybe there’s a certain sublime level of suppression going on – not that anyone’s sitting around saying that, it’s just not on anybody’s A-list of things to do (laughs).”

Tell me about the new songs “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy.”

“I was writing a lot of stuff. I was thinking about Stevie when I was putting these together. Many of the songs I came up with were directed at Stevie. They were a dialog to her. Both those are very much that. ‘Sad Angel’ – I think of her in all her traumatic splendor as having quite a bit of sadness that she still deals with. At the moment that it was being written I really was thinking about the fact that she and I were not agreeing on the idea of an album. The chorus is ‘Hello, sad angel, have you come to fight the war?’ It goes on to talk about ‘the crowd’s calling out for more.’ It’s sort of a cyclical look at our lives, the competitiveness of it yet the underlying unity of it. Each of our journeys has never been not a little about the other. ‘Miss Fantasy’ is more of the same thing. It’s a look back on….it’s talking about having a dream, recalling certain events that occurred years and years ago. The chorus is talking about ‘Miss Fantasy, it may be that you don’t remember me, but I remember you.’ That’s addressing all that’s happened over the course of time. You remember the person you were and the person I was back then? Is there any way to find any of that? Do we want to? Is it important to? Those are songs about Stevie and me.”

Doing the song “Stephanie” on your solo tour from the out-of-print 1973 Buckingham Nicks album raised fans’ hopes that it’ll come out on CD someday. You also made a comment on the BBC about working with Stevie again. I assume that meant this tour but it was interpreted by some as you saying you might want to re-form Buckingham Nicks.

“That’s not a misinterpretation. I would love to go out and do Buckingham Nicks. It’s sort of ironic because when Stevie came over here and started working we just had a great time, the best time we have had in years. She did bring in one song that was supposed to be her contribution to the Fleetwood Mac thing. After we were done with it she decided she wanted to put it on the Buckingham Nicks album (laughs). So that’s fine too. I don’t care. It’s an old song from pre-Fleetwood Mac. It was written sometime after Buckingham Nicks came out but before we joined Fleetwood Mac. We were working on a second possible Buckingham/Nicks album that never happened. So yes. The issue with all of that is once again a logistics issue. I have no problem with dropping a bonus track or one from her and one from me and putting out Buckingham Nicks finally on CD. …she said ‘We could do some dates between legs of the Fleetwood Mac tour.’ I’m thinking ‘No, I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s logistically possible.’ We’ve got a little less than 40 dates on the books, we’ll probably add a few more…we’ll do Europe and probably go down and do the summer in Australia and New Zealand. When the hell are we going to get together and rehearse a Buckingham Nicks show? So in my mind if she’s really serious what would be good to do is wait to put the (old) album out, or put it out and then do a new Buckingham Nicks album. The tour would have to wait till after that. Whether or not that will happen….she’s very heartfelt about what she’s saying, but it isn’t always clear. I don’t know what to say about that. But yes, to be very direct in response to your question if it were up to me… I would love to go out and do that again. That would be so cyclical and so karmically appropriate. If you see Stevie just tell her I said that.”

Mark C. Brown / MSN

Lindsey Buckingham

Q&A with Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey BuckinghamThere’s Lindsey Buckingham, contributor of meticulous production, searing guitar and one of the all-time great musical kiss-offs (“Go Your Own Way”) to the soon-to-be-on-again Fleetwood Mac. Then there’s Lindsey Buckingham, the enigmatic eccentric behind celebrated solo efforts such as 2006’s acoustic-based Under The Skin and 1983’s bouncy “Holiday Road” (of National Lampoon’s Vacation fame), not to mention one of the most influential commercial flops in rock history, Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 double albumTusk, which has been covered in its entirety by Camper Van Beethoven and cited by Stephin Merritt and Matthew Sweet as a misjudged masterpiece.

Buckingham’s latest solo album, Gift Of Screws (Reprise), is made palatable to the Mac-loving masses by buoyant pop songs such as “The Right Place To Fade” (a dead ringer for Rumours opener “Second Hand News”) and the breezy “Did You Miss Me.” They provide a radio-friendly counterpoint to the batshit-crazy yelps and drummer Mick Fleetwood’s caveman stomp on the title track and the cut-and-paste electro clatter pulsing through opener “Great Day.”

While his classic-rock peers have opted for the safety of summer shed tours and Wal-Mart partnerships, the 59-year-old Buckingham has spent the last several years crafting self-described “boutique” albums, mostly by his lonesome, then taking them on the road to entertain a devoted cult following.

Your musical approach seems at odds with the fact that you came of age in the suburbs of San Francisco during the ’60s. Your style encompasses varied bits of what came before and after the Summer of Love, the psychedelic explosion and all that.

I took all of that in. But I had been playing guitar since I was about seven, and many of my sensibilities were intact already. Most of the people I knew were picking up a guitar for the first time because of the 1967 scene, so there was a difference between how I was looking at the stuff and what I was pulling from it. The other thing is that by the time I got into a band—and because my sensibilities were somewhere between folk and (Elvis Presley guitarist) Scotty Moore and whatever else—I couldn’t play lead. I didn’t have the gear to play lead. [Laughs] I played bass in my first band.

So you were more of an observer than a gleaner of what was going on around you musically?
Yeah. I saw a lot of people—Zeppelin, the Who, Janis Joplin—at the Fillmore. And what was so great was the intimacy in which you got to see these people. The scene was so ripe at that time. It hadn’t quite gotten to the level of exploitation that it soon got to. There was innocence about all of that. The idealism was so intact.

What attracted you to folk music as a kid?
In the early ’60s, when that first wave of rock ’n’ roll started to become less interesting, I looked to folk. The Kingston Trio were a group I liked because they were taking folk to a commercial, dare I say produced, level. There was something interesting about that to me. They were not Pete Seeger doing some extension of Woody Guthrie; they were interested in making records.

Prior to joining Fleetwood Mac, you got to work with Don Everly.

Economics entered into the situation, and Stevie (Nicks) and I were trying to do whatever we could to pay our rent. We had not made any substantial money from [1973’s] Buckingham Nicks album. Our management company had the Carpenters and Jim Croce; they had some pretty big acts and weren’t too interested in us. [Laughs] I knew Warren Zevon, who had been playing with Don. There was an opening for a guitar player, and I got the gig. But the problem with that situation was that Don was wrestling with this idea of wanting to be Don Everly on his own, which is understandable. We were playing clubs, and everywhere we would go it was heartbreaking. All we would get was people yelling, “Play ‘Bye Bye Love,’ ‘Wake Up Little Susie.’” He was coming right out of being [in the Everly Brothers] and couldn’t take it. After about three cities, he pulled the plug on the tour. He said, “I can’t do this.”

Did those kind of music-biz setbacks have an impact on the decision for you and Stevie to join Fleetwood Mac?

Around the time we were asked to join Fleetwood Mac, we had started to do some shows based on the regional popularity of the Buckingham Nicks album. And it blew our minds, because we would go to fairly obscure places like Tuscaloosa, Ala., and would be able to headline for 3,000 or 4,000 people. Yet we couldn’t fill a club in L.A. It sort of gave us a little pause as to whether we were doing the right thing (by joining Fleetwood Mac), because there was this inkling that maybe something might’ve taken hold if we had seen it through.

Your recent solo records have a hushed feel that’s not dissimilar to younger artists like M. Ward and Iron And Wine. Are you familiar with them?

I’m not familiar with anything that new, really. You get to a certain point with your method and in your personal life—when you’re a father—where your context of things moves a little more to the right, shall we say. In my younger days, there was a communication of what to listen to based on what a group of people had. A lot of that’s gone away. I think the need to seek things out becomes a little less important when you’ve defined a way of working, something that’s more internally based. I try to listen to things that are fresh. Radiohead and Thom Yorke’s solo album I really love. Death Cab For Cutie, too; I love how they use 6ths and 9ths a lot in their melody lines.

Legend has it that in your thirst to check out the punk scene in the late ’70s while Fleetwood Mac was on tour in the U.K., you would venture out to clubs on your own to see gigs.

Yeah, but probably not as much as it’s been portrayed.

Do you recall seeing anyone specifically?

I can’t say I do, but man, I sure wish I’d seen the Clash back then. Maybe the Pretenders? I really can’t recall. Bands like that played a role in the motivation behind Tusk. There was the reaction to avoid making Rumours II. But there was the fact that there was a ton of new stuff coming out that felt closer to my heart. It was ballsier, it was chancier. It felt more in the spirit of what rock ’n’ roll began as. That helped to inspire the confidence to do Tusk.

Tusk has taken on a life of its own among a younger generation of artists who identify with its avant-garde slant and the integrity in not making a safe follow-up to Rumours. What does the album represent to you 30 years on?

It was the beginning of everything for me. You could look at that almost as a first solo album. Certainly it was the setting of a tone to which I still try to adhere. A point of departure in terms of what I think is important. I don’t think I would’ve gotten to that point had we not had this hugely successful album preceding Tusk. I gained perspective on the lack of freedom that success can give you.

I’m of a mind that it’s not as “weird” a record as it’s usually portrayed once you get past the sonic presentation. You went from these pristine sounds on Rumoursto some fairly crude production techniques and loosely played parts with Tusk, especially the drums.

Yeah, real loose. [Laughs] Much of that was a byproduct of the band allowing me to work on my own and bring in these finished tracks. On “Save Me A Place,” the rhythm track is a box of two-inch tape hit with a hand. I had a lot of fun, at some degree to Mick’s discomfort, because I was really into making sloppy drum statements. Obviously, that was his area.

How do Fleetwood Mac records like (1982’s) Mirage and (1987’s) Tango In The Night sit with you? They both definitely have their moments.

Mirage kind of represents a treading-water period for me. What happened in the wake of Tusk not selling 16 million albums or whatever, this dictum came down from the whole band that we weren’t going to engage in that kind of experimentalism anymore. And the time right after Mirage and through Tango In The Night was just the craziest time as far as the band goes. The lack of discipline, the personal habits, the alienation, everything. Making Tango, which was largely done in my garage, was almost impossible. Out of a year of working, we probably saw Stevie for maybe three weeks. It was smoke and mirrors. At the end of that album, I just couldn’t contemplate going out on the road with that. That was the beginning of me trying to pull back and regain some of my sense of self and sanity, which was not really too present within the microcosm I was living. [Laughs] But that’s showbiz.

Patrick Berkery / Magnet Magazine /

Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham Soundstage with Stevie Nicks premieres

Soundstage featuring Lindsey Buckingham and special guest Stevie Nicks premiered  on PBS networks across the country on Thursday, September 8.

During the PBS performance, Nicks joined Buckingham for two songs, “Never Going Going Back Again” and “Say Goodbye.”

A DVD of the performance is available through Amazon sellers.

Barbara Nicks Charity Lindsey Buckingham

From the heart: Stevie Nicks returns to Phoenix for annual benefit concert

2001 Trouble in Shangri-La
(Photo: Frank-Micelotta)

By Leigh Flayton
City AZ
Friday, November 30, 2001

Local hero Stevie Nicks’ national tour culminates in a hometown show that’s dear to her family’s heart — it’s also the hottest ticket of the year.

She’s back. Phoenix’s favorite songbird returns home this December 6 to play her annual benefit concert for the Arizona Heart Institute at America West Arena. And, what can fans expect this year, whether they score the premium $1,000 tickets–which include access to the private post-concert party — or the more affordable, yet still intimate, seats throughout the venue?

We’ll have many of the same guests this year: Sheryl Crow, Don Henley, Lindsey Buckingham,” Nicks said recently via telephone. “They’re all my friends; they’re my circle.”

Also in attendance will be any of us who were smart enough to purchase tickets, for we will not only see a one-of-a-kind show, we’ll be supporting a terrific cause. The benefit concert is the passion of Stevie’s father, Jess Nicks — whose brother and mother died of heart disease — and who has suffered from the disease himself, along with Stevie’s mother, Barbara.

“My dad is almost 77 years old, and when you get to be 77 you get to thinking, ‘I better start doing all this,'” Nicks says. “He is determined to build heart hospitals, and these benefits keep him going because he really goes to work on this. It makes him young again.”

Last year’s show was a magical musical moment. Nicks sang unforgettable versions of her greatest works, including acoustic renderings of “Landslide” and “Gypsy”, with longtime friend, collaborator, and former lover Lindsey Buckingham. Also, many of the Nicks’ friends were onhand singing duets with her in addition to their own songs. Yet the best part was that every cent derived from the performance — titled “Stevie Nicks and Friends” — went to the Arizona Heart Institute Foundation’s efforts to eradicate heart disease, and to provide for advanced research into the treatments.

“It’s not like collecting funds that spray into the wind and you have no idea where they go,” Nicks says. “The second my father gets that money in his hand, he takes it to where it’s gotta go.”

Nicks has been benefiting millions with her music during the last three decades, beginning with her days with Fleetwood Mac. Since 1981, when her solo career took off upon the release of her first album, Bella Donna, she has been one of America’s premier artists — a fact that she takes very seriously.

Her dedication to what she does was almost usurped, like most Americans’, last fall. Nicks was on tour in New York on September 11, the 21st-century’s very own date of infamy. Four days later, her first performance since the attacks was scheduled for Atlantic City.

“It’s been very hard for me to be out on the road [since the attacks],” Nicks admits. “I thought about going home, because I just didn’t know that I could stand up there and smile. There were some days when I was calling home every day, really hysterical.” But Nicks got through that difficult first show. “It was hard to go back onstage. I have been very afraid, but we all have to get back on the plane. If we don’t, this country isn’t going to make it.”

That concern inspired Nicks to write a poem “We Get Back on the Plane” which she composed aboard the nerve-racking flight out of Atlantic City, which was accompanied by an F-16 fighter plane. When we spoke a week later, she admitted she had been “song creeping” around the piano, knowing she would soon set the words she wrote to music.

“My Mom and Dad keep going back to World War II,” Nicks says. “They keep saying, ‘You’re part of the USO right now; you must do this.’ I know that if we don’t get back to work, we’re in huge trouble.”

So Stevie Nicks — the artist — took her own advice and got back to work. “I told the audience in Atlantic City to ‘let us let the music just take us away,'” she says. And, she admits, it did.

Nicks says she knows that music does make a difference, and now, during the height of the greatest American crisis in a generation, she still believes music can help change the world.

“During Desert Storm I received a flag from one of the first tanks that went in,” she recalls. “They were listening to my music and they made a very big deal to me about how important it was, to listen to my records. Entertainment — per se — is really uplifting. And now, of course, all my songs take on a different meaning.”

Nicks has said she’s made sacrifices in her pursuit of the artist’s life, but her returns have meant so much to her listeners as well as for herself. She says she “knows” when she’s written something particularly meaningful; usually because it happens so quickly.

I knew at the end of “Has Anyone Ever Written Anything for You”, I knew at the end of “Landslide”, and I knew at the end of “Love Is” from the new album,” she admits about realizing the brilliance of her songwriting. “I do have a feeling of it because what happens with songs is, sometimes you get halfway through and stop. Something isn’t right.”

But sometimes, according to Nicks, it’s a flawless process.

“There are ones that just flow out with no problem,” she admits. “I really did write a poem called “We Get Back On the Plane”, and I don’t know when I’m going to write it [as a song]. I might write it; I could write it. Those songs all have a really great story; they all have a real reason to be written. The ones that are really memorable are the ones that give that feeling of I have to do this. And, it’s going to be forever.”

Like the heart hospitals Jess Nicks is determined to build, this year’s teaming of Nicks & Nicks will be yet another gift to the Valley. Jess will take his annual seat in the front row and beam — no doubt — as our desert angel takes the stage.

For tickets call 602.266.2200 ext. 4619 or go to

Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham The Dance (1997)

Q&A with Lindsey Buckingham

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM may be the least enthusiastic member of Fleetwood Mac, but his guitar playing and passionate vocals have been the anchors of the group’s sound since he and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks, joined the long-standing band in 1975.

The most musical member of the enormously popular 70s rock group, Buckingham, 50, released a series of unjustly neglected solo albums after departing the Big Mac a decade ago. But it was Buckingham’s most recent solo work that paved the way to the current Fleetwood Mac reunion.

Reprising the onetime British blues band that became one of the biggest-selling acts of the era, Buckingham — along with Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie — filmed an MTV concert. They recorded a live album, The Dance, on a soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank last May. And they began a tour, which arrives Tuesday and Wednesday at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.

Q: How did this reunion happen?

A: I had been working on a solo thing for a little while, not too long. I tried using the band I had taken on the road and I wasn’t real happy with the drum performances. I ran into Mick at a timely moment. I have obviously done a little bit of regrouping and getting re-established in my own process since I left the band. He was in a totally different place. We had a lot to talk about. I just said, “Hey, you want to come in and play drums?” He did. We just cut tracks. When it came time to slot in some basses, Mick said what about John McVie, which I wouldn’t have thought of. John came in and it was great. What he had to offer was kind of eye-opening. So at that point I think there was this implication — gee, there’s three of these guys working together — and I think a lightbulb went off over at Warner Bros.

My only problem is that I’d been working on this solo record for a couple of years and I was thinking, “Geez, this is definitely the best thing I’ve ever done and someone’s asking me to put it down for a year.”

Q: What happened with the solo album?

A: It’s on hold. So far I’ve only committed to doing the dates in the states. When that’s over, in theory, I will be going back to work on the last 10 percent of the solo album. I only say “in theory” because it’s already gone so much better than anyone thought it would. And not only on a business level. Even on an emotional level. I think the fact that everyone’s moved on and done some growing in the last 10 years since I left in ’87, all of that is reflected in the way we’re able to interact and enjoy each other, which was something I wasn’t necessarily counting on.

Q: So why did you give up the solo album to take a chance on a Fleetwood Mac reunion that you might not have enjoyed?

A: When it was put to me, there was a point of view that said if you are able to put your own work down for a year or however long this project is going to take, it’s not going to do you any harm. You know me. I put out an album once every four or five years and it’s kind of like starting over every time.

There was a point of view that seemed to think that the visibility from this — and maybe even getting one’s political foot or maybe even one’s political toe in the door in some other areas — would all ultimately be to the benefit of the bigger picture. We’ll see if that holds true or not. Believe me, there’s going to be a lot of pressure to do more touring. And a record. I’ve gone into this with (Warner Records chairman) Russ Thyrett and all the managers saying, “Look, I’m not going to be perceived as the bad guy down the line. I’m the only one who’s got anything on tap here. No one else is giving up anything they’ve been doing and putting emotional stakes in. So I’m not going to commit to anything other than the dates in the states.” Then again, if you’d asked me a year ago if I’d be doing this at all, I would have said no, no way.

Q: How did you come up with the solo acoustic arrangement of ‘Big Love’ that you played on the MTV concert?

A: That was just something I wanted to get to even out Out of the Cradle, the last record of mine. I was really interested in exploring the finger-picking style that I have and applying that kind of energy and complexity to a song to the point where maybe the idea of needing a lot of production — or any production — goes away. My center is not really my singing so much as my guitar playing. To get as close to my center, to get as in-your-face and apparent as possible, was something that I’ve been trying to do for a little while. That was something I felt was necessary to do in the live show. I tried it out on a bunch of songs and it ended up working on ‘Big Love’ and ‘Go Insane’.

Q: Didn’t the band actually work up some new songs for the show?

A: Initially there were three new songs. Then one of the days we started playing a song called ‘Bleed to Love Her’, which actually I had cut with Mick in the studio. We just were kind of running it down and it sounded good, so that stayed in the show. Hopefully the studio version will still make it on the solo album because it’s much better, much more modern-sounding. Anytime you get the Fleetwood Mac thing collectively going, from where I would end up on my own, it’s going to go to the right.

Q: The Fleetwood Mac thing is realty bigger than the sum of all of you, isn’t it?

A: There’s certainly an element of that. It can be a bit unsettling Even things like knowing the shows are (selling) as well as they are puts more of an inside pressure on this thing to be more than a lark. That’s my netherworld, where I get caught up in what my priorities are and what’s really important. It’s nice to be reminded that you can just say the name Fleetwood Mac and doors will open. But the reason I left was because it wasn’t about selling, it was about being enlightened in the process and finding some kind of personal truth. Much of what this is about doesn’t reflect that. The higher the stakes get, the more nerve-racking it gets, I would say.

Q: And tickets are selling for as much as $75?

A: I don’t know. I’m sure there are some high-line tickets out there. I don’t know what to tell you about that. I didn’t have any say in that.

Q: Did you follow the subsequent permutations of the Fleetwood Mac lineups that Mick Fleetwood led after you left the band?

A: From a distance. When I left and they got Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, that was fine because Stevie was still there and there was a semblance of it being that thing, even though it was a little more generic.

I think by the time it got down to being no Stevie and Bekka Bramlett and Dave Mason, which actually didn’t sound too bad on paper but I guess didn’t play out too well, a lot of people were not too happy with that because it really did bastardize the good name, if you want to look at it in that way.

Maybe in Mick’s defense, all the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac after the Peter Green days, many of which were non sequiturs from incarnation to incarnation, led him to the point where he ran into us. That same process of constantly reaching out to people more than to a concept is what got him to us in the first place. I think to some degree he was able to feel he was just doing the same thing he’d always done. But it’s a little more tricky after the fact.

Q: Did you read Mick Fleetwood’s book about the band?

A: I didn’t read the book. I skimmed through some and was obviously not happy with some things. There were total inaccuracies in the book that, at the time, I was a little miffed about. I had to assume they were the products of the former Mick, who was probably having a few drinks late at night and just kind of free-associating to some kind of a ghost writer. I think Mick feels bad about having done that.

Q: What did you think when Bill Clinton adopted ‘Don’t Stop’ as a campaign song and the band wound up playing at his Inaugural Ball?

A: My reaction wasn’t as strong as other people in the band. I know Stevie always portrays it as such a flattering thing to happen. I thought it was ironic. At the time, because Clinton was openly aligning himself with rock ‘n’ roll, because he was of that generation and was probably the first candidate for president to do that, implied that there might be something significant about it. In retrospect, even though it was flattering to be asked, I don’t think it signified too much. The event was, uh, interesting. It was a showbiz event. It was very quick. We went in, rehearsed and did the song and actually never met Clinton. He came up onstage while we were still playing. He tried to shake my hand, but I was playing guitar.

Q: Everybody in the band looks pretty clean and sober these days.

A: This is one of the things that is probably making it more pleasurable than it ever was when I was with the band those 12 years. If you talk about the Tango in the Night album, the reason I didn’t do that tour was because the album took about 10 months and it was such an uncreative atmosphere. You take that on the road and it multiplies times 10.

That album was a very producerly album because I was trying to compensate for the lack of real interaction that was going on, which was directly attributable to the way everyone was conducting their lives. That’s why I split. In the meantime, luckily, everyone kind of went through their own journeys and came out the other end. There is a real joy to be able to get up and react to each other and appreciate the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, just the chemistry of the group.

Q: Chemistry was always a big part of Fleetwood Mac, wasn’t it?

A: Yeah, from it being two couples on down. But that same chemistry made it that much more convoluted and was forcing us all to live in a certain amount of denial for all those years and get on with our creative processes the best we could in a situation that was clearly a bit dysfunctional.

Joel Selvin  / San Francisco Chronicle / October 12, 1997

Lindsey Buckingham Out of the Cradle (1992)

Lindsey Buckingham

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM is finally a free man. “It feels great,” he enthuses, savoring the fact that the release of his third solo album, Out Of The Cradle [Reprise], actually marks the official start of his solo career.

There will be no more filling in the gaps on other artists’ songs and no more cutting corners to finish his own albums in time to head back out on the road with his band; in short, no more Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey left the band for good five years ago following a harsh falling out after he declined to tour behind the Tango In The Night LP.

Out of the cradle, into the fire: “This project was such a cathartic experience,” Buckingham says. “After I parted ways with Fleetwood Mac, I took an entire year to let the emotional dust settle. But once I started Out Of The Cradle, I got back some of the instincts that I’d put on the back burner during my Fleetwood Mac days.”

Those long-dormant instincts include a fingerpicking style rooted in equal parts Segovia, country, and folk. They are impulses easier traced to the sweet instrumental wash of ‘Stephanie’ (from the 1973 gem Buckingham Nicks) than to Buckingham’s five studio Mac albums or his previous two solo efforts, 1981’s Law And Order and 1984’s Go Insane.

Cradle‘s crib bristles with crisp, seamlessly smooth production, courtesy of Buckingham and his longtime knob-turning crony Richard Dashut. The tracks not only resound with authority (like the fuzzy Strat fury of ‘This Is The Time’ or the piercing Tele intensity of ‘Wrong’), they also exhibit a tremendous amount of class, as in the touching cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific standard ‘This Nearly Was Mine’. If that’s not enough to jolt the Mac faithful, maybe the classically tinged instrumental intros to ‘Don’t Look Down’ and ‘This Is The Time’ will. The former comes from a Takamine acoustic-electric recorded direct and doubled on both channels. The latter was born on a fretless Steinberger, and both are intended to challenge listeners.

Cradle, whose title was borrowed from Walt Whitman’s poem, ‘Out Of The Cradle, Endlessly Rocking’, developed during two years of painstaking labor at Buckingham’s southern California home studio, and it was cut strictly in mono. “There’s a certain denseness apparent in the way we recorded things, and mono was the best way to get that across,” he explains. “I wanted to create an aural soundstage where a listener could isolate certain sounds at certain points in each song, as opposed to ingesting a standard-issue stereo spread. That’s why I recorded almost all of my solos direct with no speakers involved. In fact, only once did I use the lone amp in the studio, a MESA/Boogie with one 15″ speaker. If I had done numerous guitar overlays – you know, Tom Scholz-style, with 50 Pignoses surrounding me – it would have become one big mess.”

It’s been a long road to studio freedom. Buckingham, who joined Mac in early 1975 along with his then-lover Stevie Nicks, is acknowledged as the sonic architect/studio whiz who tempered many of his own impulses in order to lead the formerly blues-intensive band to megabuck superstardom. “Playing with that band was like making a movie,” he says. “You had to go through a lot of steps with other people – verbally, consciously, and politically – to get things done. So I tended to approach the material the way Chet Atkins or the Everly Brothers would approach theirs – in a way you’d hardly notice, so that the song was a star, not me.”

To further refine his perceived band role, Buckingham put aside his beloved Telecaster (whose clean, biting tone was a tad thin for Mac’s piano-bass-drums song structures) for a meatier Les Paul. But the Les gave him fits because it wasn’t as “orchestral” as he desired. Then, in 1979, he was handed the versatile, slim-bodied Turner Model 1, one of three Rick Turner handmades that boast trapeze tailpieces.

The Turner was a big hit with Buckingham and influenced the quirky, minimalist Tusk, an album which, as Buckingham notes, many people – including himself – consider his first solo effort. The Turner again turns up in Buckingham’s hands on Cradle‘s sleeve and on the album’s first single, ‘Wrong’, in the form of a fat, high-pitched squawk. “I did that direct into my distortion preamp, and it came off sounding like elephants mating,” Buckingham laughs. (Tusk, tusk…) The most raucous track on the album, ‘This Is The Time’, features Buckingham’s foray into Far Eastern sounds. “The verse section has a run done on my 1963 hybrid Strat’s B and high-E strings,” Lindsey describes, “creating an Oriental-style coda.”

In addition to exploring musical possibilities, Lindsey is juggling the prospect of the first Buckingham solo tour. The ever-youthful 42-year-old intends to spice his solo set with Fleetwood Mac concert favorites, but plans on playing them according to his pre-Mac instincts.

To paraphrase Whitman, now is indeed the ideal time for Buckingham to confront the waves of the full-fledged solo career before him and to leap over them into the unknown. There’s probably no other place that Lindsey Buckingham, pleased to be on his own, would rather be.

Mike Mettler / Guitar Player / October 1992

Lindsey Buckingham

Post-Mac attack

“I’M NOT TRYING TO COMPETE with Kris Kross now, just like I didn’t try to compete with Christopher Cross in the old days.”

Lindsey Buckingham–the pop genius and sonic architect behind Fleetwood Mac’s string of platinum successes in the Seventies and Eighties–is sitting under a velvet Elvis portrait in his home studio in the lovely hills of Bel Air, California. Buckingham has spent a substantial portion of the last four years in this room. Now, however, he’s finally on the verge of sharing with the public some of the music that he and Richard Dashut, his coproducer and writing partner, have been creating here, and he’s considering the question of how popular his eccentric brand of melodic pop will be these days.

“I guess it’s obvious that making this album hasn’t been an especially speedy process,” says the master of the understatement. “But I had to let a lot of emotional dust settle. People might think I’ve been off on some island getting my ya-yas out. The truth is, I’ve basically been here twelve hours a day. I’ve been goofing off only in the most productive sense.”

Asked if he’s grown sick of the windowless room, Buckingham pauses as if he hasn’t considered the issue before. “Well, I’m not really sick of it,” he says finally. “But I haven’t come inside here for a while, and I’m not sure why. A couple of weeks ago, I opened the door and just looked in. And I couldn’t relate to having spent the amount of time I did in here. This room became more my reality than the rest of the house. At times the whole thing seems like a weird dream to me.”

Buckingham pauses again and looks around the room. “You know,” he adds, “actually, I guess I am pretty damn sick of this place.”

Happily, all of Buckingham’s work has paid off. Out of the Cradle–his first release since he decided to go his own way and leave the Big Mac shortly after the release of 1987’s album Tango in the Night–is a wildly impressive coming-out party for the forty-two-year-old Buckingham. A veritable one-man show, the album is an artfully crafted song cycle whose romantic lushness is effectively balanced by a healthy dose of ripping guitar. More ambitious than the two solo albums he squeezed in between Mac projects–1981’s Law and Order and 1984’s Go Insane–Out of the Cradle represents Buckingham’s finest work since 1979’s Tusk, the album that established a creative high-water mark for his former group. That album–the controversial follow-up to 1977’s Rumours, one of the best-selling records of all time–was also, according to Buckingham, the beginning of the end for him and Fleetwood Mac.

Buckingham and his then creative and romantic partner, Stevie Nicks, joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974. At the time, Buckingham was already a “complete studio rat.” He first caught the bug when he set up a recording room at his father’s coffee plant, in Daly City, California, after dropping out of college in the early Seventies. Around the same time, he and Nicks started playing together with a Bay Area group called Fritz. They moved to Los Angeles in 1973, recording an album as Buckingham-Nicks the next year.

“Our record company had no idea what to do with us,” says Buckingham. “They said something about wanting us to be the new Jim Stafford, and they wanted us to play steakhouses.” Opportunity knocked when Mick Fleetwood went to check out an L.A. studio and producer Keith Olsen played a track from the record he’d done with Buckingham-Nicks as a demonstration. Impressed, Fleetwood asked the pair to join his band a week later. It would prove to be a savvy decision. The reconstituted Mac–with Buckingham and Nicks joining bassist John McVie; his then wife, keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie; and Fleetwood–debuted with 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, a multiplatinum smash that sold nearly 6 million copies worldwide, followed by the classic Rumours two years later.

Yet Buckingham says it was never an easy fit–though at first the tensions within the band fueled the music. “Fleetwood Mac was one big lesson in adaptation for me,” says Buckingham. “There were five very different personalities, and I suppose that made it great for a while. Obviously, having two couples–and soon enough, ex-couples–added a lot more tension and some great subject matter to the mix. But the problems really kicked in when you started adding five managers and five lawyers to the equation. Once Stevie was singled out and selected as the star of the band, the machinery of the rock business clicked in, and things really got stupid. By the time of Tango, you could hardly fit all these people in one room for a band meeting. It was a heartbreaking thing to watch, until it became almost comical.”

Musically, however, things just got better and better for Buckingham until the release of Tusk, an under-appreciated pop epic that met with a mixed response commercially, selling only 2 million copies. “It was a bizarre left turn,” Buckingham says. “But I knew if we made Rumours II that we’d have to make Rumours III and Rumours IV. We’d sold 14 million copies of Rumours [21 million worldwide], so we were in that mega-Michael Jackson area, and that’s a dangerous place to be. There was a big backlash. It wasn’t like the people around me at the time were saying, `Hey, Lindsey, let’s keep going in that interesting direction where we sell a lot less records than we used to.’ I really had the wind taken out of my sails, and I felt set adrift for a while.”

In 1982 the band returned to the top of the charts with the more user-friendly Mirage, but for Buckingham the thrill was gone. “It became more and more this big machine that had to have hits to keep working,” he says. “There was no room to grow. After Tusk, it was basically all disappointment for me. It became a soap opera.”

Partly in an attempt to give Fleetwood Mac a more fitting swan song, Buckingham and Dashut returned to help whip Tango in the Night into shape. In the end, that record became the group’s biggest album since Rumours, with sales of 8 million. Still, the experience was hardly an easy one. “It was a mess,” he says. “Whatever was going on in people’s personal lives, I can’t really say. I was never the one up all night creating shenanigans and high jinks anyway–I was the one who went up to my room to work on songs. But for whatever reasons, there was no camaraderie left. Just getting people in the same room to create more semblance of a group became a huge hassle. Especially with Stevie, who was probably around for something like ten days for that whole record.”

Buckingham’s split with the band came when he decided he couldn’t tour to support the album. “They’d smoothed things over and coerced me, and I’d kind of agreed to go,” he says. “Then I realized I just couldn’t do it. I called another meeting, and they were shocked and hurt. I knew they wouldn’t leave it at that, so basically you could say I was let go.”

The group added two new members, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, in an attempt to fill the void left by Buckingham’s departure. Diplomatically, Buckingham says only that Behind the Mask– the 1990 record the group made without him–was “not an album I can say I took to heart.”

Buckingham did, however, take to heart some of the slights meted out by Fleetwood in his 1990 tell-all tome, Fleetwood. “I didn’t read the whole book,” Buckingham says, “but I did skim it, and there were a lot of . . . untruths, shall we say. Mick was basically trying to underplay my contribution, but the thing that really upset me is the incident he describes of the night I left the band. He had this thing in there about me slapping Stevie. I mean, she probably deserved to be slapped. But it never happened that way. I don’t know what Mick was talking about.”

“Wrong,” one of the tracks on Out of the Cradle, was inspired in part by Buckingham’s reaction to Fleetwood. The rest of the album reflects Buckingham’s experiences with the group in a much more vague and positive manner. “There’s no sense in my hiding from the association,” he says. “I feel like fifteen years with Fleetwood Mac was like working on my thesis, doing research for some kind of paper. And I wanted to make an album that sort of put it all in a real healthy perspective with maybe a little more maturity in there somewhere. Because even though I feel younger than I did ten years ago, the fact is, I’m not eighteen and there’s no point in pretending I am.”

Buckingham decided to bury the hatchet with his former band mates and made a cameo appearance onstage at the end of Fleetwood Mac’s last concert in 1990. More recently, he agreed to work with the group on some new tracks for an upcoming box set, if time permits. “Going up onstage with them one more time wasn’t any sort of nail in the coffin for me emotionally,” he says, “because I already felt pretty detached. Still, the minute I saw Mick, the chemistry was still there, and that was pretty much the case with everyone. It was a gas.” As for the new songs, Buckingham says: “There’s no reason for me not to do it. I’d have to feel a lot of animosity toward those people not to work with them, and I don’t feel that way.

“I left Fleetwood Mac to make myself happy,” says Buckingham, “and fortunately it worked. That’s why I spent all this time in the garage–trying to make something that made me happy.” And though Buckingham says that “so much in my life is work right now,” he admits to having left the studio occasionally to spend time with longtime girlfriend Cheri Caspari, whom he met while making Go Insane.

Still, Buckingham says, he’s more than willing to leave his home long enough to support Out of the Cradle by hitting the road. “It’ll be great to get out of the studio, get some air and play with some other musicians,” he says. “In the Fleetwood Mac days we got used to the private jets and everything when we toured, but this time I’ll take the public bus if I have to.”

At the same time, Buckingham wouldn’t mind selling some records, too. “My other solo records were made quickly as sidebars to a more mainstream situation,” he says. “That’s not the case anymore, so there’s no point in my being esoteric just for the sake of it now. I’m certainly not interested in making a cheap-shot sellout. This is no longer the sideshow, this is the main event, and I hope there are hits on there somewhere.”

Lenny Waronker, president of Warner Bros. Records, Buckingham’s label, believes there’s no shortage of hits. “It’s the height of great songwriting and record making,” he says, “and I think the power and quality of the music will bring people in.”

Buckingham named the album Out of the Cradle after the Walt Whitman poem “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking.” “The phrase just had a certain resonance,” Buckingham says. “Some people thought there was an unnecessary reference in the title to my leaving Fleetwood Mac, and I suppose you could make an argument for that. You could also argue that there’s something ironic and weird about a guy over forty thinking of himself as leaving any sort of cradle. But that’s the way it feels. And it feels very good.”

PHOTOS: Lindsey Buckingham (E.J. CAMP)


David Wild / Rolling Stone / June 25, 1992 (Issue 633, p32)

Fleetwood Mac Lindsey Buckingham Mirage (1982)

Lindsey Buckingham: A Pop Renegade

AS THE NEXT Fleetwood Mac album nears completion, Lindsey Buckingham is faced with divided interests. Much of the responsibility for the success or failure of the album will rest on Buckingham, whose experiments on Tusk earned critical acclaim – and also earned him the blame when Tusk failed to match the wild success of Rumours.

Complicating matters is the critical and commercial success he has had with his first solo album, Law And Order, which could be said to have vindicated his highly individualistic approach to making records. In this interview, Buckingham discusses his current situation and his feelings about the future of Fleetwood Mac, as well as his solo plans.

What differentiates the material on your solo album from anything you would have done with Fleetwood Mac?

Nothing in particular, other than the fact that I was trying to save more accessible material for the band, I suppose. ‘Trouble’ certainly isn’t an example of that (laughter). One thing that differentiates it is the fact that I had a year to get into what I was doing, and all the songs (on Law And Order) were written more or less during that period of time.

Much of Law and Order seems to be on a pure beam, getting from the inspiration to the tape very quickly.

One way to do that is to do it by yourself. If you want to make comparisons, working by yourself is very much akin to painting. You’ve got the canvas, and the emotion travels through (motions from his head down to his arm) to the canvas. Working in the studio with a bunch of other people and trying to get those ideas expressed verbally first and then onto tape is more like making a movie.

Looking at the lyrics to ‘Satisfied Mind’, it could say a lot about your experiences going from obscurity to multi-platinum in relatively short order.

One of the themes running through the album is basically trying to keep a sense of order about your life, living by certain rules that you make for yourself.

Most of rock has basically an escapist theme to it, promoting the idea of living by no rules at all. It’s about living for the moment and not really having any self-discipline, or any commitment to anything. The idea of many of the songs (on Law And Order) is to commit to something, whether or not it causes you pain, and to accept pain and happiness as parts of the whole. ‘It Was I’, as an adolescent view of that, speaks about someone’s first experience with pain in a relationship. The conclusion is to keep going and to get through it; the optimism remains about seeking future happiness rather than having a disposable relationship.

‘September Song’ is sort of the inverse of that. It’s about someone who’s been with someone for his whole life and is reaching his final years, and his perspective on having been through the pain and the happiness. He can still derive the most meaning from sharing his last days with his partner.

‘Satisfied Mind’ is about choosing between the pursuit of materialism and the pursuit of affection and respect and love. Obviously, the choice is clear.

It’s easy to know how obvious the choice is once the materialism part is taken care of.

Yeah, but you’ve still got to have a commitment to work and to relationships. I may not always be right, but at least my intention is a pure one.

What’s your repertoire of instruments? Are you getting capable on other instruments besides the guitar?

It depends on what’s there. I don’t sit around and practice an instrument, but if I have an idea for something on an album I can usually figure out how to play it. I couldn’t do that with something like a violin or saxophone, but any plectrum-type instrument, such as a banjo, I’m okay.

It’s the same way I approach drums or keyboards. I’m not really a drummer or a keyboardist in the real sense, but if you understand how production works and you can hear how it needs to be, then you can usually get what you need one way or another.

Your approach to the guitar seems to be more oriented toward orchestration of the song than dependent on technique. I know that you don’t use a pick, and that you’ve never worked with another guitar player.

I’m not a technical guitarist. It’s not the most proficient style in the world, but hopefully it’s something that has a certain feeling to it. There are tons of guitarists who can play circles around me in terms of speed, but I grew up not really wanting that. I always played rhythm, always in support of songs.

I always played by myself (when I was younger), learning how to make a few chords work with a melody. I didn’t really play lead until I was about 21, either. I played rhythm and fingerpicking styles, and orchestral style, which remains to a certain extent. My lead playing is somewhat of an extension of that.

I played bass in a band for four or five years, for the simple reason that I couldn’t play lead at the time. It all grows out of an orchestral style; I’d much rather play like Chet Atkins than Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix was a great guitarist, but parts that you don’t even notice on the records sometimes are the parts that I find the most sublime.

People respond to (subtleties) even if they don’t know what they’re responding to. If they’re not finely-tuned enough to really take the song apart, they’re still responding to the overall effect. I think it’s harder to do that well – to do pop music well – than it is to do rock ‘n’ roll, or at least the kind of rock ‘n’ roll you hear today. I don’t think it’s particularly well-crafted music, or even well-crafted playing. It’s certainly not subtle or underplayed.

Given a choice between being blatant and being subtle, I’d much rather be subtle. I’d much rather be subtle. In my case, maybe that’s the only way I can be. I can’t play like Eddie Van Halen, so I have to go for the subtle.

What effect has your solo career had on the Fleetwood Mac album?

That’s a slower process, and it’s kind of hard to adjust to the politics involved with five people. When all five of us are in there at once, it can get crazy. So from an efficiency standpoint, sometimes the recording can suffer.

Since Tusk was largely your personal project, is that the same tone we can look forward to on the next Mac album?

No. It’s sort of a reconciliation of opposites. There are some aspects from Tusk and some aspects from Rumours. I wouldn’t say it’s a reactionary move; we haven’t gone back to Rumours, although when Tusk came out I was under some pressure from the band to sort of regress, if you will.

I got a lot of support from the band during the making of Tusk; everyone was really excited about it. Then, when it became apparent that it wasn’t going to sell 15 million albums, the attitude started to change – which was sad for me in a way, because it makes me wonder where everyone’s priorities are. They changed their attitude about the music after they realized it wasn’t going to sell as many copies. That’s not really the point of doing it. The point is to shake people’s preconceptions about pop.

Didn’t Fleetwood Mac Live buy the band any more freedom?

I didn’t want to do the live album, even though it turned out well. I’m not a big fan of live albums.

But Fleetwood Mac is one of the bands that actually does something substantially different live.

It was a valid album, but in terms of making a full statement… Rumours was a very definite statement; Tusk was a very succinct statement within itself as far as studio albums go. The live album may have been, too, because there is more of a contrast between what we do in the studio and live than there is with other bands. But I didn’t see it as a particularly strong statement, and I don’t think the public did either. “Oh, Fleetwood Mac’s come out with a live album, too.”

What are we going to hear on the new album?

We’ve got some really well-crafted songs of Christine’s; Stevie hasn’t really been in the studio that much – I’d have to go back and listen to her tunes a little bit; I’m not really sure what’s there.

There’s about four or five of my songs on the album. One of them sounds really commercial to me, sort of a cross between Phil Spector and the Beach Boys. A couple of them are really rocky.

There’s a lot of production on a few of the things, more so than on Tusk and in some cases even more than Rumours. But it isn’t your average production, either – it still has an experimental sort of tinge to it. In many cases I would say it’s a little more elaborate than anything you’ve heard before (sinister laugh), reaching Wagneresque proportions.

Can you verbalize your pop vision at this point?

I’m trying to be original from a production standpoint, trying to retain the values of rock in the ’50s – the innocence. Law And Order has a certain ’40s element, too, that I picked up from the 78s that I got from my father. I want to retain a certain urgency and freshness in the music, and an individuality which you just don’t hear too much these days.

Take this record by Quarterflash (‘Harden My Heart’). It’s got the formula: it sounds like Pat Benatar, and it sounds like early Fleetwood Mac. It’s got all the elements that are acceptable to the broadest number of people, and therefore it’s doing well. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing.

I’m in a position where I don’t have to do things strictly to feed myself. I want to have that freedom and still have a certain vision of individuality and wanting to challenge people’s preconceptions of what music should be. In a way, it’s like being a painter: you explore a line of thought – a path – and maybe eventually it leads you back to the beginnings. Then you redefine that and go on from there. It’s a process – hopefully a lifelong one – of learning, following intuition and trying to keep fresh.

How far are you willing to take it? If you get enough flak from the people around you, it’s going to have an effect.

I haven’t gotten flak from people in general. The band just seems to be more money-oriented – that’s all I can say – and that’s their prerogative.

How far are they willing to go?

Fleetwood Mac is not going to stay together forever. I would hope to move gracefully from one set of circumstances to another and continue to retain individuality and not get sucked into a group situation more than need be – without being totally self-serving as well. It’s tough doing what we’re doing. There are lots of avenues.

Will Fleetwood Mac hit the road right away?

Actually, Fleetwood Mac is probably not going to do much road work. I think we’ll do some touring, but Stevie apparently doesn’t want to go on the road. We’ll do some touring and probably do a Home Box Office thing.

I wouldn’t mind if we didn’t go on the road at all, myself. I enjoy playing, but it’s not nearly as much of a learning thing, or a growth thing, as staying home and working on new tunes, with the challenge of something new all the time. That’s really what keeps me going.

David Gans / Record / April 1982

Lindsey Buckingham Mirage (1982)

Lindsey Buckingham takes a breather

The Fleetwood Mac of all trades, Lindsey Buckingham takes a breather with his own one-man band.

Solo albums marked the beginning of the end for the Beatles. So when Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks recorded her album Bella Donna and Mick Fleetwood himself made The Visitor, the music world buzzed with speculation. Was the Big Mac disintegrating into a bunch of McNuggets? Rumors heated up again last fall when the band’s artistic well-spring, Lindsey Buckingham, 32, released his own first LP, Law and Order. Many wondered if the title of his Top 10 single meant what it suggested—Trouble.

The answer seems to be: Not yet. Fleetwood Mac has long been rock’s turbulent version of The Young and the Restless, and Buckingham swears it’s all just a harmless way of blowing off a little creative steam. “With the band,” he explains, “there are five distinct personalities, lots of second-guessing, and it’s tough to get from point A to point B.” (Neither of the other two band members, John McVie and his ex-wife, Christine, has gone solo since joining Fleetwood Mac.)

Buckingham is generally credited with transforming the blues-rock band into a commercial powerhouse. If praised for the 16 million sale of 1977’s Rumours, though, he also shouldered much of the blame for Tusk, a double-disc white elephant that was critically acclaimed but peaked at “only” four million in 1980. After a 76-city world tour, the band decided it needed time off. “John went on a cruise,” recounts Lindsey. “Christine just layout in the sun. But three weeks off and I go nuts. Working makes me happy.”

He began his solo project in a studio in his garage. It was a singular undertaking indeed. Buckingham sang, played drums, guitar and keyboards, and supervised the recording. “It was like a painter working on a canvas,” he says. “When I work with Fleetwood Mac it’s more like making a movie.” Artistic independence does have its price, though. “Doing all the production and playing nearly all the instruments,” he says, “you begin to lose your objectivity as to what’s good.” (Lindsey eventually called in Fleetwood Mac engineer Richard Bashut to co-produce in the studio.) Of the album’s title, he says, “Rock is usually about escapism, lack of discipline and promiscuity. Law and Order is about the sense of personal order in your life. If there are songs about a special, stable relationship, it’s because that’s what I have.”

He means his five-year romance with Oklahoma-born Carol Harris, 28, a part-time fashion model. They met in a Los Angeles recording studio in 1976 where Carol was a receptionist, and they moved in together the following year.

Buckingham’s previous paramour, of course, was Nicks. Their celebrated breakup took place in the mid-’70s at the same time the McVies were divorcing. Having gotten through “years of pain,” Lindsey says he and Stevie are able to maintain a stable working relationship. After the Tusk session, though, Nicks complained that it was “like being a hostage in Iran and, to an extent, Lindsey was the Ayatollah.” Says Buckingham with a smile, “I did have definite ideas.” On their relationship outside the studio, he reflects, “I don’t think we’ll ever be good friends. There was a lot of passion, but not a lot of camaraderie.” Is he bothered by the fact that Stevie’s solo album has sold two million copies? “It’s easy to feel envious of someone who gets as much fan mail and sells as many records as Stevie,” he confesses. “Obviously my stuff is a little more off the wall, but I like my album better than hers.”

One of three sons of a coffee company executive father, Lindsey grew up in the San Francisco suburb of Atherton. “I was one of the tons of guys who ran out and got a guitar when Elvis came along,” he recalls. As a junior in high school he met Nicks, who was a senior. A year later they started playing in a band called Fritz, became lovers and soon split off to make one album as a duo, Buckingham Nicks.

Though the LP died in the market, it caught the ear of Fleetwood, who had founded Mac in 1967. Looking for someone to replace the just-departed Bob Welch, he invited both Nicks and Buckingham to join in 1975. “I guess it was a good thing,” understates Lindsey. His tunes, such as Monday Morning and Go Your Own Way, helped Mac become one of the best-selling groups of all time.

Today Lindsey and Carol live in a three-bedroom house in L.A.’s starry Bel Air. They’re obviously taking their time about setting a wedding date; Lindsey says only, “We’ve discussed it.” As he finishes mixing the next all-Mac album, scheduled for release this spring, Lindsey is planning a brief solo tour of small clubs and will then join Mac for a national tour. He is optimistic. “Now that we have these other outlets, it’s easier to do things as a group,” he says. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we stay together a long while.”

PHOTO (COLOR):In the studio Buckingham triples on guitar, drums and electric piano. Rehearsing in L.A. (inset) with Mac mates Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, he sticks to lead guitar.
PHOTO (COLOR):[See caption above.]
PHOTO (COLOR):”Having a relationship and a recording career is a full-time job,” says Lindsey, working at it with housemate Carol Harris.
PHOTO (COLOR):”We write about what is happening to us,” muses Buckingham, noodling here in the solarium of his Bel Air home.

David Sheff / People (Vol. 17 Issue 7, p63. 2p) / February 22, 1982