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Article Fleetwood Mac The Dance (1997)

‘Silver Springs’: Inside Fleetwood Mac’s Great Lost Breakup Anthem

‘Silver Springs’: Inside Fleetwood Mac’s Great Lost Breakup Anthem

As classic live album The Dance turns 20, we look back at Stevie Nicks’ tortured torch song – and how it almost broke up the band

By 1997, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s romance should have been ancient history. The pair had split two decades prior, fueling Rumours‘ famously raw breakup anthems. But during a taping of a Fleetwood Mac reunion show later released as The Dance, shit once again got very real. Midway through a non-album rarity called “Silver Springs,” Nicks turned and faced her former flame as she sang the song’s rueful bridge: “Time cast a spell on you, but you won’t forget me/I know I could have loved you but you would not let me.” The pair locked eyes, and Nicks gradually built to a cathartic howl – “I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you/You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you” – indicating that, for her at least, resolution had never really come.

Suddenly, “Silver Springs,” a song written for Rumours but left off the finished album and relegated to B-side status, seemed like the key to the entire messy and enthralling saga of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved lineup. Even back in ’77, amid iconic tracks like “Go Your Own Way” and “Dreams,” Nicks’ tender yet vengeful post-mortem on her breakup with Buckingham had become an emotional lightning rod. The song would have behind-the-scenes repercussions for decades to come – nearly leading to the breakup of the band. “Silver Springs” would also become a treasured touchstone for Nicks acolytes ranging from Courtney Love, who has passionately covered it, to Lorde, who cited it as an influence on her Melodrama LP.

Fleetwood Mac’s own melodrama was brewing well before Nicks penned “Silver Springs.” She and Buckingham met as teenagers at a religious-group gathering; after high school, they became romantic and musical partners, eventually teaming up in the duo Buckingham Nicks. In December 1974, Mick Fleetwood called up Buckingham to join the already-established Fleetwood Mac. The guitarist insisted that he and Nicks were a package deal, and both would join and appear on the band’s self-titled 1975 album – their first international smash and U.S. Number One.

As they worked on a follow-up, which would become Rumours, Buckingham and Nicks’ relationship, as well as the marriage of bandmates Christine and John McVie, began to implode. Nicks officially ended things, but neither were taking it well.

“[Stevie] was going through a bit of a hard time too because she was the one who axed it,” Christine McVie, who had become Nicks’ close friend and confidant during this time, said in Bob Brunning’s Fleetwood Mac: The First 30 Years. “Lindsey was pretty down about it for a while, then he just woke up one morning and said, ‘Fuck this, I don’t want to be unhappy,’ and started getting some girlfriends together. Then Stevie couldn’t handle it … !”

Rumours became a theatrical affair, with the exes addressing one another’s faults, their own pain and a storm of other topics related to their respective heartbreaks. “Silver Springs” was Nicks’ tribute to the fairy-tale ending that never was. The title came from Silver Spring, Maryland: While passing through the town on tour, Nicks romanticized the name. “It sounded like a pretty fabulous place to me,” she said in the Classic Albums documentary about Rumours. “It’s a whole symbolic thing of what [Lindsey] could have been to me.”

Rolling Stone coverAs Rumours co-producer Ken Caillat recalls, Fleetwood Mac recorded “Silver Springs” about six months into the process. “Stevie was in love with the song,” he tells Rolling Stone, noting that he views it as one of the best-engineered and best-produced tracks from the sessions, emphasizing the combination of acoustic and electric guitars added by the song’s own subject, Buckingham.

“Lindsey was the guy who laid all of these big colors on the record and so you have to imagine it’s an odd position for him to be in,” Caillat explains. “He’s mad at her, the song’s about them being mad but it’s a good art form. But you can tell by all those parts he did on the guitars and the harmonics and the picking, it’s a piece of art.”

Nicks was proud of “Silver Springs,” and while it was in part a revenge anthem directed at her bandmate/ex, there was someone more important in her life who was meant to benefit from the commercial success she assumed it would gain.

“She decided to give the publishing rights to her mother [Barbara] as kind of a big thanks with a nice royalty check for her mom,” Caillat adds.

The album was nearly finished when Mick Fleetwood pulled Nicks out into the parking lot of the Record Plant, the Sausalito, California, studio where much of the album had been recorded.

“I knew it was really serious ’cause Mick never asks you to go out to the parking lot for anything,” Nicks recalled in a 1991 BBC radio interview. It was there that Fleetwood revealed that “Silver Springs” had been cut from the album for being too long and “a lot of [other] reasons,” according to Nicks. Fleetwood wanted the lighter “I Don’t Want to Know” on the album instead, a track on which she and her ex-boyfriend harmonized about their breakup. She did not approve.

“I started to scream bloody murder and probably said every horribly mean thing that you could possibly say to another human being and walked back in the studio completely flipped out,” she continued.

The producers tried to find a way to keep the song on the album, and offered to cut down its length or trim a different Nicks track, like the seven-minute “Gold Dust Woman.” As Fleetwood had relayed to Nicks during their fateful parking-lot argument, length was a major factor in the song’s displacement, given the limitations of vinyl pressings and her bandmates’ desire for equal representation on the LP. Plus, “Silver Springs” would have made for a third ballad by Nicks on the album, as opposed to the more upbeat “I Don’t Want to Know,” a duet with Buckingham.

“As you can hear, [the album] turned out feeling poppy despite the fact that we had a lot of slow songs in there like ‘Oh Daddy’ and things like that,” Caillat adds. “So we gave her the option that we could cut one of the slow songs down so we could have room for the other ones or we could take one of the other songs off and she said, ‘Let’s do it.’ She wanted to keep all of the other songs more than ‘Silver Springs.'”

According to Nicks, however, she wasn’t so compliant.

“With a gun to my head, I went out and sang ‘I Don’t Want to Know’ and they put ‘Silver Springs’ on the back of ‘Go Your Own Way,'” she told the BBC in ’91.

As Caillat sees it, the placement of “Silver Springs” as a B side on the album’s first single was a peace offering. “Stevie was devastated for a number of reasons,” he explains. “She loved the song, and by it not being on the LP, her mom didn’t make all the extra publishing because the single didn’t sell very much.”

The story of “Silver Springs” appeared to end right there, in Sausalito. The band performed the song live a few times in 1976 and ’77 before moving on from it for the remainder of the Seventies and the entirety of the Eighties. Even so, Nicks devotees still found their way to the tune. Tori Amos’ family lived in Silver Spring, Maryland, during the Seventies, and in the Rumours era, she was cutting her teeth by playing gay bars around nearby Washington, D.C. Nicks had long been one of her biggest influences, but it was a random barfly who put in a request for “Silver Springs” that led to her discovery of the song.

“I heard it and thought it was beautiful,” she tells Rolling Stone. “It just became part of the repertoire for the past 39 years.”

For those not frequenting the bars where Amos kept the song’s spirit alive, the track’s primary exposure was as a B side to “Go Your Own Way” – Buckingham’s own expression of anger and revenge against Nicks, where he claimed that “packin’ up, shackin’ up is all you wanna do.” The song would become one of the band’s biggest hits, charting in the Top 10.

“He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said,” Nicks told Rolling Stone in 1997 of the “packin’ up, shackin’ up” line. “Every time those words would come onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him. He knew it. He really pushed my buttons through that. It was like, ‘I’ll make you suffer for leaving me.’ And I did.”

Of course, Nicks had the exact same motivation when she wrote “Silver Springs.” In a 1997 interview with Arizona Republic, she explained the song’s message as “I’m so angry with you. You will listen to me on the radio for the rest of your life, and it will bug you. I hope it bugs you.”

(Rolling Stone)

After their breakup and massive success with Rumours, Buckingham and Nicks spent a decade continuing to sing to and about each other onstage, even as they appeared to move on with their respective personal lives. They courted different people – Nicks even briefly married – and pursued solo careers alongside their work with the band. But according to Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography Play On, the passion and anger had not entirely died down, and a physical altercation between the former couple during a band meeting in 1987 is what ultimately led to Buckingham’s departure from the group. Both Buckingham and Nicks denied Fleetwood’s claims.

Three years later, the new, Lindsey-less incarnation of Fleetwood Mac released Behind the Mask and went on a world tour. Following the trek, Nicks began plotting a greatest hits compilation titled Timespace – The Best of Stevie Nicks where she hoped to include “Silver Springs” alongside her other Fleetwood Mac contributions and solo hits. But her plan got in the way of Fleetwood’s own desire to include it on a forthcoming box set cataloging the band’s discography. This led to another heated dialogue between the two about “Silver Springs.”

“I told [Fleetwood’s manager] that I want ‘Silver Springs’ because it belongs to my mother,” she told the BBC in 1991. “It didn’t occur to me that they wouldn’t let me have it back. I said to his manager, ‘You find Mick, and you tell him that if I don’t have those tapes by Monday, I am no longer a member of Fleetwood Mac.'”

Fleetwood won, and the song appeared on 25 Years – The Chain. True to her word, Nicks left the band.

By the time of The Dance, both Buckingham and Nicks had seemingly settled into a new era of their lives. Nicks had been sober for a few years, having finally kicked the drug addiction that had plagued her since the Seventies. Buckingham was then dating Kristen Messner, the woman who would give birth to the first of their two children a year later and marry him in 2000. It was an improbable Buckingham Nicks reunion in 1996 for the duet “Twisted” off the Twister soundtrack that would put the Fleetwood Mac reunion in motion. (The tornado metaphor was hopefully not lost on the pair.)

The Dance, a release largely made up of Fleetwood Mac’s best-known hits, would earn the band three Grammy nominations and their first Number One album since 1982’s Mirage.”To be honest, I don’t remember hearing ‘Silver Springs’ done at rehearsals,” Elliot Scheiner, producer and engineer of the concert film, tells RS. Similarly, director Bruce Gowers doesn’t recall anything special about the early run-throughs of the song. It had always been a part of the set list for as long as he had been attending their practice sessions, and he just assumed that it had been a part of their pre-breakup concert repertoire. The looks exchanged by Buckingham and Nicks throughout the show – and the particularly raw moment between them during the climax of “Silver Springs” – did not come about until the two nights of taping in Burbank.

This was by design. Nicks has admitted that the fiery take on the song that appears in The Dance was “for posterity,” as she told RS at the time. “I wanted people to stand back and really watch and understand what [the relationship with Lindsey] was,” she later told Arizona Republic.

“‘Silver Springs’ always ends up in that place for me because she’s always very committed to what those words are about, and I remember what they were about then,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone in 1997. “Now it’s all irony, you know, but there is no way you can’t get drawn into the end of that song.”

“When we’re [onstage] there singing songs to each other, we probably say more to each other than we ever would in real life,” Nicks added.

For many Fleetwood Mac fans, The Dance marked the first time they had even heard the track. One of these was Courtney Love, who has long been a very public admirer of Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Hole had released their own cover of “Gold Dust Woman” in 1996 and interpolated “Rhiannon” into their Pretty on the Inside track “Starbelly” back in 1991.

“I wouldn’t exist without Stevie,” she tells Rolling Stone. Love and Nicks have known each other for years, and the alt-rock singer had been in attendance for one of the live tapings of The Dance, even spending time with a nervous Nicks in her dressing room before the show.

“I thought it was an old Buckingham Nicks song,” she recalls of her first exposure to “Silver Springs.” “It really moved me. I was like ‘What the fuck is this?’ I didn’t ask her about it.”

While Love had been playing “Gold Dust Woman” live for decades, she recently chose to sing “Silver Springs” instead at a Fleetwood Mac tribute show in Los Angeles last year. “I started crying as I was singing it,” she admits. “It doesn’t sell itself, you have to sell it a little bit. Take it to the end. Before the instrumental break, it builds, it builds, it builds and it climaxes. It’s an unusual song musically in that sense.”

Nicks’ own performance earned “Silver Springs” a belated Grammy nomination, in the category of Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals (it lost to Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity”). It was the only song from The Dance to be recognized outside of the album as a whole.

“I never thought that ‘Silver Springs’ would ever be performed onstage,” she reflected during a 1997 MTV interview. “My beautiful song just disappeared [20 years ago]. For it to come back around like this has really been special to me.”

“Silver Springs” has gone on to have an extraordinary second life. Besides Love and Amos, Florence and the Machine and Lykke Li have covered it live; it appeared in the finale episode of American Horror Story: Coven; and just this year, 20-year-old Lorde cited “Silver Springs” during a conversation about her own heartbreak album Melodrama, released in June.

“I remember being [15 years old] listening to [‘Silver Springs’] over and over, doing my art homework, thinking it was a beautiful song,” she said in conversation with Tavi Gevinson for the Rookie Magazine podcast. “I remember hearing ‘Time cast its spell on you but you won’t forget me/I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you/You’ll never get [away from] the sound of the woman that loves you’ and feeling the weight of them, and I also remember hearing them six months ago and hearing a total different thing unlock.”

Speaking to Rolling Stone later, Gevinson cites her own high-school breakup as her impetus for connecting to the song. “I definitely copied down the lyrics in multiple journals,” she says.

Fleetwood Mac still plays “Silver Springs,” often as an encore alongside “Don’t Stop” and other signature songs. Live, Buckingham and Nicks have continued to revive their haunting locked-gaze Dance duet. In late 1997, live footage captured Buckingham welling up with emotion and embracing Nicks at the end of the song. In a 2004 clip, he aggressively strums his guitar and yells into the microphone, making his harmonies more audible than ever.

After Christine McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 2014, her heartbreak sisterhood with Nicks was rekindled. By that time, “Silver Springs” had already become a staple of the band’s set lists. “When I finish [performing] ‘Silver Springs,’ Christine waits for me and takes my hand,” Nicks told Maclean’s Magazine in 2015. “We walk off and we never let go of each other until we get to our tent. In that 30 seconds, it’s like my heart just comes out of my body.”

Since Nicks was able to turn “Silver Springs” into the hit she always wanted it to be, her mom Barbara did receive the royalty check her daughter had earmarked for her – 20 years later than expected. “My mom ended up getting a $50,000 check two months after The Dance went out,” the singer revealed. “To my mother, it had been a million dollar check.”

Nicks also finally had the opportunity to place the song on her own compilation, including it on 2007’s Crystal Visions – The Very Best of Stevie Nicks. In the liner notes, she dedicated “Silver Springs” to her mom, who passed away four years later. It was the elder Nicks’ “rainy day song.”

Brittany Spanos / Rolling Stone / Friday, August 18, 2017

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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

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The Dance (1997)

Blonde on Blonde

Stevie NicksStevie Nicks and Courtney Love dish on witchy women, male-swapping, diamond studded coke spoons, and the Fleetwood Mac reunion.

At the height of 1970s rock ‘n’ roll bloat, Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks was the O.D. — the Original Diva. Dressed head-to-toe in flowing black, singing songs about Welsh witches, bouncing between rock-star boyfriends (bandmates, no less), snorting drugs all the while, she wrote the book on feminine excess, and one young reader was a girl named Courtney Love. On the eve of Fleetwood Mac’s reunion album and tour, the two Goth blondes gathered for an historic meeting of the muses.

COURTNEY LOVE: I was watching your new MTV special, and Silver Springs sent chills down my spine. It was like great opera, or like A Streetcar Named Desire. It was an absolute war between the sexes. And one of the things that struck me was how you epitomized the ideal gorgeous, California, in-you-convertible girlfriend. Almost. You can see the schism in your performance, where you check yourself and say, I am so much more than that. You filled that stage so much with your archetype, it was incredible. I just can’t imagine you as a 21-year-old waitress in San Jose supporting Lindsey Buckingham. It freaks me out. Hey, can I say what I’m drinking my coffee out of?

STEVIE NICKS: Yes, you can.

CL: I’m drinking my coffee out of a mug from the Betty Ford Center. It says BETTY FORD on it. I think that’s super chic. [Laughs]. I wish my rehab had sold souvenirs. They did, actually. They had sweatshirts, but I didn’t buy one because I had no money and they didn’t take credit cards.

SN: I think at Betty Ford they give you a cup.

CL: I bet they have lots of cool stuff there. So anyway, when I was very young I thought of you as the most pampered child of California. But then I heard “Dreams” and “Rhiannon,” and I thought, ‘Is she this thing or is she this other thing, this poet’?

SN: You have to understand. I didn’t want to be a waitress, but I believed that Lindsey shouldn’t have to work, that he should just lay on the floor and practice his guitar and become more brilliant every day. And as I watched him become more brilliant every day, I felt very gratified. I was totally devoted to making it happen for him. I never worried about not being successful; I wanted to make it possible for him to be successful. And when you really feel that way about somebody, it’s very easy to take your own personality and quiet it way down. I knew my career was going to work out fine. I knew I wasn’t going to lose myself.

CL: How did you two meet?

SN: I met Lindsey in high school in San Francisco. We had gone to some party and he was sitting in the middle of this gorgeous living room playing a song. I walked over and stood next to him, and the song was “California Dreaming,” and I just started singing with him.

CL: He was playing “California Dreaming”? Oh my God!!

SN: And so I just threw in my Michelle Phillips harmony and… he was so beautiful. And then I didn’t really see him again until two years later, when he called me and asked me if I wanted to be in his rock ‘n’ roll band, which I didn’t even know existed. And within two or three months we were opening for Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, all the San Francisco bands. Two years later, we packed up and moved to Los Angeles with about 12 demos.

CL: When you and Lindsey joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, it sounded like you were really coming into your own. I mean, songs like “Rhiannon” and “Landslide.” Those are profound. But here was a band that had been together a thousand years, right? They originally came from this time and place—Yardbirds, Zeppelin, etc.—and while everyone had made it out of there, they were the dog with fleas. John Mayall was bigger than them. I mean, everybody. And then what happens? They get you and Lindsey, and here you are, this world-class beauty with a voice from heaven and these amazing songs, and it makes them huge. And you huger. And you’re just the girlfriend, the silent supporter of the tortured genius. That must have made everyone crazy.

SN: Well… my success was not easy for Lindsey, not easy for any of them. And I knew that, and I felt terrible about it. There’s a part of me that would have said, ‘Let’s tell everybody to stop talking about Steve. Stop giving Stevie all this attention, because, guess what, it’s making Stevie miserable’. Because I have to live with these other four people who know it’s not my fault, but they can’t help but blame me a little, and it’s killing me. But I also remember getting very upset with Lindsey one night when I realized that he and Christine (McVie) had written “World Turning.” I had been with Lindsey all those years and we had never written a song together. Plus, I walked into the studio and they were singing it together.

CL: You never wrote songs together?

SN: No, no. I would sit down and play him “Gold Dust Woman” on the guitar, my simple little version, and two days later it would be recorded, and it would be recorded really well. He could take my songs and do what I would do if I had his musical talent. When he wasn’t angry with me, that is. That’s why there’s seven or eight great songs, and there’s 50 more where he wasn’t happy with me and didn’t help me.

CL: One thing you’ve always done, I realized recently, is write about these muses, these other females, these goddesses. These parts of yourself. You don’t write big, sexy love ballads about men. I wondered why that was for you? Because I do the same thing. I was listening to a song of Billy Corgan’s yesterday called “I Need a Lover.” It’s sexy, okay. But I’m listening and I’m going, I can’t write like this.

SN: You know how else asked me that same question a long time ago: Prince. We were really close for a while—we never went to bed together, but we had something that was very, very special. And he always said, Why don’t you write songs that are more sexual? And I said, Well, because that’s no the way I am in my real life. I am not a person who walks naked through the house. I will always have something beautiful on. It will be beautiful, and it will enhance me.

CL: Maybe what Prince was trying to say is you should be more, “I want to fuck you, baby.”

SN: But I believe that there is a certain amount of mysticism that all women should have, that you should never tell all your secrets, that you should never tell everybody all about you. I never have.

CL: Speaking of secrets, I’ve heard that you’ve kept a diary the entire course of your career.

SN: I have. It’s all written down.

CL: If you were ever to let those things out, I imagine that empires would fall.

SN: But you know what? Even in my journals, I don’t ever write about sex. I write around it, so that I know what I meant, but if somebody else read it, they might not understand. Nobody could ever get the real story unless I chose to share it with them.

CL: Tell me more about your love life.

SN: Well, when Lindsey and I broke up during Rumours, I started going out with Don Henley. And you know, I was like the biggest Eagles fan of life.

CL: “Warm smell of colitas…”

SN: [Laughing] Totally. And we went out, off and on, for about two years.

CL: That’s a perfect couple right there. I mean, that’s the California, the San Andreas Fault couple. He was really cute, too.

SN: He was really cute, and he was elegant. Don taught me to spend money.

CL: How did he teach you to spend money? I’ve never had a guy do that for me.

SN: Well, I just watched him, that’s how. He didn’t visibly set out to do that. I just watched him. He was okay with, say, buying a house like that [snaps her fingers], or sending a Learjet to pick you up.

CL: I had a Learjet phase for a little bit, but I couldn’t really afford it. While we’re on the subject, tell me about your rose Porsche.

SN: Me and a bunch of my friends were in my house in Phoenix, we were up all night doing lots of cocaine and watching that movie Risky Business. That’s one of my favorites. And I just made a call and that Porsche was delivered.

CL: You said “I want a rose Porsche”?

SN: I said, I want the same Porsche that’s in Risky Business.

CL: There’s a Porsche in Risky Business?

SN: Yes, there is. And I bought it. That morning.

CL: Wow. You know, I still think Don Henley is sexy.

SN: He is sexy. He’s such an interesting guy. Here’s one thing that Don did that freaked my band out so much. We’re all in Miami, Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. They’re recording at this gorgeous house they’d rented on the water. It’s totally romantic.

CL: Is it pink?

SN: It’s pink.

CL: Of course it’s pink.

SN: It’s like Mar-a-Lago. Anyway, he sends a limousine driver over to our hotel with a box of presents for me, and they’re delivered right into the breakfast room where everyone’s eating. There’s a stereo, a bunch of fabulous records. There’s incredible flowers and fruits, beautiful…

CL: Pomegranates and figs and dates, of course.

SN: Yes. And…

CL: Oh, I love him!

SN: The limousine driver is taking all this out onto the table and I’m going, ‘Oh, please, please, this is not going to go down well’. And they want to know who it’s from. And Lindsey is not happy.

CL: Gardenias?

SN: Yeah. So I started going out with him. And this is not popular. Sure, Lindsey and I are totally broken up, I have every right in the world to go out with people, but…I spend most of my time with the band, and it’s not real conducive to having a relationship. So, I went out with Don for awhile. I went out with [Eagles songwriter] J.D. Souther for awhile. We had an incredible time.

CL: But he wasn’t as famous as you. It must have been a lot more fun going out with somebody just as famous.

SN: Well, all those Eagles were an interesting group of guys. They were such good songwriters. I was blown away. I was totally awestruck. I mean, I was very, very famous, but it didn’t make me less awestruck with these men than anybody else. I was just as big a fan. And then… We’re just doing a condensed version of what happened with me. And then I fell in love with Mick (Fleetwood). And that went on for two years. Never in a million years could you have told me that would happen. That was the biggest surprise. Mick is definitely one of my great, great loves.

CL: How was that between Lindsey and Mick?

SN: That was not good. That was not good for anybody else in the band. Everybody was so angry, because Mick was married. To a wonderful girl and he had two wonderful children, and I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. So it couldn’t have possibly worked out. And it didn’t. It just couldn’t.

CL: And the drugs?

SN: The drugs didn’t help, needless to say. We did a lot of blow. I don’t remember how much we did; we spent an awful lot of money on it. You know, we were constantly on the road—the tour for the first album was almost a year long. Rumours was a year, and Tusk was a solid year. We never stopped, never took vacations. And with coke you can stay up way too late, you don’t sleep for three days.

CL: Did you keep your drug habits secret from each other? Like, in my band, when someone’s had a problem, it’s always been a secret from everyone else. We would never do it together, communally.

SN: Oh, no. No, no, no. It was much more of a family thing. And it wasn’t just us.

CL: Well, that’s in the spirit of the era.

SN: If this was 20 years ago, we would have sat here and done a gram of cocaine while we did this interview. I wouldn’t have known you previously, and we still would have done it together. It was just the friendly, fun thing to do. I swear to God, that’s how it was.

CL: I think the intriguing thing to a lot of people is that there’s never been a period in rock as debauched as the period after Rumours. Nobody’s touched it. I’m sure other people have done more drugs, other people have lived better, but no one, for one thing, was dressed as great. No one has ever looked as fabulous during their flushed-with-success period—not even the Beatles, maybe not even the Rolling Stones. Somebody gave me a [poster for my birthday; it’s a famous picture of you guys standing outside a chicken coop. And you all look amazing. You had such great hair. You still do. And back then, rock divas didn’t have high-end colorists.

SN: No.

CL: And you didn’t get free clothes from Dolce & Gabbana.

SN: No

CL: You had to make your own clothes. You had to create your own divadom. like wearing black, which was a very fashion-forward choice for the 70s. Why’d you start doing that?

SN: Because as a blonde I looked better in all black. Plus it made things a lot easier; you could just have a bunch of pieces.

CL: But nobody wore all black in the ’70s. You were just like Johnny Cash.

SN: Yeah. And I loved that. I still love that.

CL: It’s different now, cause it’s very Barney’s, but black then it was pretty fucking bold. What kind of clothes did, like, the Eagles wear? Did they wear real expensive turquoise belt buckles and…

SN: No. They were very cool. They just wore beautiful jeans and silk shirts.

CL: Was Henley, like, rocking the Armani?

SN: You know what? When I was hanging around with them, I had no idea what kind of clothes they wore, except that they always looked good.

CL: I remember reading one description of you finishing “Gold Dust Woman” in the middle of the night wrapped in your black shawl. Was all that witchy, gothic stuff completely your thing yet?

SN: Oh yeah. Ever since I moved out of Mom and Dad’s. But in Fleetwood Mac I had to really calm that part of me down. I mean, they put up with my incense, let me do a little lighting, but I couldn’t bring a lot of my stuff in there.

CL: There’s a song of yours, what is it? It’s about—oh my God, it’s about…

SN: “Gypsy”?

CL: “Gypsy”! Right About putting a scarf over a lamp. I was like, yeah. Even in rehab I put the scarf over the lamp.

SN: Me too, you know.

CL: So the band didn’t put up with that stuff?

SN: Well, I just have to be very careful and tasteful with them. I can’t be quite as Gypsy as I’d like. The downside of being in a band is that you can’t have everything you want.

CL: But the upside, the upside is incredible. The team/gang thing.

SN: It’s great. When I walk with my band up to the stage, I feel like an astronaut. [Laughing] I feel like we should be in slow motion, and the wind should be blowing.

CL: Being a movie star is pretty cool, but being a rock is just better. Especially a lady rock star. I’m really grateful for it.

SN: So am I. Every day. And that’s something I don’t think goes away. It’s like, I totally appreciate being able to buy, say, this thousand-dollar cashmere blanket. I do. Because if I couldn’t, I would hate the act that I would have to go back to real, regular blankets.

CL: At Penney’s

SN: At Penney’s. [Laughing] and I never wanted to go to Penney’s even when I was a little girl.

CL: I didn’t want to go to Penney’s either. I knew, when I was in there, I knew I shouldn’t be in there.

SN: I am not in the right store, mom.

CL: There’s something wrong. This is wrong.

SN: Take me to the good store.

CL: Exactly [laughs] I want to ask about when you put out your first solo record, Bella Donna, in 1981. Were the guys pissed off?

SN: Well, it was a big deal, obviously. Going away to another record company at the peak of Fleetwood Mac was not a real popular thing.

CL: People should understand that at the time you made Bella Donna, you were one of the biggest starts on the planet. Certainly the biggest female in rock. It must have been so much harder back then being a famous woman in rock. You were entering this field almost by yourself. I mean, I always thought that Janis Joplin had a really hard road, because no one had ever been down it.

SN: And she didn’t make it down.

CL: But you did. You went much further than her. You were a pioneer. You were dealing with all these sexual politics, being a feminine woman who was doing this thing. I’m really surprised that you’re less schizophrenic than you are. Because you were right out in front, with the projections of the entire world put upon you. I mean, heavily. I had Bella Donna when I was in Japan, stripping. I was 15, I think. It was the year that Charles and Diana got married. And that’s what I listened to all the time to keep me sane. But you must have been feeling so many things then, because of your fame: the energy of young girls and older women using you, men using you. Did you start to feel a sense of magic about yourself? It’s hard to control the ego sometimes. I know. It’s hard to stay grounded.

SN: I think if I had just done my solo career and had been able just to be me, I probably would have been a lot more ego’d out than I was. Being in a group of five really does keep your ego in place. It’s not as easy to get totally conceited when you’re in a band.

CL: It’s not even conceit, though. I believe that it’s a product of energy being projected on you. I’m sorry, there’s a psychic transference that you have when you go to the bookstore and get recognized, and they treat you as your Stevieness or your Jim Carreyness or your Courtneyness or whatever it is they expect from you all the time. It must have been insane to be one of the first women out there in this art form. It must have been a battlefield. Is that one of the reasons you moved to the desert?

SN: Well, I’ve always lived there. My mom and dad are from there. That’s why I bought a house in Scottsdale, near Phoenix, so I could be close to them. Otherwise, I would have never gone to see my parents during those years; the cocaine years. I was too nerved out to sit and talk to my mom and dad; they were the last people that I would talk to.

CL: So, talk to me about “Gold Dust Woman.” What’s it about?

SN: Well, the gold dust refers to cocaine, but it’s not completely about that, because there wasn’t that much cocaine around then. Everybody was doing a little bit—you know, we never bought it or anything, it was just around—and I think I had a real serious flask of what this stuff could be, of what it could do to you. The whole thing about how we all love the ritual of it, the little bottle, the little diamond-studded spoons, the fabulous velvet bags. For me, it fit right into the incense and candles and that stuff. And I really imagined that it could overtake everything, never thinking a million years that it would overtake me. I must have met a couple of people that I thought did too much coke and I must have been impressed by that. Because I made it into a whole story.

CL: But it seems more like a sexual identity song or a romantic identity song. There’s some amazing lines in the song. Like, “Rulers make bad lovers / You better put your kingdom up for sale.”

SN: I was definitely swept away by how big Fleetwood Mac was and how famous I suddenly was. Me, who couldn’t buy anything before, could now go in any store, and buy anything I wanted. And I wondered what that would do to me on down the line. I might be ruler, but maybe I’d be a lousy lover.

CL: I love the imagery in the song, when she’s a dragon, and a black widow.

SN: That just means an anger. The black widow, the dragon thing, is all about being scary and angry.

CL: But I think it’s more powerful than that. A dragon is the most potent and virile symbol you can use. So applying yourself to a woman, or to yourself, or to an archetypal alter-ego self is like this power, especially if you wrote it when you were frail and frightened and maybe not as powerful as you became later.

SN: You know what, Courtney? I don’t really know what “Gold Dust Woman” is about. I know there was cocaine there and that I fancied it gold dust, somehow. I’m going to have to go back to my journals and see if I can pull something out about “Gold Dust Woman.” Because I don’t really know. It can’t be all about cocaine.

CL: No, I think you’re bigger than that.

Courtney Love / Spin / October 1997

Categories
The Dance (1997)

Fleetwood Mac back with album, video

On Aug. 19, Reprise Records will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Fleetwood Mac’s landmark Rumours recording with The Dance, a live album culled from an MTV special that reunites the band’s classic lineup of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and John McVie. The set will trigger a 40-city U.S. fall tour that will put the group on the road together for the first time since 1982.

The 17-track collection, which combines four new songs with familiar tunes, was gathered from three performances on a Warner Bros. Studios soundstage in June. The 90-minute MTV special, which will begin airing on Tuesday (12), will be issued Aug. 26 on h ome video via Warner Reprise Video, with a DVD release planned for Sept. 23. A laserdisc version of the show will be handled by Image Entertainment and will be offered Sept. 23.

“This has become a monumental event that pays long-overdue tribute to a band that continues to have immeasurable influence on new musicians,” says Craig Kostich, senior VP of artist development/creative marketing (U.S.) at Reprise. “These songs sound as strong now as they did when they were first released. Judging from early interest in this project, people are still clearly very turned on by them.”

The extensive marketing strategy behind The Dance started to unfold July 22, when Reprise issued the album’s first emphasis track, “Silver Springs,” to pop, AC, and mainstream rock radio formats. Since then, the Nicks-fronted tune–which was originally recorded for Rumours but did not make the final track listing–has gathered airplay on 47 stations, with audience impressions of 3.8 million, according to Broadcast Data Systems.

WNOK, a top 40 station in Columbia, S.C., played “Silver Springs” more than a dozen times its first week out, but PD Jonathan Rush says it’s too early to determine the ultimate fate of the song. “I think the album will do very well, but will the single do well? I don’t know. It doesn’t jump off the radio quite like we’d like it to,” he says.

However, Rush believes it was a good choice for a first single as a way to bridge the gap between the past and the present. “I think it’s kind of neat that it was an old song that was never on an album, and here’s a revised edition recorded by the same p arty in a new era.”

Reprise widened the radio scope of The Dance by issuing a promotional CD pressing of “The Chain” Aug. 4.

“We’re planning to go several cuts deep into this album,” Kostich says, noting that the label will eventually focus on the set’s new songs, which hark back to the sound of the band’s heyday.

Since word of the Fleetwood Mac reunion has circulated for months, retailers are anticipating a strong consumer response to The Dance. “We’re already getting a strong buzz on this; the word has been out for a long time,” says Eric Keil, buyer for Compact Disc World, a New Jersey chain. “People have been asking about it and when is it coming out, when can they get it.

“We put Fleetwood Mac albums in a [summer] promotion, and the Greatest Hits and Rumours flew out of the stores. We know there are people out there who still love this band. This has the potential to be big, not as big as [the Eagles’] Hell Freezes Over, but it could approach that. That was a monster for us.”

Television exposure beyond MTV–which has already begun airing clips of “Silver Springs” and “The Chain” from the special–will play a vital role in the marketing of the album. VH1 will air a condensed, 60-minute version of the special in September and has designated Fleetwood Mac as the network’s artist of the month in October.

VH1 has also recently featured Rumours in a recent episode of its “Classic Albums” series.

Additionally, various members of the band are tentatively slated for a string of high-profile stints on shows, including “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” Most of these appearances will be made before Fleetwood Mac begins its tour in mid-September. Dates for the trek were still being confirmed at press time.

The seeds of the band’s reunion were sowed earlier this year. Fleetwood and Buckingham had been working together on Buckingham’s solo project, so for Fleetwood, the reunion seemed like a natural progression.

“I was really excited,” he says. “I felt we had already met musically somehow, because I had been working with Lindsey for over a year, or being there and being supportive. I knew the creative light was alive. It was not like a business manager called up and said, ‘You’ve been offered $20 billion to reconvene.’ It was not like that.”

Fleetwood had disbanded the group two years ago, only after different permutations failed to ignite. “I was a person that very much tried to keep Fleetwood Mac together at any cost, literally,” he says. “It has been my life, and the letting go was a decision John [McVie] and I made. Every brick wall, people would say this is the end, but keeping it going was the only thing I knew.

“We’d had such a cycle of reinventing ourselves as a band. After the [1995] album with Billy [Burnette] and Bekka [Bramlett], we realized that we weren’t going anywhere, and that was a major thing for me to admit, and it took me a little time to absorb t hat.”

For Fleetwood, it was a chance to realize that he could survive in a world without Fleetwood Mac. “I truly had let go, and that was good. I sobered up and changed my life; there was a different life to be had, and it was a good one. I know now that I can function without the [band].”

But to Nicks, functioning without Fleetwood Mac was never a question. “We can all go our separate ways for periods of time, but we always seem to come back to each other,” she says. “There’s a connection between each of us that has nothing to do with business. When I got the call about doing this, I took a deep breath, and then I said yes.”

Because Buckingham was recording a new solo album, he was the hardest member to convince to come back; however, no reunion would have happened without his participation. His decision was based somewhat on the clout a reunion would give him when it came time to return to his solo work.

“A lot of people seem to think that if you make an album every four years or so, as I do, there was nothing to be lost in doing the reunion, and possibly a great deal to be gained in terms of visibility and opening political doors,” he says.

“The hardest part was thinking about putting down [an album] I’d been working on for two years plus and just leaving it on the back burner,” he continues. “[Warner Bros. Records chairman/CEO] Russ Thyret called me and said, ‘Are you doing this [reunion]? ‘ And I said, ‘Give me until the first of April,’ and I just took a chance, and I can’t say I’m sorry. I’m a different person now. It’s a great thing for everybody in the group. I mean, I feel like I’m giving something to these people who have contribute d to my life.”

After Buckingham agreed to the reunion, the band began rehearsing immediately on April 1 for the MTV taping. “We thought MTV was Fleetwood Mac adverse, but they weren’t,” says Buckingham. “We rehearsed for six or seven weeks, which wasn’t quite enough. I think there was a general view that this thing may disintegrate in a week, and I was gonna do my best to make sure it wasn’t me that made that happen.

“But, you know, Stevie is in a really good place, and there was something good about it. You just have to keep watching yourself to make sure that you don’t get petty. I went in and I tried to make nice, and it wasn’t hard. It’s sweet, it’s nostalgic; yo u could cry over it if you let yourself.”

Nicks says there were actually quite a few tears shed during the last of the three shows the band played for the special. “In my heart, I knew that final show was the one that we would use, and I paced myself emotionally. Something clicked as we started to play that night. The magic was there again, only we weren’t mad at each other anymore. I looked into Lindsey’s eyes during so many of the songs, and the tears came. It was uncontrollable. And it was a beautiful night for us and everyone in the audience.”

Buckingham was pleased with the wide demographics the taping attracted. “There really was a nice element of a younger, 20s and 30s crowd, which was great, because a lot of those people learned about us from their parents, or from the rekindled interest in the band since Billy Corgan and a few others have said, ‘Fleetwood Mac is not the enemy.’ ”

Nicks agrees, noting the previously untapped young audience that “Gold Dust Woman” reached after Courtney Love covered the Rumours cut with Hole late last year. “She claims to know more about me and my music than I can even remember–which is terrifying but probably very true,” Nicks says with a laugh. Love will interview Nicks for Spin magazine this fall.

Buckingham confesses it’s been “surprisingly pleasurable” reuniting with his bandmates. “It’s been kind of a trip, because we’re getting along really well. There’s very little of the baggage left that was there when I left in 1987,” he says.

Like Buckingham, Fleetwood’s antennae were up, checking for signs that the reunion might not work.

“I would always be looking; that’s my nature,” he says. “We know each other so well. You know what to do to upset someone, and you know what to do to make the situation good; that’s what I do with anybody. I would be watching for what anyone would construe as the danger signal. The reality is that these five people have the capability of managing themselves, and we did for years. Basically, we were always very successful, and part of that success was because it was an unusual animal, this thing called Fleetwood Mac. And it came from within.”

The live forum of the MTV special created the perfect environment for the band to reconvene, because, as Fleetwood says, creating a new studio album would have been “too stressful. This is a great way of celebrating who we are and then reinventing some o f the songs and just saying, ‘Shit, we haven’t played for years’ and have it be really good. I truly think the band is playing 40% better than it ever has before.”

While there are no announced plans other than The Dance and a 40-city tour, Buckingham doesn’t know if the reunion will end after the last date is played. “Well, if you’d asked me a year ago whether I would be doing this, I would have said ‘absolutely not,’ but here I am, so I’m not going to discount anything.”

Nicks is equally guarded about the band’s future–but admittedly optimistic. “Fleetwood Mac will never die. Whether any of us will ‘fess up to it or not, the spirit of this band will live in each of us forever. And that’s a good thing. Some people only d ream of the magic we’ve made–and then we get to revisit it and to build upon it. That is truly a blessing.”

PHOTO (BLACK & WHITE): Stevie Nicks, left, and Lindsey Buckingham are shown performing during the taping of their forthcoming MTV special, which will be released on video and DVD.

Larry Flick And Melinda Newman / Billboard (Vol. 109 Issue 33, p11. 2p.) / August 16, 1997

Categories
The Dance (1997)

Stevie and Lindsey Interview on WZLX Radio

Boston, MA 100.7 FM
Friday, August 15, 1997

DJ: Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles this afternoon How you guys doin’?

S (Stevie): Fine, how are you?

L (Lindsey): How are you doing?

DJ: I’m doing fine, thank you. So first we’re going to bring in the dump truck and heap tons of compliments on all of you for an absolutely amazing concert.

S: (laughing) Thank you.

DJ: You just blew people away with this.

L: Oh, great! Thanks.

DJ: Um, now you’re either Oscar caliber actors or you actually have put aside all of this bitterness after the break up, and the books and the rumors and people talking and back biting and all of that stuff to get this back together again. So what’s the deal with that?

L: Time…I think. You know, I mean I’ve…it’s been ten years since I departed and…um…I think a lot of things…uh…got resolved for me. I think everyone else in the group has taken their own journey during those ten years and we’ve all grown up a little bit. And, um, so we’re coming back together with the chemistry and with the intuitive way of responding and none of the baggage.

DJ: Man you sure got rid of that baggage. This concert was…uh…I don’t know, I don’t know what people were expecting when they turned on MTV the other night to watch this, but I’ll tell you just far and away I’ve never heard response from fans to the way you look, the way you sound, how everything just seemed to come together like you never left, but you got rid of all this stuff in between somehow.

L: Mhmm.

DJ: Did you make a pact of some kind for this tour to make sure you didn’t fall into some of those traps that did you in the first time?

S: A pact?

DJ: Yeah, I mean you must have talked about…

S: A promise?

DJ: A promise among yourselves, you know?

S: No, you know, I don’t think we have to make promises to each other. I think that anything that we do we do it individually for ourselves. You know, as well as I know, that people can’t tell you what to do and what not to do. It has to come from you. So, you know, we’re older, we’re a lot wiser and we’re all better singers, we’re better musicians and we have been given an incredible opportunity to go out and do this one more time, so for me I’m just in this for the ride. I just want to have a great time. I want this to be like an adventure.

DJ: Boy, you’re in for an adventure too. So you’re coming to Greatwoods here on September 19th.

S: Mhmm.

DJ: And ah, you’re rehearsing around the Hartford area? Is that true?

S: Yeah.

DJ: Is that where you’re going to your rehearsals?

S: Mhmm.

DJ: So have you started those yet?

S: Ah, we are in rehearsal now. But we also were in rehearsal for six weeks before the MTV thing that was filmed in the middle of May — and ah, we went back into rehearsal last week so …we will be rehearsed.

DJ: So when you’re walking around Hartford do people know you and hang out and want to shake your hand and get your autograph and stuff.

S: I don’t know. I haven’t ever walked around Hartford. (laughing) (Laughter)

DJ: Well, don’t do it after 5:00 ’cause nobody’s in the streets, let me tell you.

S: Oh, okay (laughs)

DJ: So why is this CD called The Dance. What’s The Dance?

S: Go ahead Lindsey, it’s Matisse.

L: Yeah, we um, were attracted to a painting by Matisse called The Dance that’s just five people holding hands dancing in a circle. Uh…it’s a very well known painting and…uh…there was a history to it that was very much analogous to our situation. And it just had, the feeling of the painting very much reflected how we were feeling when we first got into rehearsal. And so we tried to paraphrase, if you will, that painting in a photograph where we were sort of loosely in a circle of our own…atop the rubble of (laughs) 20 years of history, I’d say.

DJ: I noticed some of the poses in there were pretty familiar on the ah… a lot of people haven’t seen the cover of The Dance because it’s not out in the stores ’til Tuesday.

L: Right.

DJ: But some of the poses on the front really are reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac and the Rumours album and…

L: Mhmm. That was definitely homage to Rumours I would say.

DJ: Yeah. What about the tracks that were in the concert that aren’t included on this CD. Are those going to show up somewhere?

S: On the long…on the…you know on the one that will be sold, that’s the whole concert. Um, they had to…you know…they had to really cut it up, you know, even for the long showing on MTV um because, you know, it was two and a half hours so to come down to 90 minutes. It’s like that’s why, you know, that’s why the only place you can get those extra songs will be on that other thing. We wish that we could have, you know, somehow stuffed them on there but…they don’t fit!

DJ: So maybe we’ll just do Dance Part 2 sometime down the line. I mean “Gold Dust Woman” wasn’t on there. You were great on that by the way.

S: Thank you.

DJ: Umm… Now it says on the CD the choices were taken from three performances. So you did three performances for this shoot for MTV? Three different concerts?

S: Three nights, yeah.

DJ: Wow, full audiences?

S: But this was all Friday night except for maybe one little thing on Say You Love me or something. This was all from Friday night’s concert.

DJ: Wow! And the other shows, how did you get audiences for the shows? MTV do that?

S: Mhmm.

DJ: Wow. So Lindsey I got to know where this phrase came from – this is an amazing new song that’s here – and I know that you talked about how you got – you wanted to get Mick to work on this song with you – “Bleed To Love Her.”

L: (laughs) Yeah. Well at the time, that song actually sort of evolved over about a two year period and when I wrote the chorus in which that appears, “Bleed To Love Her,”uh…I had just entered into a relationship with someone and I really felt that I, you know, would be willing to bleed in order to make that work. And then of course maybe two years later…uh…things had kind of…um…drifted a little bit and the verses in there are talking about how elusive someone can be…uh…which I guess is the other side of the coin.

DJ: Yeah, it’s great. What about the other two new songs that are on there? Are those…were those things that were brought into this reunion or things that when you guys when got together again came up with?

L: Well, I had been working on a solo record with Mick, anyway, and both of the songs there were cut in some form for that. And Stevie’s song and Christine’s…um…were what? Demo’d up?

S: Mhmm.

L: Yeah, and those were just the songs of choice.

S: Right. I only came in with one song. I really wanted to do “Sweet Girl,” so that was like the only one I even brought down to rehearsal when we started.

DJ: Boy, you must have a bunch of them tucked away in that manila folder too Stevie.

S: I do. And that’s why I was glad. I wrote this song just a week before we started on April 1st so I was really glad that this song really was written for this album and this group of people and it wasn’t something that I went back and pulled out of something else, you know. This really was hand-crafted for Fleetwood Mac.

DJ: Now you’re doing a reasonable amount of dates on this tour? And..

S: 40? In three months?

DJ: 40. That’s a reasonable number, isn’t it? Come on.

S: Reasonable?

DJ: Yeah. You’ll be tired after that. You guys’ll be going out to the Islands after that. Are you going to do a studio album do you think?

S: I don’t think there’s any way to know. I think that probably, you know, about 35 gigs after like the 35th gig we will probably have a good idea whether or not we want to tour more of the world or whether we want to do another record or what, you know. ‘Cause we haven’t toured like this in, well, since Lindsey was in the band…since 1983. So, this is a lot of, a lot of concerts in a short period of time. I think we’ll know at the end of this tour what’s…what we want to do.

DJ: We’re not going to let you get away this easy this time, you know.

S: Oh, that’s so sweet.

(laughter)

DJ: Hey, you all look great but I got to ask you something…Christine McVie looks fabulous. What did this woman do? She’s just stunning.

S: Chris takes good care of herself.

DJ: Man, she sure does. Is this a regime? She should be doing one of those exercise videos out there! She just looks great.

S: She’s just naturally thin. She doesn’t even try. (laughs)

DJ: You’re going to play Los Angeles on this tour too. You’re doing the Hollywood Bowl so I imagine there’s going to be some extra guests on stage. Maybe a bunch of guys in weird looking purple uniforms?

L: Oh yes, that could very well happen. We thought about trying to get marching bands for, um, you know, any number of cities but the logistics was, just it didn’t really work. But yes, definitely for LA.

DJ: God, those guys, you know these college kids would just die to be on stage with you.

L: Well, we heard that, you know, when we made the overture to Dr. Bardner who was the guy who was overseeing the marching band back in 1979 when we did it for Tusk originally. We had heard that, uh, a lot of the people who were kids back then were calling him up wanting to do it again. And I said, well you think they can still fit into the uniforms? So…(laughter) we got the youngsters.

DJ: Alright, we’re live on the radio here. It’s Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks in Los Angeles. Before I let you go, you’ve done radio IDs before we could just do one live on the air here and then people will all know who you are if you’d do that for us.

S: Sure.

DJ: You know…Hi, this is Stevie, Hi, this is Lindsey…when we’re in Boston…and it’s 100.7 WZLX. Go for it.

S: Okay, I’m going to have to write that down.

S: Do you want to say the number of it Linds?

L: (in a weird voice) One hundred point seven…

LA DJ: Hey, George.

DJ: Hey, yeah.

LA DJ: It’s Norm Pattis. You’re through.

DJ: Oh, thanks very much, Norm. How you doing buddy?

(laughter)

DJ: Hey, you know, old echos haunt you no matter where you go man.

LA DJ: We’ve got to go to the next one.

DJ: You’re going to the next one, well…

S: George, we have to go.

DJ: Okay, we’re looking forward to having you here on September 19th and thanks very much for hanging with us this afternoon.

S: Thank you.

L: Pleasure, thanks a lot.

S: Take care.

DJ: Congratulations.

S: Bye-bye.

This transcription was originally published at The Nicks Fix.

Categories
The Dance (1997)

Fleetwood Mac

By Jill Hamilton
Rolling Stone (762)
June 12, 1997

ACROSS THE PARKING LOT from Los Angeles’ Third Encore studios stand a half-dozen storm troopers. They’re Star Wars props, ‘7os icons brought back to life in the ‘90s. This seems fitting, since inside Third Encore, the five members of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular lineup — Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, and John and Christine Mc Vie — are rehearsing together. Twenty years after Rumours, they’re working on old hits and a few new songs for an MTV special to air in late summer, which will be recorded for an album, and, yes, a tour.

Even the band seems surprised to find itself together again, since, well, it has had some problems in the past, including drugs and a mess of public interdating and breakups. They’ve been together for only three weeks and so far, so good. “It hasn’t gotten ugly yet,” says Buckingham. But, adds Christine McVie, “You never know.” At press time, the group had chosen one new tune: “Temporary One,” a love song by Mc Vie.

How did they get here? Fleetwood was working on Buckingham’s record, Nicks came in, and later the McVies got involved. “Organic” is how Buckingham and Fleetwood describe the reunion. Today the quintet sits under hot lights for a TV interview. Then, more standing around. The band is wilting. Christine McVie gets in trouble for chewing gum. Fleetwood gets his forehead buffed. “I don’t want to look like Nixon,” he says.

Then they play. They start with “You Make Loving Fun.” Something happens: They light up. By the time they kick into “Go Your Own Way,” they just kill. Nicks and Buckingham beam at each other, Fleetwood pounds away on the drums, and the members of Fleetwood Mac look blissful.

After the set, the five sit together, relaxed and almost post-coital. “The easiest thing that this band does is play music,” says Nicks, resplendent in a black swirly dress. “The hard part is all the stuff that goes on outside of this room. If we spent most of our time here, we’d never have any problems.”

“Just to hear your voice with mine and Stevie’s,” says Christine McVie to Buckingham. “It just blows me away. I get goose bumps the size of chickens eggs.

Copyright Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc.