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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

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2018-2019 Tour Article Fleetwood Mac Mick Fleetwood

GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine

As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else.

Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale about a seven-mile line of cocaine.

Chatting in a dressing room, where his only indulgence is a glass of red wine, drummer Mick says: “We could sit here and I go into some war story about snorting seven miles of cocaine.

“I guess we figured we did X amount a day, and then some goofball got out a calculator and came up with that seven miles figure and said, ‘Isn’t that funny?’ And it sort of is. But not in the context of where I want to end up.

“There was never a conscious decision on my part to stop that lifestyle. I think it naturally just drifted away.

“I speak for myself, although Stevie (Nicks) has been outspoken about some of the choices she made too.

“It came to an end, thankfully. Because, God forbid, it could easily have ended the really bad way — for sure, that could have happened. In some ways I’m happy I got through it and didn’t bite the big bullet. But I just had a profound awareness and a realisation that enough is enough.”

Larger than life, both in personality and physically, 6ft 5in Mick laughs as he recalls the tale about coke — known as gak — that was first made by a former sound engineer. But he adds: “I’m conscious that I want to speak appropriately about this. Because the romance of those war stories can adulate something which is not a good idea.

INTERNAL FEUDING

“The truth is the truth. But in many ways we shared too much information. Looking back, I can see an element of responsibility which I now regret not seeing before.”

The band’s world tour arrived in London last night, as they performed to a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium, with a second date tomorrow before they head to Australia, having already crossed much of North America.

The gigs pack in decades of hits and have received rave reviews for a band that is renowned for its ability to reinvent itself after a string of line-up changes sparked by internal feuding.

But as Mick Fleetwood admits, the acrimonious exit of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham 18 months ago after he refused to go on tour could have marked the end of one of rock’s great names. Instead he was replaced by two newcomers — Neil Finn of Crowded House and guitar virtuoso Mike Campbell.

I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.

Mick says: “Lindsey’s departure was traumatic and a major change for the band, but we decided we wanted to carry on. We made the decision together. Of course, we could have just stopped and it probably would have been an easy point to stop, but we definitely didn’t want to.

“Lindsey left fairly acrimoniously and we weren’t getting on well any more, and yes, it is a happier ship to be on. We have two new people in the band who have been hugely accepted and welcomed, but in many ways it does amaze me that we are still here all these years later, after all of the ups and downs.

“Me and John (McVie) sometimes talk about it — we look around and say, ‘How did that all happen?’”

Mick confirms to me bluntly that he has not spoken to Lindsey since their bust-up, and adds: “I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.

“If you’d asked me that years ago I would have said so, being the old dreamer that I tend to be.

“But now I just accept things how they are, and try to be civil and open. All of these lovely people have put their hearts and souls into Fleetwood Mac, and the franchise should absolutely honour those people in every way, and it does.

“The music comes back to haunt everyone afterwards anyway — and usually that wins out in the end.”

He continues: “There’s no doubt those were hard-lived days. For a while within Fleetwood Mac there were romances and that lifestyle you mention and the other stuff got forgotten — and we really asked for that trouble.

“We were too open about who we were and what we were doing — probably very naïve.

“All anyone ever asked about was ‘Who is sleeping with who?’ or ‘Who is angry with who?’ And you start to feel it’s a shame.

“Now they intelligently talk about what we did musically. That’s import- ant to us. We never wanted to make fools of ourselves too many times.”

Today Mick accepts the band will not last for ever and says: “We’ve had a hell of a ride and we continue to, it’s amazing, really. We know that there’s an end in sight.

“People ask, ‘When are you going to hang it up?’ I’m asked, ‘Why are you still doing this? Need the money?’

“But imagine asking Paul McCartney or Elton John, the Rolling Stones — hugely iconic people, and you know they don’t need the money. It’s simply a case of that’s what they do.

“And this is simply what we do. It’s a huge privilege — and it isn’t really any more complicated than that.”

Simon Boyle / The Sun (UK) /June 16, 2019

 

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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

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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

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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

 

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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

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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.

US TOUR DATES:
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

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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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Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

Bright and breezy

ALBUM REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie – Buckingham/McVie

***1/2 (3 and a half stars out of 5)

If you’ve ever wondered what a golden era Fleetwood Mac album might sound like without Stevie Nicks, here’s your answer. From 1975’s self-titled effort to ‘87s Tango in the Night, the Mac’s transatlantic reinvention and huge global success was built on the potent creative relationship between the British trio of Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie and American pair Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Boasting a unique combination of interpersonal friction and natural musical understanding, the quintet crafted some of the finest, most emotionally raw pop-rock songs ever made.

In particular, Buckingham and McVie struck up an immediate rapport, elevating each other’s songwriting as his idiosyncratic musicianship melded perfectly with her penchant for penning melodic, romantic gems. That was most apparent on Tango in the Night, a record that, with Nicks largely absent, was largely shaped by the duo and went on to shift 15 million copies.

Fast forward three decades and the circumstances surrounding the genesis of this release are somewhat reminiscent of that period. After McVie re-joined the band in 2014, she and Buckingham swiftly realised their collaborative spark still burned bright.

A new Fleetwood Mac album might have been in the works, but Nicks was again on solo duty. So, instead we have Buckingham/McVie.

Stylistically speaking, this is a simple sounding record full of immaculately produced, easy listening vignettes that are incredibly bright and breezy. McVie’s musical aesthetic forms the blueprint, with her gifted co-creator reining in his experimental tendencies to complement her easy going pop sensibilities.

“Feel About You” is a bubbly ‘60s bijou with instrumental nods to “Everywhere” and the exquisitely tuneful “Red Sun” offers a relaxed gospel-style chorus that has the air of a soothing nursery rhyme. “Lay Down For Free” finds the pair’s vocal interplay as enchantingly timeless as ever, while “Too Far Gone” echoes “You Make Loving Fun.” Its electronically swaggering groove, brilliantly clipped chorus and tribal drum bursts are an absolute blast.

With Mick Fleetwood and John McVie also playing on the LP, strands of Fleetwood Mac’s DNA are, understandably, woven into the fabric of these songs. “Love Is Here To Stay” recalls a slower, more optimistic “Never Going Back Again” and the sparse piano and guitar strains on “Game of Pretend” immediately bring to mind “Songbird.” “Carnival Begin” is a hazy dream-like number that could have featured on Tusk, with Buckingham’s closing solo his most intense contribution.

Where the simmering undercurrent of love and hate betwixt Buckingham and Nicks always gave their music a certain spikiness, the collaborative vibe here is noticeably more relaxed, enjoyable and carefree. The only downside to such harmony is that these songs are very middle of the road and some will find them far too bland and beige. If you’re looking for a little edginess in your life, feeding ducks at the local park or eating a non-organic apple with the skin on will offer more than this record.

It won’t wipe away the frustration with Nicks for potentially depriving us of a final album from Fleetwood Mac’s classic line-up, but without her presence the dynamics at play on this classy, mature and well sculpted offering do present another fascinating portal into the inner workings of music’s longest running soap opera.

Simon Ramsay / Stereoboard (UK) / Monday, June 26, 2017

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Buckingham McVie Featured

Christine, Lindsey sing ‘Don’t Stop’ with Jimmy & The Kids

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie joined Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and a room full of school kids for a fun, stripped-down rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Don’t Stop.”

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Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie

Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVieAlbum review: Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie is an engaging side project for Fleetwood Mac members.

Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
Atlantic
***1/2 (Three and a half stars)

The sessions that eventually spawned this album might well have heralded the return of Fleetwood Mac – indeed, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie contribute throughout here – but when Stevie Nicks stalled on her involvement, the songs instead became an engaging side project for Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.

The mood throughout is part sun-dappled Californian sunshine and part crisp English winter, and McVie – who by her own admission turned her back on music for much of her 16-year break from touring and recording – is the undoubted star.

“Carnival Begin,” which closes the album, finds McVie brooding over a “new merry-go-round”, a transparent reference to returning to the recording fold.

“Game of Pretend,” another McVie composition, considers the complex world of relationships, a key Fleetwood Mac battleground over the decades. Buckingham shines, too, particularly on the radio-friendly “In My World,” “Sleeping Around the Corner,” and “On With the Show.” Throughout, there is a clarity of thought and sound that rolls back the years.

Nick March / The National (Middle East) / Monday, June 12, 2017

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Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie – strange and beautiful

Fleetwood Mac’s last masterpiece, Tango in the Night, relied heavily on Buckingham/McVie compositions, with the group’s third great songwriter, Stevie Nicks, generally absent. Now that McVie and Buckingham are back together in the touring Mac band for the first time since 1997, they’ve reunited in the studio for this succinct collection of gentle pop-rockers, familiar yet far more strange and beautiful than 2013’s brittle Fleetwood Mac EP.

Buckingham’s spidery guitar shivers through “Love Is Here to Stay” and slays the solo on “Carnival Begin,” while McVie’s undimmed gift for melody illuminates every song.

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
(East West)

**** (4 / 5 stars)

Damien Morris / The Guardian (UK) / Sunday, 11 June 2017

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Buckingham McVie

Listen to Buckingham/McVie

First Listen: Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie

Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and keyboardist team up for a new album

People often think of Fleetwood Mac as a band propelled to artistic eminence by interpersonal turmoil. Who could forget that Rumours, the band’s defining album, was the product of a period of libertine excess and relational meltdowns? Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were on the rocks, Christine McVie and John McVie were divorcing and Mick Fleetwood’s civilian marriage was disintegrating, too. Long before bloggers began parsing insinuating lyrics from Taylor Swift and others who’ve passed through her orbit, there was perverse sport in scrutinizing the wistful, wounded or prickly lines in Fleetwood Mac songs, not to mention group members’ on-the-record comments and on-stage interactions, for evidence of unresolved conflict.

No such history hangs over the pairing of Buckingham and Christine McVie, he a famously exacting guitarist and producer, she a blues-schooled keyboardist, and each of them singers and songwriters responsible for significant chunks of their band’s discography. Over the decades they’ve ventured into a handful of direct collaborations, but they haven’t truly explored the potential of their partnership until now. Their album features most of the band’s classic lineup (notably, minus Nicks), but gets its identity from ideas generated within the closed circuit of the duo; all of the songs are credited to Buckingham, McVie or both.

When McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 2014, no longer content with the tranquility of retirement in the English countryside she’d chosen a decade and a half earlier, she and Buckingham struck up a tentative creative conversation, she sending him snippets of lyric, melody and chord progression, he fleshing them out and passing along his own incomplete song ideas to her. “This was just for me to get familiarized with playing and performing again,” McVie told Stephen Deusner in a recent cover story for Uncut. “One thing led to another, and by the time we knew what was happening, we had six basic tracks in the bag….” Their casual exchange reactivated musical muscles she hadn’t used in a while and reaffirmed her faith in the relevance of her contributions.

In the mythology built up around the music of Fleetwood Mac, McVie represents an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Buckingham a more barbed one, but to reduce them to polar opposites — the optimist vs. the pessimist — is to miss out on the nuanced outlooks that come into focus when they’re working side by side. He remains quite skilled at enhancing shifts in tone with his production. The pensive resolve of his “On With the Show” gives way to breezy resignation with the introduction of sun-kissed harmonies and a crystalline guitar figure. In the propulsive pop-rock number “Lay Down For Free,” he dwells on a lover’s elusiveness, then pivots to buoyant defiance, lifted by the entrance of shimmery vocals and guitar. During “Carnival Begin,” McVie broods in the shadows, until the warm haze of harmonies and Buckingham’s delicate, single-stringed counterpoint illuminate her expression of desire.

McVie and Buckingham make room for unfurling multi-faceted emotions in their songcraft itself. In “Sleeping Around the Corner,” he offers reluctant reassurance, intoning, “If you want me to stay, you’ve got to let me go” over spasmodic digital beats. “In My World” is his melancholy expression of idealism. In “Love Is Here To Stay,” he savors the sweetness of romance in spite of his seasoned wariness. There’s a willfulness to her giddy affection in “How I Feel,” a self-conscious insistence that celebrating the pleasure she takes in another person is, in itself, a worthwhile gesture. In “Red Sun,” she tries to separate out the bitterness from the solace in a lover’s memory. “My mind is filled with journeys, echoed with your smile,” she sings. “No, you won’t take that away from me, even if you try.”

The marvel is that these two longtime band mates can simultaneously stand on their own and exert a gentle pull on each other, expanding our appreciation of them as living, breathing artists, rather than subjects of tabloid-heightened legend.

Listen to Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie’s self-titled new album below and pre-order it now! (Editor’s Note: Original NPR links have since been removed.)

Jewly Hight / NPR Music / Thursday, June 1, 2017

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Buckingham McVie

The Making of Buckingham McVie

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BLOG: For What It's Worth... Fleetwood Mac Original Features

UPDATE: Buckingham McVie out June 9

According to the L.A. Times, Fleetwood Mac members Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are planning to release their first…wait for it…duets album! There’s no doubt that Lindsey and Christine have long had musical chemistry. After all, some of their best songs — “Don’t Stop” and “Hold Me” — have been Buckingham/McVie collaborations, not to mention Billboard Top 5 singles and now SiriusXM classic rock radio staples.

But are they serious? Maybe. Stevie has made it clear that she isn’t in a hurry to release another Fleetwood Mac album, arguably residual effects from the contentious 2003 Say You Will sessions, where Stevie and Lindsey bickered like bitter ex’s (cue: their screaming match in Destiny Rules documentary DVD). The rest of the band is clearly restless to get back on the road and probably hoping to support something besides Rumours for the gazillionth time. So now they’re tired of waiting.

But the proposed name of the album, Buckingham McVie, sounds like a little…cheeky…and far too similar to the iconic Buckingham Nicks brand. And will they seriously go down the indie route again, like 2013’s Extended Play. (Warner Bros. Records is unlikely to back a Fleetwood Mac release without Stevie Nicks.) Sounds a little fishy.

With Mick Fleetwood and John McVie still involved in the project, it seems more likely the latest media bombshell is intended to light a fire under Stevie to finally get on board with a legitimate Fleetwood Mac release. It’s a passive-aggressive approach, but it may ultimately get Stevie to declare, “Uh, not over my dead body! Still, with Stevie’s 24 Karat Gold Tour to pick up again this February in the States, with a possible leg in Australia and New Zealand to follow, the dream of another Fleetwood Mac album with the classic 1975 lineup seems to be fading.

Whatever happens, the latest news adds yet another dimension to the crazy Fleetwood Mac story, whether it’s “the-drama-of-the-moment” posturing or going their own way, once again.

Read more about the ambitious project herehere, and here.

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2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

Dressed-down Fleetwood Mac out and about in Adelaide

Fleetwood Mac: Supergroup being pretty low-key ahead of their Adelaide concert

Mick Fleetwood
Mick Fleetwood outside The Intercontinental in Adelaide (Photo: Mike Burton)

THE members of legendary supergroup Fleetwood Mac are being pretty low- key during their Adelaide stay.

Heading out of the band’s city hotel yesterday wearing jeans and a T-shirt Lindsey Buckingham, greeted our shutterbug telling him to stay put because “there will be a raft of people for you to photograph’’.

He wasn’t telling Little Lies either because soon after appeared Christine McVie, who is back with Mac after 16 years, with an entourage. Like Lindsey, she was casually dressed and looking relaxed as she left to take in some city sights.

Mick Fleetwood was even more chilled out, rocking a beanie.

Fleetwood Mac is performing at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night and there are Rumours the band will be at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Lindsey Buckingham
Lindsey Buckingham outside The Intercontinental in Adelaide (Photo: Mike Burton)

“Fleetwood Mac has been invited and inundated with requests to attend Cup Carnival events,” a source close to the band tells Confidential.

The Advertiser / Tuesday, October 27, 2015

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2014-2015 On With the Show Tour

VIDEO: Lindsey Buckingham talks to Tavis Smiley

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Lindsey Buckingham talks about reuniting with the iconic band, Fleetwood Mac.

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Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham to close out Grammys with supergroup

2014-0124-spin-jem-aswad-grammys-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 Billboard.biz. 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.

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Extended Play (2013)

Lindsey Buckingham dishes on new EP, Stevie Nicks, Mac tour

Lindsey Buckingham Stevie Nicks 2013
(Neal Preston)

Lindsey Buckingham on his ‘mythology’ with Stevie Nicks, what is holding up a new album, and the latest on Christine McVie

Fleetwood Mac is having tremendous success on its current sold-out tour. The band is playing its classic hits with verve and enthusiasm, plus, since the recent release of 4-song EP,  Extended Play,  the quartet has new material to sink its teeth into.  Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham spoke to HitFix about the current state of Fleetwood Mac, the delight he takes in his still dynamic connection to Stevie Nicks, the latest on a full album from the band, and if Christine McVie will join her former band mates when they play London in the fall.

I saw the band two weekends ago at Jazz Fest in New Orleans and it seemed like you were on fire. The band was playing in daylight without any of the bells and whistles of an indoor arena show and no one missed them at all. 

There’s a lesson there. We’ve all come to feel that we need to rely on the constructions of quite elaborate set design and the backdrop that changes from song to song and, really, this band, because we are a band of musicians and a great singer, we could go up there and with a couple of spotlights prevail probably just as well. It should be about the music first and, of course, with us, it is.

“Extended Play,” a four-song EP with your first new music in 10 years, came out on April 30 and landed in iTunes top 10.  How gratifying was it that people were so eager to hear new music?

I haven’t paid too much attention to how things are going with it because, really, Mick [Fleetwood] and John [McVie]  and I got together last year and we cut a bunch of tracks and then Stevie came to the table later. Even early on,  Mick and John and I felt that the songs that we were doing were some of the best stuff we’d done in quite a while.

I am also happy with what it represents with the subject matter. The dialogues to Stevie that are, miraculously, still going on back and forth between Stevie and myself after all these years, I find that to be quite touching and somewhat surprising— something that neither one of us would have predicted years and years ago that we’d still somehow be driving each other’s motivation from a distance, and so I’m very happy with the way the EP turned out and it’s great to be doing some new things on stage.

You wrote one of the new songs, “Sad Angel,” for Stevie. What was her reaction when she first heard it?

I was not there, but I believe she latched onto it immediately. [When] that song was written, I was trying to reach out to her a little bit… she had a very good experience making her solo album [2011’s “In Your Dreams”] and it took her awhile to kind of sort of ease into the mentality of being in Fleetwood Mac again this time… That was a song to help lure her in a little bit, not that there was an agenda to do that, but it just seemed appropriate to what was going on at the time… “Hello Sad Angel, have you come to fight the war” and “Here we are, we fall to earth together/the crowd calling out for more.” It’s really sort of sweet that all of this is still taking place.

With piano ballad “It Takes Time,” you’re pleading for patience to someone who wants to heal you. What’s that about?

I guess the reflection is that I’m actually looking at some of the actions that I’ve taken over the years and maybe judging them more objectively and maybe getting to a point in one’s life where you can look back and say, “Hmmm, maybe I could have done that differently”  and acknowledging that much of the motivation that has driven certain creative actions and certain decisions has come from that dialogue that  seems to have unfolded in slow motion over a period of many years. We are still somehow on a road of evolvement.

Is that one about Stevie?

I would think so.

It’s not the only relationship you’ve had,  so I wasn’t sure.

But, you know, you can slip into these roles and it’s not that the feelings that you have aren’t… it doesn’t mean they are any less authentic. But at this point, to some degree, what Stevie and I have, we’ve played these characters for so long, you know, and it doesn’t threaten anything having to do with my home life, my wife completely understands the dynamic of it.  There’s a certain aspect of professionalism to it.

Do you feel that in some way now it’s part of your role to keep playing into this mythology?

Well, it’s a mixed bag. There is the mythology and there is, you could call it, a role, but you know that doesn’t mean we haven’t lived it. If you backtrack all the way back to Rumours, when all of this mythology rose up, if you look at the appeal of that album, it went beyond the music. It was, whether people could identify it or not, this idea that under less than ideal circumstances, in fact, under quite emotionally challenging and painful circumstances, that we were able to somehow summon up the strength to rise above that and to sort of follow through on what we needed to do fulfill our destiny, if you want to call it that. And so the subtext of Rumours becomes not the soap opera part so much as that it was an act of will and that has continued. Where reality stops and where the role begins, it’s a little fuzzy in there, you know.

(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

So not just for us, but for you two too?

For us too! Yeah, and I think that’s appropriate and I don’t know how it could really be any other way because of how it began, you know.

This is the first tour since 2009. Every time you guys come back together for a tour, you must discover something new about Mick, John and Stevie. What have you discovered about each one of them this time that you didn’t know?

(laughs) Wow… As far as Stevie goes, again, if you go back to that song “It Takes Time” and thinking maybe about times in the past when maybe I could have shown her a little more love or shown her a way to make her process a bit easier. From the first day of rehearsal, I had that in mind to try to do.

I think that difference between Stevie and me right now on this tour: If you go back two tours to 2003, we had just finished doing our last album, Say You Will, and I had produced that. And there was a certain, I wouldn’t call it an animosity, but there was a lot of tension between Stevie and me. Some of that polarity clearly played out on stage and, in a way, it made for a very interesting show. When you cut to 2009, that had been kind of neutralized, but there was nothing so tangible between us. And now, it’s sort of swung the other way where there’s more of a connection. There’s more of a mutual acknowledgement of what we’ve been through, an openness to acknowledge it on stage.

With John and Mick, the only thing I’d say about John and Mick on this tour is that they are both personally in, I think, the best places I’ve seen them in a long time and possibly because of that, I have never heard the two of them play better as a rhythm section and, of course, they are one of the great rhythm sections in rock. Consequently, as a band, we are playing about the best I can ever remember us ever playing.

You brought up that there may be a new album, but given the difficulty of getting these four songs together, should the fans not be holding their breath?

What needs to happen now if we are to do a complete album— because I think my portion of the material is not only written and recorded, but probably mostly finished— Stevie needs to come with some new material… She’s not like me, I work alone a lot when I do my solo stuff. It’s like going down to the studio and painting. I’m kind of self sufficient… With Stevie, she will write lyrics and keep them in a file and a lot of times she doesn’t even come up with melodies until later, until someone says, ‘well, you’ve got to come up with something.”

There are two scenarios that could lead to new material for Stevie, some of it would be her coming up with new songs. I have a lot of very raw stuff that has no lyrics yet…and if she wanted to sort of co-write on that level, I would love to look into [that] because we’ve never really done that. That’s an intriguing possibility. But that’s what it’s going to take: for her to bring, in one way or another, some stuff to the table so we have a balanced representation between the two writers.

I’m not overly worried about what we do. Hey, if we don’t do an album, we could always do another EP. That would be another option, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen.

Extended Play also features “Miss Fantasy,” a new track with very classic Fleetwood Mac harmonies. How did that come about?

That was sort of in a moment when I’d had some interaction with Stevie where I felt like I was tapping into the whole lexicon of memories and of emotional connections going all the way back to before she and I were a couple. She was really much caught up in the world of her solo effort. It was right at the end of that and I felt like it was hard to kind of find her in all of that or that perhaps more accurately, it was harder for her to find me, and the person that she knew and trusted and so you know, “Miss Fantasy,” it may be “you don’t remember me/but I remember you” and that’s really what that’s about.

Any truth to the rumors that Christine McVie, who left after 1997’s “The Dance,” might get on stage with Fleetwood Mac in London?

We did see Christine. She was in LA [on her way back from Maui]. Mick got her to come over to Maui for awhile… When she was living in LA and finally left the band, it was for a number of reasons. I think she really needed to burn as many bridges as she could. She got a divorce, she sold her house, she sold her publishing, she quit the band, she moved back to England. It was a radical set of things that she did all at once. Some of the reasons for that, I don’t exactly grasp, but, you know, what are you going to do?

She is very welcome to come up and do “Don’t Stop,” or whatever she wants to do. We’ll have to wait and see if she’s comfortable. I think it would be wonderful.

When the five of you had dinner in LA recently, how long had it been since you had all been together?

The last couple of times we were on tour and we played in London, she came to the shows, but it was very, very fleeting. Probably [not] since she left the band had we actually sat down for several hours and been able to just kind of interact in a more leisurely way.

What comes next for you after the tour is over later this year?

If it were up to me, what I would do is go into the studio with Fleetwood Mac and actually finish an album and put out a whole album. Maybe look at stringing not a whole year, but a big chunk of time behind that [to tour] and do something that we have not done in years and years, which is string a few experiences together without these long breaks.

My guess is even if we didn’t do that, there are more places in the States that we have not played yet that we’d probably want to get to after the first of the year after we come back from Australia.

Melinda Newman / HitFix / Monday, May 13, 2013

Categories
Extended Play (2013)

Releasing more new songs ‘matter of how and when’

Fleetwood Mac 2013 Neal PrestonLindsey Buckingham says the group has five more unreleased tracks. “The whole thing is just kind of wide open now, and it really is tantalizing to be able to put together just a few things, three or four songs on an EP”

Lindsey Buckingham says there’s more where Fleetwood Mac’s new Extended Play came from.

Buckingham tells Billboard that he, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie “cut eight songs” with producer Mitchell Froom last year after Fleetwood Mac decided it would be touring this year. Three of those — “Sad Angel,” “It Takes Time” and “Miss Fantasy” — are part of the Extended Play digital release that came out May 6, joined by “Without You,” resurrected by Stevie Nicks from the Buckingham Nicks days before they joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975.

Buckingham says “it may be too early to tell where things are going to go” with the remaining songs, but he adds that “it’s safe to say there is more than these four songs that you’re going to hear from Fleetwood Mac — it’s just a question of how and when, y’know?”

The “when,” of course, is complicated by Fleetwood Mac’s current tour, which crosses North America through July 6 and then heads to Europe in September. But Buckingham acknowledges that Extended Play has certainly given the veteran group a fresh perspective on releasing new music rather than the drama and trauma of making an entire album, as it’s done in the past.

“When I was growing up, EPs were all over the place,” Buckingham notes. “When I was growing up, albums were not really an art form; the single was the thing, and in some ways it has gotten back to that a little bit. The whole thing is just kind of wide open now, and it really is tantalizing to be able to put together just a few things, three or four songs on an EP. There is something quite effective about that, for sure. I have no preconceptions one way or the other in terms of what Fleetwood Mac will do or even what Fleetwood Mac should do. You just do what you can do and what makes sense logically — and politically.”

Fleetwood Mac has been playing “Sad Angel” and “Without You” regularly in its shows, and has dug into its catalog for “Sisters of the Moon” — part of a four-song blast from 1979’s Tusk that Buckingham says he’s happy to have in the set.

“After all this time it’s very sweet we’re able to sort of tap into that, just on more of an overview level,” Buckingham reports. “I think we’re playing better, or as well, as we’ve ever played. It’s kind of a lovefest between Stevie and me out there, which is great. And this time there seems to be an enhanced appreciation of the body of work. There seem to be a lot of young people at the shows — not that there haven’t been before, but there seem to be more this time. So I’m having a great time out there. We’re just killing it out there as far as I’m concerned.”

Fans, meanwhile, are hoping that the tour — which coincides with the 45th anniversary of the release of the very first Fleetwood Mac album — will catch up to one of the group’s most celebrated alumni later this year. Mick Fleetwood rather publicly reached out to Christine McVie, who quit the band in 1998, which resulted in her visiting him in Maui as well as a Mac reunion dinner in Los Angeles. Buckingham calls the gesture “just reaching out to her as a longtime friend” and definitively says that “Christine is never going to rejoin the band.”

Being together again, however, was a hoot.

“That was great fun. It was very interesting to see what that extra piece of the puzzle does to the overall equation,” Buckingham recalls. “It was a trip, because she was the same old person I’d always known, and she was cracking me up. We’d always had just a great chemistry, the two of us, and we just kind of hit the ground running as soon as I saw her, which was kind of amazing. If she wants to come up and do ‘Don’t Stop’ with us when we’re in England, I’d love to see that. But beyond that I think there’s not too much you can make out of it — although I’m sure people will try.”

Gary Graff / Billboard / Friday, May 10, 2013

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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

Categories
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 /

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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

Categories
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

Categories
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)

Categories
Fleetwood Mac Go Insane (1984)

Lindsey Buckingham, Lonely Guy

Handsome millionaire rock star, 34, seeks soul mate for long-term relationship. Must be willing to relocate to LA. No drugs.

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM wants a girlfriend. The handsome, intelligent and reclusive musical mastermind behind Fleetwood Mac is living by himself these days. A solitary man. And he doesn’t dig it. He’s a millionaire at thirty-four, a rock star and, actually, quite a charming fellow. But: “My personal life is fairly barren,” he says, sitting in his $2 million home, which is hidden near the end of a dead-end street, far above Los Angeles in exclusive Bel Air.

Buckingham would seem to have it all. Nice house, nice car, nice pool. Nice twenty-four-track recording studio right across the hall from his bedroom. Yet, since the painful breakup of a relationship that had lasted six years, his life has become, well, not so meaningful. He’d like nothing better than for a “wonderful, sensitive, soul-mate girl” to knock on his door.

He glances around his expensively furnished living room, complete with a six-foot-high statue of King Tut and several small glass pyramids. “A house full of new furniture doesn’t mean a whole lot,” he says in his slightly high-pitched voice. “It doesn’t mean shit. It just means you have a nice place to watch TV. But so what?”

He stares at a color TV a few feet away, where Frank Sinatra is crooning his way through a new video, ‘L.A. Is My Lady’. “Yes, it’s lonely,” continues Buckingham, munching on some potato chips. “I feel pretty isolated at the moment I’m sort of like a guy on the top of a hill in a little castle of his own. I hope that won’t last forever.”

The hot Southern California sun streams in through the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up at least one wall of nearly every room in the house. It’s bright, airy, spacious. Palm trees outside; bamboo plants inside. It’s as if the house itself were attempting to pull its owner out of the emotional slump of a failed love affair.

The phone rings. Buckingham chats about how his new album, Go Insane, is doing, then says to the caller, “You’ve got a nice girlfriend, I’ve got a nice pool table.” He laughs dryly. “It’s gotten hard to be shallow. Hard to just bring a girl in. How did we used to do that?”

WHEN HE WANTS to, Buckingham can look just like a genuine L.A. rock star. Not affected, but slightly larger than life. Nouveau riche. A bit arrogant. Very cool. This is just how he looks today, strolling into his classy living room. His curly brown hair is stylishly cut a la Eraserhead, and his expressive blue-gray eyes are hidden behind large tortoise-shell shades.

He’s the kind of millionaire who wears the same black shirt, blue denims and scruffy gray cowboy boots for days on end, and who mixes those jeans with an expensive black-and-white-striped sport coat. He has few friends but greets the ones he has with a casual “Hey, dude.” A down-home kind of rock star. A guy who hangs framed stills from Elvis’ Jailhouse Rock in his bathroom, stocks his Seeburg 200 Select-O-Matic jukebox with records like the Marcels’ ‘Blue Moon’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘I’ve Got You under My Skin’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘I Get Around’, and leaves a platinum album celebrating the multimillion sales of Rumours shunted aside in the corner of a room, as if it didn’t mean a thing.

The Lindsey Buckingham the world never sees is the one who spends much of his time by himself in his home recording studio. “He’s a studio rat,” says his manager, Michael Brokaw. On a typical afternoon, sounds waft down a long hallway from the direction of the studio — strange, syncopated sounds. A plucked violin string. Electronic drums. A funky synthesizer. Spacey, high-pitched chipmunk vocals. Very rhythmic, very oddball. Very Lindsey Buckingham. “I love to be in the studio,” says the shy rock star, surrounded by instruments and electronic equipment “That’s what I like to do best.”

He takes his musicmaking very seriously. It was his obsessive desire to do something new that led him to pull away from the formula Fleetwood Mac had developed on the albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. His offbeat work on Tusk, the band’s next album, confounded many of the 15 million people who had purchased Rumours. On Mirage, the group’s latest LP, they returned to the less adventurous sound that had characterized their earlier success. One senses that Buckingham derived a perverse satisfaction from the failure of the album to match the sales of Rumours.

Here in the studio, away from the realities of day-to-day life, Buckingham seems confident, at ease. This is where he has been creating a sonic world all his own. Inspired in part by the unconventional late-Sixties work of Beach Boy Brian Wilson and the spirit of the Seventies punk movement, but playing by his own rules, Buckingham has been stretching the traditional idea of a pop song, turning strange sounds into hooks, slowing down or speeding up his voice to create intricate, otherworldly harmonies, experimenting with a drum machine and a Fairlight computer, attempting to find new sounds, create a truly new song. “I’m trying to break down preconceptions about what pop music is,” says Buckingham, who played nearly every instrument and sang all the vocals on Go Insane. “I’m struggling to be original.”

Out of the studio, it’s another story. Fleetwood Mac may have sold millions and millions of records, and Buckingham may be a rock star, but behind the shades he’s plainly insecure. “That’s something that’s always been there,” says his forty-one-year-old brother, Jeff Buckingham, an insurance broker. “Just a little self-doubt.”

His manager describes him as “private” and “introverted.” His brother Jeff says he’s always been a loner. Growing up in Palo Alto, a suburb less than an hour south of San Francisco, Lindsey used to spend hours by himself, listening to Jeff’s 45s, hits by Elvis and Buddy Holly and Little Richard. Later, after Lindsey learned how to play a few songs on a plastic Mickey Mouse guitar, his parents bought him a real instrument. He taught himself to play by accompanying Kingston Trio records. In high school, he joined Fritz, the only band he has ever played in besides Fleetwood Mac.

He is still unsure of himself. He wonders aloud if he’s interesting enough to be written about. Reassurances don’t help. “Do you think you have enough for a feature story?” he nervously asks on several occasions. He worries visibly about being the good host. “Can I get you anything? Are you sure everything is all right?” And later: “I don’t really do that much. I told you it was going to be boring. Want to play a game of pool? Croquet?”

Even in his own home, Buckingham seems the outsider.

I’ve been trying to get to you.
Hey, little girl, leave the little drug alone.
I just can’t seem to get through.
Hey, little girl; leave the little drug alone.
— Lindsey Buckingham, ‘I Must Go’

His house didn’t always seem so empty. For six years, Lindsey Buckingham lived with Carol Ann Harris. Go Insane is about their relationship and is dedicated to Harris. An attractive blond who grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harris was a twenty-three-year-old receptionist at Producer’s Workshop, a Hollywood recording studio, when Buckingham met her while mixing Rumours in 1977. “At first, she was just another conquest,” he says, sipping a light beer. “And then later, obviously not.”

“I had been in Europe, and it was my first day back at work,” says Harris in a separate interview, recalling how they met “I walked in and saw Lindsey and that was it.”

Friends say the relationship was an intense one. The two were inseparable, and as Fleetwood Mac producer Richard Dashut, a close friend of Lindsey’s for over ten years, puts it, “They were both very much in love. They saw things in a very serious way. I can’t say either one of them had a real sense of humor together. For the first two or three years they were very, very happy and very close. In fact, I think that was one of the happiest times in his life.”

Buckingham and Harris kept to themselves. “We lived in seclusion a great deal of the time,” she says. “Even on the road, when everyone would be out partying, Lindsey and I would close ourselves off and stay together. He needs a lot of peace and quiet.”

But living with a rock star who spent so much of his time in the studio became difficult — especially for a woman who didn’t have a life of her own. “It was very lonely,” says Harris. “I think I lived my life for Lindsey. I really felt it was important for me to be there for him, whether or not he was there physically, but for him to know I was there at home. He needed me there emotionally. It was rough. I don’t think I can remember relaxing the whole time I was with him.”

Life in the rock & roll fast lane also took its toll. There were “personal problems” that neither Harris nor Buckingham will talk about. There were drugs, especially cocaine. “That was a problem,” admits Harris. “For him, too. It’s very easy to get lost, and I’m sure I did. But I’m in much better shape now than I’ve ever been. And I still like cocaine. I must admit to that vice.” (Buckingham says cocaine was never a problem for him.)

“She was a sweet young girl, very pleasant,” recalls Lindsey’s brother Jeff. “But she changed to a music [scene]-hardened, drug-hardened person. It just wasn’t the same.”

“Probably, if I had known what I was getting into, I would have thought twice about it,” says Harris. “That was right before Rumours broke. So when I met him, it was entering a world that was, to say the least, a little bit hard-core. But I fell in love with him. I had no choice. It’s not a life I would have chosen for myself. Thinking back, I’ve been through the worst of times and the best of times. But it is a very rough world. Especially at the top. A lot of people are changed by it, not in a good way. It leaves a lot of victims. A lot of it’s not very pretty. It’s easy to get very cut off from reality. Trying to keep one foot in the real world and one foot in the rock & roll world is not easy.”

“She got pulled into this whole little world that maybe she wasn’t ready for,” agrees Lindsey. “She’s a girl from a small town who found herself in a world of people who were not particularly responsible.” He is silent for a few moments. “I don’t really want to talk about that. I don’t think it would be very fair. I think it would hurt her.”

About a year ago, after much soul-searching, they separated. Buckingham helped Harris move into a place of her own. She has been studying acting and, as she puts it, “finding myself.” “It got to the point where she had to move out,” he says quietly. “She’s still not working. I’m still supporting her, for the time being. We worked out an agreement where I would sort of keep her afloat for a couple of years. I don’t mind doing that.”

His former lover has mixed feelings about having their relationship turned into Go Insane. “Some of it makes me angry… sad. A lot of it is upsetting,” she says. “But I think there’s a lot of love there. It’s hard for me to listen to it.”

Buckingham doesn’t regret writing about something so personal. “I didn’t have too many second thoughts, mainly because it was either that or go to a shrink,” he says. “I know that sounds a little flippant I think it was something that had to be addressed. People who write things that mean something, usually they’re a little too personal for somebody else. That’s a risk that has to be taken.”

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM seems to thrive on taking risks. He is doing his best to leave behind the band he helped turn into a superstar act and establish a successful solo career for himself. After recording the critically acclaimed solo album Law and Order (which contained the hit single ‘Trouble’) in 1981 for Asylum, Buckingham hired high-powered manager Brokaw, signed a multi-album deal with Elektra, spent a year recording the eccentric but excellent Go Insane and flew to London to make a surreal video. “Punching out of the Fleetwood Mac microcosm,” he calls it.

What he has not been doing is spending any time with the other members of Fleetwood Mac — in or out of the studio. Aside from a brief, inconsequential meeting backstage at a Christine McVie concert, it’s been two years since he’s seen any of them. Yet despite his intentions, Buckingham can’t seem to let go completely of Fleetwood Mac. One finds the platinum albums and old magazine photos around the house. Stevie Nicks just sent him a tape of a new song that she wants him to hear. Mick Fleetwood called this morning, asking if he could use Lindsey’s studio for a few hours. And as he talks, with or without prompting, Lindsey often refers to Fleetwood Mac.

Ten years ago, Lindsey and then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks, who were performing together as a folk-rock duo and had recorded one unsuccessful album, Buckingham-Nicks, were asked by Mick Fleetwood to join his relatively unsuccessful British blues band. The rejuvenated Fleetwood Mac’s first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a big hit

Attempting to follow up their success, Fleetwood Mac spent nearly a year recording the pop-rock soap opera Rumours, which documented the breakup of both Buckingham and Nicks’ relationship and Christine and John McVie’s marriage. Even then, there were musical differences. “I can remember during Rumours” recalls Buckingham, “saying to Mick, ‘Well, things don’t seem to be going exactly the way I would like them to go.’ And he said, ‘Well, maybe you don’t want to be in a group’.”

Despite the conflicts, Buckingham was the major force behind Rumours. “His contribution to the album was tremendous,” confirms Richard Dashut. “If any one person had the most to do with the production and the arranging and the inspiration, it was Lindsey.” Although Fleetwood Mac is listed as the producer, along with Dashut, Ken Caillat and Cris Morris, Buckingham now says, “I can’t figure out why I didn’t ask for production credit.”

Rumours went on to become one of the biggest-selling records of all time. Yet for Buckingham it was a bittersweet experience. “When Rumours went crazy, I just couldn’t bring myself to feel that strongly about the album. At some point, all the stuff surrounding it started to become the main focus. There was a gap between what I felt was important internally — what I had accomplished musically — and the popular acclaim.”

Tusk was “a rebellion against that.” For Buckingham, who had become excited by the spirit of punk and New Wave — Dashut remembers Lindsey playing him records by the Sex Pistols, the Clash and Talking Heads — it meant abandoning the pop formula that had made Rumours such a success and plunging into the unknown. On tour he began using a portable studio to record in his hotel rooms. Back in L.A., he put together songs by himself in a spare room at his house, taping vocals in the bathroom. His efforts were not well received by the band. Still, Buckingham got his way. “Basically, if Lindsey hadn’t been allowed to do what he did on Tusk, I think that you wouldn’t have had a band,” says Dashut. “Or that they would have got another guitar player. I think that everybody else went along to save the band, as opposed to really agreeing with where his head was at.”

Buckingham remembers things differently. “I would bring tunes in, and everyone would go, ‘Oh, that’s great’. When Mick took the Tusk album down to Warner Bros., everyone was jumping up and down, going, ‘Oh, this is really one of the neatest things we ever heard’ — although I have subsequently heard that when a lot of those people at Warner Bros. heard that album, they saw their Christmas bonuses flying out the window. I do think there was a time when everyone in the band was quite carried away with the spirit of experimentation. But when it began to become apparent that it wasn’t going to sell 15 million copies, then everyone from the band looked at me and went, ‘Oh, you blew it, buddy’.”

Today, Buckingham feels removed from the other members of Fleetwood Mac, though they were never close socially. “We never hung out. Never,” he says. “We were never friends in the sense that I would call Mick up and go hang out.” Now there isn’t much of a creative bond, either. “What used to keep them together was the music,” says Dashut “These days he doesn’t share much in common musically with everybody else.”

Buckingham is plainly bored, and a little disappointed, with what his colleagues have been up to on their own. “I’ve seen Stevie’s show, I’ve seen Christine’s show. To me, they both bordered on being lounge acts, simply because they were resting so heavily on Fleetwood Mac’s laurels. But I think you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your audience to try at least.”

He is vague about his future with Fleetwood Mac. He might make another album with the group. Still, as he says, referring to Go Insane, “If this album becomes quite successful, everything’s going to change radically.

“I’ve heard rumors that if I was not ready to do an album in the next three or four months, or at least talk about it, they were going to seek out somebody else,” he says. “Like Pete Townshend. That’s probably an idle rumor that’s somehow gotten around. But at the same time I can’t say that doesn’t more or less coincide with the kind of psychology I’ve seen go on in the group at certain times. If something needs to get done, they’ll get it done one way or another. And if Lindsey doesn’t want to play ball, then fuck him. They’ll fire him and get somebody else. That’s the way the band works.”

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM is standing in the “rain room.” This is his favorite room in the house — other than the recording studio. The room has a glass ceiling. Flip a switch and a gentle shower of water begins pitter-pattering against the roof as if it were raining. “It’s great for freaking people out,” he says, smiling. “You just turn it on without saying anything, and you’re in here talking, and suddenly they think it’s raining.” The room also contains an immense pine tree growing right out of the floor and up through a hole in the ceiling.

As he stands in the kitchen, there is a knock on the door. A moment later Mick Fleetwood breezes in, followed by a couple of guys lugging boxes of recording tape. Fleetwood wants to use the studio to listen to live recordings of his band, Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo. The two members of Fleetwood Mac greet each other warmly, but there is a slight undercurrent of tension. Fleetwood finds himself a beer. Lindsey doesn’t ask Fleetwood about those Pete Townshend rumors.

The phone rings, and as Lindsey answers it, Fleetwood wanders out of the room. He returns a moment later with a novelty item, a life-size rubber hand with a wire running from it to a button. When the button is pushed, the fingers move. “I’ve got to have this,” says the drummer. Then he unzips his pants and arranges the rubber hand so that it sticks out of his fly like a mutant phallus. Pushing the button, Fleetwood grins like a maniac as the fingers wiggle.

Chatting on the phone, Buckingham appears oblivious to Fleetwood’s antics. Eventually, the drummer and his entourage move back to the studio and the Zoo tape is played. The music is bluesy, meat-and-potatoes rock & roll. Lindsey stays in the studio for just a few minutes, then slips away. The next day he says, “I didn’t feel comfortable with the music they were playing. I was almost getting embarrassed. So soon we forget. You see Mick, and all the chemistry comes back, and then all the downside comes back, too.”

As it turned out, Mick Fleet wood and his buddies kept Lindsey up until five a.m. “Finally I had to say, ‘Mick, I have to go to sleep now. Mick!’ It brought back being in the studio and wanting to leave,” said the lonesome rock star. “Only I really had nowhere else to go. I mean, this is my house.”

Michael Goldberg / Rolling Stone / October 25, 1984

Categories
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

Categories
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