Q&A: Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham Reveal Lingering Tensions in Fleetwood Mac
As previously reported, Fleetwood Mac will head out on the road next year for a massive world tour. It turns out the tour was originally scheduled for 2012, but Stevie Nicks decided to take an extra year for her own solo trek. The rest of the group decided to make the best of things and use the time to cut a new album, but that ultimately fell apart, too.
Rolling Stone spoke at great length to Nicks and Lindsey Buckinham about all the drama, their disagreement over how to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their long out-of-print collaborative LP, Buckingham Nicks, and how the ex-lovers manage their fragile partnership. They got on the phone separately, about a week apart.
Is there any chance that Christine McVie might guest at some point on this Fleetwood Mac tour?
I would say there's no more a chance of that happening than an asteroid hitting the earth. She is done. You know when you look in somebody's face and you can just tell? She doesn't want to do it anymore. She doesn't want to fly. She doesn't want to come back to America. When she left, she left. She sold her house, her piano, her car. She went to England and she has never been back since 1998, so it's not really feasible, as much as we would all like to think that she'll just change her mind one day. I don't think it'll happen. We love her, so we had to let her go.
I've been hearing rumors of this tour for a couple years now. How did it all come together?
In 2010 I made a record, and I toured all that year. Then I decided to take this year and give this record that I'm really proud of one more year. I thought it deserved it, and now I'm done and I'm letting it go. I'm ready to go into Fleetwood Mac. In my opinion, whenever we work we should be off the road for three years. It feels special when you haven't seen us for three years. You didn't just see us a year and a half ago. That's why I make an effort to not do it every two years.
Are you thinking about making any new material with Fleetwood Mac before the tour?
Well, we don't have a lot of time. We go into rehearsal on February 15th. We do actually have two new songs. I went into Lindsey's house two weeks ago and spent four days there. We also recorded a very old Buckingham Nicks song that we loved and couldn't figure out why it didn't go on the album. It got brushed under the carpet somehow. We recorded it, so that's a third song.
Next year is the 40th anniversary of Buckingham Nicks, and we're hoping next year to get the record out. Then we'll take that lost song and put it on the record. That's kind of exciting, though it doesn't have anything to do with Fleetwood Mac. People have been waiting forever for that record to come back out. Fleetwood Mac is totally good with us doing that. They know.
It was great spending time with Linds. We're old enough now that we've laid down our weapons. We started this whole thing in 1968 and we're proud of what we've done. We look each other in a slightly different light now. It's a good light.
Do you think the set list is going to be very different than the last tour?
What we do is go through our entire catalog and everybody makes a list of the songs they want to do. There's about 10 songs we have to do no matter what. You have to go "Go Your Own Way" and "Landslide" and "Dreams." You can't get out of that, but when you're Fleetwood Mac you do a two-hour-and-20-minute set. It means you have eight or nine other songs you can pick from your catalog. That's what we do. We put them all up on a board, like in school. We play all of them and see what works.
A lot of your peers have been playing their classic albums straight through on recent tours. Has there been any talk of doing Rumours straight through?
Well, no. But we do a lot of songs from Rumours. If we did that, we would really be left with only a certain amount of time to do the hit songs that people want from all the other records. So that would be a very different tour. That's not to say we couldn't do it, but that's not the tour we're doing this year. It might be fun at some point though. It might even be a good idea to film that. Then we could talk about each song and all the experiencers that went along with them.