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Old 09-05-2017, 11:24 AM
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SisterNightroad SisterNightroad is offline
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44 Years Later: Buckingham Nicks Started It All

You could say that Buckingham Nicks was the album that started it all.

When Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham released Buckingham Nicks on September 5, 1973, they had already had a taste of rock and roll. Lindsey played bass in a not so well known band called Fritz. In 1968, he asked Stevie to join and within a few weeks, they were opening for acts like Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane.

By 1971 Fritz disbanded, but Stevie and Lindsey continued writing songs and recording demos. Young and full of hope, they moved to Los Angeles and met producer Keith Olsen. Keith recognized the potential and raw talent in the aspiring duo and would ultimately produce Buckingham Nicks, the 10- track collaborative debut, for Polydor Records.

Listening to Buckingham Nicks is interesting. It never gained commercial success, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. The lyrics were poetic yet relevant, and Stevie’s voice held its innate ability to perfectly capture the words she sang. You felt her heart and soul in each line, each verse, each chorus. And you got an early glimpse into both Stevie and Lindsey’s ability to tell stories through their music. From “Crying in the Night” to “Frozen Love,” I can honestly say that I’ve lost myself between the lines, and loved every bit of the journey.

Buckingham Nicks never made it to the top of the charts, or even close. Polydor Records all but disowned it, deleting the album from its catalog. But as fate would have it, Buckingham Nicks would come to serve a bigger purpose. When Bob Welch left Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood was in search of a replacement. While at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, Mick met Keith Olsen who played him “Frozen Love,” the last track on Buckingham Nicks. Mick asked Lindsey to join Fleetwood Mac and Lindsey agreed on the condition that Stevie becomes a part of the band as well. On New Year’s Eve 1974, Stevie and Lindsey both joined Fleetwood Mac, and the rest is history.

Richard Dashut, assistant engineer on Buckingham Nicks, was close friends and roommates with both Stevie and Lindsey long before their Fleetwood Mac days. He reminisces on their humble beginnings and Stevie’s positive impact, even back then. “A naturally nurturing soul, I was blessed to share a home with both her and Lindsey for a couple of years. Perhaps not the best homemaker (she was never cut out for that) she more than made up for it by making great Hamburger Helper and providing a sensitive feminine balance to our young lifestyle. Very outgoing, she had social skills at the time that Lindsey and I were just beginning to develop. This kept us moving in a positive direction, never once dreaming of giving up on our lofty ambitions. Of course, we never did give up and ended up being part of musical history, in no small part due to her. Because of her charming presence, people immediately felt a sense of warm intrigue, inviting a deeper exploration into her mysterious heart. Before fame found one of my best friends and roommate, there was a girl with the magic of a brilliant aura that she wore like a cape of glittering stars on a moonless night.”

While working on Buckingham Nicks, there was no doubt that Stevie was a star. “Stevie was always serious about her career as a song writer,” Richard continues, “never without a notebook to write lyrics and song ideas in. A permanent fixture at my upright piano, there was a constant melodic beauty that rang through the apartment. Although you had a sense that Stevie was a very special soul (her songs reflected that), it was the combination of both Stevie and Lindsey that gave one a glimpse of future success. They always seemed to bring out the most creative inspiration from each other, rooted from a burning love and a volatile relationship. From this cauldron of creative magic, the formula gave birth to the star and legend she has become. While no one really knows what the future holds, we could feel a strong sense of change was coming and a confidence of staying the course seemed the best path to the inevitable goals we had set for ourselves.”

More than almost anyone, Richard has personal insight into why Stevie’s legacy has endured for so many years, beyond her beginnings on Buckingham Nicks. “What made Stevie the icon she is today, is a combination of a creative presence wrapped in the mystery of forever yearning for a lost love. That vulnerability has touched a universal heart that beats in all of us seeking the ultimate truth through love and escape from loneliness. I think Stevie carries that cross for all of us.”

It’s almost overwhelming when you think of all the little details that need to fall into place for one amazing thing to happen. Without Buckingham Nicks, there might not have been the Fleetwood Mac the world would come to love. Without Fleetwood Mac, there might not have been a solo Stevie Nicks. And without Stevie Nicks…well, I can’t imagine a world without Stevie Nicks.

You could say that Buckingham Nicks was the album that started it all.
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