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Old 05-09-2008, 04:39 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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Default The Australian Interviews Stevie/Lindsey 2/04

[Did she really call him "honey"?]

HEADLINE: Mac without the knives out

BYLINE: Iain Shedden

BODY:
Fleetwood Mac are still as hot -- and almost as argumentative -- as they were in their heyday. Iain Shedden reports

AS befits a luxury hotel, there's a lot of expensive baggage around. It's not the tangible sort, though. It's the emotional baggage that comes from being in one of the richest, most successful, most complicated rock bands in the world: Fleetwood Mac.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, two of the chief protagonists in a rock soap opera that has flirted with the public imagination for almost 30 years, are holed up in a room at Sydney's InterContinental hotel.

Nicks and Buckingham are 55 and 54 respectively, were once a couple and a recording duo, and for a quarter of a century have been doing their best to paste over the cracks of their personal and occasional professional break-ups.

Even today, sharing a sofa and being fraternally hands-on, there are moments where their troubled past flits before them.

"It's not that we don't still have disagreements and arguments and see everything the same way," Nicks says, "but beyond that we have a deep and caring friendship. If anything happened to Lindsey I'd be devastated -- and vice versa."

Nicks, like some of her colleagues, has done the rock'n'roll lifestyle thing big time. On the surface, her long-term drug abuse in the 1980s (cocaine and later the tranquilliser Klonopin) have left her unscathed. Her voice is still in great shape and the long sweep of straight blonde hair complements a face that could be 10 years younger.

Her memory is another matter, but we'll get to that later.

Fleetwood Mac's first Australian tour in 14 years is part of a global assault that has already taken them across the US and Europe. Given the acrimony that has haunted the band since the album Rumours launched them into the stratosphere in 1977, it is remarkable that they are prepared to be in the same room, never mind on the same stage night after night.

In the beginning, the entwined personalities and careers of the band's personnel were a disaster waiting to happen. The bass player, John McVie, was married to keyboard player Christine McVie. Buckingham-Nicks had their own recording career before joining Fleetwood Mac and they too were a couple. It was bound to end in tears. No one could have predicted that it would also fuel Rumours, one of the most successful albums in rock history.

"Things are better now than they used to be," says Nicks. "In the old days we were angry with each other and didn't like each other. We had to go on stage and play. It was all about dirty looks and not having much fun. That's partly to do with why Lindsey left the band in '83."

"Eighty-seven," interjects Buckingham and, as if on cue, there follows a few minutes of intense discussion between them about just when the guitarist was in the band and when he wasn't.

"But honey, you really left in '83, you only came back to do [the album] Tango in the Night in 1987. You didn't tour."

"No, no, I was in the band until 1987," he insists, and suddenly it's as if only the two of them are in the room. "I was there for the whole thing. I produced the album and then I pulled out for the tour because it was just too crazy."

Nicks gives this a few seconds' thought.

"I thought you pretty much left. Oh, I can't even remember," she concedes.

Buckingham, however, is eager to make his point, recalling how the artistically adventurous Tusk, the relatively unsuccessful follow-up to Rumours, was a turning point in his relationship with the other members. He's still addressing this only to Nicks.

"It was harder for me because after Tusk there was this dictum that came down [from the other members] that we weren't going to move to the left too much anymore. It was hard for me to reconcile the process because that was interesting to me. In some ways I was treading water, but I was never not there. I was there for everything."

Nicks thinks again. "So where was I?"

Then, realising there's a third person in the room, they laugh and acknowledge the therapy session ambience.

The pair are accompanied on this tour by John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, as well as seven other musicians and a touring entourage that totals 86. Not included is songwriter Christine McVie, who quit the band in the late '90s. This leaves Nicks and Buckingham as the chief songwriters, as is reflected on the album Say You Will, which they are on the road to promote. McVie's departure has altered the dynamics of the group and allowed Buckingam's guitar playing to become more prominent, he says. "Fleetwood Mac has survived by being able to be flexible," he says. "One of the reasons I'm having the best time on stage is because I have more room to manoeuvre out there."

The Say You Will tour is about more than just survival, however. The band grossed $91 million in the US last year from ticket sales and the Australian leg is close to sold out -- so any agonising among them can be done on the way to the bank.

Nicks says she would like to concentrate on other things. She has a successful solo career, but would also like to write children's books and to indulge her favourite, non-music activity, painting. Their extracurricular interests -- and the personal demons that inhabit their world -- might not be enough to stop another Fleetwood Mac tour down the track.

"You have a band of people who are sovereign and talented in their own right and who have found ways to stay together," says Buckingham. "We are musicians, songwriters and singers par excellence ... I would like to think. We are a band and in many ways we are better now than we have ever been."

And what about simply getting along with each other?

"We are still shaping what we are to each other," Buckingham says, in the way only a Californian can. "Stevie and I can still push each other's buttons quite easily. That does happen. But we all have other things that we can do. It's all about respecting each other and finding a rhythm.

"What makes it meaningful and makes it have poetry and makes it tender is that we are now in the aftermath of the coda, working out all these things from a more mature and distant perspective ... working on being adults."

"Trying," says Nicks.

"Yes, we're trying," he agrees.
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  #2  
Old 05-15-2008, 08:38 PM
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Great interview...but is there more?
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Old 05-15-2008, 08:42 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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Originally Posted by highwaywomen View Post
Great interview...but is there more?
No. That was the end of the article. That sentence about "we're trying." That was it. I thought it was a good interview too and I didn't see it online before.

I laughed at the part about when they're arguing as to when he left the group.

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Old 05-16-2008, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by michelej1 View Post
. . . "Things are better now than they used to be," says Nicks. "In the old days we were angry with each other and didn't like each other. We had to go on stage and play. It was all about dirty looks and not having much fun. That's partly to do with why Lindsey left the band in '83."

"Eighty-seven," interjects Buckingham and, as if on cue, there follows a few minutes of intense discussion between them about just when the guitarist was in the band and when he wasn't.

"But honey, you really left in '83, you only came back to do [the album] Tango in the Night in 1987. You didn't tour."

"No, no, I was in the band until 1987," he insists, and suddenly it's as if only the two of them are in the room. "I was there for the whole thing. I produced the album and then I pulled out for the tour because it was just too crazy."

Nicks gives this a few seconds' thought.

"I thought you pretty much left. Oh, I can't even remember," she concedes.
Actualy, La Nicks is mostly correct here. All of the rags at the time indicated FM broke up after Mirage. I mean TITN was five years later and in that time La Nicks released two solo records and did two or three world tours. LB was working on his third record and seemingly had no interest in FM until =, for whatever reason, he deceided to morph his solo record (presumably GOS) into TITN. But, accroding to most of the press and his own opinion later, he did not go willingly and in fact later backed out because the craziness was starting. So, for him to say he was totally committed to FM until he left in 1987 is not that accurate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by michelej1 View Post
"You have a band of people who are sovereign and talented in their own right and who have found ways to stay together," says Buckingham. "We are musicians, songwriters and singers par excellence ... I would like to think. We are a band and in many ways we are better now than we have ever been."
And people got all over La Nicks for her "enjoy my celebrity" comment - LB equates himself and his band to a sovereign If La Nicks had said this, she hardly would be given a free pass and instead would be called all kinds of names
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I LOVE that she called him honey. I also think the Australians seem to get the best interviews.

Finally, wouldn't you just love to read Stevie's journals in 1987. Thank goodness she wrote it all down so she can reference it when she finally writes that book.
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Old 05-16-2008, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by strandinthewind View Post
Actualy, La Nicks is mostly correct here.
Actually, she is completely wrong.

Quote:
All of the rags at the time indicated FM broke up after Mirage.
I can't think of a single magazine that reported that Fleetwood Mac had broken up in 1983. But besides that, this isn't Stevie's claim. Her claim in the interview is that Lindsey left the band in 1983. That's completely wrong.

Quote:
I mean TITN was five years later and in that time La Nicks released two solo records and did two or three world tours.
Completely irrelevant to Stevie's claim that Lindsey left the band in 1983. (He did not.)

Quote:
LB was working on his third record and seemingly had no interest in FM until =, for whatever reason, he deceided to morph his solo record (presumably GOS) into TITN.
A small point, but recording on Gift Of Screws didn't start until the mid 1990s. The solo work he had already done in 1986 (which he folded into the band album) was not called Gift Of Screws.

Quote:
But, accroding to most of the press and his own opinion later, he did not go willingly and in fact later backed out because the craziness was starting. So, for him to say he was totally committed to FM until he left in 1987 is not that accurate.
His level of commitment to the band is completely irrelevant to what Stevie claimed, which was that he left the band in 1983. This is completely & verifiably wrong.

Quote:
And people got all over La Nicks for her "enjoy my celebrity" comment - LB equates himself and his band to a sovereign If La Nicks had said this, she hardly would be given a free pass and instead would be called all kinds of names
That isn't what "sovereign" means in the context in which Lindsey used it. He means that the band is independent; it makes its own creative decisions. Whether that's true or not is another issue worth discussing here, but that's all he meant. It's really not an eye-roller. I think you're projecting something onto the quote.
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:32 PM
michelej1 michelej1 is offline
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If Lindsey was talking about prisoner abuse and pointed out that the Guantanamo base was in the sovereign territory of Cuba, I think that would make him just as bad as Stevie is too.

Still, however Lindsey meant "sovereign" he was talking about the band as a whole. He didn't say, "enjoy my sovereign talent."

Quote:
Originally Posted by strandinthewind View Post
LB was working on his third record and seemingly had no interest in FM until =, for whatever reason, he deceided to morph his solo record (presumably GOS) into TITN. But, accroding to most of the press and his own opinion later, he did not go willingly and in fact later backed out because the craziness was starting. So, for him to say he was totally committed to FM until he left in 1987 is not that accurate.
He didn't say he was totally committed to FM from 1982-1987. All he said was that he produced the TITN album (and I'd say he produced it in a totally committed fashion) and, because he did and wrote and sang songs on it with Christine and (sometimes) Stevie, I think his contention that he remained in the band until 1987 is not only reasonable, but beyond dispute.


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Old 05-16-2008, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for posting this interview, it was really enjoyable to read. The exchanges between Linds and Stevie are still very potent, even if they were to talk about what kind of potato chips they each liked it would still be a great read. "Lindsey, you stopped liking Pringles in '83"..."No no, I stopped liking them in '87, not '83..."
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Old 05-16-2008, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for posting this interview, it was really enjoyable to read. The exchanges between Linds and Stevie are still very potent,
Yes, it was funny that the interviewer commented that it was like they forgot he was in the room.

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Old 05-16-2008, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by David View Post
Actually, she is completely wrong.

I can't think of a single magazine that reported that Fleetwood Mac had broken up in 1983. But besides that, this isn't Stevie's claim. Her claim in the interview is that Lindsey left the band in 1983. That's completely wrong.

Completely irrelevant to Stevie's claim that Lindsey left the band in 1983. (He did not.)

A small point, but recording on Gift Of Screws didn't start until the mid 1990s. The solo work he had already done in 1986 (which he folded into the band album) was not called Gift Of Screws.

His level of commitment to the band is completely irrelevant to what Stevie claimed, which was that he left the band in 1983. This is completely & verifiably wrong.

That isn't what "sovereign" means in the context in which Lindsey used it. He means that the band is independent; it makes its own creative decisions. Whether that's true or not is another issue worth discussing here, but that's all he meant. It's really not an eye-roller. I think you're projecting something onto the quote.
i totally agree...he didnt leave until 87. It wasnt like the band toured after the Mirage tour...there was a lack of music and touring. Even up to Tango In The Night, which he was involved in the recordeding of the album, and made the music videos to it. In my opinion that still "counts" as being part of the band. His "spirit" may have been gone in '83, but...
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Old 05-16-2008, 06:57 PM
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Stevie has no memories of timeframes. She often claims she toured for The Wild Heart in 1984. The album came out in 1983. The tour was '83 also.
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Old 05-16-2008, 09:37 PM
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Stevie has said she doesn't remember much about the eighties!

Michele
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:07 AM
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. . . That isn't what "sovereign" means in the context in which Lindsey used it. . . .
Despite the South and an incorrect Concerto note - with respect:

Main Entry: 1sov·er·eign
Variant(s): also sov·ran \ˈsä-v(ə-)rən, -vərn also ˈsə-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English soverain, from Anglo-French soverein, from soverein, adjective
Date: 13th century
1 a: one possessing or held to possess sovereignty b: one that exercises supreme authority within a limited sphere c: an acknowledged leader : arbiter
2: any of various gold coins of the United Kingdom
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Maybe he meant a coin?
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:22 AM
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. . . He didn't say he was totally committed to FM from 1982-1987. All he said was that he produced the TITN album (and I'd say he produced it in a totally committed fashion) and, because he did and wrote and sang songs on it with Christine and (sometimes) Stevie, I think his contention that he remained in the band until 1987 is not only reasonable, but beyond dispute.


Michele
Acually, he said "No, no, I was in the band until 1987" and then she said . . . ." I think if LB'ws solo recods had taken off, he'd have been out of there. La Nicks' quotes support this somewhat So, back to my arument that LB needed FM when he relatively failed as a solo artist - at least commercially. To have had her, his ex, succeed so fantastically, must have stuck him in the heart, esp. since his production of her incredible words and bare music made her and FM (no slam on CM intended) . I watch that Mirage video and his perfenctory denial of FM not breaking up rings hollow.

Who knows for sure though

Personally, I think denouement
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Old 05-17-2008, 01:24 AM
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Stevie has said she doesn't remember much about the eighties!

Michele
But, she has it written down

Why are people so loathe to believe her, but they (not you per se) take his word as law?
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:22 AM
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Actually, she is completely wrong.

I can't think of a single magazine that reported that Fleetwood Mac had broken up in 1983. But besides that, this isn't Stevie's claim. Her claim in the interview is that Lindsey left the band in 1983. That's completely wrong.
Yes, I've been looking at the old articles and I'd say you're right. But when Tango arrived, the press treated it like a reunion and that's when all the band members started saying that they'd never broken up. Here's an article with Christine, from The Advertiser, June 18, 1987:

HEADLINE: FLEETWOOD MAC ENDS THE FRUSTRATION

BYLINE: DAVID SLY

BODY:
FOR the past two months, Christine McVie has been quizzed by bemused journalists over how Fleetwood Mac came to reunite for the recording of the new Tango In the Night album. She's plainly sick of it. "I really don't know how you people got a hold of that story. We never broke up," she claimed in a near hysterical tone.

Fine. But five years between albums is a ridiculously long time, especially when no Press statement had been issued on the impending future of the band during that period.

"Yes. Okay. I'll grant that five years is a long hiatus, but it didn't seem like such a big deal to each of us. We all went off and did our own projects, finished them and then came back to work on a new Fleetwood Mac album.

"You really can't expect much more from us. Everyone should know by now that we are notoriously slow workers." The world was largely aware that the five band members - Lindsay Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, McVie and her former husband John McVie - were virtually at each others' throats by the completion of the Mirage concert tour throughout the US in 1982.

McVie admitted that it was not an easy time for the band, as two albums in a row had failed to match the colossal commercial success of the Rumours album and tensions among all parties were mounting.

"We simply decided that we needed a break from each other, though it was never decided that we would split the band," she said.

"We were going through a difficult patch, but I think we all knew that eventually we would come back together and record.

"We had to get over the personal disappointment of Mirage,

which we felt was one of our weaker albums - not because it didn't sell fantastically, but because we made the record for all the wrong reasons.

"After Rumours, we recorded the double album Tusk, which saw us stretch so far out to the left in a completely different direction to Rumours. Therefore, we decided that Mirage should get back to something that the record company, or at least the public, would expect from us.

"It was a compromise . . . lacking in intensity and passion and it therefore paled alongside everything else we had done."

A procession of solo excursions followed, with albums from Nicks, McVie and Buckingham (Nicks's Rock A Little album was the most successful), while Fleetwood forged the experimental rock troupe Zoo and John McVie returned to playing bar room blues.

Christine doubted that any of the solo outings were responsible for reshaping the sound of Fleetwood Mac for the new album.

"If anything, they cleaned the musical frustrations out of our systems so that we can get on with the job ahead," she explained.

"Our feelings towards working with each other in the studio were at a peak again and we agreed that it was time for us to do something constructive as a unit. Yes, we had grown apart as individuals but were still very much a band.

"In many ways it was a comforting feeling getting back with the musicians you had been making music with for the previous 12 years of your life. That mild sense of celebration saw us return to the feeling that we had while recording the Rumours album."
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