The legendary Stevie Nicks recently revealed that since Lindsey Buckingham left the most recent reunion tour for Fleetwood Mac, she and the band’s guitarist and one of their songwriters hadn’t spoken to one another. It was the kind of statement that was received with a collective sigh from the band’s fans. That’s because, for a time at least, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were an inseparable duo ever since they first met in serendipitous circumstances.
Even before Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham Nicks was an imposing duo on the seventies rock scene. The pair had met while the two were in high school and had forged a fearsome relationship between two fine singer-songwriters—a match made in heaven? Well, not quite. Eventually, the pair would break up during the height of Fleetwood Mac’s commercial success which would force the two ex-lovers to not only perform and record with one another but perform and record songs that said ex had written directly about them, the most famous of which is Buckingham’s ‘Go Your Own Way’.
The song is a severe and scathing retelling of the pair’s supposed breakup and was an accurate sound of their vicious ending. It was a shame considering that they had met under such innocent circumstances. Studying at Menlo-Atherton High School the older Stevie Nicks saw Buckingham jamming to the Mamas and the Papas classic song ‘California Dreamin” and “brazenly burst into harmony with him.”
Though there was certainly a spark of connection between the two, they went their separate ways and pursued their musical careers in their own way. The pair were reunited two years later as Buckingham searched for a new female vocalist for his soft-rock outfit Fritz. Now both at San Jose University, they were somewhat more mature and certainly more ready to push on with their dreams of becoming rock stars.
They began their project Buckingham Nicks and even released a debut album which, despite some appreciation failed to make any dent in the charts. It was a disastrous time for the pair and though they began making cash as session musicians, the dream of becoming stars was slipping away.
Some years later, during a television interview, Nicks spoke kindly of their relationship and hasn’t often deviated from her genuine affection for Buckingham, even during that time. “I loved him before he was a millionaire. We were two kids out of Menlo-Atherton High School. I loved him for all the right reasons,” she said. “We did have a great relationship at first. I loved taking care of him and the house.”
It was a direct reference to the time the two had spent in Aspen where the thought of a music career for Stevie Nicks was seemingly evaporating. While Buckingham was working as a session guitarist for Don Everly, Nicks was left at home to tend to the house, a role she enjoyed but was not captivated by. Unsure whether to pursue her dreams, a song soon came to confirm her love of music, ‘Landslide’.
“So during that two months I made a decision to continue. ‘Landslide’ was the decision. [Sings] ‘When you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills’—it’s the only time in my life that I’ve lived in the snow. But looking up at those Rocky Mountains and going, ‘Okay, we can do it. I’m sure we can do it.’ In one of my journal entries, it says, ‘I took Lindsey and said, We’re going to the top!’ And that’s what we did.”
The duo were picked up by Mick Fleetwood after he tried to sign up Lindsey Buckingham to join his R&B project, Fleetwood Mac and Buckingham refused to join without his partner Nicks also signing on. It was a decision that would change their lives forever and see the band’s music still rightly revered today as some of the finest of the 20th century.