Watch Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s first filmed performance with Fleetwood Mac, 1975
In the midst of a somewhat dire situation, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were working odd jobs to pay off the studio fees for their recent self-titled debut LP as Buckingham Nicks. The duo it seemed was destined to remain in the bargain bins of petrol stations across the land.
That was until Mick Fleetwood took a chance on the duo and invited them to be a part of soon-to-be-iconic group Fleetwood Mac, saving them from the drudgery of working life. This first performance proves he was absolutely right to take a chance.
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham are seen by many as integral pillars of the Fleetwood Mac coliseum but they aren’t original members. The pair had, in fact, been already journeying through the pitfalls and mires of the musical landscape when they were picked up by the legendary rhythm and blues group.
The pair had finished their debut record Buckingham Nicks and were in the middle of paying off the studio fees, Nicks completing housework for wealthy Aspen families and Buckingham with session guitar work with the Everly Brothers when Mick Fleetwood walked into an L.A.’s Sound City Studios and was hugely impressed by Buckingham.
When former Fleetwood guitarist Bob Welch departed the band in 1974 there was only one man for the job, Lindsey Buckingham. Having previously impressed Mick when demonstrating Sound City’s capabilities years before, it was a natural fit and one Mick wanted to make happen quickly. But what about Stevie? “He was standing there grooving to this searing guitar solo and he needed a guitar player,” Buckingham later told Uncut. “That was as far as his thinking went. I had to explain we came as a duo. Stupid me, eh?”
There was worry that the introduction of another woman to the band may upset Christine McVie, who had been the only female up until this point, and so a certain amount of trepidation surrounded the inclusion. But on the last day of 1974, the duo became part of the band after passing the test with John McVie and keyboardist Christine.
The was no rest for the wicked though as the now new five-member strong band got quickly to work and laid down the classic self-titled album from 1975—it marked the new inclusions as vital members of the group. The newly inducted pair were put on songwriting duties alongside Christine and they managed to create a sensational album in just a number of days.
The band, the 10th incarnation of it, went on tour with the album and found huge success along the road. It would be their most successful iteration of the group and the album would provide tracks like ‘Over My Head’, ‘Monday Morning’ and the classic ‘Rhiannon’, the latter would become a fan favourite following their live shows. It would often feature four members of the band on stage when Nicks would appear in a top hat and flowing capes, announcing “this is a song about a Welsh witch.”
The tour would begin in El Paso, Texas in early May of 1975 but the first filmed performance was later in the year. The footage below shows their performance from the Capitol Centre in the latter part of 1975. It lands roughly in the middle of their tour which went on for 15 months and finished with the band’s album finally at No. 1.
The change represented a radically new path for the band. It saw them turn away from their R&B roots and instead move towards a kind of pop-rock which would shape the band and their listeners.
Watch that incredible first filmed performance form the new Fleetwood Mac below.