It’s one of rock’s most enduring love stories, one that’s played out in the media, “Behind the Music” and the imaginations of millions of fans for decades: [artist id=”1071″]Fleetwood Mac[/artist]’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.
Nicks and Buckingham first met in high school, when Buckingham was singing at a party and Nicks walked up and joined him.
“We were at some get-together and he was there, sitting, playing his guitar — [the Mamas and the Papas’ hit] ’California Dreamin’ ’ — and I walked up and brazenly burst into harmony with him. It was cool, and I said ’I’m Stevie Nicks’ and he said ’I’m Lindsey Buckingham.’ I never saw him again for two years, until he was in a band and he remembered that night and he called and asked me to join their band.”
That second meeting resulted in the formation of their romantic relationship as well as their musical career. They released an album entitled Buckingham Nicks in 1973 (the cover of which is a photograph of the two of them topless). Two years later, they joined — and revitalized — Fleetwood Mac, which was formed as a blues band by drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie in 1967, but became one of the biggest pop acts of all time after Buckingham and Nicks joined. Their eponymous 1975 album and 1977’s Rumours were among the biggest sellers of the era.
Yet with success came discord: Nicks and Buckingham’s always-tumultuous romance unraveled in 1976; McVie and keyboardist Christine McVie filed for divorce, and drummer Mick Fleetwood divorced his wife as well. The result of such romantic turmoil was famously reflected in the songs on Rumours.
The group split in the 1980s and, with the exception of their 1993 performance of “Don’t Stop” at President Bill Clinton’s inaugural ball, did not reunite until 1996 for The Dance. The album includes “Silver Springs,” a song that that did not make the final cut of Rumours, much to Nicks’ dismay, but it remains a striking representation of the Nicks and Buckingham’s relationship (“Time casts a spell on you, but you wont forget me/ I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me”).
On Fleetwood Mac’s recent tour, which Buckingham has described as “fun” and “drama-free,” and Nicks’ agreed that the two are in a better spot than in the past.
“I don’t feel like screaming at Lindsey right now. … I’m not in a violent state of mind,” Nicks, 60, said. “I want people to leave feeling the emotion of ’Silver Springs,’ but without seeing Lindsey and I clawing at each other.”
However, she concedes that “fun” might not be the most suitable word for their relationship on or off the stage “When he goes onstage and does his little speech where he says, ’You know, everything is great and we’re just all grown up now and we’re having fun,’ I’m just standing on the other side of the stage and going [rolls her eyes], ’Whatever!’ Right now, we’re trying to be a little more on the high road, but let us go in and do another album, and bang! Back down to the bad, low road go we.”
Still, fans find it hard to let go of the vision of Stevie and Lindsey together. “That electric crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away,” she said. “He’s married, he’s happy, he has three beautiful children that I love. You know, he’s found a good, happy, calm, safe place — but who Lindsey and I are to each other will never change.”
Still, she said, “It’s over. It doesn’t mean the great feeling isn’t there, it must mean that … you know, we’re beauty and the beast. It means that the love is always there but we’ll never be together, so that’s even more romantic.”
Asked when she knew the romance was really over, Nicks said, “The day his first child was born. I knew that was it … that was the definitive thing.”
Whether or not that was really it, the romance of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham clearly lives on for fans, and perhaps in their own hearts as well.