Rumours DVD Transcript

Originally posted on The Ledge message boards


Lindsey: I think we had a working title of �Strummer.� I think because it did start off as a kind of a strummy, acoustic feel. But I think the intent for that song was to be kind of a dance beat. I know Richard Dashut and I had been driving around from town to town during those days and had heard Jive Talking by the Bee Gees. And we really liked the feel of that, and they had a rolling kind of thing behind it. That was always my intention for the feel that it should have. And I think eventually we got there. We did accomplish that. Mick�s first inclination of the drum feel was to go more folky. He had kind of a press role, a loose pattern, an Irish approach, which was a more literal approach of what the song really was and what it was giving off in its initial stages. It had quite a few interesting textures on it. A lot of people remarked on the snare sound, which was kind of ringy and thin. It wasn�t exactly what was considered state of the art and it was kind of retro...and that was cool. We also had a percussive roll that was from the seat of a nawgahide chair that was sitting around in the studio.

Mick: You definitely found yourself doing things that were off the wall. Some things worked, some didn�t.

Lindsey: Found sounds have always been something that interested me.

Mick: We did well with our furniture! (laughs)


Stevie: I think what happens with something like Dreams, the idea of writing it in Sly Stone�s studio, black velvet bed, and curtains you could just flowed out. It was written in about 5 minutes�and I recorded it on a little cassette that way I wouldn�t be nervous about playing it for the band. Everybody really liked it and we recorded it right away.

Ken Caillat: When you guys were working on those bass and drum parts�do you remember this coming together quickly?

John: Most of the bass parts were pretty much as they first came out of the shoe. There might�ve been one or two exceptions�I think I butted heads with Lindsey on one of them (laughs)�but most of them were pretty much as they came out.

Mick: That comes from years of playing the way we played�certainly a blues background, where you listen intently to what the vocal is doing.

John: Make it simple as possible�give it a lot of air and space. It allows the rest of the song to have sort of an ethereal quality.

Stevie: In the beginning there wasn�t a piano, and I wrote all my songs on guitar. I took lessons when I was 16, when I took lessons, just a few lessons�that�s all I wrote on then. On the piano I can noozle myself into chords, even though I don�t have any idea what I�m doing. But still, they aren�t just C, F and G.

Lindsey: Dreams was an interesting outcome for something which didn�t have a lot of variety in terms of it�s chord structures, but tons of variety in terms of it�s melodic left and right turns. There were 3 distinct sections that really were the key. There is no drama without contrast, and we made the contrast out of all that,, and it was a lot of fun.

Stevie: That was one of the few songs that I just played and everyone went �Oh yeah!� and liked it. You know�Dreams was a gift.


Lindsey: I remember writing that when we got off the road. It was written about a girl that I had met in New England and spent a very short amount of time with. Someone who really, initially, didn�t want to spend time with me, and I talked her into it. And of course, �been down one time, been down two times, never going back again� is really a sweet sentiment. It�s a na�ve sentiment. Because every time you are happy, you create this illusion for yourself that you�re never gonna be unhappy again. Life doesn�t really work that way, and you have to learn to accept that you�ll have ups and downs your entire life. So that was really the sentiment of the song for me.

We weren�t clear initially how clear on how we wanted to approach it. I think Mick had put some brushes on it and therefore we had the working title of Brushes. Eventually it got paired down to just two guitars, a left and right guitar. It did go through it�s own evolution of trying other things. I think the initial attempt was going to be a more orchestral approach, a more layered approach. But I think eventually we came back to a simple approach with was suited to the sentiment of the song.


Christine: I think I wrote that in the condos that Stevie and I shared.

Stevie: It was fabulous. Chris and I did move into two little apartments right next door to each other. And we had a ball. It was really neat.

Lindsey: Don�t Stop was really Christine�s song. It�s in the tradition of her roots�and John and Mick�s 12 bar blues roots and shuffles.

John: The ole� shuffle was right up Mick and mine�s alley.

Mick: That�s why we get paid the big bucks! (laughter)

Christine: I�ve written a few shuffles before. This one being my most famous. I think I was very happy when I wrote it.

Lindsey: The fact that we shared verses, and mine was first, it kind of muddied the lines of whose song it was. But it really was kind of a great collaboration in the sense that some of hers and mine musical senses overlap� and I think it worked very well to the advantage of that song.


Lindsey: It may have been the first song that I played as an offering to the band. It was in Miami, and I played it for them, and it met with such a strong response. It really broke the ice and set the tone for the album in general. It got everyone off on the right foot, and let everyone feel that we had a strong place to go.

Mick: Lindsey has this very specific idea for the drum parts he wanted. But one thing he didn�t realize was that I couldn�t play them. And it blew his mind! (laughs) He said you have to be able to play that! He had liked some of the parts on the early Fleetwood Mac records.

Lindsey: After we got to Sausalito to begin recording, I was listening to a Stones song called Street Fighting which had a drum beat similar to what Mick played. It wasn�t the kind of thing Mick did, and he did his own version.

Mick: I did as good a job as I could do to get Lindsey�s beat...and then completely screwed it up! (laughter)

Lindsey: The solo at the end was certainly a template for things that happened after that. I really think Ken Caillat did a great job of getting the sound that solo needed. It defined an approach for years to come.

Mick: I can certainly say that the solo, without fail, to this day I get goosebumps. Especially in the car. I turn it up and go �YES�! It�s so cool. It�s one of the most classic guitar solos ever. It�s one more ounce of juice as you get out of the car. Brilliant.


Stevie: I got the idea from a freeway sign as we drove under the sign that said Silver Springs, Maryland. And�that�s the kind of writer that I am. If I hear a name I really like, I can maybe write a story about it.

Lindsey: It�s an interesting song in what it seems to be saying. Very bittersweet�because she�s talking about being MY Silver Spring, and what we could have been as lovers. A beautifully put together song on a musical level. It has some of the best guitar work on the album, speaking for what I was able to contribute to it. A lot of layering and volume pedals, textures across the top, and acoustic picking.

Mick: The subtlety of what we got into as players�you really hear a lot of these delicate things that went on during the recording. Most of it was amazingly natural.

Lindsey: I know Stevie was disappointed that it didn�t make it at the time. We were worried a bit about the flow of the album and what the album needed. It was a shame that it didn�t make it. It was certainly warranted.

Mick: The reason why it didn�t make it was because vinyl was good quality up to 22 minutes per side. So we had to cut a song unfortunately.

Christine: It�s back where it belongs. It should�ve been on the record, and we all loved it. I get the chills actually, listening to it.

Lindsey: It�s like a great scene from a movie that gets cut and left on the cutting room floor. But it is�it�s a great song.

Stevie: It�s like�the couple is back together!

Mick: At last I can rest easy. I was the unfortunate person who had to tell Stevie it wasn�t going on the album. Well now you can forgive me Stevie.


Lindsey: I think it was a really an interesting collaboration of forces. It started off as a song of Christine�s called �Keep Me There� and much of that did not end up being the song. We had the tag ending to the song.

Mick: Lindsey ran with whatever Chris had formulated and then basically ended up hitting a brick wall. And it felt like the whole thing was just never gonna work. They all got this revelation, and suddenly it just made sense, like a jigsaw puzzle.

Lindsey: I came in one day, and said why don�t we just remove the verses? And we can do some sort of measurement of what the tape is, and do a reverse count back from there to create a metronome to play to, and once we have the blank tape in we can figure out what we want to put in there! Mick or I laid down the kick drum that gave us a start point. Eventually I started fooling with the dobro and that became the foundation for what was written over that. The 3 part harmony of listen to the wind blow was a collaboration of the three writers.

Christine: I remember Stevie, Lindsey and myself sitting in my den and doing the 3 parts. Lindsey with his guitar and trying to figure out the chords things to go underneath the vocals.

Stevie: I had written another song. The whole �running in the shadows� thing. And Lindsey said can we use this? So of course I said yes�so it was funny that I had that melody and those words or it never would�ve happened.

Mick: Lindsey is more prone to see different pieces of things. Not only in his own songwriting, but in the girls� songwriting and picking parts out.

Lindsey: We were able to think of tape as a very plastic, cinematic and abstract way. Just to come up with pieces of music we could treat as pieces of film, and we came up with something that was truly a communal effort.

Stevie: I remember that great solo of John�s (hums the bass solo)�and it was like the monsters are coming! And we all loved that.

John: That was an Olympic fretless bass on a stainless fretboard with a pick. And I was just messin about in the studio and I just played the riff. Chris said �Oh! I like that!� So we kept it in. If I had my way, I would�ve brought the band in a little earlier on the ending�it tends to stand out and look a little lonely out there, but it seems to work.

Mick: You can�t change it now John, you�d break too many people�s hearts! (laughs)

Christine: I guess we must�ve just loved that bass part so much to do something with it. And Lindsey raved and put that guitar solo on it.

Mick: It�s one of the best examples of how things can work from a different point of view. The collaboration of the band brought it back to the shape it�s now in. It�s one of those songs that could�ve ended up in the dust bin, and it didn�t.


Lindsey: You Make Loving Fun might be my favorite song of Christine�s. It seems to cover so much ground on so many levels. She�s got this clavinet part which is very �her�, but the approaches were a little bit different from what we did on other songs.

Christine: I felt it needed something dark underneath it. And it was�it was a clavinet with a wah-wah pedal. And Mick was on the floor doing it manually.

Lindsey: I thought on a production level that song turned out really well and just in terms of reeling out Christine�s normal tendencies. The feel of it is just so great. It�s got a real nice R&B feel to it. It actually took a turn for the ethereal and sweet that you wouldn�t expect from where it was going in the beginning. I remember being up at Wally Heider�s and just trying to make that �never did believe� section go somewhere else and then make it snap back into place.

Christine: I�ve got the luxury of building this on my own. I built up this rocking riff with the bass and drums. The whole thing was all keyboards.

Mick: All keyboard players seem to be detached sometimes. And Chris has always been in that thing right there with me and John.

Christine: I had learned playing with Mick and John. I�ve never considered myself a lead keyboard player�but part of the rhythm section.

Lindsey: That album is just rife with great tags. And that song was one of the best. Where you have a little bit at the end, where it is a little masterpiece unto itself.


Lindsey: It was actually something Stevie and I were doing before we were in the band.

Stevie: It was on the demo we came to LA with.

Lindsey: That would�ve been back in 1974 when she wrote that. And we did perform that live on several occasions. I think it was slightly inspired by Buddy Holly, after the Buckingham Nicks era certainly. But when we tried to get things going, and we were dealing with indifference from management and label and people trying to get us on the circuit.

Mick: That song often gets forgotten about in terms of it being part of Rumours. I think it�s really unique. You get those voices together. And that was their style. That�s says what it was that we heard that they brought into this thing called Fleetwood Mac. Everything else grew from around that and all the exchanges with Chris and Lindsey and Stevie as writers and me and John playing. It became a unique thing.

Lindsey: We had to make a call on what the album needed. Kind of the group will would edit in and out what was working and what wasn�t. And that was great. At the eleventh hour to cut in something and have it be so straight ahead, and it didn�t require any pondering at all. That�s the atypical song on Rumours for sure.


Mick: Great bass parts Johnny.

John: That just came out. I couldn�t think of anything else to do. I still think it�s too busy behind her voice. It works I guess.

Christine: Who was daddy? Well it was loosely based on Mick�s life.

Mick: Genius Chris! (laughs)

Christine: Mick�s the big daddy for sure. And we always call him big daddy. I was being a little sarcastic on the chorus. You know, how can you think you�re always so right? And I could never get the last line. Stevie gave me last line �and I can�t walk away from you if I tried� and I just knew I was going to say it.

Stevie: That is my very favorite Chris song. And it always, always was. I really came from a folk-singer guitar and song thing. With Chris, being an accomplished pianist, she came from a different place. So it�s like we all have our strengths.

Lindsey: It�s funny how certain little things that happen by accident in any creative process and get left in, because somehow they are happy accidents. You kind of have to be on the lookout for those things. Sometimes something very small can create an ambiance and magic and something that would be less if it didn�t exist. There is a keyboard blip on the end, which was not something she was playing interpretively. You know�it wasn�t jazz! It was just her saying, hey what are you doing in there? And it got left in there�just one of things you wait for.

Christine: We just decided to leave it in.


Stevie: Well I�m sure the gold dust woman was me. It was kind of written about LA and how heavy it was here. The whole Los Angeles and �Hollywood thing� you know.

Lindsey: It�s probably the loosest thing on the whole record, in the best possible way. It�s kind of jazzy and moves into an area of non-structure. I think that�s where everything was going. It was really a no-holds-barred approach that started off in a structured place, and there were 3 part harmonies that were relative to everything else on the album.

Mick: It was a candidate to unleash a cacophony of sounds and things that you could hear�trailing off over the mountains.

Stevie: Didn�t we do something very scary like throwing down glass? I think we took it off in the end because it was too scary�and we did it again on Tusk I think.

Lindsey: It�s a great piece. The whole tag of that song�Mick was doing some transcended keyboard parts and it was really an evolving song.

Mick: Transcension was a word made back in the 70s. Truly from fatigue or various abuses, one found yourself doing things that were off the wall. Some worked and some didn�t. It was truly an example of that because Stevie thought she was a cat! (Stevie purrs)


Christine: I definitely wrote that in my room in half an hour. I remember coming in and all the guys were in the control room. They were completely oblivious to the fact that I was shaking in my boots cause I�d written this song and I didn�t know where it came from. And I was playing it and all of sudden the whole studio went quiet and everyone diverted there attention to me and when the song stopped I remember everyone saying that was bloody fantastic. Thank God you put it on a two track.

Lindsey: To place it right after Go Your Own Way was just so great. I actually remember when the album was done�and one of the local radio stations had played the whole album and took a break between sides. And Richard Dashut and I were in our car when we still lived on Putney, and listened to this. I can remember when Go Your Own Way came in and we were so aggressive at the end and it was a great thing. That song came off , and then Songbird came on. And the masculinity and aggressiveness that was the end of Go Your Own Way transformed into that intimate female, introspective side of Songbird which followed. I honestly remember that the DJ that addressed the listeners before playing Side Two, you could tell she�d been crying! And that was the combination of Go Your Own Way into Songbird.

Mick: Songbird is always Chris alone with the audience. And we always saw it like that. And it survives like that to this day. It hits people�it�s amazing. It�s like a little prayer, or a Fleetwood Mac prayer. It has a tremendous power.

Christine: It wasn�t about anyone in particular at all. It was for everybody.

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Last Updated - 13 July 2002

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