Fleetwood Mac outgrows trials
Interview with Lindsey Buckingham
Rocky Mountain News,
October 29, 1997
By Ed Masley
He'd tried to cope through solo projects,
beginning with Law and Order in 1981.But it wasn't until Buckingham had severed
all ties with the band that he felt his vision returning. ``When I left,'' he
says, ``I think what happened is I was able to regroup, I was able to kind of
reinvent. And even though I only did one solo album - almost two - during that
time, I think I really needed to step back and rejuvenate the idea of having
ideals and the idea of having visions to try to fulfill. ... There was a kind of
a slow eroding of ideals and a slow eroding of confidence. And all of that has
Though all five members had banded together to celebrate President Clinton's love of the '70s at his first inaugural ball, it was Buckingham' s solo career that actually brought them back together. ``I had done some work with the band I had taken on the road and wasn't too happy with the drum performances of that,'' he says. ``So yeah, I got together with Mick and we did some stuff.''
When it came time to do the bass tracks, Fleetwood suggested his longstanding partner-in-crime, John McVie, and soon enough Christine McVie was involved as well. ``So the four of us ended up in the studio one day, and it was just a weird kind of deja vu thing,'' he says. At what point did Buckingham say, ``What the heck, let's get Stevie in here?'' He pauses. ``Well ... I never said that,'' he says, with a laugh. It was mostly the label's idea, having witnessed the highly successful returns of the Eagles and Kiss.
``I think a lightbulb went off for them over there,'' he says. ``And, I think, for Mick a little bit, too, because even though he was working on my album and was very much into it, he was also ... well, that' s kind of his life's blood, you know? I think he was kind of working on it behind the scenes. I was not, certainly, campaigning for the idea.'' I mean, I'm not finished with my album. ... And the idea of putting something down after you've worked on it for a couple years - and it's probably the best thing you've ever done - it's not an easy thing to turn around in your head.'' It took a call from the chairman of Warner Bros. to sell him on the idea. ``I said to him, `I know you haven't heard my album, but if you had it in your hand and you felt that it was a stone-cold smash hit, would your advice to me still be that this is a good thing for me to do.' He said, `Absolutely.' I said, `Well, OK.' ''
The band's chart-topping reunion album, The Dance, was recorded live while taping an MTV broadcast. In addition to all the hits from Rumours, it features two new Buckingham tunes as well as Tusk. The old songs fell right into place. And the new ones? Buckingham chuckles and clears his throat. ``I sort of have to go back to the studio versions,'' he says. ``I had a version of My Little Demon that really didn't involve the band that I had done at my house, more like a Tusk approach, and that, you know, we didn't get close to that. I didn't expect to really, because it was much, much weirder, the version I had. So you just have to, especially for a live situation, be philosophical about how much you can expect to approach what you hear in your head.'' Now that the lineup behind what remains the third-biggest-selling rock album ever is out on the road again, Buckingham says, ``I think the important thing now is that we have come back together and there is a sense of a reconvening and a sense of enjoying this whole thing without all the baggage that was there maybe 10 years ago.'' So would the old band be more open to taking a musical chance at this point? ``I don't think taking more of a chance has come up, particularly, in this situation,'' he says. ``Down the road, if we were ever to do, say, a studio album, which'' - he pauses to clear his throat - ``I don't know if that will happen or not. ``I think we're taking everything one step at a time. But if that were to happen, that idea would probably be put to the test a little more.''
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