Stevie Nicks: More Foul Finch than Fine Skylark

The Grosby Group/ Reproduction Prohibited

As Lindsey Buckingham Promotes a New Album, we Lament the Door that Slammed Shut

Lindsey Buckingham was thrown out of the band he cultivated and hand-crafted for 45 years by a vengeful lover. Vengeful? Oh, you know the kind I mean, the kind that will follow you down ’til the sound of her voice will haunt you and you’ll never get away.

That’s the fate that befell Buckingham, but he’s not crying his heart out in a silver spring. No, he just released a new, eponymous solo album last week and is currently on tour and doing press to promote it, which, in itself, is a contrast from his former band Fleetwood Mac who has long eschewed new music and has been touring to promote its 1977 Rumours’ album for over 40 years now.

But that raises the question that lies at the heart of Fleetwood Mac’s rupture with Lindsey. Ricky Nelson asked it in Garden Party after getting booed during a Madison Square Garden show because they wanted him to be Ricky Nelson from Ozzie and Harriet, not the adult man he was, with a family of his own and new songs to sing.

Ricky Nelson concluded, “If memories were all I sang, I’d rather drive a truck.” Most members of Fleetwood Mac were outraged by the notion and exclaimed, “We’ll never drive a truck! Not unless it’s a lambo!” They’d rather tour with the old tunes, perish the thought of writing new ones, and keep on raking in the loot from their affluent, nostalgic audiences. Lindsey compromised. He was happy to perform Go Your Own Way for the millioneth time, but he also wanted to record new songs and present them to captive fans. Eh, not exactly captive. Sure they might run to the bathroom and concession stand, every time they heard something less familiar than Landslide or Don’t Stop, but just the exhilaration of plucking music from his psyche and releasing it to the universe fulfills Lindsey, even if his name never graces a Billboard Top 40 chart again.

Do you rest on your laurels, live on your legend, or do you remain an artist, questing to create and evolve, even while mortality is nipping at your heels. Buckingham has chosen the latter path and his erstwhile partner, Stevie Nicks, is clinging to the former. And because Stevie was once a witchy wonder who mesmerized crowds with fiery versions of Rhiannon that some likened to an exorcism, the band sided with her. Quite simply, she sells more concert tickets than Lindsey (Who?). Never mind that he produced the songs that are sung at those concerts. He twiddled each knob and perfected every note, down to the sound of breaking glass in Gold Dust Woman. He badgered studio engineers and reworked tracks with an obsessive compulsion that wore everyone else ragged.

In 1990, an exasperated Mick Fleetwood once said of Lindsey to the Boston Globe, “Lindsey’s work with Fleetwood Mac speaks for itself, but I have to say, being as intense as Lindsey is as a person, he sometimes got to be a little too much for me. And sometimes we had to beg Lindsey to do a solo. He’d go, ‘No, I want it to sound like violins here.’ Then he’d sit for hours, trying to get a violin sound out of his guitar.”

In the maddening process, Lindsey made music so meticulous that it still stands up to the demands of today’s remastered, high definition, technology that didn’t even exist when the songs were created. That’s the main reason the songs are still played today, still revealing intricate patterns, echoes, and hidden layers, like a Da Vinci painting under x-ray.

In 2003, Stevie explained Lindsey’s wizardry to Performing Songwriter. She described her songs as skeletons waiting for meat and bones, “What he does is take the skeleton and then he goes in for hours that we never see him and he plays parts and parts and more parts. He arranges right underneath my skeleton. It’s like I laughingly said to him when we first started this new record, because his songs were pretty much done, I said, ‘Your songs are like beautiful, hand crated Russian boxes with enamel and cloisonné and sound like you’ve worked on them for seven years, and my little songs are like pine boxes.’ I said, ‘You’ve got your work cut out for you., because you have to somehow make my songs compare a little bit to yours.’ He said, ‘Don’t worry.'”

The Grosby Group/Reproduction Prohibited Fleetwood Mac in concert at the Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, America – 06 Apr 2013

After carrying them on his back since 1975 and crafting that Mac sound new generations are still appreciating and amplifying in internet memes, Lindsey was summarily kicked out the door. He gave everything. They greedily took it all and, only then, cut him out. That should never happen. It’s like Glenn Frey and Don Henley. No matter which you liked best, they climbed that pinnacle together. Each solidified their claim. Neither should be able to take it from the other. Henley couldn’t kick Frey out of the band. Only death could. Likewise, Stevie Nicks should not have been able to kick Lindsey Buckingham out of Fleetwood Mac. It was his birthright, even if he only got to claim it 25 years after being born.

Stevie’s choice was: (1) to leave Fleetwood Mac, not give them a phony ultimatum about leaving if she didn’t get her way, but actually leave it, (2) keep fighting with Lindsey just as she has always done since the sixties, or (3) wait for death to take him, like it took Glenn Frey. And that almost happened, since Lindsey suffered a debilitating heart attack soon after his firing.

The other Mac members, bassist John McVie, Drummer Mick Fleetwood, and singer/songwriter Christine McVie, all got along with Lindsey. Those three worked harmoniously with him on the 2017 Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie album (Buckingham McVie) that was originally contemplated as a Fleetwood Mac project, but had to be finished under the names of the remaining two songwriters, since Stevie Nicks refused to participate and contribute new music. Christine McVie even toured with Lindsey as a duo.

Indeed, both Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood have often shown unbridled affection for Lindsey, kissing and hugging him spontaneously in concerts and interviews. While John McVie and Lindsey share less PDA, the musical differences that had them chafing against each other during the first 5 years of working together seem to have long dissipated. It’s only Stevie Nicks that wanted Lindsey gone and the others, choosing tour millions over integrity, let her have her vindictive way.

Lindsey and Stevie have measured their relationship in terms of winning and losing since long before they joined Fleetwood Mac. In 1973, the year before they met Fleetwood Mac, they released an album together called Buckingham Nicks. It contains the song, Long Distance Winner. Stevie wrote:

Sunflowers and your face fascinate me.

You love only the tallest trees.

I come running down the hill,

but you’re fast. You’re the winner.

Long distance winner.

Many of their respective songs echo the theme of being in a race. One of them wins. One loses. They never simply succeed together. After many ups and downs, Stevie has finally prevailed over Lindsey. She tripped him and now holds the title of long distance winner.

The race started when they met at a Christian Youth Life gathering in Northern California. Neither was pious. They just attended for recreation. It was a way to get out of the house on Wednesday night. Stevie was a senior in high school and Lindsey a junior. Lindsey was there with his guitar. Stevie, just a year older, sauntered by. When he played California Dreaming, she was able to sing effortless accompaniment. She remembers that he was “darling”. He recalled that she fancied herself a poet even then and recited some of her lyrics to him. He doesn’t say that he found her darling, as well. But it’s likely he did.

Two years later when Lindsey was in a band called The Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band (named after a hapless student who was not dead and was not being memorialized (he just happened to have a fun name), Lindsey asked Stevie if she wanted to join. Well, she sometimes says that he was too shy to ask her directly. He had another Fritz member ask.

It was thus, in 1966, that Stevie and Lindsey first became bandmates, along with Bob Aguirre, Javier Pacheco, Cal Roper, Jody Moreing and Brian Kane.

They played local gigs. For some reason, Stevie and Lindsey, now septuagenarians, deny being lovers while in Fritz. Stevie claims that all the Fritz men wanted her and none wanted the others to have her. That’s a running theme of hers. Everyone is always jealous of her, always watching, always worried she’ll be stolen away. But she insists she never slept with any of the Fritz guys. The other band members suspect differently. They say it was clear that Lindsey and Stevie were an item and whenever band decisions had to be made, they always sided with each other. Whatever their relationship, when Polydor records became interested in guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie says they knew they could never get Lindsey without her, so they began negotiating with Buckingham and Nicks as a duo. Stevie says that it was because they commiserated with together over having to tell the other Fritz members that Polydor didn’t want the rest of them, that she and Lindsey became close.

At that point, Lindsey and Stevie started living together and making music. Stevie is no musician. She only knows four chords and doesn’t use all of them. Words were her specialty. She’d pull concepts together out of the ether. Love, lace and lavender bound, matching that knot in your heart. She touched the sore, hard place where unrequited passion dwelled and somehow her whimsical, inchoate phrasing seemed to express exactly what was in your soul. Her lyrics didn’t always make sense, but they felt like everything you’d been trying to say yourself. While her verses were Yeats, her personality was Yogi Berra. That was adorable. For a time.

Yet, whatever has become of her persona, the poetry still captivates. And Stevie had that knack with words, even before her voice evolved. In her early songs, she is high pitched. Her vocals on the Buckingham Nicks album make you think of chipmunks and helium. It’s not until a few years later that her voice emerges, guttural and pure, rough and innocent. In those early years, those unique tones were not only enough to elevate her own songs (and Christine McVie’s) but think of Gold by John Stewart and Magnet and Steel by Walter Egan. Where would those songs be without Stevie Nicks’ voice and Lindsey Buckingham’s production?

Stevie’s talent has always been undeniable. Pair that with cocaine and youthful exuberance and she put on a stage show of yelps, spins and kicks that easily captivated the masses and had women (and men) rushing out to buy the chiffon needed to emulate her high hatting style. But before she lured you to the stage, she needed the music to bring you to the concert in the first place. Lindsey supplied that.

When Lindsey and Stevie left their parents and traveled to Los Angeles to find fame and fortune, Lindsey had $10,000 ($70,500 in today’s money), inherited from an aunt he barely knew. He bought musical equipment with it. He used it to craft songs of his own and flesh out the skeletal melodies on Stevie’s tunes. They soon had enough demo records to make an album for Polydor and begin working on a second one (which never came to fruition). It was Lindsey’s intricate guitar work and musical detail on those songs which brought them to life. Hearing Lindsey’s work on the early Buckingham Nicks song Frozen Love, made Mick Fleetwood want to hire Lindsey for his own band, Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac had enjoyed success in the UK (largely due to the legendary Peter Green, who was one of it’s founders. Indeed, the band was first known as  “Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer”). But after sifting through a number of guitarists following Green’s exit, the band was floundering.

Just weeks before Stevie and Lindsey join Fleetwood Mac the newspaper in 1974

Mick wanted Lindsey in the band and was told by producer Keith Olsen that he could never get Lindsey without Stevie (which is the same thing Polydor learned about Lindsey). Stevie and Lindsey were a “package deal.” So, they joined Fleetwood Mac together on New Year’s Eve 1974. Christine McVie was already a member of the band and, a classically trained pianist, she had been writing almost-masterpieces years before ever meeting Lindsey and Stevie. In fact, during annual votes on old message boards, Fleetwood Mac fans regularly named Why as the band’s best song, a heartfelt tune Christine wrote long prior to the Buckingham Nicks merger.

Christine always had the voice and musical expertise, but she never had the chemistry she found with Lindsey and Stevie. She has famously said that she got “gooseflesh” when they first harmonized on one of her songs spontaneously, without rehearsal. Anyone who has ever heard the trio on Over My Head or Say You Love Me cannot deny their magnetism. They are far greater together than any of them are singly. You think Caesar, Pompey and Crassus were the First Triumverate? I beg to differ. It was McVie, Buckingham, and Nicks. No, Buckingham, who had the least remarkable voice of the 3, isn’t the one who made them sing such great harmony, but he is the one that made the music amalgamate.

Fleetwod Mac in concert, Wembley, London, UK – Jun 1980; Lindsey and Christine Perform a song they wrote together, World Turning. Grosby Group/Reproduction Prohibited

For Lindsey and Stevie becoming two of 5 after having been Buckingham Nicks was not an easy transition. Lindsey always thought that Buckingham Nicks was on the verge of taking off and wondered what would have happened if they’d found success without Fleetwood Mac. Stevie enjoyed having another woman to work with, but was jealous of the musical marriage between Christine and Lindsey. “I also remember getting very upset one night when I realized that he and Christine had written World Turning together [from Fleetwood Mac’s 1975 album]. I had been with Lindsey all of those years and we had never written a song together. Plus, I walked into the studio and they were singing it together,” Stevie recalled when speaking to Off the Record.

Christine told The Record in 1982: “There’s definitely a chemistry that transcends everything else that might happen before or after we’re on stage. We play well together and sing well together. That side of Fleetwood Mac I really enjoy. And I felt comfortable working with Lindsey. Dare I say it with him present? I have a lot of respect for this man; I don’t really imagine anybody else being able to do what he does with my songs.”

Stevie told radio hosts Mark and Brian in 1994, “Lindsey had a weak moment when he even admitted to me that sometimes he felt that his best work was taking one of my songs and making it into something really, to him, extra special.”

Christine also witnessed Lindsey’s genius working on Stevie’s songs, in particular, in 1990 she told Roger Moore, “Before we recorded Dreams, Stevie played it on the piano and Stevie is a self-confessed non-musical person. She knows four chords on the piano, I think and, as Lindsey always says, rightly, ‘yes, but they’re the right four chords’ and she played the song for us. And I thought to myself, ‘I don’t know. This sounds a little bit tedious to me. It’s just going ting, ding, ting ding all the way through the song’ and Lindsey, I suppose, in his great hindsight said, ‘no this is going to be wonderful. We’ll record it and build each section differently so that those four chords run all the way through.’ Actually, I think she only used three chords for this one, but although they are the same three chords, it doesn’t sound like it. It was actually our first number one, our only number one single in Fleetwood Mac history.”

Just weeks ago, when Rolling Stone put out its annual list of the greatest rock songs of all time, Dreams was listed as #9. The song boasts Stevie’s indelible words, but it was Lindsey who pushed those 3 chords of hers through the world he created for the song, so that they remained beneath everything else, like a heartbeat driving you mad in the stillness of remembering what you had. And what you lost.

Stevie told Rolling Stone in 1980: “I write my songs, but Lindsey puts the magic in, and there’s no way — well, I could pay him ten percent. I could walk up to him and thank him. If I were to play you a song the way I wrote it and gave it to them, and then play you the way it is on the album, you would see what Lindsey did.”

Turn on Dreams or Hold Me. That’s not Lindsey singing lead. Those are not Lindsey’s words. And that’s certainly not his inimitable playing on the piano, but if you listen to those songs and don’t hear Lindsey’s work on them, you have no ears or understanding. He built the structure. They climbed up it and then, only after reaching the top, did they kick him off at Stevie’s bidding.

Lindsey and Stevie have always fought like cats and dogs. In fact, one of their biggest fights preceded his 10-year departure from the band in 1987. They had just finished making Tango. Stevie was recovering from drug addiction at the time and could not truly participate in the album. She contributed songs, but says she felt uncomfortable recording at Lindsey’s house, because he shared it with his girlfriend. Plus, she was suffering from dependency, so her vocals were awful and Lindsey had to remove them. Her fans have spun it as Lindsey removing her vocals because he was terribly jealous of her, which is their answer to everything. Lindsey’s jealousy is the answer to Covid, if you listen to them. But Stevie herself admits that she was physically and mentally at a low point when Tango was recorded and she could not fully take part. “I wasn’t there for a lot of that, ’cause I was on the road [she went on tour with Tom Petty and Bob Dylan]. It was me that was causing all the friction, ’cause Lindsey was the head guy and I was making him erratic. When I was not there it was good. They all got along fine.”

In his 1990 book, My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac, Mick wrote of Tango, “We did have one blowout with Stevie when she came to the studio to listen to the mixes before Tango in the Night was released. After the playback was finished, she began to storm around the studio like a tornado. ‘It’s like I’m not even on this record,’ she complained. ‘I can’t hear myself at all.’ I knew Stevie pretty well and could tell she was angry. Then she threatened us, ‘All right, maybe I wasn’t able to get to the studio that much, but how is it going to look when the record comes out and I might have to tell Rolling Stone that I didn’t work on it?'”

“Christine McVie’s eyes narrowed. She’d had a couple of glasses of wine and wasn’t about to be trifled with. “OK, Stevie,’ she said, ‘what are you so upset about?”

“I should be singing on Everywhere,’ Stevie said. ‘You should hear me singing harmony on that song.’

“‘I wanted you to sing on it too,’ Chris said in measured tones that signaled she was furious, ‘but you weren’t here. In fact, we’ve been working for a year and you were only with us for a couple of days. Now, why don’t you just say you’re sorry and we’ll work it out?’ Quite gracefully, Stevie capitulated in front of the whole band, and we gleefully layered her vocals into the mix of the album, which now sounded more indeed like Fleetwood Mac.”

That was a prime, but far from singular, example of Stevie falling short, blaming everyone else, threatening them, but backing down when challenged. The problem is, in 2018, the scales had shifted so far out of balance that no one dared challenge Stevie any longer. They didn’t need Lindsey’s magic in the studio, because they were no longer creating as a group. They didn’t need his indefatigable energy on stage (he was the only bandmember who never left the stage in a set lasting more than two hours), because Fleetwood Mac was now a “bucket list” group. Today, seeing Fleetwood Mac is, like visiting Niagara Falls, something to say you’ve done, not something you long to experience. Lindsey once wrote “And I guess I need to be amazed.” Fleetwood Mac fans no longer expect to be amazed. They just want to be reminded of a lost past.

After producing the Tango album for them and creating something that he deemed a better artistic exit from the band than their last album, Mirage, had been, Lindsey told the other Macsters he did not want to tour and was leaving. When Stevie heard that, she says she sprung up and started choking him. Mick remembers Lindsey screaming that they should get the “schizophrenic bitch” out of his life.

Then, Stevie says Lindsey broke free from her grasp, turned the tables and started chasing her. They ran down the block and back (they were at Christine’s house) and security had to pull them apart. After that John McVie joked that he told Lindsey to leave the room, but Lindsey left the band instead!

Lindsey left. He removed himself. He didn’t try to kick Stevie out of the band they had joined together. And he only departed after giving them a platinum album to tour on, an album that had Stevie songs on it (developed from vocal tapes she sent the band in her absence), but was mostly a studio collaboration between Lindsey and Christine.

The band hired two guitarists to replace Lindsey, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. They released an album with Burnette and Vito, Behind the Mask. It did not sell and at the end of the Behind the Mask tour, when Lindsey made a cameo appearance on stage with his old colleagues, Stevie dedicated Landslide to him saying, “This is a very simple song. And I would like to dedicate it to Buckingham Nicks, because, I hope, that maybe some day he will find it in his heart to spend some time with me again and maybe do some new music.”

That was back then, when she still cared about new music and thought Lindsey could help her make it. Now, that she is no longer interested in that, she does not want him around.

Stevie herself left Fleetwood Mac at the end of the Behind the Mask tour. She was angry, saying she did not know why she stayed as long as she did, without Lindsey there. She badmouthed Fleetwood Mac to such an extent that even the taciturn John McVie had to speak out, talking to Rock Family Tree in 1995. “We’re her worst enemies from what I read, Mick is. All that Fleetwood Mac has ever done to her is bad things. So boring — and untrue.”

Lindsey returned to the band in 1997, after first appearing with them at Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Clinton loved Don’t Stop. He was their most famous fan. Stevie told The Island Ear, “Actually, what was even more amazing was getting Lindsey on stage with the four of us again. It took the President of the United States, to do that. We all didn’t think Lindsey would do it. I called him and said, ‘If you cheat me out of this honoring moment, I’ll never speak to you again.’ So, he did it.”

Lindsey Buckingham on 19.09.1984. | The Grosby Group/Reproduction Production

In 1997, they had a highly successful reunion and did a short tour, The Dance, that ended abruptly because Christine McVie, suffering from anxiety, wanted to leave the road and return to England. At the time, Stevie fans blamed Lindsey for Christine’s exit. But when Christine returned to the fold in 2014, she revealed that Lindsey was actually the one who used to flag down her limo after The Dance shows, climb in and try to talk her out of leaving.

In 2003, Lindsey and Stevie released their first Fleetwood Mac album that did not include Christine McVie, Say You Will. Stevie told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “We stopped being a duo the day we joined Fleetwood Mac. And that was great, but it was different. in the end, Christine even knew it. We always wanted to sing by ourselves, and in some ways, this album is very reminiscent of that time.”

By then, Stevie was 55 and the gal who “wore boots all summer long” began to pay the price for those high heels. Her joints gave out on her and she lost the vitality she had summoned at will during the Rhiannon exorcist days. Audiences came to Fleetwood Mac shows expecting Stevie mysticism and left discussing Lindsey’s endless vigor, instead. He whooped, jumped and ignited the arena with contagious zest. He became the whirling dervish Stevie used to be. Stevie minded. Over the years, she had become used to adoring fans and she wanted Lindsey, the man who’d known her when she was 17, to become one of them. He was not supposed to approach her as a peer any longer.

Stevie Nicks Attending The Twilight Saga movie, Grosby Group/Reproduction Prohibited

She told Q magazine, “So if Lindsey Buckingham wants to be the Lindsey Buckingham that he was a long time ago and be happy with me and enjoy what I do, and enjoy my celebrity and just appreciate the marvelous gift of being in this elite band, then I will do it again. I will also walk away so fast that the palm tree tops will fall on his head.”

Lindsey had to appreciate Stevie’s celebrity, but she didn’t much appreciate his. As her stage verve flagged physically, she compensated and began to tell long, rambling stories during their sets, discussing how they met, describing the Velvet Underground where she shopped or the inspiration for her old songs. Lindsey gave song introductions of his own. They tended to be repetitive and boring, but at least his were concise.

The more static Stevie became, the more the spotlight shifted to Lindsey. When the band finally announced Christine’s return, it seemed as if balance would return. After Say You Will, Stevie would not record new Fleetwood Mac music. She had Lindsey work on one of her solo songs, Soldier’s Angel ,saying only he could achieve the sound she wanted, but she did not care to return to the studio with the band. The most she would do was lend her voice to songs Lindsey wrote for an EP. There would not be another full FM album.

Lindsey must have thought Christine’s return would give him more album ammunition. If Christine wanted to record new music, like he did, they would outnumber Stevie, right? Wrong. The band was no longer a democracy. It wasn’t majority rule any longer. It was Stevie rule. She was responsible for the most ticket sales. That gave her more weight at least in her eyes and her manager’s.

However, when a band has 3 singer/songwriters even a “star” like Stevie can’t carry the load alone. Audiences would at least expect to hear 2/3 of the band’s top songs in concert. That’s why, when Christine was gone, Stevie still needed Lindsey on stage. When Christine returned and brought Little Lies, Everywhere and Songbird back with her, it became possible to put on a full concert show, even after dropping most of Lindsey’s songs from the setlist, just as Stevie and Lindsey had dropped most of Christine’s, during her absence. It would be especially easy to perform without Lindsey, if they brought in replacements who had hit songs of their own, as Mike Campbell (former Heartbreaker) and Neil Finn (Don’t Dream its Over) did.

Christine’s return didn’t get Fleetwood Mac back into the recording studio, but it did give Stevie a way to finally terminate her rival. She claims she didn’t fire him in 2018. She simply fired herself. In other words, she told the band that if they kept Lindsey, they would lose her. She issued an ultimatum. Despite all that they owed Lindsey, John McVie, Christine McVie and Mick Fleetwood bowed down to her. They could have been honorable, but that would have required more backbone and less avarice than they possessed.

They could have called her bluff. After all, Stevie needs an FM tour as much as they do. She cannot attract the solo crowds she once did. She revels in the chartered jet, limousine phalanx, luxury hotel-type glamor the band provides. On her own, she’d been serving as the opening act to Rod Stewart. Constantly dodging soccer balls at his shows must have gotten to her. If FM had said to her, “You won’t tour with Lindsey, but we wont’ tour without him,” she would have relented eventually. But because they never stood up, she never backed down.

MusiCares Person of the Year Gala, Arrivals, New York, USA – 26 Jan 2018. This was the last event where Lindsey performed with Fleetwood Mac,. Lindsey is shown with his wife, daughter LeeLee and son Will. Fleetwood Mac tossed him aside shortly thereafter and, following Lindsey’s heart attack which left him without vocal ability for some time, his wife Kristen decried Fleetwood Mac’s conduct on social media, on his behalf. The Grosby Group. Reproduction Prohibited.

Cast out of Eden, Lindsey has released a new solo album and is touring with the same gusto he possessed before his ouster and subsequent heart attack. Stevie, by contrast, has not released a new album in seven years and has lost her songwriting prowess. The last song she released, Show them the Way is a plodding dirge in which Martin Luther King and the Kennedys beg her to sing them a song. Such hubris is typical of Stevie who has been known to gift wounded soldiers with iPods full of her own music. Her song Soldier’s angel is not about soldiers. It’s about Stevie envisioning herself as a solider’s mother, nurse or girlfriend. She is a soldier’s “angel”. Most people mellow with age, Stevie’s ego has only grown. She’s outlived all of the people who used to keep her, well, never “down to earth,” but at least loosely tethered to earth. Now, she has a climate controlled vault dedicated to her shawls, which Vanity Fair toured. Lindsey is equally obsessed with himself, but his dedication is to sound, not shawls.

Lindsey prepares to promote his new album on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, New York, USA – 15 Sep 2021;
The Grosby Group/ Reproduction Prohibited

Michael Jackson wanted to be known as the King of Pop. Lindsey wants to be called a “visionary.” He was described that way in a review once and has been trying to “make fetch happen” ever since. He even put it in a song lyric,

Reading the paper saw a review
Said I was a visionary, but nobody knew
Now that’s been a problem feeling unseen
Just like I’m living somebody’s dream

Still, decades in, Lindsey’s pride has been more palatable than Stevie’s. and more justified.

Along with Long Distance Winner, Stevie also wrote Races are Run in 1973.

Races are run
Some people win
Some people always have to lose

This time, the people who lost are the fans. There didn’t have to be a farewell tour, with insincere hugs following the final bow. But there shouldn’t have been petty insults following the final blow either. Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey and lied about why, until they settled the lawsuit he brought against them and were forced to admit that Stevie was the reason they pushed him out, not tour scheduling (as they’d initially claimed). She’s called a finch in the title, for facetious reasons, but also because a finch is a small songbird with a short pointed beak. Stevie sports a deadly one.

In one of his better new songs Lindsey sings,

It’s another fight
As the queen dims the lights
It’s far too late, and in the rage
It’s up to fate
It always ends up black and white.

But is it right to keep me waiting?
Is it right to make me hold out so long?
Yeah, is it right to keep me waiting?
In the shadow of our swan song

That’s our swan song, Stevie, as much as it is yours and Lindsey’s. You know what it sounds like when doves sing, but not when rock history gasps in pain.

6 thoughts on “Stevie Nicks: More Foul Finch than Fine Skylark

  1. Wow. That is an excellent point of view. And I could not agree more. This is how I saw it all those decades too. And you don’t kick out the mastermind behind it all. It’s unfair. And dumb.

  2. Lol. Might as well just write “I think women should be obligated to stay around men who make them miserable and have a long history of mistreating women, solely for my own amusement so I can hear songs I like.” What a selfish, despicable way of thought. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    1. Oh please, if there’s anyone who should be ashamed, it’s Stevie Nicks. She was well able to put up with him for about 5 decades – as long as he was of some use to her. She has an absolute pattern of badmouthing him and then turning on the charm offensive when she needed him. She gaslit and manipulated him for years and when she didn’t need him any more she binned him and ghosted him. Incredibly cynical. Her main problem with him latterly, his primary sin, was that he was pushing her to create something – anything! – when her well had run dry. Instead of admitting it, she threw him under the bus. He should have given up on her aeons ago. She never takes responsibility for her own failings and blames other people constantly. He didn’t kiss her ass like her coterie of hired companions, who have been telling her for so long that she can do no wrong that she 100% believes it. Anyone who’s followed the band since the 70s knows how often she changes stories, how poor her memory is, and how her PR machine has consistently spun Lindsey as the villain, despite the fact that he supported her for decades and pulled her out of all sorts of shit, personally and professionally. She is a malcontent. God knows Lindsey had and has issues but she’s on another level. And she has a particular group of fans who seem to find it emotionally requisite to cast her as a victim and Buckingham as the villain, without anything other to go on than cherrypicked internet embellishment and gossip. The most damaging lies are undoubtedly told by those who believe them to be true. An analysis of her actual interviews from the 70s through to the 2000s, rather than a dependency on more recent soundbitey clickbait pull-togethers and fansites, is always highly illuminating.

  3. Finally a factual article with quotes from the past that reveals Lindsey isn’t the monster Stevie cult fans like to claim he is and reveals the truth of the matter of why Lindsey was booted out of the band having more to do with Stevie’s ego than anything else. Great article, but you need to correct the Swan Song lyrics at the end. They should be “It’s far to late at ANY RATE” and “It ISN’T right to keep me waiting”. These lyrics are taken directly from the album lyrics

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