Fleetwood Mac ‘rumours’ 45 years later: How Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham juggled success and scandal
45 years ago this week MacFleetwood released his masterpiece, “Rumours”.
The 1977 studio album is one of the most popular and famous compilations in pop music history, with tracks such as “Dreams”, “The Chain” and “Go Your Own Way” still going strong. top of the charts, even today.
But Fleetwood Mac’s the dazzling success did not come without a struggle.
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Stevie NicksLindsey Buckingham, Christine and John McVie and Mick Fleetwood were engulfed in bitter feuds, affairs and drug addictions that threatened to tear the band apart at the height of their success.
When “Rumours” came out over four decades ago, there was a soap opera-level crisis unfolding behind the scenes.
“Drama. Dra-ma,” was how Christine McVie described recording the album shortly after its release.
She was right; at the time of the “rumors”, Nicks had just separated from her longtime lover and musical partner Buckingham, while McVie was in the process of divorcing her husband and Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie.
The musical duo Nicks and Buckingham had met in high school in the 1960s and launched their careers together, releasing their very first record “Buckingham Nicks” in 1973.
The bandmates had been on and off again in the early 70s, their relationship rocky from the very beginning.
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Early in their relationship, Nicks “cooked, cleaned and cared for” Buckingham, both living as a married couple.
But tensions arose when, according to Nicks, Buckingham wanted her “all alone” and began to be suspicious of where she had been or who she had been with.
By the time ‘Rumours’ was taped in 1977, their erratic romance was officially over.
“We were finishing up our 12-song ending in Sausalito for ‘Rumors’ and I said, ‘We’re done. I think it’s over, and we both know now that no matter what it takes, we’re gonna keep Fleetwood Mac together,” Nicks said. Oprah in 2013.
“Our breakup isn’t going to break this band up and I’m not going to quit and neither are you – and we’re done.”
During the recording sessions for “Rumours”, the tension between Nicks and Buckingham led to vicious fights, and the McVies didn’t talk at all.
John McVie and Buckingham were also at war at the time, with McVie allegedly throwing a vodka shot at his teammate’s head on one occasion.
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The chart-topping song “Go Your Own Way” was written by Buckingham about his recurring romance with Nicks and “Dreams” – written by Nicks – was inspired by their nasty breakup.
“Now you’re doing it again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I to hold you back?” was a telling lyric, supposedly about how Buckingham treated Nicks.
Then, in 1977, towards the end of “Rumors” tour, Nicks and Fleetwood embarked on an affair.
Nicks recalled that she and Fleetwood “were absolutely horrified that this was happening” kept the affair a secret until it “blew up and was over”.
The legendary musician said she and Buckingham “never, ever talked about Mick. Ever.”
Buckingham later said he “didn’t feel betrayed” when he heard about their affair and admitted he “would have been surprised if it didn’t happen”.
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Nevertheless, MacFleetwood remained together for years afterward, but Buckingham and Nicks famously fired “eye-daggers” at each other in packed stadiums as they sang their breakup anthems.
Buckingham eventually left the band in the 1980s and stayed away for a decade, with Nicks following suit several years later before launching his own solo career.
The pair would return to the band for sporadic tours, but the final break came in 2018 when Buckingham was unceremoniously fired from the band.
Buckingham had asked for flexibility on tour dates, but Nicks refused to budge. He later sued for millions, with the lawsuit settling at the end of this year.
“Ironically,” buckingham said The temperature“nothing happened that night which was [as contentious] like what we had been through for 43 years.”
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