Posts Tagged ‘Before They Were Rock Stars’

Before They Were Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham

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Stevie  Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, two of Fleetwood Mac’s finest, collaborated long before they hit it big in the legendary band. Actually, you could say the pair seemed to be musical soulmates.

Nicks and Buckingham first met in the mid-sixties while attending Menlo Atherton High School in Palo Alto, California: she was a senior; he, a junior.  The two both ended up at a “Young Life” meeting which, as Nicks explained, was a gathering that “simply got you out of the house on a Wednesday night.”fleetwoods

Buckingham with guitar in tow, began strumming “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas and the Papas and Nicks joined right in singing harmonies alongside him.

The two didn’t see each other again until two years later when Buckingham, in search of a vocalist for his band Fritz, called Nicks up to ask if she might be interested in joining. Her answer: “Why not?”

They were in the band together for three and a half years, opening for acts like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, but after a record deal failed to come into fruition, the band split in 1971 — though Nicks and Buckingham would far from part ways. Their relationship inevitably evolved from a purely musical partnership to a romantic one.

The duo moved south from the Bay area to Los Angeles to continue their pursuit of music careers. Polydor Records released the couple’s 1973 effort Buckingham Nicks (which was recorded at Sound City Studios),  but lack of promotion saw the album receive minimal success. To keep them afloat, Nicks took odd jobs here and there including waitressing at Clementine’s in Beverly Hills for $1.50 an hour while Buckingham stayed home mastering his guitar skills and recording. The pair would write and record songs through the night and then start over again the next day.

By late ‘74, however, the routine was weighing on the couple. Tired of living penniless and barely getting by, tensions grew between the couple and Nicks even considered moving to her parents’ and going back to college.

buckinghamnicksBut as luck would have it, Mick Fleetwood, drummer and namesake of British rock band Fleetwood Mac, was on the prowl for a lead guitarist when he stumbled upon a recording of “Frozen Love” off of Buckingham Nick at Sound City. Fleetwood was enamored by Buckingham’s style and skill.

On New Year’s Eve of 1974, Fleetwood called up Buckingham inviting him to join Fleetwood Mac as the group’s lead guitarist. He agreed, but only on the condition that his girlfriend could join, too. Although the band already had a female vocalist, Christine McVie, Mick was so convinced Buckingham was the only man for the job, he quickly agreed to christen both into Fleetwood Mac.

And thus, dear friends, “The Chain” was forged!

“The Chain” is counting down: 25 days to go until Lullaby Renditions of Fleetwood Mac makes its way into the world!


Before They Were Rock Stars: Bruce Springsteen

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It’s officially The Boss Day here at RB HQ. Why? It’s Bruce Springsteen’s birthday AND we officially release Lullaby Renditions of Bruce Springsteen today!

To celebrate the 1949 and 2014 arrivals of The Boss, here are a few tidbits about his life before he became one of America’s most treasured rockers.

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Bruce’s first guitar cost under $20. After realizing her son’s interest in music, Springsteen’s mother Adele went out and bought the 13-year-old an $18 guitar. She later took out a loan to purchase him a $60 Kent for his 16th birthday. What a mom, right?!

The first song Bruce learned to play on the guitar was The Beatles’ cover of “Twist and Shout.” Elvis had a huge influence on Bruce’s decision to become a musician, but after seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, he found the courage to play for audiences.

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Lullaby Renditions of Bruce Springsteen is available now!

Catholic school (and school in general) was not for Bruce. A bit of a recluse, Bruce never quite fit in, and often rebelled again the strict rules of his Catholic school. He even skipped his own high school graduation ceremony.

At 18, Springsteen was drafted for military service in Vietnam. On his way to his physical, he thought to himself “I ain’t goin.’” Sure enough, due to his behavior and recent concussion after a motorcycle accident, he was classified as “unfit for military service.”

So where does his nickname “The Boss” come from? When he and his band played local clubs in the 1960s, Springsteen took it upon himself to collect their nightly earnings and distribute the money among the members. Thus, “The Boss” was born —and stuck!

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Before They Were Rock Stars: The White Stripes

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Lullaby Renditions of The White Stripes is almost here!

Whether you’re picking up a copy for the little one in your life or for yourself (we know not all of you buy for the baby!), we can thank Meg White and Jack White for music that seriously rocks.

Perhaps you have a future rock star or punk rocker in your brood-or expecting one?

Curious what The White Stripes were like before they were rock stars? Megan White grew up the younger of two children in Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, and was remembered by high school classmates as a quiet, artsy type.

While John Anthony Gillis (Jack White), who also was from the Detroit area, was the youngest of 10 children. He was raised in a Catholic household, served as an altar boy and, apparently, at one point during his early teens, considered becoming a priest. But music obviously was his true calling. He actually started playing drums in the first grade and went on to also learn the guitar and piano. Before even starting high school, Jack was a one-kid band, recording his own songs.

Young Meg, on the other hand, didn’t befriend a drum set until she was in her twenties. And guess who brought them together? Her then husband, Jack. She’s been quoted as saying that when she started playing drums with him in those early days “it was childlike.” Turned out that childlike style combined with Jack’s was just the sound the world wanted to hear.

So let this “before they were rock stars” story be an inspiration to us all: You’re never too young, or too old to start rocking. And if you don’t have an instrument, we have a few DIY instruments to make some noise with.

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