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.”
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.
But 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!