Some of the most exciting news to come out of a conversation with Stevie Nicks on Monday was when she discussed a recent studio session with fellow Fleetwood Mac member and longtime collaborator Lindsey Buckingham. The two will join Mick Fleetwood and John McVie to resurrect Fleetwood Mac for a 2013 tour, but they have a history that extends long before they joined Mac in 1975.
The pair recorded one gorgeous, self-titled record in 1973 as Buckingham Nicks, and it was this work that prompted Fleetwood, McVie and then-keyboardist Christine McVie to ask them to join Fleetwood Mac. The rest is (a tangled, romantically complicated) history.
Jump to early 2012, when — as Nicks calls them — “the boys” in Fleetwood Mac got together to work on new material. Nicks had just lost her mother to pneumonia, then contracted the virus herself, and was unable to join them. The three soldiered on, with Buckingham writing two songs specifically for Nicks. A few weeks ago she heard those rough tracks for the first time.
“I went up to Lindsey’s house, he played me all of the songs, and we chose two,” Nicks said on Monday. “He said, ‘I really tried hard to be you, to really see through your eyes when we were doing these songs, and make these songs that you would really like, and that you would really relate to.’”
She says the process was quite different than the last time they collaborated in 2002 for Say You Will because Buckingham and Nicks weren’t in a professional studio this time. “We were in his house where his wife and children are,” she said. “We had dinner with his family every night, and it was a whole other deal. We spent half the time working on these two songs, and the other half of the time we spent talking about our life, going all the way back to the beginning, to 1966 when we first met in high school, when he was a junior and I was a senior.
“We laughed and laughed and laughed about all the crazy things that have happened to us,” she said, describing the interactions as “a very cathartic time, and a very healing time, I think. And the songs came out great.”
Nicks said the two songs are called “Sad Angels” and “Miss Fantasy,” and will be available in the months leading up to the tour. “The words are very interesting, and the melodies are great, and it’s like they did go back to a time long ago. I think the world will be very taken with these songs.”
As far as another full-length album, Nicks was more tentative. “We’ll just see,” she said. “If the world loves them, then we have something to gauge what’s going on as far as Fleetwood Mac goes. And then at that point we record two more songs. So we don’t have to record a 14-song album, but are putting out some consistent product.’
Die-hard fans will be excited to know that the pair also dug further into their past by recording an unreleased song by their pre-Mac duo Buckingham Nicks that Nicks discovered in her archives. “Neither of the two of us can figure out why the heck it didn’t go on the ‘Buckingham Nicks’ record,” she said. “Maybe it was the last song and there wasn’t room. We don’t know, but we recorded it, and it came out great.”
Nicks’ hope is that it will see release as part of a CD reissue in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of Buckingham Nicks. The album has never been reissued either on CD or digitally.
Alas, that milestone will likely be overshadowed by a bigger one — and one reason for the reunion: the 35th anniversary of Rumours, which will be marked with a new deluxe reissue featuring outtakes that will arrive in 2013.
Randall Roberts / Los Angeles Times / December 4, 2012