Return of the Mac
Sunday Night Show Transcript
Sunday August 11, 2013
Reporter: Rahni Sadler
Producer: Dale Paget
CLICK HERE for story info and video.
Sex drugs and rock n’ roll: if ever there was a band that followed the mantra to the letter, it’s Fleetwood Mac.
Ahead of their Australian tour, the band are together for one special interview. The love triangles, the spiraling cocaine habits and other tales of rock star excess – nothing is off-limits. After more than four decades, see the reunion of all reunions.
MICK: Everyone on that stage has really fulfilled their dream from when they were really young to do this and we’re still doing this at this level. We’re still actually finding new chapters that are opening for us as people and musicians.
RAHNI: How does it feel when you walk out onto a stage and everybody is going nuts and stamping the ground? You’re walking out hand in hand with Lindsay.
STEVIE: I feel like I did when I first met him and started to sing with him because I knew, I knew that Lindsay and Stevie were going places.
RAHNI: Fleetwood Mac’s celebrated rock’n’roll story of love, hate and hit records has come full circle.
STEVIE: It is, in many ways, one of the greatest love stories ever told. It’s like one of those great romances of the century.
MICK: We’re all ex-lovers, so it’s just not cut and dry.
STEVIE: It’s a relationship that spans centuries and has come out on top.
RAHNI: For more than 30 years, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham played together, but hardly spoke.
STEVIE: We both tried to kill each other.
RAHNI: Now they’re back.
STEVIE: It reminds me of the ’70s. It reminds me of the early days when we first started.
RAHNI: Backstage at a stadium in Sacramento, Fleetwood Mac arrives in a fleet of black SUVs. Tonight’s a sell-out, like the 45 other concerts on the tour so far. What is it with you guys? You seem to be getting more popular.
MICK: I know. I joke about it and it is only a joke. I mean, do they know maybe we are all going to start dying or something.
RAHNI: It’s 46 years since Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham met in high school. Do you remember what made you fall in love with Lindsay? What were the characteristics?
STEVIE: Really, it just happened. And I guess I just, you know, I just really appreciated his amazing talent and, of course, not to mention, he was drop-dead gorgeous.
RAHNI: Stevie dropped out of college in 1968 and, with Lindsay, went to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music. They struggled to make ends meet, worked odd jobs. When Lindsay went to play in another band, Stevie thought about leaving him. The time apart inspired one of her most famous songs.
STEVIE: When I took my love, I took it down, like, off the mantle to really study what was going on and what had happened between him and me since 1966 when we met. I decided that I would not break up the relationship with Lindsay.
RAHNI: And the rest is history.
STEVIE: The rest is history and to be continued.
RAHNI: In 1974, Stevie and Lindsay were recording at Sound City Studios in LA. Mick Fleetwood also happened to be there. When he heard Lindsay play, he offered him a job.
STEVIE: Lindsay said, “She’s coming too, “so either you take both of us or I can’t join your band.”
RAHNI: Their first album together was a hit. Their second, ‘Rumours’, a worldwide blockbuster. but making ‘Rumours’ also broke every relationship in the band. Mick split from his wife, Jenny. John and Christine McVie also broke up. And then Stevie and Lindsay called it quits. How difficult was the break-up for you?
STEVIE: Well, it wasn’t very difficult for me because I wanted it to be over.
STEVIE: Because we were not happy and we can’t be together anymore and we can’t break up the band over it.
RAHNI: It must have been pretty not fun, though, at times when you were all breaking up and still recording and performing.
MICK: Of course, but the band itself, in a way, we all made those decisions not to give up.
RAHNI: So, when you guys were looking at each other, to me, it kind of looks like you want to kill each other. Is that really what it was?
STEVIE: Well, we kind of do.
RAHNI: The songs were weapons in the war against each other. So, when we see you, like, kind of bellowing at each other with what looks like hatred, that was real?
STEVIE: Absolutely. Absolutely.
LINDSAY: : Well, the people are here pointing fingers at us.
STEVIE: Oh, we are not, Lindsay. Why are you saying that?
LINDSAY: Jesus Christ, I was trying to say it’s nobody’s fault and Karen was telling me that your lawyer’s only got involved today. The implication of which is that my people (BLEEP!) up.
STEVIE: Karen can drop dead, honestly.
RAHNI: What was it like backstage?
RAHNI: You would just not communicate at all? Wouldn’t go near each other, wouldn’t say a word, certainly wouldn’t hold hands as you walked to the stage?
STEVIE: No. Separate dressing rooms. Separate cars.
RAHNI: How do you do that?
STEVIE: You sit on one end of the plane, he sits on the other end of the plane.
RAHNI: For how many years was it like that?
RAHNI: Since 1976?
STEVIE: Pretty much.
RAHNI: Did the cocaine enhance the experience or make it worse?
STEVIE: It enhanced until it didn’t enhance. Nobody really knew how much anybody was doing. Every once in a while some crazy person would come out with a bag of coke into the studio and put it down there and we would all, like, be frightened because we could really see our demise right there on the table.
RAHNI: Is it true that you actually damaged your nose from all the cocaine that you did?
STEVIE: I did. The fact is, I do have a hole in my nose. It’s changed my voice a little bit and I would never have admitted that but it did. And, you know, I have asthma and I have some, you know, sometimes I can just tell that hole is there and sometimes the doctor says, “I can fix that, I can put a little panel in there.” And I’m like, “No, no, no, because that’s like plastic surgery. That could change the way I sing. So no, you can’t fix it. We’re just gonna have to go with it.” But that was a very, very hard time for my parents.
RAHNI: Did your mum, do you think, when you were at your worst with cocaine do you think your mum thought you weren’t going to survive?
STEVIE: Mm-hm. I think she thought… ‘Cause we stopped communicating, because I didn’t want to make them sad but I also didn’t want to stop doing drugs. So I stopped calling and, you know, they wouldn’t hear from me for a long time. And I think they thought they were going to lose me.
RAHNI: I want to ask you about Mick, your relationship with Mick. Would that ever have happened if there weren’t so many drugs involved?
STEVIE: Probably not. That really was kind of an accident and guess where that happened.
RAHNI: On the road?
RAHNI: It’s our fault?
STEVIE: It’s your fault.
RAHNI: Where were you?
STEVIE: Yes, I don’t remember but we just had a party one night in a big suite, you know, and everybody was very drunk and at the end of it everybody left except me and Mick were just sitting in two big chairs, you know, and discussing life, philosophising on the world and…that was that. And by the next morning I was absolutely sure this was the great love of my life.
MICK: We don’t have the blessings of some of these bands, usually guys, that agree that don’t like each other and they go out and they play great music and they make a great living and they have a career. We can’t do that, you know, because we’re all ex-lovers so it’s not just cut and dry.
RAHNI: How uncomfortable did it all get when Lindsay found out that you were seeing Mick?
STEVIE: It was very uncomfortable but then it was very, very uncomfortable about two months later when Mick started seeing my best friend, Sarah.
RAHNI: Wow, it did get incestuous.
STEVIE: Yes, it did. I hardly spoke to Lindsay and wasn’t speaking to Mick at all and I lost my best friend so that was a very bad… The recording of ‘Tusk’ for me was a very bad, was a very bad year.
RAHNI: How you does the drums go in ‘Tusk’?
MICK: It’s like… There you go. Slap and tickle, they call it.
RAHNI: Do you have the hardest job in the band? You’ve always been the one that’s bringing everyone back together.
MICK: Oh, I thought you meant on stage, Mr Showbiz.
RAHNI: But you have brought everyone back together, haven’t you, when people have gone?
MICK: I have been blamed for keeping it all together. You can see I’ve got my brown underpants on. As of the last few years or so, I really had to take a look at not being that person where, with the whip, going, “We’ve got to do this, we have to do this.” Just because it became inappropriate for me, to continually push, push, push, push, push to do that so I had to let go of that.
RAHNI: During the ’80s and ’90s, Fleetwood Mac had a succession of break-ups and reunions. Christine McVie got tired of touring and quit for good in 1997. But the rest of the band kept going. Is it fair to say that the band is all getting along better than it has in years?
MICK: Yeah, it really is. People think that we don’t like each other – it’s not true. We actually love each other and there’s a whole load of… I mean, these two people walking out on that stage, Stevie and Lindsay, they were partners when they were 16 years old.
RAHNI: When you met them they were very much in love, weren’t they?
MICK: Yeah, of course.
RAHNI: Lindsay got married in 2000 and has three children. Stevie is happily single. She travels with two four-legged companions. Lindsay said if it wasn’t for Fleetwood Mac, you guys might never have broken up?
STEVIE: It’s possible that we might have stayed together.
RAHNI: Gotten married?
STEVIE: Very possible.
RAHNI: Had kids?
STEVIE: Had kids. But, you know, destiny intervenes.
RAHNI: Do you ever wished that’s what happened?
STEVIE: No, because I never go against destiny.
RAHNI: I want to ask you about your mum. I know she was very, very special to you and I know that she passed just…
STEVIE: Not long ago.
RAHNI: Without her, would you have been able to do what you were doing now?
STEVIE: No. I am alone in this world without her. Do I miss having a boyfriend or a man in my life? No. Do I miss having my mother? I miss her so much that it makes me nauseous because there’s nobody that can fill that void, there is nobody that can take her place and there is nobody that can pull me back into sanity like she was able to do, and so, what I tell everybody is, don’t ever for a minute take your mother for granted because she could be gone tomorrow. She left a lot of stuff, a lot of scrapbooks and writings and a suitcase that I have yet to open and it’s been almost two years, I guess. I’m just not ready.
RAHNI: Maybe the answers or some of the answers are in there.
STEVIE: A lot of the answers, I’m sure, are in there.
RAHNI: The loss put a lot of things in perspective, especially her relationship with Lindsay. Stevie decided that after 36 years, it was time to make peace with Lindsay.
STEVIE: My mum always said to me too, “It’s really easy to say I’m sorry. Just walk up to somebody and say, “I’m really sorry, honestly, I am really sorry’ “and that’s it, that’s all you have to say.” And that’s just something we didn’t say very much.
RAHNI: Both of you needed to apologise to each other and now you have and it’s changed everything?
STEVIE: It’s changed everything and so for the better.
RAHNI: What was his response?
STEVIE: His response was good. His response was more or less, “I wish you’d told me all this a long time ago.” So you’re like, “Well, you know, I didn’t take the time to sit down and explain to you why I wasn’t happy because it thought you knew and you didn’t.”
RAHNI: Do you wish you had that chat?
STEVIE: Yeah, I do. I certainly do. It would have certainly made the last 30 years easier. It’s sure a lot more fun this way.
RAHNI: Apart from the odd break-up feud and fight, Fleetwood Mac has been together now for nearly four generations and now there’s a whole new generation tuning in.
LINDSAY: We are doing the best business we’ve done since the mid ’80s. It just seems like it stood the test of time and more and more people seem to be realising that.
STEVIE: Sometimes I see the boy I first met when he was 17 and I haven’t seen him since we first joined Fleetwood Mac.
RAHNI: 23 songs and 2 encores later, the American tour is over. Australia is soon.
MICK: We’ll be fresh as daisies by the time we get to you.
Fleetwood Mac tour dates below. For all tour and ticketing information head to Live Nation.
Sydney Entertainment Centre, Sydney – Sunday November 10 & Monday November 11
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane – Thursday November 14 & Monday December 2
Hope Estate Winery, Hunter Valley – Saturday November 16
Adelaide Entertainment Centre, Adelaide – Tuesday November 19
Perth Arena, Perth – Friday November 22 & Saturday November 23
Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – Tuesday November 26 & Wednesday November 27
The Hill Winery, Geelong – Saturday November 30