As Fleetwood Mac kicks off its first tour in four years, Lindsey Buckingham reflects on the band’s drug-fueled nights

Surviving Fleetwood Mac

As Fleetwood Mac kicks off its first tour in four years, Lindsey Buckingham reflects on the band’s drug-fueled nights, blowout fights, and unbreakable bonds.

By Brian Hiatt – Men’s Journal
April, 2013 issue

LB-MensJournel

For Lindsey Buckingham, recording an album used to mean doing just enough coke to nail a guitar part at 3AM, getting in screaming fights with Stevie Nicks, and, in one case, allegedly throttling an engineer who erased the wrong track.  But that was all long ago.  These days, he wakes up at six, has breakfast with his three young kids, hits his home studio alone, and is done by dinner.  “It’s a nice balance,” says Buckingham, 63, who is reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for an arena tour beginning this month (and has a solo live album, One Man Show, out now).  “That’s the whole lesson for me now.  For many years in Fleetwood Mac, it was a study in life out of balance.”

Q: You had your first child at 48.  Do you recommend late-life fatherhood?  

ANS: It depends on the man.  You could almost say I’m someone who doesn’t practice age.  I went to a high school reunion a few years back, and all these people seemed 20 years older than me, physically and mentally.  So having kids late is good if you’re the kind of person who needs to wait – though in 20 years, I may have a different perspective.

Q: Your most recent studio album, Seeds We Sow, got great reviews but didn’t sell.  Why?

ANS: There’s a disconnect between the preconceptions that go with being the age I am and what the music is.  I sent the album to Daniel Glass, who runs [hip record label] Glassnote, and he loved it.  Then he played it for his staff, guys in their twenties, and they said, “Well, what are we going to do with it?”

Q: What do you remember about the argument that led to your leaving Fleetwood Mac for a while in 1987?

ANS: All I recall is that Stevie ran after me crying and yelling and kind of beating on my back.  I don’t remember any physical confrontation, not to say there wasn’t.

Q: Is it safe to say, though, that ou had a temper in the past?

ANS: Sure.  It’s been well documented.  But we were doing all sorts of substances, too, that probably had something to do with blowing certain behaviors way out of proportion.

Q: Has age calmed you down?

ANS: Some of it was situational.  You’ve got to understand, it was very difficult for me to have Stevie break up with me and to still be in a band with her, to never get a sense of closure.  It took its toll emotionally.

Q: How come drugs never got too out of control for your?

ANS: The substances that were in the studio were not part of my lifestyle at home.  I had to take them so I could stay up till two our three, and even then, Mick [Fleetwood] would want to go later.  My MO if I really wanted to leave would be to say, “I’m going to the bathroom,” and then walk out the door and drive away.

Q: Now that pot is practically legal in California, are you tempted by it?

ANS: No.  I did a lot of that back then, and it was good for a certain kind of abstract thinking.  But we all thought we had to be altering our consciousness on a daily basis in order to be creative, which turns out to be crap.  It’s just about finding your center, that quiet place.

Q: You and Stevie broke up decades ago, but you have to deal with her forever. What’s that like?

ANS: You get used to it. And for me, getting married and having children was a positive outcome.  I wonder sometimes how Stevie feels about the choices she made, because she doesn’t have a relationship – she has her career.  But there are a few chapters to be written in the Stevie-Lindsey legacy.  There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other.  Maybe that’s fucked up, but this is someone I’ve known since I was 16, and I think on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out.  There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.

Q: t’s about as complicated as a relationship can be.

ANS: Oh, my Lord, yes.

Lindsey Buckingham: A Time To Every Purpose

Lindsey Buckingham’s new album is titled Seeds We Sow.

Jeremy Cowart

Lindsey Buckingham helped make Fleetwood Mac one of the biggest rock bands of all time. He works mostly solo today, and his sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow, just came out.

Buckingham takes the “solo” designation seriously: He wrote, produced and engineered the album himself, as well as playing most of the instruments. He tells Weekend Edition Saturday‘s Scott Simon that the effects of that approach come through in the music.

“You work in a band, and it tends to be more like moviemaking, I think. It tends to be more of a conscious, verbalized and, to some degree, political process,” he says. “I think when you work alone — the way I do it, anyway — you could sort of liken it to painting, where there’s sort of a one-on-one with the canvas. And you get different results.” Continue reading

At Home with Lindsey Buckingham

At Home with Lindsey Buckingham

Spin Magazine

By Spin Staff on September 12, 2011 10:24 PM 

As part of Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham wrote some of rock’n’roll’s most eternally beloved songs, and the bedroom in his Los Angeles home is packed with artifacts that have influenced his creative path over the years — which we discovered when we visited for our monthly “In My Room” feature. Watch video from Buckingham’s room below.

Among the treasures: a Martin D-18 acoustic guitar he bought at age 19 (“It’s gotten better and mellower with age…a bit like me”), a boogie board (“The sensibility of water is something I hope would enter my music”), and vinyl 45s by Elvis and Chuck Berry that sparked his interest in rock’n’roll.

Buckingham, 62, has traded in a tumultuous past for blissful domesticity (he’s married with three school-age children). But that doesn’t mean he’s taking it easy. His new solo effort, Seeds We Sow (Mind Kit), continues a rich tradition of adventurous songcraft driven by virtuosic guitar fingerpicking. The man also wrote, performed, produced, and released the album himself. “I’ll always have Fleetwood Mac,” he says, “but my solo work is where the growth and heart is. It’s where I live.”

Watch: In My Room with Lindsey Buckingham

INTERVIEW BY CHRIS MARTINS / VIDEO BY RHYS ERNST

Photo Gallery

 

Lindsey Buckingham on Solo Work, the Mac and ‘Glee’

Lindsey Buckingham on Solo Work, the Mac and ‘Glee’

by Jim Allen  |   August 27, 2011 10:00 EDT
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Fleetwood Mac had already been a band for eight years before Lindsey Buckingham joined the group in 1975 (along with then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks), but it was Buckingham’s voice, guitar and pen that helped make the band one of the best-selling rock acts of all time. With Buckingham onboard Fleetwood Mac cut such era-defining, chart-topping, multiplatinum monsters as Fleetwood Mac (Reprise, 1975) and the monumental 1977 follow-up Rumours (Warner Bros.). The latter produced four top 10 hits, including the No. 1 single “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop” — later the theme song for Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign — and “Go Your Own Way.”

But it’s the left turns of Buckingham’s solo career, which began with 1981’s Law and Order (Warner Bros.) and often finds him working as a one-man band, that mark him as a musical maverick. His sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow, continues that tradition as Buckingham explores a broad spectrum of sounds from intense, drum-machine-driven grooves to solo-acoustic splendor and even a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “She Smiled Sweetly.” On Sept. 6, Buckingham will self-release the album, the first indie set of his 38-year recording career. Continue reading

Lindsey Buckingham gearing up for new album, tour

Lindsey Buckingham gearing up for new album, tour

By Dean Goodman
Reuters
LOS ANGELES | Tue Apr 12, 2011

Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsey Buckingham has finished work on his third solo album in six years, a project he expects to release in September and promote with a tour.

The album, “Seeds We Sow,” will also be his first outside the Warner Bros. family. Buckingham told Reuters that he was unhappy with its handling of his solo projects, and he was now considering teaming up with a new label or going the DIY route with an independent promotion team.

Lindsey Buckingham poses as he arrives at a Grammy nominations event in Los Angeles

Fleetwood Mac is also a free agent after more than 40 years at Warner Bros., Buckingham said. The Anglo-American rock icons last released an album in 2003 and were the ninth biggest touring act in 2009 with U.S. ticket sales of $55 million, according to Pollstar.

Buckingham, 61, said Fleetwood Mac will continue to tour and record. Given classic-rock audiences’ disdain for hearing new music in concert, he said he enjoys the creative challenge of giving old favorites a new sheen on stage.

Despite a busy family life, Buckingham has also been on a creative tear in his solo career, releasing albums in 2006 and 2008, and touring to promote both of them. Before then, he had not released a solo album since 1992’s “Out of the Cradle.” Continue reading