Since debuting at the forefront of the late-’60s neo-Celtic blues-pop scene, Fleetwood Mac has been an incendiary seminal force in music. They famously metamorphosed into the greatest antecockrockian band of the ’70s, recording the influential Rumours in 1978, named for band-related scandals. A stellar paradigm of pop-rock songwriting and experimental pre-industrial studio wizardry, the LP is a product of infighting, rampant promiscuity and pagan/Satanic influence. As Lindsey Buckingham, who joined the band in 1977, prepared to visit Salt Lake City on a tour supporting his new album Gift of Screws, he called me, Brian Idol, to talk about the rumors swirling around Rumours.
Brian Idol: The problems between you and Stevie Nicks started because people kept calling her Lindsey and you Stevie. Can you confirm or deny this?
Lindsey Buckingham: Well, you know, I’ve had the problem all my life. People always told me I had a girl’s name. And I think Stevie always had that problem, too—people always said she had a boy’s name. Maybe that was one of the reasons we got together in the first place …
BI: Stevie was also mad because you told her Rhiannon was “more fun in the sack.”
LB: [laughs] Hmm … I’ve gotta tread carefully, here. Well … I never actually slept with Rhiannon. In fact, I’m not even sure what she looks like.
BI: Is that a bag-over-the-head joke?
LB: It could be.
BI: According to the Classic Albums DVD for Rumours, Stevie wrote “Dreams” in Sly Stone’s bed, and the song refers to you: “Players only love you when they’re playin’.” Were you glad that he took some of the heat off of you?
LB: He had this little thing at the Record Plant where he used to and sit and write—it wasn’t really his bed. There was plenty of heat to go around during the making of Rumours and I was glad to be rid of as much as I could.
BI: How about the backward messages? You had problems with John McVie, or at least he had a problem with you, and if you play “Go Your Own Way” backward, it says, “Lindsey Suckingham sucks.”
LB: [laughing] What was the message again? Lindsey Suckingham sucks? I’m thinking of something, but I don’t know if I should actually say it…
BI: Mick says that while Stevie and Christine McVie were holed up in their neighboring condos, you guys would blow off steam at the Record Plant by taking girls there to teach them to “believe in the ways of magic.” And you sent them home with ashtrays that were “talismans from Stevie’s private collection.”
LB: All I remember is that they all went away happy.
BI: “Holiday Road,” the famous theme to the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, was originally intended as a happy ending for Rumours to relieve the tension after “The Chain.”
LB: Yes, that’s true. But Warner Bros. rejected the happy ending.
BI: You’ve said “Never Going Back Again” is about a woman who, during the tense Rumours sessions, temporarily put wind in your sails. That was Cynthia Plaster Caster, no? I have it on good authority that your cast dwarfed that of Jimi Hendrix’s cast and therefore yours was smashed in order to ensure the Hendrix legacy remained intact.
LB: That is correct [laughs].
Lindsey Buckingham @ The Depot, 400 W. South Temple, Monday Sept. 22, 8 p.m., DepotSLC.com