Stevie Nicks Recalls Trying to Be 'Sweet and Nice' to Lindsey Buckingham to Keep Fleetwood Mac Together

Stevie Nicks told The New Yorker that she knew she and Lindsey Buckingham had to stay together at first for Fleetwood Mac to work

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty

Stevie Nicks is reflecting on the ups and downs of her relationship with Fleetwood Mac bandmate Lindsey Buckingham, nearly 50 years after it helped them make one of the world's most beloved albums.

Nicks talked to Tavi Gevinson in a lengthy interview published in The New Yorker, and explained how she and Buckingham—who first met in high school in the late '60s—had to patch up their fractured relationship in the early days of Fleetwood Mac, lest they risk ruining a good thing.

"You just have to throw yourself into your song. I mean, I broke up with Lindsey in 1976. We'd only been in Fleetwood Mac for a year and a half, and we were breaking up when we joined Fleetwood Mac," she recalled. "So we just put our relationship kind of back together, because I was smart enough to know that, if we had broken up the second month of being in Fleetwood Mac, it would have blown the whole thing."

Though their eventual breakup wound up being ideal fodder for their legendary 1977 album Rumours, Nicks, 73, said she was forced to grin and bear it up until that point — and that it worked out for the best.

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"I just bided my time, and tried to make everything as easy as possible, tried to be as sweet and nice to Lindsey as I could be. He wasn't happy, either," the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer said. "Then something happened that was, you know, 'We're done.' And he knew it. It was time. And the band was solid, by that time, so I could walk away knowing that he was safe. And that the band was safe. And that we could work it out."

Though Rumours has breakup songs aplenty—bandmates Christine and John McVie were also splitting up at the time—Nicks' wistful "Dreams" and Buckingham's angstier kiss-off "Go Your Own Way," which each wrote about the other, have long been considered standouts.

Nicks told Gevinson that she considers the tracks two sides of the same coin.

"I can just go right back to what pushed me toward writing those words. And I always laugh because Lindsey's 'Go Your Own Way' and my 'Dreams' are like, counter songs to each other," she said. "I'm like, 'When the rain washes you clean, you'll know,' and he's like, 'Packing up, shacking up's all you want to do.' Both songs kind of mean the same thing — it's really about our breakup. He's looking at it from a very unpleasant, angry way, and I'm saying, in my more airy-fairy way, we're gonna be all right. We'll get through this."

Despite the decades since the band's most tumultuous era, Fleetwood Mac made headlines once more in 2018 when Buckingham, 72, was fired from the group.

The rocker told PEOPLE in September that he'd be open to a reunion with his bandmates, contingent on a reconciliation with Nicks.

Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac in September 2018. JB Lacroix/WireImage

"It was all Stevie's doing," he said of his ousting. "Stevie basically gave the band an ultimatum that either I had to go or she would go. It would be like [Mick] Jagger saying, "Well, either Keith [Richards] has to go or I'm going to go'… But that could be seen as something almost predictable at some point given the fact that we were slightly on different planets for so long."

"You have to forgive," he added. "You have to let things go and move on and just remember that we're all doing the best we can."

Nicks, for her part, denied Buckingham's account of his departure, calling it "revisionist history."

"I did not demand he be fired. Frankly, I fired myself," the "Stand Back" singer said in a statement. "I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my well-being. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it."

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