never let the truth get in the way of RUMOURS
+ bits and pieces
advises Norman Warwick
In 1977, Fleetwood Mac released their 11th studio album, Rumours (left) . The album went on to be a name-making effort for the group and has continued to captivate audiences for nearly five decades.
While recording the landmark album, a storm was brewing behind the scenes. Throughout the process, the group was embroiled in a number of scandalous affairs–largely with each other–nearly killing the group at the height of their career.
What caused such a rift? We’re charting a course through Fleetwood Mac’s complicated dating history that led to years of turmoil and lasting grudges—not to mention one hell of an album.
In 1975, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the group, completing the enduring line-up of Fleetwood Mac—Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, Nicks, and Buckingham (right). Along with them, they brought Nicks’ distinct songwriting and vocals and Buckingham’s accomplished guitar playing. Buckingham championed his then girlfriend’s admittance to the group, claiming they came as a package deal.
By the time they started to record their landmark album Rumours, the duo had experienced a breakdown in their relationship. Their on-again-off-again love affair began to take a toll while working together in such proximity.
Many of the lyrics on the album are Nicks and Buckingham slapping each other on the wrist, sometimes playfully so, and others with deep-seated spite.
Tell me why
Everything turned around
Shacking up is all you want to do
Lindsey Buckingham (left) wrote the lyrics above for the group’s first U.S. top ten hit, “Go Your Own Way.” Nicks told Rolling Stone: “I very much resented him telling the world that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing he said. Every time those words would come out onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him. He knew it, so he really pushed my buttons through that.”
Lindsey also wrote “Second Hand News” and “Never Going Back” about his band-mate, to which Nicks (right) responded with “Dreams.”
Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom
Well, who am I to keep you down?
It’s only right that you should play the way you feel it
But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness
Their relationship ended by the time the final touches were being made to Rumours.
Two years after joining the band, Nicks fell madly in love with founding member Mick Fleetwood, (left), a highly complicated affair given her then-relationship with Eagles drummer Don Henley and Fleetwood’s marriage to Jenny Boyd.
To add to Nicks and Buckingham’s already tumultuous relationship, the guitarist briefly expressed concern that something was going on between Nicks (right) and Fleetwood while they were still dating. The accusation was quickly shut down by the pair—unconvincingly so, given their romance a few years later.
“Eventually I fell in love with her and it was chaotic, it was on the road and it was a crazy love affair that went on longer than any of us really remember—probably several years by the end of it,” Fleetwood wrote in his book Play On.
The “doomed relationship” began to tear at the seams, ending Fleetwood’s marriage to Boyd and causing a rift between him and Buckingham. “Nice of you to tell me. I appreciate it,” the guitarist reportedly seethed.
Founding Fleetwood Mac member John McVie married Christine and brought her into the band in 1970. After seven years of seemingly marital bliss, Christine began an affair with the band’s sound engineer, Martin Birch. The pair ended up divorcing in 1976 but remain bandmates to this day, save for a hiatus for Christine in 1998.
Despite being adopted by Bill Clinton as a political vehicle, Rumours track “Don’t Stop” was written as closure to McVie’s marriage. Christine said of the song, “‘Don’t Stop’ was just a feeling. It just seemed to be a pleasant revelation to have that ‘yesterday’s gone.’ It might have, I guess, been directed more toward John, but I’m just definitely not a pessimist.”
Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone
Another track for the album, “You Make Lovin’ Fun” was written by Christine (left) as an ode to her affair. To “avoid flare-ups” she originally told John the song was inspired “by their dog”—wonder if he believed that one with lyrics like
you make loving fun
I don’t have to tell you but you’re the only one.
In yet another shocking love affair from Fleetwood, the drummer embarked on a relationship with one of Nicks’ best friends, Sara Recor (right) , following the loss of his marriage.
In an interview with the Independent, Nicks recalls the sense of betrayal she felt as news of the affair broke.
“Well, here’s a big one for ya. I had started to see Mick Fleetwood romantically. I had a very dear friend whose name was Sara [Recor], who just went after Mick. And they fell in love, and the next thing, Sara’s husband is calling me to say ‘Sara moved in with Mick this morning. And I just thought you might wanna know,’” said Nicks.
While all of this was kicking off, the group was deep into recording their 1979 double album Tusk.
“That was three months into a 13-month album,” Nicks continued. “So I lost Mick, which honestly wasn’t that big of a deal because that was a rocky relationship. But losing my friend Sara? That was a huge blow. Sara was banished from the studio by the rest of the band… No one was speaking, and I wouldn’t even look directly at Mick. That went on for months. And it was great fodder for writing. The songs poured out of us.”
Fleetwood and Recor eventually married—a relationship that lasted seven years before their divorce in 1995.
Despite their myriad of affairs and betrayals, Fleetwood Mac has enjoyed a lasting career of over 50 years. Rumours went on to sell over 10 million copies within just a month of its release. It is still widely considered one of the best rock records of all time.
The band members’ relationship toils don’t end with their inter-group relationships though.
Nicks briefly married Kim Anderson, widower of her best friend Robin Snyder, in 1983. They split just a few months after their wedding, due to Nicks feeling Snyder’s presence lingering around the couple.
Mick Fleetwood married his third wife Lynn Frankel in 1995 before divorcing in 2013. The couple share twin daughters, Ruby and Tessa.
Christine McVie married fellow keyboard player Eddie Quintela in 1986 but they too got divorced in 2003.
John McVie and Lindsey Buckingham have both enjoyed lasting marriages to Julie Ann Reubens and Kristen Messner, respectively.
Buckingham won a lawsuit against his former bandmates in 2018 after he was kicked out of the band, reportedly over disagreements about the band’s touring schedule.
Yes, yes, yes, I hear you say. So martially, in the end it turned out not so bad. What about the music though? How has that fared? Well, the peak albums of Rumours and Tusk still get a good deal of radio playlisting and some tracks are regularly used for sampling for incidental music in cinema and tv.
The individual players have all released critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums, and one musical pairing, of Christine and Lyndsey, have released a couple of albums that sound a lot like the Americana music I was listening to.
By the time rumours was coming out I was twenty five or six and newly married. I was almost a grown up and was pretty sure I didn´t want to listen to start listening again to a band I had enjoyed in my childhood, the first time they had enjoyed hits, in the sixties. Two things drew me vack,…well, three really: the fact that their hits of Albatross, Man Of The World and Green Manalishi were of a more mature nature than the rest of my frothy pop diet of the time, the second was a strange awareness of the work of Lindsey Buckingham,….and the third was that sharp, pointed never-let-you go hook of that guitar riff that went on to be the Formula 1 music.
I was also aware ofa rumour, oops, going round before the album of that tile had been released that Lindsey Buckingham had learned to play taught himself to play guitar from listening to John Stewart´s style of banjo playing in The Kingston Trio. Before Rumours came out I had a whole shelf of Kingston Trio albums, some featuring Dave Guard and others featuring the man who replaced him when he left, John Stewart. Also, long before Rumours came out, I heard a taped recording of John singing his own composition Daydream Believer that had been recorded by another great American Band The Monkees.
Wondering who this Lindsey Buckingham might be, I then heard stories about the new recruits to Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham and his then girlfriend Stevie Nicks, They had had been signed after Mick Fleetwood heard them recording their debut album in a neighbouring studio to one he was recording in.
I had no idea how widespread this story might be and went in what I was sure would be a futile search for some sort of bootleg copy of that debut album. There it was, almost on my doorstep in George Davenport´s record shop up near the University on Oxford Road in Manchester. George drove a hard bargain, to recover some debts I had accumulated there, and it cost me an arm and a leg and a handful of lesser albums to acquire the eponymously titled Buckingham Nicks., (worth every album though) and certainly good enough to have me joining the throngs awaiting the new Fleetwood Mac release.
There was to one further simple twist of fate, for me, and that lay in the fact that after the success of Rumours Lindsey and >Stevie supported John Stewart in the recording studio. Bother were admirers of his half dozen or so albums made by then.
Nevertheless, Stevie´s advice to him was ´let´s go and make some hits´ and her wonderful backing vocals and Lindsey´s incredible guitar playing could be clearly heard on tracks like (Turning Music Into) Gold and Runaway Fool Of Love and Spinning Of The World providing chart hits, the former being the biggest of Stewart´s career. These hits and his association with Buckingham and Nicks very nearly turned John into the Elvis he had always wanted to be, but there lies (or tells the truth) another story.
My chronological memory all goes out of time here, but I then (subsequently ?) heard a song called Tear Down The Sky Liddy Buck, on a home recording of Stewart´s. This, I think was about the time that the first bout of disenchantment was setting-in between members of the Buckingham Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac. There was talk of departures and (slightly later?) a solo album was released by Buckingham that included a song called Johnny Stew and referred regularly in its chorus to John Stewart.
John ´the lonesome picker´ Stewart´s song spoke presciently of what has since happened to Lindsey a few times, ´but you´ve flown too high, you´ve gone too far, you´re gonna tear down the sky for a star !¨
Liddy Buck´s response (?) was Johnny Stew that carried it´s own line of ´ít takes a worried man to sing a worried song´, a track Stewart had taken lead vocals on and played banjo on in a Trio recording. Lindsey´s song seems to be wondering where John Stewart was these days and closed on the conciliatory line of ´Johnny, I know you were not wrong.´
Each song captured the flavour of the other´s music, and certainly the threesome of Buckingham Nicks and John Stewart on the latter´s Bombs Away Dream Babies (a phrase allegedly minted by Dave Guard), always sounded to me like a slightly less commercial, but grittier and more Americana, than Rumours.
Lindsey stepped outside Fleetwood Mac several times to make a solo recording, though invariably dragged various Fleetwood members into the studio with him.
Those albums include seven releases of which the two most commercial and best-selling were Trouble and Go Insane, with Out Of The Cradle being perhaps the prettiest.
Songs on these albums seemed to perhaps betray an on Buckingham´s part of John Stewart´s earlier career in The Kingston Trio. Songs such as Mary Lee Jones and A Satisfied Mind (off Law And Order), Slow Dancing, Loving Cup, (from Go Insane) and Áll My Sorrows and This Nearly Was Mine were in the Kingston Trio style.
Years later came the implosion of Fleetwood Mac when Lindsey refused to tour with them and the group sued him for breach of contract, an accusation Buckingham sued them for and had successfully overturned in court.
Buckingham was due to kick off his tour in Dublin on Tuesday (17th May) before hitting the UK for shows in Glasgow, Liverpool, London.
A statement on his official Twitter account reads: “It is with great sadness that we are announcing the postponement of Lindsey’s European tour.
“Along with other members of his band and crew, Lindsey contracted COVID-19 at the end of his latest North American tour, forcing that to end prematurely.
“Unfortunately, he’s still recovering and has no choice but to move the upcoming tour to a later date.
“This is heart-breaking for Lindsey, he was so excited to come to Europe for the first time as a solo artist this spring.We’re currently working on rescheduling the dates and hope to have some news to share on that very soon.”
Following the UK & Ireland dates, Buckingham was due to visit Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
There is, of course, still hope and time for further Lindsey Buckingham triumphs, further examples of him doing things his own way and further experimentation with the narrative of the music he loves. Even a relatively recent album (left9 with Christine McVie, as was, featured some beautiful moments, such as Red Sun (that received massive Radio BBC 2 airplay from the UK), and (ironically) Love Is Here To Stay.
By one of those odd quirks of serendipity that forever sparkle in the arts, this article is being written on the day that news has reached me about the cast and crew having filmed the last scene of Neighbours, which will fall off air in December 2022 having run since 1985.
It could be argued that Fleetwood Mac is a ´real life soap opera´ that has actually run for even longer, and might still have surprising episodes not yet even written.¨
I know we tend to make links out of anything, really, but even though I had known of Steve Bewick´s interest in creating visual arts in paint, when we were working together back in Rochdale and had been astonished by some of his jazz portraits I also remember being amazed by some of his sketches created when he and his wife Marlene were over here on holiday with us a few years back. A heavy black-lead pencil illustration of our garden was fantastic, and he also created another incredible view of the mountain range around Femes.
We regularly remind our readers of how much Lanzarote loves its artists, and on a day when we visited an art exhibition here on the island raising funds for Ukraine we were delighted to hear in an e mail of a special success for Steve
photo chet My principle idea, or practice is of producing fantastic or incongruous imagery or effects in a digital art form by means of unnatural or irrational juxtapositions and combinations.
The tools at my disposal are those of art based software utilising its many tools of layering, retexturing colours and cropping etc to create my ideas in a two dimensional image from available personal photographs, internet images and sketches.
The outcomes of my work are often humorous, surprising and even shocking in some instances. This is intentional as I reflect upon the world, its images, successes and failings.
My influences are from the creative art forms of Jazz, surrealism and the writings of the American hip generation of beat poets and writers.
The subject here is Chet Baker. Jazz trumpeter, flugelhorn and vocalist. Born in Yale, Oklahoma 23rd December 1929, died in Amsterdam, 13th May 1988.
He was acclaimed the `great white hope` of jazz at the tender age of 23. Depicted in the film, `Let’s Get Lost` (1988) interpreting his short and tragic life as a musician.
Here, I took a simple B&W photograph of 1954, taken by Chet Baker in Hollywood, USA.
My only addition was of the distinctive colour red to his trumpet. Giving an expression of raw emotion in his playing. It might have been blue.
on air logo We know many readers of Sidetracks And Detours are also listeners to his weekly mic-cloud broadcast of his Hot Biscuits jazz programme, and steve contmiues his series of programmes with this week´s issue.
It includes a live session at the Creative Space from the Mike Farmer’s Quartet. Also included is music from Ben Crosland Quartet, Tim Garland‘s Light house, Zoe Francis & Steve Stanley and one from Emma Hatton. If this sounds good to you share with friends and listen in 24/07 at www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick
In any Venn diagram showing a) music loved by Steve Bewick, b) music loved by Norman Warwick and c) the music loved by both Steve Bewick and Norman Warwick, the narrowqest section would surely b the shaded area of c ! We come together most frequently on the lighter, jazz pieces more familiar to the general public by the likes of Louis, Ella and Nat King Cole. In fact I think we were both a bit surprised to place the group Snarky Puppy (left) in the area marked common ground.
Snarky Puppy is an American instrumental ensemble led by bassist Michael League. Snarky Puppy combines a variety of jazz idioms, rock, world music, and funk and has won four Grammy Awards. Although the band has worked with vocalists, League described Snarky Puppy as “a pop band that improvises a lot, without vocals”.
After a decade of incessant tours and recordings, the collective formed in Texas by Michael League in 2003 and composed of about 25 musicians is considered by the press and the public as one of the leading jazz bands. In the last decade it has won four Grammy Awards (Best R&B Performance in 2014, and Best Contemporary Instrumental Album in 2016, 2017 and 2021), categories that prove that Snarky Puppy isn’t exactly a jazz band. But it’s not a fusion band either, and it’s definitely not an improvisational band.
Steve has always been more familiar with their music than have I, Although I had been aware of their name for years, I had never see them perform live so when, in July 2021, I had the opportunity to catch a gig they played here on Lanzarote, I took the opportunity to go see and hear them.. You can read our positive review of that gig in our archives in an article entitled Snarky Puppy: Its Alright, Its Only Music posted on 13th August 2021.
Jjazz archivist, radio presenter, writer and Sidetracks & detours reader, Gary Heywood-Everett, responded to that review by e mailing us to say
Glad you liked the Snarkies. I saw them at Manchester’s Band on the Wall a few years ago (small club, heavy atmosphere – out of this world) and at the London Jazz Festival at the Roundhouse (also amazing). . My favourite track is What About Me a great version of which is on Youtube.
Those of you who know Snarky Puppy will already have these dates set in stone in their diaries, but if, as I was, you are familiar with the name but remain unsure of what you might hear, …take the risk. You can catch them all over Europe in the coming weeks (left).
The primary source for this article was written by Alex Hopper and published in the excellent American Songwriter.
In our occasional re-postings Sidetracks And Detours are confident that we are not only sharing with our readers excellent articles written by experts but are also pointing to informed and informative sites readers will re-visit time and again. Of course, we feel sure our readers will also return to our daily not-for-profit blog knowing that we seek to provide core original material whilst sometimes spotlighting the best pieces from elsewhere, as we engage with genres and practitioners along all the sidetracks & detours we take.
photo npw This article was collated by Norman Warwick, a weekly columnist with Lanzarote Information and owner and editor of this daily blog at Sidetracks And Detours.
Norman has also been a long serving broadcaster, co-presenting the weekly all across the arts programme on Crescent Community Radio for many years with Steve Bewick, and his own show on Sherwood Community Radio. He has been a regular guest on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Four.
As a published author and poet Norman was a founder member of Lendanear Music, with Colin Lever and Just Poets with Pam McKee, Touchstones Creative Writing Group (for which he was creative writing facilitator for a number of years) with Val Chadwick and all across the arts with Robin Parker.
From Monday to Friday, you will find a daily post here at Sidetracks And Detours and, should you be looking for good reading, over the weekend you can visit our massive but easy to navigate archives of over 500 articles.
e mail logo The purpose of this daily not-for-profit blog is to deliver news, previews, interviews and reviews from all across the arts to die-hard fans and non- traditional audiences around the world. We are therefore always delighted to receive your own articles here at Sidetracks And Detours. So if you have a favourite artist, event, or venue that you would like to tell us more about just drop a Word document attachment to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a couple of appropriate photographs in a zip folder if you wish. Beiung a not-for-profit organisation we unfortunately cannot pay you but we will always fully attribute any pieces we publish. You therefore might also. like to include a brief autobiography and photograph of yourself in your submission.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Sidetracks And Detours is seeking to join the synergy of organisations that support the arts of whatever genre. We are therefore grateful to all those share information to reach as wide and diverse an audience as possible.
correspondents Michael Higgins
Gary Heywood Everett
Hot Biscuits Jazz Radio www.fc-radio.co.uk
Jazz In Reading https://www.jazzinreading.com
Ribble Valley Jazz & Blues https://rvjazzandblues.co.uk
Rob Adams Music That´s Going Places
Lanzarote Information https://lanzaroteinformation.co.uk
all across the arts www.allacrossthearts.co.uk
Rochdale Music Society rochdalemusicsociety.org
Agenda Cultura Lanzarote
Larry Yaskiel – writer
The Lanzarote Art Gallery https://lanzaroteartgallery.com
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