‘We go on stage and still have our love affair': Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks on Lindsey Buckingham

The torrid passion between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks has been both the blessing (you’ve heard of Rumours, right?) and the curse of Fleetwood Mac.

After all, the emotional split chronicled in songs like “Dreams” and “Go Your Own Way” eventually formed a basis for bad feelings that split the group apart a decade later.

Since a 1998 reunion with the platinum-era lineup of the group, however, the tandem of Buckingham and Nicks has held steady — even as Christine McVie retired and, more recently, her ex-husband John McVie endured a cancer scare. Once perhaps the most unstable part of the group, they now represent its foundation.

“We were, for all practical purposes, married for a long time,” Nicks tells Extra and, with their continuing tours in Fleetwood Mac, “we have the ability, and the gift, of being able to go on stage and still have our love affair.”

That Buckingham is married now hasn’t changed the nature of this more mature kind of passion — a passion focused on the work.

“He has a beautiful wife that I just adore,” Nicks adds, “and three little kids that are so very special. I get them also, you know? I get to have them, too.”

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Peter Green’s early tenure in Fleetwood Mac is increasingly being framed by — and only by — his seminal hit composition “Black Magic Woman.” But, as Nick DeRiso’s exploration below of a handful of key Green-era deep cuts shows, there was much more to the band’s mercurial founding frontman …

“STOP MESSIN’ ROUND,” (MR. WONDERFUL, 1968): One of the best examples of the Green era of Fleetwood Mac’s canny ability to mimic deep blues styles, this song was later covered by both Aerosmith and Gary Moore. “Stop Messin’ Round” was a highlight of the band’s sophomore album Mr. Wonderful, which introduced some funky horns and, though uncredited, a keyboardist named Christine Perfect. Later taking her bass-playing husband’s name, she would would appear as Christine McVie on every Fleetwood Mac album through 1995’s Time.

“LONG GREY MARE,” (FLEETWOOD MAC, 1968): Occasionally lost in the fiery blues breakdowns and personal difficulties that have long framed Green’s tenure with Fleetwood Mac are shimmering moments of vulnerability like “Long Grey Mare,” which also underscores his sly humor — all while featuring some scalding harp work.

“RATTLESNAKE SHAKE,” (THEN PLAY ON, 1969): On the torrid “Rattlesnake Shake,” Green explores a dirty funk riff and a darkly intriguing storyline before he unleashes a thunderous solo amid an appropriately reptilian sizzle by Mick Fleetwood. Around this time, Danny Kirwan had replaced fellow blues lover Jeremy Spencer, and Fleetwood Mac began moving into more pop-oriented music.

“IF I LOVED ANOTHER WOMAN,” (FLEETWOOD MAC, 1968): “If I Loved Another Woman” works as a kind of preview of the sound Green would perfect on his signature Latin blues number “Black Magic Woman.” Here, however, he keeps things at an intriguingly slow boil, with only Mick Fleetwood’s insistent percussive asides nudging things along.

“MAN OF THE WORLD,” (SINGLE, 1968): “Man of the World,” a sadly appropriate song about someone who gets everything he thought he wanted but still somehow can’t find happiness, peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. charts in 1969. But the delicately executed ballad, for some reason, was never released in the U.S.

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