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Gannett News Service (04/30/1993), Buckingham Back On Top < Lindsey Buckingham < Main Page

Gannett News Service (04/30/1993), Buckingham Back On Top

Gannett News Service, April 30, 1993

by Bruce Pilato, Gannett News Service

Moments before former ex-Fleetwood Mac singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham opens his first solo tour at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theatre, the mood backstage is somewhat tense. Former Mac mates Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks wander through a crowd of industry execs in the dressing room area and offer a show of support to Buckingham, who is more than a little nervous.

Once onstage, though, Buckingham's jitters disappear. When he opens his mouth and begins to sing, the sold-out audience is spellbound. He has them in the palm of his hand, and he knows it.

"I spent twelve years in a certain situation," says Buckingham to the crowd of his days in Fleetwood Mac, "but now, I'm in another situation." The crowd erupts into applause and cheers and Buckingham smiles back.

From the powerful solo acoustic opening of the 1987 Fleetwood Mac hit "Big Love" through a smattering of other Mac mega-hits and odd album tracks, woven into Buckingham's few solo hits ("Go Insane," "Holiday Road" and "I Think I'm In Trouble"), and a healthy dose from his current solo album, "Out Of The Cradle," the concert confirms Buckingham's return to pop's hierarchy.

The king has regained his throne.

"After leaving the band I didn't do anything for a while," says Buckingham, in an interview shortly after the release of "Out Of The Cradle" last year. "I just let the dust settle before I eased back into work. The writing and the recording all sort of happened together. It's like painting. You may approach the canvas with an intent, but as it takes on a life of its own it starts giving you back some direction."

"Out Of The Cradle," although less than a big commercial success, has been getting critical raves since it was released last spring. His label, Reprise-Warner Brothers Records, remains committed to the album and has just released a new single, "Soul Drifter."

"It took me a while to rediscover my solo style, to cover the ground in the way I knew I could," says Buckingham, who played most of the instruments on the album, co-produced it, and spent over five years writing and recording it. "Initially, it was suggested that different producers do different tracks, but I wasn't comfortable with that. I figured, if I was going to do it, I might as well jump in all the way."

The emotional singer-songwriter struggled for many years within the volatile surroundings of Fleetwood Mac, rock 'n' roll's most famous soap opera, and one of the most commercially successful acts in the history of recorded music. Though Buckingham became the band's creative driving force between 1975 and 1987 (penning and singing some of its biggest hits), he was often at the crux of many of the band's well-publicized ego battles.

"Initially, I left the band because I really just didn't want to tour. I wasn't really sure, but as it got closer, I realized that it was time for a change." Buckingham further explained that his desire to make music outside the context of Mac's formulated pop structure was what eventually drove him out of the band.

"One of he reasons 'Tusk' (Mac's commercially and critically disappointing 1979 double LP) came out as it did was because we had done 'Rumours' and I got uncomfortable trying to follow up on that. In some ways I guess you could consider 'Tusk' my first solo album. At the time, a whole new wave of things started happening that were extremely interesting to me and validated a lot of the feelings about where I wanted to go.

"There was also this ongoing reaction to the phenomena of being a phenomenon. It sort of takes over from the music, and that's scary. I found myself struggling not to lose my perspective."

Much of the experimental blend of African-styled chanting, heavy percussive rhythms and free-flowing nylon string guitars that became the core of the "Tusk" album are further explored and developed on both "Out Of The Cradle" and Buckingham's solo performance with his new band.

Buckingham recently reunited with Fleetwood Mac to perform the Clinton-Gore theme song "Don't Stop" for the young President's inaugural gala.

"I was fine with (the reunion)," he says. "I can't say I felt strongly associated with it. I certainly didn't feel particularly strongly associated with the band. I mean, I had some nice conversations with Mick (Fleetwood). There was a nice sense of closure about it, maybe, if there were any loose ends left over with the band. Beyond that," he says with a smile, "it was show biz."

Thanks to Anusha for the submission.

Date: 1993-04-30         Number of views: 1647

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