Categories
Waddy Wachtel (7)
Fleetwood Mac Associate


Search Articles

Omaha Rainbow, Issue 22 (Autumn 1979), The "Bombs Away" Interview < Lindsey Buckingham < Main Page

Omaha Rainbow, Issue 22 (Autumn 1979), The "Bombs Away" Interview

Omaha Rainbow, Issue 22
Autumn 1979

Excerpts from:
 
The "Bombs Away" Interview
John Stewart interviewed by Peter O’Brien
September 21, 1979
Montcalm Hotel, London, England

[Speaking about meeting Lindsey and getting him involved in the album - ]

"You know the story about Lindsey learning to play guitar off the Trio
albums and me learning to play electric guitar off Lindsey Buckingham
albums.  So I met Walter Egan at the Union and asked him what it was like
working with Lindsey, and he said, ‘you gotta meet him because . . .’
blah, blah, blah.  So then I went over and met Lindsey when he was mixing
‘Hot Summer Nights’ and said, ‘Lindsey, I’d really like you to produce
this album.’  He said, ‘I’d like to but I’m doing Fleetwood Mac.’  He
came out to the house a few times and we worked on tunes and he said, ‘I
really want to do this.’"

[Speaking about working with Lindsey on the album - ]

"On my birthday last year he (Lindsey Buckingham) and Joey Carbone and
Russ Kunkel came down and played for free on ‘Midnight Wind’ . . . It was
the best birthday I ever had, yeah, it was great.  Got drunk out of our
brains.  Then I started doing the rest of them - ‘Somewhere Down the
Line" and Lindsey came in and did that live; ‘Spinnin’ of the World’
live; and then just overdubbed the crap out of that. . . . Lindsey would
come in for 14 hours at a time and then I wouldn’t see him again for a
month. . . . As far as Lindsey went, it was just the way he would point
the way to things, show me the direction in which to go, make me a mix
that was just mindblowing, and play some guitars or do some vocals."

[Speaking about Lindsey’s willingness to help during John’s desperate
times - ]

"Oh the pressure that Al Coury (RSO record company president) was putting
me under at that time was really inhuman.  I mean, to make anyone go
through that and to have the likes of Lindsey Buckingham in the studio,
and not say, ‘Hey, go ahead, this is going to be great,’ and to bring in
songs like ‘Gold’ and ‘Midnight Wind’ and him saying they’re not hits
when you know goddam well they are - or at least as close to a hit as I’m
gonna come - and to have no support or encouragement from the record
company, I was absolutely against the wall.  It got worse . . . . At one
point as I went in, I called up Lindsey.  I was so off the wall I could
hardly talk to him.  I said, ‘Lindsey, please, you’ve got to come in and
play.’  I just sounded like a madman.  I was."

[Chris Whelan, bassist for John Stewart, speaking about the financial
difficulties John encountered while making "Bombs Away Dream Babies," and
how Lindsey helped - ]
"It got to the point right before ‘Bombs Away’ was finished, he was way
over budget, he had no more money, and the album was not finished...like,
on 'Living in the Heart of a Dream,' there was still a lot of things he
wanted to do with that tune, but there was no more money....he actually
had let the band go right before ‘Bombs Away’ was finished. Lindsey put
in about 20 grand of his own money to finish the album."

[Speaking about working with Stevie on "Gold" - ]

"Mary Torrey is a friend of Stevie Nicks and when Stevie came down to do
‘Midnight Wind,’ we were going to mix ‘Midnight Wind’ and I really wanted
her to sing on ‘Gold.’  Because when she did ‘Midnight Wind,’ she heard
‘Gold’ and said, ‘Oh, I really want to sing on that.’  And I didn’t have
the money at that time to put her on.  I said, ‘I can’t do it without
seeing that amount of money.’  We’d all had a few drinks at that point
and what you say at four in the morning half in the bag is not what you
might say in the cold light of a sober day.

So when she came down to do ‘Midnight Wind’ I had ‘Gold’ out prepared - I
had it up ready to go and pretended I was mixing it or whatever.  I could
tell when she walked in by the look on her face that she was not gonna
sing that night.  She just had that ‘I ain’t singing’ look on her face.
So I said, ‘Stevie, I’m gonna go out do the tag on this song - let’s you
and Mary and I go out and sing the end.’  Well, Mary began to cry and I
went, ‘Oh, my God, what did I say?’  Stevie said, ‘John, this is Mary’s
dream to sing on a record.’  I said, ‘We’ve got to go out and do it.’  So
we went out and did the tag and Mary was singing and crying.

I had the lyrics to ‘Gold’ written out on enormous cue cards because
Stevie really can’t see too well.  Mary went back in the booth and I
grabbed Stevie and said, ‘Stevie, come on, let’s just do the verses on
this song.  It’s not gonna take long.’  I said, ‘Turn the tape on,’ so
they turned the tape on and held the cue cards out and I put my hand over
Stevie’s mouth when she wasn’t supposed to sing and hit her in the back
when she was and she did it in one take and I got her on the song."

[Speaking about working with Mary Kay Place and Lindsey on "Over the Hill"
- ]

"She was doing an album at Village and I’ve always been a big fan of Mary
Kay’s.  I think she’s a great singer . . . great attitude.  I went down
and I said, ‘Mary Kay, I’m gonna do this song.  Would you come by and
sing background?’  She said, ‘Sure.’  She got to the studio that night
and was absolutely petrified with fear.  Said, ‘I’ve never sung
background before.’  I said, ‘Mary Kay, there’s nothing different with
singing background.  You’re just singing lead with another melody.’
Lindsey was there and she was absolutely intimidated by Lindsey, because
Lindsey’s so confident in the studio that you want to hit him.  She
started screaming at him, ‘You’re so confident, you’re so damn
professional, I can’t do this!’  So Lindsey and I sat her down, said,
‘Mary Kay, don’t be ridiculous.  Come on.’  Gave her a couple of drinks
and she got it great."

[Speaking about his inspiration for the song "Comin’ Out of Nowhere" - ]

"It was the only time I ever wrote a song about another song.  That song
is written about a song of Lindsey’s on the ‘Tusk’ album called, ‘That’s
Enough For Me.’  When I heard it, it was absolutely devastating, and I
wanted to write a song letting people know there was something coming
that would knock their ears off their heads."
 
[Speaking about having to lie to his record company to be able to keep his
own material on the album - ]
"You want to know about that song?  ‘Hard Time Town’ was a song that
Buffy wrote and I doctored it up a bit to make it more commercial.  Went
in and told Al Coury that Lindsey wrote it and that if we didn’t do it,
he’d give it to Walter Egan, and that this was the hit we were looking
for.  That’s how desperate I got."

[Speaking about having heard the album "Tusk"  which was about to be
released and the single "Tusk" which had been released to radio - ]

"I don’t think they need any plugs, but I’ll just say it’s a terrific
album and not at all like ‘Rumours.’  ‘Tusk’ is great.  It’s really a
good laxative for the radio constipation of the world.  It’s really back
to what rock’n’roll started as . . . fun.  Where music should be.  It is
not like anything else on the album.  The album sounds nothing like
‘Tusk,’ and that’s the reason they put it out - just let people have no
idea what the album is like.  They took a real chance with the album and
I’m gonna have to hand it to them, they were very courageous.  It would
have been very easy to go in and do another ‘Rumours’ with the same
format and have guaranteed sales.

They’re the hardest working people I’ve met in my life and Stevie Nicks
is one of our finest songwriters who is never given any credit for the
amount of incredible songs she’s written.  I think she puts most of the
singer/songwriters in the toilet.  She’s got a song called ‘Angel’ which
is the best one she’s ever written.  She’s got a song called ‘Sisters of
the Moon’ which is a killer - absolute killer.  Lindsey has some really
bizarre good songs and Christine came through with some good things.  A
much different album.  I can’t even tell you what it’s like, but it’s
nothing like ‘Rumours’ and it’s definitely Fleetwood Mac."

**************************************************************************
 
Excerpts from:

Capitol Radio Interview
John Stewart interviewed by Roger Scott
September 21, 1979
London, England

[Speaking about the pressure from his record company to make a top ten
album and meeting Lindsey Buckingham - ]

"Al (Coury) called me and said, ‘John, let me lay it to you straight.  If
you don’t get a top ten record you’re off the label.  I said, ‘Oh, okay.’
He said, ‘I know it’s tough but I do it every day.’  I’ll never forget
that.  ‘I know it’s hard but I do it every day.’  He said, ‘You’ve got to
tell me what you’re gonna do.  You’ve got to bring me demos in.’  I said,
‘Al, I’ve got three songs and . . . at this point, to really make a long
story short, I’d met Lindsey Buckingham.

I said, ‘There’s no-one in the world I want to produce my album except
Lindsey Buckingham.  He’s the only one who has any idea of how to make
records that I really like.  I think he’s got the secret.’  I’d learned
to play electric guitar listening to Lindsey Buckingham records and found
out that Lindsey learnt to play electric guitar listening to Kingston
Trio records, so we’d been talking to each other for eight years before
we even met.

I said, ‘Lindsey, you’ve got to produce this album.  He said, ‘Okay, I’d
like to do it, but Fleetwood Mac is recording now and it’s gonna be
tough, but I’ll go in and do some songs with you.’  We went in and did
‘Gold,’ ‘Midnight Wind’ and ‘Runaway Fool of Love.’  I brought them in to
Al and he said, ‘Nope, not hits.’  At this point Lindsey and I were
pounding our heads against the wall saying, ‘What does he want?’  Went in
and did three more songs - not right.  I said, ‘Oh, Al, please.’  He
said, ‘Alright, go in and finish the album.’

Well, at this point, Lindsey said, ‘I can’t continue.  I’m just so into
the Fleetwood Mac album that I’ve got to do that, but I’ll come in and
play guitar whenever I can.’  So I was left alone with the control board
for the first time in my life.  I’d no idea what to do absolutely no clue
on what it was all about - I just started learning.  I started fooling
with it.  Lindsey would come in and make these mindboggling mixes and I’d
say, ‘Lindsey, you’ve got to tell me what you’re doing with those knobs,’
because it’s so involved with EQ, with peaking and shelving, low end and
DDLs and all that.  ‘Lindsey, sometime teach me what you’re doing.’  He
said, ‘I’m turning the knobs till it sounds good,’ and that really got me
through the album.  I went, ‘Right!’  So I just started turning the knobs
until it sounded good.  I had one engineer walk out on the album.  Said,
‘I can’t take any more.’  . . . ."

"Then Stevie came in and I said, ‘Stevie, this song is really your kind
of song,’ so she heard the track and said, ‘Yeah, I’d like to sing on
that.’  She came in and we spent twelve hours one night doing ‘Midnight
Wind.’  She said, ‘John, this is a classic.  It’s the best record I’ve
sung on since ‘Rhiannon’.’  That’s when I started going, ‘Oh yeah? Maybe
I’ve got something there.’  She said, ‘John’ - she’s got a great wisdom,
she’s got a great clarity - she said, ‘John, let’s make hits.  We’ve all
made the other kind of record.  Let’s make hits.  They’re more fun to
make.’  I said, ‘Right, let’s make some hits!’  She came in a couple of
times and we did ‘Gold’."
 
[Speaking about the inspiration to the line -"people out there turning
music into gold" - from the single "Gold" - ]
" . . . going to Lindsey’s mansion in Hollywood!  I said, ‘Lindsey, what
does it feel like living in a place like this?’ He said, ‘Well, when I
first moved in, I waited for my parents to show up and to take care of
it.’  It’s just a song away.  I’ve always maintained it’s just a song
away.  Lindsey was starving before Fleetwood Mac.  Just four years
earlier he and Stevie were living in a one room apartment, so I said, ‘My
God, there’s people out there turning music into gold,’ and I just
started playing that riff and built the song on that."

Thanks to Lesley Thode for sending this to us.


Date: 1979-10-01         Number of views: 2032

Print This Save This E-mail This Talk About This ( 0 )
Was this article helpful?
 
Yes
No
 
Related Articles
Bassist (02/02/1998), John McVie
Bassist, February 1998 JOHN MCVIE With a new/old album, The Dance, doing brisk business, have th...
Rolling Stone (03/04/1982), Mayall Re-forms Bluesbreakers
ROLLING STONE --- MARCH 4, 1982 MAYALL RE-FORMS BLUESBREAKERS John McVie and Mick Taylor calle...
Bassplayer (05/06/1995), A life with Fleetwood Mac - John McVie
Bassplayer, May-June 1995A life with Fleetwood Mac - John McVieBy Alexis Sklarevski John McVie has...