Los Angeles Times (11/15/1981), Fleetwood Mac's Tune Doctor
Los Angeles Times, November 15, 1981
Fleetwood Mac's Tune Doctor
by Dennis Hunt
Lindsey Buckingham, the singer-songwriter-guitarist of Fleetwood Mac, is a star but, in many ways, he's the antithesis of a star. Buckingham isn't really hip, glib, or dapper and he certainly isn't bristling with confidence. He's sincere, down-to-earth and rather boyish.
He's also not used to being interrogated by the media. "It makes me nervous," he said. Other group members handle most of the interviews, allowing Buckingham to stay comfortably in the background. But he doesn't have that luxury right now. His first solo album, "Law & Order," has just been released on Elektra and he's in demand by the media.
When he showed up for the interview he was quite jittery. Two martinis helped him conquer the jitters. Soon the reserved, 32-year-old singer from Palo Alto turned into a non-stop talker.
The discussion didn't dwell on his solo album, an excellent, rather offbeat effort that shows the range of his creativityand imagination more than any of the four albums he's done with Fleetwood Mac. "Some of the songs are a little crazy and abrasive," he pointed out. "There were just some things I had to get out of my system. I couldn't do them in the context of the band. I needed to be a little selfish for a change."
Buckingham talked a lot about the psychological and power structures of the group. First of all, he disputed a popular notion about Fleetwood Mac -- that Mich Fleetwood is both the band's Big Daddy and its musical leader. According to Buckingham, Fleetwood is the big Daddy but that's all. "There's no question that Mick is the figurehead. He's a great overseer. He can keep you on the right track once it's been established, but he's not going to establish it himself."
Who comes up with most of the ideas? Buckingham, of course. But getting him to overcome his considerable modesty and admit this wasn't easy: "I'm not a great guitarist, and i'm certainly not a great writer, but the thing I do best for Fleetwood Mac is to provide ideas."
Buckingham is the band's Mr. Fixit, an enthusiastic tune doctor in charge of reconstructing and polishing songs. "It's my main contribution," he insisted.
When they joined in 1975, Buckingham and Nicks salvaged Fleetwood Mac, which also includes bassist John McVie, who co-founded the band with Fleetwood in 1967. At that time, the band was floundering. Adjusting to a group situation wasn't easy for Buckingham, who was still having problems with this while making "Rumours," the group's second album.
"It's not easy to surrender to a collective effort," he said. "I remember talking to Mick in the middle of making 'Rumours' and telling him some of the tunes weren't turning out the way I'd like. He just said 'maybe you don't want to be in the band.' In a sense he was right. I had some things to work out. I'm still working them out."
Thanks to Tiff for posting this to the Ledge.
1981-11-15 Number of views: