Midway through the 1970s, Stevie Nicks reunited Fleetwood Mac with her old professional and emotional partner Lindsey Buckingham to revitalize the British band as a pop-rock phenomenon. During Stevie Nicks’ senior year at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California, the gifted couple first got to know one another. Nicks was there one night at the Young Life Club when she spotted Buckingham singing a rendition of “California Dreamin” by Barry McGuire. Stevie Nicks decided to join Buckingham in unison, and the rest is history, as they say.
Both Buckingham and Nicks left their homes to attend San José State University, but they later dropped out to pursue music careers. The psychedelic rock group Fritz was the duo’s first foray into music. When the band split up in 1972, Buckingham and Nicks took a chance and released Buckingham Nicks as a pair, an album that may have achieved less critical acclaim and economic success than it deserved.
Late in 1972, Buckingham went on tour with the Everly Brothers, playing guitar. While this was going on, Nicks wrote “Rhiannon” and “Landslide,” two of her most enduring works. In the latter, she wrote of her relationship with Buckingham, which was set to enter its first of many low points.
Drummer Mick Fleetwood was introduced to the duo by producer Keith Olsen in 1974. Buckingham was first welcomed to the band by Fleetwood on his own because they needed a flexible guitarist. Loyally delaying the hiring process, Buckingham insisted that he would only join provided his girlfriend could come with him. Mick dutifully agreed, stating that the addition of another singer-songwriter would improve the atmosphere. Nick’s compositions “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” helped Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album from 1975 become the band’s most commercially successful release to date. With Rumours two years later, the band continued to soar to dizzying heights.
When promoting her album, In Your Dreams, Stevie Nicks was asked to join BBC Radio 2 for their well-known “Tracks of My Years” program. Nicks chose “Witchy Woman,” a classic by the Eagles from 1972, as her opening song. She highlighted how the pioneers of country-rock had greatly influenced both Buckingham and her throughout their early years.
She said, “The Eagles were famous before Lindsey, and I moved to Los Angeles, We drove to LA, and I remember listening to that song, thinking what a great song it was, and of course, I’m sure as all women my age did at that point, we were all hoping that we would actually be the witchy woman. Premonition-wise, I would come to know Don Henley quite well. In fact, I even do know who the actual witchy woman was; it was someone who became a very famous jeweller.”
She added, “The Eagles were very inspirational to both Lindsey and I because we loved their singing, and we loved their ability to bridge country and rock and roll so beautifully, I thought ‘Witchy Woman’ was just the perfect mix of country and rock and roll. And so we were very inspired by that, Lindsey and I.”