Lindsey Buckingham Year-by-Year: Photos 1973-2020
Born Oct. 3, 1949 in Palo Alto, Calif., Buckingham first started getting serious about playing guitar in the days of the folk boom of the early '60s. A few years later, he became the bassist for a high school band called Fritz. It was then that he met a singer named Stevie Nicks. She joined the band in 1968, after both had graduated, and they eventually became a couple.
Fritz broke up in 1971, and the duo dropped out of college and moved to Los Angeles with demo tape of the songs they were writing. They eventually got signed to Polydor, who put out Buckingham Nicks in 1973. The album stiffed, but a year later, Keith Olsen, who produced the record, played it for Mick Fleetwood, who was in need of a guitarist for Fleetwood Mac after the departure of Bob Welch. Impressed, the drummer asked Buckingham to join, and Buckingham insisted that he and Nicks were a package deal. Fleetwood acquiesced, and the duo joined on New Year's Eve 1974, with them both receiving $200 a week.
The arrival of Fleetwood Mac changed the fortunes of the band, who had been struggling to both hold on to members and find a large audience since forming in 1967. The LP topped the Billboard album chart and spawned three Top 20 singles, including Nicks' "Rhiannon."
But as a couple, Buckingham and Nicks were in trouble. So were the other couple in Fleetwood Mac, Christine and John McVie, and Fleetwood was also going through a divorce. Their issues with each other wound up into the follow-up, Rumours. Buckingham took a greater role in the songwriting, penning three songs entirely, including the No. 10 "Go Your Own Way," collaborating with the other four members on "The Chain" and sharing lead vocals with Christine on another hit, "Don't Stop."
Those expecting a sequel to Rumours may have been disappointed by 1979's Tusk, but it's arguably Buckingham's finest hour. Filled with sonic experiments at every turn, the record is perceived as a flop simply because it didn't perform as well as Rumours. Their next two efforts, Mirage and Tango in the Night, found them on more familiar footing, but shortly after the latter's 1987 release, Buckingham left the band.
While the group continued to work with a pair of replacements, Buckingham put out a solo record, Out of the Cradle, in 1992. It was his third such effort, following 1981's Law and Order and 1984's Go Insane. In January 1993, he rejoined Fleetwood Mac to perform "Don't Stop" at the Inaugural Gala the night before Bill Clinton, who had used it as his campaign song, was inaugurated as president of the U.S.
But it wouldn't be until 1997 when he patched things up with them. The Dance, a live album recorded for MTV, put them back in the spotlight, selling five million copies. After the highly successful reunion tour, Christine left, although she returned in 2014. The classic-era lineup remained together another four years, before Buckingham was fired after Nicks took exception to his behavior at a benefit a few months prior.