The musical partnership between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks left an indelible mark on the world of music, particularly during their time with Fleetwood Mac. From their early days as college students to their meteoric rise to fame, their relationship was filled with creative triumphs, heartbreak, and ultimately, separation. Despite their current strained relationship, there is one song that holds a special place in Lindsey Buckingham’s heart, evoking memories of happier times with his former soulmate – “Dreams.”
The Musical Bond of Buckingham and Nicks
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks first connected as music-obsessed college students, united by their shared passion for the arts. Their collaboration began in the band Fritz, where Nicks was invited to join. Although Fritz achieved local success, Buckingham and Nicks felt the urge to embark on their own musical journey and relocated to Los Angeles. As the duo Buckingham & Nicks, they signed a major label deal in 1973 but faced disappointment when their album failed to resonate with audiences, leading to their departure from the label.
The Lifeline of Fleetwood Mac
Just as Buckingham and Nicks contemplated parting ways both romantically and professionally, an unexpected lifeline emerged – the opportunity to join Fleetwood Mac. This pivotal decision transformed their lives and propelled them to unprecedented heights of success. However, their relationship within the band was far from harmonious, and the toxicity eventually led to Nicks issuing an ultimatum in 2018 that resulted in Buckingham’s departure.
“Dreams”: A Reflection of Buckingham and Nicks
For Lindsey Buckingham, the song “Dreams” holds a profound significance, transporting him back to a time when he and Nicks were deeply connected. In an interview with Vulture, Buckingham revealed that the song was written about him, symbolizing the quintessential marriage of their individual contributions to each other’s music. He recognized the pivotal role he played in Nicks’ creative process and emphasized the power of their collaboration within the band.
“There are a lot of reasons for that. Obviously, it was written about me. So there is that. [Laughs.] We were all writing about each other on Rumours, but that song also represents a sort of quintessential marriage of what Stevie brought to the table and what I brought to the table for her. I brought it to the table for Christine McVie too and for myself, but Stevie, in particular, needed it more. That was the architecture around the song.”
“So, that reminds me of her, but it also reminds me of us as a musical force together. It speaks to the quintessential essence of what we could be together, in terms of her and me coming together and adding our own things to make something greater than the sum of its parts.”
A Poignant Reminder of Turbulent Times
“Dreams” takes Buckingham back to 1976, a tumultuous period in his relationship with Nicks when their breakup loomed on the horizon. Despite their impending separation, there remained a profound love between them. Buckingham vividly remembers watching Nicks move away from him, and the song captures the essence of their emotional struggle. It represents Buckingham’s decision to prioritize Nicks’ well-being on both a personal and professional level, even in the face of heartbreak.
He recounted he”was watching her move away from me” and said ‘Dreams’ is “the embodiment of that whole thing I had to deal with in the aftermath, which was to choose to do the right thing for her on a professional and human level”.
While their personal relationship may have crumbled, the creative tension between Buckingham and Nicks fueled their songwriting process. The dying embers of their romance became fertile ground for crafting poignant and introspective songs, exemplified by the enduring appeal of “Dreams.”