Q & A with once and future Fleetwood Mac leader Lindsey Buckingham
Lindsey Buckingham, the solo artist and Fleetwood Mac frontman who headlines the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on September 24 (see this Westword profile for the particulars), isn’t afraid to share. Unlike those musicians who fear that they’ll smother their muse if they speak in too much detail about their creative process, he’s ready, willing and able to examine his work, artistry and experiences in public. As a result, he’s among the most fascinating interview subjects in rock music, as he proved while chatting for a 1993 article that appears online for the first time. And he does so again in an exceedingly insightful new interview reproduced below in its entirety.
The conversation begins with a discussion of Under the Skin, a 2006 solo album that was as intriguing as it was noncommercial. His responses move from revelations about his longtime label’s disinterest in the project to his refusal to chase fame — a philosophy he established after helping to make the 1977 Fleetwood Mac album Rumours one of the best-selling albums of all-time. From there, he talks about Gift of Screws, his latest release, which contains more accessible material than its predecessor even as it displays Buckingham’s trademark idiosyncracy. He digs into a lyric in which he refers to himself as “a whore” and details the origins of the material, some of which recalls his contributions to F-Mac, with which he’s reportedly recording a new album likely to be released in 2009. Finally, he breaks down a list of favorite pop singles that he cited in the aforementioned article from fifteen years ago, acknowledging that in some ways, the synthesis of Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” and the Kingsmen’s “Louie Louie” define his personal aesthetic.