Wednesday, January 28, 2004

WARNER BROS. WILL reissue Fleetwood Mac‘s landmark late Seventies albums

Fleetwood Mac Dust Off Demos
Expanded reissues of late Seventies albums due in March

January 28, 2004
Rolling Stone Magazine

WARNER BROS. WILL reissue Fleetwood Mac‘s landmark late Seventies albums Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and Tusk on March 23rd.

The expanded version of Fleetwood Mac, originally released in 1975 and the first to feature Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, will include a previously unreleased jam, along with four alternate takes of album cuts. Both Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) will come with a full disc of unreleased demos and outtakes.

Rumours, which has sold more than 19 million copies, has become almost as famous for its creators’ feuding as its blockbuster hits. “All of those problems and all of those drugs, and all of the fun and all of the craziness, all made for writing all those songs,” says Nicks in the liner notes. “If we’d been a big healthy great group of guys and gals, none of those great songs would’ve been written.”

The roughs and outtakes on the discs offer a behind-the-scenes peak at the group’s sometimes fractured songwriting process, which gave “The Chain” its name.

“It started out as one song in Sausalito,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone. “We decided it needed a bridge, so we cut a bridge and edited it into the rest of the song. We didn’t get a vocal and left it for a long time in a bunch of pieces. It almost went off the album. Then we listened back and decided we liked the bridge, but didn’t like the rest of the song. So I wrote verses for that bridge, which was originally not in the songs and edited those in. We saved the ending. The ending was the only thing left from the original track. We ended up calling it ‘The Chain’ because it was a bunch of pieces.”

Fleetwood Mac outtakes:

  • Jam #2
  • Say You Love Me (Single Version)
  • Rhiannon (Single Version)
  • Over My Head (Single Version)
  • Blue Letter (Single Version)

Rumours demos and outtakes:

  • Second Hand News
  • Dreams
  • Brushes (Never Going Back Again)
  • Don’t Stop
  • Go Your Own Way
  • Songbird
  • Silver Springs
  • You Make Loving Fun
  • Gold Dust Woman #1
  • Oh Daddy
  • Think About It
  • Never Going Back Again
  • Planets of the Universe
  • Butter Cookie (Keep Me There)
  • Gold Dust Woman
  • Doesn’t Anything Last
  • Mic The Screecher
  • For Duster (The Blues)

Tusk demos and outtakes:

  • One More Time (Over and Over)
  • Can’t Walk Out of Here (The Ledge)
  • Think About Me
  • Sara
  • Lindsey’s Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Storms
  • Lindsey’s Song #2 (That’s All for Everyone)
  • Sisters of the Moon
  • Out on the Road (That’s Enough for Me)
  • Brown Eyes
  • Never Make Me Cry
  • Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Honey Hi
  • Beautiful Child
  • Song #3 (Walk a Thin Line)
  • Come On Baby (Never Forget)
  • Song #1 (I Know I’m Not Wrong)
  • Kiss and Run
  • Farmer’s Daughter
  • Think About Me (Single Version)
  • Sisters of the Moon (Single Version)

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Stevie Nicks "Trouble in Shangri-La"

MAY 1, 2001:
Stevie Nicks sixth solo album "Trouble in Shangri-La" was released May 1, 2001 and debuted at No.5 on Billboards Top 200 Albums Chart with 109,000 units sold in the U.S. on May 19, 2001 This was the second highest debut for the week behind Destiny's Child "Survivor" at No.1 which feat. a sample of Stevie's "Edge of Seventeen" on "Bootylicious". This was also Stevie's highest charting solo ranking since 1983's The Wild Heart hit the same peak, and her biggest SoundScan era sales week ever, besting her previous solo album, 1994's "Street Angel", which started with 27,000 units sold and debuting at No.45. Trouble in Shangri-La was also the No.1 Internet Album for the week with Destiny's Child coming in at No.2.

The album spent a total of 20 weeks on the Top 200 chart. To date the album has been certified gold in the U.S.

Thursday, May 14, 1998

Nicks’ box set has finally arrived! Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks

Q&A: Stevie Nicks
Rolling Stone interviews Fleetwood Mac's white witch
MAY 14, 1998

LOOK, WE LOVE LINDSEY AND CHRISTINE and the gang, but, let’s face it, that Fleetwood Mac tour was all about Stevie Nicks: white witch, Gemini, ex-cheer-leader, poetess, former three-pack-a-day smoker, Miami Vice fan, one-time hostess at Bob’s Big Boy, friend to Billy Corgan and Courtney Love, fashion icon. The accolades continue with Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” in which folks like Elton John, Jewel and Matchbox 20 salute Rumours‘ classic tunes; but, more exciting, Nicks’ box set has finally arrived! Enchanted: The Works of Stevie Nicks, culled from her six solo albums, contains eight previously unavailable tracks; a new single, “Reconsider Me”; and a booklet chock-full o’ photos and personal reminiscences. “This is my heart,” she writes. “This is my work; it has been enchanting. I wouldn’t change a thing.” Nicks chats with us from her Phoenix home, where she has just returned from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

And what did you buy?
Two floor lamps and some silky white panels to wrap around my pole bed. I’m not doing a lot because I’m really trying to rest. I started working on this box set the day I got home from the Fleetwood Mac tour. If you’re a Stevie Nicks fan, you’ll probably really like this.

There is a lot in this box set, Stevie.
It’s a lot of music, and it’s all my intense songs. It’s very heavy. You have to be in the right mood for it. I have to be in the right mood for my music. I tend to listen to slow jazz on the radio. The first thing I do when I get to a hotel is look for jazz stations, because I can dance around to that – I can be happy and sing my own words. I can’t be intensed-out by rock & roll all the time. I have too much going on in my life that is intense enough.

Do you rock out to CDs?
When I rock out, I usually play tapes I’ve made over the years – all the big songs through the Eighties and the beginning of the Nineties. I can’t really listen to a whole CD. I’m gonna have two or three favorites and that’s all. Hey, I’m almost fifty [laughs]. I’m an old woman.

Now, you stop with that.
You can only rock out so much. Then you have to go rest. I also make [tapes] for the treadmill.

I thought you watched Miami Vice on the treadmill.
I do, but Miami Vice isn’t on quite as often as it was before.

Let’s go back to you saying you’re an old lady. You don’t really feel that way.
Well, I’m tired. I am tired. The tour was actually easier for me than coming home and doing two months of TV things. We did the Brit Awards, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, then the Grammys. I was the most nervous for that.

Let’s talk about the tour.
It was an incredible experience. We played forty-five concerts, we made a lot of money, I think we made a lot of people happy. We never had any fights. It just went by like a whirlwind.

Do you feel melancholy at all, now that it’s over?
Six months before we re-formed, I would have told you in my own psychic way that there was no possible way that Fleetwood Mac would have ever gotten back together. So I’d never say it’s not ever going to happen again.

How are relations with Lindsey?
He and I are probably better friends than we’ve been in a long, long time. We had some really nice talks and some nice moments that were sweet.

Your solo tour begins at the end of May.
This is going to be a different set than I’ll ever do again. I’m going to put some of the cool things from the box set in it – some of the country songs, acoustic things, really neat stuff. We’re going on the bus this time, and it will be a fabulous one, otherwise I won’t go on it.

Your fashion influence continues. Even Madonna is copying you.
People have been telling me that, and I don’t know quite what to say. I saw her video, and, of course, I loved all her black clothes and the long, long, long black hair. And the birds were interesting. But I didn’t immediately go, “Oh, how me.” But some people are saying that, right?

Absolutely. Are there still plans for you and Billy Corgan to collaborate?
Billy is recording in L.A. When I get home next week, I’ll go visit him. Both of us have been totally, totally working.

What about your next solo album?
Well, I spent three years writing songs after the Street Angel tour. I probably have six songs, so I’ll come home to Phoenix in September to write the other six. I can do anything here. I can record, I can write. I can sit by the pool. I can draw. My house here is like my own little resort. At midnight, if I want to, I can go in, light candles and put a fire in the fireplace and spend two hours writing.

Fireplace? In that heat?
We just crank the air conditioner.

Do you swim in that pool?
I do.

I can’t picture you in a bathing suit.
Yeah, well, you never will [laughs].

It has to be customized in that special Stevie way.
I get a black bathing suit and a fabulous black-lace sarong thing and kind of tie it around me. And there is never, ever, a man in the back yard. If there is, he is banished to the front of the house.

Please, you’re looking fabulously thin.
It’s not a question of weight. It’s dancing across the stages of the world for two and a half hours for those three months. My body kind of changed from all the dancing. And, you know, the tambourine playing.

Saturday, April 18, 1998


Atlantic Honors Stevie Nicks with lavish 3-CD "Enchanted" Anthology

Billboard Magazine
April 18, 1998

A quarter-century ago, Stevie Nicks penned a tune about embracing a paradox, its music an upward spiral that predicted a corresponding descent, its lyrics contemplating the change that only comes from awareness of the unchangeable. The song ultimately celebrates the victory that arrives by agreeing to allow others to triumph.

On the eve of the release of "Enchanted" (Atlantic, due April 28), the engaging three-CD, 46-track retrospective—with eight unreleased cuts—of Nicks' lengthy solo career, it seems the soon-to-be-50-year-old singer/songwriter, who wrote the lovely "Long Distance Winner" as half of an early-'70s duo on Polydor called Buckingham-Nicks, has finally found the wisdom to learn from the intuition of her 25-year-old self.

"Back then, 'Long Distance Winner' was very much about dealing with Lindsey," says Nicks, referring to Lindsey Buckingham, her artistic and emotional partner in the interval before their act merged with a subsequently revitalized Fleetwood Mac. "How else can I say it?" she wonders aloud, quoting a passage of the "Enchanted" track resurrected from the long-out-of-print "Buckingham-Nicks" album: "I bring the water down to you/But you're too hot to touch."

"What the song is really all about," Nicks confides, "is a difficult artist, saying, 'I adore you, but you're difficult, and I'll stay here with you, but you're still difficult.' And the line 'Sunflowers and your face fascinate me' means that your beauty fascinates me, but I still have trouble dealing with you—and I still stay. So it's really just the age-old story, you know?" Meaning the inability to live with someone and the inability to live without them.

According to Nicks, who starts a 40-date U.S. solo concert trek May 27 in Hartford, Conn., Buckingham's stubborn but admirable streak lay in his unwillingness to compromise his composing to "play in clubs, playing four sets a night in a steakhouse, whereas I was much more able to be practical." That was then, and this is now, an era in which Nicks and the tempestuous Fleetwood Mac were able to set aside their collective differences, focus on teamwork, and reunite for the hugely fruitful "The Dance" live record and tour.

Stevie is quick to assert that the Mac now "plays way better than we did in the beginning" and readily agrees that the material selected for "The Dance" boasts even better arrangements than the vintage renditions. Yet she also admits her own personal and artistic intransigence of old: "'Gold And Braid,' another song on 'Enchanted,' is an unreleased track from my [1981] 'Bella Donna' [solo debut] sessions, and it's about Lindsey wanting more from me in our relationship. But wanting to know everything about someone, which goes hand in hand with being in love, was never something I've ever wanted to share with anybody. Professionally, everybody always wanted me to be their idea of what I should be. I'd flat-out look at people and say, 'You know I'm not gonna do what you want, so why do you bother?'

"I've learned from mistakes," she adds. "I got fat, and on the Dr. Atkins diet I had to lose that 30 pounds I had been trying to lose for four or five years. But people have come into my career and wrongly told me, 'Change your music, reinvent yourself!' I just stayed what I am." Which is a real rock'n'roll character, a true one-of-a-kind piece of work. "Thank you!" she responds, erupting in giggles edged with her trademark throaty rasp. "People used to laugh at my musical style or my black handkerchiefy stage clothes, which make me look like an orphan out of 'A Tale Of Two Cities,' and say, 'Oh, that's very Stevie Nicks.' But now people in the fashion industry [like designers Anna Sui and Isaac Mizrahi] are giving me these accolades. If you believe in something and stick it out, it'll come around, and you'll win in the end."

Other familiar criticisms of Nicks center on her devotion in both composing and common-day activities to a heavily mystical life view. Possibly the single most recurrent image in her material, as illustrated by the "Sleeping Angel" cut that "Enchanted" retrieves from the 1982 "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" soundtrack, is a supporting cast of heavenly spirits. "I am religious," Nicks explains. "I wasn't raised in any religion, because we were always moving when I was a kid and didn't get involved in any church. But I believe there've been angels with me constantly through these last 20 years, or I wouldn't be alive. I pray a lot. In the last few years I've asked for things from God, and he's given them to me. And there were things I thought were gonna kill me, and he fixed them. I felt that because I was fat I wasn't talented anymore; I was destroying this gift that God gave me and asked for help. Now I'm happy, even outside my music, and enjoying my life."

Stephanie Nicks was born May 26, 1948, the daughter of General Brewing president Jess Nicks and the former Barbara Meeks. "My mother's mom and dad were divorced very early," says Stevie, "and her stepfather worked in a coal mine in Ajo, Ariz., and died of tuberculosis. She had a hard life, was very poor, was 19 when she got married, and had me at 20. My dad went after a big job in a big company, got it, did very well, and liked to move around and travel a lot. My mom got used to it and had a lot of fun, but she's much more practical, frugal—she still sniffs her nose at my dad's and my expensive tastes—and she wanted more than anything else for her daughter and son [Christopher] to be independent and self-assured.

"I didn't want to be married or have children," Nicks confesses, "because then I couldn't have worked as hard on all this. I would have split the whole thing down the middle, and I wouldn't have been a good mother, or a good songwriter either. If I got a call from the love of my life and a call from Fleetwood Mac saying you have to be here in 20 minutes, I'd still probably go to Fleetwood Mac. And that's sad, but it's true."

Over the years Nicks has overcome substance abuse, serious eye surgery, the Epstein-Barr virus, and a host of detractors eager to diminish her musical contributions. Yet "Enchanted" documents a resilience and a wry candor—"I'm no enchantress!" she pointedly exclaims on the album's "Blue Lamp"—as well as a parallel path to her Big Mac experience, characterized by productivity and solo success equaling or exceeding that of her talented bandmates. Nicks' work is unapologetically feminine in the face of the boys' club that is rock. Consistently tuneful and sure in its spell-weaving, Nicks' music also has surprising staying power, as shown by "If Anyone Falls," one of the best and sexiest pop/rock singles of the '80s, and "Enchanted's" frank "Thousand Days," which could close the '90s on a similar note.

"'Thousand Days' was written about my non-relationship with Prince," says Nicks, who had earlier composed "Stand Back" with him—although she notes he's never called her back "to set up his payment on 50%" of the latter. "Days" recounts an abortive, all-night '80s recording session with him at his Minneapolis home during a Fleetwood Mac tour, climaxing with Nicks "smoking my pot—he didn't agree with my lifestyle—and going to sleep on Prince's floor in his kitchen. I like him, but we were just so different there was no possible meeting ground."

What current colleagues/collaborators does she most admire? "Alanis Morissette, Joan Osborne, Sheryl Crow [who co-authored "Somebody Stand By Me" on "Enchanted"], and Fiona Apple, who's very young and angry. I care about her and hope she's OK. Fame is dangerous ground when you're young. You've gotta pace yourself."

Thursday, October 30, 1997

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac's demise are exaggerated -- for the time being

Is the Mac Truly Back?
Rumours of Fleetwood Mac's demise are exaggerated -- for the time being
By Steve Appleford - Thursday, Oct 30 1997
Houston Press

This is an odd bit of paradise for Lindsey Buckingham. He's ensconced in a plush East Hollywood recording studio, eyes closed, his bare feet tapping at the hardwood floor as he listens to a playback of "Bleed to Love Her," another forceful blend of acoustic guitar and tortured romance from the singer/guitarist. His hands beat silently against imaginary drums. Maestro Buckingham looks like a happy man.

More remarkable is the reason for this musical bliss. It's right there on the video monitor in front of him, confirming that Buckingham isn't here working on some long-awaited solo project, but that he's somehow reunited with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since abruptly quitting that fraying superstar act in 1987. Buckingham is a little surprised himself.

"If you had asked me six or eight months ago if I would be doing this, I would have said no," Buckingham says gravely. The singer/ guitarist had his reasons for leaving Fleetwood Mac a decade ago, even as it was enjoying a new surge in popularity. Various forms of excess had taken their toll. There had also been lingering resentments between him and singer Stevie Nicks in the years after the breakup of their romance in 1977. But most profound for Buckingham, the band had taken a disturbingly commercial direction in the 1980s, and thus could no longer fulfill his dreams of off-center studio wizardry.

"The priorities had gotten a little screwed up," he says. "A lot of people were having personal problems, and it was not a nurturing atmosphere creatively. It was very unfocused. Now that a lot of [that] doesn't exist, I don't know. I have to say I'm enjoying just sharing the situation with these people."

There's a beat of hesitation in his voice, as though he were still trying to convince himself that he should even be here. But the good vibes seem real enough among Nicks, singer/pianist Christine McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood, all of whom inadvertently reunited this year during the making of a still-unfinished Buckingham solo effort, his first since 1992's Out of the Cradle. "Nobody's pissed off anymore," says Nicks. Maybe so. But the ultimate test is coming now, with Fleetwood Mac's current 40-date national tour, which will deliver the band to the Summit on Sunday.

For the moment, Buckingham's taking a break from mixing The Dance, a new live release culled from the MTV special of the same name. He soon takes a call from Reprise Records president Howie Klein, and you can almost feel the steam rising at the other end of the line as Buckingham describes which major hit songs won't be on the disc. Afterward, he laughs. "Everything," he says, "is about that far from the fan."

Buckingham is dressed in casual black, the hair at his temples and chest a subtle gray -- all the band members are now, after all, in their late 40s or early 50s -- and he slouches comfortably on a porch just outside the control room. The studio overlooks a badminton net and a jungle paradise of green, right in the midst of urban Los Angeles; it's where the band (except for the laissez-faire John McVie) made almost daily visits before going on tour. At a nearby table, Fleetwood speaks quietly into a telephone as Christine McVie prepares to leave.

Before stepping into her car, the singer stops to kiss Buckingham on the cheek. "Good-bye, Lindsey," says Christine, looking reed thin in a T-shirt and tinted glasses. "Don't stress yourself out too much."

That's a tall order in a band that has thrived most when suffering the greatest turmoil. In 1977, Fleetwood Mac discovered profound inspiration in their own shattered relationships for the 20-million-selling Rumours release. That year saw the breakups of Buckingham and Nicks, Fleetwood's marriage and that of the McVies. The result was music energized by bitterness (Buckingham and Nicks) and romantic faith (Christine McVie). Songs were at times accusatory, loving and mystical, with a dark undercurrent that owed much to the ominous brooding of the Mick Fleetwood/ John McVie rhythm section.

For all the tales of bad love on Rumours, it was pure musical escapism, and it connected deeply with the masses. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time. "We kind of captured the imagination of people back then -- the idea in those days of a sort of heavy-duty alcohol/drug band with broken relationships all kind of singing to one other," Christine says. "We seemed accessible to them, and people related greatly to the content of the songs. And the chemistry between us was awe-inspiring. People used to meet us and feel intimidated when there was more than three of us in a room. It was a pretty heavy-duty thing."

If Rumours was the band's perfect pop document, it took 1979's Tusk to suggest real ambition. It was an unexpected reaction to mass appeal, particularly when compared to the Eagles' utterly disposable atrocity The Long Run, a different kind of reaction to success that was released the same year. Tusk was an outing that eased into focus via gentle strumming and the warm longing of Christine McVie's voice. What immediately followed was a rich fabric of sounds and ideas: Buckingham's subtly twisted rhythms and twangy guitar, the off-kilter piano that opens Nicks's "Sara," the perverse recruiting of the USC Marching Band for a horns-and-drum section on the title track. And throughout, listeners could hear the blissful sense of freedom in Buckingham's voice.

"That was probably my favorite time in the band," Buckingham says now, "because I felt the most empowered and the most spontaneous in terms of understanding what I was doing and why I was doing it."

The ultimate source of Buckingham's frustration within Fleetwood Mac originated not in Tusk's commercial disappointment (if two top ten singles and sales above four million can be called disappointing), but with the shift in internal politics that determined experimentation was not the way to continued riches, and therefore not the way for Fleetwood Mac. So what followed were records that were smooth and safe, leaning heavily on tested hit-making formulas. A Buckingham solo career was inevitable.

Buckingham was not the only notable talent within the band, but his was the vision that held it together. In 1987, Fleetwood Mac were met with renewed popularity and critical acclaim for Tango in the Night, a CD of real pop craftsmanship, but with emotions that sounded more manufactured than before. The heavy breathing of the song "Big Love" notwithstanding, the heat within Mac was largely gone.

By then, Fleetwood Mac was more an obligation than a useful venue for Buckingham. The band had ceased to be the setting where the singer bared his tortured soul, becoming instead merely a profitable hit factory, designed to keep the old fans happy during their morning commutes. When Tango in the Night was finished, after a year of sessions in his garage studio, Buckingham announced that he could not be part of a scheduled tour and essentially quit the band.

The quintet's only high-profile reunion came as a result of the 1992 presidential election, after Bill Clinton adopted the band's "Don't Stop" as his campaign song. When he was elected, Clinton requested that the late-'70s lineup of Fleetwood Mac reunite for his inaugural celebration and perform the song as the climax of a show populated by the likes of Barbra Streisand and a uniformed Michael Jackson. Even John McVie, now an American citizen and staunch Republican, was ready to oblige. Only Buckingham was hesitant, but Nicks finally convinced him to participate.

"I thought it was touching that for the first time you had a president who was openly professing his alliance [with] rock and roll," Buckingham says with a shrug. "That gave off a sense of possibility that maybe didn't really pan out."

If there were any hopes within the band of a permanent reunion, it was soon clear that Buckingham didn't share them. "It was a one-off thing, and I don't think anyone thought much beyond that show," Christine says. "At the airport as we left to come back to L.A., it was pretty much, 'Well, see you around....' " Soon after their return, Nicks quit the band.

"At the inauguration I just realized I wanted it to be back the way it was, or I didn't want to be in it anymore," says Nicks, who had remained committed to the band even as her solo career took off. (Indeed, she has just signed a new five-release deal with Reprise and plans to head into the studio after the Fleetwood Mac tour.) "For me, it made me realize that it had to be that five, or it couldn't be. I couldn't continue to be in a Fleetwood Mac that didn't have Lindsey in it."

Fleetwood Mac was formed in 1967 by London blues guitarist Peter Green, an alumnus of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. It was a different kind of outfit then, a quintet of dedicated blues fanatics. Green named the group after his Fleetwood/McVie rhythm section largely because he wasn't interested in the sort of "Clapton is God" hero worship that was already heading his way.

That rhythm section formed the spine of an ever-changing lineup after Green's departure in 1970. "I'm not a singer/songwriter," Fleetwood says. "I'm a drummer who's a good organizer. And I love what I do with a passion, and I still have a passion that's intact. My setup is, I have to keep this going in order to function. What will I do? Who will I play with? I can't play in my front living room. I need a band. John and I are a couple of gigsters."

By 1975, Fleetwood had heard a little-noticed release by a duo called Buckingham-Nicks. The two singer/songwriters were struggling just to pay the bills; Nicks worked as a waitress in coffee shops and restaurants around Los Angeles, and Buckingham toured as a sideman to a fading Phil Everly. When Fleetwood called, the couple spent their last few dollars on old Fleetwood Mac vinyl, searching for something they could identify with. "I had to say to Lindsey, 'Well, I'm very tired of being a waitress, so I definitely think we should join this band,' " Nicks recalls.

Nicks had wanted to be Joni Mitchell, but instead she ended up a singer with a strange, raspy vibrato. Critics weren't immediately won over. She particularly remembers one reviewer describing her vocals as the sound of a "bleating goat." Still, the vocals were memorable. And the eventual result was a voice as distinctive as any other in '70s music, as much an acquired taste as Robert Plant or Johnny Rotten.

The self-titled Fleetwood Mac effort, released in 1975, was immediately successful; it sold four million copies and then was followed by Rumours. "It was great," Nicks says. "It made us all a mess. We did a lot of drugs -- we're all lucky to be alive. We had a great time; there was no getting around it. Anybody tells you any different, they're lying. It was incredible."

That excess sent her to the Betty Ford Clinic a decade ago, and the bloated, dazed, black-magic woman who appeared on at least one solo tour bore little resemblance to the fresh-faced California girl who had met Buckingham as a high school student. But today she's slimmed down and garbed in her usual black chiffon, sipping hot tea. "It's hard to be really famous," she shrugs, "but it's hard to be really poor and not famous."

Fleetwood Mac was, for one moment, the biggest band in the universe, seemingly oblivious to the movements of punk and disco then swirling around them. They were instead awash in limousines and private jets and Grammy Awards, and they became easy targets for the American punk movement for what it viewed as appalling rock-star excess.

Even today Buckingham sounds bitter about the punk attacks. But if the likes of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles helped give the Los Angeles punk movement some of its fire, L.A. punks should be grateful to them, even if the band's real life wasn't so simple. It's with some irony that contemporary punk-based acts such as the Smashing Pumpkins and Hole now refer to Fleetwood Mac as one of their great inspirations.

"We were their age when we started, and we're still doing it today," Nicks says of her close friendships with Courtney Love and Billy Corgan. "So maybe we give them hope."

Like the Sex Pistols last year, Fleetwood Mac's return to the concert stage now will signify nothing more than nostalgia unless it leads the quintet back into the studio, where their work always mattered the most. The final version of The Dance isn't exactly a revelation, though the band does inject some contemporary fire into the old songs. And the inclusion of four new tunes, including the torrid "Bleed to Love Her," suggests the band again has a future -- if, that is, they choose to take it.

Fleetwood Mac performs Sunday, November 2, at the Summit, San Antonio, TX. Tickets are $36.25 to $101.25. For info, call 629-3700.