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Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks are some of the music industry’s most famous exes. The pair met as high school students in the 1960s, long before they rose to fame in Fleetwood Mac. After several tumultuous years together, the pair split acrimoniously. Since then, their paths have been inextricably linked through their musical collaboration. When looking back on their relationship, though, Buckingham said that he and Nicks were never good friends. They were too competitive with each other.  

A black and white picture of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham sitting at a table in front of microphones.
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham | Ebet Roberts/Redferns

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham met as high school students

Nicks and Buckingham met as high schoolers in California. At a party, Buckingham was playing “California Dreamin’,” and Nicks decided to accompany him.

“We were at some get-together and he was there, sitting, playing his guitar — ‘California Dreamin” — and I walked up and brazenly burst into harmony with him,” Nicks told MTV. “It was cool, and I said ‘I’m Stevie Nicks,’ and he said ‘I’m Lindsey Buckingham.’ I never saw him again for two years, until he was in a band and he remembered that night and he called and asked me to join their band.”

After reaching middling levels of success in their band, Fritz, Nicks and Buckingham decided to pursue music as a duo. At the same time, they began dating

Lindsey Buckingham said he and Stevie Nicks were never best friends when they were together

The pair remained together for years. Their relationship was often in rough waters, but they stayed together, at least in part, for the sake of their music. 

“From the very beginning, Lindsey was very controlling and very possessive,” she told Rolling Stone. “And after hearing all of the stories from my mother and how independent she was and how independent she made me, I was never very good with possessive people or with controlling people.”

Buckingham noted that he was surprised they stayed together for so long. 

“Even when we were lovers, we were never really best friends,” he said, per the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours by Zoe Howe. “We’ve always competed, ever since we started going out together back in 1971.”

The competitive edge of their relationship became sharper after their breakup. They picked at the songs each other wrote for Fleetwood Mac, and Buckingham was cold toward Nicks after the success of her debut solo album, Bella Donna

She said that the spark between them would never fade

Though their relationship had its share of ups and, more frequently, downs, Nicks said that the spark between herself and Buckingham would always be there


Lindsey Buckingham Said He Was ‘Stupid’ to Insist That Stevie Nicks Joined Fleetwood Mac

“That electric crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away,” she said in 2009. “He’s married, he’s happy, he has three beautiful children that I love. You know, he’s found a good, happy, calm, safe place — but who Lindsey and I are to each other will never change.”

Nicks acknowledged that her relationship with Buckingham was definitively over, but she believed that the thread of romance would always be there.