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Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham had one of the worst breakups of the 20th century. It’s even immortalized in several of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest hits like “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” and “Silver Springs.” Somehow, the duo was able to sing those hits together for years after they’d dominated the charts too. Well, at least until Fleetwood Mac fired Buckingham from the band in 2018.

Nicks and Buckingham could have gone down a path that didn’t lead to a breakup, though. The only downside to that path is that it wouldn’t have included them joining Fleetwood Mac.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham performing together with Fleetwood Mac in 1979.
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham | Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Stevie Nicks thinks she and Lindsey Buckingham wouldn’t have dated if they hadn’t moved to LA

Nicks and Buckingham met in high school. Buckingham was already in a band called Fritz. When he learned Nicks could sing, he asked her to join the band. In those early days, Nicks and Buckingham were not yet an item. It was strictly professional between them, and soon they reached some success, opening for Jimi Hendrix in the late 1960s. Hendrix even dedicated a song to Nicks once.

However, Fritz didn’t survive for long into the 1970s. When most of the band’s members left, Nicks and Buckingham carried on as a duo and decided to move to LA. All of a sudden, they were romantically linked, and the problems started.

“I’m not sure we would have even become a couple if it wasn’t for us leaving that band. It kind of pushed us together,” Nicks said later, according to Stephen Davis’ Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks.

The couple moved to LA in 1972 and “were immediately perceived as a sexy, star-bound couple. People who encountered them recall an aura about them, a radiance,” Davis wrote. “They were Mr. and Mrs. Intense, he in his curly locks and icy blue eyes and she in her long straight hair and her piercing gaze when you talked to her.”

That year they became Buckingham Nicks and released their eponymous album the following year. However, the fame would have to wait a couple more years because Buckingham Nicks flopped, and the duo’s record label dropped them.

They fought a lot but didn’t stop making music until a certain band knocked on their door.

Nicks thinks Buckingham wishes he hadn’t joined Fleetwood Mac

Nicks and Buckingham wouldn’t have dated if they hadn’t moved to LA, but if they hadn’t moved to LA, they wouldn’t have joined Fleetwood Mac either.

“Had Fleetwood Mac, fame and drugs not entered the picture, she believes, the couple would have stayed in San Francisco and had success anyway,” the Guardian writes.

“And we would have married and had children, ’cause we were headed that way,” Nicks said. “We didn’t really mess up till we moved to Los Angeles. And that was when the whole world just ripped us apart.”

Nicks knows Buckingham knew this too. But Buckingham may have been less willing to give up all those things, having a family with Nicks, than the “Gypsy” singer. According to Nicks, Buckingham doesn’t see Fleetwood Mac as the couple’s destiny. He sees it as the opposite.

“I think he regrets it totally,” Nicks told the Guardian. “I think he wishes we hadn’t ever joined Fleetwood Mac and had just stayed together. Even though his life has now wound around to where he’s married to a lovely girl and he’s got three absolutely beautiful kids.”


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Nicks is happy she didn’t start a family

Nicks has tried relationships and marriage, but it’s never worked out for her. She put her career first. Having a relationship was impossible, considering her busy schedule. Plus, the men she dated often got jealous eventually or couldn’t handle the fact that Nicks was always away.

“I find it nearly impossible,” Nicks told High Times about dating in 1982. “Anyone that you meet is going to be in some way in the business. I don’t meet people who aren’t in the business. I don’t go anywhere to meet them. What am I going to do, sit in a bar?

“At some point or another, my job gets to them. It’s easy to understand,” Nicks continued. “‘No, I can’t have dinner, I have interviews.’ ‘But we were in New York all week and we didn’t get to have dinner once.’ ‘I’m sorry, what do you want me to do, call everybody and cancel?'”

So, Nicks decided early on that she wasn’t going to settle down. “It’s a decision I made, to not get married and have children,” Nicks said, “because I want to always be free to follow my art wherever it takes me.” Nicks and Buckingham could have chosen a different path, but we’re glad they chose the one they’re on. They both seem happy, even if their own relationship disintegrated in the process.