Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s relationship crumbled when they joined Fleetwood Mac, but the pair had been dealing with problems long before their careers took off. While they were still struggling musicians, Nicks and Buckingham fought frequently. After one particularly rough patch, Buckingham left Nicks alone and sick in Aspen. The period was exceedingly difficult for Nicks, but she wrote one of her best-known songs about it.
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham struggled to make their music careers work
In 1973, the duo Buckingham Nicks released their self-titled album. This would be the only studio album they would produce, as it flopped. Their label dropped them after the lukewarm release, and Nicks and Buckingham found themselves in a difficult situation. She was forced to return to working waitressing and cleaning jobs to make ends meet. Meanwhile, Buckingham and his friends would work on music at home.
“I was just living in a world with these guys and I wasn’t relating to any of them,” Nicks said in the book Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours by Zoë Howe. “I was working and they were all practicing guitar. I was a whole different kind of person, I was the mom, the camp director of the Cub Scouts.”
Lindsey Buckingham left Stevie Nicks alone and sick
During this period, Buckingham received an invitation to tour with The Everly Brothers for a month. The couple drove to Aspen so that Buckingham could rehearse. When he left, Nicks decided to stay and work on her art.
While she eased back from her work-heavy schedule, the period was not exactly relaxing. She was living “with $40 and my dog and my Toyota that froze the day we got there. And we thought [Buckingham] was going to make lots of money. He didn’t.” Nicks also spent the period worrying that Buckingham would be unfaithful.
When Buckingham returned with significantly less money than he’d expected, he was reportedly in a terrible mood. Nicks wasn’t sure why he was mad, but he fixed the car, took the dog, and left Aspen, leaving Nicks alone and with strep throat.
Nicks tried to use a bus pass to return to Los Angeles, but Greyhound workers were on strike. She ultimately resorted to tearfully calling her parents, who “unwillingly sent a plane ticket” so she could return home.
The future Fleetwood Mac artist would write one of her best songs after the experience
Once Nicks was back in LA, she wanted to keep away from Buckingham, so she went to stay with a friend, Keith Olsen. After she explained the problems she and Buckingham were having, Olsen encouraged her to write about them.
“I just said, ‘Stevie, if you feel this way, get it out,’” Olsen explained. “I got out my guitar and handed it to her and said, ‘Go in the bedroom and write about it.’ And that’s what she did.”
Nicks combined imagery from her time in Colorado with details about her relationship with Buckingham. The result was “Landslide,” one of her most enduring songs.
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