Lindsey Buckingham is a dick.
Don’t get me wrong he is a great guitarist – phenomenal really – but I’ve decided he’s a dick.
Of course I have never met him nor talked to him nor even read an interview with him. I have come to this conclusion by obsessing over the lyrics from Fleetwood Mac’s amazing Rumours.
Just to provide some backstory, basically everyone in Fleetwood Mac slept with and/or dated everyone else in Fleetwood Mac. And as these things tend to do, it all melted down very dramatically leading to some kick ass song writing and some super uncomfortable studio time.
No one was talking to each other during the recording of Rumours and to make this even worse, odds are pretty good that you (as a band member) were singing backing vocals on a song that was about how much of an asshole you were.
So anyway, since Buckingham and Nicks were a couple, we’re going to take a look at only their lyrics. Stay with me.
The first track we’ll look at is “Second Hand News.” I love this song but it doesn’t reflect well on Lindsey. He starts off with a woe-is-me, someone-has-taken-my-place, boo hoo, victim type thing that devolves into a sort of ‘hey baby, stop all your carping a let me do my stuff’ juvenile escapism. No hint of responsibility or anything. He rallies at the end and decides to be strident in a familiar adolescent way – ‘whatevs. I’m not even gonna miss you…’ Read all the lyrics here.
Next we have the ever popular “Dreams“.
“Now here you go again you say you want your freedom.” – “Dreams”
Awwww shit! You can almost HEAR the eye-roll through the mic! Did you know and/or date the bro in your high school that, after he pursued and won you, then told you that he wanted his freedom? Fuck that guy.
The next line takes it further.
“well who am I to keep you down?”
Again you can hear the sarcasm. Perfect.
Then we get to “Players only love you when they’re playing…”
What she means there is actually ‘playas.’ And like all playas, once they got you and they’re done playing, they’re done with you.
Next up is “Never Going Back Again“.
“She broke down and let me in…” after I whined at her door forever because NOW I am sorry. Oh booo hooo, let me explain baby!
So he gets in and ‘explains’ himself presumably but then at the end he tries to get tough and throw it back in her face!
“You don’t know what it means to win.” Translation: You’ll never be happy, you miserable shrew! – Oh total burn, tough guy!!!
(Here I want to use “Don’t Stop” as part of my evidence but McVie wrote that one so it is inadmissible even though Lindsey sang on it)
Then comes “Go Your Own Way” which is really more of Lindsey beating on his two most popular refrains – ‘aww baby I just am who I am and don’t try to change me!’ With a dose of ‘you just need to chill out (because you probably drove me away but hey baby I’m not blaming anyone…)’.
Again go ahead and read all the lyrics here.
“Silver Springs” was cut from the original record but has since been included on the reissues which is great since I think it is the best song on the record. Anyway this song sums up the while tawdry thing, In case you haven’t heard it, check it now:
In this song Nicks says ‘we could’ve been something but you’re a dick’.
You can imagine the kind of dick that tells his partner about all the ladies that love him etc etc. This song is open and honest and even self-reflective in a way that Lindsey’s songs are not. Nicks’ wishful stridency about him missing her and being haunted by her voice is cut with her very emotive and simultaneous questioning of her own responsibility in the affair and its final collapse.
It’s a level of emotional maturity that Lindsey clearly doesn’t possess. Nicks is the adult here.
She hammers it home again on “The Chain“. “Damn your love. Damn your lies” seems to sum up how she’s feeling. And she can still hear him saying he would ‘never break the chain’ – another pithy vow (or lie) to fidelity inevitably squandered…
Clearly Lindsey Buckingham is a dick.
But don’t hold that against what might be one of the best records ever made.
And If you don’t know Rumours, go find a car and drive really fast with the windows down and jam this record. You will not be disappointed…
Dan Sharber wrote this post. All opinions, hyperbole and made up facts are solely on him…