Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were one of the highest profile rock ‘n’ roll couples of the 1970s, but a new book alleges their relationship was riddled with abuse. Nicks and Buckingham shot to fame as part of Fleetwood Mac after making a go as a duo in 1971, but according to author Stephen Davis’ new biography, Gold Dust Woman, there was trouble in paradise by the time Lindsey and Stevie recorded their debut album, Buckingham Nicks, in 1973.
In the book, which was excerpted by the New York Post, Davis alleges that Lindsey Buckingham controlled a young Stevie Nicks and bullied her throughout their relationship. Early on, Stevie waitressed and cleaned houses to pay the rent while Lindsey hung out and got stoned with his friends. The two then recorded Buckingham Nicks, but a disagreement over the album’s cover set the tone for their early working relationship.
When Stevie and Lindsey posed for the cover of their first album, Buckingham reportedly pressured her to look “sexy” by posing topless at the photographer’s request.
When Stevie said she didn’t want to do it, Lindsey allegedly freaked out, telling her, “Don’t be a f***king child. This is art!”
Nicks ultimately complied but almost quit the music business when the album tanked. When the couple received a call from Mick Fleetwood to join his already established band, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie and Lindsey signed on. However, the venture strained their relationship even further.
According to Davis’ book, Mick Fleetwood once said, “When they first joined the band, Lindsey had control [over Stevie]. And, very slowly, he began to lose control. And he really didn’t like it.”
By the time they recorded their first album with Fleetwood Mac, Stevie and Lindsey’s romance was fading. Lindsey was reportedly jealous that the Stevie-led songs “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” were the biggest hits on the album. The Grammy-winning 1977 follow-up, Rumours, strained things even further as Lindsey criticized his then-ex and her writing skills. Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way” is a known to be a jab at Nicks, while Stevie penned her hit song “Dreams” in response to her ex’s breakup anthem.
The tension grew, and the new book claims that at one point Lindsey got physical with Stevie during an argument and “threw her down to the floor.” The book also alleges that during a 1980 show, Lindsey tried to trip Stevie while on stage, then attempted to kick her before he stopped playing the guitar altogether during one of her songs.
In 1987, during another heated argument in front of the rest of the Fleetwood Mac bandmates, the book claims Buckingham “manhandled Stevie, slapped her face and bent her backward over the hood of his car. He put his fingers around her neck and started to choke her.” The band reportedly confronted Lindsey Buckingham after the incident, and he never got physical with Stevie again. The exes eventually reconciled and still maintain a friendship and working relationship 40 years later.
Stevie Nicks has never hidden the fact that her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham was difficult, but she has not previously spoken about physical abuse. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Nicks once said she believes they Buckingham Nicks would have made it in the music business even if they had never joined Fleetwood Mac.
“If we never joined Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham Nicks would have taken off,” Stevie said. “We would have stayed together, gotten married, had a kid — and then we probably would have gotten divorced, because it would have been too hard. There’s this whole other way it could have gone.”
Lindsey Buckingham has not responded to the claims about him in Stephen Davis’ Gold Dust Woman book.
You can see Stevie Nicks talking about her breakup with Lindsey Buckingham below.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Images]