The Call Lindsey Buckingham Made Before Joining Fleetwood Mac
When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac, it marked the beginning of a new era for the band - one that saw the classic lineup release some of the most celebrated music in rock history. Before joining the group, Buckingham placed a phone call to session musician Waddy Wachtel.
“Lindsey called me and said, ‘Listen, I got this phone call from Mick [Fleetwood]. He wants us to get in Fleetwood Mac,”’ Wachtel tells UCR. “I went, ‘Yeah, what’s wrong with that?’ He goes, ‘Well, I don’t know, man! I want to do our thing.’”
Wachtel had worked on Buckingham Nicks, the duo’s 1973 LP. Even at that early juncture, he knew they were destined for greatness. “Hearing them [sing together] before anyone else heard Stevie and Lindsey, I’m hearing these voices and knowing that these guys are going somewhere,” Wachtel admits. “Even though we watched the record flounder and not get anywhere.”
Indeed, Buckingham Nicks was met with poor sales and failed to generate any momentum for the fledgling rockers. So, when Buckingham called Wachtel and revealed his concerns about joining Fleetwood Mac, the session vet laid things out clearly.
“Lindsey, that is how you’ll do your thing!” Wachtel recalls telling him, before joking that “the mistake [Fleetwood Mac is] making is they didn’t want to take me also! But the mistake you’re making right now is that you’re on the wrong phone call! Call Mick Fleetwood back and tell him yes! This is it, man. This is your shot right here. This is it. This doesn’t happen again.”
During a July interview with Marc Maron, Buckingham reflected on the difficulties of making the move. "We were starting to get airplay on the radio with a song of mine, 'Don't Let Me Down Again,'" he recalled. "It made it sort of a tough decision, to join Fleetwood Mac, because we had this sense that maybe something was actually going to happen. And maybe it would have. But we had to make an adult decision."
Buckingham did say yes, and in doing so set into motion a legendary era for the band. “Everything else is history,” Wachtel proudly notes.