An unauthorized biography of Stevie Nicks describes in uncomfortable detail the extent of the infamous volatility of Nicks' relationship with her ex-boyfriend and now ex-Fleetwood Mac bandmate guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
While Fleetwood Mac fans are well aware of the challenges posed by the various romantic relationships between the band members, what's been less well-documented is the extent of trials of the Buckingham-Nicks relationship.
Biographer Stephen Davis writes in his book, Gold Dust Woman, that Buckingham physically abused the Queen of Rock 'n' Roll several times during their 40-plus-year career together.
"He slapped her," Davis says. "I know he hit her and choked her in front of the band..."
Buckingham's frustration even boiled over onstage once in 1980 when he tried to kick Nicks onstage at a concert in Wellington, New Zealand, while Nicks was singing "Rhiannon." Only Christine McVie confronted Buckingham about that incident, Davis writes, and Buckingham never apologized.
The reports of Buckingham's abuse take on new light since he was fired from the band this past winter. The band was evasive when asked this spring about the split, but Nicks chalked it up to the guitarist wanting to delay the band's upcoming fall tour an additional year. She conceded in a Rolling Stone interview that it was never easy being in a band with her ex.
Davis emphasizes that his book isn't solely about Buckingham's transgressions, however the guitarist's flights of fury against Nicks often made his bandmates uncomfortable and contributed to no shortage of turmoil in Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham left the group in the mid-'80s, not long after an incident in which he pushed Nicks against the hood of his car and put his hands around her throat.
Nicks later recalled thinking "he was going to kill me." Her bandmates intervened, however, and Davis writes that was the last time Buckingham got physical with the singer.
The two eventually reconciled in the '90s and were able to co-exist in Fleetwood Mac for another 20 years until the band cut Buckingham loose this year.
Gold Dust Woman is available now.
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