The REAL rock ‘n’ roll debauchery that inspired Daisy Jones & The Six: Inside the tumultuous relationship between Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham that was torn apart by fame and drugs – while dashing the dreams of the iconic band
- The series is based on a New York Times best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- The author said the story is based loosely on the dynamic from Fleetwood Mac
- But what is the truth of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham’s relationship?
Fans of rock and roll are set to be enthralled next month with the release of music-based drama Daisy Jones & The Six… however all the more enthralling than the glossy Hollywood depiction of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll is the real-life debauchery that inspired the upcoming show.
The new series, based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, is set to air on Amazon Prime on March 3.
Set in the 1970s, it ‘follows the story of two feuding yet charismatic lead singers Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne and how the iconic band imploded at the height of its powers.’
Jenkins Reid has repeatedly said that the story is based loosely on the dynamic of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and follows the turbulence of their life in the limelight.
Their tumultuous relationship led to the creation of some of music’s most beloved hits. But their roller coaster romance would ultimately blew apart the famed band.
Daisy Jones & The Six is based loosely on the dynamic of Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham (pictured on stage together) and follows the turbulence of life in the limelight
But what is the real story of the Fleetwood Mac duo (pictured in photos for the cover art on their debut album) that inspired the tale?
That passionate, yet bitter, dynamic between the pair is what first drew Jenkins Reid to the idea of writing his novel.
Jenkins Reid previously told Reese Witherspoon’s production company Hello Sunshine: ‘When I decided I wanted to write a book about rock ‘n’ roll, I kept coming back to that moment when Lindsey watched Stevie sing Landslide [on The Dance].
‘How it looked so much like two people in love. And yet, we’ll never truly know what lived between them.
‘I wanted to write a story about that, about how the lines between real life and performance can get blurred, about how singing about old wounds might keep them fresh.’
But what is the real story of the Fleetwood Mac duo that inspired the tale?
The author has repeatedly said that the story is grounded on the dynamic of the two members of Fleetwood Mac (pictured together in 1975)
Fans of rock and roll are set to be enthralled next month with the release of music-based drama Daisy Jones & The Six (still from the production)
The relationship between Jenkins Reid’s two main characters – Daisy Jones and Billy Dunne (left) – is based loosely on the real-life singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham (right in 1977)
The beginning of the end: Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham join Fleetwood Mac as a package deal
The relationship between Jenkins Reid’s two main characters – Daisy Jones (played by Riley Keough) and Billy Dunne (Sam Claflin) – is based on the real-life singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
Nicks and Buckingham, who met as high school students, were already dating when Fleetwood Mac asked Buckingham to join the band in 1975.
He agreed but only on the condition that his then-girlfriend could also be a part of it as the pair came as a package deal.
The duo were both admitted and completed the band’s enduring line-up alongside Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie.
The duo completed the band’s enduring line-up alongside Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie (pictured all together)
Nicks (pictured) and Buckingham, who met as high school students, were already dating when Fleetwood Mac asked Buckingham to join the band in 1975
But their joint new venture could not bring their relationship back from the brink.
Ahead of the band’s landmark album Rumours, which was released in 1977 and would later earn them a Grammy, the couple ended their love affair.
‘I don’t even remember what the issues were; I just know that it got to the point where I wanted to be by myself,’ Nicks told Rolling Stone of the split.
‘It just wasn’t good anymore, wasn’t fun anymore, wasn’t good for either of us anymore. I’m just the one who stopped it.’
The ill-feeling between the on-off couple acted as a catalyst for songs such as Second Hand News and Never Going Back, which saw Buckingham write some very spiky lyrics, seemingly directed at his former love.
The most controversial was seemingly his Go Your Own Way, which states: ‘Tell me why everything turned around, packing up, shacking up is all you want to do.’
And Nicks felt aggrieved at the sentiment.
She told the publication: ‘I very, very much resented him telling the world that “packing up, shacking up” with different men was all I wanted to do.
‘He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing that he said. Every time those words would come out onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him.
Ahead of the band’s landmark album Rumours, which would later earn them a Grammy, the couple (pictured performing together in the early 1980s) ended their love affair
The ill-feeling between the on-off couple acted as a catalyst for songs such as Second Hand News and Never Going Back, which saw Buckingham write some very spiky lyrics, seemingly directed at his former love (pictured together in 1978)
‘He knew it, so he really pushed my buttons through that. It was like, “I’ll make you suffer for leaving me.” And I did. For years.’
The singer said that she ‘never brought men around’ in case it added fuel to the fire, but that Buckingham ‘immediately got girlfriends.’
But toward the end of the band’s Rumours tour, Nicks seemingly looked closer to home for her next tryst after having an affair with married bandmate Mick Fleetwood.
The singer said that the pair would never had hooked up, had they not been intoxicated on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol.
Nicks said that the band were spending ‘gazillions’ on drugs during the 70s and admitted that used to carry a gram of cocaine in her boot at all times.
She revealed: ‘It was the first thing I thought of when I woke up in the morning and the last thing I thought of before I went to bed.’
‘Mick and I would never have had an affair had we not had a party and all been completely drunk and messed up and coked out, and, you know, ended up being the last two people at the party,’ she told Oprah’s Master Class.
‘So guess what? It’s not hard to figure out what happened – and what happened wasn’t a good thing. It was doomed. It was a doomed thing, caused a lot of pain for everybody, led to nothing.’
Following her split with Buckingham, the singer said that she ‘never brought men around’ in case it added fuel to the fire
But toward the end of the band’s Rumours tour, Nicks seemingly looked closer to home for her next tryst after having an affair with married bandmate Mick Fleetwood
Nicks has previously said that had Fleetwood Mac, fame and drugs not become part of their lives, she believes the couple would have stayed together
But Buckingham did not appear to hold the affair against either of his bandmates. He later told The Independent: ‘I didn’t feel betrayed by Mick when he later had an affair with Stevie.
‘Quite honestly I’d have been surprised if it hadn’t happened. I remember he came over, sat me down and told me, and I went, “Oh, okay.” Stevie and I had long since parted company and she’d had several boyfriends in between.’
In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Nicks reflected on the end of her relationship with Buckingham.
She told the publication that had Fleetwood Mac, fame and drugs not become part of their lives, she believes the couple would have stayed together.
‘We would have married and had children because we were headed that way. We didn’t really mess up till we moved to Los Angeles. And that was when the whole world just ripped us apart.’
The allegations: Nicks would later accuse Buckingham of bullying and abuse during their relationship
Nicks would later claim that her relationship with Buckingham was fraught with bullying and abuse.
The singer made the accusations in Stephen Davis’ biography of her, titled Gold Dust Woman, which was published in 2017.
In one incident in 1987, the couple were arguing in front of the rest of the band when Buckingham ‘manhandled Stevie, slapped her face and bent her backward over the hood of his car,’ the book said.
‘He put his fingers around her neck and started to choke her,’ it read. The other bandmates intervened and told him not to lay a hand on her again.
‘I thought he was going to kill me,’ Nicks said.
Nicks (pictured) said that had Fleetwood Mac, fame and drugs not become part of their lives, she believes the couple would have stayed together
Nicks would later claim that her relationship with Buckingham (pictured together in 1998) was fraught with bullying and abuse
Speaking to the book’s author, bandmate Mick Fleetwood seemed to corroborate the manipulative behavior.
‘When they first joined the band, Lindsey had control [over Nicks],’ Fleetwood told Davis. ‘And, very slowly, he began to lose control. And he really didn’t like it.’
After the confrontation in front of their bandmates in 1987, Buckingham reformed his ways and never laid hand on her again, according to the book.
Nicks and Buckingham often ‘shot eye daggers at each other in front of packed stadiums,’ according to the LA Times, but the band largely soldiered on.
And fans have found it hard to let go of the chemistry between Nicks and Buckingham.
Nicks and Buckingham often ‘shot eye daggers at each other in front of packed stadiums,’ according to the LA Times , but the band largely soldiered on
Pictured (left to right) in 1977: Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood
Nicks hinted at it during an interview with MTV in 2009, in which she said: ‘That electric crazy attraction between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks never dies, never will die, never will go away… Who Lindsey and I are to each other will never change.’
She continued: ‘It’s over. It doesn’t mean the great feeling isn’t there, it must mean that we’re beauty and the beast.
‘It means that the love is always there but we’ll never be together, so that’s even more romantic.’
The aftermath: Buckingham casts blame on Nicks for his removal from the band
But far from time being the best healer, the former couple continue to clash – even now they are both in their seventies.
As recently as last year, Buckingham hit out at Nicks once again as he blamed her, as well as band manager Irving Azoff, for his abrupt removal from Fleetwood Mac in January 2018.
Following his departure, Buckingham filed a $12million to $14million lawsuit against former bandmates: Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christie McVie and John McVie for lost wages that he would have earned from the 2018 tour.
It was eventually settled in December of 2018.
Buckingham hit out at Nicks once again as he blamed her, as well as band manager Irving Azoff, for his abrupt removal from Fleetwood Mac (pictured) in January 2018
Buckingham went on to question Nicks’ creativity and energy level, in the time leading up to his firing (pictured on stage together in 2014)
But in an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2021, Buckingham maintained that his firing was a result of Nicks giving the rest of Fleetwood Mac an ultimatum – either he goes or she goes – following his request that the band delay a tour by three months so he could promote his new solo album.
‘It would be like a scenario where Mick Jagger says, “Either Keith [Richards] goes or I go,”‘ Buckingham recalled before adding, ‘No, neither one of you can go. But I guess the singer has to stay. The figurehead has to stay.’
He continued: ‘I think she saw the possibility of remaking the band more in the Stevie Nicks vein. More mellow and kind of down, giving her more chances to do the kind of talking she does onstage.’
Through her publicist at the time, Nicks told a far different ending to Buckingham’s time in the band, calling his version ‘revisionist history.’
‘His version of events is factually inaccurate and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, certainly it feels the time has come to shine a light on the truth,’ Nicks said.
As recently as last year, Buckingham hit out at Nicks once again as he blamed her, as well as manager Irving Azoff, for his abrupt removal from the band in January 2018
Fans have found it hard to let go of the chemistry between Nicks and Buckingham (pictured together at The Grammys in 1998)
‘To be exceedingly clear, I did not have him fired, I did not ask for him to be fired, I did not demand he be fired. Frankly, I fired myself.
‘I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my wellbeing. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it.
‘And after many lengthy group discussions, Fleetwood Mac, a band whose legacy is rooted in evolution and change, found a new path forward with two hugely talented new members.’
That move forward was made by firing Buckingham and adding new members – Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House.
Buckingham went on to question Nicks’ creativity and energy level, in the time leading up to his firing.
‘I think that was hard for her, seeing me jump around in an age-inappropriate way,’ he said, before directing his comments on her personal life and the choices she made to remain in the band.
‘Also, she’s lonely. She’s alone. She has the people who work for her, and I’m sure she has friends, but you know.’
Nicks simply retorted: ‘Those are my decisions that I get to make for myself. I’m proud of the life choices I’ve made and it seems a shame for him to pass judgment on anyone who makes a choice to live their life on their own terms.’
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