A new biography of Stevie Nicks reveals that the American music legend was the victim of repeated abuse and bullying from her former boyfriend and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, the New York Post reports.
Stephen Davis’ new book, “Gold Dust Woman,” profiles Nicks’ rise to fame as both a solo artist and member of the band Fleetwood Mac. She more than 40 top-50 hits to her name.
According to Davis, Nicks and Buckingham were high school classmates in San Mateo, California, before they moved to Los Angeles in 1971 to start a music career. Nicks did everything she could to make rent — from waiting tables and cleaning houses — while Buckingham claimed he couldn’t work because he had to focus on music.
In reality, he would spend most of his time with his friends smoking hash, Davis writes.
“I’d come in every day and have to step over these bodies,” Nicks told Rolling Stone. “I’m tired; I’m pickin’ up their legs and cleaning under them and emptying out ashtrays.”
Stephen Davis, author of Hammer of the Gods. Gold Dust Woman is a serious, vibrant book about the defining face and voice of Fleetwood Mac.. pic.twitter.com/RU8iTkk5RF
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In one incident in 1973, Nicks and Buckingham were posing for the cover of Buckingham Nicks, their first album, when the photographer asked her to remove her blouse.
Nicks resisted, and Buckingham became irate.
“Don’t be a f–king child,” Buckingham barked. “This is art!”
Nicks almost quit when the duo’s debut flopped, but by January 1975, Mick Fleetwood had asked them to join his band Fleetwood Mac. The move would propel them into fame but also further stress their relationship.
“When they first joined the band, Lindsey had control [over Nicks],” Mick Fleetwood said. “And, very slowly, he began to lose control. And he really didn’t like it.”
Buckingham was jealous that Nicks’ songs “Rhiannon” and “Landslide,” about their failing romance, had become more popular than his music.
He reportedly criticized Nicks’ writing when the band was recording “Rumours,” telling her that she needed him to make the songs “sound halfway decent,” the Post reports.
Nicks believed that Buckingham was attempting to take control of her music. She told her mother that she and Buckingham had gotten into a physical disagreement in which he threw her down on the floor.
By 1980, Buckingham attempted to trip Nicks onstage and even tried to kick her. The move shocked the band, but only singer Christine McVie raised concerns about it.
While their distaste for each other grew, they still managed to fake kiss while performing “Landslide” on tour each night.
But things finally came to a head in 1987 when, during an argument in front of the band, Buckingham reportedly “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.”
Other band members stood up to Buckingham and he wouldn’t touch her again.
But the encounter terrified Nicks.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” Nicks said.
The pair eventually came to a truce in 2013 when Buckingham agreed to respect Nicks, she says. She has continued to ask him to produce and play guitar. In the end, though, it was Buckingham who needed Nicks more.
“Stevie was an American legend, but Lindsey’s star would eventually fade away,” Davis writes.
[Feature Photo: AP/Chris Pizzello/Invision]