Sometimes TV doesn’t need to be “challenging” or “groundbreaking” to be thoroughly worthwhile. The first episode of Sky Arts' new “…talks music” series saw the familar format of a live, seated interview applied to one of pop music’s highest achievers: Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. TV producer Malcolm Gerrie led proceedings in an attractive theatre in front of an audience of students. Most memorable were some blistering live demonstrations of Buckingham’s craft.
Gerrie’s interview style may have been a little more One Show than Parkinson but still he kept the singer/guitarist well at ease. The ever-youthful 64-year-old fizzed and buzzed through his trip down memory lane. First, we learned how he met Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks at high school when he was a music geek in the junior year, and she a feisty free spirit in the year above. The two met again a couple of years later and a romantic and musical union blossomed. After joining Buckingham's college band, the two then split to form Buckingham-Nicks.The singer's description of moving down to LA and scoring a record deal after six months conjured up images of palm trees and wide-eyed hope. Then, after hearing how Mick Fleetwood hired them almost on a whim, one imagined wild stories of Fleetwood Mac’s legendary excess to be just around the corner.
In the end, however, we didn’t get much gossip - at least not directly. Buckingham told us in broad terms how the studio during the recording of Rumours consisted of two pairs of feuding exes and a whole lot of drugs. But, for all the dirt he didn't spill about the personal dynamics, his manner and expression gave a vivid sense of the tension. Moreover, his dissection on the nuts and bolts of the album revealed the barbed subtexts to the words. Gerrie’s cue card then prompted a question on how the band survived the emotional and physical turmoil of this period. Buckingham’s reply was “youthful resilience”.