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Lindsey Buckingham Biography

Home > Music > B > Buckingham, Lindsey > Biography

Birth Name: Lindsey Adams Buckingham
Born: 1949/10/03
Birth Place: Palo Alto, California, United States
Years Active: 1968–present
Genres: Rock, Pop, New Wave

Lindsey Adams Buckingham (born October 3, 1949) is an American guitarist, singer, composer and producer, most notable for being the guitarist and male lead singer of the musical group Fleetwood Mac. Aside from his tenure with Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham has also released six solo albums and a live album. As a member of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Buckingham's first forays into guitar playing took place on a toy Mickey Mouse guitar, playing along to his brother Jeff's extensive collection of 45s. Noticing his talent, Buckingham's parents bought their son a $35 Harmony guitar.

Buckingham never took guitar lessons and does not read music. By age 13, he became interested in folk music and, influenced by banjo methods, practiced the fingerpicking styles of The Kingston Trio. At 15 he joined a small folk group, Fritz, providing vocals and guitar work.

Buckingham and his then-girlfriend Stevie Nicks recorded seven demos in 1972 on an analog 4-track machine, and drove to Los Angeles to pursue a record deal. In 1973, Polydor Records signed the pair. Their album, “Buckingham Nicks,” was released in September 1973.

While checking out the Sound City recording studio in California, Mick Fleetwood heard the song “Frozen Love” from the “Buckingham Nicks” album. He asked who the guitarist was, and immediately stated that he wanted him to fill a recent vacancy. The duo was quickly asked to join Fleetwood Mac on New Year's Eve, 1974.

Fleetwood Mac released their eponymously titled album in 1975, which became a hit. However it was the second album of this new line-up, “Rumours,” that propelled the band to superstar status when it became one of the best-selling albums of all time. Buckingham's “Go Your Own Way” was the lead-off single, soaring into the U.S. Top 10.

After the resounding commercial success of “Rumours,” Buckingham was determined to avoid falling into repeating the same musical pattern. The result was 1979’s “Tusk,” a double album that Buckingham primarily directed. Once again, Buckingham wrote the lead-off single, the title track that would peak at #8 on Billboard's Hot 100. Though by most standards a hit, “Tusk” failed to come close to “Rumours” record sales, and the album would ultimately precede a hiatus in the band's studio recording efforts.

Buckingham continued to record with Fleetwood Mac in the early 1980s but by the time “Tango in the Night” was released in 1987, Buckingham had already released two solo albums and had given up much of the material for what would have been his third solo album for the project. Propelled by a string of hit singles, “Tango in the Night” became the band's biggest album since “Rumours” a decade earlier. However, following its release, Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac largely due to his desire not to tour and the strain he was feeling within the band. Fleetwood Mac chose to continue without him and he was replaced by guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette.

In 1981, Buckingham released his first solo album “Law and Order,” playing nearly every instrument and featuring guest appearances by bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie. The album pursued the quirky, eclectic, often lo-fi and new-wave-influences of “Tusk,” and spawned the hit single “Trouble” which reached #9 in the U.S.

Two years later, he wrote and performed the songs “Holiday Road” and “Dancin' Across the U.S.A.” for the film “National Lampoon's Vacation.” “Holiday Road” was released as a single, and reached #82 on the Billboard's Hot 100 Singles chart.

In 1984 he released his second solo album, “Go Insane.” The title track was a modest hit, reaching #23 on the Hot 100. The last track of the album, “D.W. Suite,” was a tribute to the late Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson.

Following his split with Fleetwood Mac in 1987, Buckingham spent much of the next five years in the studio, working on his third solo album, “Out of the Cradle,” which was released in 1992. “Out of the Cradle” received some favorable reviews but did not achieve the sales levels associated with Fleetwood Mac.

A subsequent solo album, entitled “Gift of Screws,” was recorded between 1995 and 2001 and presented to Warner Bros./Reprise for release. Executives at the label managed to persuade Buckingham to hold the album back and instead take several tracks from “Gift of Screws” and re-record them with Fleetwood Mac. Thus, seven songs from “Gift of Screws” appear on the Fleetwood Mac album “Say You Will,” in substantially the same form as Buckingham had recorded them for his solo release.

In 1997, Buckingham and all four of his bandmates from the original “Rumours” line-up of Fleetwood Mac went on the road for the first time together since 1982 in a reunion tour titled The Dance. The tour was hugely successful and did much to heal the damage that had been done between Buckingham and his bandmates. However, Christine McVie had opted to leave the band in 1998, essentially now making the band a foursome. In 2003, the reformed band released the first studio album involving Buckingham and Nicks in 15 years, “Say You Will.” Buckingham's song “Peacekeeper” was the first single from the album, and the band went on a world concert tour that would last almost a year and a half.

In 2006 Buckingham's fourth solo album, an acoustic album entitled “Under the Skin” was released. “Under The Skin” featured Buckingham on almost all instruments, with the exception of two tracks that feature Fleetwood Mac rhythm section John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. The album included a cover of The Rolling Stones classic “I Am Waiting.”

In 2008, the “Gift of Screws” album was finally released, containing three tracks from the originally planned album, as well as seven new recordings. Buckingham released his sixth solo effort, “Seeds We Sow,” in 2011. The album reached #45 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart and #5 on the Independent Albums chart.