It’s maybe the sweetest song that Stevie Nicks ever wrote about her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, and like their love itself, it was eventually lost.
Penned more than four decades ago, “Without You” is a blown kiss to Nicks’ former beau, written with a constellation of stars in her eyes.
“If I’d not heard your laughter / Maybe I wouldn’t love you,” she wrote, her i’s practically dotted with little hearts. “If I’d not sung your music / I’d not come rolling after you.”
The song was demoed in the early ’70s, and Nicks recalls performing it live on numerous occasions.
“We did it onstage 62 times,” she remembers. “The audience seemed to really love it. We told the whole story of where we lived and how we moved down here. It was like they really got to walk with us through that song. It should have been on a Fleetwood Mac record. But, you know, sometimes things get lost.”
And sometimes they get found.
Some friends of Nicks discovered the song on YouTube a few years back and asked her about it.
“I’m like, ‘Oh my God, this is the song,’ ” she says. “I showed it to Lindsey and he said, ‘Well, we should record it.’ ”
That they did, finally officially releasing the song after all these years on a four-song EP, “Extended Play,” that the group released in April, their first new music in a decade.
Fleetwood Mac has performed the song on tour all year, playing 62 shows total on a trek that officially concludes Monday in Las Vegas.
The group was supposed to do more shows but had to cancel some New Zealand and Australia dates after bassist John McVie was diagnosed with cancer in October.
According to Nicks, McVie is making a full recovery.
“He’s doing great,” Nicks says. “He’s almost done with his treatment, then he’s going to do these shows. It’s always good when you’re going through a little something that’s difficult to be able to say, ‘Well, I’ve got to be onstage on the 30th at the MGM Grand in front of thousands of people.’ It’s going to pull him out a lot faster than we as humans would naturally pull out of situations.”
Besides finishing up her roadwork with Fleetwood Mac for the year, Nicks is also marking the release of her new “In Your Dreams” DVD, which chronicles the making of her 2011 solo album of the same name and was produced by Dave Stewart, best known for his work with the Eurythmics.
“I didn’t really want to film it at first and Dave just looked at me and said, ‘You know what? You’re going to be sorry if you don’t,’ ” Nicks says. “If you’ve ever wanted to make an album with somebody and you’re not a rock ’n’ roll recording artist, this is your movie, because you are going to be sitting right here in the big red chairs and the big red couch in front of the fireplace with Dave Stewart walking around with a guitar and a phone in his ear and a phone in his other hand.
“When it was over, I was devastated,” she adds of how much she ended up enjoying the recording process. “I just sat down on the stairs with my little dog and I just started to cry. I was just horrified that it could ever end.”
Nicks still records and tours steadily on her own, but Fleetwood Mac offers her a different kind of outlet, and the two complement each other.
“There’s something really great about being part of a team, a tribe,” Nicks says. “When you’re a solo artist, you’re out front, and it’s hard for you to even really look back on anything. For me, as a Gemini, when I first started (putting out solo records in-between Fleetwood Mac albums) in 1981 with ‘Bella Donna,’ it has worked beautifully for me all these years because I get bored.”
Nicks definitely doesn’t sound bored on this day, but fully engaged and effusive.
She’s excited about the new year, even though, by her own admission, she doesn’t really know what she’s excited about.
“This has been a long Fleetwood Mac tour, it will end in Vegas, and I have no idea what I’m going to do next,” Nicks says. “That’s kind of the cool thing about being where I’m at in my career. I’m just kind of breathing in and being able to rest in that knowledge right now.”
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at email@example.com or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.
Jason Bracelin / Las Vegas Review-Journal / Thursday, December 26, 2013