REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham @ USC

‘Go Your Own Way’ Lindsey Buckingham talks, performs for student entrepreneurs at Bovard

Photos by USC Greif Center, David Belasco, William Vasta, and Los Angeles Times.

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In what was arguably one of the most memorable final class sessions, Lindsey Buckingham and the USC Trojan Marching Band performed the iconic “Tusk,” from the 1979 Fleetwood Mac album of the same name, before a capacity crowd of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends at Bovard Auditorium.

The April 29 event was the final meeting of David Belasco’s class BAEP 407–Taking the Leap, which focuses on the entrepreneurial mindset and has recently featured guests including Tom Barrack, Mark Cuban, Jessica Alba and Laird Hamilton. Belasco, co-director of the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, had long hinted about his final special guest, and with an amplifier sitting onstage, it was clear this would be no ordinary lecture.

Never Going Back Again

“We use the term “rock star’ a lot today to describe somebody who has done something great. But tonight,” he said, “we have an actual rock star.” The evening was equal parts artistic discourse and concert, with Buckingham treating the audience to acoustic performances of classic Fleetwood Mac songs such as “Never Going Back Again,” “Bleed to Love Her” and “Big Love.” The band’s 1977 album Rumours hit the top of the charts and stayed there for 31 weeks, selling some 40 million copies and becoming the sixth best-selling album of all time. Buckingham said it was the raw pain of breakups – he and singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks were splitting up after six years, and Christine McVie and her husband, bassist John McVie, had also separated – that fueled the music and lyrics to which so many related. “It was laid bare for all to see,” he said. “The songs were true dialogues from three different writers. People felt that.” The band’s next album, Tusk, was in large part an artistic backlash against superstardom, he said.

Big Love

Tusk, of course, is the track that featured the USC Trojan Marching Band. It was Mick Fleetwood’s idea, Buckingham said, to mesh a marching band sound with a driving drum beat. “It was a sublime marriage of two completely different worlds.” The double-album, while critically panned, sold 4 million copies worldwide.

Tusk is my favorite album because it set me on the path to be an artist, and not just a craftsman doing music,” said Buckingham.

The evening ended with Buckingham and the Marching Trojans performing “Tusk” and “Go Your Own Way.” Arthur C. Bartner, who for more than four decades has directed the Marching Trojans, and who was present at the 1979 Dodger Stadium taping, conducted onstage.

Earlier in the evening, the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies honored Ben Van de Bunt, a member of the Center’s advisory board, with the Lead Blocker Award, for his role in bringing speakers to USC. In addition to Buckingham, he helped bring Cindy Crawford, Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk to speak at the Center. Presenting the award were USC Athletic Director Pat Haden ’75 and J.K. McKay ’75, senior associate athletic director.

Tusk

At the end of the program, Helena Yli-Renko, co-director of the Lloyd Greif Center, holder of the Orfalea Director’s Chair in Entrepreneurship and associate professor of clinical entrepreneurship, awarded Buckingham with the Musical Entrepreneur of the Year award.

USC Marshall School of Business / May 1, 2015

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