The Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
The Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.

Lindsey Buckingham still working but puts fatherhood first



The Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham talks to James McNair about his new album and fatherhood late in life

In 1974, when the drummer Mick Fleetwood asked Lindsey Buckingham to join his band, the California-born guitarist insisted that he and his girlfriend Stevie Nicks should come as a package.

"It wasn't a slam-dunk, 'Oh my goodness, this is our big break thing'," Buckingham tells me on the line from his home in Los Angeles. "Stevie and I could have made another Buckingham Nicks album - and who knows what would have happened if we did?" History records that the couple did not, of course, and when the gifted and glamorous duo joined Fleetwood Mac, they helped transform the group from esteemed British blues outfit to drive-time radio colossus.

Formerly led by the troubled guitar magus Peter Green, the band became an Anglo-American entity whose eponymous 1974 debut reached number one in the US. The new recruits' song-writing talent sat nicely alongside that of the keyboardist, Christine McVie, whose bass-playing husband John was also a long-term member.

Amazingly, the success of Fleetwood Mac was surpassed by that of the group's 1977 follow-up album, Rumours. Essentially a document of two relationship break-ups - Buckingham and Nicks were separating; ditto the McVies - the album has since gone on to sell more than 40 million copies. The band was indulging in all kinds of excess, and songs such as Go Your Own Way and Dreams aired their dirty laundry in public. Not for nothing, then, has Rumours been dubbed "rock's greatest soap opera".

"We can laugh about it now," says the soft-spoken Buckingham, "but at the time it was incredibly painful. The instinct was to run away, but we had to make the right choices for the band. Rumours brought out the voyeur in everybody, I think, but we learnt to be philosophical about that and use it to our advantage. I'm just glad it wasn't today's media covering the story - there was no phone hacking or people rooting through your trash back then."

Now 61, Buckingham is about to release his sixth solo album, Seeds We Sow. He recorded it in his home studio, where a poster of the Beach Boys' Smile album hangs for inspiration ("I also have a little teak warrior figure standing between the speakers to remind me that I have to fight on"). The new record packs echoing lattices of nylon-string guitar, songs such as Illumination and That's the Way confirming Buckingham's pop sensibility is still highly attuned. The album also benefits from the guitarist and singer's left-field production technique, something that, in Fleetwood Mac, was only ever let loose on the brilliant, defiantly uncommercial Tusk, an album the band's record company later dubbed "Lindsey's folly" despite its selling four million copies.

Buckingham says his new album is about "karma" and how the decisions we make influence our lives. So is he happy with his own choices? "Yes, I think so. With the music, my small, independent projects allow me to take risks, and that has a positive effect when I go back to Fleetwood Mac. More personally speaking, I think it was good not having children too young." He and wife Kristen Messner had their first child, William, when Buckingham was 48, and have since had two daughters, Leelee and Stella. "I've seen a lot of parents not really be there for their kids, so I'm glad that gift came when I was ready."

Chatting more about the new album, Buckingham explains that When She Comes Down was written for his wife. "When we first met, it took Kristen a while to open up and feel safe with me," he says. "I just had to wait and have faith." Happily married the couple may be, but for Fleetwood Mac fans, Buckingham will forever be romantically linked with Stevie Nicks, the girl he first met when they were pupils at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California.

In May of this year, Nicks released her seventh solo album, In Your Dreams, and, much to the delight of Mac fans, Buckingham sang and played guitar on the song Soldier's Angel.

"It was great," he says of the dynamic between them. "We spent more time together than we had in while, and we even talked about trying to get the [long deleted] Buckingham Nicks album out again and perhaps doing some kind of tour around it."

There are plans for new Fleetwood Mac projects, too, and Buckingham says that once he and Nicks have finished with their respective solo album commitments, their thoughts may well turn to another Mac studio album and tour. At 64 and 65 respectively, the band's titular rhythm section Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are still game, but Christine McVie - who retired from touring in 1998 and only fleetingly appears on 2003's Say You Will album - is unlikely to return to the fold.

"You could call Chris and ask her," laughs Buckingham, "but she quite deliberately burnt her bridges some years back. As far as I can tell, she's living the quiet pastoral life back in England, but I would imagine that must get a little one-dimensional for her from time to time."

For all his gentle ribbing, Buckingham, too, has clearly taken his foot off the accelerator ("Have I mellowed? Oh, I hope so!"). As for Buckingham, he's happier than ever. "I just want to be a consistent and present parent and not let anything get in the way of that. I don't have any big burning ambition, or anything I feel is just out of my grasp.

"One of the most frustrating things about Fleetwood Mac," he adds, "is that you don't get everybody wanting the same things for the same reasons at the same time, but it would be nice to reach a place that dignifies where we started. I find it rather touching and sweet that Stevie and myself might be able to share something beyond the formal designations of recent years. I think there are still a few chapters of our story to be written."

Seeds We Sow is out on September 5 on Cooking Vinyl

While you're here ...

Damien McElroy: What happens to Brexit?

Con Coughlin: Could the virus break the EU?

Andrea Matteo Fontana: Europe to emerge stronger

Seven Winters in Tehran

Director : Steffi Niederzoll

Starring: Reyhaneh Jabbari, Shole Pakravan, Zar Amir Ebrahimi

Rating: 4/5

The Sandman

Creators: Neil Gaiman, David Goyer, Allan Heinberg

Stars: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Jenna Coleman and Gwendoline Christie

Rating: 4/5

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

A MAN FROM MOTIHARI

Author: Abdullah Khan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 304
Available: Now

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo

Power: 268hp at 5,600rpm

Torque: 380Nm at 4,800rpm

Transmission: CVT auto

Fuel consumption: 9.5L/100km

On sale: now

Price: from Dh195,000

THE SPECS

Engine: 3-litre V6 turbo (standard model, E-hybrid); 4-litre V8 biturbo (S)
Power: 350hp (standard); 463hp (E-hybrid); 467hp (S)
Torque: 500Nm (standard); 650Nm (E-hybrid); 600Nm (S)
Price: From Dh368,500
On sale: Now

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

It’ll be summer in the city as car show tries to move with the times

If 2008 was the year that rocked Detroit, 2019 will be when Motor City gives its annual car extravaganza a revamp that aims to move with the times.

A major change is that this week's North American International Auto Show will be the last to be held in January, after which the event will switch to June.

The new date, organisers said, will allow exhibitors to move vehicles and activities outside the Cobo Center's halls and into other city venues, unencumbered by cold January weather, exemplified this week by snow and ice.

In a market in which trends can easily be outpaced beyond one event, the need to do so was probably exacerbated by the decision of Germany's big three carmakers – BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi – to skip the auto show this year.

The show has long allowed car enthusiasts to sit behind the wheel of the latest models at the start of the calendar year but a more fluid car market in an online world has made sales less seasonal.

Similarly, everyday technology seems to be catching up on those whose job it is to get behind microphones and try and tempt the visiting public into making a purchase.

Although sparkly announcers clasp iPads and outline the technical gadgetry hidden beneath bonnets, people's obsession with their own smartphones often appeared to offer a more tempting distraction.

“It's maddening,” said one such worker at Nissan's stand.

The absence of some pizzazz, as well as top marques, was also noted by patrons.

“It looks like there are a few less cars this year,” one annual attendee said of this year's exhibitors.

“I can't help but think it's easier to stay at home than to brave the snow and come here.”

The specs

Engine: 77kWh 2 motors
Power: 178bhp
Torque: 410Nm
Range: 402km
Price: Dh,150,000 (estimate)
On sale: TBC

Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation 2 to 5
Rating: 5/5

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6
Power: 456hp at 5,000rpm
Torque: 691Nm at 3,500rpm
Transmission: 10-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 14.6L/100km
Price: from Dh349,545
On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Mamo

Year it started: 2019 Founders: Imad Gharazeddine, Asim Janjua

Based: Dubai, UAE

Number of employees: 28

Sector: Financial services

Investment: $9.5m

Funding stage: Pre-Series A Investors: Global Ventures, GFC, 4DX Ventures, AlRajhi Partners, Olive Tree Capital, and prominent Silicon Valley investors.

Results

6.30pm Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 Group 1 (PA) US$100,000 (Dirt) 2,000m, Winner Bandar, Fernando Jara (jockey), Majed Al Jahouri (trainer).

7.05pm Meydan Classic Listed (TB) $175,000 (Turf) 1,600m, ​​​​​​​Winner Well Of Wisdom, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

7.40pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 2,000m, ​​​​​​​Winner Star Safari, Mickael Barzalona, Charlie Appleby.

8.15pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner Moqarrar, Fabrice Veron, Erwan Charpy.

8.50pm Nad Al Sheba Trophy Group 2 (TB) $300,000 (T) 2,810m, Winner Secret Advisor, William Buick, Charlie Appleby.

9.25pm Curlin Stakes Listed (TB) $175,000 (D) 2,000m, ​​​​​​​Winner Parsimony, William Buick, Doug O’Neill.

10pm Handicap (TB) $135,000 (T) 2,000m, Winner Simsir, Ronan Whelan, Michael Halford.

10.35pm Handicap (TB) $175,000 (T) 1,400m, ​​​​​​​Winner Velorum, Mickael Barzalona, Charlie Appleby.

THE SCORES

Ireland 125 all out

(20 overs; Stirling 72, Mustafa 4-18)

UAE 125 for 5

(17 overs, Mustafa 39, D’Silva 29, Usman 29)

UAE won by five wickets

Credit Score explained

What is a credit score?

In the UAE your credit score is a number generated by the Al Etihad Credit Bureau (AECB), which represents your credit worthiness – in other words, your risk of defaulting on any debt repayments. In this country, the number is between 300 and 900. A low score indicates a higher risk of default, while a high score indicates you are a lower risk.

Why is it important?

Financial institutions will use it to decide whether or not you are a credit risk. Those with better scores may also receive preferential interest rates or terms on products such as loans, credit cards and mortgages.

How is it calculated?

The AECB collects information on your payment behaviour from banks as well as utilitiy and telecoms providers.

How can I improve my score?

By paying your bills on time and not missing any repayments, particularly your loan, credit card and mortgage payments. It is also wise to limit the number of credit card and loan applications you make and to reduce your outstanding balances.

How do I know if my score is low or high?

By checking it. Visit one of AECB’s Customer Happiness Centres with an original and valid Emirates ID, passport copy and valid email address. Liv. customers can also access the score directly from the banking app.

How much does it cost?

A credit report costs Dh100 while a report with the score included costs Dh150. Those only wanting the credit score pay Dh60. VAT is payable on top.

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Elmawkaa
Based: Hub71, Abu Dhabi
Founders: Ebrahem Anwar, Mahmoud Habib and Mohamed Thabet
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $400,000
Investors: 500 Startups, Flat6Labs and angel investors
Number of employees: 12

Q&A with Dash Berlin

Welcome back. What was it like to return to RAK and to play for fans out here again?
It’s an amazing feeling to be back in the passionate UAE again. Seeing the fans having a great time that is what it’s all about.

You're currently touring the globe as part of your Legends of the Feels Tour. How important is it to you to include the Middle East in the schedule?
The tour is doing really well and is extensive and intensive at the same time travelling all over the globe. My Middle Eastern fans are very dear to me, it’s good to be back.

You mix tracks that people know and love, but you also have a visually impressive set too (graphics etc). Is that the secret recipe to Dash Berlin's live gigs?
People enjoying the combination of the music and visuals are the key factor in the success of the Legends Of The Feel tour 2018.

Have you had some time to explore Ras al Khaimah too? If so, what have you been up to?
Coming fresh out of Las Vegas where I continue my 7th annual year DJ residency at Marquee, I decided it was a perfect moment to catch some sun rays and enjoy the warm hospitality of Bab Al Bahr.

 

Structural weaknesses facing Israel economy

1. Labour productivity is lower than the average of the developed economies, particularly in the non-tradable industries.
2. The low level of basic skills among workers and the high level of inequality between those with various skills.
3. Low employment rates, particularly among Arab women and Ultra-Othodox Jewish men.
4. A lack of basic knowledge required for integration into the labour force, due to the lack of core curriculum studies in schools for Ultra-Othodox Jews.
5. A need to upgrade and expand physical infrastructure, particularly mass transit infrastructure.
6. The poverty rate at more than double the OECD average.
7. Population growth of about 2 per cent per year, compared to 0.6 per cent OECD average posing challenge for fiscal policy and underpinning pressure on education, health care, welfare housing and physical infrastructure, which will increase in the coming years.

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.