Tag Archives: 70s music

Stevie Nicks: Way Back Before The Mac

Fleetwood Mac’s evolution from a blues band to a pop entity has been well documented. Most know the story of how Lyndsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks came to the attention of Mick Fleetwood. For those who want a refresher, Fleetwood, looking to fill a spot in his band, heard Frozen Love, a track from Stevie’s and Lindsey’s self titled debut as a duo, and asked “Who’s the guitarist?” After the discovery, Fleetwood rang up Buckingham and made an offer. Lindsey insisted on a package deal, so Buckingham and Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac and soon helped turn things ’round big time.

I picked up on Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks soon after the release of the Buckingham Nicks album back in 1973. My copy credits Stevi Nicks. I was never able to officially confirm if that was a typo or the way she spelled her name at the time. She gave herself the nickname, Stevie, because, as a kid, she couldn’t pronounce Stephanie. Hard to believe, but there was a minute where some were unsure which one was Stevie and which one was Lindsey, (non-gender specific names, I presume) though that was quickly clarified by the jocks who played cuts from the album on local rock radio. It was obvious that Buckingham and Nicks possessed an abundance of talent as singer-songwriters.

Stephanie Lynn Nicks met Lindsey Adams Buckingham while in high school. She left Changing Times, a group similar to the Mamas and the Papas, when she moved from Phoenix to San Francisco. Time passed before the two met again and kick-started their long-term professional relationship with the Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band, simply known as Fritz, a psychedelic rock band. Buckingham was already their guitarist. Fritz played covers at high school dances, fraternity parties, then focused on their own material. They group became proficient enough to open for Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. Nicks played guitar on stage and worked to develop her stage performance, a glimmer of her future stage presence evident on her interpretation of Buffy St. Marie’s Codeine.   Fritz disbanded in 1971. Nicks left San Jose State University, where she majored in speech communication, to concentrate on music. Stevie and Lindsey committed to each other romantically and continued to forge a musical career as a duo. Buckinham invested some inheritance money to record a few demos on what would become the Buckingham Nicks album.

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Looking For Life On Mars

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Life on Mars, a gem of a TV series, made a whistle stop on BBC America and left the station before we could all hop on and enjoy the whole ride. No word about airing the second, final, season. It’s not the first time BBC America disappoints and it won’t be the last. Some shows, like this one, are trimmed for program time slots. It was shown in its entirety in the UK, so we can plausibly buy a copy of both seasons. A simple DVD transfer from Region 2 to Region 1 and we’re ready to look at Life on Mars.

The show, titled to connect with David Bowie’s Life On Mars, opens in present day (2006) Manchester, England. Chief Inspector, Sam Tyler (John Simms), is pursuing a case when he’s run down by a car. Tyler loses consciousness, briefly. When he comes to he’s ensconced in Manchester, 1973. He’s still a cop, though, lower in rank, and struggles with all things faced by anyone going back in time. Viewers of the first season have eight episodes to ride along with Sam, watch him interact with “new” colleagues, resolve cases with antiquated forensics, and attempt to solve the big mystery. Where in the world is he?

Whether Tyler is really in 2006 or 1973 is answered in the final season. The cryptic clues lead us in several directions. I know how it all turned out, since I read all of season two’s episode summaries and interviews with VIP’s connected with the series. A viewing of the missing episodes, still, would take me along for the rest of the ride. I’d want to watch the series from beginning to end, actually, and catch the material that was edited out of BBC America’s programming.

Bowie’s Life On Mars connects Tyler to both time frames. It’s playing when he’s mowed down, playing when he wakes, and is featured during other moments in the series. I’d like to be with Sam, if only to rewind with the many British pop songs played throughout the series. I love that stuff. Sam is adorable, but he’s so distracted. Actually, most of Sam’s colleagues at the precinct are very engaging, Inspector Gene Hunt (Phillip Glenister), Constable Annie Cartwright (Liz White), DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster), and DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews).

If the American fans make enough noise, perhaps BBC America will release pristine copies of the dvd so we can see what we missed. Word has it that the story will continue. A jump to the 80s, a retitle to “Ashes to Ashes” (another Bowie tie-in), and Inspector Gene Hunt at the helm.

For those who won’t wait for the improbable, there’s the cd soundtrack. Many tunes failed to make the cut, but cheer for the ones that did. Artists include: David Bowie, Paul McCartney & Wings, Roxy Music, ELO, T. Rex, Free, Slade, Mott the Hoople, Sweet, Faces, Thin Lizzie, and Uriah Heep.

Copyright © October 10, 2007
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