The breakup and acrimony of Stevie Nicks and Lyndsey Buckingham, whilst recording their platinum selling album, ‘Rumours.’ has been well-documented, and we would not want to add to that as enough has been said. However, specifically from a personality type perspective there are some interesting issues that emerge, this especially seen in the songs, or as Stevie Nicks called them, “two sides of the same song,” ‘Dreams,’ and ‘Go your own way.’ They had known each other since High School and joined Fleetwood Mac together and the recording sessions, and these songs in particular, epitomise their very different personality types.
Let’s look for some clues. In his biography of Stevie Nicks, ‘Gold Dust Woman,’ Stephen Davis had interviewed some of their friends who said they were described often as ‘the golden couple,’ but one close friend saying, “They were Mr and Mrs Intense.” When they ‘collaborated’ on the ‘Rumours’ album, the acrimony was palpable, and particularly leaked out in the very differing angles of their relationship in Stevie Nicks’ song, “Dreams,” and the Lyndsey Buckingham composition, “Go your own way.” It was a very raw depiction of how they each saw the breakup, so let’s have a closer look.
Let’s start with ‘Go your own way,’ straight in: “Loving you, isn’t the right thing to do.” But then: “If I could I would give you my world, how can I, when you won’t take it from me.” Beautiful and poignant, but then the crux: “Packing up and shacking up, is all you want to do.” Ouch! Lyndsey has recorded INTJ a type which struggle with emotions, but because of that they can leak out and so, rather than project their feelings, they often project their reactions to those feelings.
And what was Stevie Nicks’ response in ‘Dreams?’ Well, “Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I am to keep you down. It’s only right that you should play it the way you feel.” The word ‘again,’ that must have hurt. Then the crux: “But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness, like a heartbeat, drives you mad, in the stillness of remembering what you had, and what you lost.” That last line of ‘remembering what you had, and what you lost’ is really raw.
So, we get two different sides of the same breakup, and these views will have been formed to a large extent by the fact that they are two very different personality types, one (an ENFP) more emotionally expressive and a deep ‘feeling,’ sensitive type, and another (an INTJ) who is a big ‘thinker’ and more self-contained and who finds it harder to express what he feels and so it is a mixture of love and lashing out. Like saying, “Packing up and shacking up,” which Stevie Nicks has consistently said was not the case and so this may be a hurt INTJ expressing his difficult to process reactions to the events rather than actually recounting what in reality had happened. And Nicks has said often how she wanted to make Buckingham feel the pain that she had been through, (though clearly, he had been through the same pain) and perhaps in her lines, “But listen carefully to the sound of your loneliness, like a heartbeat, drives you mad,” she was describing how she was left feeling and hoping that he would feel the same.
Interestingly, 40+ years after their breakup, Stevie Nicks did an interview with ‘Rolling Stone’ magazine in which she said, “In Lyndsey’s mind, all the other women that came after me were all going after the rock ‘n’ roll star, Lyndsey. Nobody was looking into the heart I looked into. Nobody was seeing the guy before he was famous. I knew him in High School.” So, there is still clearly a fondness there, a love of what was, of what might have been and in the same interview Nicks alludes to how it might have been if they hadn’t become famous and she had stayed as a waitress.
But there had been problems previously in their relationship and there was a very almost mercenary reason they stayed together after joining the band. As Nicks recounts in ‘People’ magazine: "So we just put our relationship kind of back together, because I was smart enough to know that, if we had broken up the second month of being in Fleetwood Mac, it would have blown the whole thing." This isn’t exactly ‘love’s young dream,’ or the epitome of rock and roll, is it? It’s a little contrived, and business-like, but then again, why not. She went on to explain further, in the same interview, "Then something happened that was, you know, 'We're done.' And he knew it. It was time. And the band was solid, by that time, so I could walk away knowing that he was safe. And that the band was safe." But interestingly she started with ‘him,’ before she mentioned ‘the band.’
So, relationships are complex, especially so when they are played out in the public arena with lyrics to be poured over. In Christopher Zara's book, ‘Tortured Artists,’ he argues, quite convincingly that, “Great art comes from great pain.” So, when that pain, hurt and emotion gets written down, painted, sculpted or sung it creates something special, something that is both deep, raw and with which we can all identify. Uncovering the ‘why,’ is fascinating and with Stevie Nicks and Lyndsey Buckingham we believe that their very different personality types, added to the hurt and perceptions. Check out those differences here and see what you think.