Guitar Aficionado

Playlist: Lindsey Buckingham


By Richard Bienstock

In the new September/October issue of Guitar Aficionado, we visit Fleetwood Mac guitar great Lindsey Buckingham at his L.A. home for an in depth look at the famous instruments with which he has created some of classic rock’s most enduring tunes. Here, we present four examples of his inimitable fingerstyle work, both with the Mac and during those times when he’s gone his own way.

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“I’m So Afraid”
(Fleetwood Mac, 1975)

This slow burner from Fleetwood Mac presents Lindsey in guitar god mode, with harmonized lines that could be at home on a Thin Lizzy tune and ample space at the end for Buckingham to stretch out on a rare extended electric solo. In this live clip from the ’82 Mirage tour, Lindsey puts his Rick Turner Model 1 through its paces for a full three minutes of guitar heroics.

“Big Love”
(Tango in the Night, 1987)

Originally appearing, in overproduced and underwhelming form, on Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 effort, Tango in the Night, Buckingham has in the years since taken to performing ‘”Big Love” in solo acoustic fashion. Stripped of all its studio accoutrement, the song is a fingerpicking tour de force, powered by Buckingham’s insistent “dead thumb” bass line and capped by mesmerizing melody lines.

“Not Too Late”
(Under the Skin, 2006)

Though Buckingham’s 2006 solo effort was a largely subdued and acoustic affair, the guitar pyrotechnics were hardly toned down. Case in point: Lead-off track “Not Too Late,” on which sparkling cascades of notes rain down around Lindsey’s confessional lyrics. In this TV performance of the song, Buckingham and his Rick Turner Renaissance wow Jimmy Kimmel and that guy from Stand By Me.

“Oh Well”
(live, 1975)

Buckingham may be best known for slickly produced pop songs, but the man can burn up the fretboard with the best of ‘em. Observe Lindsey in all his hirsute, Les Paul-wielding glory as he takes on this classic from the Peter Green era of the Mac.