The friction between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham that went public with Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours has yet to cool.
"We are a cast of characters who never really belonged in the same band in the first place," says Buckingham, 63. "But the synergy works, and I'm looking forward to seeing where the mines lie in the field this time.
"It wouldn't be a band without that tension. All those roles are so familiar. I'm ready to pick up the dice and roll again."
Rumours was recorded during the breakups of the band's two couples, Nicks and Buckingham and John and Christine McVie, who left in 1998. The three carried on, along with drummer Mick Fleetwood, and will launch an arena tour April 4. Nicks and Buckingham are considering a 40th anniversary reissue of their storied album Buckingham Nicks next year with a newly unearthed, previously unreleased track.
Nicks, the most commercially successful Mac spinoff, finished a two-year tour supporting her lauded In Your Dreams, co-written and co-produced with Dave Stewart. Since last year's release of Seeds We Sow, Buckingham has been touring with his band and in solo acoustic mode.
It was a confidence booster that improved his singing, he says. He's aware Nicks is returning with greater spunk after her winning streak, which could set the stage for a clash.
Her solo outing "renewed Stevie's spirit," he says. "I'm happy she had a couple of great years. If it means a more complex political landscape, so be it."
Buckingham's solo foray "has been good for him," says Nicks, 64. "Playing (one-man shows) can't help but give you a certain compassionate softness. It's very different from Fleetwood Mac."
And while she declares the Dreams project with Stewart "the best year of my life," Nicks is eager to return to Mac and determined to establish harmony.
"I'm going to be very clear about what I want," she says. "What I want is for this band to get along and have a great time. So I'm demanding that. We are going to have a great collaborative working relationship.
"We're always great onstage. I don't say that from a conceited place. We've been playing since 1975. We know what we're doing up there."
Buckingham can't argue with that.
"The important thing is for us not to let the politics or land mines get in the way of us having a good time, especially for Stevie and me," he says. "There's been a subtext of competition and animosity, which is the flip side of love, for a long time. I think it's driven both of us.
"Now is an appropriate time for us to acknowledge the context of our relationship and see what's left for us to do. If this is the beginning of the last act, let's wind up in a place that dignifies what we started."
April 4 Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena)
April 6 Philadelphia (Wells Fargo Center)
April 8 New York (Madison Square Garden)
April 9 Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
April 11 Louisville (KFC Yum! Center)
April 13 Chicago (United Center)
April 16 Toronto (The Air Canada Centre)
April 18 Boston (TD Garden)
April 20 Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena)
April 23 Ottawa (Scotiabank Place)
April 24 Newark (Prudential Center)
April 26 Pittsburgh (CONSOL Energy Center)
April 28 St. Paul (Xcel Energy Center)
April 30 Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
May 1 Tulsa (BOK Center)
May 3 Little Rock (Verizon Arena)
May 12 Winnipeg (MTS Centre)
May 14 Saskatoon (Credit Union Centre)
May 15 Edmonton, Alberta (Rexall Place)
May 17 Calgary (Scotiabank Saddledome)
May 19 Vancouver, B.C. (Rogers Arena)
May 20 Tacoma, Wash. (Tacoma Dome)
May 22 San Jose (HP Pavilion)
May 25 Los Angeles (Hollywood Bowl)
May 26 Las Vegas (MGM Grand Arena)
May 28 Anaheim, Calif. (Honda Center)
May 30 Phoenix (US Airways Center)
June 1 Denver (Pepsi Center)
June 4 Dallas (American Airlines Center)
June 5 Houston (Toyota Center)
June 7 Tampa (Tampa Bay Times Forum)
June 8 Fort Lauderdale (BB&T Center)
June 10 Atlanta (Philips Arena)
June 12 Detroit (Joe Louis Arena)
All dates subject to change.
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