Q&A Sessions
Javier Pacheco (Fritz), July 5 - 24, 1999
Page 2

How Did Stevie and Lindsey get so popular?? And why did they become famous? ('Mac', OH, USA)

Sorry, you need to seek a music sociologist for those deep answers! Actually, they did happen to write some very memorable songs that reached a large audience, so I think that that must be factored into the equation! At this juncture, I am only dealing with my knowledge of them during our mutual tenure as FRITZ. I am not here to speculate or interpret their success. If you are curious as to other reasons of how people in this business get popular, see the works of authors Simon Firth (Facing The Music & Sound Effects), Richard Middleton (Studying Popular Music), or Clive Davis (Clive: Inside the Record Business).

From reading the previous questions, I see that Lindsey and Stevie did not play keyboards or piano when they were a part of the band. Do you think that you or your other bandmates had any influence on the styles they would later develop? Can you spot a 'Fritz-ism' they way we can spot the Lindsey touch on Stevie or Christine's songs? (Tracy G. from Stockbridge, GA, USA)

It would be a long shot. You see, the people in L.A. wanted a different product from the one FRITZ offered. The pressure was on Linds and Stevie to write commercial hits, they had to discard what they had done up to that point. In 1970 Stevie , Lindsey and I ended up at Studio City with Keith Olsen. I had one chance to give 'em my "best shot." One chance to record a FRITZ demo to nag a recording contract. I had to play something totally commercial, something totally distinct, far and away from the styles we'd been playing on live shows everywhere. From the git, everyone was already sold on Stevie and Lindsey, but at that moment in time, Lindsey hadn't written anything. Stevie had only her country songs. I offered Louisa Joy, a capricious attempt at something commercial and pop. But FRITZ was way beyond the 3-minute ditties.

Therefore, their initial writing had to be their own, not a carbon copy of where they'd come, which was the "wrong way" as far as the Hollywood commercial aesthetic of the time. But again, your question is a difficult one because I have yet to hear their complete production head to toe, and much less spend time purusing music to hunt down "Fritzisms." It would be too easy to lay claim to nuances. And I know the creative process doesn't always work that way. I feel they developed broad sensibilities, their own voices, and any FRITZISMS would be less likely, much less apparent in their work. Its Stevie talking, its Lindsey talking. Since the FRITZ years comprise a part of musical experience, that road traveled will never fade from memory, it is a place that resonates, rich in memory. But if you and I must play this game, let's just say that any risk-taking, any broad open canvas that you hear them painting--that, would be a FRITZISM.

Did Lindsey exhibit the traits of a producer during the time you spent with him? Even though Fritz did not actually record an album, it seems that the band did spend a great deal of time working out fresh ideas to incorporate into your songs. Was that really a group effort, or was the majority of that sort of work placed on one or two individual's shoulders? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA)

Et tu, TRACY?!! Hi! Good questions, again. Linds was a producer from the moment he began contributing to the structure of the music. Technically, he owned an Ampex 16-track reel-to-reel (magnetic tape, 2-inch wide) that he had bought with money from an inheritance. This greatly aided composing. We did spend time in a studio in 1968 and 1970. Lindsey had always been active in formulating ideas for musical structure. The other recordings that exist were made with an Uher reel-to-reel during live performance. Unfortunately, the quality is not very good--the vocals are practically drowned out. And some chum out there owns a reel-to-reel which he managed to get from the first FRITZ debut at Fillmore West. That was an electric evening, the band was an opener that brought the entire house up, and the evidence is all on the tape.

The dynamic of communal performance begins at the preparation level--rehearsal. The amount of contribution that everyone can make to a piece molds that work. It then becomes the work of the group. I could bring chords and some lyrics to a session. That original idea might just change into something totally different (this is where risks and negotiating take place, where people share their visions and sensibilities for music sequences. Or it may simply go through a process of embellishment. This depends upon the creative moment--I mean, this give-and-take of music writing depends upon the relative state of open mindedness of the group. The band might just opt to go with what is presented and merely make cosmetic changes. Or real creativity may take off while members add new directions, contrasting parts, different avenues to take the original idea.

Brian says "Start it with this lick in the minor, the guitar by itself. Lindsey adds, "Yeah, and I'll follow, plucking the bass doing this riff for four beats," then Bob counters, "Wait Linds, let me come in first with a drum break and then lay down this beat after Brian's lick finishes, then we go into your bass pattern. Stevie enters, "O.k., but bring it down just before I come in with the words, then bring it up on the chorus." And so on, and so on. This is collective production, collective composing and arranging. This is the divine core of what a creative ensemble cooks up. Somedays it may be Brian who comes up with the most creative energy, inspiring the others. Sometimes it might be Lindsey, or a combination of us. That's the beauty of the creative urge--you never know where it will spring up next. Sometimes someone will have a new idea months later, for some old material that has worn thin, and this new approach brings new enthusiasm to the song's performance. Its a piece that is renewed and revived.

I had the most experience writing music at that time. I wrote a good deal of the original material. But it was all my colleagues who together dressed my frames, transformed my ideas into the sound of FRITZ.

Hello, and thank you for answering questions! My question for you would be: During your early time in Fritz, had you heard any of Fleetwood Mac? Your music was, I'm sure from the above descriptions, much different than their early sounds, but at any point did you hear any of them? (Sara Smith, Great Falls, Montana, USA)

Yes indeed, I was a fan of the early, bluesy Mac. I had recordings of theirs. I thought their music was sublime, even haunting. I loved listening to it after a long hard day, way into the wee hours of the night, waiting to drift off into sleep. I can't tell you the names of the tunes specifically, but check this out: After the band had broken up, I made an extra dub of a reel-to-reel live performance recording. I copied this music onto an old tape that contained Fleetwood Mac music. So when the Fritz concert finishes, the next thing you hear is some subtle, bluesy, undulating Mac tracks! This was about 1971, years before Stevie and Lindsey would even meet their Mac counterparts! Coincidence?

While our music was very different from the early Mac, we listened to them and other favorites--we all had our particular favorites. I think it was Brian Kane who turned me on to early Mac recordings. I can't tell you what each member listened to, in particular. There was a lot of good music out there. I was stuck on Yardbirds, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Eric Burdon, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Seatrain, and a host of Rhythm and Blues artists. I was tuned into the vocal divas, from Aretha ("Respect") to Timi Yuro ("Hurt"), to Dusty Springfield ("The Look of Love"). We all kept our ears open to what was going on in the showbiz world, in and out of the music. Several of us in the band went to the Haight-Ashbury Theater one night to see the debut of "Let It Be," an eagerly-awaited film. At the end of the show, I remember filing out of the theater very quietly, we were all quite somber, as if acknowledging an imminent death in the family. The tragic break-up of the Beatles was almost like an eerie omen for us. We knew that as band members, we were also pulling in opposite directions, our days were numbered.

You know, many of us grew up with Fleetwood Mac music...kinda as the sound track of our early lives. Stevie and Lindsey have carried it further with their solo work. They still each have a following of very devoted fans, many of which are musically inclined themselves. I wanted to express our gratitude for your insights into what it was like to help form a band, take it as far as possible, and survive it. (Despite all the hard work, sometimes it just comes down to luck?) Having the opportunity to envision the young Stevie and Lindsey through your eyes is just so ...refreshing. You've hinted that Stevie was somewhat theatrical on stage. Did you see the beginnings of her later stage personas...fragile child/woman to mystical enchantress. Would you describe Stevie's early demeanor on the Fritz stage? (Rhapsody, OH, USA)

Oftentimes, it just comes down to mere luck. I cannot stress enough to you how important it was for FRITZ to have had the relationship with David Forest, who began booking the group into Stanford fraternity parties, high school dances. David Forest was a Stanford drop-out who was making a hearty living from booking a roster of bands at Stanford and other places. If FRITZ enjoyed a phenomenal notoriety as a band, this man must take a lot of the credit. He went from booking out of his dorm room, to setting up an agency in San Jose (NBC--National Booking Company). He was then discovered by Bill Graham and went to work at Maillard Agency. Then he moved to his birthplace, Los Angeles and ultimately ended at CMA.

He made us his main group, eventually concentrating primarily on us. (Earlier I mentioned how this later translated into a kind of possessiveness, trying to take us to L.A.--keeping from us the fact that Bill Graham had shown interest in the band.)

A group stays afloat as long as it has reason to do so. We had gigs to look forward to. We didn't have to spend our time scouring the Peninsula for gigs. We had the luxury of time to concentrate on developing our sound. Most groups don't obtain this kind of "luck." They perish. We were spoiled by this!! But yet, I was so naive--I thought just being a good musician was what mattered, that everything would eventually "fall into place." I found out the hard way, in this world its not what you know, its who you know. About Stevie--I mentioned elsewhere her knack for showmanship, her ability to create attention. Yes, in the beginning I saw mostly the fragile child/woman. She used that whenever I got critical of some facet of her delivery or whatever, thereby making me the "mean ole wolf" and she, the damsel in distress. That lead to an altercation between Lindsey and I (mentioned earlier). I had also mentioned that on one song, Stevie acted out withdrawal pains while singing the song Codeine.

("And its real, and its real, more time!") I was Mr Natural ("Let's be real"), so I objected vehemently to the theatrics. On the other hand, the crowds ate all it up!!! We were know as "the band with the chick." The rest of the band admonished me to lay off, to let her do whatever she wanted. That was only one instance. During other songs Stevie could get very emotive, and she often poured her heart and soul into whatever she did. But that was o.k., I just didn't like her pretending to be something she wasn't. She could certainly be an enchantress. As far as "mystical enchantress," yipes! Yes, she could feign all kinds of poses on stage, she was very theatrical. She did a good job of kind of expressing some of the chaos depicted in some songs by throwing her head back, making certain expressions on her face, or just plain helter-skelter erratic movements. She also played a tambourine or cowbell on stage and gave her all in the performance. It was all in context. Of course, keep in mind the times we were together were pretty mystical! Weirdness was a big part of the scene, particularly if we were playing big concerts. We all dressed as we pleased, I wore tops and bell-bottoms I would never dream of sporting today. We all had very long hair. Our demeanor was unpredictable, particularly for those who didn't know one well. I'd say we were all playing into that veil of mystery tinged with some exotic flavors here and there. The times called for mystery. That's what drew people in. Our growth paralleled the Beatles in the sense that we were all very straight when we started, and gradually, we started coming out of our conformity shells, flowering, becoming something else. If you were to look at a picture taken of FRITZ in 1968 you would see a sweet group of clean-cut, nicely dressed (even if a little Sgt. Peppery) smiling kids. Contrast that with a picture of Fritz in 1970--scruffy hair, leather and beads, sour looks on some faces, we no longer look like kids, more like hardened Dead-heads!!! (I was the big non-conformist--I scowled in the early pics and smiled in the late pics) Next week, I will try to supply Marty with these two contrasting pics. Groups in the 60s usually smiled in their photos. Thereafter, it was considered trite to be so polite! Its a riot! Stay tuned.

It sounds to me that Lindsey and Stevie benefited greatly from their experience in Fritz. They were surely better able to handle the diversity found in FM (I assume it was "diverse" to find themselves in a basically British blues band) after Fritz. Lindsey was given the chance to exercise his creativity, challenged vocally, and to develop his leadership skills (which really came in handy down the line!). Fritz gave them both the freedom to write lyrics and music that was personal and relevant to what was going down in the band, a skill used so deliciously on Rumours. Yep, there's a question here SOMEWHERE. I think you've said that everyone helped each other...but we've had some very animated discussions on this particular much did Lindsey help Stevie with her own songs? It's been said that Stevie was a lyricist, not to be confused with a musician...that Lindsey would take her lyrics and help flesh them out into a song. Did you see this during their time with Fritz? Perhaps more so after they paired off? (Rhapsody, OH, USA)

On many occasions, Lindsey used leadership skills in FRITZ. As I mentioned before, he was considered a stabilizing influence in the band, for the most part.

Yes, their exposure to diversity in FRITZ greatly aided their Mac experience. When Stevie brought her country songs to FRITZ, we were impressed with their simplicity and didn't want to rearrange or add a lot of embellishment. They made a great contrast to the bulk of material that was mostly hard rock. I don't recall Lindsey ever conferring with Stevie on lyrics or chords. What she brought to the table was usually pretty complete. She had usually worked out her themes and knew what chords she wanted underneath. LB & SN may have worked together on songs after their pairing, but toward the end of FRITZ we weren't even rehearsing regularly anymore, so there was little new material introduced at all--certainly nothing from Lindsey and Stevie together. I think their collaborations started in earnest after FRITZ. On the other hand, I did get some assistance with some of my songs. Either Linds or Stevie, or Brian, would help me occasionally by adding a verse or modifying an awkward line or something to that effect.

Hi, This is very cool that you are doing this, thank you. Neither Stevie nor Lindsey have discussed this small point in their career/life much. I realize this was quite awhile ago, but Stevie has said that the others in the band somewhat resented the fact that she was getting most of the attention when it was the guys who did all the work. Saying that people would call up and ask for the band with the little "browny-blonde girl singer". This is something that continued into her work with Fleetwood Mac. From what I can tell this isn't something she knowingly tried to do, it was something that just happened. Would you say she was a "stage hog" then or was there a magnetism to her even then? (Allen Chapman, Stafford Springs, CT, USA)

I can't tell you how many times I met people after gigs and they said, "So where were you tonight?" Agast, I countered, "I was up there playing the keyboards!"

They would look totally shocked, "Get outta here!!" No! Really?! Honestly, we didn't even see you!"

Well, it so happens that the lead singer always gets all the attention. People tend to focus more on that crooner. That's been my experience in every band I've ever been in. Unfortunately, there are times when the musicians get frustrated over this, but it happens. We in FRITZ had to just grin and bear it. But as I said before, Stevie put a lot of energy into her singing, she was no slouch, on the contrary, she was very expressive, focused on what she was doing, contributing her part to the band. She didn't just stroll out there and start shaking her hips! She was shaking the tambourine, sweating, moving and pouring out all that her little vocal chords could handle. I cannot overstress the fact that this FRITZ material put a lot of demands upon her voice. That's why we were sensitive to the idea of incorporating her own songs and other lighter music that would contrast with all the hard rock stuff.

Yes, she had a certain magnetism. We who were up there providing the instrumentation often overlooked all that. I wouldn't say she ever tried to do anything to "hog" attention, perhaps with the exception of the Buffy Saint Marie song. But again, that's show biz. She considered it part of recreating the expressiveness of interpretation. And to my paternalistic way of thinking, there were nights when I thought she overdid it. That's showbiz. In retrospect, perhaps that "show" was better than the antics that others have indulged in, such as the body paint, the sexual innuendoes, the gimmicks, lightshows and pyrotechnics, etc. On the whole, FRITZ was a straight-ahead rock band that did not engage in torrid or cheap escapades of attention-getting devices. (Some showbiz people once suggested we should machete-chop a head of lettuce on stage!! Oh please!) Also, consider the vocal chores. There were numbers she sang solo, others with Lindsey, others with me, or a combination, also three-part harmonies, etc. The sets were quite varied. And the themes constantly changed--mostly either social or amorous. There were serious moments in a semi-religious song I wrote entitled The Power: ("When I saw Jesus, I was so long involved in my own little selfish games,...") Stevie handled this with dignity and aplomb.

Do you happen to know what Lindsey Buckingham's middle name is? We've never seen it in print anywhere. We had heard once that it was Ezekial, but we were never able to confirm it. Thank you. (Marty Adelson, Hillsborough, NJ)

Ah, ya got me there! I am not sure I remember either. Can't comment. I never knew much about Lindsey's particular ethnicity, nor mine for that matter. When the band was breaking up was precisely when I was going through my own identity pains. I would say that it was only after 1970 that I seriously came to grips with my own ethnic and cultural roots. I will just add another 'lil tidbit of cowinkydinky (coincidence): The first five years of my life I lived in a house on Buckingham Street, Redwood City.

Javier, how did you come to meet Lindsey? Did you have any classes together? How did you know he played guitar and would be good for your band? Stevie came into the band through Lindsey, right? Were you present at the social gathering where Stevie met Lindsey and sang California Dreaming? (Vianna Barksdale, Alexandria, VA, USA)

Vianna, you need to read what's been written already here. FRITZ was not my band, I didn't start the group. When I joined, Linds was already in the group. No, I hadn't taken any classes with him, we hadn't crossed paths before the band came together. Stevie came into the band through Bob Aguirre, not Lindsey. I don't think Lindsey knew her before she entered the group. As far as your last question, I don't know about that, wasn't there. I never heard that version of their meeting. Where did you hear that?

Did the members of Fritz actually support themselves through the gigs you played? Did you live alone, with roommates or with your parents? I think you also mentioned that Stevie was going to college for a year or so while she was in the band...was she living on campus? Did any of the bandmates have day jobs? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

We were 18 and 19 and all lived with our parents. In Fall of '68 I entered San Jose State University. I shared a two-bedroom apartment for four with Bob Fogel (a mutual friend of Brian and Bob). Stevie was living in an apartment with a friend right around the block from me. We were three streets away from campus. It was the semester that the great philosopher Alan Watts was an Artist in Residence, speaking at Morrison Auditorium every Wednesday night. This by its very self was worth the trouble of going to San Jose State. Playing every weekend certainly did help with school expenses, but just a little. We averaged $100-150. Bob worked at a local hamburger stand. Lindsey didn't work. Not sure about Brian. College costs were too much for me, the financial aid I had been promised took much too long to get to me if at all, and after the first semester, I was forced to go back home and enroll in a new local JC, Cañada College (Redwood City). This was actually a better choice for me. Stevie's grades were not too good looking and her interest in school was waning, so I think she stopped by June '69.

I hope this isn't too personal, but the comment you mentioned that Stevie's mom made shocked me. Did you find that the emergence of people like Santana made any impact on how latin artists were treated, or was that an unusual situation? How do you feel about the current 'latin explosion'? (Not that I really think Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez are good representations of latin music.) (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

Whoa, we're getting off the subject again--short answers. Stevie's Mom made that comment to Linds and I together, so I didn't feel any particular prejudice directed solely at me at the time. But you can imagine, their only daughter joins a rock band that's all men, I can see her concerns were real. Santana came along at the right time for a whole group of emerging generations of Latinos, myself included. He also exposed the world to the music of Tito Puente, Willie Bobo and others with his rock renditions of their more traditional sounds. It was one more creative outlet for rock music. As far as changing the way Latin musicians are "treated", Santana may have helped improve that situation by a notch. But if you are a student of Southwest history, you will know that the social status of Latinos in this country remains very low--historically, as a people we were vanquished following the Mexican-American War. They say history is written by the winners. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed after that war) was supposed to protect the rights of the Spanish-speaking citizens, while also allowing continued use of their language. Hispanics as a group earn less wages overall than do African-Americans. In 1944, only two institutions in the US offered B.A. degrees in Latin music. They were Brooklyn College and San Francisco State College. SF State just barely got around to acknowledging Jazz music as a legitimate area of study in the past four years. I taught in the Music Department there two years ago. I could tell you horror stories!!! In music and the media I have seen and experienced too many degrading examples of how we Hispanics are treated as disposable commodities. To say we are undervalued and underestimated is putting it very mildly. We've have plenty of Chicano writers and intellectuals decrying this condition for years. No one reads them, no one wants to know. If we were to burn a few cities, maybe this would get some attention. But don't try this at home kids! Non-violence is the only way.

Have you experienced prejudice personally in your music career? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

Tracy, you can imagine that I would have plenty to say on this matter. One reason I went back to school to earn degrees is that I hated the poor status accorded musicians!! Of course, if you make it, all that changes, because now you have dee money! Musicians are generally treated as indentured servants, no different than a butler or a maid. But please, I will reserve elaborating on this for an autobiographical book on the subject. I have experienced prejudice as a Chicano, as a musician, and as both. I love music, but my at times, my music has had to also serve me as a tool for advocacy. I also devoted a lot of time writing poetry to address issues of discrimination and so forth. If we don't document these things, who will know about it? You know I'd love to expound on it, but I don't think this is a good place to discuss that.

On the Buckingham/Nicks album, Stevie sings (talking about FRITZ): "Races are run, some people win, some people always have to lose." I take issue with that statement because as far as I'm concerned: Some people will always win, and some people will always have to lose."

Such is the case in a racist society. You think ethnic cleansing started in Bosnia?

There is ethnic cleansing everyday in the very decisions made by mostly white moguls in the entertainment industry, by producers, A&R men, recording executives, by college music boards screening applicants, on and on. Real estate agents used to indulge too, but then they passed an anti-housing discrimination law. Bankers used to indulge, but they passed an anti-red-lining law. And so on and so on. Every beneficial law that has come to aid the disenfranchised from evil discrimination practices was paid for by the ceaseless struggles of Third World people in this country. Nothing has come to us easily.

THE new people who are being touted as "Hot new Latin stars" have absolutely nothing to say. All glitz and no content. That's what the big whigs want! Pretty people who have nothing to say.

Javier.....I'm here in the Bay Area. I can help you put those Live Fritz recordings on CD. I have equipment and am willing to volunteer my time to clean up the recordings and do a limited small run CD burn. I know there are a lot of people on these lists wanting to hear them. (Francisco D. Rosa Jr., Newark, CA, USA)

Wow, thank you Francisco! You'll be hearing from me!

Thank you Mr. Pacheco for taking the time to do this, it is really appreciated by all of us. It is wonderful to be able to get some insight into this part of Stevie/Lindsey's career. Stevie has often been described as a very prolific songwriter. Her songs are often very emotional. I was wondering if she was always a prolific and emotional songwriter? Also, do you have any regrets about your time with Fritz? (Shane, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)

Stevie was just starting to write in earnest under FRITZ. THIS was her first band, as it was also Lindsey's (but he hadn't started writing yet, other than his collaborations with group music). The two songs she wrote we performed with a minimum of changes or adulterations. ("Were Was I" and "Funny Kind of Love")

I thought she expressed her ideas very well, in her style of country music. My regrets about my time with FRITZ are personal. I am sorry I was such a boor (not "bore"). I was very opinionated, sometimes even tyrannical I thought I was right all the time. (A 19-year-old with a little knowledge is a dangerous thing)!! I was discovering Chicano history, Mesoamerican history, Imperialism and US history, Marxist-Leninism, culture in the Americas, the evils of Vietnam, etc., etc. I couldn't wait to "spring" this new-found knowledge in my songs and on my colleagues in the band. They were (for the most part) very patient, but eventually I think they began to grow weary of all my ranting. I was the only one preoccupied by all this political stuff.

Yes, I regret that I weirdo haughty, arrogant, and at times, down right boorish. If you ask the others, they will confirm that I was pretty weird. When the group broke up I cited the "Ten Principles of Liberalism"--my "proper" treatise on reasons why the group had broken up. But by that time, nobody was listening. Why all this madness? Well, just look at what was going in the world--utter chaos. The old world order was heaving, going through dying pains, at the anxious behest of the new world (yuppie/chuppie/puppie) order. In 1968, two major assassinations, MLK and Kennedy. In 1968-69 there were riots around the world (I caught a little of that in East Menlo Park one night, Dec 1968), the younger generation was rebelling against the old. The Civil Rights movement had galvanized millions of inner city and suburb youth. Car stickers boldly screamed, "EAT THE RICH!" We in FRITZ were a microcosm of the world. To my mind, FRITZ was often the example of the proletarian war between the classes. Perhaps I took that a little too far!! There were wrong assumptions made on both sides. But we were kids, basically, acting out separate roles as wannabe adults.

Perhaps this is too personal - if you don't want to answer or can't answer, please just ignore this. A lot of Lindsey's solo work has been informed by references to his father, his father's musical tastes, etc. His father passed in 1973 from what I've read. You mentioned above that Lindsey's parents generally were very supportive -- might you have any further impressions of Mr. Buckingham to share? Did that seem to be an especially close relationship from what you may have observed? (Les, San Diego, CA, USA)

I have fond memories of Mr Buckingham. He was a great Dad to his sons, always finding time to engage them in sports or whatever. He was very supportive of the band. He did not at all fill the stereotype of the "rich snob." If he had been, I don't think FRITZ would have survived. In the first two years, we depended a lot on the Buckingham's garage for our early rehearsals. He was very down to earth, a gentleman, a kind and generous soul. Both he and Mrs. Buckingham were very friendly to the rest of us in the band. I will never forget that. That's why I said earlier, the Buckinghams were a decent family.

I recall reading an interview once where Lindsey said it took him a few years (until maybe '79) to really feel comfortable and confident onstage with Fleetwood Mac, so that he wasn't hovering in the background so much. When he did regain that confidence level, he developed quite a unique stage presence and the press began taking note. He specifically said that he'd been much more confident in Fritz and it just took him quite a while to feel confident enough to show it again in FM. Do you recall Lindsey being a particularly charismatic performer in Fritz? or was he shy on stage?? Any impressions you remember? Thanks. (Les, San Diego, CA, USA)

Perhaps he was thinking that "he was not worthy," being with the "semidemigods" of Fleetwood Mac on the same stage, I dunno. Absolutely, Fritz brought out the "ham" in Linds. He sang on a lot of numbers. It was mostly Lindsey and Stevie, out front with the majority of vocals. I only sang one or (at most) two numbers. God gave me wonderful writing talents, but not a voice. How was my voice? Well, when I was younger I could imitate Eric Burdon and later, Mick Jagger. So try "gravel voice," for a description! I was good mainly at background, chorus, harmony. On the other hand, Lindsey had the strongest voice, he could handle lines that were higher than Stevie's own range!! In three-part harmonies, Stevie often did the middle range, while Linds took the high notes! He could converse with the audience, as well. He was never inhibited, except maybe in the first year or so, but remember, this was his first band. After summer of '67 he and Stevie did most of the announcing, and they did a good job of communicating with the audience. Usually it was Lindsey at the microphone, greeting people and introducing numbers. He could also be a little haughty if he wanted to. For instance, if the audience wasn't overly receptive at first, Linds would cull them out of their collective larvaes by saying silly things to challenge them, or whatever it took to get their attention.

Stevie has said in many interviews that she and Lindsey were thrown together because the record company was trying to break up Fritz, but that is not the impression I get from your responses to the previous questions. Do you remember when they actually got involved romantically, and do you have any idea what the catalyst for their romance was? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

They were already an item way before the onslaught of Los Angeles and the record execs. I don't understand why she'd say that. I don't really know about the catalyst. Stevie and Lindsey seemed to be the most compatible. Look at their birth signs. I never imagined they could get hot and steamy cuz Linds had a prior girlfriend who was a childhood sweetheart, Sally Durbin. Everybody thought he was going to eventually marry her. But then, suddenly its Stevie and Lindsey! Bye-bye Sally.

This happened months, maybe a year before the band was exposed to the Los Angeles record people.

You stated that Lindsey's family was very supportive of him and of the whole band. Were they so positive from the very beginning? Recently, the Ledgies were wondering how Lindsey's parents reacted to his transformation from jock to rock. (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

The parents were great from the first day I ever met them--always supportive. I think the parents did not try to influence his decision on sports. Lindsey said it was the hardest decision he ever made, but actually, the swim coach made it easier. The coach practically doomed him to perdition for not opting for the varsity swimming team. I believe there was no great fall-out from his folks for choosing rock. They had a lot of faith in him. He approached the music as seriously as anything other important thing in his life.

Many of Stevie's fans are charmed by her 'etherial' and 'mystical' lyrics. Did Stevie's lyrics have those sort of qualities you worked with her? Did you have an inkling that she would end up writing songs like Rhiannon and Sisters of the Moon? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

Given the renaissance times we grew up in, the kinds of influences that were around, this cosmology in her themes does not surprise me. It was in the air during our own development. Her early songs were too basic, she did use metaphor, but only slightly. She did have a knack for combining proverbs or sayings with the simple narratives of her songs.

I have a set of the *famous* Fritz cards ;) Do you have any idea where they originated? Were all of the pictures on those cards taken from high school yearbooks? Have you ever thought about issuing a more official version of Fritz collectable cards? (Can you tell we've been starved of all forms of Fritz memorabilia I can't wait to see the photos you mentioned. Thank you again! (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

Those pictures on the cards were taken mainly from the Menlo-Atherton High School yearbooks of 1966 and 1967. The information is sparse and the cost is a rip-off. I can see now that a book on Fritz would probably interest some of you people. I promise to look for a publisher. By the way, right now I am submitting my dissertation for consideration of publication to a reputable company in New York. If I did such a book, your questions and my answers would figure prominently in the work. Thank you very much for your interest. As far as more pictures, I have a modest collection and some stuff on 8mm that's been hidden somewhere around my mess of things. I would hope to confer with all ex-FRITZ members for their collections, in order to include more pics.

I get the impression from watching documentaries about the 60's that it was unusual for bands to have a female lead singer for a rock band (Grace Slick & Janis Joplin being the exception). Did you get any special notoriety from having Stevie in the band or were the lead singing duties spread evenly amongst the band members? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

Groups with outstanding female singers were rare. This was a novelty for a lot of people. Usually, a lady in a band was there for cosmetic reasons, in order to garner attention. Stevie looked good, but she worked just as hard as anyone else in the performance, and she sang lead on a lot of songs. This caused people to take notice of our band.

Was there much interaction between Fritz and their audiences? Did each songwriter intro their own songs or was their even time for that being an opening band? (Unbelievably, the last one in this set submitted by Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)

As an opening band, we made the numbers in the sets flow into each other, there was a minimum of interaction. When we did dances and other kinds of small-scale concerts, there was more room for communication. And it was often Lindsey doing most of the introducing, or Stevie from, time to time. I didn't talk into the mike that much.

Dear Mr. Pacheco, The article you submitted to the Penguin is fantastic. Do you have anymore to share with us...please? ;) Tell us how it felt to have all that publicity when you were starting out. Also, what were your audiences like? Any groupies? Thanks a lot! (Jo, Larksville, PA, USA)

I think our last gig together was at De Anza College in Cupertino, CA. The audience filled the room (the size of a large cafeteria), and at the end we were given a rousing standing ovation. It was so strong that my goosehairs all stood up! All of our shows had gotten favorable responses, but this almost brought the roof down--I can only say it was one of the most memorable evenings of my life. We were all taken back by that.

During the time that FRITZ was growing I felt a sense of respect coming from people who normally would have never looked my way on the street. We did have a following, we had friends, we did have great gigs, a string of groupies, we had energetic roadies, we had great equipment (I was sporting a beautiful new Hammond B-3 with two Leslies), we were young and terribly spoiled by all of it!!!!

We didn't think we would be truly famous until that record contract came along, until we could hear ourselves on the radio. Then and only then, we thought, would the whole world know about us.

Thank you for taking the time to answer questions for all of us. I have 2 questions for you. #1: On the occasion that new material was written for Fritz to perform, did you ever find yourself writing songs with Stevie or Lindsey (or both), and if so, what was it like sharing ideas and getting/giving feedback? and...question #2: How have you been keeping busy since your days in the Fritz? I would be interested in hearing some of the aforementioned material. Thanks again! (Matt Stout, Louisville, KY, USA)

We would usually write something on our own and then bring it to rehearsal, collaborating with others to dress it up, to add structure, ties and breaks, transitions and things. I said earlier that this is one of the great things about working together, the creative moments when you actually write together, when people create together.

Since my days in FRITZ I have performed with Jazz-Rock, Latin Jazz, Salsa, Tex-Mex, Afro-Cuban, Honduran, Salvadorean, Mexican, Afro-American, even a Polish music ensemble (at UCLA). I lived in Los Angeles nearly ten years (going to school there), In late 1970s I wrote poetry and did readings around the country, I have written music and transcribed tunes for others. During the 1980s I concentrated on graduate music studies. I got a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology. During the 1990s I entered into a fiasco marriage that failed and tried to find work in academia. I also studied computing and got hyper-exciting about multimedia apps. As far as my music, I am waiting to hit it big in the Lotto so I can produce some CDs--I have the material to go. One of my old salsa musician friends has been talking about producing a CD of stuff (Latin Jazz and Salsa) we recorded in 1978 which still sounds current today!!

So, I am very optimistic.

Mr. Javier, thank you for taking the time for your own life to answer some of our questions. Could you be more specific about Stevie and Lindsey's relationship as far as them becoming romantically involved? Some of the articles I've read imply that they did not become romantically involved until they moved to L.A. Did you sense something between them for quite awhile? Or did it really surprise you that they formed a bond aside from the rest of the members of Fritz? Thanks again for giving us FM fans this opportunity! (Carolyn from Tustin, CA, USA)

You need to read what’s already posted here, this topic has already been addressed. FRITZ was a group that often did social things together, after rehearsals or gigs. My only concern with their emerging relationship was the gradual division this pairing-off created. Their growing romance and intimacy began as hot and heavy as one could imagine. But gradually, in terms of decisions and preferences, it became Stevie and Lindsey on one side, Brian, Bob and I on the other. This would be played out on a social level. Lindsey would no longer be “just one of the guys,” we dudes would have less access to him--all his spare time would go toward doing things with her. They eventually became more secretive, and a little stand-offish. After FRITZ, Brian would write a song about this (entitled, “I Don’t Know”), and his aim was dead-ahead at Stevie--it was not complimentary. One line says thusly: “You ruined everything you touched.”

This has been a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about Fritz and the members of that band! Thank you for taking the time to do this~ the questions and answers have been wonderful to read. I am sure you know that Fritz was mentioned a few times, including a book that Mick Fleetwood wrote with Stephen Davis, called "Fleetwood~My Life and Times In Fleetwood Mac." What were your thoughts in reading this book with regards to it's description of Fritz, predominately pages 144-146. It does focus on Stevie and Lindsey, but does say a bit about the history of Fritz as well. Thank you for any incite that you might have. (blackcat, PA, USA)

Haven’t read the book, cover-to-cover. I remembered leafing through its pages, but this was a while ago. Please allow me a little time to obtain it, puruse the section, and I’ll comment on it later. (NOTE: This is now answered on the third page.)

They say every statement generates questions~ I had not thought about Fritz in terms of the time that it existed-- during the fighting of the Vietnam War. MANY people were against the war itself, yet there were MANY parents that believed in the spirit behind the music of "The Green Barrett," put silver wings on my son's chest. I can understand the chill you must have felt as you and Lindsey picked up Stevie for rehearsal that day. There was a LOT of music relating to the culture in America at that time. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young sang about "4 dead in OHIO," Dylan and others all had their music. Did you and the band have music that related to this period of time? (blackcat, PA, USA)

Yes, I hope Marty posted that paragraph I sent him--a list of songs and their themes. This should give you an idea. As far as I was concerned, FRITZ was my greatest advocacy tool (my FRITZ colleagues who were not politicized at all, would probably shudder at this assertion)!!! Yes, I was a rebel with a cause, more than one! (Note from MEA: These song titles and themes have been added to the FRITZ biography.)

Ok--sorry for sounding like a tabloid, but inquiring minds do want to know! From other interviews with Stevie and/or Lindsey, it sounded like they hooked up romantically AFTER Fritz was disbanded. You have stated that they were a couple while Fritz was still together. So, considering the "competition" between the guys of the group, how was their relationship brought up? Was it obvious, or was there a big Lindsey speech (which we all love dearly) declaring that he was now with Stevie and everyone better back off? (Obviously, you don't have to answer this if you don't want to...but, I'd be eternally grateful!) (Regina, Bronx, NY, USA)

There was no on-going competition to court Stevie. I’ve already addressed this. Lindsey did not make a speech, there was no rousing party, everything was kept very discreet. At first they didn’t make their pairing a big deal, but it became a big deal once we got into the decision mode: whether or not to follow David Forest’s manipulative pull to take opportunities in Los Angeles (since we were kept in the dark about Graham’s interest, it was easy to assume we’d have a better chance in L. A.). Then there were differences during the negotiating phases between our S.F. lawyer and the new L.A. management, the consideration of recording possibilities, and deciding the overall fate of the group. That’s where we went through the most crucial divisiveness. We could have decided to stick it out and record our material with RCA (they were interested in recording us) but Lindsey and Stevie were (thanks to the sneaky encouragement they had received) anxious to chuck it all and rush down do their duo thing in Los Angeles.

Well folks, it was meant to be. Of course, at the time, I thought this was all bloody murder. Today, I take a more Taoist approach. Is it a good thing? Or a bad thing? Things that happen to you that are bad can bring good results. Even clouds have silver linings.

OK--now for a serious question. Fritz was the opening act for many, many big time 60's artists. Opening acts are not always treated in a gracious manner nowadays. Fritz seems to have been very well received.Do you feel that the audience and sociological climate of the 60's were more open to newer types of music? (so that what you actually were trying to deliver to the audience, was indeed, listened to and received)? (Regina, Bronx, NY, USA)

Good question. Yes, there was an acceptance for novelty, for different styles. Members of some of the “greats” that we opened for would make comments to us like, the drummer for Chicago told us backstage, “You’re gonna make it,” and “I guess we’ll be seeing more of you at these concerts!” People would compliment our sound and let us know that they thought we were going to “make it.” We had to start believing this ourselves. Afterall, we had two good singers, a driving band with music that took you somewhere. We had something to say. We spent a lot of time rehearsing and polishing material. We worked hard at what we did. We ended every set with a long, rousing foot-stomping medley. We did earn the respect we got from fellow musicians. The professional “name acts” could see this for themselves, that’s why they complimented us.

I believe this was the greatest time for a musician to be in the Bay Area. Elsewhere, I mentioned that at this time, San Francisco was an important area for music and culture. In general, I feel that rock music as a whole went through its most creative era--look at all the groups of the time, Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Stevie Wonder, Buffalo Springfield, Hendrix, Cream, Spirit, Seatrain, Chicago. Oh, and Elvis. Each represent different approaches to the rock style. I’d love to sit and discuss this with someone, because it seems to me that Rock n’ Roll shot its creative wad in the 70s--everything else since then (to me) has been a series of blatant repetition, poor imitation, or de-evolution from the musical values and integrity that Rock music established back then. This is certainly not the forum for that discussion, but suffice to say that lately, I have found more novelty in groups utilizing rock idioms in Latin America and Cuba. Rock can only regenerate itself with new ideas and idioms. But I am also giving away my age here, and you should apply “generation gap” into what you read here. Moreover, the “power” of music is precisely its affective quality, how it affects you. Often its a generational thing--that is, you relate because the music makers are of the same age or culture. You grow up with certain songs humming in your head that express similar feelings, that relate to your own situation. In the past twenty years, I have allowed other types of music (not rock) to affect me in this way. I have come back to rock after a long hiatus!

< Page 1 Page 3 >