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Buckingham's solo work is top priority

The PE.com

By VANESSA FRANKO
The Press-Enterprise

Lindsey Buckingham described his career as "fraught with landmines."

From the personal struggles behind the scenes as the guitarist was making classic albums "Rumours" and "Tusk" with Fleetwood Mac and the related aftermath to trying to take off from the band and working on his solo career, there have been pitfalls along the way.

In recent years, however, the landscape hasn't been as treacherous.

"The subtext of all the work that has gone on in the last three years in a way has been much easier. It's been a period where the personal side of my life has been greatly enriched," Buckingham said in a phone interview, talking about his marriage and children.

He also set aside time to put his solo work ahead of Fleetwood Mac, not allowing those songs he was writing as solo material to be picked up by the band, as they had in the past.

"I chose to put a boundary around a three-year period and say to the band, 'I really want to make two albums, I have a very specific goal, I want to tour behind both of them. And then when we're done with that, we can talk about what we want to do,'" he said.

Buckingham is making good on his end of the promise.

He just released the album "Gift of Screws" and will perform at UCLA's Royce Hall on Sunday and at the Grove of Anaheim on Sept. 19.

He gained fame with Fleetwood Mac, one of the biggest selling acts of all time, and which was inducted to the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

He recorded his first solo album, "Law and Order," in 1981 and also recorded "Holiday Road," the song from "National Lampoon's Vacation."

Buckingham's last solo record, 2003's "Under the Skin," was a way for him to take his finger-picking guitar style and develop it as a bare-bones idea, adding production values.

"It was certainly more of a boutique kind of thing," Buckingham said.

But "Gift of Screws" is filled with more rock tracks. He said it wasn't his original intention, but where the music went.

"You follow the work and let it lead you. As soon as I got some of my mates from the road, some of my road band, down into the studio and we started cutting, everything just wanted to rock," he said.

He said that in making the album, he wasn't facing the challenges he usually did. Creatively, his personal life fueled the record.

"We used to use that old adage, 'Children are death to the artist,' but I've found that to be just the opposite. It feels to me that I'm in the most creative time of my life right now," Buckingham said.