Javier Pacheco (Fritz), July 5 - 24, 1999
Hello, I think it's cool that your answering these questions. I'm 16 and a major rock fan.I love the 60s and 70s.I just wanted to know if you ever opened for the doors(I love J.Morrison). I know you guys opened for Joplin and Hendrix,they're all my idols.What did you,or L&S think of them.Did they inspire you in any way? Thank you very much! (Faith, Modesto, CA, USA)
No, we never opened for the Doors, but their music was very influential. I know S&L were very much into The Doors. Everybody was. Morrison’s poetic songs haunted the psyche. Between you and me, I would claim Jim Morrison as an important early poetic influence. His vocal strengths were awesome. Oh yes, as a keyboardist I was also quite intrigued by Ray Manzarek’s utter control in the left hand (doing bass patterns) while he soloed with the right. Memory escapes me (I think it was sometime in 1970 or 71) but I was asked to play in a band that did a lot of Doors. Fritz didn’t do any Doors. I was a big fan of their music. Their small set-up represented a unique simplicity yet highly artistic orientation.
Did Lindsey ever seem feminine to you? Especially during the time you spent with him in 80/81 (don't remember the date offhand)? In some of the publicity shots around that time period, he was going through that punk rock phase & he was wearing eyeshadow & lipgloss. Now, I like a guy in lipgloss as much as the next girl, but he sure did make some drastic changes in his image throughout his career. I saw in the first article you provided that his hair was a little long, but did he grow it into the afro while he was in Fritz? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)
Gloss, schmoss, I liked it too. But, no, he didn't seem effeminate to me. No, no, that Afro he sported was in Mac, he didn't go Afro on us in Fritz! Yeah, his hair got long but I don't recall him sporting a 'fro the likes of the Mac. And I certainly agree with you that he made some drastic changes in his image throughout his career. When Lindsey's hair got long (in the Fritz days) he'd wear it long, and parted down the middle, hippy-style.
I just read over your diary excerpts, and it just made me sad for the whole situation. I know there is always two sides (or more) to every misunderstanding, but it seems like you blamed yourself for the breakup. Did you? Did the rest of the bandmates place the blame on you as well? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)
Yes I did. Do the others blame me? Unfortunately, I can't speak for the rest of my colleagues. Of course, there are more sides to hear. You're entitled to get the full story. I hope I haven't over-dramatized things. I've also realized that its just as silly to blame myself for everything as it is to blame the others. We were young, we were hard-headed, we were swayed by others. It was just a sign of the times. We were living a period of great changes, disintegration, rebirth, etc.
Considering that Fritz had a less than amicable breakup, why do you think Lindsey & Stevie agreed to work with you again? Do you know if they ever did the same sort of thing for their other bandmates? (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)
They didn't agree to work, it was only a one-time musical get-together, like a visit. Anyway, we made a quickie tape and had some fun. I dunno, perhaps we were all trying to find a way to remain friends. I don't know if they have seen Brian. Surely they have seen Bob on many occasions. But play music together you ask?
Was Stevie always worried about the way she looked, or was she one of those easygoing teenagers who doesn't really care if one hair is out of place? (If it's the latter- boy, has she changed!)How about Lindsey? Did you and the guys of Fritz ever have sleepovers? What was the craziest thing y'all- Fritz- ever did? If you had it to do all over again, would you still have joined the band? Do you ever wish you had gone to L.A. with Stevie and Lindsey? (Cheryl Hollis, Montgomery, AL, USA)
Well. I don’t believe Stevie was overly preoccupied by her looks. I would say she was more easy-going. Same for Lindsey. But please remember to differentiate between everyday situations and the times we were doing shows. The times to watch them fussing over their looks is right before a performance. However, either way, I would not say they were fanatical about appearance.
Were you surprised by the development of Stevie's 'witchy' style in the 70's? Did she show those leanings early on while with Fritz? Have you heard 'Sister of the Moon? It is on the Tusk album. If so, what did you think of it? By all accounts over the past 7 pages, she seems to be very normal and down to earth. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all these questions. You are terrific! I would be very interested to hear your music. Especially the ones you did while with Fritz. (Michelle, London, UK)
Thank you Michelle, for your kind words and interest. Yes, I was a little taken back by her witchy styles and all the other pretense. But Stevie was always good theatrically, so I would have to say that some of that theatricality was starting to surface mildly in Fritz. I never saw a witch. Just for you, I have went and listened to the rocker, Sister Moon, but I don’t particularly get any strange vibrations. Am I supposed to? It sounds to me like the result of a perfect creative pairing between L&S.
Another quick question! If all the other Fritz members wanted to go into the studio and record all of the original Fritz songs, would you want to do it too? I like many others, did not know much about Fritz but reading these pages has really made me curious and excited! I would love to hear your material. (Michelle, London, UK)
Why wouldn’t I? I wrote most of that material meself!! Of course I’d want to! I’d do cartwheels! Gee whiz, dear Michelle, if you’d like to personally embark upon asking the others to do this, its certainly o.k. by me!!
Hi Dr. Pacheco -- thanks for doing this Q&A, it's been really interesting. I have two questions. The first is a clarification, what did you mean that Lindsey could be "delicate," as you said in an earlier question? Also, and I know this is being nitpicky, but why "Windsey" in your journal? I'm not attacking or anything, but I just didn't know what you meant. The other question is, what are your thoughts on the Q&A process now looking back? Anything you've learned about the fans, yourself, or even your time in Fritz? Any parting words? (Anusha, Orchard Park, NY, USA)
I meant he could be extremely sensitive or reactive. And the “Windsey” was my cynical side being caustic.
One thing...before I ask the question...when I said that last year was a BAD TIME....(remember that question)...I wasn't even thinking of the Mac...so I don't really understand why you put that part in your response...but I was very satisfied with the response to the question...I never expected you to drag your diary out=)...Ok On with my question....
Seems to me you all had a break down in communication...when it came down to you all not speaking to one another...do you not also think that you can be blinded by your own perceptions. Do you not think it is slightly unfair for you to imply that Stevie (or Lindsey's for that matter)did feel upset that the band was breaking up? How do you know what was pitched to them by Keith Olsen...do you not think that they may have wanted you all to be a band? In hindsight do you wish that you had talked with each other a bit more...maybe settled some differences? You sometimes seem to have been a bit hard on Stevie (the teasing and what not)...eventually that starts hurting feelings..I can see why after L&S became lovers...why they might have withdrawn? BTW..I realize you all teased, I'm not picking you you=) (LauraTN, Morristown, TN, USA)
Sorry, I was merely making comparisons between “[BAD AND WORSE, editing by MEA]” times. I meant that (from Mick’s version of things in 1987, after Tango’s release) it appeared S&L went through rougher times together in FM. My Fritz diary helped me to clarify the proper sequence of events that transpired.
You mentioned that the "people" in Los Angeles were already sold on Lindsey & Stevie even before FRITZ broke up, I'm wondering what sold them? Lindsey hadn't written anything and was playing bass and Stevie had only her country songs.Was it that they had "The Look" or do you think it was something else ?? (Kris, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Yes, definitely "the look." Some have called it "aversive racism." Find out what it means. Sometimes people are too clouded by their own ethnocentricity to be able to fairly judge others not of the same origin. The Civil Rights Movement was all about addressing this. Initially an African-American movement, it was also meant to include the plight of Asian -Americans, Native-Americans (or American Indians), and Hispanics (Chicano/Latino).
This isn't a question just an observation. I think it was a great idea to do this Q&A session. It was very informative and interesting. I think some fans may be somewhat put off by some of your memories of both Stevie and Lindsey. I think what everyone needs to keep in mind is that this was thirty some odd years ago, people grow and change quite a bit over thirty years (Heck, it would still be two more years before I was born thirty years ago, so I know I'VE changed!!) My point being that the good the bad the ugly, it was what it was. The whole band was really a bunch of kids then. All of you have grown and matured over the years, I'm sure none of you are the same people you were then. Stevie was just a 20 year old kid who I'm sure no one, including Stevie herself, could have foreseen what lay ahead for her and Lindsey. If and when Stevie's autobiography ever comes out, I'm sure there will be some differences from what recollections have been revealed here. That's only natural!!, it was thirty years ago, everyone is bound to remember events a little differently. As Stevie has said in song "Long nets of white, cloud my memory". I don't think Stevie or Lindsey fans should be upset by anything revealed in this Q&A that was then, this is now. That time brought Stevie and Lindsey to where they are now. And Mr. Pacheco, you should be proud to know that you were a part of that time, a piece of the puzzle that made up what became rock & roll history. For if there had been no Fritz there may not have been a "Rumours" album, there may not have been a "Stevie Nicks" or a "Lindsey Buckingham" as we now know them. Thanks for the memories. (Allen Chapman, Stafford Springs, CT, USA)
Yes, I totally agree. No problem with what you've said. I just want the truth to get out, from all sources. And I want people to know that some of S&L's latter genius was hatched in that little incubation period known as Fritz.
Can you please just stick to questions and comments about Stevie and Lindsey. You tend to go off about how badly you think you were treated as a Latino and this is not the place to vent your frustrations. You can find better arenas to do your venting. Thanks!! (Jeff, Burbank, CA, USA)
People have been asking me about those times and what I did. This is not a Q&A session solely dedicated to Stevie and Lindsey. It is a session in which people are asking me for my opinion of these two individuals in the time period I knew them. I am sorry if in answering questions I have burst any of your bubbles--you want to hear only about S&L, fine, just go to them, genuflect, and ask them to answer your questions directly. Good luck.
Were Lindsey and Stevie popular in high school?? (Kitana Liana, Silver Springs, MD, USA)
This question has already been addressed.
I don't really have a question...I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to indulge all the Stevie/Lindsey/FM/Fritz fans out there and answer so many questions. I am from the Bay Area as well and as I read your answers and look at the photos/letters you supplied, I'm amazed at how many street/school names I am familiar with...some places Fritz played at are places I drive by all the time...it's pretty cool :) Thanks again....I look forward to your memoirs. (Tracy, Campbell, CA, USA)
Thank you for your interest and curiosity.
Well since tomorrow is your last Q&A day...I wanted to tell you how grateful I am to get to hear "part" of the story...Now if Stevie would just put out her memoirs before I'm to old to read them...It would be wonderful=).. I do have to say one thing...I have read every question and every answer in this session..and I do believe is some cases you were very fair..and in a few you went over the edge just a bit..but I understand your need to have your say...I would also like to say we here at the Penguin are not all white privileged rich snots...we are all from totally different backgrounds and different parts of the world...we all face prejudices everyday..which I think you have proven with some of your answers..to assume and imply that we don't understand where you are coming from or that we have never been subjected to ostracism, racism, and republicanism (hee hee) is naive and one sided...I think a good lesson that we all have learned here is that we all manipulate...we all try to get people to see it from "our side"...and I understand this..as do most of the people here..but I take these Q&A's as they are..on face value...they are one side of the story...and I will most definitely wait for the other sides of the story to make my opinions....Again I want to thank you for your time Javier...I have really enjoyed these sessions...Thank you for enlightening us. (LauraTN, Morristown, TN, USA)
Dear Laura, thank you for your many thoughtful questions. I am truly sorry if I ever gave you any wrong impressions by the tone of some of my answers. I was trying to be as clear as possible in my responses. I never once assumed that only "white privileged rich snots" were reading them. I am quite cognizant that FM enjoy popularity among much broader audiences. Please give me more credit than that. Of course, I would want you all to hear the versions of my colleagues. As I've said before, the truth must come out. Thanks again for your participation.
Hello Javier! Really, it is wonderful that you are doing this for us. We are very lucky that you have the patience to answer so many questions about a long time ago. Also, before you mentioned some of things about race etc. I wouldn't have thought as that as a problem with turning professional (since nowadays there is much more acceptance), but in the late 60s I could understand a little more how the record executives might have chosen white, middle-class Stevie and Lindsey out of the band. Still, with the diary entries it seemed that Keith Olsen was still interested in the whole band- judging by your entry for Oct. 21 1970- and that the other tensions in the band had put that on hold. Were these tensions racial, or creative, or due to the L&S negotiating with Mr. Olsen, or was it just a matter of people wanting to go in different directions (like the fact that you said you didn't want to go to LA)? I dunno, but it seems that there is more to the story than S&L wanting to try it on their own. Thank you! (Jo, Larksville, PA, USA)
Thanks for your letter. Some of the tensions in the band were over our uncertainties at the hands of the new Los Angeles people. I mentioned earlier that Forest dissed my music, saying it was not commercial enough. Would they throw out all our material--would we have to start from scratch in order to appease their view of what it took to create “commercial music?” We didn’t sit down and try to work out what this would mean for the band and how we could deal with it. We were young, we had few clues as to how best to communicate with each other--there was little awareness of all the elements needed to maintain the best working relationship--that is, communication on the (1) surface level, (2) the factual level, (3) the thinking level, (4) the feeling level, and (4) the intimacy level. I had shut my mind completely to the possibilities of Los Angeles. I was totally for staying in the Bay Area. I was intimidated by the L.A. pop trendiness of the time. I also thought that south of Paso Robles it was Right-Wing-landia. I’m not sure how Brian felt. I know he didn’t want to have to change our whole sound. Bob was the more flexible, either way. Other tensions involved divisions created by the L&S pairing. They were prepared to move to Los Angeles ASAP. This has been addressed amply. I already discussed my own (emotional) withdrawal from the group following feelings that I’d lost the respect of my peers. Other tensions involved choice of material, the musical direction of the group (but that’s related to the above). Too often things were just shoved under the carpet. Also you can add Lindsey’s desire to play guitar exclusively. In the world around us the times were volatile, we had started to grow apart and had done little to remedy this.
To lighten it up a bit, I was just wondering about some trivial things: Did Stevie and/or Lindsey have any pets? Did they (or anyone in the band) have any phobias? Do you know what specific swimming event Lindsey's brother Greg won his gold medal in? Did Lindsey break off from the swim team due to the fight with his coach in high school or in college? Why did he drop out of college? That's all for now. Thanks! (Jensen, Larksville, PA, USA)
Pets, pets, pets! Animal pets? Way back when, Stevie had a little poochie, I believe. I forget its breed. There were no pets at the Buckingham residence. Phobias? Phobias? As scuffy long-hairs, we had phobias about being accosted by straights everywhere we’d go, but particularly on out-of-town trips. We had phobias about being stopped by the police, especially in L.A. We had phobias about red-necks following us on the freeways (The “Easy Rider” syndrome, from the movie). This did happen once. Some good-ole-boys were taunting and flipping us (birdies) on the road. Lindsey floored the gas pedal and we shot ahead like wombats from hell. After we’d lost them we all breathed a lot easier. There were all kinds of mean straight people in those days (“blue meanies”) who despised long-haired hippie types.
Mr. Pacheco, Were you able to get ahold of the tape with Stevie singing at a bar and you playing pool in the back ground. Is so can you let us know if it was recorded during her days in FRITZ? (Susan, Bloomington, CA, USA)
I have no recollection whatsoever of those songs or of any pool game while she was doing those songs. I seriously don't think that was recorded during the Fritz years. Stevie did not have those many songs on tap when we last worked together.
Mr. Pacheco, Just wanted to say "Thanks" for taking the time to answer our questions, we all hope this Q&A session will allow you some closure with your past. Good Luck with your future endeavors. (Martin, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
Yes, as you can probably tell, I got a lot of my chest. I've appreciated all your questions and thank you for your interest.
You have touched on this before about Brian calling up Stevie to be in the band. But, I was wondering WHY the band decided to call upon Stevie and how she happened to be in mind as the choice for a singer? How did Brian remember her? (Jo, Larksville, PA, USA)
Your question is a good one, but I don't remember the particulars in respect to Stevie's entrance into the band. Brian would be the most appropriate to ask that question. I am trying to locate him (he has moved) and encourage him to participate here.
Mr. Pacheco, I would like to know if you were able to get a copy of the recording that was mentioned on a previous page. It was a recording with Stevie playing guitar and singing and it has been rumored that the members of Fritz are playing pool in the background. I would like to know if it's true or not. (Susan, Bloomington, CA, USA) Thanks.
It's not true. Marty was kind enough to send me a copy of that alleged "Fritz Demo." It doesn't jive with what I know. To begin with, the songs are not memorable, that is, I don't remember any of them, nor their titles. I would rather think that that tape goes back to the Buckingham/Nicks days, when they were well on their way to writing their own original material. I cannot recall there ever being such an occasion where Stevie would be recording while we fellas were playing pool. We never did anything like that. We usually took recordings (of any kind) seriously.
There are many Stevie/ Lindsey/ Fleetwood Mac demos floating around these days. Lately, I have received a tape which contained some demos identified as "Fritz" demos. One song in particular that really moves me is "Gemini Amber" (This may not be the actual name of the song). Do you know this song and if so, was it ever performed live? Also, did Stevie bring material to the band that was "roughed out" as a piano or guitar demo, or did she just bring in the lyrics? ... Other songs on this infamous demo tape include "When will we love again?", "See the world go by", "I need you", "Anybody out there?", and "Stay away" - do you have any recollection of any of these songs?
Thanks for such an extensive and honest insight into to a band I should have been old enough to experience! (Bob, Baldwin, NY, USA)
You have to be careful, there are lots and lots of snake-oil sales people out there. This recording was not produced in the days of Fritz. Your question was already asked--please back up on this page. My answer is the same, no, I have no recollection of that tape. It does sound however, like Stevie’s voice. Hard for me to recall ever seeing Stevie in the vicinity of a piano. Her voice sounds young enough. I would venture to guess that the tape was recorded sometime around 1972-73. Just a guess.
I hope it's not to late to ask a couple more questions. What was the best part about working with Lindsey and Stevie? Did you learn any good things from them either personally or professionally? Do you look on your years with Fritz as the good old days? What is your fondest recollection from those times? Also, I want to thank you for your frank answers and for your time. The information and pictures you've shared with us are much appreciated. (Tracy G., Stockbridge, GA, USA)
The best part of working with Stevie and Lindsey before S&L became lovers was that we were a happy-go-lucky family. Family is a group of people dedicated to one another, developing a common product, music.
Note from Javier, July 9, 1999: Lest anyone assume that I am here to vent sour grapes or grind a particular axe, please let me assure you. I am only here to give straight-forward views on a very small period of time when I knew and worked with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. I have endeavored to be very honest and to answer sincerely all questions. Some people have asked me my opinion of their contemporary output. I have not done a thorough analysis of Fleetwood Mac material or of Buckingham or Nicks material, so please refrain from asking me about this. Moreover, I must acknowledge that thanks to the success of Fleetwood Mac, there is an interest in knowing about the past. Let’s keep the focus on the time period in question. Thank you for your interest and for the good questions.