I wrote it (Landslide) for Lindsey - for him, about
him. It's dear to both of us because it's about us. We're out there singing about
It was written in 1973 at a point where Lindsey and I had driven to Aspen for him to rehearse for two weeks with Don Everly. Lindsey was going to take Phil's place. So they rehearsed and left, and I made a choice to stay in Aspen. I figured I'd stay there and one of my girlfriends was there. We stayed there for almost three months while Lindsey was on the road, and this is right after the Buckingham Nicks record had been dropped. And it was horrifying to Lindsey and I because we had a taste of the big time, we recorded in a big studio, we met famous people, we made what we consider to be a brilliant record and nobody liked it (laughs). I had been a waitress and a cleaning lady, and I didn't mind any of this. I was perfectly delighted to work and support us so that Lindsey could produce and work and fix our songs and make our music.
But I had gotten to a point where it was like, "I'm not happy. I am tired. But I don't know if we can do any better than this. If nobody likes this, then what are we going to do?"
So during that two months I made a decision to continue. "Landslide" was the decision. [Sings] "When you see my reflection in the snow-covered hills" - it's the only time in my life that I've lived in the snow. But looking up at those Rocky Mountains and going, "Okay, we can do it. I'm sure we can do it." In one of my journal entries, it says, "I took Lindsey and said, 'We're going to the top!'" And that's what we did. Within a year, Mick Fleetwood called us, and we were in Fleetwood Mac making $800 a week apiece (laughs). Washing $100 bills through the laundry. It was hysterical. It was like we were rich overnight.
It's about a father-daughter relationship.
I realized then that everything could tumble, and when you're in Colorado, and you're surrounded by these incredible mountains, you think avalanche. It meant the whole world could tumble around us and the landslide would bring you down. And a landslide in the snow is like, deadly. And when you're in that kind of a snow-covered, surrounding place, you don't just go out and yell, because the whole mountain could come down on you.
Landslide I wrote on the guitar, and it's another one that
I wrote in about five minutes. But see, when I'm really thinking about something
~ I mean when something's really bothering me ~ again, the best thing that I can
do is go to the music room, or to the office, where I can write. Because once
I put it down and I can read it back, and I can think about what I'm saying, then
it makes sense to me. When I'm just thinking it in my head, it's going around
and around, and I feel like a little child unable to make a real, substantial
decision. And we were talking about our lives... the rest of our lives.
Landslide I wrote in Aspen. Three months before I joined Fleetwood Mac, along with Rhiannon. And uh, that;s where the snow-covered hills come from. And I was definitely doing a whole lot of reflecting when I was up there. Lindsey was on the road with the Everly Brothers and I was very unhappy and very lonely. And trying to figure out why he was out with the Everly Brothers and I was in Aspen with $40 and my dog and my Toyota that went frozen the day we got there. And we thought he was going to make like lots of money. He didn't.
He came back to Apsen and he was very angry with me ~ and he left me ~ took
Ginnie the poodle and and the car and left me in Aspen the day that the Greyhound
buses went on strike. I had a bus pass cause my dad was president of Greyhound,
I had a bus pass, I could go anywhere. I said, 'Fine, take the car and the dog,
I have a bus pass.' I had a strep throat also. He drove away, I walk in on the
radio it says 'Greyhound Buses on strike all over the Unites States.' I'm going,
oh no, I'm stuck. So in order to get out of Colorado I had to call my parents
and they unwillingly sent me a plane ticket because they didn't understand
what I was doing up there in the first place. So I follow him back to Los Angeles,
that was like October, it was all around Halloween, two months later Fleetwood
Mac called on New Years Eve.
The story of Landslide... everybody seems to think that I wrote this song about them. Everybody in my family, all my friends, everybody... and my Dad, my Dad did have something to do with it, but he absolutely thinks that he was the whole complete reason it was ever written. I guess it was about September 1974, I was home at my Dad and Mom's house in Phoenix, and my father said, 'you know, I think that maybe... you really put a lot of time into this [her singing career], maybe you should give this six more months, and if you want to go back to school, we'll pay for it and uh, basically you can do whatever you want and we'll pay for it ~ I have wonderful parents ~ and I went, 'cool, I can do that.'
[Then] Lindsey and I went up to Aspen, and we went to somebody's incredible
house, and they had a piano, and I had my guitar with me, and I went into their
living room, looking out over the incredible, like, Aspen skyway, and I wrote
Landslide...three months later, Mick Fleetwood called. On New Year's Eve, 1974,
called and asked us to join Fleetwood Mac. So it was three months, I still had
three more months to go to beat my six month goal that my dad gave me. So that's
what Landslide is about.
[On Jess Nicks' comment
that Landslide was meant to portray the relationship between a father and
a child and that Stevie wrote the song because she was fearful of him dying]
I was also trying to make some decisions. You know, If you see my reflection in
the snow-covered hills...I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. I
wasn't making it big in the music business. I was confused. He told me I should
give it about six months and I kind of agreed with him...
[On her take of the
Smashing Pumpkins version of Landslide] I was very honored to have
Billy Corgan pick out that song on his own. There's nothing more pleasing to a
songwriter than [someone] doing one of their songs. It also led to me being friends
with Billy Corgan, and the possibility that we'll work together. Over this song,
there's been this incredible connection...he reached out.