One of Fleetwood Mac’s most beloved songs has to be “Go Your Own Way,” their first single from 1977. rumours album. The track was written by the band’s guitarist, Lindsay Buckingham, and explores the difficulties of cultivating a romantic relationship with someone you’re in a band with.
As for the actual composition of the track, Lindsey Buckingham was inspired by the Rolling Stones’ song “Street Fighting Man”, particularly the drumming by Charlie Watts. Like the Stones song, the drum pattern in “Go Your Own Way” alternates between tom drum and snare.
Buckingham was adamant that this drumming would inform the rest of the song, and he sat down with Mick Fleetwood to get him into the groove. Fleetwood Mac producer Ken Caillat once noted that Buckingham seemed to have a knack for finding the right rhythm for a new tune with Fleetwood.
He said: “I remember watching him teach Mick about what he wanted – he would be so animated as a little kid, playing with those airy pillows with his curly hair. Mick wasn’t sure he could do what Lindsay wanted, but he did a great job and took the song. From there, the basis of the song began, and the rest of the instrumentation could be added.
Lyrically, the song explores the tension between several members of the band, particularly Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The couple recently split and Buckingham wrote a song to express his frustration. “I was completely devastated when it took off,” he once said.
“And yet I had to make hits for him,” he continued. “I had to do a lot of things for him that I really didn’t want to do. And yet I made them. So, on one level, I was a consummate professional to rise above that, but I had a lot of frustration and anger with Steve for many years.
Nicks later responded by explaining that Buckingham had hurt her and made their relationship difficulties public. “I really resented her telling the world that ‘making out’ with different men was all I wanted to do,” she said. “He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing he said. “
He added: “Every time those words came out on stage I wanted to go and kill him. He knew that, so he really pushed my buttons. It was like, “I’ll make you suffer for abandoning me.” And I did.”
Follow Far Out Magazine on our social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.