Stevie Nicks looks back on awkward moment with Bill Clinton at 1993 inaugural ball

In a new book, Fleetwood Mac lead singer Stevie Nicks recalls a rather awkward moment she experienced back in the early 1990s alongside then-President Bill Clinton at his first inaugural ball.

According to CheatSheet, Nicks’ take on the embarrassing incident is outlined in Zoe Howe’s latest book, Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams, and Rumours.

The backstory

During his first bid for the White House, Clinton regularly used the Fleetwood Mac song Don’t Stop along the campaign trail, CheatSheet reports. With that, it seemed like a no-brainer for the Democrat to ask the band to perform at his 1993 inaugural ball.

By then, however, the band had broken up, with multiple members stepping away for good and tensions remaining high among former bandmates.

Nonetheless, Clinton wanted Fleetwood Mac to headline at his inaugural ball. And apparently, the opportunity was simply too big for the hit music group to pass up.

In the new book, Nicks reveals that she was instrumental in bringing the band back together. The singer reportedly told the band’s lead male vocalist and lead guitar player Lindsey Buckingham at the time, “If you cheat me out of this honoring moment, I’ll never speak to you again.”

Soon after, Buckingham gave in.

Beating a dead tambourine

It was at the ball that the awkward moment took place. Howe writes about the incident in the book, saying that Nicks once explained it in detail to the Miami Herald. 

“[The inaugural gala] was something I don’t think any of us will ever forget,” Nicks said, as CheatSheet reported. “Walking out [on stage] … and knowing we were walking out because Bill Clinton wanted us. You couldn’t feel more special than we did that night.”

Those familiar with Nicks will know that she usually plays the tambourine during performances. At one point during the ball, the band decided to call Clinton on stage and give him the instrument.

“I started to move toward him and he got this terrified look on his face,” Nicks said. “I just handed him my tambourine and said, ‘Go to it, Mr. President.’ And he did — he rocked out.”

What Clinton didn’t seem to realize, however, was that the tambourine had been muted, as it always was during live concerts. Nicks said that she felt embarrassed because Clinton was clearly trying to get the instrument to work. In many ways, it sums up Clinton’s career: all show, and no substance.

Latest News