Silver Spring, Maryland

Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac

I'll follow you down till the sound
Of my voice will haunt you
You'll never get away from the sound
Of the woman that loves you Read full Lyrics
Landscape around the Silver Spring, c 1917
(Collection of the Silver Spring Historical Society)
“I’ll follow you down till the sound of my voice will haunt you.
You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.”

Men just never get it. Most of them think this song Stevie wrote to Lindsey was a love song, something about how she would pine away after him forever because he broke her heart.

We know differently. This is a stalker song. Stevie’s a stalker. She’s been following Lindsey around since their high school days. And she hasn’t stopped. Even now in their 60s they still hang out and make music together. You’d think he would have realized by now that his life has been in imminent danger for the last 40 years at least!

Nawww... just kidding about the stalker stuff. But you’ve got to admit it does sound a bit that way. In reality, though, this was a sort of kiss-off song. Rumours was chock full of kiss-off songs, all of them directed at other band members, who then, after penning these #%@-you songs, had to hole up in tiny recording rooms (sometimes all five band members at the same time) and sing them while gathered around a single microphone facing each other. And Nicks’ “Silver Springs,” along with Lindsey’s “Go Your Own Way,” made up the grandmama and granddaddy of the “I’ve got to spend months on the road with you now promoting this album and all I really want to do is tear off your face and beat you to death with it” songs. In an exceptionally twisted stroke of fate (or purpose, perhaps?) “Silver Springs” wound up on the B-side of “Go Your Own Way” when the latter was released as a single.
Francis Preston Blair, c 1860-1875
Sadly, “Silver Springs” got left in the dust (or, if you prefer, off the album) after the Rumours settled. Mick Fleetwood dragged Stevie into a parking lot behind the studio to deliver the news, probably knowing that she was going to throw a fit of monolithic proportions. “Silver Springs” was, after all, the best song on the entire album. Or not, as it turned out. And although the official excuse for leaving it off was that they liked “I Don’t Want To Know” better, the real reason (we're making this up) was that it was personal. Lindsey and Mick had probably gotten together in a coke-fueled binge the night before and decided "Silver Springs" was too good and might overshadow other songs on the album. So they made the bonehead decision to take what has since become one of the more timeless cuts off an otherwise timeless album (and Album of the Year in 1977). In a gloriously middle-finger-flipping "back atcha" moment, however, Stevie's “Dreams” from the same album became - and remains - Fleetwood Mac’s only No. 1 single. And a reincarnation of “Silver Springs” from 1997’s The Dance finally got it the recognition it deserved and had tongues wagging 20 years after the original as to why the decision was made to not include it on Rumours in the first place.

While back in those days (the late '70s), Stevie and Lindsey would stand on stage and bore holes into each other with their eyes while performing this song, Lindsey’s was the one whose head exploded when, in an act of appalling unprofessionalism due to a tension he helped create, he rabbited off stage one night leaving the rest of the band to fill in his spot and pretend that nothing had happened (according to Christine McVie on VH1's "Behind the Music").
Partaking of a Sip from the Silver Spring, June 21, 1917
(Collection of the Silver Spring Historical Society)
But enough about them. You’re here to find out the PLACE, right? So here we dive into those rumors.

Why Silver Springs? Nicks has told the story about when (in happier days) she and Lindsey were driving under a highway sign in Maryland once that said “Silver Spring,” and she loved how it sounded, so she filed it away for later use.

Nicks’ song aside, Silver Spring (the city) is named after flecks of mica discovered in a little watering hole there in 1840. Mica is a glittery mineral found in granite and other various rocks. It resembles crystals, and when reflected in the water of the spring, looked like silver to Francis Preston Blair, who bought up the surrounding land post-haste. Of course, that was so long ago that the location of the actual spring has been misplaced, and now the folks of Silver Spring, Maryland, can only guess that current-day Acorn Park is where it should be, although that location is no longer a “spring.”
Downtown Silver Spring, 2012
(thanks, Elvert Barnes)
Back in the day, though, Blair built a mansion nearby, calling it the Silver Springs Mansion, and no less than Abraham Lincoln stayed there during the Civil War, playing “town ball” with Blair’s grandchildren. Sadly, the mansion was razed in 1954 in favor of a post office. Ah, government.

The Nicks/Buckingham relationship, however, was not. It was during the time of The Dance that they all did a group hug and decided that, yes, there really was a friendship beneath all the outlying animosity they'd ridden on all those years. There really was something worth salvaging. And since then, there have been 5 more Fleetwood Mac albums (2 of them live), and 6 more Nicks albums. She once said that Lindsey put the magic in her songs. From the looks of things, though, she probably never really needed it. ~ Shawna Hansen Ortega

(For more info on the history of Silver Spring, Maryland, visit Silver Spring Historical Society)
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