Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Walter Egan: Magnet And Steel

It was a one hit wonder, but the song had help from members of one of the hottest bands around. Released in 1978, “Magnet and Steel” was written about a famous vocalist, who happened to have a brief romantic relationship with the song’s author and singer, and who also sings on this recording along with her ex-husband. It also features an unusual instrument for a top ten record as well.

If you listen to the recording, it is not difficult to pick out the vocals of Stevie Nicks – who happens to be the subject of this song. Nicks is joined by fellow Fleetwood Mac member and ex-husband Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham also provided background vocals, played guitar, and co-produced the LP “Not Shy.” The twangy guitar lead, however, is not Lindsey Buckingham, but rather Walter Egan. Annie McLoone provides the third voice as a background vocalist.

The unusual instrument you may ask is a Schoenhut toy piano that was played by Steven Hague who went on to produce a number of artists in the 1980s. According to Egan, he believes that Lindsey Buckingham suggested the idea for using the toy piano. It really works in this song and about a year later, I had an opportunity to buy one cheap at a flea market. I was hoping to use it someday for a recording, but never did. My kids got some use out of it and I still have it – maybe someday I’ll use it for something productive.

As for Walter Egan, he has been productive since the “Not Shy” days and has played in numerous bands including Spirit and Randy and the Rainbows of Denise (ooh Da-nise ooby do, I’m in love with you) fame. Besides spending some time fronting a couple of bands, he currently makes his home in Franklin, TN where he supplements his income as a substitute teacher.


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  2. Stevie Nicks was never married to Buckingham.

  3. Stevie Nicks was never married to Buckingham.