In an 11-month, 13-country (so far) adventure there have been plenty of “I’d die happy” moments.
But, despite an ever-burgeoning passport, a self-satisfying list of European sights and South American escapades, and mastering the art of slipping through the masses to score the last empty seat on the Tube, I’ve struggled to think of another moment to top my list of moments since setting off on the Big OE.
Yes, folks, you might have tickets to Vector Arena but I defy you to trump seeing Fleetwood Mac belt out folksy rock jam after jam at London’s O2 Arena.
The evening did not start off the way I hoped.
After making the mistake of first heading to a bar in the Square Mile for some pre-show drinks (oh sure, I’ll pay [PndStlg]19 for a shared cocktail that arrives in a miniature bathtub filled mainly of ice- cubes not booze, and, oh sure, I’d love to be surrounded by Hooray Henrys loudly discussing how many zeros are in their salaries! That doesn’t sound irritating at all) we came to our senses and decided to venture to the surely packed-to-the-brim bars around the stadium.
From there the night was on a steady, skyrocketing improve.
In a moment of sheer brilliance, a consensus to buy some cheap Sav at a mini Tesco was reached so, upon arrival in Greenwich, we joined the troupe of concert-goers lounging around the concrete, supping in both London’s tacit approval of public drinking and the surprisingly balmy autumn evening.
(The evening’s warm-up entertainment: peering at the group of people taking part in the newest craze for London singletons, a group blind-date version of Up At the O2 — getting strapped into a harness and venturing out onto the 52m-high walkway, in the dark no less, is one way to sort the men from the boys, I s’pose.)
Then it was time for the night to reach what I thought would be its pinnacle — hours of live Fleetwood Mac listening pleasure.
There aren’t many bands that sound as good live as they do on their polished- to-perfection iTunes downloads. Even fewer that can make that claim, when the average age of its five “classic” members clocks in at 66.4 years.
Fleetwood Mac is not one of those bands.
Ignoring the buzz-kills who seem to crop up at every concert — I kid you not, the guy next to me had his fingers in his ears the whole time — and the burning in my heel-clad feet, I was one of those who defied the posse of lemony ladies, and the security guards they tried to enlist, who kept insisting everybody “sit down.”
At. A. Concert.
Most people have one act that serves as their happy place.
For me, that’s Fleetwood Mac, who have been a constant presence during summers in Wanaka, house parties, and road trips since ages ago.
So to be in the audience at the O2 — a venue that would be hard to beat, no matter who you’re listening to — was magic.
To be in the audience to witness Christine McVie — arguably the band’s most underrated member — perform with them since the Nineties, was even better.
That, my friends, was the pinnacle.
(Of the night, and possibly also my life.)
The only disappointment, apres- concert, was watching the video clips I somehow managed to shoot, and being confronted with now-irrefutable proof my alleged singing is actually more like tone-deaf warbling.
Once, I made a special point to thank Mum in public for teaching me all the words to Fleetwood Mac.
I’m not sure the people around me would agree — and maybe that explains the dude next to me — but what I said then still stands.
This week, former Fleetwood Mac band member Christine McVie chooses the Tracks Of My Years and she opens with a classic Beach Boys song from their groundbreaking album Pet Sounds along with a Steely Dan track featured on their acclaimed long player Gaucho. Plus there’s the Record and Album Of The Week and the Monday round of PopMaster. Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970 while married to founder member John McVie. She left the band in 1998 shortly after Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Christine is currently working on new solo material which is planned for a forthcoming album which she describes as marking a return to her musical sound from the seventies.
Christine McVie – Tracks of My Years DURATION: 15:26
Former Fleetwood Mac band member Christine McVie picks the music for Tracks of My Years.
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
Babylon Sisters – Steely Dan
I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – The Moody Blues
Man Of The World – Fleetwood Mac
Let’s Dance – David Bowie
That Ole Devil Called Love – Billie Holiday
Raspberry Beret – Prince
Races Are Run – Buckingham Nicks
Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
Mexico – James Taylor
Christine McVie graced the stage of the O2 Arena for a second night at the third and final London show of the 2013 European tour. McVie, who surprised concert attendees on Wednesday night with an appearance during Fleetwood Mac’s first encore, performed “Don’t Stop” and joined her former bandmates for a bow after the performance.
Fleetwood Mac continues the UK leg of the tour, moving on to Birmingham for a Sunday night show at LG Arena.
Watch Christine McVie perform ‘Don’t Stop’ with Fleetwood Mac
(courtesy of drbryant23 & jasonbuck)
Second Hand News (courtesy of MsCrims)
Sad Angel -partial (courtesy of Samantha Ellson)
Big Love (courtesy of jasonbuck)
Landslide (courtesy of MsCrims)
Landslide (courtesy of Megan S)
Gold Dust Woman (courtesy of MsCrims)
Go Your Own Way – partial (courtesy of Megan S)
Silver Springs – partial (courtesy of Samantha Ellson)
Lindsey Buckingham nearly blocked last night’s onstage reunion, reveals Stevie Nicks in MOJO scoop.
Stevie Nicks has talked to MOJO about Christine McVie’s on-stage return to Fleetwood Mac last night at London’s O2 Arena.
Speaking in an interview to be published in MOJO 241 (UK shelf date October 29) the diminutive Mac singer confirmed that while McVie, who left the group in 1998, has “just returned to do one song” it could have been “a few songs” if it hadn’t been for one particular stumbling block.
“I think Lindsey’s words were ‘She can’t just come and go’.”
“Lindsey [Buckingham] is very funny about that,” Nicks told MOJO’s James McNair. “I think his words were ‘She can’t just come and go’. That’s important to him, but it’s not quite so important to me. Much as Lindsey adores her; and he does – she’s the only one in Fleetwood Mac he was ever willing to listen to – he doesn’t want the first night reviews to be all about Christine’s one song, rather than the set we rehearsed for two months.”
McVie was met with rapturous applause last night when she joined her old band to play keyboards and sing Don’t Stop, and she will be appearing with the group again at their final O2 show tomorrow. But, while the route to the stage hasn’t necessarily been a smooth one, Nicks also added that “it will be wonderful to have her back up there with us. And from there who knows.”
In a candid, funny and emotional interview, Nicks goes on to discuss her childhood, her solo career (“Fleetwood Mac weren’t that impressed”) the “unresolved” aspects of her and Buckingham’s relationship, and the bizarre night she slept on the floor of Prince’s purple kitchen.
Heroic drug abuse, physical violence, epic strops… Forget Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s craziest album was Tango in the Night.
In December 2012, three members of Fleetwood Mac cried together. in public, at the memory of something that had happened all of 25 years previously. Singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and drummer Mick Fleetwood were doing a round of media interviews to announce the band’s 2013 tour when they were asked about the events of 1987, when Buckingham quit the band following the release of the album Tango in the Night. Buckingham did not respond directly to the interviewer. Instead he turned to Nicks and Fleetwood and reiterated his reasons for leaving the group at a critical stage of their career: foremost among them, his sense that Nicks and Fleetwood had lost their minds and souls to drugs.
“What Lindsey said in that interview was very moving, ” Fleetwood says. “He told us: ‘I just couldn’t stand to see you doing what you were doing to yourselves. Did you ever realise that? You were so out of control that it made me incredibly sad, and I couldn’t take it any more.’ It was really powerful stuff. This was someone saying: ‘I love you.’ It hit Stevie and me like a ton of bricks. And we all cried, right there in the interview.”
It was a moment that Mick Fleetwood describes as “profound.” But even after all these years, his memories of that time in 1987 are still raw. For when Lindsey Buckingham walked out on Fleetwood Mac, he did not go quietly. When Buckingham told the band he was leaving, it led to a blazing argument that rapidly escalated into a physical altercation between him and former lover Nicks, in which she claimed she feared for her life.
“It is,” Fleetwood says, “a pretty wild story. It was a dangerous period, and not a happy time.”
And yet, for all the drama that came with it, Tango in the Night was a hugely important album for Fleetwood Mac. It became the second biggest-selling album of their career, after 1977′s 45-million-selling Rumours. Just as Rumours had done in the ’70s, so Tango in the Night deﬁned soft rock in the ’80s. Perhaps most signiﬁcant of all, it marked the third coming of the Mac, following the successes of the Peter Green-led blues rock Mac of the late 60s and the Buckingham/Nicks-fronted AOR Mac of the 70s. And for Mick Fleetwood, it represented a personal triumph. While he freely admits that his own drug-fuelled insanity was instrumental in Lindsey Buckingham’s exit, it was Fleetwood who kept the band together once Buckingham had gone. And this was key to the success of Tango in the Night.
“My motto” Fleetwood says, “was ‘the show must go on’. It was almost an obsessive-compulsive desire to not give up. And it worked.”
There is an irony about Tango in the Night that it began not as a Fleetwood Mac album but as a solo project by the man who would leave the band once it was completed. In 1985, Lindsey Buckingham was writing and recording songs for what was planned as his third solo album. Fleetwood Mac had been on indeﬁnite hiatus since 1982, following a world [North America] tour in support of their album Mirage. In that time there had been solo albums from the three singers: Nicks’ The Wild Heart sold a million copies; Christine McVie’s eponymous album yielded a US Top 10 hit with Got A Hold On Me; but, to Buckingham’s chagrin, his album Go Insane didn’t make the Top 40.
There had also been problems for them over these years. Nicks had been treated for drug addiction. More surprisingly, Mick Fleetwood had been declared bankrupt following a string of disastrous property investments. It was rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had split up. “At that time,” Buckingham later admitted, “the group was a bit fragmented.” By the end of ’85, Buckingham — working alone at his home studio in Los Angeles had three songs ﬁnished: Big Love, Family Man and Caroline. But while he was busy making music, Mick Fleetwood was busy making plans to get the band back on track. The wheels had been set in motion when Christine McVie recorded a version of the Elvis Presley hit Can’t Help Falling In Love for the ﬁlm A Fine Mess— backed by Mick Fleetwood and the band’s other remaining founding member, her ex-husband John McVie. She invited Buckingham to produce, alongside engineer Richard Dashut. “It was the ﬁrst time for nearly ﬁve years that we’d all been in a working environment together,” Christine said. “We had such a good time in the studio and realised that we still had something to give each other in musical terms after all.”
Mick Fleetwood was more forthright. “The reality,” he says, “is that Fleetwood Mac were intending to make an album. And Lindsey was in many ways pressured into it. ‘Hey, we’re making an album — let’s go!” Buckingham relented, partly out of a sense of duty, had a choice,” he said, “of either continuing on to make the solo record, or to sort of surrender to the situation and try and make it more of a family thing. I chose the latter.” That Fleetwood didn’t know is that Buckingham’s agreement was conditional. “I had the idea,” Buckingham said, “that that was going to be the last work with the group.”
For all that, Buckingham threw himself into the album. He either wrote or co-wrote seven of the twelve tracks on the album. He also acted as co-producer with Richard Dashut. And it was at his home studio that most of the recording was done. What was unusual about the recording of Tango in the Night was the absence of Stevie Nicks for much of the process. Nicks contributed three songs to the album, but was in the studio for only two to three weeks. “She was not hugely present,” Fleetwood says. ”I don’t remember why. And I don’t think we would remember — Stevie and me were nuts!”
Fleetwood says that he and Nicks were doing more cocaine during the making of Tango than when they were recording Rumours — an album on which they seriously considered thanking their drug dealer in the credits. “Actually” he admits, “it was way worse on Tango in the Night. For sure.”
“Certainly , I smoked a lot of pot. But I was never a big user of coke,” Buckingham notes. And by the mid-80s, he’d had enough. ” The subculture was pretty much at the point of burning itself out,” he recalled. “The ‘anything goes’ attitude that existed in the 60s had become something entirely different. But still, everyone thought you had to do certain things to play, and I don’t know that I ever thought about it that way.”
While Tango was being recorded at his home, he found a way of keeping the two cokeheads — plus assorted hangers-on — at a safe distance. “Lindsey had a Winnebago put in his driveway,” Fleetwood says. “And that’s where Stevie and I would go with our wrecking crew. With me, the party never stopped. I was like Keith Moon. And for Lindsey having that around his own house was a fucking nightmare. So he gave us our own house outside in the garden. It wasn’t until years later that I asked him: ‘What was all that about?’ And he said ‘I couldn’t stand having you punks in the house. You’d turn up at the studio with people that you’d met from the night before, and you’d start gooning around. You were too fucking crazy.’ Lindsey was never a drama queen, enjoying the ’80s drug culture like Stevie and me. It wasn’t his scene. He wasn’t comfortable being around that much craziness. And we were blissfully unaware — completely oblivious to things that needed to be addressed.” The drug taking was only one part of the problem. There were other things eating away at Buckingham.
For all the money and fame that Fleetwood Mac’s success had brought him, Buckingham felt compromised on an artistic level — pressured by what Mick Fleetwood calls a “this monolithic thing known as Fleetwood Mac.” There is, Fleetwood says, a “tortured side” to Lindsey Buckingham.
“Staying honest and staying creatively alive is very tricky in a commercial business,” Buckingham said. “You’re trying to hold on to a certain idealism, and not succumb to becoming a parody of oneself. Are you trying to ﬂex your muscles creatively, or are you trying to sell records? In my mind it was pretty much clear-cut. There wasn’t a lot of middle ground.” Buckingham felt he had won this battle with Tusk. The easy option for Fleetwood Mac would have been to make another Rumours. Instead, Buckingham spiked the Tusk album with weird, left-ﬁeld songs such as the new wave inﬂuenced Not That Funny and the bizarre title track. “A precedent was set by Tusk,” Fleetwood explains. “Lindsey could say: ‘I want to do this within the framework of Fleetwood Mac,’ without pissing everyone off.” Buckingham loved the dichotomy in Tusk: the contrast between his songs and Stevie’s and Christine’ s . “You got that sweetness and me as the complete nutcase,” he said. ”That ‘s what makes us Fleetwood Mac.” But he felt that the band’s next album. Mirage, was too lightweight, lacking the experimental edge of Tusk. And that nagging feeling returned to him as Tango in the Night was being completed.
Buckingham had written many oldie songs for the album. In addition, the songs he had recorded solo remained mostly untouched. “Those songs,” Fleetwood says, “were already very sculpted. All we did was rip some drum machines off and put drums on.” One trick of Buckingham’s, in Big Love, was especially brilliant. For the song’s climax, he used variable speed oscillators on his voice to create the effect of a male and female in a state of sexual excitement — the “love grunts,” as he called them. “It was odd that so many people wondered if it was Stevie on there with me,” he said, a little disingenuously.
Although there were other great songs on the album—slick pop rock tunes in the classic Fleetwood Mac style, such as Christine’s Little Lies and Everywere, and Stevie’s Seven Wonders — Fleetwood calls Tango in the Night “Lindsey’s album.” But for Buckingham himself, there was a sense that in the transition from solo album to band album, something had been lost. A perfectionist, intensely analytical, he felt that Tango in the Night was too predictable, too safe.
“For political reasons, I was pretty much treading water,” Buckingham admitted. “We sort of lost the moment, going back to try to ﬁnd that Rumours territory. I couldn’t do that as a producer and as a player. I was demoralised. Maybe I wasn’t even motivated to go back. I did the best I could.” Fleetwood also believes that Buckingham felt undervalued in his roles of producer and arranger of others’ songs. “He was going, ‘Shit, does anyone ever realise what I do?’ Insecurities, we all have them, and that was part of Lindsey’s personality. I have insecurity even about walking on stage and thinking I can’t play drums. I don’t blame Lindsey for thinking: ‘It would be nice if someone thanked me for all the fucking work I’ve done!”
But the biggest problem for Lindsey Buckingham was, of course, Stevie Nicks . “I’ve known Stevie since I was 16 years old,” he said. “I was completely devastated when she took off. And yet I had to make hits for her, I had to do a lot of things for her that I really didn’t want to do. And yet I did them. So on one level I was a complete professional in rising above that, but there was a lot of pent-up frustration and anger towards Stevie in me for many years.” That frustration had ﬁrst become evident on Rumours. Nicks wrote about Buckingham in the song Dreams, in which she sang the line: ‘Players only love you when they’re playing.’ Buckingham responded with Co Your Own Way, in which he claimed uncharitably, ‘Shacking up’s all you want to do.’ And over the years, things had only got worse.
“He got very angry with me,” Nicks said. “He tossed a Les Paul across the stage at me once and I ducked and it missed me. A lot of things happened because he was so angry at me.”
During one Fleetwood Mac show, Buckingham kicked out at Nicks. “it was just a little something coming through the veneer,” he said later. “There has been a lot of darkness. There was a time when I felt completely unappreciated by her.” Buckingham’s frame of mind was not helped by the not inconsiderable success that Nicks enjoyed in her solo career. In 1981, her solo debut, Bella Donna, went to No.1 in US. Other hit albums and singles followed. Buckingham’s solo records sold next to nothing. “Jealousy is the wrong word,” Fleetwood says. “But it was hard for Lindsey. The reality is, she’s Stevie Nicks! And Lindsey I think felt left out. That was his cross to bear.”
Despite the hostility. Nicks tried to retain sympathy for Buckingham.” Lindsey and I were really breaking up when we joined Fleetwood Mac. We’d lived together for ﬁve years. It’s one thing when you break up for that person to go their way and you to go your way, quite another to break up and have to sit together in the breakfast room of the hotel the next morning. Not easy.”
But neither Nicks nor Fleetwood saw what was coming. “We just didn’t realise quite how unhappy Lindsey was,” Fleetwood says. “He had to get out. And of course he did.
Tango in the Night was released on April 13, 1987. The first single from the album, Big Love, was already a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and a tour was scheduled to begin in Kansas City on September 30. But when the band gathered at Christine McVie’s L.A home to discuss plans for the tour, Buckingham told them he was out. And at that moment, it turned nasty.
It was Nicks who landed the ﬁrst blow. “I ﬂew off of the couch and across the room to seriously attack him,” she recalled. “And I did. I’m not real scary but I grabbed him which almost got me killed.” Nicks ran out of the room with Buckingham in pursuit. “He ended up chasing me all the way out of Christine’s maze-like house,” she said. ‘Then down the street and back up the street. And then he threw me against a car and I screamed horrible obscenities at him. I thought he was going to kill me, and I think he thought he was probably going to kill me too. And I said: ‘If the rest of the people in the band don’t get you, my family will – my dad and my brother will kill you.”
Buckingham walked away. “We were all in shock,” Fleetwood says. “It was very upsetting for all of us, Stevie most of all.”
But in this crisis, Fleetwood acted quickly. “Most people would go: ‘You’ve just made an album and one of your lead components is not there? You’d better retreat rapidly, lick your wounds and reassess what the hell you’re gonna do.’ Well, that was not what my mind told me to do. I went: ‘We’re not stopping.’ And literally within a week, I convinced everyone that we should not stop and have this be a catastrophic non-event and have no promotion for the album.” Fleetwood was able to remain calm and pragmatic because he, and also John McVie, had been in this situation before – ﬁrstly, and most traumatically, when Peter Green, the original Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist, quit the band and the music business in 1970 after one too many bad acid trips. “When we lost our mentor, Peter Green, we felt completely adrift,” Fleetwood recalls. “We went: ’What the fuck are we going to do now?’ Seriously, I thought we’d never get over losing Peter. But we got through it. And then it became: there’s no such phrase as ‘the band’s going to break up’. And that became habit-forming. So when Lindsey left, we already had a blueprint.”
For the tour, Fleetwood brought in not one but two guitarists to replace Buckingham, a measure of Buckingham’s high calibre. Billy Burnette, the son of rockabilly singer Dorsey Burnette, was a country artist of minor repute. Rick Vito had worked with John Mayall, Jackson Browne and even David Soul. Fleetwood knew he was taking a risk. “On paper,” he says, “it was sort of insane. But it worked.”
It had to. “We still did that tour,” Nicks said, “because we we’d signed the contracts. We couldn’t call in and say: ‘Oh, we can’t do the tour.’ We had to do it. Or Fleetwood Mac would have been sued forever.”
The tour was a huge success. It wasn’t the same without Buckingham. Fleetwood accepts that. But the numbers including eight sold-out shows at London’s Wembley Arena – spoke for themselves. And with the new-look Fleetwood Mac out on the road, sales of Tango in the Night went above and beyond Fleetwood’s expectations. In the UK the album went to Number One on three separate occasions, and three singles went Top 10: Big Love, Little Lies and Everywhere. In the US those three tracks reached the Top 20, along with Seven Wonders , and the album sold three million copies in a year.
“The album was well received,” Fleetwood says. “Somewhat sadly, the kudos of that was never really fully attributed to Lindsey because he wasn’t present. But on the other hand, there’s a comedic sense to it — that we were promoting an album that was mainly his body of work. It was like Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys: ‘I’ve made the album, but now I’m staying at home.’
“But also, when I look back, I see another example of how desperate Lindsey was to be heard. Basically, he was coerced and persuaded to do that album – mainly by me. And to his credit, he put aside everything that he’d dreamt of doing, including making his own album, for Fleetwood Mac. But then realised that he’d made a mistake and went: ‘Oh my God – I’ve got to get Out.’ Lindsey was not being heard. We just didn’t get it. And really, I think that excuses him for letting the side down.”
Mick Fleetwood is not sure it is simple coincidence that Fleetwood’ s two biggest-selling albums, Rumours and Tango in the Night, were made when the band was at its most dysfunctional. “Also,” he says, “I’m not sure I should be so proud of it.”
Equally, Fleetwood has reservations about Tango in the Night. “It’s an interesting album,” he says. “But it’s not my favourite Fleetwood Mac album sonically. We got a little too involved in electronic-y ways of doing things.” But that album is undoubtedly a classic of its time. With it, Fleetwood Mac were reinvented for a new era. One of the biggest bands of the 70s became one of the biggest bands of the 80s. And from an album created amid chaos came some of the best songs of the band’s entire career. Even Lindsey Buckingham conceded this much. “On the whole, that album is lacking in direction,” he said. ”But there’s good stuff on there.”
In the 90s, Buckingham rejoined Fleetwood Mac, and, more importantly’, made his peace with Stevie Nicks. They have both come a long way since that dark day in 1987: Buckingham now married and a father of three, Nicks happily drug-free. And every night that Buckingham and Nicks go on stage with Fleetwood Mac, all that remains between them is what Mick Fleetwood calls “the good stuff”.
“Stevie and Lindsey are not ‘in love’ but they love each other,” Fleetwood says. “And that’s why they’ve been able to get through some awful situations. There’s something I was asked recently: ‘What’s the most misconstrued thing about Fleetwood Mac?’ I said ‘I don’t want to sound over-sentimental, but I think that people don’t actually understand that we really do love each other — a lot.’ And you know, sometimes that’s been lost amid all the fear and loathing. But, to say the least, it’s been an interesting journey.
Rock legends don’t come much bigger or more iconic than the Mac, and these shows look set to be typically historic. But what can fans expect from the most anticipated tour of 2013?
From rumours about Rumours, the return of Christine McVie, a hit-packed set list, celebrities and specials guests, here are 12 very special reasons to get excited at Fleetwood Mac playing live in London.
1. Christine McVie – She’s back in the Mac! Despite Stevie Nicks claiming that they were ‘never, ever, ever getting back together’, the reunion was confirmed earlier this year, with drummer Mick Fleetwood telling Gigwise: “I think she’s going to come and do the last two shows in London. It’s going to be great – Christine’s music is so much part of Fleetwood Mac. She’s been gone now for many, many years and she’s like my sister.”
2. Hits – When the band’s tour reached Dublin last week, they delighted fans with an epic, career-spanning 23 song set that packed in all of the fan favourites. Prepare to lose your mind to ‘The Chain’, ‘Dreams’, Rhiannon’, ‘Tusk’, ‘Don’t Stop’, ‘Go Your Own Way’ and many, many, many more.
3. All generations – Unlike some ‘classic’ bands, it won’t all be older people trying to relive their youth. Fleetwood Mac manage to appeal to everyone, so expect to see a complete mix of people – from children to grandparents.
4. The famous chemistry – The onstage tension between Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks is a thing of legend. From the way they hug at the end of ‘Sara’ to Stevie turning her back on Lindsey during the ‘shacking up’ line in ‘Go Your Own Way’, the history between the two of them only serves to add an extra-special magic to the songs.
5. Lots of love for Rumours: The tour happens to coincide with the re-release of the famous Rumours, which could lead to more songs than usual from the ’76 album. Stevie said to Rolling Stone, “There are a lot of songs on Rumours that are in the set no matter what. I think what will happen is we’ll end up talking about it onstage. Most of those songs are in our set anyway. We’ll just end up telling stories and talking about how these things happen. It’s always fun to share that with your audience.”
6. Eight minute drum solo – Last time of touring, Mick Fleetwood chose to perform an eight minute drum solo that teetered on the balance of brilliant and insane. As one reviewer put it, “This was a refreshingly spontaneous moment, including mostly incomprehensible calls from the drummer to the audience, ‘Are you blah blah blah?'”
7. Stevie Nicks solo material: The band dropped in the Nicks’ solo track ‘Stand Back’ at their Dublin show, and with her new LP In Your Dreams out soon, the band could well delight London with a couple more songs.
8. Stevie Nicks’ trademark twirls – Google ‘Stevie Nicks twirl’ and there are tons of results. Stevie’s trademark twirl is a thing to behold – and we doubt we’ll ever know how she manages that without seemingly ever getting dizzy. Witchcraft?!
9. Something different – Stevie Nicks told The Guardian, “This is going to be a very different tour. The audience is going to see a very different Fleetwood Mac up there – we talked about how we really need to appreciate what we have and who we are and how far we’ve come.” So who knows what you could see – although there’s no doubt that whatever it is, it’ll be worth it.
10. Celebrities – Yup, prepare to get celeb-spotting for those famous few that managed to swag a free ticket. The Mac’s recent US tour attracted the likes of Nicole Richie and Jennifer Aniston. The least we can hope for in London is Fleetwood superfan Jeremy Clarkson.
11. Special guests? It’s pure speculation, but here’s hoping that the Mac ‘do a Rolling Stones’ and invite a special guest or two on stage. Heaven knows there must be a long line of artists queuing up to perform with them. Notably, The Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart (pictured with the band here) recently worked with Nicks on her latest studio LP. Maybe he’ll come along?
12. A taste of what’s to come? Fear not, this may not be the last we’ve seen of The Mac. When asked if we can expect to see them at UK festivals next summer, Mick Fleetwood replied: “I hope so, I would love that. This has been a tough year on the road, but having said that, the boys in the band are hoping that our lady will think kindly about doing a few of the festivals.”
Andrew Trendell / Gigwise (UK) / Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Fleetwood Mac have opened up about their upcoming reunion with former keyboardist Christine McVie at their upcoming London shows. Watch our video interview with Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood above.
The rock icons are currently on a critically acclaimed world tour that reaches the UK at the end of the month. Speaking to Gigwise at the London premiere of frontwoman Stevie Nicks’ new movie documentary about her new solo album, In Your Dreams, we asked band members about the hotly-anticipated London shows where McVie has been confirmed to rejoin the band on stage.
“I think she’s going to come and do the last two shows in London,” said drummer Mick Fleetwood. “It’s going to be great – Christine’s music is so much part of Fleetwood Mac. She’s been gone now for many, many years and she’s like my sister.
“We’re going to make her feel comfortable and have fun and I think people will love it. She’s always honoured by the nature of her songs and the depth of that. When she decided to leave 14 or 16 years ago, we were sad and thought that maybe she’d come back, but she made that choice.”
He continued: “A lot of people are saying ‘is she going to come back?’ and the answer to that is that she would be welcome, but that would be her choice. We will see. At some point we’re going to knock it on the head, I’m not sure when, but in that context it would be something that would be entertained.”
Frontwoman Stevie Nicks added: “She’s coming to do two nights here and probably do ‘Don’t Stop’. I’m not sure, but she’s coming to Dublin to rehearse whatever song she’s going to do. We never wanted her to leave, so for us it’s amazing that she is going to come.”
Stevie Nicks’ In Your Dreams will be released on DVD in November. The 4CD box set ‘Fleetwood Mac: 25 Years – The Chain’ is out now.
The UK leg of the tour starts in Dublin on September 20 and wraps up in Glasgow on October 3. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit Gigwise Gig Tickets.
Full UK tour dates:
September 20 – Dublin, O2
September 24, 25 & 27 – London, O2 Arena
September 29 – Birmingham, LG Arena
October 1 – Manchester, Manchester Arena
October 3 – Glasgow, The Hydro
Andrew Trendell / Gigwise / Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The cameras were flashing for this highly anticipated event: Christine McVie reuniting with members of Fleetwood Mac. On Monday evening, McVie and fellow guest Mick Fleetwood attended the UK film premiere of Stevie Nicks and Dave Stewart’s In Your Dreams documentary. McVie looked charming as she smiled and posed alongside Dave Stewart and her former Fleetwood Mac bandmates.
McVie’s confirmed guest appearances at two London shows is also highly anticipated. McVie, who will rehearse with Fleetwood Mac later this week in Ireland, will perform with the band during “Don’t Stop.” The European leg of the tour starts on Friday in Dublin, Ireland.
Designing shows for artistes ranging from Sheryl Crow to Fleetwood Mac over a long period, experienced LD Paul ‘Arlo’ Guthrie has been increasingly finding GLP’s impression X4’s an essential component in his touring inventory.
Earlier this summer, PRG supplied production for the evergreen Fleetwood Mac’s LIVE 2013 48-city Stateside arena tour — and this time Guthrie requisitioned 36 of the new generation LED moving heads.
The impression X4 itself features 19 of the new Osram Quad Optic 15W RGBW LED’s in a slimline body with no base unit weighing just 17.5lbs. The fixture offers a 7° to 50° zoom range for variable beam spread and matrix effects, and full color mixing including CTC and customizable pixel patterns across its front face — all essential attributes for a forward thinking production designer.
The association between Paul Guthrie (of Toss Film & Design) and Fleetwood Mac dates back to 1999 when he worked with lead singer Stevie Nicks, before co-designing the band’s 2003 tour with their veteran LD Curry Grant and Bruce Rodgers (of Tribe Design). He then took over the reins entirely for their 2009 and 2013 tours.
Curry’s own history with the band dates back to 1974, and since he had always used PRG as his preferred service provider Guthrie saw no reason to break with tradition. “I love their attention to equipment, service and crew,” he says.
Sensitive to the persona of the band, and their desire to carry the show themselves rather than being driven solely by the stage dynamics, the LD concedes that each member first needs to be individually catered for, before everything combines into a single production. “We try not to revisit things each time, but each member has his or her own likes and dislikes, plus there are a number of basic principles we need to adhere to on each production — such as how we light them for camera and the fact we can’t use any haze.”
With a pedigree extending over two decades Paul Guthrie had become an early adopter of GLP’s pioneering LED technology, using the original impression 90’s soon after they were released and moving onto the impression 120 RZ zooms in 2010, when Sheryl Crow went on tour. “I had been looking for a small LED wash light at the time, and these made exactly the right impression,” he said.
But as time marches on so product technology evolves. And when it came to speccing the latest Fleetwood Mac tour a number of attributes attracted him to the new generation impression X4 — notably the obvious economies to be had from the size, weight and power draw as well as the quality of colors and dimmer curve, he says. “The pixel effect of the X4’s is the most unique attribute used.”
This versatility has enabled them to perform different functions, as the LD explains. “I had some X4’s rigged high in the mother grid — for overhead effects, 16 on an upstage truss to provide upstage wash and also tone a white drape that is used for the middle section of the show … and then some on the floor under the band risers. They integrate perfectly with the conventional 1200W and 1500W [discharge] fixtures.”
Getting them to and from a gig is also a breeze, he notes. “The packaging is great — having six heads fitted in each small road case that would normally hold two lights is a great advantage.” And he confirmed that every fixture worked from first show to last without issue.
Board operator Rich Locklin also adds his endorsement that the lights are both easy to programme and fast to respond.
The two and a half hour show itself, which resumes in Europe in the Fall, is built very much around greatest hits — but the band is also promoting its current four-track EP Extended Play — their first new recordings in over a decade.
Overall, Paul Guthrie says he has been “extremely happy” with the performance of the impression X4’s on the road. “Now that the marketplace is flooded with choices for LED lighting it is difficult to criticise a light that is well designed and well built with feature sets catering to users that want good color rendering and smooth transitions,” he says.
And for lower budget tours such as Sheryl Crow — which combine promoter supplied lighting rigs with a touring floor package — they can be even more valuable. “I am using ten X4s with Sheryl and these additional impressions provide me with a super versatile effect light as well as a great wash light — taking up minimal truck space and requiring minimal current draw.”
Stevie Nicks thanks New York Magazine’s Jada Yuan.
When New York magazine reporter Jada Yuan went to see Stevie Nicks at Jones Beach last weekend, she got more than a concert T-shirt. During the show, Ms. Nicks dedicated “Landslide” to the journalist, who had recentlywritten a profile of the singer.
“I would like to dedicate this song to a girl, a lady. Her name is Jada and she wrote the most beautiful article about me,” the Fleetwood Mac singer said.
“She got something that nobody that has ever written about me before has ever gotten,” continued Ms. Nicks. “And I just wanted to tell her how much I appreciate that.”
“I’ll never, ever forget it. Her name is Jada, and I want to thank her so much.”
Ms. Yuan, who was in the audience, was stunned. “I cried through the whole song and don’t even remember at least the next five,” Ms. Yuan told OTR.
Weeping, even without having Ms. Nicks dedicate the song to you, is apparently a common reaction to “Landslide.”
In the profile, which ran in the June 17 issue of New York, Ms. Yuan wrote of the song: “Chances are, you or someone next to you was weeping during ‘Landslide,’ with that chorus you might casually dismiss as cliché until you find yourself singing it in unison with 15,000 fans: ‘Time makes you bolder / Children get older / I’m getting older, too.’”
Ms. Yuan spent about four months working on the 5,823-word feature and saw multiple concerts. Most profile writers say that after spending so long with a subject—during both the interview and the writing process—the illusion of familiarity often fades once the piece is published.
“Anyone who writes profiles knows you end up spending a lot more time with the subject than they do with you,” Ms. Yuan said. “For them, it’s an hour or two out of their lives, but you spend days or weeks with this person rattling around in your head, and you can get pretty invested and then never hear from them again.
“It’s rare to get any feedback, let alone that they thought you got it right. So to hear it from Stevie Nicks, who’s such a beautiful writer herself, was a really special honor.”
Ms. Yuan, who was at the concert with a friend, went backstage afterward and got to follow up in person with the singer.
While the mandate of a magazine profile isn’t to please the subject, Ms. Yuan’s article wasn’t a puff piece by any means—it tackled Ms. Nicks’ battles with drugs, her weight and relationships.
The singer’s honesty about her struggles is one reason she has so many fans. Her gracious reponse to the article, said Ms. Yuan, “says a lot more about Stevie than it does about me.”
Video below (be prepared to have the song stuck in your head for at least 24 hours):
For all intents and purposes, Fleetwood Mac has still got it. They’re currently playing a sold out tour which stopped in Boston back on April 18th. The band also has recently released a 4-song EP, aptly titled Extended Play. Mick Fleetwood joined Karlson & McKenzie this morning to talk about both the EP and the tour.
“It’s pretty amazing. I have to say that the four people walking on that stage — and obviously it’s more pointed for Stevie and Lindsay, these are two people who fell in love with one another when they were 16 years old — it is amazing,” Mick Fleetwood told Karlson & McKenzie this morning. “You’re right, my whole life with all the ups and downs, really an incredible amount of gratitude that I’m still walking around quite frankly. But we’ve managed to sustain this strange work ethic through all of these bits and pieces.”
Mick went on to talk about how he’s often approached with questions on misconceptions about Fleetwood Mac, the biggest being that the band hates each other, a rumor that Mick flatly denies.
“The misconception is that we don’t like each other. We do! We actually love each other. It’s just the co-existing of that from time to time no doubt has been incredibly hard,” Mick admits.
Fleetwood Mac is a band that loves music over money or personal strife, according to Mick. He admitted to Karlson & McKenzie that his relationship with Stevie Nicks was something they had to work through for the good of the band.
“Stevie pretty much remained even though we had a love affair, we managed to get through it. And that’s not often spoken about,” said Mick. “We’re not just a bunch of business men that decide to do this. When we do this, we have to be emotionally equipped to do it, and that is the amazing thing.”
Fleetwood Mac continues its tour, currently working their way through Canada before finishing out May on the West Coast.
Tim Staskiewicz / 100.7 WZLX (Boston) / Tuesday, May 14, 2013
It’s been exactly a decade since Fleetwood Mac released a full album, but that hasn’t stopped a new generation of fans from discovering the band. “We’re doing the best business we’ve done in 20 years,” guitarist Lindsey Buckingham tells Rolling Stone a few hours before the Tulsa, Oklahoma stop on the band’s latest tour. “There seems to be a cyclical re-igniting of interests, and there’s certainly a lot more young people out there than three years ago.”
Months before they started tour rehearsal, the band cut a four-song EP titled Extended Play with producer Mitchell Froom. “When we finally decided this was going to be the year we were going to tour again, I thought it would be great to cut some new stuff,” says Buckingham. “I knew we wouldn’t have time to cut a new album. Stevie [Nicks] was still caught up in her solo thing, but I got John [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] over from Hawaii. They played their asses off. It was a great experience.”
Stevie Nicks arrived at the sessions towards the end, and Buckingham presented her with “Sad Angel.” “I wrote that song for Stevie,” he says. “She always had to fight for everything. She was coming off a solo album and was in the process of reintegrating herself mentally in the band, and we’re all warriors with a sword in one sort or another. She and I have known each other since high school. So I just wrote, ‘Sad Angel have you come to fight the war/We fall to earth together, the crowd calling out for more.’”
Like many of the group’s greatest songs, “Sad Angel” reflects on Lindsey and Stevie’s complex relationship. “All these years later, we are still writing songs that are dialogues for each other,” he says. “That was part of the appeal of Rumours, and of the group in general . . . Of all the things we cut, ‘Sad Angel’ was, for lack of a better term, the most Fleetwood Mac-y. It was really kind of the best stuff that we have done in a while.”
They also recorded “Without You,” a song that’s roughly 40 years old. “Stevie and I had a little disagreement over when it was written,” Buckingham says. “It definitely predates our involvement in Fleetwood Mac. I believe it was written when we were in the process of culling material for a possible second Buckingham-Nicks album, before we were dropped by Polydor. She claims it was written earlier, but I’m not so sure. But it’s a very sweet song that really harkens back to a time when we were far more innocent. She’s writing to me and it’s about our relationship, when we’d only been together for a very short time.”
Stevie Nicks says that she rediscovered the song on YouTube. “I’m not really sure how it resurfaced,” says Buckingham. “She brought it in one day and she brought it by my house. John and Mick didn’t really work on that. There’s kind of an appropriateness in doing something that predates Fleetwood Mac, because at this stage in time Stevie and I have more of a connection than we’ve had for a while. That’s a nice thing.”
Stevie and I have probably more of a connection now than we have in years.
“Sad Angel” and “Without You” are performed every night on Fleetwood Mac’s ongoing world tour, but the vast majority of the set is devoted to songs from the group’s deep catalog. “Creating a set list is like making a running order for an album,” says Buckingham. “Certain things get pitted against one another that make more sense. One song sets another one off, or it might diminish it. You’re just constantly looking for the next thing that’s gonna make sense in a particular place.”
The show begins with “Second Hand News,” the kick-off track to band’s 1976 landmark album Rumours. “It seemed like the obvious choice as the opener,” says Buckingham. “There are certain touchstones that you always do. When you’ve been around for a while, you realize there’s a body of work you’re going to rely on every time. You’re not going to reinvent the wheel every time you go out, because that would disappoint the audience.”
After “Second Hand News,” the group keeps the Rumours theme going with “The Chain” and “Dreams.” “You get that out of the way,” says Buckingham. “Then we do ‘Sad Angel’ and then we’re segueing into various twists and turns from there.”
A frenetic “Rhiannon” segues into four straight Tusk songs: “Not That Funny,” “Tusk,” “Sisters of the Moon” and “Tusk.” “After the success of Rumours, we were in this zone with this certain scale of success,” Buckingham says. “By that point the success detaches from the music, and the success becomes about the success. The phenomenon becomes about the phenomenon. Warner Bros. would have very much liked to have seen a Rumours II. There was a need on my part — and the band as well, but I was certainly the instigator — to kind of subvert that notion.”
Tusk was a huge bestseller, but the songs were less commercial, failing to live up to the enormous sales of Rumours. “We didn’t want to be painted into a corner,” Buckingham says. “If you want to be an artist in the long run, it isn’t necessarily a good axiom to repeat formulas over and over until they’re used up.”
The rest of the show focuses on enormous hits like “Gypsy,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Gold Dust Woman,” but “Don’t Stop” is the sole number written by former Mac keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie. “On the last tour we did ‘Don’t Stop’ and ‘Say You Love Me,’” says Buckingham. “But it’s hard to sustain her presence. There’s no real reason to do it. She had some great songs, but it becomes a little schizoid to go out there and try to recreate her thing.”
Christine McVie did participate in Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 comeback album The Dance, but she left after the tour. “She was just in need of a radical life change,” says Buckingham. “She pretty much burned all her bridges in Los Angeles. She sold her house, ended her relationship, quit the band and moved back to England. It was a fairly sweeping set of changes, and something she needed to do for her reasons, though I’m not particularly clear on what those were.”
The group took a break after McVie quit, but regrouped in 2002 to begin work on Say You Will. “We all miss her, and we miss the equation that fivesome made,” Buckingham says. “It’s a different equation with the four. But for me, it actually opened up an opportunity to be a little more myself onstage. When you divide the material more or less down the middle, it gives me more of a chance to be the guy, and to be the kind of presence and energy I am onstage.”
The adjustment has been more difficult for Stevie Nicks. “She misses the female camaraderie,” says Buckingham. “So it’s been a double-edged sword for her. But as the band evolved as a four-piece, it became less relevant to put songs of hers in there. We haven’t felt a need to do that, even though she had some hits. It’s just . . . it is what it is. The band is a different band now. On the other hand, ‘Don’t Stop’ is just one of those anthems with a strong message. That’s why Bill Clinton latched onto it. It’s a very effective encore song for us.”
The show wraps with “Say Goodbye,” the only song of the night drawn from the group’s 2003 LP Say You Will. “As I said, Stevie and I have probably more of a connection now than we have in years,” says Buckingham. “You can feel it. It’s tangible on stage. In many ways, that song is the embodiment of that. When you look at ‘Without You,’ it’s Stevie writing a song about me when everything was before us and all those illusions were intact. ‘Say Goodbye’ was written 10 years ago, when most of our experience together was behind us. Part of those illusions had fallen away.”
Much of their story may be behind them, but Lindsey and Stevie are still taking the stage together night after night and collaborating on new material. “It was difficult for years to get complete closure,” Buckingham says. “There was never any time to not be together. It was kind of like picking the scab off an open wound again and again. That’s part of the legacy of the band. But ‘Say Goodbye’ is a very sweet song, and it’s about her: ‘Once you said goodbye to me/Now I say goodbye to you.’ It took a long time. All those illusions have fallen away, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t resolve and hope and belief in the future in a different context. That’s really what the song is about, and we end the set with just the two of us singing that song.”
Mick Fleetwood clearly gets the question all the time.
And he completely gets the question.
How can the majority of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous lineup — drummer Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks — still be making music together after all these famously tumultuous years?
Well, he said with a laugh, it’s still a bit of a shock for him, too.
“I think you have to concede that. … You know, (it) used to be years and years and years ago still quite painful, in many ways, and all the well-worn stories of survival — emotional survival — through all of that, I won’t say they’re boring because even to us, we look at that and go like ‘How the *** DID we get through all that?’” Fleetwood said in a phone interview from Los Angeles before the April 4 launch of the band’s North American tour.
“You just have to really attribute it to a form of perverse devotion for sure to the music and what we were able to do. We were really lucky to be able to be doing it. I think we all realized that.”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are bringing their “Fleetwood Mac Live 2013” trek to the BOK Center on Wednesday night. The legendary band previously played the Tulsa venue the last time it hit the road together, on 2009’s sold-out “Unleashed Tour.”
The longtime bandmates have reunited on the road to mark the 35th anniversary reissue of their most iconic album, Rumours, but they’re also celebrating the release of new music. On Tuesday, the band dropped on iTunes a four-track EP appropriately titled Extended Play.
It’s practically impossible to think of Rumours without thinking of the interpersonal havoc that birthed it: McVie and his wife, Christine McVie, the band’s now-retired singer/songwriter/pianist, filed for divorce, while Buckingham and Nicks broke off their long-term romance. Fleetwood and his wife divorced, too, and he and Nicks had an affair.
Despite the turmoil, Fleetwood said the band concentrated on making the album a “complete piece of work” rather than just a collection of random tracks. Because the turmoil informed the songwriting, Rumours became one of the most popular and acclaimed records in rock history, winning the Grammy for Album of the Year and selling more than 40 million copies worldwide since its 1977 debut.
“I think the songs, the vocal delivery on the album and the approach with the harmonies and stuff was something for sure fresh and maybe somewhat ‘wow, not (another) band sounds like that.’ So we were blessed with all that stuff. And then I think the songs were great, and they were pop-driven songs, but they weren’t stupid and they weren’t corny. But they were really accessible,” Fleetwood said.
“Then you had this bunch … that started telling their own story literally through those songs and then as that unfolded, it became part and parcel outside of the music, this mythological story of this impossible situation these people had found themselves in. I think the whole putting together of all those components became something that people identified with and in many ways were attracted to it, probably because they felt similar themselves very often, that they were just a bit of an emotional mess,” he added.
“We’re all in our 60s now, and people still talk about this human condition calling card which was ‘Rumours.’”
With the bustling solo careers Nicks and Buckingham have carved out, the native Englishman said creating new Fleetwood Mac music has been a challenge. Plus, the drummer, 65, who now lives on Maui, opened Fleetwood’s On Front Street restaurant last year and continues to make music with his Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, which recently played a special show featuring Christine McVie and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler on the island he calls home.
Tuesday’s EP release marked the band’s first new music debut in a decade. Fleetwood, John McVie and Buckingham assembled several months ago in L.A. and recorded about nine “really fresh and vibrant” songs they hoped would be the starting point for a new album from the group. Nicks was busy with her own tour and then her mother’s death, but before the quartet hit the road, she added her vocals to a few tracks and recorded “Without You,” a previously unreleased song from her pre-Fleetwood Mac days with Buckingham Nicks.
Along with “Without You,” the digital EP features the poppy tracks “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy” and the wistful piano ballad “It Takes Time.” Hopefully, the EP will herald the coming of a full-length follow-up to 2003’s Say You Will, Fleetwood said.
“We’re musicians at work, and now we have the grace just to say ‘When this is right, we’ll do it.’ Stevie’s ready to do it and wants to do it, and off we go. And we’ll be wrapped around each other for the better part of probably 18 months, you know, working all over the world.”
Despite the band’s turbulent history, Fleetwood said the quartet was instantly in harmony when they came together for rehearsals.
“It’s just like it could have been like three days ago, and it’s actually maybe four years ago that we all were on the road,” he said.
“It’s like opening up a time capsule that is very familiar, and then we literally just plug in and ‘let’s go’ and it’s all intact.”
Brandy McDonnell / News OK / Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mick Fleetwood on Fleetwood Mac: ‘It Would Make A Great Play’
Not long ago, the idea of Fleetwood Mac ever touring again seemed far-fetched at best. But as of this spring, not only is the band back on the road — according to drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood, they’re having an easier time filling seats than in the past.
“We seem to have a band of angels up there organizing what we do down here. … I don’t know; maybe people think we’re never gonna do this again, or we’re all gonna drop dead or something,” Fleetwood says. “But on a positive note, I think it’s indicative of Fleetwood Mac’s extremely interesting story — that just when you think it’s sort of going into a ditch, it comes out the other side.”
This week, Fleetwood Mac unveiled another surprise: a four-song EP of brand-new music, released digitally via iTunes and simply called Extended Play. Mick Fleetwood spoke with NPR’s David Greene about the band’s uncommon staying power. Hear the radio version on Morning Edition tomorrow (the audio will then be archived at the link on this page).
There have been drugs; there have been relationship ups and downs in the band. Does that mean you almost have to come to the edge, and then kind of come back from the edge to keep doing what you’re doing? Is that necessary?
God knows I don’t know whether it’s necessary, but the fact is it happened. And without getting artsy-fartsy or therapeutic, the reality is you have to take responsibility — not only as a person within the group of people, but then you look at it as a collective, which is the band known as Fleetwood Mac. And we have.
A lot of your fans, I think, see you still out there — after all the roller-coaster and the soap opera — and a lot of fans are like, “Wow. Fleetwood Mac, through all the changes, all the years, different faces — they’re still here.” Are you surprised that you’re still here as well?
[Laughing] Hmm … no. I’m not. I think what I have to confess to is that I had nothing else to do apart from keep this band going. So I’m sort of not surprised.
It sounds like you’re almost a prisoner to the band and the idea.
Well, that’s an interesting phrase. And in truth, just as of late — the last few years, really — I’ve had to work at just not being this creature that almost gets obsessed: “It’s gotta continue,” and “What if … ?” And I’ve truly done pretty good at letting go. And it’s truly appropriate: We’ve done way too much, all of us, to be herded into my world of, “At all costs, Fleetwood Mac.”
So now, what you see is really pretty much a version of a bunch of people that happen to want to do something. And they haven’t been coerced or crafted, or sold their soul to the company store. … All of that stuff is gone. Which makes this, again, a really, really clear vision of what we’re doing. And I can’t think of any other band that I know that has gone through the arc of all of these [changes], even before Stevie and Lindsey. It would make a great play, and I hope one day that we somehow do that.
And of course, you’ve played a role in the play. You’ve had the struggles that we all know about with drug addiction; there was a relationship with you and Stevie Nicks that a lot of people read about. Is there a song from Fleetwood Mac that you feel like kind of captures your role in the whole play?
I’d say “The Chain.” [That song’s message should] be written on my grave: “That’s what he did. He half-killed himself keeping this bunch together.”
Are you playing that song out on the tour right now?
Yeah. It’s one of the songs, I think, that if we didn’t play, we’d be lined up and shot.
You told my colleague Scott Simon, about four years ago, that you actually realized that the audience wanted the old ones. You were actually happy to report that you had no new songs to play, because you wanted to spare your audience — let them enjoy the oldies.
Well, that’s true. People love to hear things that they tell their own stories to. Creative stuff that comes from the artist very quickly becomes the property, as it should, [of the audience] — to be reinterpreted and create a backdrop for parts of their lives.
Have you seen a change in the audience over the years?
Absolutely. There’s retrospection involved, I’m sure. … The lovely thing is, we truly are blessed with huge amounts of young people that are totally getting what we’re doing. And that’s why these new songs are hugely important. Lindsey would be the main flag-waver as to being really excited about the thought that we’re not treading water, and that we are creative.
He’s pushing for new material.
Yeah, and I think that’s his epitaph, or would be. Stevie’s is a bit of everything, including the blessing of truly and naturally being just so … well, talented for sure; we know that. But she has a magic mantle that is very profound, and it comes only once in a while to certain performers, and she is one of them for sure.
That’s her epitaph. Yours is, “Let’s keep the band together,” and Lindsey’s is, “Let’s continue being creative.”
We’ve all had functions in Fleetwood Mac. And because of that, I think, it’s not a stretch to [say] that’s probably why we’ve survived all this.
One of the songs on the new EP, “Miss Fantasy,” strikes me as something that could have been on Rumours in 1977; it’s very much your sound from the ’70s.
Whatever that is [laughs]. I think it’s fair to say that that album has become tonally timeless.
It feels like you’re not trying to break into some new sound in this new day. You’re carrying on a tradition that you feel good about.
It’s the band. The Stones did their Beatle thing, and they go, “Eh, we’re The Rolling Stones. Let’s just leave this alone.” That’s who they are, so whatever they do, you know it’s them — and they’re comfortable with it, and they’re really good at it. … So I take that as a huge compliment, what you’re saying.
Stevie Nicks has said that she hasn’t spent much time on the Internet, doesn’t have a laptop. She’s sort of said, “I guess we need to put songs out on this thing called iTunes.” You don’t seem like a band that’s embracing all sorts of new technologies. You seem like you’re kind of doing it the old way.
We know that this is really something we’ve never done — put out something on iTunes. And we’re going, “Well, we don’t have a completed album.” And maybe we’ll find out that people really, actually, seriously want us to do that. And if not, then this has been fun.
You said that you thought a lot of people might be coming out to your concerts right now because they’re worried this might be the end; they want to say goodbye. Is that a possibility?
No, I think it’s incredibly vibrant, the lifeblood of Fleetwood Mac. So you can pull that one out of your psyche.
This is not a farewell tour. Not even close.
No. We’re just bowled over that something is showing itself in this funny, mysterious way — hence me talking about this bunch of angels up there, organizing what we do. I’m thinking they’re very busy planning something into the future for Fleetwood Mac.
Listen to the interview on Morning Edition from NPR
By Brandy McDonnell News OK
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Fleetwood Mac debuted its first new music in a decade today, dropping an EP appropriately titled Extended Play on iTunes. Click here to download and listen.
The EP includes four songs: the poppy tracks “Sad Angel” and “Miss Fantasy,” the wistful piano ballad “It Takes Time” and “Without You” and a previously unreleased track that singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks penned about singer/songwriter/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham back in their pre-Fleetwood Mac Buckingham Nicks duo days.
The majority of Fleetwood Mac’s most famous lineup — drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie, Buckingham and Nicks — is touring North American to mark the 35th anniversary reissue of their most iconic album, Rumours, as well as celebrating the release of new music.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are bringing their “Fleetwood Mac Live 2013” trek to the BOK Center on Wednesday night. The legendary band previously played the Tulsa venue the last time it hit the road together, on 2009′s sold-out “Unleashed Tour.”
Fleetwood spoke enthusiastically about the planned EP in a phone interview prior to the tour’s April 4 launch in Ohio. Hopefully, the EP will herald the coming of a full-length follow-up to 2003′s “Say You Will,” he said.
“You know, we work when we feel good. And now we work when everyone has been able to — especially Stevie. She has a hugely successful solo career and she loves that world that is her world. And Lindsey also does great stuff, as do I. You know, I have my fun, not on such a profound level,” said Fleetwood, who plays with The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band Featuring Rick Vito.
“But we’re musicians at work, and now we have the grace just to say ‘When this is right, we’ll do it.’ And Stevie’s ready to do it and wants to do it, and off we go. And we’ll be wrapped around each other for the better part of probably 18 months, you know, working all over the world.”
The drummer said he, John McVie and Buckingham assembled several months ago in Los Angeles and recorded about nine “really fresh and vibrant” songs they hoped would be the starting point for a new album from the group. Nicks was busy with her own tour and then her mother’s death, but before the quartet hit the road, she added her vocals to a few tracks and recorded “Without You.”
“(The EP) will be, I hope, the beginning of maybe something that could transform in some of the free time we have in between sections of this now very long tour. I would love to think that we could do three or four things with Stevie, and in truth, you would then have a Fleetwood Mac album. Yes. I hope,” Fleetwood said.
He added, “We’re just taking it step by step and not doing things that don’t feel naturally comfortable. But if you’re asking me, I would love to see it happen, and Lindsey would be ahead of the game — and I know that he’d be incredibly excited to think that we could do that.
Despite the band’s stormy history, which was well-documented on the wildly popular and critically acclaimed Rumours album, Fleetwood said it was all very familiar and comfortable when he and his cohorts assembled in L.A. for tour rehearsals.
“If you wrote a script as to what happened to this bunch, you’d say ‘It’s fascinating but it’s completely untrue ‘cause you can’t have that happen.’ But it did. And I think now we look back on it with a sense of kindness. You know, I really do. I see Stevie and Lindsey in an extraordinarily good place and in good humor; they just know what not to do,” he said.
“You know, it’s like in rehearsals, it’s fascinating, I sit there back on my drums, and they get on that microphone and they’re talking about how we’re reaching out into maybe some of the things that they did in Buckingham Nicks when they were just Stevie and Lindsey. And that’s the two people I asked to join Fleetwood Mac. That’s the music that I heard. Stevie’s recorded (‘Without You,’) a really beautiful song that she wrote about Lindsey 40 years ago in Buckingham Nicks that never came out, and I think we’re pretty much gathering that we’re gonna do it onstage. And it’s mind-blowing and it’s just so sweet. And it’s a love song, and you know, she’s saying, ‘Yep, I guess I was really in love with you.’ (laughs) It’s a trip. It is a trip, not all of which has been pretty. But we’re here, and we’re real people, and as Lindsey would say, we’re still working at it. … But looking back, I don’t think any of us have any regrets ‘cause you go like, ‘You know, it’s how we felt.”
“You know, I think that’s part of the story when we walk on the stage is people do feel connected to us, and thus, us to them. And that’s an extra texture that’s really very powerful for us. We have a real relationship that’s felt outside of the music. And we’re not Neil Young or Bob Dylan who had a whole connect with the stuff they wrote about, political thoughts and philosophical thoughts and stuff. We’re a bunch of people that wrote some good music that was pop-oriented stuff that had a dark side to it and went out and weren’t thinking about telling anyone anything really,” he added with a laugh. “And suddenly got a huge connect with an audience. Yes, I think we made and continue to make some lovely music that we’re all really proud of. But truly, I think people just connected with us and our story, that ‘they’re actually real people.’”
Christine McVie may be the most underrated of the five members of Fleetwood Mac’s “classic” lineup. She’s been with the band since the days with Peter Green, wrote songs like “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun”, and “Say You Love Me,” and you probably didn’t know that she hasn’t been in the band proper since 1998. Since then, she has repeatedly refused to perform live with the band (despite performing on two songs on their last album, Say You Will). And Mick Fleetwood has given up on asking her to rejoin, but apparently, Christine has softened her stance.
In September, the band will perform three gigs at London’s O2 Arena, and Christine has said that she would be willing to do a duet at one of those concerts. Quoth Christine McVie: “If they wanted me to, I might pop back on stage when they’re in London just to do a little duet or something like that.”
Also, quoth Mick Fleetwood: “A lot of bands, including us, never know when the audience is going to finally disappear,” he said. “But we have a whole influx of new fans, young people who’ve been brought up on us by their parents or picked us up on the internet. There’ll be people on this tour in their seventies and others seeing us for the first time, and that’s really cool.”
And because I have two other Fleetwood Mac articles in my queue, one dating back all the way from February, and this article is short, I may as well cover those two here.
Earlier in the year, Mick Fleetwood spoke about the interpersonal dynamics of the group: “The biggest misconception to me is that these people really don’t like each other. That’s the worst rumour about Rumours. There’s bands out there, usually a bunch of guys, who don’t give a — about each other. They just come to an arrangement. We can’t do that. We’re all ex-lovers, so we don’t have that corporate, guy thing where it’s just ‘get the job done’. I think it bodes in our favour that, in a funny, shaky way, there is some integrity. We do actually love each other, for real. Unfortunately. ‘Cause it’s tough.”
And on the subject of ex-lovers in the group, Lindsey Buckingham had this to say about his relationship with Stevie Nicks: throughout their songs, there’s a “Subtext of love” between the two of them. Though they broke up while making Rumours, they still maintain a professional relationship.
Quoth Buckingham: “There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other. Maybe that’s fucked up but this is someone I’ve known since I was 16, and I think on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out. There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.”
When asked how he can work with an ex-girlfriend, he said: “You get used to it. And for me, getting married and having children was a positive outcome. I wonder sometimes how Stevie feels about the choices she made, because she doesn’t really have a relationship — she has her career. But there are a few chapters to be written in the Stevie-Lindsey legacy.”
Stevie Nicks replied that, while it was difficult at first, the duo recognised their priorities: “We never, ever, with everything that happened to us, ever, let love affairs break Fleetwood Mac up.” Well, at least they worked out their problems better than Richard and Linda Thompson did. Stay tuned for another Gallagher Brothers article in the near future.
The band became arguably the biggest act in rock in the late 1970s after guitarist/singer Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks joined three previous members of Fleetwood Mac — drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and keyboardist/singer Christine McVie (the bassist’s former wife) — in 1975 and released three straight blockbuster albums, Fleetwood Mac (1975), Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) that established the lineup as the classic edition of Fleetwood Mac.
In a conversation with Fleetwood, it’s very clear that today’s four core band members (Christine McVie retired in 1998) are very much invested in the band and far from complacent about its live show. In fact, the band spent six full weeks rehearsing for this year’s tour, it’s first in three years.
“We know the nuts and bolts are all in place and we have confidence in that,” Fleetwood says. “But we also have like a garage band-like mentality where we go sh–, we’re actually playing down at the local town hall next week. We better be good. And it [that nervousness] doesn’t really go away, which is a nice thing. We’re not all jaded and so showbizzed out that we’re all super slick and go ‘Ah, piece of cake.’ We’re not like that at all. We’re all quite sh—ing ourselves.”
Fleetwood says the shows will, of course, feature signature hits.
“We know that we have sort of a body of songs that, in truth, if we didn’t do them, we’d probably be all lined up and shot,” he says. “So we have sort of eight or nine songs that no matter what, we know people are going to want for us to do them, and we are totally cool with doing them. If we walked on the stage and didn’t play ‘Dreams,’ I think people would be shocked. So we don’t go there. So what we do is we take the prime songs, ‘Go Your Own Way,’ ‘Dreams,’ songs like that, and then build a new show around the fact that we, of course, are going to be doing those songs.”
This is Fleetwood Mac’s first tour since 2009’s “Unleashed” tour. Buckingham and Nicks are busy with solo careers, making Fleetwood Mac part of the picture, but not the entire one. Following the “Unleashed” tour, Buckingham released the studio album, Seeds We Sow, and Nicks released In Your Dreams. Both artists toured extensively to support the albums.
The personal history and inter-personal dynamics within Fleetwood Mac also create challenges, and, according to Fleetwood, are another indication of why the four band members are all in when they reunite.
“When we do do it, we work really hard at it and we’re committed to it,” he says. “We fundamentally have to be happy to be doing this because we’re all ex-lovers and all the stuff that is well worn news out there.”
As has been well documented, Buckingham and Nicks were a couple (and were recording as Buckingham-Nicks) when they joined Fleetwood Mac. The McVies were also married at that time. But the relationships soon frayed, and the Rumours album (a deluxe expanded edition of the CD was released in January) was written in the midst of those breakups. Fleetwood and Nicks later became a couple for a time, while Buckingham later married and started a family.
“[This is] a bunch of people who aren’t just connected by the music, but connected by spending huge amounts of time [together], including Lindsey, Stevie and their journey,” Fleetwood says. “No, they’re not in love and Lindsey has an incredibly wonderful family. But the story they tell as two people is huge. And you know, there I am with Stevie, and me and Stevie had a long-lasting love affair. She’s the godmother of my children and it’s a trip. It’s a trip.”
This year’s reunion could turn out to be even more eventful than the one in 2009.
On the “Unleashed” tour, Fleetwood Mac essentially played a greatest hits set. But Fleetwood says this tour will blend in three or four new songs from those recorded last year when Buckingham, Fleetwood and McVie got together for a writing and rehearsal session.
“Stevie was on the road, and during that period she lost her mother, who passed,” Fleetwood says. “So she was not set up to come and join the party in that few weeks that me and Lindsey and John put some ideas together that Lindsey had.”
Nicks has since added her vocals to several of the songs Buckingham, Fleetwood and McVie recorded during the sessions and three of those songs will be available through iTunes shortly. Another song was written by Nicks. It’s an unreleased tune that dates back to before Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, and was recently rediscovered by Nicks and recorded with the band.
“It really tells the story of how Stevie and Lindsey joined Fleetwood Mac, which is when they were known as Buckingham-Nicks,” Fleetwood says. “It was an unrecorded song that Stevie actually wrote about Lindsey, and it’s a beautiful song …
“And this was the music that I heard in the studio that spurred me on to make the phone call and ask them to join Fleetwood Mac.”
Fleetwood says with any luck these songs will form the basis of a new Fleetwood Mac album that may be recorded later this year and released either ahead of Christmas or in early 2014.
This would be Fleetwood Mac’s first collection of new music since 2003’s Say You Will. That was the band’s first album without Christine McVie, and the tour that followed the album was not as harmonious as the band members would have wanted.
For Nicks, it was difficult to be the only woman in the band and she sorely missed her close friend, McVie. And before regrouping for the “Unleashed” tour, the band flirted with having Sheryl Crow (a good friend with Nicks) join the band.
Nicks, in various interviews, has said she now is comfortable in the four-person Fleetwood Mac lineup, and Fleetwood notes that the guys try to help create a good environment for Nicks.
“Certainly the guys in the band are very aware of making sure that Stevie feels safe,” Fleetwood says. “When she comes back to Fleetwood Mac, she’s in a man’s world, you know. And two of them are men that she each had relationships with. It’s hugely important that she feels safe — and loved. And that’s the funny old thing that this band is all about. It’s powerful.”
When: 8 p.m. April 6
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Broad Street, Philadelphia
How much: $49.50, $79.50, $149.50
Set list: Hits such as “Go You Own Way” and “Dreams,” and recently recorded new music
Fleetwood Mac to go their own way performing new songs on tour — and fans outraged at ‘tickets that cost more than my rent’
Fans might clamour for the hits from Rumours but Fleetwood Mac will perform new material on their forthcoming tour.
Speaking to BBC 6 Music drummer Mick Fleetwood said the band had written three new songs, which they plan to play on stage later this year.
The 65-year-old hinted the recordings could be part of a “long term plan” to release a new studio album.
But fans hit back today at the price of tickets for the Fleetwood Mac tour, due to play in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin. Tickets are priced between £50 and £125, but with a £12.50 booking fee can reach up to £137.50 each.
One fan tweeted: “Sorry Fleetwood Mac but your tickets cost more than my rent” while another said: “£135 each for Fleetwood Mac tickets…are they having a giraffe? Top price Beyonce tickets look set to be £95 too. Robbing bastards.”
The Rolling Stones were also criticised by fans last year for the cost of their tour, with tickets selling for as much as £1,300.
After frequent changes to the line-up since the band formed in London in 1967, the 2013 tour will feature Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and founding members Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass.
Fleetwood revealed this morning that he had written some songs with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham six months ago as “a calling card” for singer Nicks.
“We wanted her to know we wanted to make some new music and we had some great songs,” he said.
“But her mother died not too long after and it wasn’t the time for her to do any singing, so we dropped it.
”Then recently she’s sung on three of them and recorded one original song of hers, so we’re going to mix these songs down and there’ll be something that we will play hopefully on stage.“
Nicks vowed last year that the tour would not be the band’s last, who have had more than four decades of making music.
“It’s never going to be a final tour until we drop dead. There’s no reason for this to end as long as everyone is in good shape and takes care of themselves,” she said.
The band have written three new songs which they may debut on their jaunt
Fleetwood Mac have promised to perform new music on their upcoming UK tour while hinting that they could even release a brand new album.
The “Go Your Own Way” hitmakers announced last week that they will be embarking on a world tour kicking off in April, and in addition to their classic hits, it looks like fans are in for a treat with the band revealing they will be performing new songs they have written recently.
“I hope there’s a demand for it,” drummer Mick Fleetwood told BBC 6 Music. Mick added that the songs were written in a bid to entice Stevie Nicks to rejoin the group.
“We wanted her to know we wanted to make some new music and we had some great songs,” Mick said.
“But her mother died not too long after and it wasn’t the time for her to do any singing, so we dropped it.”
“Then recently she’s sung on three of them and recorded one original song of hers, so we’re going to mix these songs down and there’ll be something that we will play hopefully on stage.”
Fleetwood Mac’s last album, Say You Will, was released in 2003, while their 1977 record, Rumours, re-entered the charts this week at number three.
The band will perform 34 dates in the US beginning in April before moving to Europe in the summer and the UK in September and October.