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Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood on Peter Green tribute show, future plans, Lindsey Buckingham

“Lindsey’s legacy is alive and well, and as it should be. It will never be taken away, and never be down-spoken by any of us.”

Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood should be relaxing. He just wrapped up a 13-month world tour — Fleetwood Mac’s first since parting ways with Lindsey Buckingham and replacing him with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn — but the 72-year-old drummer is already deep into planning his next project: a tribute concert to Peter Green, who co-founded Fleetwood Mac and wrote many of the group’s early classics before being sidelined by mental illness and addiction issues. The show is set for February 25th in London, with special guests David Gilmour, Christine McVie, John Mayall, and Steven Tyler. “I wanted people to know that I did not form this band — Peter Green did,” Fleetwood says. “And I wanted to celebrate those early years of Fleetwood Mac, which started this massive ball that went down the road over the last 50 years.”

Peter Green hasn’t been seen much in public over the past decade. When is the last time that you and he spoke?

It was about a year and a half ago. I went out with my girlfriend, and spent the day with him. He’s not the Peter that I knew, clearly. But he plays acoustic guitar. He loves painting, and fishing is his hobby. It’s no secret that he took a left turn and never came back, but he’s OK. He also has really little or no ego at all, which is unbelievable. You want to go, “Do you realize what you did?” “No, no. Yeah, I suppose so.” He has no ego about what he did.

Might he perform at the show?

No. But it seems he’s going to come. He wants to keep a very, very low profile, and that’s fine. This is about the journey Peter took into the music, and that music is still alive. Everyone that’s on this show has their own poignant story about being connected to that early band.

Will John McVie be there?

Not as of the moment. He’s in the middle of one of his sailing trips. But Christine [McVie] will be there.

I loved hearing you guys play “Man of the World” on this past tour.

Neil Finn did a really good job on that. It’s a very prophetic song. It wasn’t exactly the last song [Peter] made with us. That was “The Green Manalishi.” When he made those songs, we had no idea that he was suffering internally as much as he was. But if you listen to the words, it’s crucifyingly obvious what was going on. But a beautiful song. A poignant song.

Peter was one of about 10 guitarists who have left the band over the years. Why can’t you and John ever hold onto guitarists?

We don’t really know. It’s daunting when you look at all the great guitarists that have come through our ranks. But John and I have always just kept the band going. We can’t do this on our own. Every time [someone leaves] we go, “Well, what the fuck are we going to do now? Find another guitar player!”

I’ve heard there’s talk of a Fleetwood Mac Broadway musical.

There’s always been talk about doing something like that. I hope it can happen at some point. A lot of people, understandably, would say, “Wow, that would make a really good musical.” It is an incredibly interesting story, especially the period around Rumours. But it’s not formed.

How do you feel physically, after wrapping up that recent marathon tour?

It’s actually coming off the road that’s the downer. You find yourself wondering why you start to get antsy around 8 p.m. It’s this military-type of stress where you just keep going and going, so you have to be careful with how you work your re-entry so you don’t beat yourself up too much.

What are the future plans for the group? I’ve read that Stevie Nicks is preparing a long solo tour.

We had a lovely get-together in L.A. about two weeks ago after the tour. We are all very open to that continuing in the band. There’s no breaking up of the band. We were like, “Give us a break. Give us a few weeks before we start wondering what to do.” In the New Year, we’ll touch on what the vision is.

What is your vision for what that might be?

We’re not going to do a [long] tour, I would say, ever again. But there’s loads of alternatives. People like Peter Gabriel have a lovely way of working where they go and just do four or five major festivals during the summer. That’s the sort of vision that I see for Fleetwood Mac. We’re able to cherry-pick things that have dignity, and are fun to do, and they’re historically interesting.

A lot of bands are doing farewell tours now. Can you ever see Fleetwood Mac doing one of those?

I suppose. It would be the right thing to do, to let people know you’re not wanting to play again. We are not at that point, but if we get there, it’s a pretty good, gracious thing to let people know they’ll never see the band play again.

Do you see any scenario where you’d ever play with Lindsey Buckingham again?

No. Fleetwood Mac is a strange creature. We’re very, very committed to Neil and Mike, and that passed away a time ago, when Lindsey left. And it’s not a point of conversation, so I have to say no. It’s a full drama of Fleetwood Mac, no doubt. His legacy is alive and well, and as it should be. A major, major part that will never be taken away, and never be down-spoken by any of us. Neil and Mike have tremendous respect for Lindsey. The situation was no secret. We were not happy. It was not working, and we parted company. And that really is the all of it.

Have you spoken to Lindsey since his heart attack?

I have not.

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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2018-2019 Tour Article Fleetwood Mac Mick Fleetwood

GAK YEARS: Mick Fleetwood confirms ‘tale’ of his seven-mile line of cocaine

As the backbone of rock legends Fleetwood Mac for more than 50 years, Mick Fleetwood has enjoyed more debauchery, hard living than just about anyone else.

Now 71, he became renowned as one of the wildest men in music, and in an exclusive interview during Fleetwood Mac’s world tour he even confirms a long-standing tale about a seven-mile line of cocaine.

Chatting in a dressing room, where his only indulgence is a glass of red wine, drummer Mick says: “We could sit here and I go into some war story about snorting seven miles of cocaine.

“I guess we figured we did X amount a day, and then some goofball got out a calculator and came up with that seven miles figure and said, ‘Isn’t that funny?’ And it sort of is. But not in the context of where I want to end up.

“There was never a conscious decision on my part to stop that lifestyle. I think it naturally just drifted away.

“I speak for myself, although Stevie (Nicks) has been outspoken about some of the choices she made too.

“It came to an end, thankfully. Because, God forbid, it could easily have ended the really bad way — for sure, that could have happened. In some ways I’m happy I got through it and didn’t bite the big bullet. But I just had a profound awareness and a realisation that enough is enough.”

Larger than life, both in personality and physically, 6ft 5in Mick laughs as he recalls the tale about coke — known as gak — that was first made by a former sound engineer. But he adds: “I’m conscious that I want to speak appropriately about this. Because the romance of those war stories can adulate something which is not a good idea.

INTERNAL FEUDING

“The truth is the truth. But in many ways we shared too much information. Looking back, I can see an element of responsibility which I now regret not seeing before.”

The band’s world tour arrived in London last night, as they performed to a capacity 90,000 crowd at Wembley Stadium, with a second date tomorrow before they head to Australia, having already crossed much of North America.

The gigs pack in decades of hits and have received rave reviews for a band that is renowned for its ability to reinvent itself after a string of line-up changes sparked by internal feuding.

But as Mick Fleetwood admits, the acrimonious exit of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham 18 months ago after he refused to go on tour could have marked the end of one of rock’s great names. Instead he was replaced by two newcomers — Neil Finn of Crowded House and guitar virtuoso Mike Campbell.

I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.

Mick says: “Lindsey’s departure was traumatic and a major change for the band, but we decided we wanted to carry on. We made the decision together. Of course, we could have just stopped and it probably would have been an easy point to stop, but we definitely didn’t want to.

“Lindsey left fairly acrimoniously and we weren’t getting on well any more, and yes, it is a happier ship to be on. We have two new people in the band who have been hugely accepted and welcomed, but in many ways it does amaze me that we are still here all these years later, after all of the ups and downs.

“Me and John (McVie) sometimes talk about it — we look around and say, ‘How did that all happen?’”

Mick confirms to me bluntly that he has not spoken to Lindsey since their bust-up, and adds: “I don’t think there will be a point where the band’s former members all end up back in a good place together.

“If you’d asked me that years ago I would have said so, being the old dreamer that I tend to be.

“But now I just accept things how they are, and try to be civil and open. All of these lovely people have put their hearts and souls into Fleetwood Mac, and the franchise should absolutely honour those people in every way, and it does.

“The music comes back to haunt everyone afterwards anyway — and usually that wins out in the end.”

He continues: “There’s no doubt those were hard-lived days. For a while within Fleetwood Mac there were romances and that lifestyle you mention and the other stuff got forgotten — and we really asked for that trouble.

“We were too open about who we were and what we were doing — probably very naïve.

“All anyone ever asked about was ‘Who is sleeping with who?’ or ‘Who is angry with who?’ And you start to feel it’s a shame.

“Now they intelligently talk about what we did musically. That’s import- ant to us. We never wanted to make fools of ourselves too many times.”

Today Mick accepts the band will not last for ever and says: “We’ve had a hell of a ride and we continue to, it’s amazing, really. We know that there’s an end in sight.

“People ask, ‘When are you going to hang it up?’ I’m asked, ‘Why are you still doing this? Need the money?’

“But imagine asking Paul McCartney or Elton John, the Rolling Stones — hugely iconic people, and you know they don’t need the money. It’s simply a case of that’s what they do.

“And this is simply what we do. It’s a huge privilege — and it isn’t really any more complicated than that.”

Simon Boyle / The Sun (UK) /June 16, 2019

 

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Article Fleetwood Mac Mick Fleetwood Morrison Hotel Gallery

Mick Fleetwood chats with Billboard

Mick Fleetwood opens up about his rock photography, Fleetwood Mac’s tour without Lindsey Buckingham, and a new 50-year retrospective.

The 71-year-old rock drummer, who has been taking his own cameras out on the road with him since the early days of Fleetwood Mac, has always had an affinity for a great rock and roll shot. In order to share that with the public, he teamed up with the Morrison Hotel Gallery in 2016 to open a gallery space inside his Maui-based restaurant, Fleetwood’s General Store, which features a rotating array of fine art music photography.

On Saturday night (Aug. 4) in Los Angeles, Fleetwood — who is in town rehearsing for the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour — popped by the Sunset Marquis Hotel in conjunction with the Morrison Hotel Gallery to showcase a selection of his favorite music shots, which included candid photos of the likes of Keith Richards, John Lee Hooker and bandmate Stevie Nicks.

Billboard caught up with Fleetwood on site to discuss his love of rock photography, his secret mission to infiltrate the stash of early Fleetwood Mac shots that McVie has been holding hostage and what he’s most looking forward to about his band’s upcoming tour.

We’re celebrating our sixth year with my Fleetwood’s, and in a restaurant that’s a lot. That’s another way to lose your hair but we’re part of the fabric there now, which is great. We opened up with the Morrison Hotel Gallery about two years ago and it’s been a huge success. Pattie Boyd, who was married to George Harrison and Eric [Clapton], did a little tour with Peter Blachley, one of the owners of the gallery. I met them in Australia years ago when Pattie was doing a show and I went to support. We were on the road and Christine, myself and John went to a gallery opening to support Stevie who was showing a Polaroid shot. She doesn’t really do that but Peter approached her and she said, “Okay. I’ll do it.” I met Peter again. We talked about one day doing something and then he came on holiday to our gallery. We had a regular gallery with open art at Fleetwood’s and I decided to go into partnership with Morrison Hotel Gallery. I said, “This is it.” For me, it’s a perfect fit. It makes a lot of sense because this is my world. We have a lot of fun. Whenever I’m at the restaurant, I pop down into the gallery and talk about some of the pieces that I know and introduce some of the people in the photographs that I was inspired by.

What is it about rock photography that speaks to you?

Photography-wise, I do bits and pieces on landscapes and stuff, which is what we used to have in the gallery. Am I a serious dude? No. I just have fun doing it. And then a guy who owned a gallery in Maui was like, “You should put some of these up. People would love to see them.” So that’s how it started, showing photos, and I have fun doing that. I have a reverence for great photography. But I don’t consider myself in that league.

John McVie, who is the bass player in Fleetwood Mac, is a really good photographer and he never did anything with it. It’s just like, “John, why don’t you show somewhere?” I don’t think he can be bartered. But I actually referenced him in terms of buying good cameras back in the day and learning a little bit about stuff. I was the annoying guy with the camera way back in the day when I first started touring with John. Everyone used to go “Ah! Here is the busy body with the camera. This joker. Get out of here.” But now they appreciate them. It’s like being in a family where you’re like, “Thank God dad forced us to take all those pictures.”

I have a lot of respect for these rock photographers. You realize that some of them were really led into the inner circles of some of these artists and bands. And you see how those photographs really capture the artist, the moment. You really have to give these people kudos. There is something about them as people that allowed this type of thing to happen and that doesn’t seemingly ever really get referenced.

Are the walls in your home covered with rock photography?

I have a very sweet and lovely home but my place hasn’t got much wall space — but I keep buying art. I go to my own gallery and I say, “Oh I want one of those.” I’ve got this whole load of photographs in storage. During this tour, I’m building a barn that is going to be a drum room and I have great aspirations for my overload of rock photography to be up on the wall there. And I will probably insist that John McVie gives me some of the shit he’s got on Fleetwood Mac.

What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming Fleetwood Mac tour?

We’re very excited. Obviously this is a huge change with the advent of Lindsey Buckingham not being a part of Fleetwood Mac. We all wish him well and all the rest of it. In truthful language, we just weren’t happy. And I’ll leave it at that in terms of the dynamic. And he’s going out on the road more or less the same time I think — not in the same places, I hope (laughs). So we’re with Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and Neil Finn from Crowded House — both really credible gentleman and really talented. We are a week into rehearsals and it’s going really well and we’re looking forward, in true Fleetwood Mac style. If you know anything about the history of this band, it’s sort of peppered with this type of dramatic stuff. It’s a strange band really. It’s ironic that we have a 50-year package coming out with all the old blues stuff with Peter Green, all the incarnations of Fleetwood Mac, which was not of course planned. But that’s what we’re feeling, especially myself and John, having been in Fleetwood Mac for 55 years. So it’s exciting, totally challenging in the whole creative part of it, and we’re really loving it. We’re just looking at a whole 18 months on-and-off of trekking around the world like we normally do and having it be fun.

Nicole Pajer / Billboard / Sunday, August 5, 2018

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2013 European Tour 2013 Rumours Tour Christine McVie Dave Stewart Mick Fleetwood Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams

Christine McVie reunites with Mac members for UK premiere

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.

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Christine McVie Dave Stewart Mick Fleetwood Stevie Nicks: In Your Dreams

Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood to appear @ UK In Your Dreams premiere

Christine McVie
Christine McVie

Taking place at the Curzon Mayfair, London on Monday 16th September, Nicks will also be joined by Dave Stewart who collaborated with her on the documentary. The film opens just ahead of Fleetwood Mac’s 2013 World Tour which kicks off in Dublin on 20th September.

The premiere will be introduced by journalist Craig MacLean who will host a Q&A with Nicks before the screening.

The synopsis for In Your Dreams is:

Co-produced and co-directed by Dave Stewart, “In Your Dreams shows the up close and personal musical journey that the two artists embarked on in Nicks’ Los Angeles home as they wrote and recorded an album during what Nicks called “the greatest year of my life”. Nicks felt compelled to share the joyful experience with her fans on what she termed “the day the circus came to town”. The record was co-written by Nicks and Stewart and produced by Stewart and Glen Ballard.

A multi Grammy Award winning artist and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Nicks allowed cameras inside her magical old mansion high atop the hills of LA with a wild cast of musicians and friends. The inner life of the legendary Nicks has by her design long been kept at a distance from the public. We learn in “Dreams” that her world features costume parties, elaborate dinner feasts, tap dancing, fantasy creations and revealing song writing and recording sessions all of which are captured on film. There are cameos by Edgar Allan Poe, Mick Fleetwood, Reese Witherspoon, a massive white stallion in the backyard, owls and naturally a few vampires who appear in several “home movie” style music videos.

In addition to the story of the Nicks / Stewart creative partnership, “In Your Dreams” has plenty of other cinematic payoffs including rare never before seen personal scrapbook stills from Nicks’ childhood and family life and a wealth of candid backstage and performance shots taken over the last 35 years. The documentary was produced by Dave Stewart’s production company, Weapons of Mass Entertainment.

Pip Ellwood / Entertainment Focus / Wednesday, September 4, 2013

2011-0503-cheaper-than-free37
(Weapons of Mass Entertainment)

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1987-1988 Shake the Cage Tour Mick Fleetwood Tango in the Night (1987)

Fleetwood Mac goes its own way

Band finds there’s life after Buckingham

MICK FLEETWOOD swears he’s leaped out of coffins only three times in his life, two of which were during performances by his band, Fleetwood Mac.

It’s an impressive record. But the band has risen from the dead more often than Mick.

In the beginning there were Peter Green, Fleetwood, John McVie and Jeremy Spencer. That was back in 1967. Fleetwood Mac was an outgrowth of the John Mayall Blues Band and its stock in trade was American blues, pure and simple. A lot has changed since then.

The band underwent periodic lineup changes with long, long gaps between albums. Even when the lineup wasn’t changing the dynamics were spectacular: The band even aired its private turmoils in Rumours, probably its finest album.

Each independent project (Fleetwood’s The Visitor, Stevie Nicks’ Belladonna, Lindsey Buckingham’s Law and Order) fueled rumors that the band’s days were over.

But each time Fleetwood Mac came back, stronger than ever.

Take the current reincarnation, for example. Shirley MacLaine would be proud.

Most bands would fold when their chief songwriter-guitarist-matinee idol packs it in just before a tour.

Not the Mac, not Mick.

“When Lindsey (Buckingham) decided not to do the tour,” Fleetwood said recently, “I decided, rather than roll over like a dead dog — which is not my style; I don’t think it’s Fleetwood Mac’s style — let’s at least keep the momentum going. We had everything going in a tour mode: We were booking gigs, we were putting a crew together.”

The band went out and recruited two guitarists, Rick Vito and Billy Burnett.

Is Fleetwood pleased with the current lineup?

“Oh, very much so. I mean, it’s still Fleetwood Mac in terms of what we’re playing, because we haven’t gone in and made a new album,” he said.

“I’m loving having two guitar players because in the early days we had three guitar players. It’s just brought a lot of new energy, a lot of excitement about what I know will happen in the future.

“In the meantime it’s blending really, really, well. We felt quietly confident …we wouldn’t have dreamt of going on the road in some gaffer tape situation.”

No, this is no gaffer tape situation.

Vito and Burnett are no strangers to the Mac.

In fact, Burnett is “like my brother” says Fleetwood. Son of rockabilly legend Dorsey Burnett, Billy has been a part of Fleetwood’s off-time band, the Zoo, for four years. He’s co-written music with Christine McVie. Vito has recorded with John McVie and John Mayall and most recently was touring with Bob Seger.

There was a comfortable feeling.

“We didn’t miss one beat,” says Fleetwood. “Rick and Billy just started exactly when we were supposed to. Had it not worked out then we would have canceled the tour, obviously.

“I was very much of the mind that we should continue to find a replacement or replacements for Lindsey, having been with Fleetwood Mac since it started and seeing varous changes taking place, this one being the most recent.

“One thing that we’ve never done is hang around, waiting and wondering. Just get on with it. If you want to continue being in the band, and you have that sort of feeling about it, then the people that are there have to become part of Rally Around Fleetwood Mac.

“We went into rehearsals and it took a half an hour before everyone turned around and said ‘Let’s go!’

Critics and fans have been rallying around the defiantly named “Shake the Cage Tour” as well. “The beast has some life in it yet,” said Rolling Stone. Weekly concert receipt reports routinely place the Mac in the top 10 since the tour began.

The most recent album, Tango in the Night, has been well positioned on Billboard’s album chart for 32 weeks now.

And that brings up a ticklish situation. Buckingham had a hand in writing seven of the album’s 12 songs. And he co-produced it. He gets co-credit for the cover concept and some additional engineering.

OK. Buckingham’s out. Doesn’t that leave a rather large hole?

It does, indeed. And you can either try to fill it or ignore it.

“We don’t do any of Lindsey’s songs,” said Fleetwood. “With respect to him, I don’t think it would be proper. One, it would be a tacky thing to do. Two, I wouldn’t dream of asking Billy or Rick to come into a situation and have to get up and be confronted with that sort of pressure. And thirdly and luckily, we don’t have to do that.

“The girls have plenty, more than enough, songs to draw on. Plus we’ve got some 20 years of records to draw on, which we are. We’re going way back to early blues stuff, which we’re having a lot of fun doing. People are loving it.”

They do one Buckingham song: “Go Your Own Way.”

Appropriate. But in no way meant to be acrimonious.

Buckingham’s departure “was like having the plug pulled,” says Fleetwood.

“It was not an easy thing for either Lindsey or us to go through after 12 years,” he said. “It’s no small thing to basically say goodbye to someone you’ve been working with that long. But needless to say, Lindsey changed his mind, which put us in a bit of a dilemma and him, too.”

As far as Fleetwood’s concerned, it’s all turned out for the best. Buckingham tried, but couldn’t bring himself to go on tour, he said.

“I give Lindsey all due credit,” he said. “Aside from initially feeling like one was sort of let down, in actual fact, in retrospect, he showed a lot of strength to tell us ‘I’m not doing it.’

“I’m glad it didn’t work out, because he would have been miserable, we would have been miserable, and it would not have been a pretty sight.

We’ve seen that sort of tour before, haven’t we?

At this fall’s MTV Video Awards show in Los Angeles the band made a big show of the newfound energy and togetherness. Both Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, looking healthy and chipper, said their next album project would be a Fleetwood Mac album.

The U.S. tour ends Dec. 18, followed by a short rest, followed by Australian and European tours. The band should get into the studio by late spring, early summer.

“There won’t be a big five-year gap,” assures Fleetwood. “We’ve had enough of that.”

P.S.: Mick started leaping from coffins at the tender age of 12 while on a carpentry shop tour with his English boarding school class. “The next time,” he says, “was when I was relatively out of my brain, in early Fleetwood Mac times.” He had a touring case made up like a coffin and used it onstage until the rest of the band made him get rid of it.

The third time was this past Halloween. He did a drum solo from inside the coffin.

Some things never change, eh?

Robert J. Hawkins / San Diego Union-Tribune (CA) / December 4, 1987

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1987-1988 Shake the Cage Tour Fleetwood Mac Mick Fleetwood Tango in the Night (1987)

Tangoing without Lindsey Buckingham

The liner of the latest album reads like a precocious kid’s school project. Produced by Lindsey Buckingham; arranged by Lindsey Buckingham; additional engineering by Lindsey Buckingham; cover concept by Lindsey Buckingham; half of the music and lyrics by Lindsey Buckingham.

So Fleetwood Mac gets ready to head out on tour to promote the album, Tango In the Night, and who decides not to go?

Right – Lindsey Buckingham.

After 12 years with the band, he has quit and gone back to work on a solo album.

“It had been building up,” says Mick Fleetwood, co-founder of the 20-year-old group. “He was making it clear that this was the last Fleetwood Mac album he would do. Finally, going on the road became the catalyst for leaving. He basically doesn’t enjoy the road.

“But if you’re a rock band, that’s what you do.”

If you’re this particular rock band, you’re like a ticket agent at an airport – you get used to arrivals and departures.

So Billy Burnette and Rick Vito replace Lindsey Buckingham, who replaced Bob Welch, who replaced Jeremy Spencer 16 years ago. Peter Green, Daniel Kirwan and Robert Weston have all come and gone. Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, now the heart of the Fleetwood Mac sound, were additions along the way. John McVie and Fleetwood are the only remaining members of the original band, which had its beginning in 1967.

“I prefer to see Lindsey happy out of the band rather than unhappy in it,” says Fleetwood, speaking by telephone from Los Angeles before a rehearsal session. “We’re fairly familiar with change, and it’s all been healthy, I think.”

He downplays the problem of touring with a new album that bears so many fingerprints of an ex-member. “We’ll only do about three songs off this album,” Fleetwood says. “One thing we’re not short of is material to draw on.” True. Their charted hits range from “Over My Head” in 1975 to “You Make Loving Fun” in 1977 to “Sara” in 1979 to “Seven Wonders” and “Little Lies” from “Tango In the Night,” and Fleetwood Mac is not averse to playing them.

“When I go to a concert, I like to hear the band do things I’m familiar with,” Fleetwood says. “When I browse around in a record shop, I tend to buy `greatest hits’ albums.

“The reason the audience is there is because they know you. We did a concert once with only new material, and we died.

“Besides, it would be unfair to the new members to say, `Here are 10 Lindsey Buckingham numbers. Learn them.’ That wouldn’t be very classy.”

When Buckingham decided to call it quits, deciding on his replacements was “painless,” according to Fleetwood. “In the Fleetwood Mac tradition, we kept going,” he says. “Billy Burnette is an extremely close friend who has played in my band, The Zoo, for the past four or five years. He had gotten to know everyone in Fleetwood Mac as a friend.

“I had known Rick Vito for several years, too, and had seen him perform. Also, he had been a huge Fleetwood Mac fan for years.”

If replacing Buckingham was a smooth, quick move, getting the album made in the first place was not.

“Logistically, it wasn’t easy,” Fleetwood says. “Lindsey had started working on the solo album he’s working on now, and the others were out doing other things. We had some meetings, with everyone hemming and hawing, and finally started talking about getting into the studio.

“Then Christine got a gig doing a movie sound track. She asked us to work with her on that, one thing led to another, and four of us found ourselves in a studio.”

That put them on course to make Tango In the Night, which was a relief to Fleetwood. “I was certainly keen to do it,” he says. “If we didn’t, there was a chance we never would do another album, and there would be no more Fleetwood Mac. I want the band to be a going concern.”

Buckingham was quoted by Rolling Stone magazine last spring as saying that this could be the last “Mac” album. Fleetwood says that isn’t so. “There’s no chance that this is the last album,” he says, and promised that the next one wouldn’t take four years to come together, as this one did.

He contends that the departure of Buckingham won’t seriously hamper the group’s song output. “There are no worries at all in that area,” he says. Neither of the latest hits is a Buckingham song, by the way. Nicks and Sandy Stewart wrote “Seven Wonders” and Christine McVie collaborated with Eddy Quintela on “Little Lies.”

Buckingham’s absence in the studio is likely to be felt. “Lindsey was definitely an instrumental part of the recording,” Fleetwood says. “It just will be different.”

The sound of the band could change subtly. “I hope so, in some respects,” says Fleetwood – but the Fleetwood Mac-ness seems to survive each goodbye.

“Christine and Stevie are inherently the basis of Fleetwood Mac music,” says Fleetwood, 45. “And with me on drums and John on bass as the rhythm section, that somehow ties it all together. When you hear us, you know it’s Fleetwood Mac.”

Jim Pollock / USA TODAY via Gannett News Service / October 2, 1987

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Mick Fleetwood Mirage (1982)

Mick Fleetwood affected by Malibu fire

Hundreds displaced, as firefighters continue to battle SoCal brush fire

Desert winds that fanned voracious brush fires through three Southern California counties died down today, helping firefighters control separate blazes that cut a $22 million swath of destruction.

Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange counties disaster areas Sunday after the fiery weekend left at least 80 homeowners with only an armful of possessions.

Authorities said both the 17,000-acre Gypsum Canyon blaze in Orange County and the 54,000-acre Dayton Canyon fire in Los Angeles and Ventura counties would be contained by tonight.

‘We’re still holding full containment and should have control by 6 p.m.,’ county fire spokesman John Cummings said.

He said winds, which gusted up to 65 mph Saturday, had moderated to 15 to 30 mph.

‘We’d like it to be zero, but it’s better than what it was,’ he said. ‘We’ll have 300 men on the line and if we can complete our containment line, we’ll be in good shape.’

In Orange County, a fire dispatcher said ‘the winds have died down, but it still is pretty warm and dry.’

He predicted the blaze, 90 percent contained and 60 percent controlled, would be fully controlled by noon.

No deaths were reported, but 150 people, including more than 20 firefighters, were injured, most from smoke inhalation. Carcasses of small animals, some of them household pets and others the jackrabbits that abound in the scenic hillside areas, could be seen everywhere.

‘A lot of birds were falling right out of the sky,’ said Malibu ranch foreman Erich Garland.

At the height of the fires that began early Saturday with an apparent arson blaze in the rocky hills west of the San Fernando Valley and spread quickly through tinder-dry brush, horses jammed narrow canyon routes of escape, searching for a haven from the hot, orange glow from the north.

Residents dumped silver and precious antique lamps into swimming pools, then filled automobiles with valuables before abandoning multimillion dollar oceanview homes to flames licking at doorsteps.

In Orange County, officials said the fire destroyed 16 homes and damaged numerous farm structures about 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. Damage was estimated at $16 million.

About 60 miles northwest of that blaze, the season’s feared Santa Ana winds — ‘devil winds’ — had arrived with a vengeance and blowtorched flames over 54,000 acres on a 20-mile rampage to the sea.

At least 20 homes were destroyed in Latigo Canyon, where burned-out automobiles were parked in driveways, the hillsides were denuded and smoldering, and flames still licked at tree stumps.

Forty-two mobile homes were incinerated in picturesque Paradise Cove. Officials placed the loss at $6 million, although they conceded the dollar loss could go much higher.

Investigators said a fire in Dayton Canyon was deliberately set, and one official noted the area had been plagued with arson during the past several months.

‘One month ago,’ said Batallion Chief Donald Grant, ‘there was a flurry of activity for a week and there was a fire every night.’

In Paradise Cove, dazed residents looked over what was left of the mobile home village familiar to fans of television sleuth Jim Rockford, who lived in a rusty trailer in the cove during the ‘Rockford Files’ days.

‘It looks so strange to see that metal like that,’ said Barbara Copeland, surveying the twisted wreckage that was once her mobile home. ‘The refrigerator melted.’

Rock star Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac was among hundreds of residents above Malibu who were forced to flee.

Fleetwood packed a number of paintings in the back of his car and carefully placed two $20,000 Tiffany lamps at the bottom of his swimming pool before abandoning his $4 million Ramirez Canyon home. Firefighters said it was believed that flames bypassed the home.

Chris Chrystal / UPI News / October 11, 1982