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2018-2019 Tour Article Fleetwood Mac Neil Finn

Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn

‘It’s a love story really’: Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks on wooing Neil Finn; Fleetwood Mac brought ‘secret weapon’ Finn into the fold after an ‘incredibly sad, incredibly challenging’ time

Mick Fleetwood described Crowded House frontman Neil Finn as a “secret weapon” he held onto for two decades, before asking him to fly to Hawaii to audition for Fleetwood Mac.

In April 2018, it was announced that longstanding member Lindsey Buckingham would be leaving the band, to be replaced by Finn and Mike Campbell, the guitarist from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Ahead of the band’s Sydney stadium show on Thursday night, Fleetwood told a small industry audience the “magical” story of how he met Finn.

“It’s a long story — it’s over 20 years long. But it’s a lovely story. It’s a love story, really,” he said. “I’ve always, right from the beginning, loved his songwriting — especially one song that drove me over the wall — ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ — years and years ago.”

Fleetwood had been a Crowded House fan “right from the beginning”, he said, but the pair didn’t meet until 1999 at Concert for Linda: a benefit tribute to Linda McCartney held at Royal Albert Hall. Finn was playing with the Pretenders; Fleetwood Mac was on hiatus.

“I didn’t know him from Adam, but later on that night just happened to be sitting with him,” Fleetwood said. “And I wasn’t doing anything, so I said, ‘Would you like to form a band?’ Drummers say that when there’s nothing happening,” he laughed.

“We had a great night, and broke a couple of glasses — so to speak — and then wandered off. And it never went anywhere.”

Finn and Fleetwood didn’t meet again until “I don’t know, 15 years later”, at the New Zealand Music awards in Auckland. “Going down the corridor I see him, and he said, ‘Do you remember me?’, and I said, ‘Of course I do! I’m your superfan!’. We went to dinner, and ever since then have remained and are incredibly close friends.”

Fleetwood told Finn that if he ever needed a drummer, “just let me know” — so when Finn and his son Liam began planning their collaborative 2018 album Lightsleeper, Finn cashed in the offer: “He said, ‘Are you serious?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely’.”

Fleetwood and his partner Chelsea rented a house in Auckland for six weeks. “We became a very, very close family [with the Finns] and helped out with their family album, which was totally cool. And that was that. And then this happened,” he said, referring to the departure of Buckingham.

The decision to hire Mike Campbell came easy — “both Mike and Tom [Petty] were very close to Stevie [Nicks]” — but finding a vocalist was harder. “We went through some suggestions — some of them were great, but they just weren’t right,” said Fleetwood, who admitted it nearly ended with the band saying “we can’t find anyone”.

“But then to be really truthful, I had my secret weapon … I said, ‘I would like to suggest that Neil Finn flies to Hawaii’, where we all were doing this.”

When he called Finn, he told him, “It’s not really an audition” — but it sort of was. Finn — who was at a soundcheck at the time — said “let me just take a breath … I’ll phone you tomorrow.” Fleetwood thought the jig was up.

“I thought, well, it was worth a try. But he phoned back and said, ‘Look. I’m not worried about all this thing about is it an audition. Who wouldn’t want to come — whether they succeed or not — and just play with Fleetwood Mac?'”

“It’s not a shaggy dog story,” Fleetwood said. “It is huge. And it’s magical. This funny relationship that I had with Neil, neither of us knowing why it was that we had passed in the dark so many times. And now we know.”

The current lineup is the 19th iteration of Fleetwood Mac, each of which Fleetwood described as “incredibly different musical episodes in this Shakespearean play we blundered into”.

Fleetwood — the only remaining founding member — didn’t reveal what was at the heart of the split with Buckingham, but he described it as “incredibly sad, and incredibly challenging. And incredibly — just — nowhere else to go.

“I’ve said it before: we were not happy. And that was really the crux of all the details that don’t need to be known,” he said.

“We decided as a band, are we continuing or not? … And I’m doing what I always do, which is, you know, keep the band together.

“Sometimes I look back wondering whether I’ve done the right thing. I think we did.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks is also a longtime fan of Finn’s. Back in the 1980s she would make up her own harmonies to “Don’t Dream It’s Over” when it was played on MTV.

“A song like that comes around once in a lifetime,” she told the crowd from the stage on Thursday. “If you have one of those songs you have to sing it all the time, and you truly forget how good it is. So I have to remind him — and then I have to follow it up.”

The pair performed “Don’t Dream” together, and followed it up with “Landslide.

* Fleetwood Mac’s Australian tour continues through August and September, before the band head to New Zealand on September 14

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Credit: Composite: Paul McMillan/Samir Hussein/Paul Miller/Getty/AAP

Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and new Fleetwood Mac band member Neil Finn.

Credit: Photograph: Duncan Barnes

Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Neil Finn performing on the Australian leg of Fleetwood Mac’s 2019 tour.

Steph Harmon / The Guardian (UK) / Friday, August 16, 2019

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Article Fleetwood Mac Michael Campbell Neil Finn

Fleetwood Mac’s messy divorce

The band has parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, but that isn’t stopping it from launching a huge tour this fall.

EARLY THIS SPRING, most of Fleetwood Mac – Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood – gathered at a theater on the Hawaiian island of Maui with their future in doubt. The band had secretly parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, the voice and guitar behind many of its most enduring songs. According to the group, the split came down to a scheduling conflict surrounding an upcoming tour. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June, and he wanted to put it off until next November,” says Nicks. “That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? This is what we do.”

So the bandmates invited Mike Campbell, former guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn, best known as the frontman of Eighties hitmakers Crowded House, to spend a few days workshopping songs and see if they could press forward without Buckingham. “I immediately felt like I’d known them for years,” says Christine McVie, “though we’d only just met.” The lineup will embark on a 52date tour beginning October 3rd in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that will run until mid-2019.

Buckingham’s ousting marks the latest messy chapter in the ongoing 50-year Fleetwood Mac drama – or, as drummer Fleetwood tells it, business as usual. When key early members like Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer left in the early 1970s, Fleetwood got on the phone and recruited new members. The group never stopped working, even when Nicks left in the early 1990s and a new lineup found itself opening for the likes of REO Speedwagon on the amphitheater circuit. “My instincts have always been to gravitate toward going forward,” Fleetwood says. “But I’d be lying if I didn’t literally say to myself, ‘This one needs a lot of thought.’ ” (Buckingham has not responded to interview requests.)

On February 1st, Fleetwood called Campbell, who was in Hawaii. It was the guitarist’s 68th birthday. “I was sitting by my pool contemplating my future without my partner [Petty], which was going to be a dark place,” he says. “I said, ‘Give me a day to think it over.’ The more I thought, the more I thought it could be great. Stevie and I have always been very creative together.” After getting Campbell’s commitment, Fleetwood called Finn, whom he played with at a 2016 fundraiser in New Zealand. “I was stunned,” Finn says. “I’m relishing this beautiful gift given to me.”

The new version of Fleetwood Mac soon starts two months of rehearsals. They’ve decided to draw from their entire catalog, not just the Buckingham-Nicks run from 1975 to 1987 that gave them nearly all of their hits. “We were never able to do that because certain people in the band weren’t interested,” says Nicks. “Now we can open the set.”

For Nicks, carrying on without Buckingham is bittersweet: “Our relationship has always been volatile. We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts. This is sad for me, but I want the next 10 years of my life to be really fun and happy. I want to get up every day and dance around my apartment and say, ‘Thank God for this amazing life.’ ”

PHOTO (COLOR): GO YOUR OWN WAY McVie, Finn, Fleetwood, Nicks, Campbell, McVie (Randee St. Nicholas)

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / Thursday, May 17, 2018

Copyright of Rolling Stone is the property of Rolling Stone LLC

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2018-2019 Tour Fleetwood Mac Neil Finn

Neil Finn has joined Fleetwood Mac

Yep. Seriously.

 Neil Finn is always looking for new projects. Today he’s announced one of his most surprising yet. 

In 2018, Neil Finn will join soft rock legends Fleetwood Mac for a series of dates to be confirmed soon.

This bizarre turn of events comes after Lindsey Buckingham was reportedly fired from the group earlier this year, though the band are yet to make any comment about what transpired to result in his termination.

Both Finn, a former Double J Artist in Residence, and Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks have made statements this morning about the new arrangement.

“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the calibre of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family,” the band said in a group statement, according to Variety.

“With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs.

“Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”

Finn’s statement suggests that this has opportunity not been in the offing for long.

“Two weeks ago I received a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band. A few days later I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac.

“It felt fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and two of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait to play.”

There is no further information as to when and where this new-look Fleetwood Mac will perform, but dates should be announced shortly.

Neil Finn has recently played a string of shows with his son Liam, pre-empting the release of a collaborative album that fans know has been in the works for some time.

He’s also been playing orchestra-backed performances of his latest album Out Of Silence, which Australian audiences can see as a part of Vivid LIVE this May.