Stones v. Fleetwood Mac, New Jersey Star Ledger
HEADLINE: The Rolling Stones vs. Fleetwood Mac? Go your own way
BYLINE: Claudia Perry, STAR-LEDGER STAFF
Fleetwood Mac Where and when: 8 p.m. Friday at the Blockbuster-Sony Music Entertainment Centre in Camden and 8 p.m. Sept. 30 at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford Tickets: $25.50-$30.50 ($16 lawn) at the E-Centre. $45-$75 at the Arena. Available at all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling (201) 507- 8900 It's been 35 years since the Rolling Stones got together in London, 30 since the original incarnation of Fleetwood Mac united John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Peter Green. In this era of geezer pop - Pat Boone has been doing it for 42 years, for heaven's sake - that must mean it's time for a tour.
Two tours, in fact. Fleetwood Mac comes to Continental Airlines Arena next week, and the Stones blow into Giants Stadium next month. In anticipation of those shows, we posed this question: Who wins the battle of these bands? Does Fleetwood Mac have it all over the Stones or do Mick and the boys flatten Fleetwood Mac? We asked for your thoughts, musings and memories of the two long-lived groups, and you answered.
Some of you gave us recollections not fit for publication in a newspaper that reaches a sizable number of impressionable youngsters. Okay, so we're talking about the heyday of rock `n' roll here, but do you really want your kids to know this stuff? Others abandoned rational critique in favor of bar blather: Stones rule, Mac drools. You know the sort.
But many of our respondents (some 41 in all) had plenty to say. Some responses were thoughtful and intelligent; others made us cringe in recognition. (See accompanying story, Page 4.)
We'll get to those responses in a minute, but first, some facts, please:
The Stones, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989, have managed to cling to their image as rock `n' roll bad boys long after they traded mescaline for Metamucil. The band's brand of blues-driven, honky-tonk rock hasn't been modified much since the begin-ning, though it has survived a few personnel changes: Guitarist Brian Jones was replaced by Mick Taylor who was replaced by Ron Wood; bass player Daryl Jones has taken over for Bill Wyman. But the image and the music is pretty much the same as when "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" hit the charts in 1965.
Fleetwood Mac, however, is another story. More accurately, several stories. Good thing, in fact, that the band was named Fleetwood Mac since McVie and Fleetwood are the only members who have been in-volved since the beginning.
Guitar players have come and gone more frequently than Spinal Tap changed drummers: Green's grip on reality got all sweaty (though he has recently started recording again), Jer-emy Spencer joined a cult, and Bob Welch went solo.
Other changes over the years have run deeper. Originally founded strictly as a blues outfit, Fleetwood Mac had mellowed into a pop band by the time Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks arrived in 1975. The two songwriters brought a new sensibility to the band - mystery and drama (Nicks) along with quirky but solid songcraft and lethal guitar (Bucking-ham).
But all was not leather and lace. By the time "Rumours" came out in 1977 - 20 years ago today, to dig up another pop cliche - couples Chris-tine and John McVie and Bucking-ham-Nicks had parted company. The band continued to tour but rarely with a lineup that featured all the players from the "Rumours" era.
Nicks and Buckingham carved out successful solo careers; Christine McVie had a Top 10 hit with "Got a Hold on Me" from her 1984 self-titled solo album. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood put the band on the road occasionally with various guest gui-tarists (anybody remember Billy Bur-nett?). Nicks even joined in for a few tours but called it quits in 1993.
But that's all history. And if not all of you knew those histories, that didn't stop you from having opinions.
"I think the Stones have had more impact," says Tom Scarillo, 27, a financial reporting accountant for New York-based BMG North Amer-ica, the German media conglomerate that also owns RCA and Arista re-cords.
That doesn't mean Scarillo didn't like Fleetwood Mac, too. "I would sing along with the songs from `Rumours' on the radio. My mother wasn't too thrilled to hear her 7-year-old walking around singing, `shacking up's all you wanna do' from `Go Your Own Way.'"
Other readers offered more per-sonal stories.
Helen Marc-Aurele of Union actu-ally met the Stones in 1966. At the time, Marc-Aurele, now 47 and a pur-chaser for The Money Store, was a dancer for Zackerley Disc-O-Teens, a popular television show that aired on Channel 47. She and seven other girls danced as a kind of warm-up act when the Stones played Newark's Mosque theater (now Newark Symphony Hall).
"Brian (Jones) was very shy," she says. "Mick Jagger was very nice, very friendly. The others just said hello."
Tickets for the Mosque show were $4.50, she recalls, a far cry from the $60 top price at Giants Stadium. But some things don't change: The Stones, wary of crowds of fans, sneaked into the Mosque gig in a beat-up car and climbed the fire es-cape to the show.
Jim Quain of Mine Hill wrote us a six-page letter in which he described himself as a "loyal Fleetwood Mac fan." In it, he detailed his five-year mission to get an autographed photo of Stevie Nicks. He succeeded in 1982, when he got Nicks to sign her picture backstage at the Meadowlands Arena - but his quest ended sadly when the cherished photo was destroyed by a fire in his Linden office five years later. When Quain attends the Fleetwood Mac show in Camden, we're betting he'll have another photo and a marker at the ready.
Just about all of you who con-tacted us acknowledged that both bands had their strong points, but for a few, passions ran much higher than that.
Take Diane Casale of Union. The 40-year-old bookkeeper at a South Orange ad agency was originally turned onto the Stones by her late fa-ther, John, who was active in New-ark's Vailsburg neighborhood.
"If you wrote my life story, the Stones would be the soundtrack," Casale says.
In 1975, while she was a student at Vailsburg High, she got tickets to see the Stones at Madison Square Garden. She was so excited that for two months beforehand, she marked off each day of the calendar, right up to the concert date.
"I didn't just mark off the days," she says. "I drew the tongue logo (from the `Sticky Fingers' album) on the calendar every day for two months."
Casale still has the watch - yes, with the tongue logo - she bought at that show.
"I guess if the watch stops, I will," she says, laughing.
Now that's devotion. Linda Iorio of Clifton feels the same way about Fleetwood Mac and, especially, Nicks. On April Fools' Day last year, she told her bosses at Biscayne Apparel in Clifton that she had been asked to portray Nicks in a Fleetwood Mac cover band and would need a six-week leave of absence.
"They believed me," she wrote.
Iorio, 37, says she saw her life in Nicks' lyrics, but she went beyond de-voted fan to published author in 1989 when she wrote "A Book of Legends," featuring fan tributes to the ethereal singer. She sent Nicks a copy and got a back a photo of Nicks holding the book.
"I like the Rolling Stones and saw them in 1989 on the `Steel Wheels' tour," Iorio wrote. "I thought it was one of the best concerts I've ever seen, but to me, they don't compare to Fleetwood Mac in terms of what they do for me personally."
1997-09-21 Number of views: