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Columbus Dispatch (10/01/1997), Mac attack!: Band mates reunite to suit themselves, not promoters < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Columbus Dispatch (10/01/1997), Mac attack!: Band mates reunite to suit themselves, not promoters

Columbus Dispatch 10-1-97

Mac attack!: Band mates reunite to suit themselves, not promoters

By Curtis Schieber

When it comes to Fleetwood Mac, the American public has its own definition of original.

The Mac lineup that dates from 1974 -- reunited after 10 years and appearing tonight in the Polaris Amphitheater -- is perceived as the "original" group.

Few people note that, as a venerable British blues band, the group was seven years and perhaps a dozen members into its history when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined in the mid-'70s.

Why? The mid-'70s incarnation has had the biggest commercial effect; it has touched an emotional chord in the United States like no other Mac before or since.

On the horn last week from somewhere in Philadelphia, drummer Mick Fleetwood, who founded the group with bassist John McVie, agreed with the American public.

"I don't blame that type of mind-set at all," he said. "This is obviously not the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. But it's sort of fair to say, especially in this country, that . . . just from the body (of work) and weights and balances . . . this is the longest incarnation."

Beginning in 1967 with McVie, Fleetwood and guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, the blues version of Fleetwood Mac had its first success during the late-'60s blues revival in England. The band fell out of favor as it evolved into a rock group and lost both founding guitarists.

The next five years saw a series of replacements and conflicts, climaxing when manager Clifford Davis took a band of bogus Mac musicians on a U.S. tour in early 1974.

After an extended court battle and much soul-searching, Fleetwood, McVie and his wife, Christine, teamed with Buckingham and Nicks to form what would become one of the biggest acts in popular music.

The albums Fleetwood Mac and Rumours scored nearly unprecedented sales, with Rumours selling more than 25 million copies. Singles such as Dreams, Rhiannon and Go Your Own Way made up a steady stream of hits.

But the group was a crucible for turmoil.

"During the making of Rumours," Fleetwood remembered, "every single one of the members had split up with his or her partner. We all had something in common. . . . We were all in a whole load of pain."

Still, they continued a parade of what many folks considered rock-star excess. >The Rumours follow-up, the double album Tusk, was deemed a >monumental failure, based on expectations.

By 1987, the writing was on the wall: Buckingham, who had mostly masterminded the classic pop album Tango in the Night, left to pursue a solo career.

"When Lindsey left, it was not a happy event," Fleetwood said. "We were very disappointed and angry . . . (but) didn't realize that Lindsey, quite honestly, couldn't do it anymore, emotionally and musically. . . .Lindsey was the first one to be truly burned out on being part of a machine that is Fleetwood Mac."

The band limped on for a few more years before calling it quits.

Ten years after Buckingham departed, he and Fleetwood rediscovered each other when the drummer was invited to work on a Buckingham solo project.

Eventually, the five were making music in the studio without any pressure to reunite.

"The man-with-a-suit-and-a-suitcase-full-of-money routine" had greeted them through the years, Fleetwood said, "and it wasn't in the cards and it didn't ever happen. . . . (The reunion) truly came from the inside out."

The group recently released a live recording with some new material, titled The Dance, and embarked on a tour.

For now, the members aren't committing themselves to anything else.

"We're gonna look at all the options, which are to do nothing apart from have a great tour and say goodbye to people or look at some things that we can do . . . from making another album to doing great solo work.

"If something else happens for creative reasons, that's when we'll make those decisions. I don't think any amount of business is gonna have any real effect on what we do."

Thanks to C.L. Moon for posting this to the Fleetwood Mac newsgroup.

Date: 1997-10-01         Number of views: 1329

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