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Evening Chronicle (11/14/2003), Fleetwoods are back < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Evening Chronicle (11/14/2003), Fleetwoods are back

Evening Chronicle (Newcastle), November 14, 2003

Fleetwoods are back
by Gordon Barr

Fleetwood Mac are in Newcastle next week. Today, their singer, Stevie Nicks, opens her heart in an exclusive interview with Showbusiness Reporter, Gordon Barr, revealing how she once thought she'd never tour again.

It was a pivotal moment for Stevie Nicks. She'd been to hell and back before, during the many ups and downs of Fleetwood Mac's long career.

But today was the worst for her. Here was her best friend telling her she couldn't do it anymore. That best friend, in fact, was Christine McVie, the then co-singer and keyboards player with Fleetwood Mac. The year was 1997 and the news was devastating to Nicks.

"Chris decided she didn't want to go on the road any more. When someone decides that, you can't make them do it," Nicks tells me, just hours after arriving in Europe for the Mac's tour, at Newcastle's Telewest Arena on November 22.

"She's probably my best friend in the world, but when she looked at me with those big blues eyes of hers and said, `I can't do it any more, I don't want to', and I could see in those eyes that she wasn't kidding, we simply stopped. We weren't Fleetwood Mac without Chris. There seemed no point.

"And we pretty much took four years to decide maybe we could do it without her. It was a tough, tough time."

Thankfully, for Fleetwood Mac's millions of fans, the band did pull it together again, the result being the acclaimed Top 10 album Say You Will.

Its success resulted in a massive US tour, which has now transferred to Europe. But it's a transfer Nicks had to fight for.

She's just arrived in Frankfurt, in Germany, ahead of her bandmates, for the start of the tour.

Nicks is undeniably excited about coming to Britain, and the joy in her voice only disappears when talking of McVie's shock decision six years ago.

But she soon lightens up again. "It took a long, long time to be able to consider Fleetwood Mac without Chris," she continues.

"Now it's just Lindsey (Buckingham, guitars/vocals) and myself doing everything. Chris would have a third of the show handed over to her, but now that she is no longer with the band, it has pushed Lindsey and I closer together.

"We're now the duo that we always wanted to be, and our music is now much more guitar orientated. There aren't the famous keyboards any more.

"I love our new sound. Lindsey is such an incredible guitar player. So there are two up there now instead of three. Mick (Fleetwood) and John (McVie) of course are there too, but it's us who are up front, singing the songs, writing the songs."

Had her bosses had their way, Nicks wouldn't be playing the Toon next week. Fleetwood Mac, in fact, wouldn't be touring Europe at all. "You know, we did 70 shows in America, each to 10 to 20,000 people. We didn't tour like this back when we were 30," she says.

"I said we have to take this show to Europe, but we were told it would be too expensive, we would lose out.

"In my heart, I always wanted to go there, I urged them to take us there. And I was proved right. Halfway through the American tour, because it had been such a success, I got the phone call to say we'd be going to Europe after all. So I'd like to think I played a big part in making it happen."

Now aged 55, it must have taken guts for Nicks, and her fellow veteran pop-rockers, to take to the road for such a huge tour.

"We rehearsed five days a week, from mid-day to 11pm, for three months beforehand," she smiles. "That keeps you fit, as does two and a half hours on stage each night. That's all the workout you need, believe me! I'm pretty proud of all of us to be able to do this.

"The show is two and a half hours of all your old favourites, and we do six new songs too. The show runs beautifully, I think everybody is going to be incredibly surprised by it all. And we're loving it."

If aspiring pop stars wants tips on longevity in the business, they need look no further than Nicks.

But she fears for the future of the industry. "I watched American Idol, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But they should just have done the one," she says. "I don't think there is the nurturing of talent these days.

"There are no Led Zeppelins, Beatles, Whos, or U2s coming up the ranks. People are downloading off the Net, sales are down. I truly believe it is killing music.

"Nothing new and exciting is coming out, and that worries me. You need artists to bring fresh ideas, fresh music, and to be nurtured by record companies, not dropped if one of their CDs fails to get the desired sales.

"Even big companies are in trouble, through lost revenue in CD sales. It's a worrying time, and I can't see how it can be reversed."

A far cry from the late 1970s, when Rumours became the world's biggest selling album of the time. "That remains the highlight of my time with the group," says Nicks.

Fleetwood Mac return to the States on December 12. "We'll be home for Christmas, but then we're heading to Australia in February. That was somewhere else they said would be too expensive! Wrong again!"

Fleetwood Mac are at Newcastle's Telewest Arena on November 22. Extra tickets are soon to go on sale for the gig. Details next week in the Chronicle.

Thanks to MS for the submission.


Date: 2003-11-14         Number of views: 2073

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