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Billboard (10/10/1987), Fleetwood Mac Looks Ahead < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Billboard (10/10/1987), Fleetwood Mac Looks Ahead

Billboard, October 10, 1987

Fleetwood Mac Looks Ahead
by Steve Gett

New York--For most bands, live concerts provide an excellent opportunity to generate sales of new product. However, Fleetwood Mac is not taking advantage of an extensive trek through North American concert halls to promote its latest Warner Bros. album, “Tango In The Night.”

On its Shake The Cage tour, scheduled to run from Oct. 1 through Dec. 18, the veteran group is only performing three songs from the “Tango” album. “It’s just a little bit too close,” says vocalist/keyboardist Christine McVie. “The album was really Lindsey Buckingham’s baby, so it doesn’t seem right or necessary to go out and do ‘Big Love‘ or something like that.”

All of this may be a little confusing to those unaware of the latest development in the Mac camp, which has endured almost as many behind-the-scenes dramas as the Ewing clan. In a nutshell, the decision not to focus on “Tango” material during the tour stems from vocalist/guitarist Buckingham’s recent departure from the group.

It’s no secret that Buckingham, now pursuing a solo career, was very much the driving force behind the latest Mac album, which he produced at his own home studio. As the band geared up to hit the road, though, he decided he didn’t want to play live concerts, according to McVie.

“I think Lindsey had basically just had it up to his neck with touring,” she says. “At first, he agreed to tour, but then he started having second thoughts. When it came down to the wire, he said, ‘I just can’t do it.’ So we felt we had to replace him because the rest of us wanted to carry on as a band. There’s no point in rolling over and dying. We’re confident in our own ability, and we’re all replaceable.”

With Buckingham gone, two guitarists--Rick Vito and Billy Burnette--have been added to the touring lineup. Both players have known the other Mac members for years, and, according to McVie, “They fit in perfectly. Billy’s mainly playing rhythm, which is refreshing and really fills out the sound. When we talked with Lindsey about touring and augmenting the band, he was planning on having more people--maybe four guitarists and six percussionists.”

Says Burnette, “I feel real good about the two-guitar situation. On most of the records there are two or three guitar parts, sometimes even more. So this brings the band’s live sound closer to what it is on record. The group sounds great--it’s five years since these guys have been out, and they still love to play music--so I’m very excited.”

Burnette says he has not spoken to Buckingham since joining the band. “I guess it’s a little uncomfortable, and we haven’t talked because it’s been a bit awkward,” says Burnette. “It’s just one of those things. But Lindsey’s a good friend, and I’m sure things will be fine in the end.”

“The dust hasn’t really settled yet,” says McVie, who has always “gotten along very well” with Buckingham. “But there are no axes to grind,” she adds. Asked to comment further on specific reasons for the split, rumored to run deeper than Buckingham’s decision not to tour, she says, “To be honest, it’s personal and private.”

If there were no problems between McVie and Buckingham, where was the rub? “Well, take three guesses and you’ll probably be right,” she says.

Upon completion of the North American shows, plans call for Fleetwood Mac to perform in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. “We really want to reestablish ourselves as a worldwide act,” says McVie. She adds that the band hopes to start work on a new studio album next fall. “We can’t be touring too long on the strength of the past.”

Thanks to David for this submission.

Date: 1987-10-10         Number of views: 1115

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