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News Times (06/04/2004), Fleetwood Mac: Live hits < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

News Times (06/04/2004), Fleetwood Mac: Live hits

News Times, June 4, 2004
 
Fleetwood Mac: Live hits


Music by the far lesser-known, more bluesy, pre-Stevie Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac that released 10 albums between 1968 and 1974 will not be included in the band's set list Tuesday at Hartford's Meadows Music Centre.

And truth be told, founder and drummer Mick Fleetwood said, hardly any fans on hand will miss those early songs. They want to hear the songs Fleetwood made famous with Nicks, bassist John McVie, and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham the lineup that has released so many commercial hits since 1975. It's the lineup many would credit for the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Jan. 12, 1998.

Sure, Fleetwood Mac will include a handful of songs from 2003's "Say You Will" LP, the reunited lineup's first studio album in 15 years. But the band's 2-hour set is sure to include the favorites "Dreams," "Say You Love Me," "Seven Wonders" and "Landslide."

"I've been to shows where the artistic button sometimes gets pressed a little too much," Fleetwood said. "Hey, there have been times in the past not now when Paul McCartney with Wings, I don't think he did any Beatles songs at all. And it was sort of a statement saying, 'This is me.' But how can you really separate Paul McCartney from the Beatles? Well, you can't. It's not reasonable.

"Now he does a show which covers all of his music," he added. "And a huge chunk of it is obviously Beatles music and people love it. He's still got the integrity of his own music, but he's celebrating something that he's so much part of that you can never separate him from it. In my book, it's sort of wrong to try to even do that. It's understandable to say, 'This is what I'm doing now and listen to me.' But you can't expect people to do that."

Born June 24, 1947 in Redruth, England, Michael John Kells Fleetwood is the youngest of three children of Mike and Brigid Fleetwood. He was 13 when his father, a wing commander in the Royal Air Force, bought him a drum kit.

Educated in boarding schools, Mick began his music career in 1963 in bands that included the Senders and Shotgun Express. In 1967, he joined the Bluesbreakers, which also included McVie and guitarist Peter Green. Later that year, the trio broke away to form the blues combo Fleetwood Mac.

In 1968, Green left the band; he has since been battling a form of schizophrenia. Another early member, guitarist Jeremy Spencer, left in 1971 to join the religious cult Children of God.

By 1975, several musicians had come and gone. Fleetwood along with John McVie and his wife, pianist Christine McVie relocated to California. There, they met the duo of Buckingham and Nicks, who would soon join the band.

"I'd heard Lindsey's guitar playing, which was part of the Buckingham-Nicks album," Fleetwood said. "I very soon realized from the chap who produced that with them that they came very much locked together as a duet. It was all very written in the stars or whatever. There was no audition. Their music spoke for itself.

"And the blessings of Stevie, I don't think anyone could have known what she was going to represent," he added. "We loved her singing. And the Stevie charisma in her performance and the phenomenon within her own world was something that, no doubt, we were all blessed with having her make the journey with us."

With the new lineup, Fleetwood Mac released a self-titled album in 1975 that included the hits "Say You Love Me," "Over My Head" and "Rhiannon" as well as "Landslide," covered recently by the Dixie Chicks.

The band's follow-up, 1977's "Rumours" was the second biggest selling album ever, going 17 times platinum. Highlights included the No. 1 hit "Dreams" and the hits "Don't Stop," "Go Your Own Way," "You Make Loving Fun" and "Gold Dust Woman."

"Everything blew up in somewhat historical proportion," Fleetwood said. "I always liked playing 'Dreams.' For me, it's sort of rock 'n' roll Al Green or something. So as a percussionist, I like the way that song sits. I never get fed up with playing it. And, of course, we play it. That was actually the biggest hit single we ever had, strangely enough.

"'Gold Dust Woman' is something that I still feel is very much part of (Nicks') creative statement," he added. "Every 'Gold Dust' is a performance song where she gets to be Stevie on stage, which is part of her magic, you know?"

Following a string of solo albums, the group scored the No. 1 hit "Little Lies" and the No. 2 hits "Seven Wonders" and "Big Love" all from 1987's "Tango In The Night" LP.

By 1990, though, Lindsey had left the group temporarily; by 1995, Nicks and Christine McVie also left, leaving Fleetwood and John McVie to bring in various musicians to fill the voids. What drove the pair to keep the band together until the classic lineup reunited in 1997?

"Stubbornness, I think," Fleetwood said. "We've always been blessed with bringing different people, but people who have all had their own part of the legacy of this band. I think it was just down to I didn't want to see the band break up and we didn't need to because there was always three or four of us and then we'd add one more person to replace the person who had left. And then off we'd go again. That became a habit."

Off stage, Fleetwood credits his third wife, Lynn, with helping him overcome addiction to drugs and alcohol. The pair met in 1990 and married in '95; they have twin daughters together, 2-year-old Ruby and Tessa. Fleetwood also has two grown daughters, Amy Rose and Lucy.

Meanwhile, the timeless nature of Fleetwood Mac's songs makes it seem as though the band has been a constant even though only two members have been there throughout.

"Well, I'll take that as a compliment and it's certainly the way we would like to be perceived," said Fleetwood, who has homes in Los Angeles and Maui. "Any band that's been around as long as we have, I think you have to celebrate that in terms of being part of something that people expect of you, in terms of songs and choices of songs on stage.

"But it is nice to get out and be part of something that we made," he added. "We pushed some envelopes on the 'Say You Will' album that demonstrated that we're not just marking time and sitting. We're trying to be creative and I think that's what makes it possible for us to do what we're doing."


Date: 2004-06-04         Number of views: 2047

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