Sunday, May 31, 2009


Enter to win a pair of tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at the Verizon Wireless Arena
in Manchester on June 16, 2009.

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  • One winner will be chosen on Tuesday, June 16, 2009.
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PHOTOS BY: DEHUMIDIFIER(hit link for more)

VARIETY at Fleetwood Mac Los Angeles Show May 28, 2009

Fleetwood Mac
Los Angeles - May 28th

In "Don't Stop," one of Fleetwood Mac's biggest hits and the penultimate song of their Staples Center performance Thursday night, the band advises "don't you look back." But with no new album on the horizon, the entirety of their two-and-a-half-hour concert was an exercise in nostalgia.

But nostalgia isn't what it used to be. While the setlist focused on their multiplatinum albums "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours" and "Tusk," the romances and recriminations that animated them burned out long ago, and this edition of the venerable British/American band felt less like a re-creation of their mid-to-late-'70s glory days than a Lindsay Buckingham solo concert. With Christine McVie retired from touring (with her down-to-earth bluesy presence sorely missed) and Stevie Nicks' voice and charisma diminished, Fleetwood Mac is more than ever Buckingham's band.

The set included an indulgent version of "Go Insane" (the title track from his second solo LP) and included a solo acoustic showcase. A facile guitarist whose solos are not quite as inventive as he thinks they are (tellingly, his best moment was a version of Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer's 1969 guitar workout "Oh, Well"), he stalked the stage with an uncomfortable mix of modesty and preening self-regard, ending almost every song with his head bowed and guitar lofted high, as though he was a victorious warrior paying fealty to his king.

But at least he was present, which was more than you could say for Nicks. The energy level flagged whenever she took the lead. Her performance was little more than a procession of shawls; with the exception of "Gold Dust Woman," her heavily processed vocals were metallically hollow, and for long periods she wasn't even on stage.

It was left to the rhythm section of founding members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie to hold things together, and they did an admirable job. Fleetwood attacked the drums with a loose-limbed but powerful enthusiasm, while McVie's bass provided a modest if muscular bottom. Their unassuming musicianship (save Fleetwood's less-than-scintillating solo during "World Turning") provided a timeless tonic to Buckingham and Nicks' tired and conflicting star turns.


Three New Episodes: 9,10 & 11 at

Episode 9(link)
Mick Fleetwood - In Philly Before The Big Show (April 15th)
- Show his Drum Kit just after Sound Check.
- Changing his clothes.

Episode 10(link)
Mick Fleetwood - Home Away From Home in Canada (end of March)
- Montreal Hotel Room
- Arriving in LA

Episode 11(link)
Mick Fleetwood - Mick's Cab Adventures (NYC and St. Paul)
- Cab to airport to Uncasville
- Cab in St. Paul looking for workout equipment.


VIP fans pay very impressive prices Music lovers ante up for 'exclusive' extras

How much does it cost to be a VIP at a rock concert?

How much have you got?

Despite the recession, the prices – and demand – for “exclusive” VIP concert-ticket packages are climbing for shows by everyone from Aerosmith and Beyoncé to U2 and the recently reunited No Doubt.

Then there's Fleetwood Mac, which performs tonight at the San Diego Sports Arena as part of its tour of North America. Ticket prices range from $29.50 for the cheapest seat to $517.81 for a “platinum” ticket in the second row.

But for fans who really want to stand out from the crowd, there's the “five-star VIP” package.

It guarantees each customer a ticket in the first 10 rows, an exclusive Fleetwood Mac gift bag and a pre-concert party with dinner and drinks. Also included are parking, “hassle-free entrance to venue,” “crowd-free merchandise shopping” and a discount coupon to Fleetwood Mac's online store. But the big draw is the pre-show “meet and greet” and onstage photo opportunity with drummer Mick Fleetwood, who co-founded the legendary band in 1967.

The cost: a VIP-friendly $820 per person.

“It's something people do of their own free will, so I'm happy to do it,” Fleetwood said from a tour stop in Dallas. “We get to talk – they can ask any questions they want – and I get into it 100 percent, whether it's 40 people, 10 or five. It's going great, and people seem to be enjoying it. I do know they're well taken care of.”

VIP options at rock concerts date back nearly 30 years. But they have surged in popularity over the past year, despite the slumping economy, thanks to fans willing to pay whatever it costs to be part of an exclusive club, if just for a night.

The Web site has VIP options for tours by such acts as Fleetwood Mac, Creed and Journey (which performs July 29-30 at Pala Casino in North County).

“The growth has been huge. We had five tours with VIP packages last summer, and this summer we have 10,” said Tamara Conniff, president of music services for Irving Azoff's Frontline Management.

Frontline, which owns, oversees the careers of superstars such as the Eagles, Christina Aguilera and Van Halen, whose 2004 reunion tour with singer Sammy Hagar helped lay the groundwork for today's VIP-ticket boom. Another precursor was Alabama's 2006 tour, which – at a price of $1,000 – included a guitar for each VIP-package buyer.

“Maybe only five people in each city could afford it, but that adds up,” said Gary Bongiovanni, the publisher of Pollstar, the concert industry's leading weekly publication.

For artists and the concert industry, the upscale exclusivity for fans buying VIP tickets provides additional revenue at a time when overall attendance is declining.

“It's not a secret that somewhere around half the tickets on our system go unsold,” said Vito Aiaia, Ticketmaster's vice president of music services.

“Not all fans are the same, so you need to offer different experiences and products to different fans. It's also a way for bands to capture more revenue and bring ticket prices for the best seats up beyond their face value, with added features for fans, instead of a ticket being resold for 10 times its original price by brokers.”

Presumably, there won't be any markups for the Chris Isaak Guitar Package being offered to just one lucky buyer on his summer tour, which stops in San Diego on Aug. 25 at Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay.

The package is $5,000 for two premium tickets, a gift bag, a photo op and meet-and-greet with Isaak and an autographed Epiphone Sheraton II semi-hollow-body electric guitar. (The list price for the current edition of the instrument is $1,042, although dealers sell it for about half that. A vintage 1950s original of the same model costs about $2,000.) Isaak fans also can get a guitar-free VIP ticket for $325.

That's $70 less than San Diego City College student Veronica Iñiguez paid for a “five-star” VIP ticket to last fall's reunion tour show at the Staples Center in Los Angeles by '80s teen-pop faves New Kids on the Block. Her package included a sixth-row ticket, a pre-show reception, a gift bag with a New Kids fleece blanket and the all-important meet-and-greet and photo op.

“My friends and family look at me like I'm crazy for having seen New Kids five times since last fall – and for having paid $395 for a five-star experience in L.A.,” said Iñiguez, 29. “I was star-struck. I couldn't believe I was finally getting to meet these guys that I had on posters on my wall as a kid. For the photo op, I stood right next to Jordan Knight, my childhood boy crush. It was definitely good value for the money.”

Veteran heavy-metal band Testament offers an even better VIP value. For $160, the package offers a ticket, access to the sound check, various keepsakes and a meet-and-greet with the band at its June 10 show at the Live Nation-owned House of Blues San Diego.

“Ticketmaster and Live Nation wanted to charge us $300 to do these packages,” Testament singer Chuck Billy noted. “But since metal-heads aren't going to spend that much, we decided to drop it. ... We limit it to about 20 people a night, and it's worked out very well.

“Obviously, it has to do with the economic climate. People don't want to spend the money, so you want to give fans more for their buck. More is always better.”

Make that more, times two, for Rachiel Fai, 33, a longtime fan. She and her husband, Nick, bought VIP tickets for a pair of recent Testament concerts in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, at a total cost of about $700.

“We were going to go on a vacation, but we did this instead and it was absolutely worth it,” said Fai, a finance manager for a home-building company in Lethbridge, Alberta. “I would have paid $1,000, easily, just to shake Chuck Billy's hand.”

That would still be a bargain compared with what the Ticketmaster-owned company SLO is asking for its four VIP packages for Andre Rieu, “the waltz king of Europe.” Only one, the “Andre All-Access” package, includes a photo op and entrance to a post-concert party with violinist Rieu and members of his orchestra, who perform June 22 at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre in Chula Vista.

The cost: $1,599 per person.

That's a bit higher than the $1,500 it costs to get one “Diamond” VIP package for Yanni's June 20 show at Cox Arena. The package consists of a premium reserved ticket, a pre-show reception, an “exclusive” merchandise item and a meet-and-greet and photo op with the Yanni Voices Performers.

What your $1,500 won't get you is Yanni. According to Ticketmaster's Web site, the Greek-born New Age star “will not be in attendance” at any of these pre-show activities.

Then again, the VIP packages for several upcoming shows at Humphrey's – Jackson Browne (Aug. 13, $185) and Crosby, Stills and Nash (Sept. 28-29, $205) don't include meeting the artists. Each, however, provides a “premium ticket,” a “collectible laminate” and an “exclusive merchandise item,” which – in Browne's case – is also “eco-friendly.”

Some artists, including Mick Fleetwood, U2 and No Doubt, are donating part of their VIP-ticket earnings to various charities. But even with a good cause, not every musician buys into the VIP-ticket concept, even if some of their fans and colleagues do.

“I guess a lot of people are doing it, but in my world, for my set of sensibilities, I find it a little distasteful,” Fleetwood Mac singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said from Los Angeles.

“Having said that, if there's a market for it and it appeals to a certain number of people – and, more importantly, if Mick wants to go out (and do it) – who wants to say no? But there's a little cheese (factor) there.”

Friday, May 29, 2009


Sophie Gayot's Dinner with Mick Fleetwood
From rock & roll to wine? But why? And how come? This is the question I posed to Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac while dining with him at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at L.A. Live. Both Jonathan Todd, the drummer’s manager, and longtime friend producer Michael Shapiro commented on Mick’s involvement in the wine-making process.

Full Blog Post

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac Live in Los Angeles May 28, 2009

Below Photos by: YEAHOK (View Gallery)


Lindsey Buckingham takes spotlight on Fleetwood Mac tour
by: Dean Goodman

If the name had not already been taken, Fleetwood Mac might be more accurately known as the Buckinghams. 

Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, dubbed the veteran rock band’s “mentor” and “maestro” by drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood, poured on the highlights during the Mac’s 2-1/2-hour concert at the Staples Center on Thursday.

Clearly invigorated by his tour last year to promote his latest solo album, Buckingham wowed the 18,000-strong boomer crowd with flashy, pick-free guitar work on such tunes as “Go Insane,” “I’m So Afraid” and “Big Love,” which he dedicated to his wife and young children in the audience.

Co-conspirator Stevie Nicks was off stage for the latter two songs, but she won over fans with her gravel-voiced take on “Gold Dust Woman” and show closer “Silver Springs.” Perhaps the loudest roar was reserved for her synth-laden solo tune “Stand Back.”

Not all of Buckingham’s tunes worked. The brassy climax of “Tusk” could have benefited from a guest spot by the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band, who performed on the original recording and are based down the road from the venue. Instead, some deft playing by a touring keyboardist had to suffice.

Singer/keyboardist Christine McVie was also sorely missed. The writer of such tunes as “You Make Loving Fun” and “Little Lies” retired to her English country estate a decade ago to focus on her culinary passions. But that did not prevent Buckingham and Nicks from trading verses on two of her best-known songs “Don’t Stop” and “Say You Love Me.”

Fleetwood Mac are touring without a new album — “yet,” Buckingham told the crowd. The idea is to “just go out and have fun,” he said.

But for the first half of the show, Buckingham, Nicks, Fleetwood and bass player John McVie barely acknowledged each other, firmly keeping to their designated areas of the simple stage. However Nicks embraced Buckingham after she finished singing “Sara,” and other bonding moments soon occurred. By the end, it looked like a major love-fest among the various ex-lovers and combatants.

The souvenir stands did a roaring trade in $40 tambourines (what recession?), though this led to a lot of unnecessary accompaniment during the show. Mick Fleetwood wigs might be a better choice on the next tour.


Local Fleetwood Mac fans can breathe a sigh of relief.

The band - which cancelled its May 12 and 13 concerts in Calgary and Edmonton - has rescheduled shows for both cities.

The group will now perform at the Saddledome on June 23 and at Edmonton’s Rexall Place on June 24.

Tickets for the May 13 show will be honoured at the June 24 concert.

There was no word on whether more tickets would go on sale at a later date.

Fleetwood Mac postponed its initial Alberta dates due to an illness of a band member, thought to be Stevie Nicks.

(The Sacramento Show that was also Postponed won't be rescheduled it has been cancelled.  Ticket refunds are available at point of purchase)

Calgary Herald
Edmonton Sun
Edmonton Journal


Thursday night, Pretzel attended the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, and he had the very special privilege of meeting Miz Stevie Nicks. STEVIE NICKS!!!!!!!



Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox and her husband David Arquette were snapped leaving the Fleetwood Mac concert at the Staples Center in LA last night (May 28th)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Mick Fleetwood
The Return Of The Mac Daddy

by Patrick Berkery
Modern Drummer

Mick Fleetwood is held in high regard as a drummer for outfitting his band’s songs with hypnotic grooves in various forms. Think of the hollowed-out verses of “The Chain,” the delicate brushwork of “Sara,” and the steady pulse of “Dreams.” When the chorus of Rumours closing track “Gold Dust Woman” enters, however, the other side of Fleetwood’s rhythmic genius is on display: his penchant for playing patterns of accents where you least expect them, and rarely duplicating those figures when a section repeats.

Mick says that habit developed from a difficulty in consistently committing things to memory. And he’s well aware that other drummers have driven themselves mad trying to approximate his unorthodox style. “Some of the drummers that play with Stevie when she goes out on her own, they’ll say, ‘When I play your parts, it just sounds so stiff and weird. It’s driving me crazy,’” Fleetwood says with a knowing laugh. “I tell them it was just the way I felt it and I can’t really explain it. With me, it’s back-to-front sometimes.”

While he’s celebrated by fans and fellow musicians for providing such unique rhythmic counterpoint to the gilded pop songs of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, within the ranks, Fleetwood, sixty-one, has always been much more than just the band’s drummer, or founding father, or partial namesake.

From Fleetwood Mac’s inception as a blues-based London combo back in 1967, Mick has been the straw that stirs the drink. He acted as de facto road manager in the early days, drafted new members as original guitarist-vocalist Peter Green and replacements like Bob Welch left the fold, managed the band’s affairs when things blew up in the ’70s, and kept his group afloat in the ’80s and ’90s after Buckingham and Nicks temporarily departed.

Throughout it all, Fleetwood has had bassist John McVie (the “Mac” in Fleetwood Mac) at his side to form one of the greatest rhythm sections in rock history. And well into his fifth decade as a working drummer, he’s feeding his desire to have a regular gig with two bands he formed with former Mac guitarist-vocalist Rick Vito—The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band and The Island Rumours Band.

Today, the Mac is back (albeit minus retired keyboardist-vocalist Christine McVie) and is well into a reunion tour that should keep the band on the road throughout 2009 and might inspire the members to enter the studio in the not-too-distant future. “I truly believe that during this tour Stevie and Lindsey will be thinking of ideas for a new Mac record,” Fleetwood says with palpable enthusiasm. “This band feels we’re more than capable of doing that. If I was put on the spot and asked to bet on whether it would happen, I would put money on this band definitely recording again.”

MD: When you wrapped the last tour in 2004, was there any certainty that Fleetwood Mac would work together again?

Mick: There was, it was just a question of when. In truth, we thought we’d have been doing this three years ago. But it had to be right for everyone. Otherwise it would just suffocate something that someone’s doing. Lindsey’s solo projects took way longer than he thought. And Stevie went back out on the road, so we waited. Everyone is totally focused instead of sort of focused. So it’s worked out better.

MD: What are some of your recollections of the early days gigging around London?

Mick: My first official gig in London was with a band called The Senders. They were basically an all-instrumental group. And out of that band came The Shames, which did fairly well around London. We played at The Marquee, doing Yardbirds-esque stuff. From there came my connection with keyboardist Peter Bardens, who I played with for many, many years. I went on to play with him and Rod Stewart in Shotgun Express, and with all sorts of people. I was very fortunate that once I got to London I was never without a gig. I never had any downtime when I wasn’t playing. That situation really helped my chops.

MD: Did you have lessons or any kind of training before you started gigging?

Mick: No, it was training on the job. Though I was playing to records in the attic when I was a young kid, about nine or ten. I had a toy kit called a Gigster. Each drum was about 6" deep, and it had a 6" cymbal, a hi-hat, and a bass drum.

MD: When you were playing around London in the mid-’60s, were you rubbing elbows with up-and-coming drummers like Ginger Baker?

Mick: I didn’t really know anyone, but I very quickly knew of them. They were all drummers that commanded a lot of reverence, like Ginger, and Phil Seamen, who used to play with Georgie Fame. He was a great English jazz drummer. Ginger used to worship him. And I first knew of Ginger from playing with the Graham Bond Organisation—that was a wild band. And Mickey Waller [Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Brian Auger, John Mayall] I really admired. Great feel drummer, one of the dudes. He was like the English Jim Keltner—played with a lot of people, but he still retained his own style.

MD: When did you hook up with John McVie?

Mick: I hooked up with John playing-wise with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. I knew him as a sort of wayward friend. We’d played on so many gigs in and around London, at places like The Flamingo and The Marquee. When I hooked up with Mayall it was John Mayall, Peter Green, John McVie, and me. So unknowingly, the first three members of Fleetwood Mac were in that band.

MD: I would imagine you and John could roll out of bed in the middle of the night after having not played together in a decade and fall into that boom-bap/boom-boom-bap groove without a problem.

Mick: You are entirely correct. [laughs] We all don’t see that much of each other when we’re apart—John and Lindsey had probably seen each other three times in five years. And Lindsey, bless his heart, like the second week of rehearsals, literally, he had tears in his eyes, saying, “Shit, I forgot about you guys.” He was saying, “I get what we have in this band.” No matter the blows that come and go personally, musically, when we’re all together, it’s for sure a trip.

MD: You also have a tight rhythmic link with Lindsey that feels a little more primal than the way you lock in with John’s bass. The way you and Lindsey often jam into “Go Your Own Way” live is a good example of that.

Mick: You’re right. I play very physically. And when Lindsey’s on stage he’s also pretty physical, in terms of how he gets his stuff over. We have that sort of camaraderie. He knows he can turn around to me and he’s going to get his ass kicked. And he can do likewise with me. That’s how we communicate musically. With John, I don’t have to think about what he’s playing, and he doesn’t think about me. We’re so blended into one, it’s second nature. I can go off and have fun and play off Lindsey, and John’s always right there with us.

MD: It’s certainly an interesting contrast of styles. There’s Lindsey, who’s more of an eccentric, studio-rat perfectionist type. And there’s John and you, who bring an old-school blues approach to the table. On paper, you wouldn’t think that mix would work, but it does.

Mick: John and I deliver something that may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but generally—which is a nice thing—people acknowledge that it’s a rhythm section that is very identifiable. I’m only saying that because I’ve heard it so often. For Lindsey, when he’s away from that, playing with other players who do their thing and approach things differently, it takes a few days for him to come around. I could see it on his face when we started rehearsals. We were doing some of our songs that he had been doing on his solo tours, and I could see him thinking, That ain’t gonna work with these two…. [laughs] But slowly, the big smile would come, and he’d realize that’s the stuff that Fleetwood Mac does.

John and I play like blues players, really, in terms of the way we approach things. It’s not the material we’re doing. But the approach John and I have was learned in the trenches playing with Sonny Boy Williamson. It stays with you. I’m not Gene Krupa. When all is said and done I’m just a guy who gets out his own emotions though a pretty simple formula of technique. I pride myself on time and I pride myself on knowing that if something is digging a hole or not swinging, I’m not playing well. It’s that simple. Has it got the grease? If not, give me a can of it, and let’s deliver this shit—properly.


Fleetwood Mac to unleash greatest hits.  Legendary band brings familiar hits for June 3 show.

By David Burger
The Salt Lake Tribune

Fleetwood Mac released "Rumours" in 1977 despite going through incredible personal turmoil -- its two famous couples, Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and John McVie and wife Christine McVie, broke up during the recording sessions.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Fleetwood Mac classics such as "Go Your Own Way" and "The Chain" record the tragedy of lost love.

So as Reprise Records is preparing to release a Fleetwood Mac box set this summer, with unreleased tracks from the "Rumours" sessions as well as never-before-seen footage of the band, it must be hard for the musicians to relive those times, right?

"It's a little touching in some ways," Buckingham agreed in an interview after watching the video footage.

The release of the box set and tour might seem like, well, marketing, or at least an unorthodox response to the musical history created more than 30 years ago. But Buckingham, who will perform with the four remaining members of Fleetwood Mac at EnergySolutions Arena June 3, speaks about the material from the strength of a decadelong, happy marriage to photographer Kristen Messner. "I was lucky enough to meet a woman who kicked my ass," said Buckingham about his wife. "It's been a great gift."

For the musician, happiness comes from the memories of creating some of the pop-rock band's most enduring songs during the "Rumours" sessions" -- including "Don't Stop," "Dreams," "Gold Dust Woman" and "You Make Loving Fun," with the last rumored to be about Christine McVie's affair with the band's lighting director.

With a catalog of those songs as well as other hits from legendary albums such as "Tusk" and "Tango in the Night," the revived band can afford to tour without a new release. "Standing on principle, maybe it's not the right time," Buckingham said about touring sans new album. "But we have a significant body of work. We wanted to reconvene."

Buckingham said after touring with the band in support of "Say You Will" through 2003 and 2004, he asked for several years off to work on solo efforts. He recorded and toured behind two successful albums, "Under the Skin" and "Gift of Screws," and then received another phone call from band founder Mick Fleetwood. "It usually is Mick getting everyone together," Buckingham said with a laugh.

It's still up in the air about what's next for the former members of Fleetwood Mac. "We haven't decided what we want to do," Buckingham said. "The obvious thing would be [to record an album]. I won't presume anything. My mantra is to keep my mouth shut."

Fleetwood Mac fan takes reviewer to task

Fleetwood Mac fan takes reviewer to task
By Sarah Rowland

You get Sarah Rowland to take the music section to a Fleetwood Mac fan club meeting, and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt, two recently released major-label CDs, and two tickets to a Live Nation club show taking place in Vancouver within the next four weeks. Here’s this week’s winning whine.

Dear Payback Time: I’m not sure in which universe our rock heroes don’t grow older (perhaps Mick Jagger’s), but as Fleetwood Mac so clearly demonstrated to anyone paying attention, age is just a number. For God’s sake, Mick Fleetwood could be my grandfather, and he still plays with the crazed intensity of Animal from The Muppet Show. From Mick’s flawless 10-minute drum solo to John McVie’s solid and unwavering bass lines, and, most pronounced Lindsey Buckingham’s epic and transcendent manipulation of his guitar, the band proved that no amount of cocaine or internal drama could deaden its capabilities as a masterful live rock band. Stevie Nicks may have been the weakest link that night, but when one of the greatest voices in rock ’n’ roll isn’t at the top of her game, she’s still an absolute treasure to listen to.

If Sarah Rowland honestly watched that performance and still thinks it’s time for Fleetwood Mac to pack it in, her standards must be unreasonably high. I take pity on any band she reviews that doesn’t happen to be in the upper echelon of rock history—so 90 percent of all future reviews?

> Terry Stewart

Sarah Rowland replies: Dearest Terry—I guess one woman’s solid, unwavering bassist is another woman’s sad pile of antisocial shit. John McVie stepped up for 15 bars of “The Chain” and then went back to goal-sucking in a darkened nook by Mick Fleetwood’s drum kit for almost the entire night.

And funny you should bring up Mick Jagger. Say what you want about the Stones miser, but at least when he gouges fans with ticket prices, he has the decency to kick up his cardio routine before hitting the road. Oh sure, we have to endure watching the former rock ’n’ roll sex symbol prance around in those ugly white tennis shoes that Gramps likes to wear on special occasions, but at least he makes an effort to move his Mr. Burns butt on-stage. And if the Boss were to come back and siphon money from his blue-collar fan base during a recession, you can bet he’d only do it with a fully functioning voice. And I’m sure that even Sting, tantric sex–loving new-age ponce that he is, mentally prepares for the rigours of the road by working extra hard on his Downward Dog.

All this, just so you don’t have to wear nostalgic blinders for the entire concert. So, you see, it is possible for aging classic-rock stars to exploit reunion cash grabs, suck you dry for all you’re worth, and still make an effort come showtime.


Class, spell turmoil: F-L-E-E-T-W-O-O-D M-A-C
The band is infamous for its battles and lineup changes – and famous for its music
By George Varga, Pop Music Critic

There are a variety of nonmusical career opportunities for world-famous rock 'n' roll stars, especially those willing to lend their names to lucrative endorsement deals and other commercial ventures. But Mick Fleetwood is one of the few who might qualify for a position as a special envoy for the United Nations.

“That probably would have appealed to me, if I had been better educated and had more mental discipline,” said the lanky drummer, who performs with Fleetwood Mac Sunday night at the San Diego Sports Arena. “I can see bits and pieces of my natural instincts that would have made me well-suited for the U.N. In another life, that premise is not a horrific one for me. Obviously, that's not what I ended up doing.”

However, in his own way, Fleetwood has learned more than many career diplomats about maintaining order, tiptoeing around land mines (at least figuratively speaking) and negotiating fragile truces in uncivil circumstances.

The only member of Fleetwood Mac to have played with every edition of the band since its inception in 1967, his key qualification is, well, that he is the only member of Fleetwood Mac to have played with every edition of the band since its inception in 1967.

As a result, he has served as the de facto peacekeeper for this famous (and famously contentious) band, which in its first seven years of existence went through nine different lineups.

Between 1970 and 1974, guitarist Peter Green burned out after taking too much LSD, guitarist Jeremy Spencer abruptly left to join a religious cult and guitarist Bob Weston was fired after his affair with Fleetwood's then-wife was discovered.

The band has weathered five more lineup changes since 1975, the year two young Americans – singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham – joined. The couple had previously played together in Fritz, a Bay Area band, and had recorded one obscure duo album.

Against all odds, the addition of Buckingham and Nicks helped transform Fleetwood Mac, which had started out as an all-English blues-rock outfit, into an Anglo-American band that became one of the best-selling rock acts of the 1970s – and beyond.

Faster than you can say “Rumours,” the name of the band's 1977 mega-album, Fleetwood Mac became a superstar act at precisely the same time internal band tensions nearly caused it to implode.

The marriage between bassist John McVie (who is still in the band) and singer-keyboardist Christine McVie (who isn't) came to a rocky finish. Buckingham and Nicks ended their romantic relationship. Fleetwood began a clandestine affair with Nicks, who still relied on Buckingham to improve her songs with his expert arrangements and stellar musicianship.

“It's a testament to every man and woman in this band that none of us ever believed we were something special,” Fleetwood, 61, said. “That's been the extreme blessing of Fleetwood Mac, that it really is a 'people with their faults' band. We never got sucked into the massive potential for a showbiz-type approach, (despite) the soap-opera type stuff going on that became public knowledge.”

At the time, Buckingham openly bristled when it became clear the band (and its record company) wanted Fleetwood Mac to avoid tampering with its success. Determined not to cash in on the success of “Rumours,” which has now sold close to 40 million copies, the guitarist pushed the band to make 1979's “Tusk.” An edgy, artistically ambitious double album, it didn't sell nearly as well as its predecessor.

“Those years after 'Rumours' were difficult,” Buckingham acknowledged in a separate interview from Los Angeles.

“That was the beginning of me realizing I wanted to buck the pressures of making something like 'Rumours 2,' so that we would not become a caricature of ourselves. People want you to repeat formulas and run them into the ground.”

People (at least at the time) like drummer Fleetwood. His increasingly heated arguments with Buckingham over creative control and the band's musical direction prompted the guitarist to quit in 1987 and embark on a solo career.

“I was probably the numero uno cheerleader for the band,” Fleetwood acknowledged.

“I was the one who believed that, at all costs, we must turn up for Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey left because he didn't see any other way to do what he wanted to do, without leaving Fleetwood Mac. He probably had visions of me, with a cheerleader's outfit on and a huge master-of-ceremony's whip, saying 'We will never stop, not even to take a breath.'

“Looking back, I would say I could have done with being about 30 percent less obsessive about putting my whole life on hold for Fleetwood Mac. But all of us, for a while, sold our creative souls to the band. And it was always all about the music, even when things were not easy for us, emotionally.”

But that was then, and this is now. And Buckingham, who rejoined the band in 1997, has since managed to strike a balance between his solo career and his work with Fleetwood Mac. The band's current tour is, by Fleetwood's account, the first time the band has hit the road without a new album to promote. (The band's most recent album was 2003's “Say You Will.”)

The result is a “Greatest Hits” show that also features some songs from Buckingham and Nicks' respective solo careers, including his “Go Insane” and her “Stand Back,” along with Fleetwood Mac's 1969 gem “Oh Well.”

“When I introduce the band now (on stage), I acknowledge John and Lindsey first,” Fleetwood said. “And when I get to Stevie, I invariably say: 'This is a lady who keeps us guys in Fleetwood Mac very well-behaved, if you know what I mean.'

“We have fun with that. We never got into the whole ripping-hotels-apart thing. Our illicit deeds were tiptoeing down hotel corridors and visiting each other when we shouldn't have. We were more 'under the covers.' ”

Literally and figuratively?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


They set it up only to tear it down... The show rolls on....

Not sure what venue or city these are... Looks like it might be a combination of Ottawa, Canada, Washington, DC - and by the look of the cake it's the Mohegan Sun venue... Some interesting behind the scenes shots of the tour that from the vantage point that the photos were taken, could have only been taken by one of the road crew.


Macking on the Mac


Though it may be tempting to write "The Mac is Back!" when referring to 
1) Fleetwood Mac coming to town for a concert or 2) the band having another mega-hit, we shall not. Not that we don't like the rhyming-ness of it, but because we're sure many other people have tread those same waters before us.

But, we would be wrong to not acknowledge the iconic band's Los Angeles date. They're playing Staples Center on Thursday, May 28, which has us thinking of all the super things about this supergroup.

1) The way Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham would sing "Go Your Own Way" to each other on stage. Oh boy. Talk about hot-hot backstory.

2) Stevie's amazing, witchy, mystical clothing choices. The lady swirls. Nobody has been able to swirl like her, before or since. Oh, and those platform boots from her solo "Stand Back" era. No matter that we couldn't possibly stand in them, much less stand back, but we did covet them so.

3) That Mick Fleetwood and John McVie both play on Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," the lycanthropiest rock song of all time.

4) "Songbird," the final song on side one of "Rumors," is just so, so sweet. A tear jerker, that one. Kudos to Ms. Christine McVie.

5) That the USC marching band appears in the "Tusk" video. Definitely an early forebearer of marching-band chic.

Meet Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009


Includes: 4 tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009 plus a meet and greet with the band.

Time left:6 days

While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late '60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Combining soft rock with the confessional introspection of singer/songwriters, Fleetwood Mac created a slick but emotional sound that helped 1977's Rumors become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.

Enjoy 4 tickets to see this groundbreaking band live at Madison Square Garden on June 11, 2009!

Donated by: Fleetwood Mac

Terms: Includes: 4 tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009 plus a meet and greet with the band.

Sales tax will apply to residents of the State of Connecticut.

Shipping/Handling: charitybuzz® Auctions uses UPS or FedEx for all shipping. We charge a minimum of $9.95 for shipping, handling and processing for all lots. We insure everything for the full value of the actual winning bid. We review the weight and value for all lots and average the cost of shipping by location to determine a realistic shipping charge for all lots. Shipping and applicable insurance for this item is $9.95 within the United States, unless the terms indicate special delivery instructions.

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Random Photo... Stevie Nicks Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun

From the Tribute Issue of Billboard Magazine (02/24/07) celebrating the life of Ahmet Ertegun
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(Photos) Fleetwood Mac - Oakland 5/20

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20, 2009
I'm assuming these are Oakland.... In any case, Angelina54 managed 
some nice shots (MORE)

And another set from Oakland.... SLEEPYEVE

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac Live in San Jose - May 21, 2009

Photos by: Mr. Marcelin
(click for larger)


Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

Rocks Off would wholeheartedly like to wish Ms. Stevie Nicks a very happy birthday today; since she's the epitome of a rock and roll lady, we'll refrain from revealing her actual age. At Fleetwood Mac's Toyota Center concert earlier this month, Nicks seemed to be walking with a limp, and her voice was noticeably raspier than on record, but her performances of "Gypsy," "Sara" - during which she walked over to embrace Lindsey Buckingham near the end, a clearly unrehearsed and utterly moving bit of stagecraft.

By Chris Gray


Mick Fleetwood at Flemings

Fans of the iconic rock band, Fleetwood Mac, can dine with band member -- and winemaker -- Mick Fleetwood while he is in Salt Lake City for an upcoming concert.

On June 2, Fleetwood will host the three-course wine dinner beginning at 7 p.m. at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20 S. 400 West, in the Gateway Mall. (The band performs June 3 at Energy Solutions Arena)

"Mick's Favorite Dinner" includes shrimp cocktail, filet mignon and berries with vanilla ice cream. The meal will be paired with two of Fleetwoods handcrafted California wines: Mick Fleetwood Chardonnay and Mick Fleetwood Cabernet.

Cost is $95 per person and includes a copy of Fleetwood's new live CD, “Blue Again” and a framed photograph at the event. For reservations call 801-355-3704.

He's still a better musician than winemaker, but Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar wines have received several awards in California tasting competitions. And the Wall Street Journal gave it the title of "Best Wine" in a blind tasting of 50 celebrity wines.A sweet little lie? Check it out for yourself at the official website:

Fleetwood Mac takes a while finding its groove


LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fleetwood Mac's show was ambling along on Saturday. The packed crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim was being entertained but not really affected.

"We're gonna get this party started," Stevie Nicks said after the second number, and the band began "Dreams" -- a No. 1 single from a 19 million-selling LP, but not what leaps to mind when one thinks "party starter."

And so it went for more than an hour: pleasant old songs, pleasantly recited, with the occasional address to the audience. But then the vibe changed.

The once-huge group played "Say You Love Me," written and originally sung by Mac retiree Christine McVie. Lindsey Buckingham embellished the second verse, almost arguing with the melody. The 40-year rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie made it rumble.

The song earned the evening's first true roar, and it was game on.

Nicks then let loose on "Gold Dust Woman," offering her most inspired vocal of the night. Then came "Oh Well," the set's oldest song and by far its hardest-rocking. Buckingham bit off the lines, keeping the emphatic pauses, then ripped off a long guitar solo that was heavier than anything he ever recorded with Fleetwood Mac.

The crowd had caught on, and the rest of the night was terrific.

Taken in full, this was exactly what a heritage rock act playing arenas should deliver: Put aside any simmering personal issues and play 2-1/2 hours of the biggest hits, with a few fan-favorite album cuts and some nuggets -- at a top ticket price of $150.

Of course, "personal issues" were synonymous with Fleetwood Mac at the height of its popularity (18 of the night's 23 songs came from the group's megaplatinum 1975-79 era). Buckingham acknowledged the band's "fairly complex and convoluted emotional history." Those old tensions were evident as the main quartet kept their distance onstage as if separated by minefields. Meanwhile, the giant video screens often showed Buckingham and Nicks side by side as if via Photoshop.

Backed by two musicians -- tucked in a nook that was borderline backstage -- and three singers, the Mac was in good form. Buckingham sang and played with fervor, adding bursts of big guitar. Dressed in her trademark webby chiffon that resembles a giant doily, Nicks played air drums and guitar and real tambourine, her smoky vocals steering clear of the higher ranges but working well otherwise. Fleetwood and John McVie laid down typically solid rhythms, the former taking a brief eyes-closed drum solo.

Christine McVie was missed, with only a few of her songs making the set list. But this was an enjoyable show that justified a veteran act hitting the road with no new material. As Buckingham said: "This time we said to each other, 'Let's just go out and have fun.' ... There is no new album -- yet."

No need, really.

Happy Birthday Stevie

Monday, May 25, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Glendale, AZ

Fleetwood Mac delivers greatest hits
Live in Glendale, AZ May 24, 2009

by Larry Rodgers

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in Fleetwood Mac showed Sunday night that they have emerged from a five-year performance hiatus with their musical mystery and superstar aura intact.

In a homecoming show for singer Stevie Nicks, the band served up an ambitious set of classics that ran nearly 2 1/2 hours at Arena in Glendale.

Its four members, augmented on their Unleashed tour by three singers and two other musicians, may be in their early '60s, but there was plenty of energy onstage from the bouncing opening chords of 1975's “Monday Morning.”

Guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingam seemed to be the most supercharged Sunday, enthusiastically diving into the vocals of that tune, which like much of Mac's catalog, talks about the double sword of romance.

The Phoenix-born Nicks exuded a regal, dignified presence onstage, suitable for her status as one of rock's most magnetic and complex performers. But she clearly was happy to be back in Arizona, where she owned a home for 25 years.

“We have family here tonight (including her sister-in-law, Lori Nicks, on vocals). I am thrilled to be here,” Nicks said early on. “It is my home, you know.”

Nicks later dedicated a poignant version of “Landslide” to her mother, Barbara, a longtime Valley resident.

The arena crowd, a few thousand seats short of a sellout, responded to the between-song banter Nicks and Buckingham with loud love.

Though Mac is viewed as a baby-boomer act, a healthy number of teens and 20-somethings were in the Glendale crowd, perhaps drawn by the group's decision to spotlight its biggest hits on this tour.

With no new album to promote, Buckingham told the audience, “This time, we said, ‘Let's just go out there and have fun.'”

The set which included such mega-hits as “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Sara” and “Don't Stop,” left longtime fans like Pamela Frady, 54, of Fountain Hills satisfied.

“All the old songs were really good,” she said.

Frady's husband, David, 54, who has seen the band through the years, added, “They have done nothing but improve phenomenally.”

Buckingham remained as fiery as ever when he attacked his guitar on “Big Love” and the show-stopping “I'm So Afraid.”

He mentioned “the power and importance of change” before starting the rapid-fire plucking of his acoustic guitar on 1987's “Big Love.”

When he was done, he looked up at the crowd, smiled and touched his heart.

As 1975's “I'm So Afraid” built to a raging climax, Buckingham ran around the stage, pausing several times to pound on the fret board of his guitar, within inches of the outstretched arms of fans.

Nicks' vocals were smooth and strong on the aforementioned hits, as well as “Dreams,” “Gypsy,” “Gold Dust Woman” and the show-ending “Silver Springs.”

The keys of some songs appeared to have been lowered, and Nicks long ago altered her treatment of some lyrics to avoid high notes, but her rich voice remains of of rock's most distinctive.

Nicks, who reportedly has lost 60 pounds, looked as mystical as ever, dressed early on in a dark dress with material cascading from its sleeves and tall boots. She had some subtle costume changes during the show, including various shawls that added drama to her trademark move — extending her arms and twirling (done more slowly than in the '70s and '80s).

During the always-powerful “Gold Dust Woman,” Nicks turned her back to the crowd and stretched out her arms, silhouetted by an onstage spotlight. As the haunting song wound down, Nicks' dance moves were eerie and ghostlike, and the crowd responded with a roar.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood, who co-founded the band with bassist and fellow Brit John McVie in 1967, got into the act with a spirited drum solo during the first encore song, “World Turning.”

Wearing a microphone and looking like rock's crazy, old uncle with his gray beard and bulging eyeballs, Fleetwood cracked up the crowd with yelps and hoots.

McVie, whom Fleetwood introduced as “the backbone of Fleetwood Mac,” was his usual low-key self on stage, decked out in a cap and dark vest.

Throughout the set, Fleetwood waved his approval at Buckingham's masterful guitar work and blew kisses at Nicks.

Nicks and Buckingam, who were a couple before and during their early days in Fleetwood Mac (they joined in 1974), came out for the first encore holding hands, and Buckingham gently kissed the singer's hand.

The gesture was bittersweet and powerful, just like Fleetwood Mac's latest concert set.

Set list:
“Monday Morning”
“The Chain”
“I Know I'm Not Wrong”
“Go Insane”
“Second Hand News”
“Big Love”
“Never Going Back Again”
“Say That You Love Me”
“Gold Dust Woman”
“Oh Well”
“I'm So Afraid”
“Stand Back”
“Go Your Own Way”

“World Turning”
“Don't Stop”
“Silver Springs”