By Eric R. Danton
I've written before about teleprint conferences (like this one, with Maroon 5) -- essentially, press conferences by phone, wherein a bunch of reporters lob questions one by one at musicians -- but the one I'm on right now with Fleetwood Mac is a gem.
The band this spring unleashes Unleashed, a greatest hits tour tied to the re-release of "Rumours," and the Mac's first road trip in five years (including a date March 14 at Mohegan Sun). Highlights of the teleprint session include:
- Stevie Nicks declaring, "Basically, what we are is entertainers." Ah. That clears that right up.
- Lindsey Buckingham shows up 20 minutes after the scheduled start time, and says to the others, "Have you all been on the line for a while?"
- Apparently Buckingham is influenced by Radiohead.
- Mick Fleetwood, on the other hand, likes U2.
- The band attempts to steer a question to John McVie, who's been largely silent. "No, I feel so stupid today," McVie says. Mick offers, "We'll do one together."
- Stevie Nicks, addressing rumors that Sheryl Crow would take Christine McVie's place: "I told her, 'You've survived breast cancer and Lance Armstrong, and I think you're doing the right thing'" by not joining the band to focus instead on raising her child.
- Whither the significance of the tour title? Stevie: "To me, 'Unleashed' means unleashing the furies, throwing us back into the universe." Is it possible to roll your eyes so hard they fall out? To his credit, the reporter asks, tongue in cheek, "Will we be able to handle this fury?"
- The guy from the Plain Dealer asks, in reference to the USC marching band appearing with Radiohead at the Grammys, "Are you sick of Radiohead stealing all of Fleetwood Mac's good ideas?" The band laughs, then Buckingham says he told the director of the marching band, "Please go tell Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood how much their work has meant to me."
- Stevie: "I'm a fragile little old grandmother at this point, even though I have no grandchildren."
- The guy from L'Press (or some damn place) asks the band when the "Rumours" re-release is coming out. The band, of course, has no idea. Dude: Check Wikipedia.
- Aw, man, after I've spent 90 minutes on the phone, some guy asks a dumber version of the question I was going to ask.
- Jon Bream from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune asks why Fleetwood Mac tickets are so expensive, especially compared to the band's last tour. Stevie: "I can't even answer that, because I don't know. All I can say is that the price of life in general is a gazillion times higher than it was four years ago." Alas, this time the band can't afford to fly on a chartered 737, she says. They're taking a G4 jet instead.
- If brevity is indeed the soul of wit, Mick Fleetwood is witless.