Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NO BAND DOES DYSFUNCTION LIKE FLEETWOOD MAC

By Lisa O'Donnell | Journal Columnist and Reporter

No band does dysfunction like Fleetwood Mac.

Tales of cults and cocaine, breakups and bankruptcies, affairs and addictions are as much a part of the band's story as the California brand of rock that made it one of the superstar acts of the '70s.

Some 40 years after forming in the heyday of the British blues revival, Fleetwood Mac appears finally to have put behind it the bad chemicals and chemistry that nearly turned it into an oldies act. (Remember the Fleetwood Mac/Reo Speedwagon/Pat Benatar tour of 1996? We are trying to forget it as well.)

During a recent teleconference, the four remaining members of this famously fractured band -- co-founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, along with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks -- sounded as if they have to come terms with each other and are ready to move into an era of good feeling.

"We are a group of great contradictions," Buckingham said. "The members don't necessarily have any business being in a band together because the range of sensibilities is so disparate."

On Saturday, this shiny, happy version of the band will play Charlotte (the Greensboro concert was canceled because of "scheduling conflicts") as part of the "Unleashed Tour." It marks the first time that the band is touring without a new album. Instead of pushing new songs, the set list will be heavy with hits from the Fleetwood Mac and Rumours albums with a few seldom-played deep cuts sprinkled in for good measure.

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