Q&A: Fleetwood Mac's still going its own way
By LARRY RODGERS
The Arizona Republic
Plenty of classic-rock bands, including Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd, have been dangerously volatile away from the stage, falling victim to substance abuse, emotional turmoil, squabbles among members and even death.
Fleetwood Mac sits at or near the top of the list of emotionally dysfunctional groups, thanks to intra-band marriage, affairs and breakups, legal problems, a revolving door of members, a fondness for drugs and alcohol and, most important, the amazing ability of its members to emerge relatively sane and healthy after decades of drama.
Add to those challenges the fact that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band's current lineup, which has been intact for 11 years, features three strong personalities — singer Stevie Nicks, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and drummer Mick Fleetwood (the fourth member, John McVie, seems to roll with the flow) — that have repeatedly clashed on artistic and personal levels.
"We are a group of great contradictions, a group that in some strange way ... the members don't necessarily have any business being in a band together because of the range of sensibilities is disparate," says Buckingham, who was in a romantic and musical partnership with Nicks for five years before and during their early time in Fleetwood Mac.
"But that, in fact, is what makes Fleetwood Mac what it is. It's the whole being greater than the ... parts. It's the kind of energy that is created from that kind of contrast in personalities."
The four current members of Fleetwood Mac (all in their early 60s) participated in a conversation with journalists that lasted nearly two hours and provided a glimpse into the group's artistic and personal dynamics.