Thursday, March 29, 2012

Explosive Ken Caillat Interview: Famed Fleetwood Mac Producer Recounts Turmoil

Ken Caillat interview with Melissa Parker - Smashinginterviews

I clipped a few segments... Some of it not so positive towards Fleetwood Mac and it's members...

Famed Fleetwood Mac Producer Recounts the Turmoil and Triumphs of ‘Rumours’

"Were the band members asked to participate?
I got a call back from the management, and he said, “Lindsey might write his own book, so he has asked the band not to support you and the book.” They basically said, “No. We’re not going to do the book.” 

"Christine McVie has read the book now, and she told me that she loved it. Christine said that I brought passion back into the music for her and brought back so many memories. She’s the only real sweetheart in the group. The rest of them are all fighting with each other."

Christine might’ve given you an interview to use in the book.
"Right. But, Fleetwood Mac is a very complex group. I talked to Warner Bros. the other day. I was working on footage for the enhanced book and they used the “F” word, saying, “You know, Fleetwood Mac is just a nightmare."

"At the time, Christine said she would definitely do an interview. Then, she asked if anyone else in the band had given one. I said, “Well, honestly, no. Lindsey said he didn’t want them doing it because he said he might want one day to do a book himself.” Christine said, “I don’t want to go against anybody else.”

"There was no responsibility for anybody to take care of anybody else, but they are rich and some of the people like Judy Wong … she was found in her apartment after being dead for a week. Judy did everything for Christine McVie and the band, and for her not to be given whatever she needed … she died toothless. "

"Ray Lindsey, a roadie, works for Conan. He said, “Ken, I’m kind of haunted by this. I feel like I want to write a book to tell about it and to get the demons out of my head.” Richard said that they’ve pretty much abandoned him. He would work for Lindsey three years straight without getting a check. He just took advantage of him. So, Richard, being a pretty sensitive guy, just sold and gave away every piece of Fleetwood Mac memorabilia he had."

"I used to be able to call Mick or Stevie directly, but now I get someone else who answers and says, “Who’s this? Oh yeah, you’re the guy from 20 years ago.” 

"Do you know of any plans for Fleetwood Mac to reunite for a tour?"
"Nope. I don’t think so. I did a Christine McVie album in 2003, and I suggested that before Fleetwood Mac ever goes on the next tour maybe they should go into the studio and record a few songs from Christine’s 2005 album. It would be really great because it would be the first Fleetwood Mac/Christine songs in a long time, and it would break through to the radio."

"Christine loved the idea. But, who knows? I told that to Mick, but he has no power over anybody. If Stevie thinks that Lindsey thought of something first, she’ll say ‘no,’ and vice versa. They could be doing so well, you know? If they had only listened to me, they could be doing so well. They’re just people. They have ups and downs, and quite honestly, they’re all down now. They could make a lot of people happy if they’d just cut the crap and just be human beings, not anything special."

"They’re not friggin’ special, and their crap stinks like everybody else’s, goddamit! They need to just get it through their heads. They need to knock it off and just be real. Nobody gets to put anybody down with power trips."

"I got a message on Facebook saying, “I love this book. Would you please write Tusk?” I actually started writing Tusk. I’m only about ten pages in, but I’m not sure I’m really that excited about doing it because it’s going to be a little more negative than this one. I think this book is pretty light with a loving look at music."

Read the full interview at Smashinginterviews


Anonymous said...

Popcorn, much munching- Ken sure knows how to sell a book, that's an explosive interview. The bits about Christine, Judy Wong, L&S, and the bit about Chris being the only 'good' one in the band and the rest of them 'not' and always fighting... if snark works, he'll have a best-seller.

I wonder if the rest of the book will be as 'juicy'- I suspect 'not' from is description of the book in this interview- but it does sound like he has at LEAST one more book in him. Also interesting he said that the band all were 'down' now- the tours were really lucrative, SYW and UL, so they can't be ''that'' down. Still, it's an interesting perspective and I can see how he'd reach that conclusion.

So, still no word of the 'In Your Dreams' dvd release date- that is pretty amazing that the label has no interest at all promoting it or releasing it, when SN is all over television this week on high profile NBC shows. Maybe Stevie and the rest of the band really 'are' down.
Maybe not.

Maury said...

Mick is a chronic broke person. Credit to Mick, he did pay Judy's rent on many an occasion. Sad to hear of Judy's dreadful passing. Judy invited myself to accompany her to three thanksgivings in a row. The last, three/four years ago. Team Stevie is 'serious." L&S always fight, but they seem to get back on common ground. R(ock)I(n)P(eace) Judy Wong. You are missed, sigh. :-(

rain said...

Ken, certainly you understand why Mac is not rolling out the red carpet for you. The book Storms was a pretty thorough exposé of the Rumours and Tusk tours and I doubt that you can find any worthwhile new angles to take on it. No one wants to go there anymore! New tours and new visions are being realized.
For someone professing to wish that everyone would just get along, I don't sense any healing energy coming from you! Furthermore, celebrities do not live like regular people. They have all of the same feelings and situations in their lives that we have, PLUS a whole bevy of experiences that are unique to their status. It is anything but. Normal existence.

Anonymous said...

I agree with rain on the topic of the band not rolling out the red carpet for Ken. He complains on more than one occasion in the book about the band not making even more money for him by not hiring him on future projects, then decides to make money from them by writing this otherwise substance-free and content-ridiculous book, and wonders why they don't want to help him with it? I admit I did enjoy some of the descriptions of the music construction, but otherwise? Yikes.

I wonder how kindly he would respond to someone writing a similar tale about working with his daughter 35 years from now.

Anonymous said...

That man looks juzt like Fred Flintstone! I've never seen a human man look like a cartoon before/

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate Ken's candor. I agree with him on many points. I can't wait to read this book......especially the Tusk sequel!

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who finds all this stuff extremely disturbing? First there was Mick Fleetwood's angry interview in Playboy, and now Ken Caillat's odd interview about his book. If the book is written as confusing as this interview then I will be very dissapointed. The book "Storms" written by Lindsey's ex girlfriend was bad enough, painting Lindsey is a very bad way, as well as Mick, Christine and even Stevie.

As a lifelong fan of Fleetwood Mac I feel like Stevie's words from the past I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ! ! !

It is just sad to read all this crap and not let it affect how you feel about all their wonderful music and seeing them perform. Of course the band will tour again, all this bull about them not is idiotic. Everyone knows they will. And the overstating of the drama about them is really tired and worn out. And I am sick of hearing about money, that seems to be all everyone around the band thinks about. Enough already.

Anonymous said...

Who knows? Judy Wong could of been the person who blew coke up Stevie's ass. She did everything for them and died penniless. So sad.. Stevie is worth over 65 million dollars, probably more. Uggg, not fair.

Anonymous said...

I think he is cute. I would do him.

Anonymous said...

Guys what happened to Judy??? So sad. Was she sick when she passed away? Why does he say 'toothless?'

Anyone else have tidbits on Richard's relationship with the band these days?

I don't doubt any of what Ken said and agree with him on a WHOLE LOT ;)

Anonymous said...

He was super hot back in the day. That pic of him in the Japan tour jacket??? hot.

I love this line "As a lifelong fan of Fleetwood Mac I feel like Stevie's words from the past I DON'T WANT TO KNOW ! ! !", which made me laugh out loud btw...

This band is full of personalities, and yes, egos! Band like this ALWAYS leave people in the dust, but given they've all survived and comes out to the otherside, it's disappointing to hear they've axed communication with people like Richard and Ken.

The whole idea of the band's knee-jerking reactions to ideas/decisions from one member is so well put. This vibe is well documented in 'Storms,' [which I found to be a great read, and appreciate given that 1) stevie probably won't write the gritty book we'd like to see 2) who knows what type of book Lindsey will write, if he does.] And remember that Linds have never come out to deny what was said in her book which is without a doubt, the ONE common and routine for rock gods to dismiss junk.

As a huge fan, he has no one to blame for his old behavior but himself. And while I think it must sting that it's out in the open, it serves us all to remember that our most favorite band in the world is comprised of human being who are behold to right and wrong. PLus, ken hits Linds' personality like a nail on the head in this interview.

Anonymous said...

I, for one, agree with the person who finds all of these messy revelations disturbing. Ken Calliat is a well-known name to Fleetwood Mac fans. Ken Callait, the blabbermouth is an ASSHOLE. People move on, Ken, it's just part of life. Your comments caused me to look up Judy Wong's death. It was said by people like you that, "Judy had no family" - which prompted her rather LARGE family in Sacramento to chime in. Judy died in 2005 - well after Christine retired from Fleetwood Mac in 1997. And Fleetwood Mac was not the only band Judy was affiliated with - she was MARRIED to a member of Jethro Tull. So don't get all high and mighty and blame the circumstance of Judy's death on the members of Fleetwood Mac. You obviously have quite a grudge, and maliciously rewrite facts to criticize the band. Ken - you're jealous. You thought you were a member of Fleetwood Mac but you weren't. Sorry - you're not in the band. You were/are a PRODUCER. As a professional you should understand this. But you don't - which is your loss. Such a messy, ungracious man Ken's become....

Anonymous said...

TO THE POSTER ABOVE: Judy WAS married to Glenn Cornick--a member of Jethro Tull...IN 1970!!! They divorced. He then proceeded to have three more wives. It is well documented on HIS site that one cousin from Sacramento were made aware of her passing and attended her service, but that was it as far as family goes.

Sadly, the statement that Judy "had no family" isn't too far off as Glenn HIMSELF replied to an awful poster on his site saying "To the family member who does not have the decency to admit their name, you must know that her brother had no interest in her alive or dead and was given every opportunity to attend but showed no interest in being there."

Ken is not "maliciously rewriting facts" about this scenario as you claimed.

Anonymous said...

What seems kinda funny to me is that just a little over a year ago Ken was a guest speaker for Lindsey when he received a Les Paul award at the TEC awards ceremony, and had nothing but kind words to say about Lindsey and his commitment to production excellence!!!He did not have to be there for Lindsey but chose to do so.So if he was so concerned about how everybody is acting and now wants to go public with it,then to me it seems like his sudden case of concern is more to serve the purpose of book sales; and not for serving the greater good of everyone involved(just like he slams them for doing). Now, as far as everyone being all down right now(looks like Stevie is having a great time doing what she is doing and deserves to be able to do so, and last time I checked Lindsey looks like he is having fun with what he is doing and he deserves to have that as well, for all the times they both have made sacrifices to mick and the rest of the band)seems more noble to me than just touring with Fleetwood Mac,and playing it safe just to make more money.Her loyalty to the band overall is pretty remarkable if you consider she could have really promoted Bella Donna for more than 11 shows and could have been an even bigger solo star.As far as Christine is concerned I would love it if she could be with the band, but remember she is the one that called it quits halfway through one of the most successful reunion tours ever and left the whole band in a pinch; but that was her choice and everybody respected her for it even if it was not what they wanted.How do you think it would work if Christine just played on an album but would not want to tour, I would be willing to bet that the critics and fans alike would not appreciate that very much, and would somehow try to blame the rest of the band or especially Lindsey-n-Stevie for her decision.Now, I am not naive and know that they all have egos and there is and will probably always be some tension in the band;but I believe that for the most part some tension is good and serves to make better music.If everybody thought the same way then the band would become boring and one dimensional;and that is one thing that I have never heard anyone say about them,and as a die hard fan I would not really care for.Let everyone be for now they will come back to THE MAC like they always do!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ken Calliat is an obnoxious has-been. Fleetwood Mac is a rock band, not IBM. The band has done well by many, many people over the years - much moreso than comparable bands. The crap Ken said about Judy Wong's death is really awful, uncalled for, below-the belt stuff. Couldn't HE have looked after her? Couldn't HE have written her a check. Christine was retired for years in England, for chrissakes! What a phony. Definitely NOT reading this stupid book. Heard the crappy, D-List interview he gave with those fawning losers and cringed. Not the most articulate man.

Anonymous said...

Crap - bought the book not knowing that this would be nasty and negative - until I just read these excerpts. I just thought it would be a great behind the scenes look at the making of Rumours. I feel like I betrayed the band - I'm such a huge fan. I just started it and already noticed some minor errors and I am actually quite bored with all the technical jargon that no one, but a professional engineer, would will be interesting to see what else I find incorrect. Sometimes I think people who worked with anyone famous mis-understand the relationship and are then hurt and become unjustly bitter...Yes, you formed a relationship that was special in the moment, but it was a crazy time in their personal lives and drugs and booze were rampant...appreciate that you were involved in such a venture - and maybe keep the things that would be very hurtful, personal.


I am VERY sad to hear about JUDY WONG. I believe that she was the KEY person to bring Bob Welch and Fleetwood Mac together and I also believe that she did some designs for the 1987 TANGO IN THE NIGHT tour merchandise, including the shirt with the african style shields. She had been in touch with a fellow long time Fleetwood Mac/Stevie fan, Rob from New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

This was an interview in 2012, Ken didn't know they were going on tour. To think they would not allow Christine to put a few of her songs on the album.....stupid. so what if she didn't tour to promote them. Then the album would've had a couple of hits and had made Fleetwood Mac fans happier. No wonder Chris doesn't return....I really think it's all the drama! They've only given their fans who are so loyal one studio album in 10 years. While they've certainly worked hard on solo careers. Ken is a smart Guy, they should listen to him. I just heard a song from " In The Meantime" that was released in Australia called
Come On Out to Play, it's very commercial sounding and shows Christine's brilliance, a few songs like that would have made it fleetwood Mac, not Buckingham Nicks/ with Fleetwood Mac's rhythm section. Mick needs to assert himself.

SueAnnRocks said...

As was stated by an above poster, what we really have to remember, is that the people in question here are mega-celebrities. Ken Calliat is a minor celebrity... At best.

Anyone who thinks that a mega-celebrity will act in the same way as a regular person, given the identical situation, is delusional.

When you live under a microscope, with the world watching your every move, you act in a manner which can range from much more deliberate, to extremely secretive, to unreasonably erratic. Put simply, individuals who are as famous as the members of Fleetwood Mac, are going to rarely, to never react the same way as 'Joe Schmo' off the street, given an identical situation.

Mega-celebrities are held at a higher standard, endure an extended range of accountability, and simply have so much more to lose than you, or I do. It has to be an extremely difficult life to lead and we, as fans, are usually far too quick to chastise the celebrities we admire. We don't usually even give it a second thought, because subconsciously we figure, 'they're rich, ' they're famous', and just assume that they are emotionally stronger than we are, and therefore, can take the punishment.

When, in reality, the unusual stresses which are placed on them by their life of fame, quite often only serves to amplify the negativity in their lives, often having an exponential effect on their emotions, and overall mental state.

I ask you to think of a time where you really fucked up... A time where you acted in a manner which negatively affected someone else's life. Think of the regret, shame, and embarrassment you experienced, when you discovered people who you love and respected, knew what you had done to that person.

Now, try and think back to just how strained, and awkward the relationship with not only that person became, but also the relationships which you shared with the people who had become aware of the negative manner in which you treated the individual in question.

That sort of regret and shame, can easily make an individual begin to show signs typical of an introvert...

Avoidance. Excuses. Isolation.

...and these devastating outcomes can occur, due to the fact only one, or two people are aware of what you did.

Now, try and imagine the acutely crippling effect it must have on a mega-celebrity...

Not only a couple of people, with whom you are most likely familiar, are aware of the negative manner in which you treated that person... Potentially millions, most of which are strangers, know of your indiscretion. Plus you are held at that higher standard than a regular person, making the guilt and regret undoubtedly balloon in it's intensity.

When you look at 'celebrity' from this angle, the glitz, glamour, money, and everything else which comes part and parcel, doesn't seem to be worth it in the end. At least not in my opinion.

I love every member of Fleetwood Mac. I often find myself speaking of them in a manner which would indicate an intense familiarity, even though I have never met a single member. I still have a connection which at times, makes it feel like I actually know them, because of the very special way which their music, and unique personalities have provided many of the colors which comprise the mosaic of my life.

The personal lives of Fleetwood Mac's members, stand in stark contrast to the massive success which their music has enjoyed. Instead of accolades, and critical acclaim, their private lives have been marred with intense failures, disappointments, longing, regrets, and loneliness.

If they were regular people, we'd say that 'they worked too much', or 'lived at the office', (especially LB) because that's probably what we'd assume, given that we had very little personal information to go on.

SueAnnRocks said...

However, with the literal volumes of information which can be found on these individuals, using any form of media, we have the luxury of having to assume very little because the great majority of humanity has access to even the smallest, most insignificant details of your past.

Please think what it must be like, to be that exposed? To basically stand in naked judgement by the collective population of the entire planet, while maintaining an even temperament, and doing your best to, 'let it roll off your back'

Even with the massive level of adoration I feel for this band, and it's members, I would hardly say that I envy, or worship them...

Do I admire them, and their many accomplishments?
Of course.

Do I respect their hard work, and personal sacrifices?
Without a doubt.

However, the emotion I feel, above all others, when it comes to this group of tortured geniuses may surprise you... It is pity.

I feel one of the best reflections of 'brutal honesty' in existence, is found in the common adage, 'Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true'. In my opinion, this idiom suits few people better than it suits the five members, of which Fleetwood Mac's most successful incarnation is comprised.

Unknown said...

I was Judy's boyfriend in 1968. That's when she had Passion Flower on upper Grant. She would go to the flea mkt. and find amazing clothing to resale at her store. She would also go to the flower mkt. at 6AM to buy flowers to spruce up the place. I used to hang out there and there were many who shopped there, including a few nuts. Once when I was there a girl came in and took off all her clothes, ran around naked and said charge everything to Bob Dylan. Judy didn't like to clean up. In the back of the store, where the toilet and sink were she had a bird in a cage. She would feed the bird bird seed and the seed would drop into the sink and begin to grow. Never cleaned the green growth. Once when she decided to straightened out her closet, which was stacked full of dirty clothes, to take to the dry cleaner, she uncovered some mice which were living under her clothes. I said I would kill all the mice but she wouldn't have it. She felt sorry for them. She was friends with Kaisak Wong who produced fabulous clothing. I photographed Judy in her store as well as Kaisak's creations. This was in 1968 before Kaisak became famous. Unfortunately he died at a young age of AIDS just when is art was taking off.
IN 2005 I got a call from Mick Fleetwood who wanted the photos I took of Judy for her funeral. Bob Siedemann, the famous photographer, said: charge him a lot of money for the photos. He didn't have a high opinion of Mick for some reason. I said this is a funeral and I will donate the photos if he would pay the lab bill, use them only at the funeral, then return them to, me. Which he did. I thought. Later I found out that Fleetwood was selling DVD's of the funeral which included my photos. I guess Siedemann knew what he was talking about.

Post a Comment