Showing posts with label Unleashed in New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unleashed in New Zealand. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


[First of all, these time zones are going to kill me!... I almost forgot to listen live to this interview this morning, or afternoon... Actually, I was listening today (Tuesday the 8th), but it was already the morning of the 9th in New Zealand - hense the title of the post]

Tim from Easy Mix 98.2 in New Zealand interviewed Lindsey Buckingham this morning (09.09.09)

Lindsey spoke about why he's never been happier, what his wife thinks of his on stage chemistry with Stevie Nicks, what he considers to be his best achievement in regards to producing Stevie and Christine's songs, how he surprised Michael Jackson in a toilet in 1985 while recording "We Are The World", and his connection with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.

He also spoke about how the band really wants to keep this going and not take such long breaks between projects... Another album of new material is still being talked about, along with bringing in a new producer to work with the band - which was nice to hear. Sadly he never mentioned, nor was he asked, about the Rumours CD/DVD that was reported to be coming out this year to coincide with the Unleashed Tour.

You can stream both parts of his interview this morning at the Easy Mix website, or you can download it here if you're like me and you like to keep this stuff.

Interview length about 16 minutes.

Also, in early October Tim will interview Mick Fleetwood - the man who's drumming has provided the beat for every Fleetwood Mac song from Albatross to Say You Love Me, Go Your Own Way to Little Lies, Dreams to Tusk, Gypsy to Sara.



Second show added - December 20, 2009 - ON SALE NOW!

Ticket Prices:

NZ $120.00

Allocated Seating - GOLD
NZ $320.00

Allocated Seating - SILVER
NZ $250.00

TSB Bowl of Brooklands, New Plymouth - SUNDAY December 20th 2009 Andrew McManus Presents is pleased to announce a second show on Sunday December 20th due to overwhelming demand. 'As promoter of this tour, even I am amazed at how quickly the first show sold out in New Plymouth and am proud to be able to announce a second concert, which will be the bands last show of their Unleashed World tour - a fitting completion to their sold out world tour and great way to finish for the fantastic New Zealand fans at such a beautiful venue as the New Plymouth Bowl' Following on the heels of their hugely successful 55-city sold out North American tour, Fleetwood Mac - Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie - will bring their 'Unleashed' tour to New Zealand for a two-hour plus celebration of all the greatest hits from undoubtedly one of the most enduring, celebrated and influential rock groups of all time.

Don't miss the chance to see this extraordinary, iconic band in what promises to be one of the musical highlights of the year. NEW PLYMOUTH, TSB BOWL OF BROOKLANDS


From Ticketmaster, or 0800-111-999

Fleetwood Mac have added a second concert to their visit to New Plymouth in December after the first one sold out in minutes.

Having played a 55-date, sold-out tour in North America, the band had committed to a single New Zealand show on December 19 at the Bowl of Brooklands.

Promoter Andrew McManus Presents said demand for tickets at the 18,000 seat venue was overwhelming and the second show had been scheduled for the following night.


Speculation a Second New Plymouth
show might be added

Tickets for Fleetwood Mac go on sale today but if you do not have a credit card you are out of luck.

Tickets for the one-off New Zealand show, to be held on December 19 at New Plymouth's TSB Bowl of Brooklands, will only be available online and over the phone.

Payment can only be made by credit card through Ticketmaster's website or its freephone number 0800 111 999. Fleetwood fans can pay by cash or eftpos at a Ticketmaster outlet, but Taranaki's closest is in Palmerston North.

Pre-sale tickets for the concert went on sale last Friday and have sold out.

New Plymouth District Council's manager of business development and events Garry Sharpe-Young said it was the show's promoter who decided to have ticket sales through Ticketmaster despite it not having an outlet in New Plymouth.

"We need to get the message out that tickets will not be at the TSB Showplace box office," Mr Sharpe-Young said. "They are all being sold online or on the freephone."

People would turn up at the TSB Showplace because that was where they traditionally bought them, he said.

Tickets go on sale at 9am and are $120 for general admission, $250 for silver and $320 for gold.

The New Plymouth show is the group's only New Zealand concert and is expected to sell out in minutes today.

There is speculation a second New Plymouth show might be added.

In recent months other big international acts including Foo Fighters, AC/DC and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have all announced second shows after huge demand.

The New Plymouth show is the last of a world tour by Fleetwood Mac. The group has performed in the United States and is touring Europe, with all the United Kingdom shows selling out.

Friday, September 04, 2009


In my opinion: Bad memories of Mac remain
By Grant Harding
Hawke's Bay Today

WHEN friends gather, and the conversation turns to rock music it will eventually swing around to the best concert ever seen.

My pick would be Bob Marley and the Wailers at Auckland's Western Springs in 1979: great atmosphere, great performance - an artist at his peak. Yes, it could have been longer, but Bob and the Wailers delivered.

There are other categories.

The one you don't remember - George Thorogood and the Destroyers in Palmerston North. Don't ask.

Then there's the worst concert ever.

You probably wouldn't guess who gets my top billing in that category in a million years.

A clue: they're coming back in December, and their tickets for a one-off concert go on sale Monday.

That's right - supergroup Fleetwood Mac.

It was March 1980 in Wellington, and they were riding high on Rumours (1977) and the recently released Tusk. But in true rock fashion that wasn't all they were riding high on and the state of their personal relationships - four of the band members had once made two happily married couples - was chaotic.

That concert has been on my mind lately because of a couple of texts sent to Hawke's Bay Today bemoaning the Mission's Motown act, and the inability to get an act like the Mac.

It brought a sly grin to the face as I remembered back to the debacle that night at Athletic Park.

I know Mick Fleetwood has written about it, but the best reference I could find on the internet was the following passage: "(Lindsey) Buckingham finally succumbed to the curse of Fleetwood Mac guitarists.

"At one show in New Zealand, as (Stevie) Nicks sang Rhiannon he pulled his jacket over his head and began performing a grotesque imitation of her. Christine McVie slapped him. 'I might have chucked a glass of wine over him, too,' she says. 'I didn't think that was the way to treat a paying audience'."

I suspect that incident came just before the band left the stage to temporarily sort out their differences so the show could go on.

Legendary New Zealand bluesman Hammond Gamble and his band, Street Talk, was the support act that night and they had played superbly.

As Fleetwood Mac deteriorated in front of our eyes, I remember a chant starting up: "Bring back Street Talk." I joined in.

I gave Hammond a call this week to check that my memory hadn't faded. It hadn't - his had. "Are you sure it wasn't earlier than 1980?" he said down the phone from Auckland.

But he remembered the important stuff.

"They were arguing among themselves," he said. "We were told to leave them alone and don't get near them."

Hammond said the gig that followed at Western Springs was a good concert but Wellington was most definitely "meltdown night".

After their team meeting, Fleetwood Mac did return to the stage and Nicks used all of her considerable charm in an attempt to win the crowd over and prove she was the rock goddess we had come to see.

Somehow, though, it was forced. And 29 years later as the band, minus the delightful Christine McVie, prepare for their first New Zealand concert since that fateful March, it remains my worst live rock experience.

On that night, despite my liking for their music and lusting for Nicks, personal problems won out over the band's reputation and ability.

That is well behind them and there is nothing to suggest they will be anything but great in New Plymouth.

But, dear text messagers, there is no need to build up the Mac to put down the Mission.

From what I have observed of The Mission concert crowds, they are at their happiest when they can sing along. And when I hit yesterday there was immediate responsiveness and movement in the office as the Temptations Get Ready blasted out of my computer.

If that was a taster, it will be a good night in the Bay come February 13.

But by all means spend your bucks on a drive to New Plymouth where Stevie, Lindsey, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood could never be as bad again as they were in Wellington 29 years ago.

* Grant Harding is APN's Columnist of the Year.

FLEETWOOD MAC: Still Going Their Own Way

Still going their own way

Saturday Sep 05, 2009
By Scott Kara

Lindsey Buckingham is surprisingly laid-back about being a jilted lover. It's been more than 30 years since his then girlfriend and Fleetwood Mac band mate, Stevie Nicks, got it on with the band's drummer, Mick Fleetwood, while on tour in New Zealand.

It's not that time has healed his aching heart. You see, back when the infidelity happened
Buckingham didn't give a hoot either - it was 1977 and they were promiscuous and drug-fuelled times, after all.

In a recent interview the guitarist and pop genius of the group recounted how Nicks and Fleetwood made a big deal of coming round to his house to tell him about their affair, to which he responded, "Yeah? So? That's it?"

And he's just as flippant on the phone today from his home in Los Angeles: "Stevie and I were on the road to breaking up before we joined the band."

Considering the two lovers - who before Fleetwood Mac were making music as the duo Buckingham Nicks - joined the band in 1975 it must have been a long, rocky break-up.

No band has mixed a cocktail of melodrama, romantic shenanigans, and hedonistic substance abuse quite like Fleetwood Mac - and through it all they came up with two cracker albums, the mega-selling Rumours (1977) and kooky double album Tusk (1979).

It was Rumours, though, with songs like Buckingham's Go Your Own Way, Nicks' Dreams, and keyboardist/singer Christine McVie's Don't Stop, that went on to sell more than 40 million copies - currently the tenth best-selling album ever - and made Fleetwood Mac the biggest band in the world.

It's these songs, and many others, that the band will be playing at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands on December 19 when they return for the first time since 1980's Tusk tour.

The Unleashed Tour is a two-hour plus show of greatest hits material and the Downunder dates follow a sold out 55-city North American tour earlier this year, and a European leg which starts in October.

The version of the band coming to New Zealand is the classic Rumours line-up of Buckingham, Nicks, Fleetwood and bassist player John McVie, minus his former wife Christine McVie who quit the band in 1998 because of her fear of flying.

"One of the things that makes the tour fun, and a little bit profound for us is that we don't have a new album - yet anyway - so we're not trying to go out there and do material that is unfamiliar," says 59-year-old Buckingham. "And oddly enough, for the first time, we've been able to sit back and take stock of the body of work that we have and appreciate it.

"When you're in the moment of making songs, and especially for us with the politics and all the drama that went on, it has never been that easy, and the fun of being on stage has always been tempered by all of that."

So for the first time in 35 years, it seems this classic yet troubled line-up of Fleetwood Mac is the most settled they've ever been.

"We're having a good time," says Buckingham who has the sort of relaxed - almost lazy - lilt you expect from a born-and-bred Californian.

Fleetwood Mac started out as a rough-and-ready British blues band in 1967. With the two constants being Fleetwood and John McVie, the group enjoyed a brief flurry of popularity, underwent a number of personnel changes (including the departure of legendary guitarist Peter Green) , and moved to Los Angeles in 1974.

Meanwhile, Buckingham and Nicks had started making a name for themselves in the early 70s in LA as a duo, combining two-part harmonies and lush orchestral rock arrangements. The pair recorded an album together, with both pictured naked on the cover and Nicks especially striking a sexy and sultry pose, which Buckingham looks back on these days as an "immature" effort by a "fledgling" duo. Buckingham first met Fleetwood at the Sound City recording studio in LA in late 1974. He happened to walk into a room where the tall, skinny drummer was being played the Buckingham Nicks song Frozen Love.

"He was this really thin, kind of bizarre looking guy, bopping away and nodding his head," remembers Buckingham. "I thought, 'What is going on here?' And my first impression was quite correct: Mick is a true individual, quite eccentric, and his presence is certainly unusual. I didn't know who he was at first and then I got introduced to him and of course I was familiar with his band."

It turned out Fleetwood was looking for a new guitarist, with the departure of Bob Welch who had been with the band since 1971, and a week after his first meeting with Buckingham he called him to see if he wanted to join Fleetwood Mac.

"Stevie and I were not planning on doing anything like that and I just said, 'Well, you gotta take my girlfriend too'."

Buckingham says joining Fleetwood Mac was initially a tricky transition as an instrumentalist because he found himself in a group of powerful musicians with "a certain force".

"A great deal of the sound was pretty much established. John and Mick had a very distinct sound that was pre-ordained. It was my challenge to fit into that and contribute to it and somehow not lose my sense of self. There were things I had to give up to do that. Certainly the orchestral side of the playing that was present on the Buckingham Nicks album became something that had to be pared down. You know, John McVie's bassline, and Christine's keyboard playing take up a lot of space.

"Basically, I had to find the holes that were left and that required me pulling back on my style."

Despite these musical differences, there was very little friction on a sonic level - as we've heard, it was the emotional goings-on and the drug and alcohol excesses that caused the most turbulence.

"I couldn't change the way they played, all I could do was influence the production, the direction of the arrangement, and the direction of, for lack of a better term, a pop sensibility."

Which he did, very well, and while the first album with Buckingham and Nicks on board, 1975's Fleetwood Mac, was well received, it was Rumours that made the biggest impact.

Considering the amount of cocaine consumed, and the twisted love affairs going on within the ranks of Fleetwood Mac during the making of, and in the aftermath, of Rumours, the record turned out pretty well.

"Ever since Stevie and I joined the band there was always emotional turmoil," says Buckingham. "It may or may not have existed for most groups, but it was more so for us because there were couples in the band, and so everything, even the time during Rumours, with that amazing commercial success, I don't want to say it was overshadowed, but it was definitely counter-balanced by this other stuff that was going on, which wasn't that much fun to have to go through.

"I think the residue from that [emotional turmoil] went on and on and on, but I think we are at a point now, in our never-ending struggle to become adults," he says with a laugh, "we are getting to the point where we not only appreciate the body of work, but appreciate each other and appreciate that we have this great chemistry as a band," he reminisces.

While there is much made of the problems Nicks, Fleetwood, and John McVie had with drug and alcohol addiction - for example after Nicks got clean of cocaine she became addicted to the painkiller Klonopin - it seems Buckingham fared pretty well.

"To some degree it was 'when in Rome' in the sense that I think we existed in a subculture of rock'n'roll. It was [about] living with substances and that's how things evolved.

"That lifestyle got away from a lot of people. For sure. I was not one of them, but I was certainly there and did partake, but for some reason Stevie and Mick in particular seemed to run into more problems with that."

The ongoing addiction problems his bandmates were having had a lot to do with Buckingham's decision to leave the band in 1987, following the album Tango In the Night.

"But you know," he offers, "I think it's as much a representation of a lifestyle shared by a whole generation of people during a certain time more than anything else. I think in many ways we were all doing things we thought we had to do in order to be creative - which turns out to be ridiculous."

One imagines the excesses of those heady times did have something to do with Tusk, the sprawling and kooky 20-track follow-up to Rumours.

The album was driven almost single-handedly by Buckingham who wrote half the songs, although Stevie Nicks' Sara was the chart-topping and reasonably normal sounding single.

You can tell he's most proud of Tusk. "The Tusk album was a direct reaction to the massive commercial success of Rumours and the proposition that someone would like us to make Rumours II."

So what does he think of the term soft rock - a common term associated with Fleetwood Mac - because Tusk is anything but soft. It's quite crazy, really.

"Yes it is," says Buckingham gleefully. "You could say soft rock, you could also say way more sophisticated," he laughs.

"It's orchestrated, there is a lot of intelligent playing going on, some great musicianship; and I don't care what you call it and in some ways I think it's hard to put one label on Fleetwood Mac. I think the music holds up over time in a way that other stuff doesn't."

The band have no long-term plan, they're getting along well, and Buckingham says they're talking about the possibility of a new album.

Which means, of course, Fleetwood Mac will have to work together as a songwriting unit once again.

"Which is maybe something we've never been able to do, since the first few years. And I'm excited about that and it really is a way that dignifies what we've been able to accomplish and dignifies our relationships with each other as friends, and as co-workers."


Who: Fleetwood Mac
Line-up: Stevie Nicks (vocals); Lindsey Buckingham (guitar); Mick Fleetwood (drums); and John McVie (bass)
Where & when: Bowl Of Brooklands, New Plymouth, December 19
Tickets: On sale 9am, September 9 from Ticketmaster. My Ticketmaster pre sale starts September 7
Classic albums: Fleetwood Mac (1975); Rumours (1977); Tusk (1979)

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Fleetwood Mac; Australia and New Zealand General on Sale Tickets

(as I write this) It's about 9:30am in New Zealand - so approximately a half hour into the general tickets on sale for Fleetwood Mac's December 19th show. Hope everyone managed to get decent seats.

Next up is Brisbane, Sydney, Hope Estates and Melbourne in about an hour and a half, then Perth a few hours after that... Good luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009



FLEETWOOD MAC are performing one concert only at the stunning Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth on December 19 with tickets going on sale on September 9.

Easymix 98.2fm in Auckland will be giving away tickets closer to the concert, and in the coming weeks they will have not one, but two major Mac interviews.

Up first will be guitarist Lindsey Buckingham on September 9th. Lindsey will discuss everything from the possibility of new Fleetwood Mac music, his reputation as one of the most distinctive guitarists ever, why New Zealand was the only country they didn't do an encore in, how his wife copes with the sexual tension between him and Stevie Nicks and much, much more. Be listening September 9th!

In early October they will also be interviewing the man who's drumming has provided the beat for every Fleetwood Mac song from Albatross to Say You Love Me, Go Your Own Way to Little Lies, Dreams to Tusk, Gypsy to Sara - the man himself MICK FLEETWOOD!


The show in New Plymouth, New Zealand at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands on December 19, 2009 has been added to the Preferred Seating site and tickets are on sale now.

General Admission: Pricing from $125.00.
Silver Reserve: Pricing from $250.00
Gold Reserve: Pricing from $315.00.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


by: Scott Kara

So, Fleetwood Mac are coming to New Zealand. That's great, because even though the band's classic albums - Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) - were a little before my time, I've always had a crush on Stevie Nicks, with her long mane of blonde hair and lacy hippy frocks.

And it's even better that the band is playing in my hometown of New Plymouth at my favourite venue in the world, the beautiful Bowl of Brooklands.

However, sorry to spoil the party, but the gig might not be all it's cracked up to be. You see, what makes the Bowl unique, apart from the natural grass bowl, is the lake in front of the stage. For Fleetwood Mac (and Cliff Richard and the Shadows in February), the New Plymouth District Council is plonking a 1000-seat platform over the lake. Having been to many concerts at the bowl, including seeing Tim Finn row across the lake during Six Months In a Leaky Boat, I have to say it won't be the same without the lake.

By the sound of it, the introduction of the platform was a deciding factor for New Plymouth scoring Fleetwood Mac's only New Zealand show because the band insisted it would make for a more "intimate" gig.

Then again, why couldn't they say to Stevie and the lads that they'd happily put on a row boat for them to use? I don't mind rowing them across.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FLEETWOOD Fluster Over Ticket Prices

Tickets to the Fleetwood Mac concert haven't gone on sale yet but already there's confusion over how much they will cost.

One website,, has begun offering pre-sale tickets at $147.50 for general admission to $369 for the best seats on the platform over the lake at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands.

But these prices look to be more expensive than what will be offered when tickets go on general sale next month - the Taranaki Daily News understands they will range from $120 to $320.

That won't be officially known until September 4 when first dibs on Fleetwood Mac's December 19 concert will go to TSB Bank customers, who will be able to buy them on-line until September 8. Public sales will then open the next day.

Leesa Tilley, general manager of promoter Andrew McManus Presents, said promoters often worked with on-sellers like Showbiznz who were allocated a very limited number of ticket "holds".

"These aren't actual tickets these won't be available until the general public tickets go on sale and they can market or sell them however they like," she said.

"How they market and sell them is up to them."

The prices to be asked for the big concert look similar to pricing for Taranaki's last major concert, the performance by Sir Elton John in December 2007.

Prices for that event ranged from $155 to $375.

* How much would you pay to go? Post your comments here.

by Simon Sweetman

By now many of you will be aware that Fleetwood Mac is playing in New Plymouth before the end of 2009. You may also be aware of my love for this band. Or should I say bands.

My love for Fleetwood Mac (and you can click on that link to get the full soap-opera behind the band if you don't already know it) started when I was about five years old.

And then, a few years on from that - maybe I was nine or ten? - I watched a documentary which alerted me to the previous blues band Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac.

Next thing I was obsessed with the early years. I knew Albatross - I just didn't know it was the same group that did Say You Love Me - and of course it's not really the same group, but you know what I mean...I knew Albatross but just from hearing it on the radio; I didn't know who played it. Didn't really care at that age.

But this documentary had me obsessed with Fleetwood Mac. I loved the stories of the drinking and drug-taking that had meant some members had disappeared to join cults; moved to Africa and wanted to give all their money away; started having affairs with the partners of other band members (this practice would continue for years in the band); and - very sadly in the case of Danny Kirwan - were sent to a home for the mentally ill.

When I say I loved these stories, I was just fascinated with the soap-opera of Fleetwood Mac. And of course when the band created its second permanent lineup in the mid-1970s - the one that would go on to become global superstars - the soap-opera kicked up a few gears.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were a couple; they had been drafted in to the band as a pair - a songwriting duo and a...

To read the full article along with many many comments on the article (and to leave yours) go HERE

Monday, August 24, 2009


Fleetwood Mac Pr-Sale Information for New Plymouth, Perth & Pokolbin, NSW via Ticketmaster.

New Plymouth, NZ - Bowl of Brooklands (Allocated Seating)
Sat 19 Dec 2009, 08:00 PM
Ticket Prices: NZ $250.00 - NZ $320.00

Ticket Prices: NZ $120.00

Onsale to General Public
Start: Wed 09/09/09, 09:00

TSB Presale
Start: Fri 04/09/09, 09:00
End: Tue 08/09/09, 17:00

MasterCard Applause Presale
Start: Fri 04/09/09, 09:00
End: Sun 06/09/09, 17:00

My Ticketmaster Presale
Start: Tue 08/09/09, 09:00
End: Tue 08/09/09, 23:59

Pokolbin, NSW - Hope Estate
Sat 5 Dec 2009
Ticket Prices: AU $122.80 - AU $192.80

Onsale to General Public
Start: Fri 04/09/09, 09:00

Start: Wed 02/09/09, 09:00
End: Thu 03/09/09, 17:00

Perth, WA - ME Bank Stadium
Fri 11 Dec 2009
Sat 12 Dec 2009
Ticket Prices:
A Reserve : $195.00
B Reserve : $165.00
C Reserve : $125.00

Onsale to General Public
Start: Fri 04/09/09, 09:00

My Ticketmaster Presale
Start: Wed 02/09/09, 09:00
End: Thu 03/09/09, 17:00

Premium Tickets are also still available through Preferred Seating


Pre-sale starts: Wed 2 Sep, noon,
Pre-sale ends: Thu 3 Sep, noon (or until pre-sale allocation runs out)
General public on sale: Fri 4 Sep, 9am

Ticketek is selling for the following venues only:
Tuesday 1 December - Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
Monday 7 December - Acer Arena, Sydney
Tuesday 15 December - Brisbane Entertainment Centre

SYDNEY - Acer Arena Dec 7th "Total Concert Experience" Pre-Sale Ticket info:
  • A Reserve Seating Experience - Incl. Ticket & Preshow Function - $340.00
  • B Reserve Seating Experience - Incl. Ticket & Preshow Function - $310.00
  • A Reserve $198.00
  • B Reserve $169.00
  • C Reserve $128.00
Ticket prices include GST and Booking Fees. Transaction Fees may apply.

Ticket Only Prices:
A Reserve - $195.00*
B Reserve - $165.00*
C Reserve - $125.00*

*Please note that Booking or administration Fees may apply

To purchase tickets (from Friday 4 September 2009): Click here for Ticketek or via phone on 132 849.

General Ticket Prices Not Yet Listed:

Pre-sale starts: Wed 2 Sep, noon,
Pre-sale ends: Thu 3 Sep, noon (or until pre-sale allocation runs out)

Fleetwood Mac Unleashed Tour Presales Opportunity

Fleetwood Mac in New Plymouth. Pre-sales tickets available.

Tickets are extremely limited BUT we have pre-sales tickets. General Admission from $149 + $30 handling fee. These tickets just became available - get in now before they go on general release and sell out.

TSB Bowl of Brooklands, 19 December 2009

Get a TravelQuote from a tried and true travel expert... on this deal or any other.
Or, call to speak with one of us on 0800 891 394

Ticket types available
  • A Reserve: $369 + $30 handling fee.
  • B Reserve: $289 + $30 handling fee.
  • General admission is $149 + $30 handling fee.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Sunday Star Times

THE last time Fleetwood Mac played in New Zealand, Rob Muldoon was prime minister and we still had the "carless days" scheme. There was a major strike at Kinleith Paper Mill that year, and the police noted that a staggering amount of pot was smoked, right out in the open, at the first Sweetwaters music festival near Ngaruawahia.

It was 1980. Fleetwood Mac played two sold-out shows here that year, with most of the band nursing raging cocaine habits financed by the success of their biggest album Rumours, released three years earlier. Rumours was inescapable in New Zealand we heard it in shopping malls, takeaway bars, petrol station forecourts, drifting from the open windows of houses and passing cars. Radio stations thrashed it, and your mum quite possibly played it at fondue parties where the after dinner instant coffee arrived in earthy brown Temuka Pottery cups.

And I played it myself, incessantly. When Rumours came out, I was 16 and Stevie Nicks was a powerful object of desire, a Californian hippie witch with ragged hems and come-to-bed eyes. Now Nicks is 61, and Fleetwood Mac are returning to play their first New Zealand gig in 29 years in New Plymouth in December.

"Really, I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to it," says Nicks from her home in Santa Monica, her speaking voice as nasal and husky as her singing voice. "I came down there on a solo tour in 2006 and I loved it, and so when Fleetwood Mac were booked to come to Australia, I convinced the rest of the band we should play New Zealand as well."

It is, says Nicks, a tour that will delight their fans. They won't have to suffer any new songs; it'll be singalong nostalgia all the way.

"It's our first ever greatest hits tour. In the past, we've always had a new record to promote, and the fans are, like you're not doing `Say You Love Me' because you wanna play a song we don't know? C'mon! So this time we're gonna pick 23 of the biggest songs Fleetwood Mac ever did and play 'em all over two-and-a-half hours. It's like OK, here's our body of work. Here are the best songs we've made since this line-up came together in 1975. This is our tapestry."

And what a rich tapestry it has been. Even within the notoriously dramatic world of rock'n'roll, Fleetwood Mac's career has stood out for its lack of calm and restraint. The band's history resembles a particularly tumultuous soap opera, or perhaps a soft-rock Spinal Tap, replete with madness and cults, lawsuits and lust, bogus touring bands, clandestine shagging, industrial strength bitchiness, oceans of alcohol, blizzards of cocaine. Numerous members have burnt out, flipped out or been kicked out along the way, leaving drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie the only surviving members from early line-ups.

FLEETWOOD MAC was a tough British blues band when it formed in London in 1967, then the addition of McVie's wife, singer Christine Perfect, helped broaden their appeal. By the end of the 60s, they were one of Europe's most popular bands, but then things started to go seriously awry. Guitarist Peter Green developed schizophrenia after taking LSD in Munich. Second guitarist Jeremy Spencer went out to buy a paper one day and joined a religious cult instead.

Replacement Danny Kirwan was fired after destroying instruments in an alcohol-fuelled rage, and another replacement guitarist, Bob Weston, was given the boot after having an affair with Fleetwood's wife. Singer Dave Walker was dismissed due to "attitude issues". Eventually, touring became so difficult that the band's manager put together a fake Fleetwood Mac with no original members and toured that instead.

In search of a fresh start, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie relocated to Los Angeles in 1973. After drafting in new members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham of California soft-rock duo, Buckingham Nicks, their sound became lighter, dreamier, more melodic. This line-up's second album Rumours won the 1977 Album of the Year Grammy and went on to sell over 40 million copies worldwide, and it's easy to see why. On the surface, Rumours sounds as middle of the road as a white line, but there's a compelling undercurrent of darkness that really evokes its era the drugs, the sexual shenanigans, the emotional carelessness, the hippie dream starting to turn sour.

"Those 12 songs came out of a very dark time, and told the story of their times," agrees Nicks. "That music captured what was going on in everybody's hearts, not just ours. We were telling stories everybody could relate to, so people carried those songs around like their own little mantras."

Immediately before Rumours was made, the Fleetwood Mac soap opera got particularly sudsy. John and Christine McVie split, and the latter started dating the band's lighting director. Adding insult to injury, she wrote "You Make Loving Fun" about her new man, and her ex had to play it, night after night, on the road. Then Nicks left Buckingham and started a secret affair with Fleetwood, who was married to George Harrison's sister-in-law Jenny Boyd at the time. Their affair began here in New Zealand, after a November 1977 concert during the Rumours tour. Soon afterwards, Fleetwood left his wife for Nicks' best friend, Sara Recor, and Nicks began a relationship with Don Henley of The Eagles.

A few years later, one of Nicks' friends died of leukaemia and she married the woman's grieving husband, only to divorce him eight months later.

These were particularly crazy times, agrees Nicks, and constant drug use had a lot to do with it.

"You know, it was a seriously drug-filled world in those days. At the time, everyone thought cocaine was just a recreational drug that could not hurt you. Being idiots, we all said, OK, great, get me some. Now, of course, I have a terrible hole in my nose that really affects my singing, so it did hurt me. It hurt all of us. There's always a price to pay for that kind of behaviour. Cocaine is really acidic; if you're a singer it eats your throat, and eventually it eats your brain, too. And of course, nobody was just doing cocaine back then. It was like, I'm too low, so I'll do some coke, then I'm too nervous, so I'll smoke some pot, and then I'm too stoned, so I'll have a big old shot of brandy, and then I'll smoke a cigarette to wake myself back up again. It was a big nasty circle, and my advice is not to try it, because rehab is no fun whatsoever."

Nicks knows this from bitter experience; she's been through rehab twice.

"I did six weeks at the Betty Ford Clinic to get me off cocaine in the mid-80s. I came out feeling great, looking great and singing great, but then a psychiatrist insisted I go on this tranquilliser called Klonopin to make sure I never went back to coke, so I got addicted to that instead. The next eight years of my life went down the drain! The second time in rehab, I spent 47 days in detox. It was worse than the cocaine detox. I thought I was gonna die! A little later I developed chronic fatigue syndrome, which I imagine is from all those years of misuse of my body."

And Nicks wasn't the only band member paying a price for the millionaire rock star lifestyle. Heavily addicted to cocaine and alcohol, Mick Fleetwood found himself living in a friend's damp basement in the mid-80s, watching soap operas all day. Having quite literally squandered millions on cocaine, he filed for bankruptcy in 1987 and entered rehab soon after. That same year, John McVie was treated for an alchohol-induced seizure, and has been sober ever since. Buckingham left the band in 1987, ending the classic Rumours line-up until a reunion in 1997.

The New Zealand show sees this line-up back together minus Christine McVie, who left in 1998.

"All the flying was giving her panic attacks," says Nicks. "Now she's living in a little castle outside London, with a whole lot of dogs and animals, and she spends her time cooking and having a happy life."

NICKS IS honest enough to admit that Fleetwood Mac is primarily a business these days, an enterprise sustained by stubbornness as much as anything.

"As mad as everyone has gotten at each other for a myriad different things, it always came down to one thing: I'm not leaving! It's like I'm not quitting! You quit! Even during times when we hated each other, nothing was worth ending Fleetwood Mac over. You know, when I joined this band, I was so poor, I was working as a waitress and a cleaning lady. Eight months later, I was a millionaire! We made a lot of money together, so whenever things went bad, we'd say is this really worth ending the band over?"

Nicks sounds tough, confident, not at all the floaty hippie chick she often appears to be. She's a survivor, a woman who has come through hard times with little left to prove. Besides Fleetwood Mac, she has had an extremely successful solo career. Her songs have been covered by the Dixie Chicks and Smashing Pumpkins, sampled by Destiny's Child, cited as an inspiration by Courtney Love, MaryJ Blige and the Pet Shop Boys.

And of course, it would be remiss to overlook Nicks' impact, for better or worse, on the world of fashion. She is perhaps the ultimate bogan fashion icon. Westie women, young and old, still sport Nicks' trademark faux-gypsy 70s look to this day, with the jagged hemlines, the silk scarves, the platform boots, the multi-layered satin, leather and lace.

"The older I get, the more I realise that my little idea of what to wear on stage reached out and grabbed a lot of people. Why? Because my style was easy to wear. When I first joined this band, I used to just go on stage in my street clothes, which weren't great, because I was extremely poor at that point. Eventually I went to [LA designer] Margie Kent and drew her little stick figures of what I wanted, and she made me a stage outfit with a little black top, a chiffon skirt that looked kinda raggy, a couple little jackets. Later I got her to make me a poncho out of chiffon with sequins and beads on it, and some long handkerchief skirts, then added the shawls and the top hat and so on.

"People still copy that whole look today, all over the world, and I think that's because what I wear is easy for all body types. Whether a woman is real skinny or 20lbs overweight, my look works. I've toned it down as I've gotten older, but I still wear much the same thing, as you'll see when I get down there."

Fleetwood Mac's "Unleashed" tour plays New Plymouth's TSB Bowl of Brooklands on Saturday, December 19. Tickets on sale from September 9 through Ticketmaster: or ph 0800111 999.

Friday, August 21, 2009


The Mac is back


Fleetwood Mac Announces First NZ Show Since 1980

Legendary super group Fleetwood Mac will return to New Zealand for the first time in nearly 30 years for an exclusive show at New Plymouth's beautiful TSB Bowl of Brooklands in December.

Promoter Andrew McManus said: "I am thrilled to be bringing this incredible band back to New Zealand for this one-off concert. It's been nearly 30 years which is way too long! Fans will no doubt travel from all over the country to experience this legendary band."

Don't miss the chance to see this extraordinary, iconic band in what promises to be one of the musical highlights of the year.



By FELICITY ROOKES - Taranaki Daily News

A Fleetwood Mac concert for New Plymouth was confirmed yesterday and for the first time at the Bowl of Brooklands fans will be close enough to see the perspiration on the performers' faces.

The veteran British band is hitting Taranaki on December 19 and the TSB Bowl of Brooklands is the only venue in New Zealand it will play.

And the controversial 1000-seat lake platform will be ready in time for the concert.

Confirming the gig yesterday, New Plymouth District Council manager of business developments and events Garry Sharpe-Young said Fleetwood Mac was the concert of the year.

"They are one of the top 10 selling bands in the world," he said.

"Fleetwood Mac covers a broad range of people, everyone knows their songs."

Mr Sharpe-Young says securing the band is a major coup for New Plymouth.

"This is an A-list band and we are the only place in New Zealand that has them.

"All the major centres wanted Fleetwood Mac and I think it has a lot to do with the venue."

He says you have to be able to offer something different, something unique and that's what the Bowl is.

As with Cliff Richard and The Shadows, the new platform seating over the lake was a deciding factor for Fleetwood Mac.

"Artists like to get intimate with the audience," Mr Sharpe-Young said.

"We have taken note of what artists have said and are maximising the venue."

People on platform seating must be aware that if they wish to dance they must stand next to their seat and not all go to the front.

The platform has been designed to be removed so cannot bear too much weight all on one side.

Mr Sharpe-Young says extra flights will be put on to New Plymouth to meet the demand of out-of-town concert goers.

Fleetwood Mac has not performed in New Zealand since 1980 when it played in Auckland and Wellington, attracting more than 80,000 people.

Singer Stevie Nicks performed at the Bowl in March 2006 in a double billing with John Farnham.

Fleetwood Mac is in its golden years, performing for more than 40 years. The band is touring the world with New Zealand one of the final stops.

It is made up of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and the bass player John McVie, for whom, together, the band is named.

There is no new album to promote but at a concert at Madison Square Gardens in March guitarist Buckingham hinted there might be one in the works.

Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and its 1977 album Rumours stayed at number one on the US charts for 31 weeks.

But what Fleetwood Mac fans want is the oldies, Dreams, Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way, Gypsy, Little Lies, Landslide and Rhiannon to name a few.

Word is that during the tour the band is sticking closely to its 1975 self-titled album, the first to feature the Buckingham-Nicks combo, and its follow-up two years later, Rumours, one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.



FIRST dibs on tickets to Fleetwood Mac's December concert will go to TSB Bank customers.

Online ticket sales will be available to TSB Bank customers from Friday, September 4 until Tuesday, September 8.

Public sales will open on Wednesday, September 9.

TSB Bank customers can only purchase tickets online at The password needed to complete the purchase is `expect more'.

Thursday, August 20, 2009