Friday, February 13, 2009

Bumped into Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie
(exerpt of a much longer article)

Chris Isaak on his Interview with Stevie Nicks and Bumping in Christine McVie:

Isaak says Nicks normally gets marginalized in interviews by being asked things like, "Hey Stevie, are you really playing the Fun Festival? Do you really never 'stop thinking about tomorrow?' OK, we're out of time." But Isaak sat with Nicks for two-plus hours.

Isaak found out from Nicks' manager she visits hospitalized military vets. More than that, she has given them iPods. Isaak is impressed that unlike other celebrities, Nicks did all the legwork herself. She didn't get an assistant to do it. She didn't cut a deal with Apple.

"She got her credit card, went down to the store, and bought all the iPods. She took them home, laid them out on the kitchen table, filled them with music, and handed them to the guys. And none of this was in the press."

Well, until now.

Isaak already was familiar with the "genuine" musicians from Fleetwood Mac. When he first went to Paris years ago, he bumped into Fleetwood's Christine McVie. She asked how he liked Paris. He said he had been too busy to check it out. "She says, 'Get in the car.'

"I got in the backseat of a limo with Christine McVie. We drove all over Paris. And she'd roll down the window and say, 'That's the such-and-such cathedral.' And she just showed me all the sights."

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mick Fleetwood's "Blue Again" Gets North American Release Date


New Live Album Features Original
Compositions and Classic
Fleetwood Mac Songs


SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Revisiting the blues-based classic songs of early Fleetwood Mac, along with completely new songs in the same style, iconic rock drummer and band co-founder Mick Fleetwood has assembled a hand-picked quartet of musicians, The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, who've created a stunning new live recording, BLUE AGAIN. Equal parts blues rave-up and loving homage to the early incarnation of Fleetwood Mac, BLUE AGAIN is a fiery blues showcase and heartfelt tribute to Fleetwood Mac who are just beginning their 40th Anniversary celebration. BLUE AGAIN will be released by the Savoy Label Group unit 429 Records, in time for the kickoff of a triumphant world wide tour on March 3rd via an exclusive package on iTunes and on CD March 17. A companion high definition DVD is scheduled for release in the summer.

Produced by Mick Fleetwood and former Fleetwood Mac member Rick Vito, BLUE AGAIN was recorded live at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, Missouri in February of 2008 and sees him teaming up on this recording with guitarist and lead vocalist Rick Vito, bassist Lenny Castellanos and keyboardist Mark Johnstone. The immaculate recording gives the songs a vibrant, modern immediacy which transcends easy nostalgia. Says Mick: "Over my career I've been called a pop star and a rock star, yet in my inner heart, I will always be part bluesman. On my journey from blues to a life of rock 'n' roll, I've always remembered where I started." BLUE AGAIN is both an original musical tour de force and a respectful tribute to Fleetwood Mac initiated by the sole member of the band to be in every incarnation from the beginning.

Track listing for BLUE AGAIN is as follows: 1. Red Hot Gal 2. Looking For Somebody 3. Fleetwood Boogie 4. Stop Messin' Around 5. Rattlesnake Shake 6. When We Do The Lucky Devil 7. Love That Burns 8. Bayou Queen 9. Black Magic Woman 10. I Got A Hole In My Shoe 11. Shake Your Moneymaker 12. Albatross.

429 Records is a unit of the Savoy Label Group (SLG). SLG is the North American unit of CME (Columbia Music Entertainment), the oldest music company in Japan. The Savoy Label Group has evolved into a leading independent company consistently outperforming competitors in key music categories as monitored by Billboard Magazine. SLG is led by Steve Vining and CME is headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media which owns interests in and manages an array of media companies.

The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band is co-managed by Jonathan Todd, President of Sabre Entertainment and Carl Stubner, President of Sanctuary Management Group.

Fleetwood Mac unleashes a barrage of opinions

With tour looming, Fleetwood Mac unleashes a barrage of opinions

by: Len Righi

The members of Fleetwood Mac have been known to go their own way, and during a 94-minute teleconference today, band members offered a variety of explanations about why their first tour in four years is being called "Unleashed."

"It's unleashing the furies, unleashing us back into the universe, unleashing an amazing musical entity back into the world," said always ethereal singer Stevie Nicks. "You might have to wear your armor."

Drummer Mick Fleetwood said the tour name was inspired by a comedic "mantra" uttered before Mac live shows on an earlier tour: "Every gig before we would walk on stage, one of our guitarists had this thing he'd say, 'Unleash the hounds! Unleash the hounds!' ... I was remembering that little mantra [when coming up with the tour name] ... It's about not being restricted. ... 'This is us, let us go out and do it.' It's not really that complicated."

"Stevie [Nicks] and I had a go-round on this," said usually reticent bassist John McVie. "I don’t think there was any thought of us being stifled or held back."

The 44-city greatest-hits tour, which begins on March 1 in Pittsburgh, will stop at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on April 15. Tickets are $49.50, $79.50 and $149.50. But people trying to buy tickets through Ticketmaster have been re-directed to a site that charges between $240 and $1,065 apiece.

When it was my turn to pose a question, I asked if the musicians if they were aware of the ticket scalping. The generally cordial exchange grew tense. Singer-guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said the practice "was a pretty typical thing," adding that "Irving Azoff was quoted in the paper as being against that" and that Azoff, who is part of Fleetwood Mac's management team, "will make sure that kind of thing didn’t happen."

Things got a little more uncomfortable with a follow-up question from a Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter. In light of the bad economy, why did Fleetwood Mac raise the top ticket price to $150, compared to $125 four years ago?

Nicks replied that touring now costs "a gazillion dollars more than four years ago." The last time out, she said, the band and its entire entourage flew in a 738 jet. This time, only band members will be flying in a Gulfstream 400 business jet becausd of fuel and rental costs. "Everybody else will be on the bus," Nicks said. "We wish we didn’t have to charge anything. I wish we could just play. ... But you can be sure that the people [being interviewed] on the phone will be making phone calls after we hang up" to find out what is going on with ticket prices.

Fleetwood said the band is "somewhat informed, but not fully informed. ... We're trying to do this the best way that makes sense for our audience. ... We are more than aware the people around us are doing their uppermost to make this a possibility."

This being Fleetwood Mac, there also was talk of the combustible personalities that have fueled both the band's music and tabloid columns. For the moment, there seems to be harmony.

"Lindsey's been in incredibly good humor since we started rehearsing on the 5th of January," Nicks reported. "When Lindsey’s in a good humor, everybody’s happy. Our only problem is that our rehersal time has been messed with a little bit" by family matters.

Added Buckingham: "Knowing that we did not succeed as well as we could have last time we did an album and tour together and on a personal level ... we have something to shoot for that is a little higher. ... We are a group of contradictions ... [but] the whole being greater than the sum of its parts."

Buckingham also said at another point, "Unity is waiting in the wings."

While the tour set list has not been finalized, "Dreams," "Go Your Own Way" and "Don’t Stop" will be performed, said Fleetwood, along with "special songs that aren’t considered massive hits but are emotionally connected with Fleetwood Mac."

Going on the road without a new album to promote "frees you up to enjoy each other as people," said Buckingham. "Let’s have a good time and value the friendships and history ... It takes the pressure off ... and allows more fun than we would normally be able to have."

In conjunction with the tour, Fleetwood Mac's Grammy-winning 1977 album, "Rumors," will be re-issued as part of a special CD/DVD boxed set with uneleased tracks recorded during the making of "Rumors," as well as a DVD with never-before-seen footage of the band.

The album reflected the turmoil of the previous two years -- Fleetwood separated from his wife Jenny; so did McVie and keyboardist-singer Christine McVie and Buckingham and Nicks, although all five remained in the band.

Asked if the re-release might re-open new wounds, Buckingham replied, "Even though we were drawing on our own experiences, I don’t believe the songs on 'Rumors' were so starkly autobiographical. ... It was three writers cross-dialoging with each other. ... The tabloid (quality) of it was only revealed to us by our audience after the fact. ... [Now] you tend to see the irony in the songs ... the heroicism we possessed. We saw ... the music had redemptive power and could be a symbol for other people. The whole struggle had a meaning to it that was symbolic."

Since its original release, "Rumors" has racked up 30 million in sales. Buckingham said he expects the re-issue will sell about 100,000 copies, "maybe."

Here are other comments on various topics
made during the interview:

Fleetwood on the possibility of recording a new Fleetwood Mac album:
"My heart believes that all will happen."

Nicks on Christine McVie's continued retirement:
"I’ve been the only girl in Fleetwood Mac since 1998, so I’m used to it now. ... But I miss Christine ... The loss of Christine as one of my best girlfriends was horrific to me ... Not a day goes by that I don’t wish she would call up and say, 'I’m back.' "

Nicks on working as a solo artist versus playing in a band:
"When you’re in a band, you’re not the boss. ... You’re part of a team. ... Do I like not being the boss? No, I really do like being the boss ... After 11 solo albums, you get used to being the boss." But she enjoys being in a band, too. "It's good to be knocked down a little like that. ... It makes you think a little more. ... It makes you humble.

Nicks on when she will record her next solo album:
"Not for a long time. When I am in one relationship, I am not in another one. ... I’m a fragile old grandmother at this point, even though I don’t have grandchildren. I need to stay focused on one thing....

Fleetwood on U2:
"They were an Irish pop band that made all the right moves ... [The group's success] makes me feel good about the music business ... because they are able to do what they do with some sense of integrity."

Nicks on whether she expected to be playing rock 'n' roll when she was 60:
"The answer to that would be yes. I joined Fleetwood Mac when I was 28. I went on tour with my normal street clothes, we didn't have any money. It was a three-month thing. I opened my suitcase and found out I had gained five pounds. I sat down and started to draw an outfit. I said to myself I am going to have a uniform I can wear it today and wear it at 60. I remember it like it was yesterday."

(Thank you to Heroes Are Hard To Find for the heads-up on this article)

Rock Star Lindsey Buckingham at Home

(More Pics)

Haute bohemia meets 1920s elegance at the home of rock musician Lindsey Buckingham and his interior designer wife, Kristen.

Written by Deanna Kizis • Photographed by Simon Upton • Produced By Cynthia Frank

Anyone arriving at the Los Angeles home of Kristen and Lindsey Buckingham — of Fleetwood Mac fame — should be prepared for a boisterous family welcome. 

Son Will, 10, and daughter Leelee, 8, tumble out of a car with their tennis instructor, while an exuberant Stella, 4, greets guests wearing a red velvet holiday dress—even though it's 80 degrees—as she bosses around the three dogs. Kristen appears, herding kids and proffering coffee, all the while insisting she makes truly terrible coffee.

It's a warm introduction that befits the beckoning Norman-style house, which was built by architect Kevin A. Clark. An aficionado of period details, Kristen used legendary Hollywood architect Wallace Neff's homes of the 1920s as inspiration and kept an office on-site in a trailer during the construction. "I was here every day to answer questions," says Kristen, an interior designer. And while her approach features occasional bohemian flourishes, it's often rooted in research on historic buildings and interiors. "I wanted our house to look authentically Neff and have a feeling of quality in the surfaces, moldings, and cabinetry," she explains. She also wanted it to feel livable for her active brood. "I'm not a fan of volume," Kristen says. "Two-story entrance halls echo, and kitchens with walls knocked out for a loft effect are popular but impractical. I wanted everything to have a human scale." This philosophy is reflected throughout the five-bedroom abode, where cozy alcoves abound. The master suite includes a snug reading room, the dining room has a bar area perfect for card games, while the kitchen abuts a charming breakfast nook. And the entrance hall's winding staircase—modeled after one in decorating icon Nancy Lancaster's beloved family home in Virginia, Mirador—is striking without feeling grandiose.

Kristen's look—"a combination of traditional and edgy," as her husband calls it—and many of her own designs, are best showcased in the dining and living rooms. In the former, a Directoire-style mahogany table is surrounded by green leather chairs embossed with crests and studded with brass tacks (she is reproducing these in her new home-furnishings line). The walls are papered in Zuber's high-spirited L'Hin doustan pattern, and chandeliers lend a chic contrast to plank ceilings. Paintings and photography fill a wall behind a black-lacquer piano in the living room, while a brightly upholstered Dunbar-esque sofa echoes the vivacity of the art display. "My pieces are all very personal, and I like to layer things," she says. "And I'm not an art snob. I like what I like."

Before she became a designer, Kristen was a portrait photographer; she met her husband on an assignment 13 years ago. "I went to the studio to shoot some guy—that's who Lindsey was to me then," Kristen recalls with a laugh. "He dropped some corny line like, 'Haven't I met you before?' We had a drink and have never been apart since." Of his wife's talents, Lindsey says, "Kristen intuitively applies her sensibilities across genres. She's a gifted designer, photographer—she's even written lyrics for me." But Kristen sees their disparate professions as a plus: "I can't sing or play instruments, and he doesn't decorate. I'm convinced that's why our marriage works. That said, I love his taste and always ask his opinion."

Of course, no musician's home would be complete without a state-of-the-art recording studio. Lindsey's is located beneath the garage for soundproofing and boasts a soundboard so large it had to be lowered in with a crane. Since it is fully equipped with comfortable furniture, a bathroom, and a kitchenette, "a few guys working full days have all they need so they never have to come into the main house," Kristen says.

For a family that loves outdoor sports, there's a large, lush lawn for croquet and badminton and a pool for daily swims. "Lindsey used to be a competitive swimmer, and his late brother, Greg, was a medalist in the 1968 Olympics, so it's a sport that's close to his heart," Kristen notes. The poolhouse was inspired by an image from designer David Hicks's book My Kind of Garden. Just outside the living room is the loggia, where sun-bleached wicker chairs and a vintage Baker cocktail table supply the perfect setting for board games with the kids. Says Kristen, "We play a lot of Yahtzee. It's great to be out here and not sitting in front of the television."

Kristen even designed their master bedroom to open onto the garden—a change from the family's previous house in Bel Air. "We used to be on the second floor, very high up looking down at the city," she says. "It was a beautiful view, but it often felt kinetic and unrestful." As the sun starts to set, Kristen opens the door to the terrace from the bedroom, the sounds of her kids playing outside filling the room. "This is what we wanted—to feel connected to our surroundings."

Fleetwood Mac Pass The Torch To Radiohead

Fleetwood Mac`s Lindsay Buckingham has described Radiohead`s performance at the Grammy Awards this week as a “passing of the torch”.

Radiohead performed ’15 Step’ at the Grammy Awards with the USC Marching Band. Fleetwood Mac used the USC Marching Band on their 1979 hit ‘Tusk’.

Ironically, the two bands were rehearsing last week at the same place. Fleetwood Mac were preparing for their US tour and Radiohead were rehearsing for the Awards show.

“Doctor Bartner is the guy who has been musical director for the USC Marching Band for about 40 years now,” Lindsay Buckingham said on media conference call this week. “He was the one we liaised with when we used them on ‘Tusk’. He was there rehearsing with Radiohead on an adjacent sound stage where we were rehearsing, over at Sony Studios. It is a small world”.

Lindsay loves what Radiohead is doing. “I told Art Bartner please go tell Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood how much their efforts have meant to me personally and thank them for their good work,” he said. “If that idea was inspired by ‘Tusk’ I would be quite complimented, as Mick should be because it was Mick’s idea to put them on the song. I look at that very much as the passing of the torch and an exchange of ideas. That is part of the greater function of music really”.

Fleetwood Mac will hit the road for the first time in 5 years on March 1.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fleetwood Mac Auction Benefits School

To help parents meet their children's educational needs, supergroup Fleetwood Mac are auctioning off VIP tickets and meet-and-greets with Mick Fleetwood as a fundraiser. A cooperative, parent-participation nursery school is the beneficiary of the proceeds.

As supergroup Fleetwood Mac begins their first tour in five years, bandleader Mick Fleetwood has launched an important and exciting charity fundraiser on eBay: An auction of VIP tickets on Fleetwood Mac’s UNLEASHED tour which starts March 1st in Pittsburgh, PA.

Along with a pair of tickets in the first 25 rows, each auction winner and their guest will get a meet and greet the legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood before the show–a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the true fan!

The auction benefits Hilltop Nursery School in Silver Lake, California, a parent-participation, cooperative pre-school founded over 50 years ago. Giving Engine Auction Management, a pioneer in online fundraising for schools and non profits, will manage these one of kind experience packages.

This auction runs from February 9th through February 19th for the first 16 dates of the tour March 1st through March 26th

To bid on this thrilling auction go to

One of the Worlds Greatest Furies... Unleashed!

Click to Enlarge

Gold Dust Woman justifies the high price of a Fleetwood Mac concert

Globe and Mail
February 11, 2009 

"We wish we didn't have to charge anything,” says Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac singer. “We wish we could go out and play. That's what we do – we're performance artists.”

Rock on, gold dust woman. During a teleconference Tuesday, Nicks and her fellow Mac mates were chatting up their upcoming North American tour (which kicks off March 1 in Pittsburgh, with dates in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to follow) when the subject of ticket prices came up. Fleetwood Mac, legendary for its rock-star indulgences in its prime, charge up to $149.50 for top seats in Toronto.

“The price of life in general is a gazillion dollars more than it was four years ago,” reasoned Nicks, not an economist. The British/Californian band's most recent tour wrapped up in 2004. “Our emotions are about trying to do this in the best way that makes sense for our audience,” chimed in drummer Mick Fleetwood, “and in a way that we can get to our audience.”

Ticket prices and ticket distribution are a touchy subject these days. A $510-million Canadian class-action suit filed this week alleges that Ticketmaster and subsidiary are conspiring to hold seats from the public and reselling the tickets at a higher prices – seemingly a violation of anti-scalping laws.

Those looking for Fleetwood Mac seats for the Air Canada Centre show on are able to pay face value, but also are offered “Official Platinum Seats” at the site's Marketplace, where concertgoers can purchase premium seats at inflated values – as much as $800 a ticket.

The band is represented by Irving Azoff, who also happens to be chief executive officer of Ticketmaster Entertainment, and will become executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment if the just-announced merger of Ticketmaster and concert promoters Live Nation goes through. Asked about any unsavoury ticket-selling practices involving Fleetwood Mac, Nicks promised she would be “making phone calls” on the matter.

Nicks went to say that tour's “Unleashed” title refers to the unleashing of the band's furies “back into the universe.” Asked if the public would be able to handle all the pent-up rage, Nicks answered in the affirmative, but cautioned that fans might need to bring their “armour.”

That, and their gold card.

This is truly a new experience for Fleetwood Mac

Billboard Magazine
February 11, 2009
by: Gary Graff, Detroit

Not having a new album is working to Fleetwood Mac's advantage as the group prepares for its upcoming Unleashed North American tour.

"This is the first time we've gone on the road without an album," drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood told during a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday. "This is truly a new experience for Fleetwood Mac to go out and play songs that we believe and hope people are going to be familiar with and love."
Singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham added that not having to integrate new songs into the set -- which the group has been rehearsing since Jan. 5 in Los Angeles -- "just allows you to relax into the situation. We're not coming off a new group of tunes, a new album ... the stakes for that side of it become a little bit lower."

As for a new Fleetwood Mac album, vocalist Stevie Nicks said "there isn't any plan at this point ... for any album. We're going to get through this tour before deciding what to do with an album." Fleetwood, however, confirmed that "there have been discussions, for sure, that we would love to make some more music ... We hope it happens, and certainly it's been somewhat loosely touched on ... My heart says I believe that will happen. Certainly I know that all of the songwriting department, both Stevie and Lindsey are continually writing ... The whole creative bowl is very much intact, so I would love to see what happens."

While declining to get specific about the 46-date tour's repertoire, Fleetwood did say that hits such as "Dreams," "Go Your Own Way" and "Don't Stop" would be included, and that the group would be "paying some attention" to material written by former band member Christine McVie.

"Her songs are surviving very well in the set that we're doing," Fleetwood said. "Stevie and Lindsey are finding a fresh way in certain instances to present those songs. And then we are finding songs as we go along that we feel are special songs that maybe aren't considered the massive, massive hits but truly are emotionally connected to Fleetwood Mac."

Nicks, meanwhile, confirmed that the group seriously considered adding Sheryl Crow to the lineup in 2008, even setting up a rehearsal last Mother's Day to work on material.

"We needed Sheryl to come in and just play some music with us," Nicks recalled. "But it was Mother's Day. She had a brand new baby. She had all her parents and everybody coming and she chose not to cancel that, understandably. She called back and said, 'I have to pass,' and it was over. I said, 'You're making the right decision. You have a new baby, you survived breast cancer, you survived Lance Armstrong.'

"Sheryl is my very dear friend. We are best buddies, and that will go on forever. The fact she is not in the band does not mean she's not our friend."

The Unleashed tour, Fleetwood Mac's first road trek since 2004, begins on March 1 in Pittsburgh. The group is also planning to release a CD/DVD edition of its 1977 "Rumours" album with unreleased songs, demos and previously unreleased footage of the band from that era.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lindsay and I don’t need a buffer (Stevie Nicks)

February 11, 2009

Undercover was part of the Fleetwood Mac media conference today where Stevie revealed that Sheryl Crow almost joined Fleetwood Mac following the departure of Christine McVie. 

“We rented a studio and hired a crew,” Stevie said. “We were ready to go in and I called her and needed her to come for two or three days to just play. It was Mother’s Day and she had invited 300 people in her family there. It was her first Mother’s Day as a mom and she could not do it. At that point she said “I am going to have to pass”. I said “I think you are making the right decision. You have a new baby, you have survived breast cancer and Lance Armstrong. I don’t think this is the right thing for you”. That is what happened with Sheryl Crow. She is still our friend and I still adore her. She is one fm my dearest friends”.

While Sheryl Crow came close to joining Fleetwood Mac, no other female has been considered. “As far as having another girl in the band, after we went through that we really realised that there wasn’t going to be another woman that could come into this band who could fit,” she said. “I was looking at it three years ago as a buffer between me and Lindsay. Lindsay and I don’t need a buffer. Certainly Sheryl Crow and not any woman in the world is going to be able to get in the middle of Lindsay and me. The fact is if Lindsay and I can’t work out our problems by ourselves we might as well throw in the towel. That's what we are currently trying to do is work out own problems and certainly another person could not do that for us. 

Think about this – Christine has been gone since 1998 so I have been the only girl in this band for a long, long time. I’m used to it now. At first I was not used to it. After ‘The Dance’ it was horrifying for me. She has been gone a long time and I’m fine with it now”.

Christine McVie was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1970 to 1998. Prior to Fleetwood Mac, she sang with English band Chicken Shack but left in 1970 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bass player John McVie.

After leaving Fleetwood Mac, she released her third solo album ‘In The Meantime’ in 2004 but has remained relatively out of the public eye.

Fleetwood Mac will begin their `Unleashed` tour, their first tour in five years, on March 1st in Pittsburgh.

Tusk's $1 Millon Dollar Budget was a Privilege

by Paul Cashmere - February 11 2009

Fleetwood Mac founder Mick Fleetwood says that the cost of making the 1979 `Tusk` album, the first album with a budget over $1 million, was a privilege, not an over-indulgence.

In a conference call with Undercover today, Mick said, “For all of the blessings we had bestowed on us for being successful I always thought that it was a fully righteous thing that a band such as Fleetwood Mac would plough that money back into the very process that we’d been blessed by to have made that money because it was our money.”

‘Tusk’ was the follow-up to the classic ‘Rumours’. While ‘Rumours’ turned the band into a supergroup, they still paid their own way. “People often assume that you are the star of the show and some production company pays for everything. That is not the case literally by 100%”, he told Undercover. “I always thought it was incredibly righteous to taking the time to plough back the energy, time and expense to make an album like ‘Tusk’ coming out of the most successful album that this band ever had, not that we knew it at the time, ‘Rumours’”.

While the album did not achieve the same heights as its predessor, Mick is glad they did what they did to make ‘Tusk’. “It was our pleasure to do that,” he said. “We never looked at it as some sort of opulent indulgence. I think the lines got blurred more often by the lifestyles and the romance of the stories of the individuals in Fleetwood Mac. The music and the time making ‘Tusk’, we took a huge interest in the studio we were going to record the next album in. All of that stuff had to be paid for and I might add that it was paid for by the individuals that you are talking to to present something that in our world that was going to be more meaningful and more special”.

He says they did it because they could afford to do it in light of the success of the previous two albums. “That to me doesn't personally feel like any form of indulgence. It was always a cross to bear that we all had from ‘Rumours’ on, and in fact Fleetwood Mac ‘Fleetwood Mac’ and ‘Rumours’ and the characters in this particular play”.

The success of Fleetwood Mac not only made the group famous, it made Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks all individually famous. That fame has often gotten in the way of the music. “No doubt, there is a story to be told and continues to be told,” he says. “But behind it all is the music and we very often bemoan the fact that because we were so open as people, which was intriguing and interesting, or maybe not, behind some of that we did take some blows in terms of the music at certain points in time”.

The internal romances and break-ups became tabloid fodder. “We often wanted to talk about the music instead of the ongoing soap opera,” he said. “It is really about the integrity of what we do. We have always taken the responsibility to make the very best effort to do that”.

Fame gave them money and ‘Tusk’ was simply money well-spent, according to Mick. “That to me was never an indulgence. It was a privilege and in truth, everyone you are speaking to paid for that privilege to present something to the listener and the people who enjoyed this band and reinvest our “hey-day” ability to do that where you can’t believe you can actually be in a studio for nine months but then you have to pay for it”.

Anything less than perfection was not an option when recording ‘Tusk’. “The fact that we didn’t say “lets spend three weeks in the studio and get the hell out and shove something out” actually speaks well of where this band puts its metal,” he said.

Fleetwood Mac will begin their `Unleashed` tour, their first tour in five years, on March 1st in Pittsburgh.

Press Conference by Phone With Fleetwood Mac

Quizzing Fleetwood Mac

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.