Monday, May 04, 2009

Fleetwood Mac's missing member

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac's missing member

As Fleetwood Mac continue their latest tour in America, it seems that the rift between the band and Christine McVie, its former singer and keyboard player, is as wide as ever.

Lindsey Buckingham, 59, tells me that he has cut all ties with McVie, who pulled out of the group after a tour in 1998. "I'm guessing that Christine McVie has turned into a country squire or a farmer," he sneers. Buckingham has said that the band invited McVie, 65, to join this tour but that "there was no real expectation that she would accept".

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Houston May 2009

Fleetwood Mac at Toyota Center
By Chris Gray
Photos by Jay Lee

Every night the band goes onstage, Fleetwood Mac faces a concert onus only a handful of other groups need worry about: Are its songs too iconic? Is the rush of watching Stevie Nicks twirl out "Landslide" or "Rhiannon" live any match for the lifetime (or decades, anyway) of memories, associations and emotions those songs bring forth?
Of course not. It's a trick question anyway.

For one thing, only a fraction of Saturday night's nearly sold-out Toyota Center crowd - twenty- to sixtysomething, white as a glass of milk, at least 60 percent female and not nearly as many Nicks dressalikes as Aftermath expected - actually watched those songs. As in, had their eyes open and trained on either the stage or the two flanking video screens.

To this crowd, the opening notes to those songs hardly even qualify as music anymore. They're more like auditory passwords, and the files they unlock in the audience's memory bank caused their eyes to glaze over or close altogether, their lips to involuntarily mouth the words and their bodies to sway back and forth, whether alone or arm-in-arm with their neighbors.

What images hearing "Dreams" or "Gypsy" may cause them to see on the inside of their eyelids is a mystery, but watching it happen to thousands of people at once is both humbling and unnerving. It's like going to a different church, or a sporting event between two teams you don't particularly root for - you're obviously not having the same sort of spiritual experience as the people around you, but you're not entirely immune, either.

Personally, Aftermath likes those songs just fine, but they've never been the ones to soothe a freshly broken heart, never been irrevocably linked to a lost loved one, never been playing at the precise moment he's fallen in love. He supposes they could have been, somewhere in the course of his 34-plus years on this planet, they just weren't.

Luckily, Fleetwood Mac brings a little bit more to the table than that. For one thing, Nicks' status as one of rock's top-tier icons, both musically and visually, tends to divert attention away from the fact that her three bandmates are all monsters on their respective instruments, which was nevertheless plain as day watching them pound out "The Chain," "Tusk" or "Go Your Own Way."

And maybe it's because the band has had such great pop success, but Lindsey Buckingham's name hardly ever comes up whenever there's another list of rock's greatest or most influential guitarists. Or maybe it's because the people who make those lists have never seen him live and assume his sound is some sort of studio creation. It's not.

Buckingham is as technically skilled as any front-rank classical or jazz guitarist you can name, such as Paco de Lucia, John McLaughlin or Al di Meola. His blues chops are every bit the equal of Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, which he proved beyond the shadow of a doubt on the jolting "Oh Well" and trance-like "I'm So Afraid," featuring a solo that was about as close to a musician bringing himself (and the crowd) to orgasm as Aftermath has ever seen. Finally, he is also an excellent folk musician, whether chiming out the minstrel-like melody of "Landslide" or the shardlike strumming of much spookier and more harrowing solo turn "Big Love."

As for the rhythm section and sole remaining founding members, John McVie's simple, understated bass lines are as fundamental to the appeal of "Dreams," "Gypsy" and "Rhiannon" as Nicks' crystal-vision lyrics, and he switches roles with Buckingham on "The Chain" and "Tusk," his springy notes acting as lead and leaving texture and rhythm to the guitarist. Drummer Mick Fleetwood, meanwhile, is both gentle giant and pillaging Viking, wispy and ethereal on the ballads, thundering and mighty on "The Chain" and stout Tusk folk-rocker "I Know I'm Not Wrong." His extended solo on "World Turning" should have come with a warning to pregnant women and children under five years of age.

Saturday also saw a visibly moved Nicks walking over to embrace Buckingham during heart-stripping Tusk ballad "Sara," an exotic "Gold Dust Woman" become equal parts dance of the seven veils and narcotic nightmare, and the late synthesizer onslaught of "Stand Back," a breezy, shawl-friendly palate-cleanser after the preceding guitar pyrotechnics of "Oh Well" and "I'm So Afraid."

Furthermore, several songs - "Monday Morning," "Second Hand News" and "Never Going Back Again" chief among them - showed how deep the band has sown its seeds on contemporary country radio. (And it would be that much deeper if the Dixie Chicks were still on there.) There have been rumours (sorry) of a new album in the works, and considering the debt owed by stars from Keith Urban to Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac going the Eagles/Bon Jovi Nashville route seems like a no-brainer.

So even if, for some unfathomable reason, someone walked into Toyota Center Saturday night free of any preexisting Fleetwood Mac prejudices or connotations, after those two and a half hours it's downright impossible to imagine they walked out that way.


Fleetwood Mac Live in Tulsa, OK
May 3, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac rocks Tulsa’s BOK Center

TULSA, OK - MAY 3, 2009

By Brandy McDonnell Entertainment Writer

The passing of four decades, the retirement of a core member and one of the most turbulent histories in rock ‘n’ roll haven’t dimmed the star power of Fleetwood Mac one watt.

The remaining members of the seminal pop-rock band — singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, singer Stevie Nicks, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — effectively sent the BOK Center into a time warp back to the 1970s for about two and half hours Sunday night.

“There’s no new album to promote — yet,” Buckingham told the appreciative near-sellout crowd of about 13,000. “So we decided let’s just go out and do those songs that we all love, and hopefully, they’re the ones you love, too.”

For the Tulsa stop on the “Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009,” the quartet let loose on a string of favorites, mostly from their classic ‘70s albums “Fleetwood Mac,” “Rumours” and “Tusk.” The years have taken their toll in a few ways, and the warm vocals of former singer/pianist Christine McVie (who retired in 1998) were certainly missed.

But Fleetwood Mac has maintained its consummate chemistry and musicianship. And that’s amazing considering what Buckingham described as the band’s “complex and convoluted emotional history.”

Emerging from darkness to the crowd’s excited cheers, the group launched the concert with the bouncy “Monday Morning,” putting Buckingham in the lead on vocals and showing off his still fleet fingers.

On his solo “Gift of Screws” tour last fall, the multitalented musician, 59, electrified Tulsa’s intimate Brady Theater, and he proved Sunday that his spellbinding picking and quirky vocals can still captivate an entire arena, too. He blazed through his flamenco-style version of “Big Love,” the frenetic “I Know I’m Not Wrong” and the intense “I’m So Afrai d,” often bending over limply and then straightening to shout “Oh, yeah” at the end of his songs.

With their deep catalog of hits, the group could afford to put their throbbing trademark “The Chain” second on the set list. The dramatic song got the fans chanting along on the chorus and proved that Fleetwood and John McVie still form a formidable rhythm section.

When Nicks stepped into the spotlight with the hopeful hit “Dreams,” the show briefly took a worrisome turn. Her vocals were markedly deeper and less supple than in the past, and she let the trio of female backup singers carry the high note at the end.

But the songstress, who turns 61 on May 26, sounded more like her familiar sultry-voiced self on the evocative “Gypsy.” Plus, she shared the story behind the music: Buckingham was a former schoolmate who called her a couple of years after they first met to ask her to join his hard rock band.

“That moment catapulted me into the greatest musical time of all time, 1965 to 1970, in San Francisco, Ashbury Park. ... where I’m back to the velvet underground,” she said, referencing the opening lines of “Gypsy,” a childhood favorite of mine that brought back potent memories.

By the time she got to her witchy signature track, “Rhiannon,” Nicks’ voice was warmed up and ready to blast out her powerful ballads. With her black dress, glittering shawl and long blond tresses flowing, she looked lovely and ethereal, and it wasn’t long before she was doing her distinctive swaying dance and twirling around the stage.

Later donning a crimson gown and shimmering golden shawl, Nicks wailed tunefully about shattered illusions of love and mesmerized the audience with her hypnotic dancing on “Gold Dust Woman.” My favorite Fleetwood Mac song, it thrummed with the drama of a Wild West showdown.

Though their romance ended long ago, the musical chemistry still crackles between Buckingham and Nicks. The former lovers were in perfect sync as they belted out hits chronicling their rocky relationship, from the achingly beautiful “Landslide” to the rollicking “Second Hand News.” They ended the wistful “Sara” with a tender moment, each laying their head on the other’s shoulder, with Buckingham still playing guitar.

“For the tour, we wanted to include a song we’d never performed live before. This is a stormy song for a stormy group of people,” Nicks said in introducing the heartbreaking “Storms,” which all four members performed at the forefront of the stage, with Fleetwood on a mini drum set.

The quartet stayed front and center for a bold take on “Say You Love Me,” a Christine McVie hit. Nicks and Buckingham took turns on vocals for their rootsier rendition, which was fun but couldn’t surpass the original.

The show featured too many highlights to mention, but Fleetwood Mac made sure to end the set on a high note. An extended drum intro built anticipation before the band erupted into the rollicking pop classic “Go Your Own Way,” which got the fans bouncing and singing along.

Screaming, clapping and stomping their feet, the crowd demanded an encore, and the band obliged with a foot-stomping rendition of “World Turning” which included a raucous extended drum solo from the wild-eyed Fleetwood.

The perky pop hit “Don’t Stop” again got the fans singing and dancing to what seemed to be an upbeat end of the show. But soon after the lights dimmed, they came up again for a second encore, the sparkling ballad “Silver Springs,” a soulful and fitting finale.

Before he left the stage, Fleetwood quipped, “Remember, the Mac is back.” And on Sunday night, they showed everyone at the BOK Center that their greatest hits truly are still great.


Fleetwood Mac rocks BOK
World Assistant Scene Editor

In their hit song "The Chain," Fleetwood Mac says they'll never break the chain. It seems they've made the chain even stronger. 

And after Sunday night, thousands of fans are forever added as links. 

Fleetwood Mac roared into the BOK Center to a huge crowd that was at once young, old, rock 'n' roll and classic, heavy metal and soft rock. The crowd roared back, from the opening "Monday Morning" to the second-encore closer "Silver Spring." 

Fleetwood Mac formed in the 1960s, and has often had its own internal soap opera. But its solidarity, strength and storytelling remain as polished and relevant today as when their album "Rumours" topped the charts. 

"Our band has always had a complex and convoluted, emotional-ness to it," guitarist Lindsey Buckingham said. "But that has always worked in our favor. We take breaks, but every time we get back together, we get a sense of forward motion." 

Buckingham said band decided that since they aren't touring in support of an album, "Yet," he said to cheers of those hopeful for a new Fleetwood Mac venture, "We thought 'Let's just go out there and have fun and do the songs that we love ... and hopefully they'll be the ones you love, too.' " 

Oddly enough, the next song was "I Know I'm Not Wrong," from their album "Tusk," a song not as well-known as some of their other hits. Still, the audience grooved, and when Buckingham ground his guitar, going into one of many solos of the evening, he hopped like Chuck Berry across the stage. 

Afterward, he grabbed his back as if aching, grinned to the audience hopped some more, growling "Oh yeah!" into the microphone. 

The show's spotlight went back and forth between Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who got the audience going when she told the story of the song "Gypsy." 

"I met Lindsey when I was a senior and he was a junior," she said. "I met him one day and didn't see him again for two years. Then, out of the blue he called me one day and asked if I wanted to be in his band. I was like, 'yeah,' and I didn't even know what kind of band it was." 

"He later told me it was a hard-rock band. And that moment catapulted me into the greatest musical time of all time, 1965-1970 in San Francisco ... where I'm back to the velvet underground" (the first line of the song "Gypsy"). 

The crowd went crazy for Nicks, who was looking as beautiful as ever, her waist-length honey-blond hair swaying, her arms wrapped in a sparkly black shawl. Meanwhile, on a screen behind the band, a sentimental song became even more so as snapshots of the band in their younger days went by. 

Nicks was equally bewitching on "Rhiannon." She turned her back to the audience and went into her patented trancelike dance, swaying her hips, shawl floating through the air. She was as cool and enigmatic as ever. 

It's hard to find a highlight on a greatest hits tour that features songs that you know by heart, but one of the most electrifying was "Gold Dust Woman." Nicks disappeared off the stage often. Before that particular song, Nicks sang former band member Christine McVie's part in "Say You Love Me," which was weird coming from Nicks, but a nice homage to McVie. 

Then Nicks darted off stage, and the band started the haunting beginning of "Gold Dust Woman." 

On the screens, chunks of gold confetti fell and there was Nicks, gold shawl wrapped around a black cat suit under a flowing red dress. She nailed the song, hitting notes she often leaves up to her backup singers. She was brooding, mysterious and moody, and it was downright spooky in parts. 

Buckingham's guitar work was as impressive throughout the show. He's one of the most underrated guitarists in history, inventive and clean, charismatic and cool. 

He sang some of his well-known songs, "Big Love" and "Never Going Back Again," and the whole band joined in on "Second Hand News." 

Nicks also dazzled with a song from her solo career, "Stand Back." 

Some of the most touching moments were Nicks' "Sara" and "Landslide." During "Sara," Buckingham backed up Nicks, and she later went to him for a lengthy embrace, a tender moment between the former lovers. 

"I don't personally know anyone in Oklahoma," Nicks said to the frenzied crowd before playing "Landslide." "So I'm just going to dedicate this to all you Oklahomans. We love you." 

The band actually had to wait for the audience to stop cheering so they could close the song. It was beautiful, awe-inspiring, and makes you understand why many bands have covered it. 

Fleetwood Mac did two encores. When Nicks and Buckingham walked on stage for the first encore, they held hands. The band closed the first encore with the song that makes many think of Bill Clinton's first campaign for president, "Don't Stop." For their first encore song, drummer Mick Fleetwood had a rousing drum session that bumped the BOK Center and got everyone on their toes. Then he introduced the backup band, which includes Lori Nicks, Stevie's sister-in-law. Then he introduced Buckingham, Nicks ("Our first lady," he called her) and bassist John McVie. 

The BOK Center was close to a full house Sunday night, and Fleetwood Mac, whose fame has spanned 40-plus years, still has the chops to amaze and captivate any audience from start to finish. 

Sunday, May 03, 2009


Send your entry to or click here

Entry Deadline Tonight at Midnight (local time)


NOTS 19:
Stevie Nicks impersonators ring like a bell through the night,
and wouldn't you love to love them?

May 1, 2009
NY Metromix

While you were busy drinking somewhere cheap and nondescript, hundreds of Stevie Nicks worshipers descended upon the Highline Ballroom to celebrate the 19th annual Night of a Thousand Stevies party—some coming from as far away as Las Vegas to shake their tambourines, toss their long blonde wigs and wave their lace capes to the beat of "Rhiannon" (this year's theme song). Plus there were a few people in elaborate costumes that had nothing to do with Stevie Nicks at all, but they were amazing anyway. New York, you were in fine, fine form last night. So, obviously, start planning your costume for NOTS 20....


REVIEW: FLEETWOOD MAC - Live in Houston - May 2, 2009

Fleetwood Mac takes musical walk down memory lane
Houston Chronicle

There were no surprises, radical reworkings or new tunes to promote during Fleetwood Mac's Saturday night set at Toyota Center.

There were just music and memories — keys to the complete Mac experience. (And Stevie Nicks in a shawl, of course, during Gold Dust Woman.)

The echoes of hope and heartache informed every lyric, and each song signaled a memory, a moment in time for someone in the crowd (and onstage).

"Fleetwood Mac, as I'm sure you know, has had a complex and emotional history," Lindsey Buckingham told the crowd.

"It's kind of worked for us. Every time we come together, there's a sense of possibility."

The band walked onto a dark stage, Buckingham leading Nicks by the hand. They kicked off with a jangly, lighthearted Monday Morning — but things quickly intensified with the pounding groove of The Chain, which boasted solid harmonies (aided by a trio of background singers).

The staging was simple but effective, a maze of shadows and light. Nicks' trademark scarves were wrapped around her microphone stand.

The gypsy woman can't quite hit the girlish high notes of enduring hit Dreams, but her voice still has a bleating allure. She introduced Gypsy as a nod to her musical history in San Francisco, which gave it a wistful sense of remembrance.

Less dynamic were the moments when Buckingham took command (I Know I'm Not Wrong, Go Insane). The crowd thought so, too, and several folks scurried up toward the lobby. His voice-and-guitar take on Big Love, however, was a searing set highlight.

Nicks sparkled amid the rueful strains of Rhiannon, and Second Hand News (the first song recorded for the Mac's legendary Rumors album, Buckingham said) was a blaze of joyful vocals and instrumentation. Tusk boasted a blaring kick, and it's impossible not to be moved by Landslide's weary grace.

But the small details often made the biggest impact: Nicks sweetly placing her head on Buckingham's shoulder during a heartfelt Sara; Buckingham taking quick moments to soak in the cheers after every song.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


MAY 2nd - 11pm

A series that takes a fresh look at the last 30 years of pop history, using family trees compiled by music journalist Pete Frame to explore the dramas that lie behind some of the best-known bands.

Fleetwood Mac, formed in 1967, has survived many different line-ups, but band members have paid a high price for their success. Key figures such as Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Stevie Nicks tell the band's story.

MAY 8th - 9:30pm
MAY 9th - 1:35am

Legendary blues guitarist BB King named Peter Green as one of the greatest exponents of the blues, and the 'only guitar player to make me sweat'. If Green had only written Black Magic Woman, his name would still have a place in blues rock history forever.

His three short years leading Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac saw the band established as one of the biggest-selling groups of the 1960s. Yet at the height of their fame Green left the group, with his life spiralling into turmoil as drug-induced mental health issues took control. Rumours of his demise began to spread, and sightings of him became notorious.

After years battling his mental illness, Green is writing and recording again. Featuring archive performances and interviews with Carlos Santana, Noel Gallagher, founding members of Fleetwood Mac and Green himself, this film tells the story of one of blues rock's living legends.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Last Night: Fleetwood Mac at the AAC

By Darryl Smyers

Fleetwood Mac
American Airlines Center
April 30, 2009

Better Than: Seeing a Fleetwood Mac cover band at an AARP Convention.

Seemingly every MILF in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area made their way to the American Airlines Center last night to catch a truncated (but still powerful) version of Fleetwood Mac. The legendary rock act brought out 23 chestnuts spanning the band's four decade career, even throwing in a couple of numbers from solo efforts from Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

The nearly three hour show thrilled the homogeneous collection of forty and fifty-somethings, about 75% of whom were women sporting outfits that hadn't seen the light of day since Bill Clinton was getting his first Lewinsky. I'm happy that these folks were getting in some good cardio work by dancing throughout the show, but after seeing an octogenarian tumble to the floor (sadly spilling her red wine) it was obvious that some folks should have called it a night way before the encore.

Regardless of any audience shenanigans, the performance was top-notch. Lindsey Buckingham is still one of the most talented guitarists working in the rock/pop field. His finger picking style, best exemplified on songs such as "Never Going Back Again" and "Big Love". The set list featured several interesting choices, including three from my personal favorite Mac album "Tusk." Stevie Nicks explained that the band wanted to unearth some songs that it hadn't performed on previous tours.

Even though keyboardist/vocalist Christine McVie decided not to join the band for this tour, Nicks and Buckingham did a nice job substituting on McVie's "Say You Love Me." Even more intriguing was the choice of "Oh Well," a song that predates Nicks and Buckingham even joining Fleetwood Mac. Of course, the hits keep the crowd happy and band didn't fail to deliver such 70's standards as "Dreams," "Rhiannon," "Landslide" and "Gold Dust Woman." And despite Nicks' wardrobe changes, the band looked great and played marvelously.

Critic's Notebook: Random Note: Why do folks begrudge a guy who simply needs to go to the bathroom? The grandpa and grandma at the end of row N just about had a cow when I asked to get by. I think the old coot purposely kneed me in the shin when I came back.


Fleetwood Mac unleashes the hits in Dallas
An older and wiser Fleetwood Mac took over the American Airlines Center Thursday night.

Preston Jones

DALLAS -- Not long after Fleetwood Mac took the American Airlines Center stage Thursday night, guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham uttered what could charitably be called an enormous understatement.

"We have a complex, convoluted history," said Buckingham, who paused before launching into a brief stemwinder about Fleetwood Mac's enduring power, how "every time we get together, there's a sense of history and forward motion."

Surely, the irony of "forward motion" being mentioned in a room where nothing but the classics were being aired out wasn't lost on Buckingham. The evening was, start to finish, the very definition of retrospective. Nevertheless, the crowd -- not quite at capacity, but from all appearances, pretty close -- roared, Buckingham smiled and four-fifths of the vintage Mac line-up (keyboardist Christine McVie said adios in 1998) launched into I Know I'm Not Wrong, from 1979's bristling opus Tusk.

For more than two hours Thursday, Fleetwood Mac was "unleashed" (its term), free to roam its extensive back catalog and cherry-pick a few favorites to showcase alongside lesser-known cuts like Wrong or Storms, also culled from Tusk.

The curse of a greatest-hits tour (Fleetwood Mac has no new product to promote; its last album of fresh material was 2003's Say You Will) is that it provides little artistic wiggle room -- dramatically overhaul the crowd pleasing cuts and you alienate those who plopped down big bucks to see the show. Hold back too much and you're simply going through the motions.

Fleetwood Mac, plumped up with a trio of back-up singers, a keyboardist and an extra guitarist, erred on the side of restraint, although the ever-volatile Buckingham couldn't contain himself, ripping out a pair of absolutely astonishing solos; the string-searing finale for I'm So Afraid is probably still echoing inside the American Airlines Center. Mick Fleetwood's timekeeping teetered between bombastic and delicate, while vocalist Stevie Nicks, ever the ethereal mistress, twirled about the stage, her shawls and ribbons aflutter.

But time has defused much of the combo's combustible energy; Nicks and Buckingham walked onstage arm-in-arm and the fleeting moments where the pair generated any palpable sparks were frustratingly few. Indeed, Buckingham's nimble riffs often felt like the only glimmer of life; the honey and vinegar interplay of Nicks' and Buckingham's voices still sizzles, but even that wasn't enough to boost the tunes over the considerable expectations of nostalgia.

No, the passage of years was plainly evident as Buckingham offered a mawkish tribute to his wife and children (whom he said were in attendance) before launching into Tango in the Night's acidic Big Love, which left Nicks, during Landslide, to intone "I'm getting older, too," investing the line with an ache and, most importantly, a wisdom not necessarily apparent in 1975.

Monday Morning
The Chain
I Know I'm Not Wrong
Go Insane
Second Hand News
Big Love
Never Going Back Again
Say You Love Me
Gold Dust Woman
Oh Well
I'm So Afraid
Stand Back
Go Your Own Way

World Turning
Don't Stop
Silver Springs


Fleetwood Mac at American Airlines Center

by: Mario Tarradell

You could call Fleetwood Mac's current tour an oldies show. It is, after all, titled "Unleashed: Hits Tour 2009," which means the 23-song set consists solely of classic radio staples and album tracks. There is no new CD to promote. In fact, the band hasn't recorded one since 2003's Say You Will. But that tag completely sells this concert short. Fleetwood Mac, which packed the American Airlines Center Thursday night, remains highly influential. Talk to any of today's popular country acts (especially the ones with a pop-rock musical bent) and the Mac is mentioned. Stevie Nicks, FM's longtime temptress, has left her stamp on so many female vocalists of the last 20 years -- pop, rock, country and otherwise. And anyway, Thursday night's show was fiery. Even during songs that didn't quite gel -- such as Lindsey Buckingham's manic, robotic "Tusk," there was something to admire. In that case it was Mick Fleetwood's ferocious marching beat drumming. But the highlights were many, particularly Buckingham's amazing rendition of "Big Love," which was just him at the mike while he finger-picked an acoustic guitar. The wall of sound was astonishing. Nicks' "Sara," "Gypsy" and "Dreams" brought back such evocative memories. 

Great songs never get old.

For a full review of the Fleetwood Mac concert, go to Friday and check Guide Daily on Saturday.

Photo: Nicks, Fleetwood and Buckingham at the AAC (John F. Rhodes/DMN).