Thursday, May 28, 2009


Class, spell turmoil: F-L-E-E-T-W-O-O-D M-A-C
The band is infamous for its battles and lineup changes – and famous for its music
By George Varga, Pop Music Critic

There are a variety of nonmusical career opportunities for world-famous rock 'n' roll stars, especially those willing to lend their names to lucrative endorsement deals and other commercial ventures. But Mick Fleetwood is one of the few who might qualify for a position as a special envoy for the United Nations.

“That probably would have appealed to me, if I had been better educated and had more mental discipline,” said the lanky drummer, who performs with Fleetwood Mac Sunday night at the San Diego Sports Arena. “I can see bits and pieces of my natural instincts that would have made me well-suited for the U.N. In another life, that premise is not a horrific one for me. Obviously, that's not what I ended up doing.”

However, in his own way, Fleetwood has learned more than many career diplomats about maintaining order, tiptoeing around land mines (at least figuratively speaking) and negotiating fragile truces in uncivil circumstances.

The only member of Fleetwood Mac to have played with every edition of the band since its inception in 1967, his key qualification is, well, that he is the only member of Fleetwood Mac to have played with every edition of the band since its inception in 1967.

As a result, he has served as the de facto peacekeeper for this famous (and famously contentious) band, which in its first seven years of existence went through nine different lineups.

Between 1970 and 1974, guitarist Peter Green burned out after taking too much LSD, guitarist Jeremy Spencer abruptly left to join a religious cult and guitarist Bob Weston was fired after his affair with Fleetwood's then-wife was discovered.

The band has weathered five more lineup changes since 1975, the year two young Americans – singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham – joined. The couple had previously played together in Fritz, a Bay Area band, and had recorded one obscure duo album.

Against all odds, the addition of Buckingham and Nicks helped transform Fleetwood Mac, which had started out as an all-English blues-rock outfit, into an Anglo-American band that became one of the best-selling rock acts of the 1970s – and beyond.

Faster than you can say “Rumours,” the name of the band's 1977 mega-album, Fleetwood Mac became a superstar act at precisely the same time internal band tensions nearly caused it to implode.

The marriage between bassist John McVie (who is still in the band) and singer-keyboardist Christine McVie (who isn't) came to a rocky finish. Buckingham and Nicks ended their romantic relationship. Fleetwood began a clandestine affair with Nicks, who still relied on Buckingham to improve her songs with his expert arrangements and stellar musicianship.

“It's a testament to every man and woman in this band that none of us ever believed we were something special,” Fleetwood, 61, said. “That's been the extreme blessing of Fleetwood Mac, that it really is a 'people with their faults' band. We never got sucked into the massive potential for a showbiz-type approach, (despite) the soap-opera type stuff going on that became public knowledge.”

At the time, Buckingham openly bristled when it became clear the band (and its record company) wanted Fleetwood Mac to avoid tampering with its success. Determined not to cash in on the success of “Rumours,” which has now sold close to 40 million copies, the guitarist pushed the band to make 1979's “Tusk.” An edgy, artistically ambitious double album, it didn't sell nearly as well as its predecessor.

“Those years after 'Rumours' were difficult,” Buckingham acknowledged in a separate interview from Los Angeles.

“That was the beginning of me realizing I wanted to buck the pressures of making something like 'Rumours 2,' so that we would not become a caricature of ourselves. People want you to repeat formulas and run them into the ground.”

People (at least at the time) like drummer Fleetwood. His increasingly heated arguments with Buckingham over creative control and the band's musical direction prompted the guitarist to quit in 1987 and embark on a solo career.

“I was probably the numero uno cheerleader for the band,” Fleetwood acknowledged.

“I was the one who believed that, at all costs, we must turn up for Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey left because he didn't see any other way to do what he wanted to do, without leaving Fleetwood Mac. He probably had visions of me, with a cheerleader's outfit on and a huge master-of-ceremony's whip, saying 'We will never stop, not even to take a breath.'

“Looking back, I would say I could have done with being about 30 percent less obsessive about putting my whole life on hold for Fleetwood Mac. But all of us, for a while, sold our creative souls to the band. And it was always all about the music, even when things were not easy for us, emotionally.”

But that was then, and this is now. And Buckingham, who rejoined the band in 1997, has since managed to strike a balance between his solo career and his work with Fleetwood Mac. The band's current tour is, by Fleetwood's account, the first time the band has hit the road without a new album to promote. (The band's most recent album was 2003's “Say You Will.”)

The result is a “Greatest Hits” show that also features some songs from Buckingham and Nicks' respective solo careers, including his “Go Insane” and her “Stand Back,” along with Fleetwood Mac's 1969 gem “Oh Well.”

“When I introduce the band now (on stage), I acknowledge John and Lindsey first,” Fleetwood said. “And when I get to Stevie, I invariably say: 'This is a lady who keeps us guys in Fleetwood Mac very well-behaved, if you know what I mean.'

“We have fun with that. We never got into the whole ripping-hotels-apart thing. Our illicit deeds were tiptoeing down hotel corridors and visiting each other when we shouldn't have. We were more 'under the covers.' ”

Literally and figuratively?


Wednesday, May 27, 2009


They set it up only to tear it down... The show rolls on....

Not sure what venue or city these are... Looks like it might be a combination of Ottawa, Canada, Washington, DC - and by the look of the cake it's the Mohegan Sun venue... Some interesting behind the scenes shots of the tour that from the vantage point that the photos were taken, could have only been taken by one of the road crew.


Macking on the Mac


Though it may be tempting to write "The Mac is Back!" when referring to 
1) Fleetwood Mac coming to town for a concert or 2) the band having another mega-hit, we shall not. Not that we don't like the rhyming-ness of it, but because we're sure many other people have tread those same waters before us.

But, we would be wrong to not acknowledge the iconic band's Los Angeles date. They're playing Staples Center on Thursday, May 28, which has us thinking of all the super things about this supergroup.

1) The way Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham would sing "Go Your Own Way" to each other on stage. Oh boy. Talk about hot-hot backstory.

2) Stevie's amazing, witchy, mystical clothing choices. The lady swirls. Nobody has been able to swirl like her, before or since. Oh, and those platform boots from her solo "Stand Back" era. No matter that we couldn't possibly stand in them, much less stand back, but we did covet them so.

3) That Mick Fleetwood and John McVie both play on Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," the lycanthropiest rock song of all time.

4) "Songbird," the final song on side one of "Rumors," is just so, so sweet. A tear jerker, that one. Kudos to Ms. Christine McVie.

5) That the USC marching band appears in the "Tusk" video. Definitely an early forebearer of marching-band chic.

Meet Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009


Includes: 4 tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009 plus a meet and greet with the band.

Time left:6 days

While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late '60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Combining soft rock with the confessional introspection of singer/songwriters, Fleetwood Mac created a slick but emotional sound that helped 1977's Rumors become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time.

Enjoy 4 tickets to see this groundbreaking band live at Madison Square Garden on June 11, 2009!

Donated by: Fleetwood Mac

Terms: Includes: 4 tickets to see Fleetwood Mac at MSG on June 11, 2009 plus a meet and greet with the band.

Sales tax will apply to residents of the State of Connecticut.

Shipping/Handling: charitybuzz® Auctions uses UPS or FedEx for all shipping. We charge a minimum of $9.95 for shipping, handling and processing for all lots. We insure everything for the full value of the actual winning bid. We review the weight and value for all lots and average the cost of shipping by location to determine a realistic shipping charge for all lots. Shipping and applicable insurance for this item is $9.95 within the United States, unless the terms indicate special delivery instructions.

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Random Photo... Stevie Nicks Tribute to Ahmet Ertegun

From the Tribute Issue of Billboard Magazine (02/24/07) celebrating the life of Ahmet Ertegun
(click to enlarge)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(Photos) Fleetwood Mac - Oakland 5/20

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20, 2009
I'm assuming these are Oakland.... In any case, Angelina54 managed 
some nice shots (MORE)

And another set from Oakland.... SLEEPYEVE

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac Live in San Jose - May 21, 2009

Photos by: Mr. Marcelin
(click for larger)


Stop Draggin' My Heart Around

Rocks Off would wholeheartedly like to wish Ms. Stevie Nicks a very happy birthday today; since she's the epitome of a rock and roll lady, we'll refrain from revealing her actual age. At Fleetwood Mac's Toyota Center concert earlier this month, Nicks seemed to be walking with a limp, and her voice was noticeably raspier than on record, but her performances of "Gypsy," "Sara" - during which she walked over to embrace Lindsey Buckingham near the end, a clearly unrehearsed and utterly moving bit of stagecraft.

By Chris Gray


Mick Fleetwood at Flemings

Fans of the iconic rock band, Fleetwood Mac, can dine with band member -- and winemaker -- Mick Fleetwood while he is in Salt Lake City for an upcoming concert.

On June 2, Fleetwood will host the three-course wine dinner beginning at 7 p.m. at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, 20 S. 400 West, in the Gateway Mall. (The band performs June 3 at Energy Solutions Arena)

"Mick's Favorite Dinner" includes shrimp cocktail, filet mignon and berries with vanilla ice cream. The meal will be paired with two of Fleetwoods handcrafted California wines: Mick Fleetwood Chardonnay and Mick Fleetwood Cabernet.

Cost is $95 per person and includes a copy of Fleetwood's new live CD, “Blue Again” and a framed photograph at the event. For reservations call 801-355-3704.

He's still a better musician than winemaker, but Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar wines have received several awards in California tasting competitions. And the Wall Street Journal gave it the title of "Best Wine" in a blind tasting of 50 celebrity wines.A sweet little lie? Check it out for yourself at the official website:

Fleetwood Mac takes a while finding its groove


LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Fleetwood Mac's show was ambling along on Saturday. The packed crowd at the Honda Center in Anaheim was being entertained but not really affected.

"We're gonna get this party started," Stevie Nicks said after the second number, and the band began "Dreams" -- a No. 1 single from a 19 million-selling LP, but not what leaps to mind when one thinks "party starter."

And so it went for more than an hour: pleasant old songs, pleasantly recited, with the occasional address to the audience. But then the vibe changed.

The once-huge group played "Say You Love Me," written and originally sung by Mac retiree Christine McVie. Lindsey Buckingham embellished the second verse, almost arguing with the melody. The 40-year rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie made it rumble.

The song earned the evening's first true roar, and it was game on.

Nicks then let loose on "Gold Dust Woman," offering her most inspired vocal of the night. Then came "Oh Well," the set's oldest song and by far its hardest-rocking. Buckingham bit off the lines, keeping the emphatic pauses, then ripped off a long guitar solo that was heavier than anything he ever recorded with Fleetwood Mac.

The crowd had caught on, and the rest of the night was terrific.

Taken in full, this was exactly what a heritage rock act playing arenas should deliver: Put aside any simmering personal issues and play 2-1/2 hours of the biggest hits, with a few fan-favorite album cuts and some nuggets -- at a top ticket price of $150.

Of course, "personal issues" were synonymous with Fleetwood Mac at the height of its popularity (18 of the night's 23 songs came from the group's megaplatinum 1975-79 era). Buckingham acknowledged the band's "fairly complex and convoluted emotional history." Those old tensions were evident as the main quartet kept their distance onstage as if separated by minefields. Meanwhile, the giant video screens often showed Buckingham and Nicks side by side as if via Photoshop.

Backed by two musicians -- tucked in a nook that was borderline backstage -- and three singers, the Mac was in good form. Buckingham sang and played with fervor, adding bursts of big guitar. Dressed in her trademark webby chiffon that resembles a giant doily, Nicks played air drums and guitar and real tambourine, her smoky vocals steering clear of the higher ranges but working well otherwise. Fleetwood and John McVie laid down typically solid rhythms, the former taking a brief eyes-closed drum solo.

Christine McVie was missed, with only a few of her songs making the set list. But this was an enjoyable show that justified a veteran act hitting the road with no new material. As Buckingham said: "This time we said to each other, 'Let's just go out and have fun.' ... There is no new album -- yet."

No need, really.

Happy Birthday Stevie

Monday, May 25, 2009

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac Live in Glendale, AZ

Fleetwood Mac delivers greatest hits
Live in Glendale, AZ May 24, 2009

by Larry Rodgers

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in Fleetwood Mac showed Sunday night that they have emerged from a five-year performance hiatus with their musical mystery and superstar aura intact.

In a homecoming show for singer Stevie Nicks, the band served up an ambitious set of classics that ran nearly 2 1/2 hours at Arena in Glendale.

Its four members, augmented on their Unleashed tour by three singers and two other musicians, may be in their early '60s, but there was plenty of energy onstage from the bouncing opening chords of 1975's “Monday Morning.”

Guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingam seemed to be the most supercharged Sunday, enthusiastically diving into the vocals of that tune, which like much of Mac's catalog, talks about the double sword of romance.

The Phoenix-born Nicks exuded a regal, dignified presence onstage, suitable for her status as one of rock's most magnetic and complex performers. But she clearly was happy to be back in Arizona, where she owned a home for 25 years.

“We have family here tonight (including her sister-in-law, Lori Nicks, on vocals). I am thrilled to be here,” Nicks said early on. “It is my home, you know.”

Nicks later dedicated a poignant version of “Landslide” to her mother, Barbara, a longtime Valley resident.

The arena crowd, a few thousand seats short of a sellout, responded to the between-song banter Nicks and Buckingham with loud love.

Though Mac is viewed as a baby-boomer act, a healthy number of teens and 20-somethings were in the Glendale crowd, perhaps drawn by the group's decision to spotlight its biggest hits on this tour.

With no new album to promote, Buckingham told the audience, “This time, we said, ‘Let's just go out there and have fun.'”

The set which included such mega-hits as “Rhiannon,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Sara” and “Don't Stop,” left longtime fans like Pamela Frady, 54, of Fountain Hills satisfied.

“All the old songs were really good,” she said.

Frady's husband, David, 54, who has seen the band through the years, added, “They have done nothing but improve phenomenally.”

Buckingham remained as fiery as ever when he attacked his guitar on “Big Love” and the show-stopping “I'm So Afraid.”

He mentioned “the power and importance of change” before starting the rapid-fire plucking of his acoustic guitar on 1987's “Big Love.”

When he was done, he looked up at the crowd, smiled and touched his heart.

As 1975's “I'm So Afraid” built to a raging climax, Buckingham ran around the stage, pausing several times to pound on the fret board of his guitar, within inches of the outstretched arms of fans.

Nicks' vocals were smooth and strong on the aforementioned hits, as well as “Dreams,” “Gypsy,” “Gold Dust Woman” and the show-ending “Silver Springs.”

The keys of some songs appeared to have been lowered, and Nicks long ago altered her treatment of some lyrics to avoid high notes, but her rich voice remains of of rock's most distinctive.

Nicks, who reportedly has lost 60 pounds, looked as mystical as ever, dressed early on in a dark dress with material cascading from its sleeves and tall boots. She had some subtle costume changes during the show, including various shawls that added drama to her trademark move — extending her arms and twirling (done more slowly than in the '70s and '80s).

During the always-powerful “Gold Dust Woman,” Nicks turned her back to the crowd and stretched out her arms, silhouetted by an onstage spotlight. As the haunting song wound down, Nicks' dance moves were eerie and ghostlike, and the crowd responded with a roar.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood, who co-founded the band with bassist and fellow Brit John McVie in 1967, got into the act with a spirited drum solo during the first encore song, “World Turning.”

Wearing a microphone and looking like rock's crazy, old uncle with his gray beard and bulging eyeballs, Fleetwood cracked up the crowd with yelps and hoots.

McVie, whom Fleetwood introduced as “the backbone of Fleetwood Mac,” was his usual low-key self on stage, decked out in a cap and dark vest.

Throughout the set, Fleetwood waved his approval at Buckingham's masterful guitar work and blew kisses at Nicks.

Nicks and Buckingam, who were a couple before and during their early days in Fleetwood Mac (they joined in 1974), came out for the first encore holding hands, and Buckingham gently kissed the singer's hand.

The gesture was bittersweet and powerful, just like Fleetwood Mac's latest concert set.

Set list:
“Monday Morning”
“The Chain”
“I Know I'm Not Wrong”
“Go Insane”
“Second Hand News”
“Big Love”
“Never Going Back Again”
“Say That 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”