Friday, September 04, 2009

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



What's wrong with these promoters?

Andrew McManus Presents


Due to popular demand Fleetwood Mac have announced a second show in BRISBANE & MELBOURNE!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW from or 132 849. HURRY they won't last long!!

In any case - tickets for the second dates are on sale now at Ticketeck.

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!


The Pet Shop Boys have worked with everyone from Dusty Springfield to Liza Minnelli to Lady Gaga -- but never the Queen

Interview by Doug Rule

MW: Are there other artists you hope to work with in the future?

TENNANT: Well, Stevie Nicks! I didn't really appreciate Fleetwood Mac in the '70s or the '80s -- I came to them really quite recently. I really love Stevie Nicks' voice. So that would be nice. I'd like to see something happening there at some point.

Full Interview with Neil Tennant here.


Don't want to miss the legendary Fleetwood Mac performing all their classic hits?

The Northern Star, Holiday Inn and Andrew McManus are giving you the chance to win a huge Fleetwood Mac fan package, including accommodation and tickets to see their Brisbane concert at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Tuesday December 15.

For details on how to enter see this Saturday's edition of The Northern Star.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


T.Cole Rachel


Few entertainers in the history of rock and roll have carved out a path as mystic and mythical as that of Stevie Nicks. Both as a solo artist and member of Fleetwood Mac, Nicks has conjured a musical and visual aesthetic that is completely and uniquely her own—an amalgam of twirling black lace, ribbon-covered tambourines, crystal visions, and white-winged doves. Having overcome the dizzying excesses, epic breakups, and competing egos typically associated with one of the most successful and dramatic supergroups of the 1970s, Nicks remains an unstoppable force. Now 61, she has aged better, both physically and artistically, than almost any of her peers, and, with the recent release of a career-capping live album and DVD, she continues to be venerated as an icon in both music and fashion. This summer, Nicks will spend her time doing what she does best—touring the world with her old friends and lovers in Fleetwood Mac and generally casting a beautiful spell wherever she goes.
T. Cole Rachel

T. COLE RACHEL It’s hard to think of anyone else who has a cultural mythology surrounding them in the same way that you do. Do you find that people tend to have crazy expectations when they meet you?

STEVIE NICKS People always think that I’m going to be this little airhead blonde, when I’m actually quite pragmatic and serious. I’m also really funny, or at least I think I’m really funny. I’m really not what they expect, at least when it comes to my personality. In regard to my music, I guess people know me pretty well. When I write music, I know it’s not just for me. When I finish a song and put it out there into the universe, I realize that it belongs to everyone. I think about the fact that each song might become a kind of mantra for someone out there and that’s the joy of it. When I was 15, I wrote my first song about a sad relationship that ended before I wanted it to end. Even then, I wrote it thinking that maybe I’d play it at a school assembly in hopes that someone would identify with it. I always wanted to affect people.

TCR You became famous at a time when there really weren’t a lot of female rock stars. Did you find it difficult to get people to take you seriously as a songwriter and not just view you as this beautiful singer?

SN I think it would have been a real problem had I not been in Fleetwood Mac. But being in the band, I had the power of two—Christine McVie and me. People couldn’t really write us off. I never once felt like a second-class citizen in some kind of boys club and neither did Christine. She had actually been playing in bands for years before Fleetwood Mac, and I think her power and confidence really rubbed off on me. The two of us together were really like a force of nature. Even Lindsey [Buckingham] couldn’t stop us.

TCR Your personal style gets referenced so much now in fashion. When did you first realize that your aesthetic had become a thing in popular culture?

SN I’ve never really paid attention to what other people thought of my look, but I can tell you where it came from. When I went on tour with Fleetwood Mac for the very first time after the first album had come out, I just packed a suitcase with a bunch of my normal, everyday clothes. Then, the first night of the tour I found myself in a dressing room in El Paso, Texas, with everything I owned scattered across the floor just thinking, This is not going to work. Nothing fit right, nothing looked good, nothing felt comfortable. When the tour ended I met this designer named Margie Kent and I drew her this little cartoon of how I wanted to look. I still draw the same cartoon all the time, whenever someone gives me a tambourine or a record to sign. It’s just this little stick figure of a girl wearing a handkerchief skirt, platform boots, a little black top with Rhiannon sleeves, and a top hat. I wanted to look like some kind of waif-y urchin, something Dickensian. I wanted the heavy boots to balance everything out. I wanted it to look old and antique, a little bit worn. I had a shoemaker make the platform boots for me out of suede, and Margie made me lots of ponchos and little silk jackets and flowy chiffon things that hung down to the floor. That became my stage outfit and remains so to this day.

TCR Night of a Thousand Stevies, the long-running Stevie Nicks tribute party that happens here in NYC, is now in its nineteenth year. Does it blow your mind that hundreds of people get together to dress up like you and sing your songs?

SN It’s wonderful. It makes me think that Margie and I had the right idea all those years ago. It makes me think that all those images we came up with really did what we wanted them to do. There’s a “Gold Dust Woman” image and a “Stand Back” image and an “Edge of Seventeen” image. I totally understand how it would be the most fun dress-up party ever! So if I were actually going to Night of a Thousand Stevies and trying to decide what to wear, I could go with the brand-new white ruffle-y dress and top hat, or I could go with a full-on black Stevie Nicks outfit with the Rhiannon sleeves, or maybe the white Belladonna outfit with the white leg warmers and white poncho. I’ve always loved to dress up. Halloween was always my favorite night when I was a kid. I looked forward to it for months beforehand and I was all about planning my outfit. Luckily my mom could sew, so I’d tell her that I wanted to be Martha Washington or something like that and she’d do it. So I have to say, I’m thrilled by that event. God bless Night of a Thousand Stevies. [Laughs]

TCR I saw the recent Fleetwood Mac show at Madison Square Garden and I was really struck by how sweet all of you were toward each other. It seems like everyone is in a very good place these days.

SN I think so too. I think that having children has really changed Lindsey. He has two daughters, so now he really has to deal with women. He comes from a family of boys himself, so I think having daughters has been a good thing. He also has a 10-year-old son, but basically the girls rule at his house. I really think it has changed him though, and I think it’s made it easier for him to accept who I am and to deal with me. He’s less apt to argue with me these days and he’s more apt to understand what I say and not take it personally. I think he understands now that I really do always have his best interests at heart. He used to understand that, back in the beginning, but after we broke up he didn’t feel that way. It was really unfortunate because that’s when the whole band started to split apart. So now, the band is actually a little bit more like it was back in the beginning.

TCR And it only took thirty years for that to happen.

SN [Laughs] I know. It’s okay though because otherwise we wouldn’t be on tour right now.

TCR What do Lindsey’s kids think of you? Are you like the crazy aunt?

SN They like me a lot. They totally get it. You know, they’re in the dressing room saying, “Can I wear that cape?” or “I need to put on those boots!”

TCR It’s interesting to hear you talk about how Lindsey has changed. How do you feel you’ve changed?

SN Well, aside from being 25 pounds heavier and a lot older, I don’t really think I’ve changed all that much. I think I’m still very much who I was at 15. I’m still very excited by my writing, I’m still very excited by performing. I find a lot of joy in doing what I do. I certainly wouldn’t want to stay home now and do nothing!

Fleetwood Mac is currently on tour

Stevie Nicks’s The Soundstage Sessions LP and Live in Chicago DVD are out now from Reprise Records.

Stevie Nicks talks about her most memorable looks of all time.

The one and only Stevie Nicks talks about her most memorable looks of all time.

I had the incredible good fortune to interview Stevie Nicks for V60, which, given my lifelong obsession with Fleetwood Mac, was really a dream come true. Not only was she funny and incredibly forthcoming, she also happened to be very generous with her time. After the formal portion of our interview ended, she took the time to look through a few old images and discuss the origins of some of her most iconic looks.
T. Cole Rachel

1. This is a Herbie Worthington photo. He did the first Fleetwood Mac cover and almost all of my solo album covers. He took almost all of the crazy photos of me between 1975 and 1985. We did photo shoots not because we had to, but just because it was fun. If we had time off we’d just decide to take photos. Me and all my friends would get together and bring all kinds of stuff with us—all our best clothes, props, flowers, whatever—and then take pictures for days. The tambourine and the rose really came from the Belladonna album. The hat that I’m wearing—a gray beret with a feather—was lost somewhere along the way, which is too bad because I’ve never been able to find another one quite that amazing. The little embroidered top that I’m wearing, that I still have. The whole idea here was that you were looking out through this portal into the universe. I was always into having circles in the photos…and roses. I did my own makeup for this photo and I was always my own stylist. We never used stylists back then. Plus, no stylist would have wanted to work with us! We’d be taking photos all day for three days in a row.

2. This was taken on the roof of my condo in California, near the ocean. I’d been wearing the little chiffon tops like that with the long sleeves for a while at that point, and while we were up there taking pictures the wind came up and nearly blew me off the top of the building. There were actually a lot of pictures taken that day, but this is the most famous one. I love wearing things like that because they just create the most amazing shapes. This is when I really realized the power of these outfits. If we played an outdoor venue and there was a little bit of wind, my clothes always looked 100% better. I think this photo ran in People magazine.

3. Oh, the Rolling Stone cover. You’re gonna love this story. This was basically a nightmare picture for me. This was taken by Richard Avedon. You know, it’s not every day that you get work with Richard Avedon, so this was a very big deal. It just so happened that this was taken right after Mick and I had broken up. We’d just ended the year-long relationship thing we had going on and things were very tense. We get to the shoot and Richard Avedon has this ladder set up and he tells me that he basically wants me to be hanging around Mick’s neck in the photo and that the rest of the band will basically be sitting around Mick’s feet. He had this whole composition already worked out. I’m looking at him like, Are you out of your mind? First of all, I’m not even speaking to Mick Fleetwood and I’m certainly not climbing up on a ladder and then hanging around his neck. I’m not touching him! So, I pulled him aside and told him that I really didn’t want to do it. Avedon looks at me and basically just tells me that I needed to just suck it up and do the photo. He’s like, this is the cover of Rolling Stone magazine and in 10 years you’ll be glad that you did this. Now, do it. So, I reluctantly agreed. Up I go on the ladder. I was literally hanging around Mick’s neck like a mink stole. I kept feeling like I was going to fall and Mick was trying to hold me up…it was horrific.

So, the shoot ends and we all go home. Then, lo and behold, the issue finally comes out and there on the cover is just me and Mick. No Lindsey, no John, no Chris. They were all cropped out. It was just me and Mick. Can I even tell you how well that went over in the band? It wasn’t our fault that they cropped everyone else out of the photo, we had no idea. They just did it that way. They were kind of like, "Fuck you, if you’re gonna be on the cover of OUR magazine, we’re gonna do whatever we want." The whole thing was a nightmare. Lindsey didn’t speak to any of us for weeks after it came out, and it seemed like that image was everywhere. I’m sure Mick Fleetwood was secretly happy, though!

4. I think this photo was taken in San Francisco at a music festival. This would be around 1977 or so. I think this was taken backstage. In fact, I think this part of a larger group photo and they just cropped everyone else out of it. Once again, it’s me and a top hat…the little top hat that could. I bought that top hat in Buffalo, New York. We were on tour and on one of our days off Christine and I went antique shopping. I found that hat in some random little shop. I still have it. It’s at home in a box. I keep everything. There were a few classic pieces that got lost or stolen along the way, but everything else I saved. All except for the original black outfit and boots, which are now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Small mention of Fleetwood Mac in the September issue of Rollingstone Magazine in an Q&A interview with Brandon Flowers of The Killers...


George Hurrell Photo Session, from which the album cover for Lindsey's "Law and Order" was pulled from. EBAY

Tuesday, September 01, 2009




Kind of interesting:
We've run through the core components of Travis Egedy aka BTW Pictureplane's one-man beatmaking brew: deep blend house, noise, synth pop, darkwave, psychedelia, world music, and most excellently, actual emotion. The stellar "Goth Star," an echoing and vocal-sampled comedown cut perfect for an after-hours dancefloor bliss out, is the next Dark Rift LP single to get a video, directed here by Sterling Crispin. And like "Trance Doll" it fits Pictureplane's low-tech approach -- noisy VHS film and superimposed images of Stevie Nicks, candle-lit seances, and a bunch of etc. designed to get you thinking non-linearly, or maybe not thinking at all, and just feeling. Or it could just be a bunch of disassociated images on shitty film print. It's up to you. After you watch.

Goth Star mp3 Download

Monday, August 31, 2009


Thank you to wayner from The Ledge for providing a link to photos from the gig Fleetwood Mac performed at in The Hamptons on August 29th at the Huggy Bear Benefit. It's only been a couple of months since the band has been seen... but literally it seems like yesterday! They all look alive and well and haven't changed. I see Stevie's still rockin' the Boks!

View the photos here