Monday, December 28, 2009

Fleetwood likes to spend his time with the reds and the blues

Fleetwood Mac's drummer has bluesy side project
SIMON COLLINS, The West Australian

When he is not touring with Fleetwood Mac, drummer Mick Fleetwood likes to spend his time with the reds and the blues.

The reds are the wines he has blended with California's Langtry Estate and Vineyard for the past eight years, and the blues are of the 12-bar variety found on the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band's latest album Blue Again.

A Grammy-nominated return to his roots, the album draws on the British blues sound of the original Fleetwood Mac, formed in the late 60s by Fleetwood and gun guitarist Peter Green. Bassist John McVie soon joined to add the "Mac" part of their moniker.

Chatting during the Mac's recent Australian tour, the English-born musician says his Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar range has overcome the usual snobbishness directed towards celebrity labels and is making serious inroads into the US market.

"I love it. It's hard work and it's been a lot of fun," Fleetwood, 62, says from the Hyatt Hotel. "I'm not a big technician, like my playing, but I come from the heart and fortunately we're getting really well written up."

While there was little time for the giant drummer to sample some local wines during the Fleetwood Mac tour, he hopes to do some serious "research" when he returns for some east coast shows with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band in February.

Fleetwood's fifth "solo" release since 1981, Blue Again features guitarist/singer Rick Vito who toured with Fleetwood Mac from 1987-91 when Lindsey Buckingham left the band.

The blues side project is a chance for Fleetwood to reconnect with the traditional sound of the 60s British blues movement as well as the origins of his legendary pop outfit.

"I'm a blues player and that's certainly me and John (McVie) - we came out of that whole blues movement. It's just something I've always loved to do," Fleetwood says. "To focus on that has been a thrill and getting back to playing blues and really addressing some of the original Fleetwood Mac material is a joy."

The Hawaii-based musician and vintner enjoys changing gears between the precise stadium shows of Fleetwood Mac and the looser, smaller performances of the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band.

"When Fleetwood Mac get out and grind the big wheel and get it going, it's sort of hard to stop which is good because . . . there's plenty of bums on seats," he says. "I love to play (with the Mac) - every performance is a joy.

"But you're aware of a lot more pressure just by the fact you're representing a musical franchise. You've got to be on the spot at the right time."

Meanwhile, the blues band affords him a chance to jam and have some fun with 12-bar blues. "There's more freedom for an old fart like me to mess around," he laughs.

The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band started with loftier aspirations than winery tours and bar-room jams. When he and Vito planned the project two years ago, they wanted a reunion of the original Fleetwood Mac members at London's Royal Albert Hall. While he managed to convince former slide guitar player Jeremy Spencer, who left the band in 1971 to join a Christian cult, to perform, the event hinged on the presence of Green.

The guitar great has battled schizophrenia for most of his life and got the "heebie-jeebies" not long before the show, forcing Fleetwood to cancel the event. Green still has a strong presence on Blue Again. Half the songs on the album were penned by him, including Black Magic Woman, Albatross and Rattlesnake Shake.

While the blues band gigs are always fun, Fleetwood says that the Mac's current greatest hits tour - which stopped by Perth for two epic concerts this month - has been one of the most enjoyable in the legendary band's long history.

He says that without a new album to worry about, the two odd couples of the Mac - himself and McVie; Stevie Nicks and Buckingham - have somehow managed to tour without burning out.

A clear sign of a rare healthy passage for Fleetwood Mac came when Blue Again landed a Grammy nomination for best traditional blues album and Nicks was only beset by mock envy.

Fleetwood chuckles: "Stevie congratulated me and said, 'Well, I didn't get a Grammy nomination for my solo album'."

Blue Again is out now.


Can Don Henley and Stevie Nicks Work Together on an Eagles and Fleetwood Mac Tour?
December 27, 2009 by Ron Hart Ron Hart
Associated Content

Will Don Henley and Stevie Nicks share the stage, and the limelight, as the rumored Eagles and Fleetwood Mac co-headlining classic rock tour seems to be close to official? As Henley and Nicks are the most recognizable names and faces in their respective 1970's rock super-groups, the two share a history that somehow manages to be both shrouded in mystery and well publicized.

Probably the most difficult aspect to putting together a concert tour like this one is not logistical in nature. Though logistics can be a challenge, the biggest obstacle can be the egos involved. Who exactly is the bigger group, the Eagles or Fleetwood Mac? Who will close the show? Are more Eagles fans or more Fleetwood Mac fans coming? How will this affect the dynamic between the principals in the two groups?

Now, throw in the fact that Don Henley and Stevie Nicks had an on again and off again love affair during the late 1970's and into the early 1980's, and you have an even more complicated situation. While both are quite a bit older now, romances from the past often are hardwired in people's psyche. To further complicate matters, Nicks was involved in no less than three of the other participants in this mega concert tour: Lindsay Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac, and Joe Walsh from the Eagles.

If this all seems to add up to a potentially tenuous situation, here is one more thing to consider. Don Henley, in an GQ article from the early 1990's, told the world that he believed Nicks became pregnant by him, aborted the baby and named the unborn fetus Sara. Henley shared that he believed Nicks then wrote one of her most famous songs, Sara, and dedicated it to the Henley sired love child that would never be.

In subsequent years, Stevie Nicks made it clear that she was not at all happy with Henley's statement to the world. While she did not deny being pregnant with Henley's child, she apparently was very unhappy with Henley for sharing it in an interview with a national magazine.

Certainly, it appears that through the years Henley and Nicks have patched things up. In recent years, they have performed on stage together, most notably during a mini-tour without the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac in which both performed alone and together.

While both Henley and Nicks became solo stars in their own right, neither became nearly as big as they were with the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac respectively. So while a small solo tour with the King and Queen of 1970's Southern California rock seemingly went well, an Eagles and Fleetwood Mac pairing will have a lot more attention and will represent a lot more at stake.

Both groups have had more than their share of internal drama, but as they bring them together to sell out football and baseball stadiums across the country, it will be very interesting to observe their on stage dynamic (if they perform together), and any offstage drama that may leak out to the world at large.

While both Henley and Nicks are total professionals, and as each are nearing the point of senior citizenship, it is unlikely that any real 'dirty laundry' will be exposed. And for his part, Henley is now a married man. But if the interpersonal relationships again get emotional or complicated, it will be interesting to see how it might effect the tour and the product on the stage.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

PHOTOS: Fleetwood Mac Live in London October 30, 2009

Photos by: theothermichaeljackson (Gallery | Slideshow)


DECEMBER 20, 2009
Photos by: hejiranyc (Gallery | Slideshow)


Backup singer for Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks on her solo tours - Jana Anderson has just released her new CD "Never Say Never". Jana's many recording accomplishments include recording with Prince & Don Henley and she also appears on Fleetwood Mac's "Live In Boston" DVD/CD, Stevie Nicks "The Soundstage Sessions Live in Chicago" DVD/CD. Not only has she toured with Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks on her solo tours, she's toured with Don Henley and Jewel.  You can check out and buy her CD at CD Baby

(PHOTOS) Fleetwood Mac Live in Sydney, AU December 8, 2009


Photos by: Joanna Von K (click HERE for the Facebook gallery)

Thanks Joanna!


FLEETWOOD MAC'S "THE VERY BEST OF" jumps 5 spots to #6 this week on New Zealand's Top 40 Albums Chart for the week ending December 21, 2009.

NOV 16, 2009 - #9
NOV 23, 2009 - #7
NOV 30, 2009 - #7
DEC 7, 2009 - #12
DEC 14, 2009 - #11
Dec 21, 2009 - #6


The Case for a Mac Attack
Review by: Judge-Jury

Mick brought a big set of drums and slim, attractive backup singers who dressed like Matrix refugees. Lindsey brought a large selection of guitars and an Art Garfunkle look. Stevie brought her portable wind generator, her tambourine and a few hundred outfits. New Plymouth brought the rain – especially for the concert.

Yup, basically as soon as Fleetwood Mac hit the stage (and the DomPost was there - the photo is theirs), the rains decided to join in the fun (ironically, the Sunday show, which was always meant to be wet, ended up quite dry - apparently). The rains played coy as we claimed our spot on the grassy hillside in New Plymouth’s Bowl of Brooklands, and they stayed away through the country and western warm up act (from Lyttleton!) though they may have been fighting queues to get food and t-shirts, but then they came back with a vengeance for the main act. But that didn’t really seem to bother anyone.

Even me, and I detest getting wet. We were lucky to have claimed a spot that was somewhat shaded by a tree, though still on the gentle slope in front of the stage rather than on one of the more precipitous banks around the venue. Our view of the stage and the screens (once everyone stood up) was incredible, and then of course there was the music itself.

I do not claim to have particularly distinguished music taste, as I know my preferences are fairly middle of the road. But everyone at the audience, from the nearby chain smokers to the nearby potheads, from the sensibly dressed women with wine in their hands to the rough and tumble buzzcutted lads with their ciggies and beer, and from those who remembered the 60s and 70s to those who barely remember the 90s, the entire crowd were thrilled to see this group, and revered the music they performed.

And the devotion was not misplaced. If we were worshippers of the band, Stevie Nicks was the high priestess, and her every word was met with a hush that poor Lindsey Buckingham never got during his pronouncements. But then, his words were not his most impressive contribution: I was almost ready to call CYFS, with the way he abused his wee guitar. The whole crowd sang along to the major hits, but stayed respectfully quiet as Ms Nicks performed her slower songs. I did not think she would perform “Landslide”, which is one of my favourites, so I was pleasantly surprised then it began, and while the Dixie Chicks version is incredible, the performance by just Ms Nicks and Mr Buckingham doing a guitar solo totally blew my mind. Others got more worked up over the other “surprise” inclusion an 80s effort (the name of which escapes me), which gave Ms Nicks yet another chance to change her outfit and twirl around the stage. They never did get around to playing “Seven Wonders”, which is one of my favourites, but with songs like “Gypsy”, “Rhiannon”, “Go Your Own Way”, “Say You Love Me”, “Sarah”, and “Don’t Stop” all performed amazingly, I really didn’t end up caring.

I seem destined to always enjoy major concerts in the rain (like Bowie), but New Plymouth’s rain was nowhere near as windswept and driving as the Wellington version (wimps). The band were very complimentary about the audience’s staying power and even started 15 minutes early, though they still expected two encores rather than just having one big finale set. But when one of those songs contained an incredible drum solo by Mr Fleetwood, when he earned his genial giant reputation by getting the audience somewhat involved (though he was hard to understand through all the sweat and energy he was putting into his efforts), then its really hard to feel annoyed.

And who am I to quibble or complain? The show was absolutely incredible. Leaving the event turned out to be a slip slide health hazard, and people were screaming animal calls rather than attempting to murder the songs we had just heard performed so expertly (a la “Roxanne” at the Police concert), but, sodden as I was, I left with a (potentially second hand pot fuelled) buzz that I still feel somewhat with the distance of time and space. It was a totally worthwhile experience, and one of the greatest pre-Christmas presents I could ever have wished for.

Verdict: Legends came to life in the ‘Naki and Fleetwood Mac did not disappoint. Should they come back again (as they promised to do), or Stevie tour solo again (I still kick myself for missing her last tour), I will have to make a pilgrimage to wherever to experience their magic again. 7 Wonders out of 7, no matter the weather.


Monday, December 21, 2009


RARELY seen in Taranaki, the ways of the famous were in full force for Fleetwood Mac’s weekend visit.

Taranaki Daily News

Arriving on a jet bigger than the passenger planes that service the region, the band was met on the tarmac by four silver Mercedes Benz sedans, a Porsche Cayenne SUV and four Toyota people movers. While the big stars, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and John McVie, jumped into the flash cars, the lesser members of the entourage filled the Toyotas.

Fans and the two media representatives were kept behind a fence more than 50m from the action.

This put the rockers out of earshot and better seen through a photographer’s long lens. When the convoy did leave the airport several of the band covered their faces lest the fans with their aimand-shoot cameras and the one newspaper photographer caught a picture of them through the tinted windows of their fastmoving cars.

The level of secrecy was not appreciated by some, who were quick with tales of Billy Connolly and Tom Cruise mixing with the locals with little pretension when they visited. At the Saturday concert the was one of just a handful of news organisations attending.

The reporter was allowed in for the whole concert but the photographer had just the first three songs to snap his pictures before being escorted to the gate.

On Sunday no media passes were issued, despite requests for at least two for this newspaper.

‘‘They feel the media were there on Saturday and no media are going to be allowed on Sunday,’’ said media liaison Leesa Tilley.

Other requests were just as fruitless. No face-to-face interview was granted though several questions were allowed to be posed via email. The response came in the same manner a day later.

Where the band was staying was kept a secret with no-one involved in their visit allowed to divulge that particular piece of information.

One cheeky question to that end was met with an icy smile and the cliche ‘‘then I’d have to kill you’’ from the head of the Wellington security firm looking after the group.

However, the question did not remain unanswered for long. When his back was turned, one of the locals whispered ‘‘The Waterfront’’.

Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham put the Saturday concert in his top-five and everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves but that did not convince them to stay longer than they had to. The band flew out of New Plymouth at 11.30pm on Sunday night, less than one hour after the final concert and 31.5 hours after arriving.

Concert rubbish dismays cleaners



Taranaki Daily News

Stevie Nicks reckons it was the perfect end to a year on the road.

She said she was blown away by the crowd at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands during Fleetwood Mac's two New Plymouth concerts at the weekend.

The venue, the fans and even the weather added something special to the band's last two performances of their 10-month long Unleashed tour.

Although band members declined to be interviewed in person, Nicks told the Taranaki Daily News via email the audience at the Bowl was "awesome".

"The crowd was mesmerising to me because they were so in to it and having so much fun," she said.

"Of course, that kind of crowd makes such a difference to an artist."

Indeed, her fellow band member Lindsey Buckingham agreed, citing Saturday's concert one of the top five in his entire career.

It was Nicks' second time at the Bowl and the weekend's concerts exceeded the entire band's expectation.

"The fans were great, the venue was great, and the Maori welcoming ceremony after the show was truly magical," she said.

About 36,000 fans filled the Bowl to experience the veteran rockers' still amazing act over the weekend.

While Sunday's concert was a stunner and significantly drier than Saturday Nicks said the persistent rain actually added to the ambience of the atmosphere.

"The rain was very dramatic and of course, we love drama!

"So I would have to say that it certainly lent itself to romanticism."

Although the shows were the last of the tour, the band did not plan anything special to sign off the past year. Instead, they played it by ear.

"You never know what is going to happen on the last show of a tour," Nicks said.

"You can never make any plans because emotions are high and a part of you is sad because it's ending and a part of you is glad because you have been on the road for a year. So you never know what is going to happen."

And people were not disappointed. While the Fleetwood Mac concerts were generally expected to attract a more mature crowd, people of all ages turned up in droves. It was widely speculated that the tour might be their last.

During Saturday night's concert Buckingham hinted at the possibility of another tour and maybe another album.

Nicks says although the band has not discussed the next move, it is not off the cards.



Sunday, December 20, 2009


Fleetwood Mac's "The Very Best Of" double disc release this fall is hanging on through the holidays.

UK TOP 75 - Week of December 21st:
"The Very Best Of" is up four positions to #21 in the UK just shy of re-entering the top 20.

UK TOP 75 CHART RUN (2009 Best Of Version):
Week 1 #6 Debut
Week 2 #10
Week 3 #12
Week 4 #15
Week 5 #26
Week 6 #29
Week 7 #31
Week 8 #25
Week 9 #21


ARIA TOP 50 CATALOGUE ALBUMS CHART - Week of December 21st:
"The Very Best Of" notches another week at No. 1 on the Australian Top 50 Catalogue Charts. Total weeks on the Catalogue Chart = 6.

ARIA TOP 50 ALBUMS CHART - Week of December 21st:
Fleetwood Mac's "The Very Best Of" moves up to #16 on the chart - a new peak postion for the cd. Total weeks it's placed non-consecutively on the chart = 102

ARIA TOP 50 PHYSICAL ALBUMS CHART - Week of December 21st:
"The Very Best Of" moves up to #16 on the Physical Albums Chart - a new peak postion for the set. Total weeks it's placed non-consecutively on the chart = 107

ARIA TOP 50 DIGITAL ALBUMS CHART - Week of December 21st:
"The Very Best Of" slips 3 places to #20 after debuting last week at #17 on the Top 50 Digital Charts.