Don’t Stop: A Fleetwood Mac Song, A Fleetwood Mac Philosophy
Time to turn the page and begin yet another chapter in the long, historic book of Fleetwood Mac. But is this the last chapter?
By the time Fleetwood Mac hits the XL Center stage in Hartford on March 15 of 2019 fans will have had almost a year to soak in and process the idea that their beloved band has gone through yet another lineup change. Right now, though, it's all still a lot to take in even with all the changes the Fleetwood Mac Faithfull have seen over the years.
How many changes? Well, let's see. This would be, I think, the 15th version of the band? Just recently Ultimate Classic Rock did a nice job breaking down all the different phases of the band and you can read the entire article HERE but, in the meantime, here's a quick rundown:
1967: Peter Green / Mick Fleetwood / Jeremy Spencer / Bob Brunning
1967-68: Peter Green / Mick Fleetwood / Jeremy Spencer / John McVie
1968-70: Peter Green / Mick Fleetwood / Jeremy Spencer / John McVie / Danny Kirwan
1970-71: Mick Fleetwood / Jeremy Spencer / John McVie / Danny Kirwan / Christine McVie
1971-72: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Danny Kirwan / Christine McVie / Bob Welch
1972-73: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Bob Welch / Dave Walker / Bob Weston
1973: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Bob Welch / Bob Weston
1973-74: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Bob Welch
1974-87: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Lindsey Buckingham / Stevie Nicks
1987-91: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Stevie Nicks / Billy Burnette / Rick Vito
1991-95: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Billy Burnette / Bekka Bramlett / Dave Mason
1997-98: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Christine McVie / Lindsey Buckingham / Stevie Nicks
1998-2013: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Lindsey Buckingham / Stevie Nicks
2014-17: Mick Fleetwood / John McVie / Lindsey Buckingham / Stevie Nicks / Christine McVie
As you can see Fleetwood Mac is the Mac Daddy of lineup changes and take another look at that rundown of lineup changes. What's the one constant you see throughout? Mick Fleetwood. That's right. He's been there from day one with John McVie right behind him. Those two guys have seen it all and what a roller coaster ride it's been.
The duo of Fleetwood and McVie have gone from being in a blues band with a solid following to being part of the biggest band in the world by the end of the 70s before watching it all fall apart the following decade. In fact, by 1995, the lineup consisted of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Billy Burnette, Bekka Bramlett and Dave Mason. Although it was an extremely talented roster of musicians they were far from achieving the mainstream success of the 70s. That year Fleetwood Mac was part of a quadruple bill called the "Can't Stop Rockin' Tour" with REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar and Orleans.
The Hartford Courant's Roberto Gonzalez attended the July 21st, 1995 show at the then Meadows Music Theater in Hartford and wrote: "The `Can't Stop Rocking Tour `95'' that hit The Meadows Music Theater Friday night had all the makings of a sad nostalgia fest. Four bands played; Fleetwood Mac, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar and Orleans. A sort of '70s early 80s K-Tel record nightmare. OK. It wasn't that bad. But there certainly was something shocking and sad to see -- the demise of Fleetwood Mac."
You can read the rest of Gonzalez's article HERE if you choose to relive those forgettable days before Fleetwood Mac would return to the top. And return they did. Just two years later the classic lineup of Fleetwood Mac was back for a massive sold-out reunion tour and live album. Mick and John had seen their beloved band return to the top of the music world and they stayed there for a very long time. In fact, The Mac was a huge touring act all the way up until 2015.
So here we are in 2018 and Lindsey Buckingham is out of the band once again. The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac is Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, former Tom Petty & The Heartbreaker guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House singer Neil Finn.
At first I was disappointed and thought the worst but after reading and hearing Rolling Stone writer Andy Greene's interview with the new lineup I now have reason to believe this will be an interesting and entertaining version of the band.
They revealed in the interview which you can hear below that the band plans on playing songs from the pre-Buckingham/Nicks days, more of the ones during the Buckingham/Nicks days along with some other surprises like Nicks' hit single with Petty and The Heartbreakers "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" along with a Crowded House song or two, particularly their 1986 hit single "Don't Dream It's Over".
So is this Fleetwood Mac's final chapter? Maybe so. Just keep in mind that Lindsey Buckingham is going to be the ace in the deck for Mick Fleetwood. Don't Stop thinking about the possibility of The Return of Lindsey/Farewell Fleetwood Mac Tour. It may soon be here.