NEW YORK -- Mick Fleetwood, jocular drummer for Fleetwood Mac, was a combination of hope
and despair as he sat in the offices of Atlantic Records.
On one hand, the band was revitalized by the success of 1997's The Dance reunion album and tour. But due to one member's reluctance to get
back on the road, they may not be touring again. At least not with the quintessential Mac lineup.
"Lindsey Buckingham has had a dose of rock 'n' roll," said Fleetwood of the
Mac's guitarist/songwriter and principal producer. "He can't wait to get out on
Dressed simply in jeans and a white dress shirt, Fleetwood was discussing the
renewed interest in Fleetwood Mac. Buckingham's continued desire to tour is
good news for the band, which suffered his acrimonious departure in the past.
But Fleetwood was disheartened because the band's singer/keyboardist
Christine McVie made a recent decision to not participate in any Fleetwood Mac
touring for now.
Although Fleetwood, Buckingham, bass player John McVie and singer Stevie
Nicks are chomping at the bit to make more Mac music, they aren't about to
simply discount the feelings of a longtime partner and friend.
"It's a two-way thing really," said Fleetwood. "We're being respectful. We've all
worked very hard this year. It's been great, but Christine has made it clear she's
not into touring."
Fleetwood was in the middle of interviews to promote his current project, Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours, which
was recently released on Atlantic Records. As executive producer, he was pleased with
the enthusiasm shown by the young rockers on the CD who did versions of Mac
classics from the band's vintage Rumours album, such as Jewel's cover
HREF="http://www.addict.com/music/Jewel/You_Make_Loving_Fun.ram">"You Make Loving Fun"
Make Loving Fun"(RealAudio excerpt). But his thoughts were very
much with his own band.
"Four of us hope so," said Fleetwood, when asked about the likelihood of a
future project by the most successful version of the band. "[Fans] could all write
in ... start sending begging letters to Chris."
If all of this sounds familiar with regard to Fleetwood Mac, it's because the band
went through the same thing exactly 10 years ago with Buckingham. Having
produced the top 5 Fleetwood Mac album Tango In The Night in 1987,
the notoriously intense guitarist dropped the bomb that he would not support the
release on the road. Fleetwood answered by replacing Buckingham with two
guitarists, Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, and staging not one, but two, successful
tours without him.
This later incarnation of the band did not produce spectacular results on record
though. Perhaps this is what's stalling Fleetwood now. Though Christine McVie hasn't
completely nixed recording with the band, her absence on tour would likely
tamper with the magical cohesion of the group.
"[The Dance] worked for everyone," Fleetwood said. "John and I are like
pigs in shit. We can't play without a band. But [now] Chris doesn't enjoy the
road. Lindsey, though, has been in the studio too long. He pulled out of the
mainstream for personal reasons and because of the horrors of rock 'n' roll. But
now, that's all in control. The great thing is that he has come out of [recording
The Dance and touring] with the credibility and acknowledgement for his
role in the band that he's never really had."
Fleetwood is referring to the incredible attention that frontwoman Nicks has
always received, despite her ex-lover Buckingham's creative brilliance in the
"I don't think this would have all happened for Lindsey if he hadn't come back to
Fleetwood Mac," Fleetwood added.
All in all, Fleetwood remains positive. When asked about the lack of an all-star
jam when Fleetwood Mac was inducted this year at the Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame ceremonies, Fleetwood offered a startlingly hopeful scenario involving
the other big-name 1998 inductee: "It's certainly been spoken about that we
would go on the road with The Eagles. That would be the coup of coups, if we
Just in case future plans with the band don't pan out, he is not without other
ideas. "I don't know when it will be, but I have a very personal yen to put out a
strange [solo] album with poetry and weird rhythmic things," Fleetwood concluded. "I can sing. I'll hone it. And there are things I've written that I haven't
put music to. Would I dare put that out?"