Despite rumors to the contrary, Fleetwood Mac are alive and well, according to Mick Fleetwood — and there will be no shortage of material from the band and the members thereof this year and on into 2018.
Fleetwood is in Austin Texas to speak at South By Southwest and plug his forthcoming book, Love That Burns: A Chronicle Of Fleetwood Mac Volume One: 1967-1974. The sumptuous title will arrive Tuesday September 19 via the UK’s uppercrust Genesis Publications.
Chatting with music hacks in Austin, Fleetwood was mum on the reported Classic East and Classic West festivals with Steely Dan, Eagles, Journey, The Doobie Brothers and Earth, Wind & Fire — although he did say that he has “a vision that next year we’ll probably be heading towards doing work as a band.” As well, we can expect an album from Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie under the moniker of Buckingham McVie. “We’re not dead yet,” he says. “But the truth of the matter is, we’re all in our 70s, and the band is 50 years old; there is a window, and the window will close. That happens in all things in life. But until then, we carry on.”
He seems particularly fired up about the Buckingham McVie project, which is slated for release soon. Sessions for that began in 2014, not long after Christine McVie’s return to the band, and then turned into its own entity when Stevie Nicks chose to concentrate on her own work. “The crafting of the album became so specifically about Chris and Lindsey, really, some time ago,” he says. “It came under the heading of music that had to come out. We had a lot of fun and Chris is full of vim and vigor, which in itself is mind-blowing. And I’m really happy for Lindsey, because this is what he most likes to do, putting something together. This relationship is a real expression of a musical powerhouse that’s come to the fore, and we’re all happy about that. And [the music] is really cool; I think they’ll be walking down some red carpets with this one.”
Buckingham and McVie will probably play gigs to back the project, although Fleetwood and John McVie don’t have plans to join them. As for Nicks’ absence, Fleetwood says there’s no residual animosity about her not being present to help make it a full-tilt Fleetwood Mac album. “She’s doing what she loves to do, and that’s nothing new,” he says. “She’s been in and out of Fleetwood Mac doing her thing, and she truly, truly has, more than anyone, a profoundly different level of a career outside of Fleetwood Mac. She’s busy and happy, and she always comes home to roost.”
Fleetwood Mac will also release a deluxe edition of the 1987 Tango In The Night album on Friday March 24. Meanwhile, Fleetwood suggests that Love That Burns, which is his fourth book about the band, will give readers “not an education, but an insight” into the early blues-rock iteration of the band, fueled by Peter Green, to whom the book is dedicated. “It’s meant more to me than I could have ever imagined, really, finding a way to tell a story that is not fully known. I want people to know we’re 50 years old; that’s a long time, and an appropriate time, to look back and take stock.”
At this point, there are no plans for a Volume Two, but never say never.
Meanwhile, the Classic East and Classic West concerts slated for Citi Field and Dodgers Stadium in July are seen by organizers as an opportunity for an annual franchise. The shows will be the first concert performances by Eagles since the death of Glenn Frey; the coast shows are the only dates scheduled for Fleetwood Mac so far in 2017. The enormous success of the classic rock-driven Desert Trip ($160 million in gross receipts) did not escape the attention of the promoters, who anticipate the same level of interest generated by The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Who. We’ve yet to hear whether there will be another Desert Trip in Indio this year.
Love, Dr. Scott James
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