Calgary Herald - - YOU - LYNN SAXBERG lsaxberg@post­media.com

Fleet­wood Mac is back on the road, but this time they’re tour­ing with­out long­time mem­ber Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham.

The leg­endary clas­sic rock­ers fired him ear­lier this year, an­nounc­ing two other mu­si­cians to re­place him. Buck­ing­ham re­sponded with a law­suit seek­ing his share of the tour in­come, es­ti­mated at US$12 mil­lion.

De­spite the drama, the show must go on.

Here are five rea­sons to see Fleet­wood Mac with­out the singer-song­writer-gui­tarist who used to be in a re­la­tion­ship with singer Ste­vie Nicks.

1 Less com­pli­cated

The se­cret to Fleet­wood Mac’s suc­cess tran­scended any spe­cific mu­si­cal abil­ity. Rather, it was the chem­istry be­tween the five mem­bers of the clas­sic lineup, and the ro­man­tic ten­sion be­tween them. By the time they made Ru­mours, Lind­sey Buck­ing­ham and Ste­vie Nicks were fight­ing, Chris­tine and John McVie were cheat­ing on each other, and Mick Fleet­wood was go­ing through a messy di­vorce, only to re­bound into a co­caine-fu­elled af­fair with Nicks. It all came out in the lyrics, and re­sulted in a mon­ster of a hit al­bum, one of the 10 best­selling of all time. The cur­rent lineup pre­serves the flam­boy­ant show­man­ship of Mick and Ste­vie, the rock-solid rhythm sec­tion of Mick and John, and the mag­i­cal har­monies of Ste­vie and Chris­tine. What’s more, Ste­vie ac­tu­ally looks like she’s hav­ing fun again with­out her ex in the pic­ture.

2 Fresh blood

Two stel­lar mu­si­cians were cho­sen to re­place Lind­sey on this tour. From New Zea­land comes Neil Finn, of Split Enz and Crowded House fame, who’s blessed with a ster­ling, oc­tavebend­ing

voice, not to men­tion a knack for song­writ­ing. He han­dles the Buck­ing­ham vo­cal parts with ease, while Mike Camp­bell, Tom Petty’s long­time gui­tarist, doesn’t miss a note of those iconic gui­tar so­los. Af­ter 42 years with Petty, who died last year, it’s great to see Camp­bell back in the sad­dle. Said Fleet­wood in a state­ment: “We know we have some­thing new, yet it’s got the un­mis­tak­able Mac sound.”

3 Hits ga­lore

A band can pack a lot of songs into three hours but few of them have a cat­a­logue quite as rich as Fleet­wood Mac’s. The set list on this tour re­flects the band’s long ca­reer, dat­ing back to the group’s 1960s roots as a Bri­tish blues band with the Peter Green sta­ple, Oh Well, sung by Camp­bell. Nat­u­rally, the bulk of the show fo­cuses on the late ’70s hey­day, in­clud­ing the hits Go Your Own Way, Don’t Stop, Dreams, Rhi­an­non, You Make Lov­ing Fun, The Chain and Mon­day Morn­ing, to name a few. As you can see, there’s been no move to scrub Buck­ing­ham’s tunes from the pro­ceed­ings.

4 Bonus ma­te­rial

It’s not hard to pic­ture Buck­ing­ham frown­ing on cover songs, or any song he didn’t write. With­out his in­flu­ence dic­tat­ing things, the band has freed it­self up to add some non-Mac con­tent, the likes of which has so far in­cluded Nicks sing­ing Black Magic Woman, which Peter Green wrote and San­tana made into a hit. Thanks to the new mem­bers, they’ve also been play­ing the Split Enz tune I Got You, the Crowded House nugget, Don’t Dream It’s Over and even the Tom Petty song, Free Fallin’.

5 Tusk-free

Miss­ing from the tour, thus far at least, are songs from Tusk, the ex­per­i­men­tal fol­lowup to Ru­mours that I re­mem­ber as a huge dis­ap­point­ment when it came out in 1979. With Buck­ing­ham in charge and de­ter­mined not to re­peat him­self, it grew into a bloated dou­ble al­bum that cost more than $1 mil­lion to record, mak­ing it the most ex­pen­sive rock al­bum of the day.

Maybe that’s why it cost a cou­ple of dol­lars more than any other dou­ble al­bum of the time, eat­ing into my babysit­ting earn­ings and leav­ing me re­sent­ful to this day.


Ste­vie Nicks per­forms with Fleet­wood Mac in Las Ve­gas in Septem­ber. The set list on Fleet­wood Mac’s cur­rent tour re­flects the band’s long ca­reer.

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