Some nights, listening to Fleetwood Mac is all I want
to do and almost enough – why bother with any other
music. They were a blues band and a musical soap-opera too,
a stadium monolith, all those songs they sing at one another
as much as at any audience – and then there’s the ‘lost years’,
the band kept changing, the curse was to be its guitarist…
one went mad, never made it out of the home, one got lost –
headed off alone, one never got his dues and that’s the saddest
story of the lot, he tried so hard to carry the band when nobody
cared, and then no one cared about him. He took his life,
later on – after so many years in struggle and torment.
The reminder couldn’t have been far, with Fleetwood Mac’s
pop tunes on radios forever. How awful for him. “Don’t Stop” just
rubbing it right in. I have all of this swirling in my head while
I listen. I think of the in-fights made public, the affairs, all
that damage – and I think of the fact that the band’s most important
and enduring figure, its emblem, its frontperson and one of the
great writers, was a plus-one; she joined the band because
her boyfriend wouldn’t sign up unless she came too. It’s
so many fascinating stories beneath all of that music.
Some of it the best I’ve heard. And when the music only takes you
part of the way, the back-story fills in the rest. This is the saga
of Fleetwood Mac. I write about it often. And will contine to always.
This music and the stories that made it have been with me my whole life.