Fleetwood Mac
(Photo: Jack Gorman)
Home » REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac

REVIEW: Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac

Hefty New Book lets Fleetwood Mac tell their own story

Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac: Interviews and Encounters
Edited by Sean Egan
Chicago Review Press, 448 pp., $28.99.

To casual rock-book readers, works that compile previously-written pieces on bands and musicians into one volume have strong pros and cons. They do provide a fascinating time capsule of the artists at very different points in their career, when they have no way of knowing what the future might bring but that you, the 2016 reader, do. But on the downside, each piece may also serve as a primer on the band’s history – one that gets told over, and over, and over again.

Fortunately, the insight of Fleetwood Mac On Fleetwood Mac offers outweighs its frequent repetitiveness. It’s great fodder for fans of a band as legendary and with as many members (with strong personalities) that Fleetwood Mac has had over the years.

Consisting of interviews, features, and reviews from 1967-2014 (though the vast majority of pieces cover the lineup on 1977’s Rumours), it’s a whirlwind tour through the Mac’s musical change and soap opera-like personal relationships. How refreshing to hear Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie discuss, say, Rumours when it is a work in progress and not a foundation of the Classic Rock Canon.

Through the years, members’ opinions of their romantic couplings and uncouplings change and develop as their lives progress. One circa-1982 article, ostensibly to promote the Mirage album and tour, becomes a rumination on the white-hot solo success of Stevie Nicks at the time, as well as what that did the to the group dynamic and Buckingham’s intensely competitive nature.

A number of articles are also from the period of time in music journalism when writers actually got to spend days with their subjects observing and interviewing them — both on and off the record. Not surprisingly, those go far deeper than a 15-minute phoner or staged round-robin cattle call of interviews.

So the reader feels as if they are in the studio with the band as Christine McVie empties another bottle of Blue Nun positioned on her keyboards; or John McVie and Nicks share giggles while thumbing through a copy of Playboy; or a writer shares a joint with Buckingham (and likely more that never made it into print) after a night of partying.

Of all the band members, Stevie Nicks comes off as the most free-ranging, delving into the mysticism of lace and shawls and the “Rhiannon” myth in one talk, and railing against the Shah and the Ayatollah of Iran during the hostage crisis in another.

The recently departed Prince, who played keyboards on Nicks’ solo hit “Stand Back,” even gets mentioned when she remembers how he gave her the music to an early version of “Purple Rain” for a collaboration that didn’t happen. She also recalls spending a (chaste) night sleeping on the floor of his actual purple kitchen one night during a Mac tour.

And the story isn’t over yet. The reunited Rumours Five have been touring over the past few years, including stops in Houston in 2014 and a few months later in 2015, and a new album is on the way.

Like most books of this kind, they are really aimed toward a more-than-casual fan of Fleetwood Mac. But with only Mick Fleetwood having served up two autobiographies, and the definitive history of the group yet to be written (though there have been books through the years), Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac largely lets the group members speak for themselves.

Now, about those detailed diaries that Stevie Nicks has kept since 1974…

Order the book from Amazon

Bob Ruggiero / Houston Press / Tuesday, June 21, 2016

stevienicks

LIVE IN CONCERT (2024)

Stevie Nicks

MAY 14, 2024
Bridgestone Arena
Nashville, TN
TICKETS

MAY 18, 2024
Frost Bank Center
San Antonio, TX
TICKETS

MAY 21, 2024
Yaamava’ Resort & Casino – Yaamava’ Theater
Highland, CA
TICKETS

MAY 24, 2024
BottleRock Napa Valley
Napa, CA
TICKETS

MAY 27, 2024
Delta Center
Salt Lake City, UT
TICKETS

MAY 30, 2024
Ball Arena
Denver, CO
TICKETS

JUN 4
Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Indianapolis, IN
TICKETS

JUN 9 
Mohegan Sun Casino
Uncasville, CT
TICKETS

JUN 12
MVP Arena
Albany, NY
TICKETS

JUN 15 
Hersheypark Stadium
Hershey, PA
TICKETS

JUN 18
Van Andel Arena
Grand Rapids, MI
TICKETS

JUN 21, 2024
Soldier Field
Chicago, IL
TICKETS

European Tour

JUL 3, 2024
3Arena
Dublin, Ireland
TICKETS

JUL 6, 2024
OVO Hydro
Glasgow, UK
TICKETS

JUL 9, 2024
Co-op Live
Manchester, UK
TICKETS

JUL 12, 2024
BST Hyde Park
London, UK
TICKETS

JUL 16, 2024
Sportpaleis Antwerpen
Merksem (Antwerpen)
TICKETS

JUL 19, 2024
Ziggo Dome
Amsterdam
TICKETS

^ Non-Live Nation show