By Jenny Jedeikin
IT'S BEEN 20 YEARS since whitehouse band Fleetwood Mac released Rumours and watched it sell through the roof. It was never a secret that the album's lyrics documented the tangled romantic history of the band's members. So it was no surprise when, in 1987, Lindsey Buckingham, guitarist, vocalist and former lover of singer Stevie Nicks, quit the band and vowed never to return, ending the group's heyday. Now, a decade later, Nicks, Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie--the lineup that loved to kiss 'n' fight and sing about it--somehow made peace long enough for an MTV reunion concert, a live album and a fall tour. What happened?
"I'd be fibbing if I said that I didn't sort of quietly hope that this would happen, because my love for the band has been somewhat obsessive, to be blunt," confesses drummer and group cofounder Fleetwood, who was working on Buckingham's solo album in the studio last year when "one thing led to another. John came in and played some bass, and then Lindsey said it would be nice to have Chris do some harmonies, so before we knew it we had Fleetwood Mac convening musically."
For her part, Nicks says, "I was always available to give this another try." Although she lives in Phoenix and Fleetwood lives in L.A., she had never lost touch with the band's spiritual leader. "I adore Mick's mother," she says. "You can't be that close for that long and not care about each other's families. That's what the core of Fleetwood Mac is."
This time around, the rumors are good ones. "We got through seven weeks of rehearsing without a single argument," Nicks says of the band, who will perform mostly old hits and four new compositions. "We're older and wiser and not so eager to get into a fight." Fleetwood, who admitted to an affair with Nicks in a 1990 autobiography, concurs. "Why take all the baggage with you? We're too damn old for all that crap."
If the fights have faded, the music has survived. "It was like plugging in and restarting a Rolls-Royce," says Fleetwood of the moment they picked up their instruments again. "There's something undeniable that happens when we get together."
"In an eerie sort of way it felt as if we had only been apart for a year," adds Nicks. "Some things you just never forget. [Lindsey's and my] voice are just good together and we know it. I love my solo career--don't get me wrong. But it will never be quite as exciting as Fleetwood Mac. There aren't very many women who have ever been in a great rock and roll band . . . limousines and champagne and all that. Every time the five of us are out in public together, people look at us like we're in a movie, and I feel like we're in one."
The 50-year-old Fleetwood is more hesitant to idealize their past. "I'm sober now and I don't stuff my face full of drugs," he reports. "I was a maniac 20 years ago, and I'm very lucky to be having this conversation today. In certain moments you can romanticize the good old days and the druggy days. But the reality was," he adds with a laugh, "it was a damn mess."
'Fleetwood Mac: The Dance' premieres Tuesday, August 12, at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.
One of the most thorough Fleetwood Mac sites is The Penguin, which includes band member biographies, a discography, several games (including name-that-Mac-tune), links, a poll, video clips and other assorted other Mac goodies.
If you believe it was the etheral Stevie Nicks that made Fleetwood Mac, then you're probably in dire need of a Nicks Fix. Enjoy intricate fan artwork of Stevie and a list of recent Nicks activity, including Mac reunion news.
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