Mick Fleetwood: "Fleetwood Mac is the most abused franchise in the business"
Fleetwood Mac's rebound chapter: Buckingham and Nicks returned to the band, Christine McVie left, Christine returned… and more episodes of rock’s longest-running soap opera were written
There’s a theory that Fleetwood Mac operate on a 10-year cycle, one that reaches peak success, maximum drama or a combination of both whenever the year ends in a seven.
Since they formed in 1967, much of the band’s career has worked to that schedule. The year 1977 produced the world-beating Rumours, a soft rock masterpiece that played out against a backdrop of romantic complication and personal psychodrama. In 1987 it was Tango In The Night, a Yuppie-era landmark created amid struggles with drug addiction and barely suppressed acrimony that precipitated the departure of Lindsey Buckingham before the album had barely cooled on the shelves. Then 1997 was no less chaotic, with Buckingham returning for a lucrative live reunion, only for Christine McVie to bail soon afterwards.
If 2007 and 2017 – so far – have bucked this trend, it isn’t for lack of trying. The past 20 years of Fleetwood Mac have been no less eventful than their first 30, albeit for different reasons. The tangled relationships that exist between the five members – and especially between Buckingham and Stevie Nicks – continue to define the group as much as their music.
“There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other,” Buckingham said in 2013. “Maybe that’s fucked up, but this is someone I’ve known since I was sixteen, and on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out.”
Or as drummer Mick Fleetwood neatly put it: “This band is the most abused franchise in the music business.”