On behalf of the music world this week, I would like to apologize for all of the sad news.
Fleetwood Mac have been forced to cancel tour dates across New Zealand and Australia as it is revealed that band bassist and classic line-up member, John McVie is suffering from cancer, for which he will be undergoing treatment during that time.
A statement on the band’s Facebook page on Sunday apologized to fans for cancelling the 14 dates in November and December as part of their world tour. More specifically, the dates were scheduled to take place between November 10th and December 7th.
McVie’s bandmates Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham said they hoped fans “will join us in wishing John and his family all the best.”
The statement continued, “John McVie, one of the co-founding and original members of Fleetwood Mac is now scheduled to be in treatment for cancer during that period of time. We are sorry to not be able to play these Australian and New Zealand dates.”
As yet, there has been no word on what form on cancer McVie is suffering from.
The band have been on tour since April, and played in Amsterdam on Saturday. They are still set to perform at a concert in Las Vegas on December 30th.
Original keyboardist and singer Christine McVie was married to the bassist from 1968 to 1977. She re-joined the band for their tour at London’s O2 Arena last month, marking her first concert with the band since 1998.
As they began their world tour last spring, the band also released their first new music in a decade, a four-song EP entitled Extended Play. “We’re doing the best business we’ve done in 20 years,” guitarist Lindsey Buckingham told Rolling Stone magazine in May. “There seems to be a cyclical re-igniting of interests, and there’s certainly a lot more young people out there than three years ago.”
Our thoughts are with McVie and his family, and hope that he makes a speedy recovery.
Fleetwood Mac’s 11th studio album, Rumours, sits alongside the likes of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Prince’s Purple Rain as the kind of blockbuster record which is universally accepted as a pop classic. Its colossal success, (40 million copies worldwide, No.1 in both the UK and US, Grammy Award winner) is even more remarkable for the fact that it was conceived amidst a web of inter-personal strife that could have been scripted for a melodramatic soap-opera.
But it was this contrast between its radio-friendly soft rock sound and its voyeuristic themes of pain and betrayal that turned the band into a phenomenon. California, 1976 and the Mac were coming off the back of their self-titled breakthrough album, a Billboard chart-topper the year previously. Straying even further away from their early folk-blues beginnings, guitarist Lindsay Buckingham decided its follow-up should be the kind of all killer-no filler record where every track could be a potential single.
The idea to reach as big an audience as possible was at odds with the completely insular circumstances that surrounded its recording. Bassist John McVie and keyboardist wife Christine were in the midst of a messy separation after eight years of marriage and only communicated with each other on musical matters. Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks became involved in a turbulent on/off relationship, whilst the latter also secretly often ran to drummer Mick Fleetwood, who himself was coping with the news that his wife was having an affair with his best friend. And reflecting the hedonism of the Laurel Canyon scene at the time, all this took place whilst the band were consuming excessive amounts of cocaine.
Ken Caillat, the father of Colbie, and co-producer of Rumours alongside Richard Dashut, later admitted that he became something of a therapist during its troubled recording sessions. But in a recently published book about the seminal album, he also claimed that despite the constant in-fighting, this was where the band learned how to play together, developing a musical intuition that helped to create the musical equivalent of Jaws and Star Wars combined.
From the dissection of Buckingham & Nicks’ complicated relationship on “Go Your Own Way” to “You Make Loving Fun,” a rather brazen ode to a man Christine was privately having an affair with, audiences lapped up this blend of dysfunctional romance, three-part harmonies and sun-soaked melodies in droves. Indeed, as well as spending an incredible 31 non-consecutive weeks on top of the Billboard charts, it also reached pole position in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, spawned their only US number one single, “Dreams,” and eventually became one of the Top 10 best-selling albums of all time.
Fleetwood has since pinpointed Rumours as the most important album they ever made because it allowed the band to continue making records, but its impact on popular culture didn’t stop dead in the late 70s. The Corrs were pretty much unknowns before their Celtic-pop reworking of “Dreams” helped them on their way to become one of the biggest Irish bands of all time, while the gorgeous balladry of “Songbird” launched the posthumous career of Eva Cassidy.
Elsewhere, the booming bass-line of “The Chain” has become synonymous with various sports thanks to its use on Formula 1 TV coverage, the hit Fox show “Glee” even dedicated an entire episode to the record earlier in 2011, while Bill Clinton adopted “Don’t Stop” as the official theme to his first Presidential election campaign in 1992. And in 1998, a whole host of eclectic artists, including Elton John, The Cranberries, and Goo Goo Dolls offered their own take on the album with Legacy: A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours.
Even the critics who initially dismissed the record for its commercial aspirations when it hit stores at the start of the punk scene, have been slowly won round by its charms, regularly placing it in the upper reaches of various Greatest Albums of All Time polls.
And although Fleetwood Mac have since been arguably even more bittersweet (1979’s Tusk) and more mainstream (1987’s Tango In The Night), Rumours remains the only record in their extensive back catalogue which manages to be both in such an effortless and captivating manner.
The 2013 incarnation of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will be just as eclectic as ever – or at least as diverse as it has been for years now. Big names include Fleetwood Mac, Dave Matthews Band and Billy Joel, along with plenty of other artists that will take the stage during the seven days of the festival.
Once again, the event will be held over two weekends – April 26-28 and May 2-5. The festival is held at the Fair Grounds Race Course, which is located 10 minutes from the French Quarter. Other artists that will perform this year include John Mayer, the Black Keys, Phoenix, Frank Ocean, Widespread Panic, Maroon 5, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Patti Smith, Jill Scott, Willie Nelson & Family, B.B. King, Ben Harper, Jimmy Cliff, Band of Horses, Andrew Bird, The Little Willies, Gary Clark, Jr. and many more.
As per festival tradition, a large portion of the lineup is devoted to local Louisiana artists. In fact, the event began as a showcase of exclusively Louisiana musicians, but soon opened its lineup to include artists from other parts of the U.S. and the world. Still, 85 percent of the lineup traditionally consists of Louisiana musicians.
Single day tickets to the festival range from $45 to $65 depending on when you purchase. Additionally, festival goers can choose from three VIP ticket Packages: Big Chief VIP Experience, Grand Marshal VIP Pass and Krewe of Jazz Fest VIP Pass.
New Orleans Jazz fest has been held every year since it was founded in 1970. In addition to music performances, the events also features local craft and food venders, many of the latter serving traditional Louisiana favorites including crawfish and po’ boy sandwiches. The festival welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, topping out at more than 650,000 visitors during the 2001 festival.
Fleetwood Mac will embark on an extensive tour of North America next spring.
The announcement comes after Stevie Nicks fueled rumors in October that the band would perform next April – it turns out that not only was she correct, but the band will remain on the road through the middle of June.
The tour will kick off the arena tour on April 4 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and the group will remain on the road through a June 12 show at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. In between those dates the group will visit most major North American markets, including Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Vancouver, Los Angeles Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Houston and Atlanta.
Though there’s been no official word just yet, it has been speculated that the Rumours band will perform at next year’s Bonnaroo festival as well as the New Orleans Jazz Festival. We’ll have to wait for the official lineups of those events.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nicks pointed out that the band likes to take a few years off between every tour.
“It’s always really good to give people that rest from you,” she said. “To let them get away from you and you from them. So when that tour starts up, everybody’s super excited. And you’re not gonna be nearly as super excited if you just saw us at the beginning of last year. I think that it’s really worth it to do that. I will always feel that way, so I have to take a little bit of flak for it.”
Nicks also told Rolling Stone that she and Lindsey Buckingham have cut two new Fleetwood Mac songs recently, and that concertgoers may hear the songs on the new tour. There’s been no word on yet on if and when those songs will be released.
Nicks said that if everything goes to plan, the band will visit Europe and Australia after the North American tour.
“We go into rehearsals somewhere around the end of February,” Nicks told ABC News Radio recently. “So… if everything goes to plan, we should probably be out [on the road] by end of April [or] May.”
She also revealed that the band may record some new material, as well.
“Well, actually, maybe like two songs, maybe four, who knows?” she continued. “We don’t really know yet ‘cause we’re not in the world of Fleetwood Mac yet. We’re just still in talks about that.” She did reveal that guitarist Lindsey Buckingham “has a song,” and also said that she may revive a song from the early 1970s for the band to record.
“I have a song that didn’t make the Buckingham-Nicks album that I really love,” she said. “So, I’m gonna suggest that.”
Buckingham-Nicks is a 1973 album Nicks recorded with Buckingham as a duo before joining Fleetwood Mac. The rare album has to date never been released on CD.
In other Stevie Nicks news, she recently issued an apology to Nicki Minaj after saying that she “would have killed” her if she had been in Mariah Carey’s shoes. Carey and Minaj are both judges on “American Idol,” and Nicks was referring to an incident between the two.
“How dare this little girl!” Nicks said of Minaj. “If I had been Mariah I would have walked over to Nicki and strangled her to death right there… I would have killed her in front of all those people and had to go to jail for it.”
The apology was issued later, via the Hollywood Reporter.
“I want to apologize for my remarks about Nicki Minaj’s behavior toward Mariah Carey, which I said during a long and exhausting day of interviews,” she said. “I think all artists should be respectful toward one another and that includes me. I am truly sorry.”
Stevie Nicks has confirmed that Fleetwood Mac is planning to reunite next year.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” the singer for the band didn’t offer many details, but said that the reunion is in the works.
“It’s the plan,” she said. “Because that’s what we do. I do my thing, and (singer/guitarist) Lindsey [Buckingham’s] out doing his thing.” When asked if everyone was on board, she said, “Oh yeah.”
Buckingham had previously told Rolling Stone that he was expecting a reunion as well.
“Nothing is on the books right now,” he said in the 2011 interview. “With Fleetwood Mac, there’s a lot of landmines out there politically and it’s hard to get everybody on the same page at the same time – but I think everyone will want to do the same thing.”
Nicks also spoke of the recent suicide of former Fleetwood Mac guitarists Bob Welch during the CBS interview.
“I couldn’t even imagine that anything could be so bad as to cause that,” she said. “And I just feel very, very bad that somebody could’ve been that miserable to do something that crazy. So I can’t even tell you what in the world would have pushed him to do something that crazy.”
In the ever-evolving lineup that was Fleetwood Mac in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Welch left the band just before Nicks joined circa 1975. It would be assumed that the reunion will involve the 1975 – 1987 lineup of the band, which was the most well-known incarnation and released the popular Rumours album. However, keyboards Christine McVie will likely not be involved, as she retired from the band shortly after the original 1997 reunion.
Since the time of the 1997 reunion, the band has released two albums – the live album The Dance and the original studio record, Say You Will. McVie was featured on two tracks on the latter album.
On Friday August 26 on “Good Morning America” on ABC, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac played several songs and also gave fans a tease with ideas of a potential reunion with Fleetwood Mac, the band where she first became famous.
Nicks performed “For What It’s Worth” off her new album “In Your Dreams,” which is her first set in ten years. In addition, she performed the classic Fleetwood Mac hits “Landslide” and “Rhiannon.” Naturally, this gave her an opportunity to discuss a possible reunion with Fleetwood Mac. Nicks told “Good Morning America” along with several thousand excited fans from the audience, in terms of the possibility it is something that is waiting in the wings always. Those bands, for those of us in those types of bands, are there always.
While giving the interviewer a stern look, she added, you never break your band up. That isn’t a good idea. You always need to have your band. A new record was just released by Lindsey Buckingham. I have a new record as well. So when you follow the path all the way through, Fleetwood Mac always is here.
Nicks gave a considerably more inspired performance on the new song “For What it’s Worth” than on her versions of the Fleetwood Mac classic songs. “For What it’s Worth” was written following the tour she and Tom Petty did. Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers helped Nicks with the project. During the “Good Morning America” set, he also played the guitar, in addition to Dave Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics, and Buckingham.
“In Your Dreams” wasn’t released by Nicks for ten years because she had been convinced by record executives that internet piracy made it fruitless to record new music. Nicks believed what she was told. She said, at that time I did listen. However around eighteen months ago, I stopped listening. Fans in the audience applauded.
For Lindsey Buckingham fans, we have some big news. You will not only have a chance to see him live on his upcoming fall tour. He is also about to release a new solo album.
“Seeds We Sow, Buckingham’s sixth solo album, will be released September 6, 2011. It is the first self-release from Lindsey, who definitely took a total do-it-yourself-approach. He wrote and performed every song as well as did the mixing and producing.
A 31 city tour of North America has also been announced to support Buckingham’s new album. The outing will kick off in Nevada on September 9 and wrap up in Napa, CA on October 25.
Buckingham said about the new set, it could be my best work ever. I think it really represents what I do and shows a certain level of musicianship and maturity. I think I have many tools from my musical vocabulary that I can draw on which are a result of choice I have made. The album was done on my terms. It is coming from inside out. I really hope that I don’t ever stop doing that.
The album helps to showcase the full arsenal of Buckingham’s skills, from “In Our Own Time,” the first single, to the melodic, soft “End of time” to “One Take,” the most rocking track on the set, to “When She Comes Down,” a very touching number, to “She Smiles Sweetly,” the gorgeous, lullaby-like closing number. The set shows off a more mature guitar style and refined lyrics. A standout track is “Illumination.” Buckingham said, I think over the years my lyrics have gotten better. They aren’t more obscure, they are more poetic I think in how I create them. Even to me the process is mysterious.
Next year, Fleetwood Mac is scheduled to re-unite to do a tour and possibly record a new record.
Fleetwood Mac was able to overcome adversity and became one of the world’s biggest rock bands ever. Their album “Rumours” was recorded amid escalating drug abuse and the breakup of marriages. It is one of the best selling albums of all time.
The band later drifted into excess, however they always been able to overcome their differences to put on a spectacular show.
Over the last decade, Fleetwood Mac has been largely inactive. In 2009, they did play several British dates. However since then there haven’t been any signs that the group would be planning another tour.
Earlier this year, Stevie Nicks, the band’s legendary front woman, released a new solo album called “In Your Dreams.” She is apparently now aiming for a full reunion.
In an interview with Perez Hilton, Nicks said it was possible that Fleetwood Mac might reunite in 2012. Stevie Nicks is currently busy promoting her own record. Guitarist Lindsay Buckingham also is preparing to release a solo album.
Nicks said, when Lindsay’s and my albums are finished, Fleetwood Mac will get together again. We’ll go on tour and either make a new record or not.
The last album that Fleetwood Mac released was “Say You Will” in 2003, which ended a long period of silence. This fall Lindsay Buckingham will be releasing “Seeds We Sow,” his newest solo album.
So far no official announcement has been made about Fleetwood Mac’s future.
Will Stevie Nicks and Don Henley share the limelight and stage, as the rumored Fleetwood Mac and Eagles co-headlining tour of classic rock appears to be close to being official? With Nicks and Henley as the most recognizable faces and names from their respective rock super groups of the 1970s, the pair also share a history which is both well publicized as well as shrouded in mystery.
The hardest aspect probably for putting a concert tour together like this one isn’t the logistics of it all. Although logistics can be challenging, the toughest obstacle in this case could be the various egos who are involved. Which band is the biggest? Is it Fleetwood Mac or the Eagles? Who will be closing the show out? Will there be more Fleetwood Mac or Eagle fans coming to the shows? How will all this affect the dynamics between the major principals from the two groups?
Then throw into the mix that Stevie Nicks and Don Henley had a love affair that was on and off again during the late ’70s to early ’80s. Now the situation is even more complicated. Although the pair are much older at this point, old romances are quite often hardwired into people’s psyches. To make things even more complicated, Nicks was also involved with three other participants from the proposed mega concert tour: Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac as well as Joe Walsh of the Eagles.
If that wasn’t enough for the makings of a potentially very tense situation, there’s an additional issue from the past as well. During an interview with GQ Magazine in the early ’90s, Don Henley said he thought that Nicks had become pregnant from him and then had an abortion, naming the unborn baby Sara. Henley said that he thought Nicks had written “Sara,” one of the most famous of her songs and dedicated the tune to the love child sired by Henley that never was.
In later years, Nicks made it quite clear that she was very unhappy over the statements made by Henley. She didn’t ever deny that she had been pregnant with a child of Henley’s, however she was quite unhappy that Henley had shared that during an interview given to a national magazine.
Over the years it does appear that Nicks and Henley patched things up to a certain extent. In recent years the pair have performed together on stage. The most notable of the appearances being during a mini tour that did not include Fleetwood or the Eagles, where they performed alone as well as together.
Although Nicks and Henley both become solo stars, neither were ever as big as solo artists as they were when they were members of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles, respectively. So although the small solo tour including the King and Queen from 1970′s rock seemed to go well, a pairing of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles would garner much more attention and have higher stakes.
There’s been plenty of internal drama in both groups. However if they were brought together in order to sell out baseball and football stadiums all over the country, it could be quite interesting to watch the on stage dynamics, if they do end up performing together, as well as any off stage drama potentially leaking out to the public.
Although Nicks and Henley are both true professionals, as well as both nearly senior citizens, it’s unlikely there would be real dirty laundry exposed. Henley, for his part, is a married man. However if once again any of the interpersonal relationships should get complicated or emotional, it will be quite intriguing to see how that could affect the product performed on stage as well as the tour.