How did that album ever get made?
Between chubby Stevie and the crazy looking old guys with ratty long grey hair, a Fleetwood Mac show today looks more like Moby Dick in summer stock…
The classic 1977 album Rumours was made amid drug-fuelled excess and personal turmoil, with drummer Mick Fleetwood in the throes of a divorce, the marriage of bassist John and keyboardist Christine McVie on the rocks, and the romance between singer Stevie Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham in meltdown.
To complicate matters, Nicks and Fleetwood later had their own two-year affair.
As the return, albeit for just one song, of Christine McVie confirmed, everyone is the best of friends these days, although the sexual tensions of old lingered in songs like Don’t Stop (Christine’s kiss-off to John) and Go Your Own Way (Lindsey’s bitter adios to Stevie).
The Buckingham-Nicks relationship was also played out for theatrical effect onstage. The former couple, a formidable creative double-act, hugged each other and slow danced during Sara, and walked on holding hands before the encores. At one point, Lindsey — to loud cheers — gave Stevie a gentlemanly kiss on the hand.
The so-called “puritanical” punk ethos — no love songs, sex is vaguely icky, hippies must die — needs to be placed in the context of the times. Reading about 1960s bands’ games of “musical beds,” you feel like getting out a pen and some graph paper just to follow the story, and/or buying some lice treatment.