Saturday, February 21, 2009
By Austin Scaggs
"It still gives me goose bumps, and it still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," says Stevie Nicks, who is eagerly anticipating the first Fleetwood Mac tour in five years, which kicks off on March 1st in Pittsburgh. And later in the month, Nicks is releasing a DVD, Live in Chicago, and a concert CD, The Soundstage Sessions. With her dog barking in the background, Nicks checks in from her home in Los Angeles: "We still feel like Fleetwood Mac have a lot to give to the world. In this time of trouble and turmoil, I think the world needs Fleetwood Mac."
What's the latest from the Mac rehearsals?
I don't want to give the set list away, but it's pretty exciting. The fact that we haven't been on tour since 2004 makes every song sound fresh. It's just bang, bang, bang- all fantastic songs. We always start with the staples: "Go Your Own Way," "Gold Dust Woman," "Rhiannon" and "Dreams." We will play one song we've never done at all. If I were going to see Fleetwood Mac, this is definitely the set I'd want to see. It's like a big steam locomotive that doesn't stop until we walk offstage.
How are you getting along with Lindsey Buckingham?
When Lindsey and I aren't getting along, nobody's getting along. We haven't had one disagreement since we started rehearsing. And instead of treating me like his miserable old ex, he's treating me like his difficult but beloved older daughter. He's been very sweet.
How often do you speak with Christine McVie?
We check in with each other, but we can't hang out, because she lives in England, and she won't fly. The only time I've seen Chris since 1998 was when we did three nights in London in 2003. I miss her every day. But we've all finally started to accept that nothing could make Chris go back out on the road.
Last May you turned 60. How do you feel about that?
I don't feel any different at 60 than I felt at 50. Age is a state of mind. You can either get old or not get old.
On the "Live in Chicago" DVD you're joined by Vanessa Carlton on a couple of songs. What other artists of her generation do you mentor?
I love Vanessa - I feel like she's an adopted child, in a way. And Michelle Branch and I had dinner the night before last. I have a lot of information for all of these women. I should do a "Dear Stevie" column in Rolling Stone. When Mariah Carey was going through her craziness a few years ago, I wrote her a long letter telling her how everybody else is crazy - not her. I saw her recently, and she told me she keeps the letter with her jewelry! I love that.
What's wrong with the record business today?
The internet has destroyed it. I miss buying an album and lying on the floor for three days and going over it with a magnifying glass. I still go to the record store and spend hours there and buy a big bag of CDs. I don't have a computer of a cellphone, because I don't want to be that available to anybody. I'm all about mystery. Little girls think it's necessary to put all their business on MySpace and Facebook, and I think it's a shame.
You've always made mix-tapes on cassette. Do you still do that?
That's how I do it. Cassettes sound so much better. And I'm deaf as a doornail, so I like to crank my little boombox.
What songs are worthy of a Stevie Nicks mixtape?
I was just in Hawaii, and I made a mix called "Lahaina Twilight." It's got songs by the Goo Goo Dolls, Jackson Browne, Sting, Coldplay, Tom Petty, the Fray, Snow Patrol.
What albums do you love in their entirety?
I don't, usually. In the beginning, I was inspired by songwriters like Jackson Browne, David Crosby, the Eagles, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfiled - those are the people I learned from. And I probably listed to Joni Mitchell's For the Roses, Blue and Court and Spark a hundred million times. But now, I can't listen to a whole album unless it's a Fleetwood Mac record, where I made sure that every song is spectacular. Sequencing is my forte. I sequenced Rumours. Lindsey doesn't like to admit it, but he will admit it.
Last year, Sheryl Crow claimed that she would be part of the 2009 Fleetwood Mac tour, but Buckingham later denied it. What really happened?
It was absolutely discussed and she was absolutely invited to join. The reason was because I missed Christine [McVie] so much, and I wanted another woman in the band - it's hard to be in the boys' club. I explained to Sheryl what it was like to be in the group - that it's all-encompassing. Like, on 2003's Say You Will tour, we went out expecting to do 40 shows, and it turned into 135 shows. So Sheryl called me and said, "I'll have to pass." As Stevie Nicks, I was disappointed. As her friend, I told her she made the right decision. Sheryl Crow passed on Fleetwood Mac - I want that out there.
What are the origins of your patented onstage twirl?
A lot of ballet and a lot of dance. I wanted to be a ballerina, but I realized I was not going to be Pavlova, so I became a rock singer instead.
The band, formed as a British blues-rock outfit in 1967, has a history that reads like a soap-opera script. Band members have literally gone crazy. Some have gone AWOL. Others have slept with one another. Marriages were broken. More than 73 million records have been sold. And still the quarrels continue. Even a 2004 tour that raked in $22 million ended in acrimony, with a fed-up Nicks saying she was through and Buckingham returning to his solo career.
But now, on the eve of another Mac tour, the biggest problem facing Nicks is a sore arm. While being interviewed, she mentions that a physical therapist is working her over. “I strained my right arm doing arm curls, which I never do, so I’m trying to get it back so I can comfortably and enjoyably play tambourine.”
Such are the rigors of being a multimillionaire icon in a band that defined mainstream pop in the ‘70s. Mac is commanding as much as $149.50 per ticket (plus service charges) for a national tour that includes two concerts March 5-6 at the Allstate Arena. They promise few surprise; just a show with more than two hours of greatest hits --- just the way their fans presumably like it. “The songs we’re playing are the tapestry of not only our fans’ lives but our own lives,” Nicks says.
Buckingham has long detested the idea of doing a nostalgia tour, but he says he’s “just trying to ride the machine.” Part of Mac’s on-off existence the last three decades has been due to Buckingham’s creative restlessness; he’s maintained a solo career defined by adventurous albums in between Mac projects. As one of the band’s primary songwriters as well as its producer and arranger, Buckingham is first among equals, and his word goes a long way in determining Mac’s fortunes. This time, he agreed to do a hits tour to promote a box-set release of the band’s best-selling 1977 “Rumours” album.
To read the entire article from the Chicago Tribune, click here!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Rock on, gold dust woman. During a teleconference Tuesday, Nicks and her fellow Mac mates were chatting up their upcoming North American tour (which kicks off March 1 in Pittsburgh, with dates in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver to follow) when the subject of ticket prices came up. Fleetwood Mac, legendary for its rock-star indulgences in its prime, charge up to $149.50 for top seats in Toronto.
“The price of life in general is a gazillion dollars more than it was four years ago,” reasoned Nicks, not an economist. The British/Californian band's most recent tour wrapped up in 2004. “Our emotions are about trying to do this in the best way that makes sense for our audience,” chimed in drummer Mick Fleetwood, “and in a way that we can get to our audience.”
Ticket prices and ticket distribution are a touchy subject these days. A $510-million Canadian class-action suit filed this week alleges that Ticketmaster and subsidiary TicketsNow.com are conspiring to hold seats from the public and reselling the tickets at a higher prices – seemingly a violation of anti-scalping laws.
Read the rest of this article over at GlobeAndMail.com!
"This is the first time we've gone on the road without an album," drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood told Billboard.com during a teleconference with reporters on Tuesday. "This is truly a new experience for Fleetwood Mac to go out and play songs that we believe and hope people are going to be familiar with and love.
"Singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham added that not having to integrate new songs into the set -- which the group has been rehearsing since Jan. 5 in Los Angeles -- "just allows you to relax into the situation. We're not coming off a new group of tunes, a new album ... the stakes for that side of it become a little bit lower."
As for a new Fleetwood Mac album, vocalist Stevie Nicks said "there isn't any plan at this point ... for any album. We're going to get through this tour before deciding what to do with an album." Fleetwood, however, confirmed that "there have been discussions, for sure, that we would love to make some more music ... We hope it happens, and certainly it's been somewhat loosely touched on ... My heart says I believe that will happen. Certainly I know that all of the songwriting department, both Stevie and Lindsey are continually writing ... The whole creative bowl is very much intact, so I would love to see what happens."
Read the rest of this article over at Billboard!
Stevie Nicks has revealed that three years ago Sheryl Crow almost joined Fleetwood Mac but at the last moment chose not to for personal reasons.
Undercover was part of the Fleetwood Mac media conference today and Stevie where Stevie revealed that Sheryl almost joined following the departure of Christine McVie. “We rented a studio and hired a crew,” Stevie said. “We were ready to go in and called her and needed her to come for two or three days to just play. It was Mother’s Day and she had invited 300 people in her family there. It was her first Mother’s Day as a mom and she could not do it. At that point she said “I am going to have to pass”. I said “I think you are making the right decision. You have a new baby, you have survived breast cancer and Lance Armstrong. I don’t think this is the right thing for you”. That is what happened with Sheryl Crow. She is still our friend and I still adore her. She is one of my dearest friends”.
While Sheryl came close to joining, no other female has been considered. “As far as having another girl in the band, after we went through that we really realised that there wasn’t going to be another woman that could come into this band who could fit,” she said. “I was looking at it three years ago as a buffer between me and Lindsay. Lindsay and I don’t need a buffer. Certainly Sheryl Crow and not any woman in the world is going to be able to get in the middle of Lindsay and me. The fact is if Lindsay and I can’t work out our problems by ourselves we might as well throw in the towel. That's what we are currently trying to do is work out own problems and certainly another person could not do that for us. Think about this – Christine has been gone since 1998 so I have been the only girl in this band for a long, long time. I’m used to it now. At first I was not used to it. After ‘The Dance’ was horrifying for me. She has been gone time and I’m fine with it now”.
Christine McVie was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1970 to 1998. Prior to Fleetwood Mac, she sang with English band Chicken Shack but left in 1970 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bass player John McVie.
After leaving Fleetwood Mac, she released her third solo album ‘In The Meantime’ in 2004 but has remained relatively out of the public eye.
Fleetwood Mac will begin their `Unleashed` tour, their first tour in five years, on March 1st in Pittsburgh.
- by Paul Cashmere - February 11 2009, Undercover.com.au
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
In a conference call with Undercover today, Mick said, “For all of the blessings we had bestowed on us for being successful I always thought that it was a fully righteous thing that a band such as Fleetwood Mac would plough that money back into the very process that we’d been blessed by to have made that money because it was our money.”
‘Tusk’ was the follow-up to the classic ‘Rumours’. While ‘Rumours’ turned the band into a supergroup, they still paid their own way. “People often assume that you are the star of the show and some production company pays for everything. That is not the case literally by 100%”, he told Undercover. “I always thought it was incredibly righteous to taking the time to plough back the energy, time and expense to make an album like ‘Tusk’ coming out of the most successful album that this band ever had, not that we knew it at the time, ‘Rumours’”.
Read the rest of this article over at Undercover.com.au!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Wasn't your very first guitar a cheap Harmony acoustic?
That's right, although I first learned some chords on a plastic ukulele. There was a TV show called The Mickey Mouse Club, which marketed a smaller version of what the guy on the show played. When I was about eight years old, I got a Harmony 6-string three-quarter-size guitar for Christmas. I think it cost about 35 or 40 bucks.
Did you feel an immediate facility for the instrument?
It's hard to say. I had been exceptionally interested in music before then, although I didn't have any lessons. I was tuned in to my parents' record collection, which ranged from the South Pacific soundtrack to Patti Page to my Dad's collection of Dixieland Jazz 78s. I was always interested in what was making those sounds. Then, when Elvis Presley came onto the scene, there was a role model, visually, and music that subverted our parents' sensibilities. It was something we could call our own.
Lindsey talks lots more about his guitar styling and about the reunion tour. Check out the answer to his final question over at Gibson....veerrryyy interesting.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Don't miss it!