One of the few bands left on my bucket list may be about to tour without the one person I’d actually want to see front and centre stage. Lindsey Buckingham has represented the beating heart of the band pretty much since both he and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974 and now he’s been sacked. A Fleetwood Mac without Buckingham would be like the Steve Miller Band without Steve Miller.
They’ve recruited Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers and Neil Finn from Crowded House to replace the key singer, songwriter and guitar player and it all seems a bit bonkers to me. In recent years, Mac have toured without Christine McVie but it was still essentially still Fleetwood Mac. Without Buckingham or Nicks they seem to be Mick Fleetwood and John McVie’s old blues band with added personnel. They sound so different to the Mac of the 1960s, they are different bands with the same name.
Oddly, Buckingham and Nicks are now the two most irreplaceable members of Fleetwood Mac. For all Mick’s drumming and John’s bass playing, what else do they bring to the table? They don’t sing, they don’t write songs. It’s history and that’s all.
Anyone who buys tickets to see Mac without Buckingham is as big a mug as someone would be to buy tickets to see a version of the Beatles fronted by Ringo Starr and including no other Beatles, or the Jimi Hendrix Experience without Jimi.
The full Fleetwood Mac has not made a studio record since 1987’s glorious Tango in the Night and unless Finn and Campbell have been brought into pen a new record, this is Fleetwood Mac as touring jukebox, exploitation at £100 a ticket. Sod that for a game of soldiers, bucket list or no bucket list.