Fleetwood Mac in concert at PPG Paints Arena

November 14, 2018

When drummer Mick Fleetwood looks back half a century to helping create Fleetwood Mac, he realizes that the resilient group’s ability to survive change has been somewhat of a miracle.

“It’s a wonderfully interesting story. It’s still about individuals experiencing and giving their individual thing without being totally swallowed up by Fleetwood Mac,” he explains. “It’s always about pushing forward and changing and keeping it fresh.”

In that process, they have historically been able to hold their audience with their creativity, he reminds.

“We play through our front line, and we have been blessed that people coming in bring that talent into the band,” he explains. “I think that’s the story of Fleetwood Mac. If you look at it and put all the music that we’ve done for better or for worse, it’s turned out to be a great blessing and a real unique story.”

Opening a new chapter

A new chapter is being written to that story as Fleetwood Mac, without key member, singer- guitarist-songwriter Lindsey Buckingham, is under way with its much anticipated concert tour.

It stops in Pittsburgh at 8 p.m. Nov. 1 for a show at PPG Paints Arena.

Fleetwood takes a philosophical perspective, suggesting that the band, with its many public ups and downs, is a “glorious accident” that probably was meant to happen “because it’s going on for so long.”

The ‘Energizer’ band

Decades down the road, the multi-platinum, multi-Grammy- winning rock hall-of-famers just keep going.

“There’s these very odd couplings of people, but when they join together there’s a chemistry that’s immediate. You turn around and go, ‘That’s what this is about,’ ” explains the amiable Briton. “I feel fans see a lot of regular people (in us), with a lot of regular human weaknesses and strengths -- just a bunch of people struggling to make it.”

What’s in a name

He and bassist John McVie are the only two who have been there since the beginning.

Appropriately, the group’s moniker is a blend of their last names: “Fleetwood” and “Mac.”

Guitarist Mike Campbell, a mainstay in the late Tom Petty’s band, and Neil Finn, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, formerly of Crowded House, have replaced Buckingham for now as touring members.

Though Buckingham apparently has been fired in this latest “he said, she said” episode, don’t count on him not being back in the band one day.

Coming and going

He has left before and returned, as have Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.

Writer Andy Greene of Rolling Stone notes that, over its 50-year history, Fleetwood Mac “has seen just about as many people come and go as the Harlem Globetrotters.”

At a January awards ceremony, Buckingham said Mac thrives on conflict.

“It was much of the attraction and much of the fuel for our material,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Mick Fleetwood focuses on who is on the playing field this time around.

“We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound,” he says.

Fleetwood has said, “You know we don’t do this (tour) very often. But when we do it, we try to do it right, even with some of the complications that come with it.”

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