Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden: Backstage Pass
Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours was the very first album I heard as a kid that made me lust for music and obsessively watch the dust collect on the record needle as it picked sound up out of those waxed grooves. Therefore, I have loved this band forever.
Last night, the famously tumultuous group, who have reformed (minus Christine McVie) for a greatest hits tour called “Unleashed,” did just that at Madison Square Garden, and I was lucky enough to be tenth-row center on the floor.
I was mesmerized watching guitarist Lindsey Buckingham’s fingers pick out notes on songs that everyone knows by heart (“Dreams,” “Landslide,” “Tusk,” “Go Your Own Way”) but also just crying my eyes out with gratitude watching this virtuoso working so hard right in front of me that I could see him wince in pain and grab his back to quell a spasm after every few songs (the dude is almost 60).
Stevie, in contrast — all wrapped in her cocoon of black and maroon scarves — could just effortlessly mouth the words “Sara” or “Gypsy” into the mic and melt ice. She is the only person in the universe with that voice and I’m grateful she and Lindsey met up in High School back in 1965, as Stevie reminded the crowd while sharing an impassioned lesson in Fleetwood Mac history. Also? This band opened for Janis Joplin and played on the same stage as Jimi Hendrix in San Francisco.
Mick Fleetwood is still sporting those little dangling fabric balls on his trousers, a la the Rumours album cover, which made me wonder if he just wears them all the time (awkward meeting new people like that) and he pounded that drum kit all night like he was made out of Viagra.
I ended up backstage with Stevie Nicks (connections!) at the end of the show and petted her dogs, including an elderly Yorkie who barked at us as if we were in his dressing room and we should get out now. Scarves hung about the space, and I spied boxes of blonde hair color peeking out of a drawer in an equipment case that said “Stevie” in pink spray-painted letters. I was too shy to say hello but wish I had said thank you. So, thank you, Stevie!
What was the first record that started your love of music — you know, the one you played 1000 times until it broke and you had to get a new one? Was Rumours one of them?