Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Fleetwood

Some people like really good music. My ladyfriend prefers sappy 70s/80s cheese-rock: Billy Joel, Squeeze, and the like. Well, I just took her to her own personal Super Bowl as a birthday present: Fleetwood Mac, the undisputed champion of mind-numbing romantic semi-power crap-ballad rock, LIVE at the PNC Bank Arts Center. Three hours of non-stop Nix-twirling, Buckingham-prancing, Mick Fleetwood's tiresome eye-popping, and some dead guy playing the bass. From the opening "Listen to the wind blow" to the final "OOOOO! Don't you look back," I shuddered on the lawn, battling both the cold and the off-key cackling. The only people I felt more sorry for than myself were the 15 backup musicians on stage who pretended to have so much fun, smiling and shakin' it through-out the performance. Do you think the guy who plays keyboards for the latest incarnation of Mac cries a little bit every night on the tour bus? Or do you think he gets geeked-up for the all-too-infrequent interviews and uses phrases like, "Lindsey really rocked tonight, man" or "Stevie was groovin"? Maybe it's a little of both. Oh, and I also felt sorry for the lesbian woman that looked like she ate a refrigerator who was dancing in front of me. Just no rhythm there.

So I spent most of the night digesting what my ladyfriend told me earlier about the history of Fleetwood Mac. Apparently, Fleetwood Mac was a real blues band that spun off the Yardbirds (a la Eric Clapton) in the 60s. Apparently, the formula wasn't working so, at some point in the 70s, they brought aboard the soulless soft-rock duo Buckingham/Nicks and completely sold-out the whole blues thing. This somehow worked wonders "musically" and financially; but then the trouble started. Nicks, who was with Buckingham at the time, started messing around with Fleetwood. The McVies divorced. Everyone was abusing substances. Fleetwood then assaulted Buckingham with a board with a nail sticking out of it. Christine McVie accidentally landed on Nicks while performing a sit-out off the diving board at Paul Schaffer's house. John McVie died yet continued to play. Nicks went off to have affairs with record producers, famous actors, Buckingham's Fender Strat, and, in the depths of a major bender, this man, Clete Coleman of Henderson, TN. I guess everyone cleaned up their act to reunite on this tour. It still must be odd when the band is hanging out and Stevie says, "Remember when you gave me that orgasm?" and both Mick and Lindsey simultaneously say, "Yeah, that was wild!" What awkwardness ensues then? Do you think they all laugh at it like the casual laughter at the end of every He-Man episode? Or do they glower at each other, sometimes hurling epithets like "Soft rock loser" and "British sell-out" and "Together we blended lame white-boy blues and Carpenter-esque fairy-pop into one of the most successful sounds in rock n' roll history and I hate you!"? Hmmmm...

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