By Vincent Jackson
This may be the last time area fans will see this version of Fleetwood Mac as the group has no future plans beyond January. The group performs at 9 p.m. Saturday in Atlantic City's old convention hall. The East Hall will be set up to accommodate about 16,000.
Drummer Mick Fleetwood said Atlantic City is the next to last date on the reunion tour. The final show is Nov. 30 in Washington D.C.
"We're open to suggestions," said Fleetwood during a phone interview Wednesday evening from Chicago. "Everyone has to take stock of what they want."
The band will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame during ceremonies Jan. 12 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. They will travel to Europe for TV appearances in Germany and England, but after that, there are no plans.
This version of Fleetwood Mac is the classic lineup: Fleetwood, guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham, vocalist Stevie Nicks, bassist John McVie and keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie.
Fleetwood said the set list will not change from earlier tour stops, but the musical interplay among the band members alters the performances nightly.
Fans can expect a 150-minute, hit-filled concert that includes the songs, "The Chain," "Dreams," "Say You Love Me," "You Make Lovin' Fun," "Rhiannon," "Gypsy" "Landslide" "Tusk" and "Don't Stop."
This tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of the band along with the 20th anniversary of the "Rumours" album.
"We've had about 20 odd people in Fleetwood Mac. We have a fan base that has followed the band throughout," he said. "We had major success in Europe in the early years with (guitarist and vocalist) Peter Green."
The reunion has been a three-way triumph for fans, the group and Reprise Records, the band's label.
"I'm surprised by the level of success" Fleetwood said. "But I'm not surprised that the band had the goods to play live."
Fleetwood Mac sold 70 million albums since 1967, and were a 1970s phenomenon. The "Rumours" album sold 25.6 million copies since its release in 1977. It was No. 1 on the U.S. pop album charts for 31 weeks and spent 134 weeks on the chart. It's the third highest-selling album of all time and won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1977.
Besides the sales and awards, "Rumours" is a milestone pop-rock album because of its expertly crafted songs. The performances and lyrics were fueled by group members' personal crises: that the McVies were breaking up, Buckingham and Nicks' relationship was shaky and divorce proceedings were starting for Fleetwood. The band's turmoil behind the scenes, which became public when the album was released, added drama and emotional resonance to the project.
Fleetwood Mac was galvanized by the contributions of three songwriters and singers with different sensibilities when the main lineup was together from 1974 to 1987. With an ethereal voice, Nicks was the more impressionistic writer. Her lyrics were open to interpretation. Christine McVie was the reassuring Earth mother. Buckingham was the tortured artist.
It has been 10 years since the powerhouse lineup recorded together and 15 years since it played a series of concerts.
Two separate developments last year led to this year's reunion. Buckingham worked with Nicks for a song for the soundtrack to the movie "Twister," and Buckingham began to work with Fleetwood again.
"Lindsey and I played in the studio for one year," Fleetwood said about work on an upcoming Buckingham solo CD.
Eventually, John McVie entered the studio to add some bass parts. Buckingham asked Christine McVie if she wanted to provide vocal harmonies, and she accepted the invitation.
Nicks is the most popular member of Fleetwood Mac and the one who had the most solo career success, but Buckingham is the band's creative engine.
Fleetwood has nothing but respect for Buckingham even though Fleetwood and John McVie are the group's founding members.
Christine McVie joined in 1970. Buckingham and Nicks arrived in 1974. The legendary lineup was the 10th incarnation of Fleetwood Mac.
"His (Buckingham's) mind was current and is current. ... The most important thing to Lindsey is the music," he said. "Fleetwood Mac was like a machine to him for a while."
Buckingham was the first to leave the group in 1987. He seems to have the most trouble with long tours. He discovered he had a mild form of epilepsy during 1977s "Rumours" tour and had to undergo a painful diagnostic spinal tap during the 1979-80 "Tusk" tour, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
World tour may be coming
It has been reported that Buckingham is the biggest key as to whether Fleetwood Mac uses this year's U.S. concerts as a springboard to a world tour next year.
Fleetwood said having the band work together to make another studio album is "totally doable." He said he bases that on how well four of the members worked in the studio with Buckingham recently and the group's interaction during this tour. He said the group will decide.
"I'm not the be all and end all of Fleetwood Mac," said Fleetwood, who served as the band's manager from 1975 to 1980. "I will not be pushing like I did before."
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