Henry Cavill is out…

…as Superman, that is.

It’s been quite literally years since the last time Henry Cavill donned the famous Superman costume for any significant length of time. It was back when Joss Whedon was doing re-shoots of the Justice League film which infamously had Cavill maintain his mustache from Mission: Impossible which was then digitally removed… quite badly.

Since then, there’s been speculation as to whether Henry Cavill would ever return to the character. To Mr. Cavill’s credit, he didn’t stoke the fires or try to pressure the studios. If anything, he’s been very low key about the possibility and (I strongly suspect on his side) hope of eventually returning to the character.

Cavill’s Superman would show up again, minus Cavill himself, in the first Shazam! film…

Yeah, they wanted Cavill to appear at the movie’s end in his Superman costume but couldn’t. Instead, they had another actor don Cavill’s costume and showed Superman from the neck down. A cheesy solution, I suppose, but what can you do?

Then, Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam showed up and, at its end, fans of Henry Cavill had a distinct thrill at the end of the film… a cameo by Henry Cavill himself…!

I suspect this cameo -supposedly pushed by Dwayne Johnson himself- helped Black Adam draw what it did in the box office, though there are conflicting analysis of how well -or badly- the film did in the end.

Regardless, we had this article by Adam B. Vary appear on variety.com:

Henry Cavill: “I am back as Superman”

Alas, that cameo turned out -at least for the time being- Henry Cavill’s last big hurrah as the famous comic book character.

Yesterday and on Instagram, Mr. Cavill posted the following:

Again, Mr. Cavill takes the very high road and, without bitterness, announced his retirement from the character.

Warner Brothers has been, frankly, a mess of late and this is above and beyond their DC Comics properties. When James Gunn was announced as the new “head” of the DC properties, speculation began that maybe he would start with a “clean slate” and build from the bottom up with the characters… which would mean many of the actors we have come to associate with the DC properties might have seen their last appearances as such.

Interestingly, there are still a couple of “old” DC movies to come. There’s Aquaman 2, Shazam 2, and The Flash. There was, infamously, the Batgirl film which was cancelled after being close to complete and we also heard Patty Jenkins is out as Wonder Woman director. Is Gal Gadot also done with the role?

Jason Momoa, interestingly enough, supposedly met with Gunn and was ecstatic with whatever project they proposed he be in. The safe bet is that Momoa is going to play Lobo…

Truthfully when it was originally announced that Momoa was joining the DC universe, many thought playing Lobo was a no-brainer and Aquaman, who is most often drawn as this…

…seemed an odd choice.

I felt it worked in the end, but it doesn’t entirely shock me that Momoa may be cast as Lobo. If so, will his Aquaman days be gone?

As with so many other things, time will tell!

On the road to normalcy…?

As we come closer to the end of 2022, it occurs to me this past year seems to have been the year when the COVID pandemic became less serious than before.

In large part, I suspect, is the amount of vaccines people have taken. As of October and according to bloomberg.com, 12.7 billion shots have been given to date worldwide. The same article notes 613 million doses have been distributed in the United States alone.

There’s also the fact that, unlike the early years of COVID, we now have a better understanding of treatments for those who are infected versus when precious little was known.

Nowadays, it is rare to see people with masks on in stores or out and about in general. I’ve had four shots, the two initial shots and two booster shots to date. I may have caught COVID during the very first wave of the pandemic and before we in the United States even knew it was here. We’re talking about very late January or early February of 2020.

My father, it turned out, caught COVID but didn’t know it… and why would he when it wasn’t yet thought to be in the U.S.? Anyway, people around him also got sick and that included me, though my illness was incredibly mild and amounted to feeling really fatigued. It wouldn’t be until nearly a year later when going to a yearly checkup that blood samples revealed he had COVID antibodies in his system and the only time he was sick was back then in early 2020.

Anyhow, by March of 2020 it was official that COVID was in the U.S. and it seemed the country and the world was in an upheaval.

And as I said above, it now appears the wave, now nearly three years later, has crested.

That’s not to say everything is what is was before. There are high rates of respiratory illnesses appearing in children and there are still those who are catching COVID. Hospitals, too, are seeing an influx of patients but, again, it seems like maybe the worst of it is over.

So are we approaching some return to normalcy?

I don’t think so. Not yet anyway.

I’m a big fan of movies but it seems like the movie industry in particular has taken some serious body shots from not only COVID but the internet and streaming services and I seriously wonder if it will every go back to what it was before.

When the COVID lockdowns began in earnest, there were several films the movie studios had hoped to release but were forced to hold back. Once they were released, it seemed like it was either too early or they wound up going to streaming and… I don’t know how “well” they did that way.

The bigger ones seem to be Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, Wonder Woman 84, and the last Daniel Craig Bond film, No Time To Die. Regardless of what one feels about these three films, and there were those who didn’t like them, they seemed to come and go and I can’t help but feel they didn’t do all that well at the box office.

Since then, there have been movies that have done extremely well. Top Gun: Maverick, for example, has been a box office juggernaut. The latest Spider-Man film also did very well. But they seem to be exceptions rather than the norm.

The streaming services from the various movie studios tried to step in where movie theaters were unable to and certain movies were released “simultaneously” in theaters and streaming or, in other cases, very shortly after the theatrical release and this, I feel, might have created unintended consequences.

Why bother going to a movie theater, especially during the time when doing so might be somewhat risky, when you can simply watch the same film in your home and via streaming?

In the past, when we had crappy television sets, there was a clear visual advantage to seeing films in theaters. Nowadays, with new technology and genuinely massive television screens available showing films in Ultra HD, there is less and less difference watching at home versus in theaters.

The purchase of Warner Brothers has also resulted in some really concerning news. Of course there was the infamous “cancellation” of several features, including the all but complete Batgirl film, and one wonders if maybe the new company might be having some genuine financial difficulties.

James Gunn, director of Guardian of the Galaxy and the second Suicide Squad film, has been put in charge of the DC comic book character properties and reportedly they are coming up with some kind of multi-year plan for the release of features more akin to what Marvel did in its early phases.


I can’t help wonder if maybe at this point the whole superhero genre is dangerously close to being done.

Mind you, box office receipts would say otherwise but even the many Marvel properties released of late don’t seem to be garnering the enthusiasm of before, even if they do still seem to be box-office gold. I suppose, in the end, if they keep making a profit they will continue being made but where before you hardly heard anyone say anything negative about the Marvel features, now you have many people noting they don’t feel these newer works are all that special.

I’m no psychic so I don’t know how things will turn out. Perhaps the movie industry will dust itself off and get back on its proverbial feet and we’ll once again look forward to new releases like before.

And as the movie industry goes, perhaps so too will the rest of our lives. The pandemic sure does feel like it is slowly fading from our lives versus what we faced before.

Can a new normalcy return?

Seating on a plane…

I stumbled upon this article on by Isaac Serna-Diaz on msn.com…

Man posts complaint after plane passenger refused to give up middle seat so he could sit beside his girlfriend

Given some of the more frightening exchanges one hears about with air travel, I feared this would be another of them, with the impatient dude who wanted to sit beside his girlfriend getting in some altercation with the man who sat in the middle seat.

Turned out not to be the case, but as a somewhat frequent flier, I was curious as to the general consensus regarding this situation.

See, on my last trip back home from visiting my daughter, we were in a really small aircraft that had two seats on either side of the aisle. My wife and other daughter had the seats on the left side of the aircraft, window and aisle, and I had the aisle seat on the other side of the aisle. This way, we were “together” even if separated by an aisle.

In the two seats ahead of mine and sitting beside the window was the guy I mentioned in my Metropolis review (you can read that here). As the aircraft filled, a couple -man and woman- appeared and they had the seat directly in front of mine and the window seat beside me.

The man asked me if I could move to the aisle seat in front of me so that he and his girlfriend could have the two seats together. I told him that I would rather stay where I was as my wife and daughter were directly across the aisle with me.

The guy seemed… well… for a second there I truly believed things would go ugly. Not that he did anything, mind you, but again, you get used to reading about altercations on aircraft over stupid things and I wondered if he was the type that wouldn’t take no for an answer.

My fears -whether real or not- amounted to nothing as that gentleman then asked the guy in the seat in front of mine and by the window if he wouldn’t mind going to the window seat behind him and next to me. He agreed to do so and that was that.

Yep, he’s the young guy who was watching Andor on his cellphone.

I didn’t think much about that until this article.

So the situation in the article was somewhat different. Here we had a larger aircraft with three seats on each side of the aisle and in this case the gentleman and his girlfriend were kept apart by a guy who had the middle seat and didn’t want to give it up.

Reading the article, it seemed people fell on either side (pardon the unintended pun). Some felt it was rude of the guy in the middle seat to not move over either way, to the window or aisle, and let the man (who happens to be a writer for Saturday Night Live) sit next to his girlfriend.

Others noted that perhaps the passenger was a nervous flier and taking the middle seat was his way of coping with flying.

Me? I side with the passenger who didn’t want to move. All the way.


Easy: You get to pick your seats. The man and girlfriend (in my case as well as in the one in the article) obviously procrastinated in either getting their ticket or checking themselves in.

If you know you’re going to fly and you want to sit with your loved ones, then how about you make it a point to both get your ticket and assign yourself a seat well in advance that will have you and the rest of your party together?

Mind you, I’ve had situations where my family and I have had to sit in different seats. Once, my elder daughter was some five rows and across the aisle from where we sat. Once, many years ago and when that same elder daughter of mine was a small infant, my wife and I were forced to sit separately and my then infant daughter was one of those wailing kids that drive everyone on a flight psychotic…

…to this day, my wife tells me I was damn lucky to have a separate seat and that the passengers around her were glaring at her with daggers in their eyes. As someone who has had flights with crying kids, I don’t blame them at all.

But this too can certainly happen as well.

So my point is this: Shit happens and there are times when you don’t get your way and it sucks but that’s life.

If the guy in the story above was comfortable in the middle seat and didn’t want to give it up, it’s on you that you didn’t get seats assigned next to each other rather than the fault of the man who obviously got the seat he wanted (for whatever reason) and refused to give it up.

Tweeting about it, while interesting, doesn’t solve the problem.

Get your seat’s assignments earlier and you won’t have to worry about such a problem cropping up.

Brittney Griner released…

So as I’m writing what I’m hoping will be the last politically tinged post in a while news comes that Brittney Griner, WNBA player who was infamously detained/jailed in Russia for drug charges, has been released

Needless to say, this is a great thing. Ms. Griner was released as part of a prisoner swap. There is at least one notable American, former Marine Paul Whelan, who remains since 2018 imprisoned in Russia and, apparently, the Biden administration tried hard to secure his release as well but were unable to.

Regardless, its good news.

Though I had absolutely no knowledge of Ms. Griner until she was arrested, I can’t help but feel happy for this accomplishment and hope the Russians eventually allow for the release of Mr. Whelan.

Midterms are (finally!) over


So a couple of days ago and on December 6th George had their run-off election to determine who would serve the next six years in the Senate, incumbent Democratic candidate Rafael Warnock or Republican ex-football player Hershel Walker.

There was a runoff because in the midterm elections held on November 8th, Mr. Warnock didn’t receive the necessary 50% of the votes needed to be declared the outright winner. He did receive the most votes, mind you, but just not enough. So the runoff came and, while the results were close, Mr. Warnock won.

This effectively ends what seems like a too long midterm election cycle, one that proved surprising in many ways.

Chief among them is the fact that the supposed “red wave” never materialized. While Republicans did regain control over the House of Representatives, their margin of victory is very slim…

In the House of Representatives, the magic number is 218 and, as you can see from the graphic above, Republicans gained 10 seats to have an 11 vote margin over Democrats but only 5 votes which can provide them a majority in any votes. In other words, if a measly 6 Republicans decide they don’t like whatever is being presented on the floor and the Democratic party holds their votes together, whatever proposals may not pass.

One would think Republicans can maintain a united front. After all, for the previous two years the Democratic Party held the exact same numbers. However, unlike the Democratic Party, the Republican party is far more fractured and there are far right wing elements within it which are trying to exert their power and this may not sit well with others within the party who aren’t quite as extreme in their views.

We’ll see.

As far as Mr. Warnock, he represents the 51st Democratic Senator. In the Senate, there are 100 representatives and the current Vice President can serve as a “tie breaker”. In this election cycle, not only did the Republicans underperform in the House, though they did gain control, in the Senate they actually lost one seat. Now, the Democratic Party has an actual majority here, which will help them with their legislation and, especially judicial picks. Now the committees which push judicial candidates for formal votes will have a Democratic majority which therefore means these picks will be sent to the full Senate much more quickly.

In this day and age, a positive for sure.

In the meantime, Ex-President Donald Trump seems to be having a very bad time of late. He recently hosted Kayne West and Mr. West decided to bring along Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist, to the event. This, along with a court finding the Trump Organization found guilty on all counts of tax evasion, begins to show how bad a time he’s been having of late. Add to that the fact that the majority of candidates he endorsed for this election cycle, including Mr. Walker, lost and you start to see the first inklings of the Republican party maybe realizing he is a drain on their party.


Politics are an interesting and, especially these days, toxic topic to delve into.

On December 5th it was announced actress Kirstie Alley, perhaps best known for her role in the TV show Cheers, had passed away from cancer at the age of 71. My first experience seeing her was in the wonderful Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, easily (IMHO of course!) the best of the Star Trek theatrical movies…

I don’t know Ms. Alley other than the roles she’s played on movies or TV but I was surprised to see many people opining on how (here comes that word again) toxic she had become in the past ten or so years. Seems Ms. Alley, who is also a Scientologist (another strike against her to many!) also became very pro-Trump and hard right wing in her final years, espousing some of the more far out/lunatic rantings coming from that side.

I genuinely feel for people who have fallen into the sway of these right wing politics, especially the things offered from right wing media that seem from the outside looking in as being idiotic at best and dangerous at worst.

In the past few generations, really since Nixon was essentially booted from the White House, it seems like the ring wing in this country has slowly but effectively weaponized their strategies and have used the media to a sometimes alarming degree in swaying voters their way.

And they have taken a lot of people into their sway, including, it would seem, Ms. Alley.

Maybe I’m naive but its my hope that many of these people realize that much of the hate -and it usually is just that, focused hate- is being used to outrage them and keep them in their camp. Hate can be like a drug, one that keeps people in your sway.

I’m not saying these people are mindless drones, though at times they may talk like them.

Perhaps with this election and the fact that Republicans -and especially those who seemed to be farthest right- lost and underperformed as they did that maybe this particular dam is starting to crack.

We’ll see, won’t we?

How the mighty have fallen…

There was a time lawyer Michael Avenatti was a regular fixture on certain news shows.

He was brash, charismatic, and represented Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Donald Trump and payments he made to her to keep quiet about an affair he had with her and the non-disclosure agreement (you can read about what happened here).

Michael Avenatti and Stormy Daniels

During this time, Mr. Avenatti wasn’t afraid to call out the Donald Trump on a very public forum and, on the left side of the political aisle, he became something of a celebrity for doing just that.

Welp, if you’ve read the article linked to above, things came crashing down on Avenatti and hard.

Brash talk, charismatic presence… it didn’t matter. Mr. Avenatti was, it turned out, was taking money from his clients even as he presented an avenging angel image. How he could keep such a high profile and appear on news programs as he did and then, behind the scenes, think he could get away with stealing from his clients…

…it’s just unbelievable.

Anyway, he has now been sentenced for his criminal acts to 14 years in prison.

Incredible downfall for someone who looked like he literally had everything going for him!

Absolute power and the economy…

These are mighty strange days.

For two years the world has been dealing with a pandemic and while it seems like it is somewhat receding -thanks to vaccines and better treatments- I suspect we’ll be dealing with the fallout of this for a while.

The economy has been impacted and I suspect will remain impacted for a while. There’s a Toyota car dealership I pass by now and again, a fairly new very large one that was completed a couple of years before COVID, and each time I pass it I take a look at the parking lot. Before COVID, their very large parking lot was literally full of new vehicles for sale. Nowadays, even up to this past weekend when I drove by, there are maybe 1/8th of the cars there.

Other things have changed as well.

From little things like finding disposable paper coffee cups (8 oz are hard to find in paper for some reason) to movie theaters having a hard time getting back to pre-pandemic levels. It seems streaming films might have hurt the movie studios as there are many people who perhaps no longer desire going to a movie theater to see the most recent works. That’s not to say all recently released films are facing fewer audiences, but going back to way the things used to be isn’t happening immediately.

I don’t know if it’s related to all this, but I’m also seeing all kinds of personalities express some wild crap.

I mean, there was always provocateurs like Alex Jones (Rush Limbaugh was a predecessor and we’ve always had the craziness of the Fox network and their “news”) but it seems like there are more and more personalities who are making really out there statements and engaging in out there actions.

First on the list, perhaps, is Elon Musk. From the time he proposed to buy, and then did buy, Twitter he’s been really out there, making oddball statements and, frankly, acting like someone who’s out of control.

There are reports that since he took over Twitter the platform has displayed more and more right wing comments, and one wonders just how far to the right Musk has gone. An odd thing, certainly, as I suspect most of the clients who purchase his vehicles don’t have such ideologies. One can’t help but feel like his pronouncements and ideological shifts are going to hurt the bottom line of his most prosperous company… and its a shame because I still feel Tesla is a terrific company and releases terrific products.

It was startling, after so much bad press regarding Musk, to see them formally release their Semi truck and look good doing so (there are those who feel the Semi truck is smoke and mirrors but I don’t know. It may not be “perfect” in its first iteration but like all products whatever “problems” or limitations it has, I’m certain, will be dealt with in time).

Donald Trump has continued his ranting and raving and there are those who suspect it may be in part due to the fact that all his legal woes are coming to a head and he may be about to face some real consequences to his actions.

I dunno.

Part of the problem this country has with people in very high office is that even while people talk about justice being blind, there also exists this “treating people with kid’s gloves” philosophy, particularly when it comes to people on the higher echelon of our society. And what is a higher echelon than being an ex-President?

The reality, I strongly suspect, is that if anyone other than Donald Trump had engaged in his many dubious activities, they would have met a far harsher reality from the justice department than he has. In the case of Donald Trump, there’s a sense of being overly cautious and making sure whatever they are investigating and whatever they may charge him with, that the case be beyond solid.

I have absolutely no love for Donald Trump. I feel he’s a blowhard and a nasty piece of work. But I don’t think he’s stupid. The other day he stated the Constitution should be suspended and he should be put back into the presidency. Is it a tell that he realizes the long legal road he’s been on might reach something of an end?

And speaking of Donald Trump, he would have a big dinner and invite Kanye West, aka Ye, who seems to be another person who’s really fallen off the deep end. His latest rants are -incredibly- pro Hitler and anti-Jew and he seems oblivious to how hurtful and harmful these words of his are. There has long been a feeling that West is “out there” and that he suffers from mental issues. In the past few days especially, his behavior may seem to reflect that and, if this is indeed the case, I do hope he gets the help he clearly needs.

There was a commentator on the news who stated the behaviors of Musk, Trump, and West are displays, to varying degrees, of the old adage of “absolute power corrupting absolutely”.

All three of these men have had decades where they’ve been at the top of their game. Trump has lived his full life being close to, if not at, the top of the real estate market. Musk, similarly, has had a string of successes after a rocky start with Tesla. West is considered -and has been considered for a while now- a musical genius and has a legion of fans.

Each of the three men have likely not faced people who have dared to tell them no and, perhaps, this is why they stray outside the boundaries of what most of us may feel are appropriate.

Today we have the internet and the ability to scrutinize each and every move any of these people is assured, so maybe their actions are being exposed more than for similar people in power in the past. And I do wonder also if the pandemic and the extraordinary situation we’ve gone through has also had some effect.

Either way, one hopes in the coming year we glide into a better normal.

We’ll certainly see.

Metropolis (1927) a (ridiculously belated) review

I’ve mentioned it before so forgive me if I’m being repetitious: There are three films I consider my all time favorites.

One is Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. A second is the Jean Cocteau, Jean Marais starring Orpheus (1950).

The third, and one I often feel inches the other two out as the best of the three (on another day, you might find me thinking differently, though!) is the majestic 1927 Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou Metropolis.

Based on the novel of the same name that Thea von Harbou wrote (Lang and von Harbou, at the time were married), Metropolis is a staggering work of science fiction, a film whose influence is still felt, I feel, in modern cinema…

…and it had been a while since I sat down and watched it start to end and figured it was time to do so.

So last week, during Thanksgiving, I was on a flight to visit my daughter and downloaded the film to my VUDU app. Interestingly, sitting next to me was a guy who was watching Andor on his cell phone (I couldn’t tell you which episode of the series it was as I haven’t seen them myself). I did catch a few scenes and I was struck by how the characters were dressed in this dreary gray, like worker bees. And not unlike, I would point out, the drearily dressed working class in Metropolis, where these images come from.

For many, many years and since the release of Metropolis, the only way to see it was in a truncated form. Some 25 or so minutes of the film were cut from it after its disastrous premiere.


Because the studios invested a ton of money in the film and the early word was the film was going to be a financial disaster for them. So the studios took the film and cut it down by those 25 or so minutes in the hopes that a shorter film could play more often in theaters and thus the studio wouldn’t lose their proverbial shirts.

Thing is, back in 1927 and when this was done, there was no sense that future generations would want to -or even care to- see any films made then. The thought was they were made, released, and that was that.

So those cut scenes were lost and, for decades, it was feared audiences would never get to see Metropolis as Lang and von Harbou originally intended.

I first became aware of this sad reality when I first saw the film way, way back in 1984. Musician Giorgio Moroder, a fan of the film, decided to try to reconstruct it as best he could and added a then “new” soundtrack to the film featuring, among others, Pat Benetar, Billy Squire, and Freddie Mercury. This version of the film is available to be seen on Youtube.com for free…

I was, quite frankly, blown away by the experience. This version of the movie impacted me in such a profound way that it led to, among other things, the inspiration to my first published work, The Dark Fringe, which envisioned a Metropolis-like megacity meshed with a film noir crime…

But what also took my imagination, and saddened me considerably, was one of the first captions presented in this version of the film:

“Fritz Lang made this film in 1926. Against his wishes the film was subsequently shortened for its American release which left the story disjointed, difficult to comprehend, and caused the loss of many scenes, most of which have disappeared forever.”

That last bit, in particular, was simply heartbreaking.

But because of Moroder’s release, and because of these words, others started to look for a “complete” copy of Metropolis. And as it would turn out, in 2008 and by a near miracle, a 16mm print of the complete Metropolis was found in the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Truly it was a miracle this single copy survived: Apparently representatives of an Argentinian movie distribution company were present at the premiere of Metropolis in Germany and secured a copy of the film right after said premiere and just before the studio started cutting the film down.

They flew with their complete copy to Argentina and it remained in a vault there, undiscovered, until 2008. This print was cleaned up as best as possible and the “cut” scenes added to the more pristine sequences and, in 2010, The Complete Metropolis was released…

…and here’s the trailer for The Complete Metropolis

When I first saw it, I was again blown away by what I was seeing. The added sequences -which are notable because their quality isn’t as good as the rest- enhanced the story tremendously, creating more suspense and action and filling in gaps which I could only imagine.

Now, the title of the film is something of a misnomer. Because as brilliant as it is, it isn’t the complete film. There remain two sequences that, alas, were too corroded to be able to be salvaged. One involved a preacher’s sermon and the other involved Joh Frederson, the “master” of Metropolis fighting against Rotwang, the movie’s villain.

But, other than those two sequences, we now have a very complete film.

And watching it again, while flying back home last week, was a magical experience. For a work that is now approaching 100 years, Metropolis remains an incredibly ambitious work.

It is pulpy, action filled, and, yes, at times cheesy. It presents an incredibly ambitious plot which touches upon religion and myth, society and the function of its citizens. Perhaps naively ultimately offers a solution to society’s ills, yet the conclusion is so touching I can’t help but feel tears well up when I watch it.

If you haven’t seen Metropolis yet, you really should.

I will repeat, it is a very old silent movie and you have to check some of your expectations and understandings of more modern cinema at the door.

But if you’re like me and you give it a chance, you’ll come to realize there’s a reason this film is considered the great-granddaddy of science fiction works.

It’s not just a great film.

It’s easily one of the very greatest films ever made.

POST-SCRIPT: It occurred to me while watching the film that the “cut” scenes which were added and which have a lesser quality might be great targets for enhancement. Given what Peter Jackson has done with the Get Back documentary and his They Shall Not Grow Old film, perhaps it would be nice if he -or people who have access to some of the software he’s used to enhance the older images presented on both these works, could work their magic on Metropolis.

One can dream, can’t they?

Christine McVie (1943-2022)

A few years back, perhaps around 2015 or 2016, I caught Fleetwood Mac in concert. Though the crowd was generally older (like me) there were a nice amount of fairly young people there.

The group had its classic lineup of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie, and, of course, Christine McVie.

Yesterday came the shocking news that Ms. McVie had passed away at the age of 79.

As shocking as it was to hear this, it is sadly something we’re going to be having more and more of in the coming years: The passing of some incredibly great musical talent whose career heights were in the 1960’s through the 1980’s.

A while back (you can read it here) I wrote about a sobering article Damon Linker about the “coming death of every rock legend”.

Doing simple math, you realize that many of those wonderful artists of yesteryear that people in my generation and beyond admire are growing increasingly older.

I recall when we went to see Fleetwood Mac I read an article about them and was shocked, at the time, to read that Christine McVie was (at the time) in her mid-70’s. I realized all the members of the band were getting up there in age and that’s why when the Damon Linker article came out I felt a fresh wave of sober sadness at the prospect of what’s to come.

My all time favorite musical artist is David Bowie and he passed away at the relatively young age of 69 in 2016, now a seemingly too long six years ago.

And yesterday I felt that same wave of sadness regarding Ms. McVie.

While the group had its internal friction, Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1970’s group, featuring Ms. McVie, Nicks, Buckingham, Fleetwood, and her ex-husband John were freaking incredible.

Their first album, 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, featured the debut of this version of the band (they were around since the 1960’s in other forms) was an incredible work…

But it was their next album, 1977’s Rumours, which sent them into the stratosphere…

While their follow up albums didn’t quite live up to this one in terms of sales, they continued, despite those already mentioned inter-band frictions, to release pretty decent works… even if band members would leave and then come back.

In the wake of Ms. McVie’s passing, I’ve seen people posting how they feel she was better than Stevie Nicks or that they always preferred her music over that of the others and… come on.

What made Fleetwood Mac so damn great is that you had such a wonderful and incredibly strong variety of songs coming from Buckingham, from Nicks, and, yes, from McVie. And that’s not to forget about what was brought to the table by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie as well! In fact, I recall an interview with Lindsey Buckingham where he said this version of Fleetwood Mac was not unlike The Beatles in terms of talent.

He might well have been right.

Truly the band had a surplus of talent and while I’m sad to read about Ms. McVie’s passing, at least we have her legacy of work out there to enjoy.

Here then is one of my favorites Fleetwood Mac songs featuring Ms. McVie and Lindsey Buckingham, and which is perhaps not as well known as some of the others. From 1982, “Hold Me”…

Rest in peace.