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.