Mick Fleetwood

Mick Fleetwood Pens Limited Edition Memoir

Mick Fleetwood Pens Limited Edition Memoir

LOVE THAT BURNS: A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac, 1967-1974 is a new book by our favorite drummer detailing the seven-year period before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band. It’s an era of great music; songs like “Black Magic Woman” and “Oh Well” defined the formative years with guitarist/singer/songwriter Peter Green, while “Bare Trees” and “Hypnotized” came from the tenure of Green’s replacement Bob Welch, who left just prior to the arrival of Buckingham and Nicks.

While it’s unlikely that any of us in The Mask will get our hands on this deluxe, rare photo-laden package (only 2000 copies, all signed by Mick, are currently available), its publication reminded us of the countless requests we’ve gotten from fans for music from that early period.

On Friday, Nov. 3, Fleetwood Mask returns to Yoshi’s in Oakland for two back-to-back shows, and we’ll be working in some classic Mac from the Peter Green/Bob Welch era. There are so many great tunes – come on down and find out which ones we picked!

In the meantime, let us know what your favorites are from those early years. “Green Manalishi?” “Heroes Are Hard to Find?” “Station Man?” “Rattlesnake Shake?” Each of us in the band has our own wish list – we want to know what’s on yours! Cast your vote on Twitter, or by emailing fleetwoodmask@gmail.com.

Rumours: 1978 Grammy Album of the Year – Must Watch

Rumours: 1978 Album of the Year Grammy Award Clip ….a glimpse into a legendary land

In my ongoing research into the Rumours album, I ran across this gem from YouTube.

It’s a clip of Fleetwood Mac accepting the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1978. Whether you’re a Mac fan or just a lover of rock history, this is must-see viewing, and here are some reasons why:

  • The competitors were a few records you may have heard of – Steely Dan’s masterpiece Aja (let’s take this moment to pay respect to Walter Becker, whom we lost just a few weeks ago), the Eagles’ masterpiece Hotel California, a record called J.T. by someone who is not Justin Timberlake, millennials, but the great James Taylor…and – whoa! – The soundtrack to Star Wars!
  • Notice the roar from the crowd when Rumours is mentioned – clearly it was an audience favorite among these historic pieces of work.
  • How about that cheesy orchestral arrangement of “Don’t Stop?”
  • The band members all look fabulous, in a 70s way that no amount of retro re-envisioning can replicate.
  • According to my research, the guy with the ginger hair and glasses that I thought at first was Warren Zevon is actually Peter Asher, a British music luminary who won the Producer of the Year award for J.T., and appears to be sitting next to actress Jacqueline Bissett. Fun fact; Asher’s daughter plays Keytar in the band Cobra Starship.
  • Any time a skinny David Crosby, with his friends Stills and Nash, invite you up onstage to accept a Grammy, you’ve got a pretty solid argument that life is good.

Depending on your age, this clip could be a trip down Memory Lane or a glimpse into a legendary land before your time. Either way, you’ve got to see it for yourself.

Enjoy!

Jason

Critiquing the Critique – 40 Years Later

Critiquing the Critique – 40 Years Later ….celebrating the Rumours album’s 40th anniversary

As the new member of Fleetwood Mask, I’ve been doing a bit of historical research in addition to the musical due diligence required to learn all the songs. Perusing rollingstone.com, whose “artist” section is like a vintage shop full of decades-old articles ripe for dusting and re-evaluating, I ran across this gem: Article about Rumours on RollingStone website

It’s a routine review of a hot-off-the-presses release called Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. I would imagine that writer John Swenson received an advance copy of the album, which makes him one of a few who heard it early, and had no clue this thing on his turntable would spin into the phenomenon it is today. His take? While he rightfully sings the praises of Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham, he seems to miss the mark completely when it comes to Stevie Nicks, giving him a kind of blind spot regarding the album’s enduring strengths. I’d love to chat with Swenson and hear what he has to say now, forty years later.

So what did he get right? He describes Fleetwood Mac in terms of a California pop tradition that includes vocal-harmony-rich bands like the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and the Eagles, arguing that Mac’s transition from Peter Green-era blues rock to the ’77 version was not contrived or unexpected. “The early sixties blues scene in England had as much to do with rural American folk music as the urban blues sound,” he writes, adding that Christine McVie as songwriter “moves easily into the thematic trappings of the California rock myth.” He compares her with Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention, both high praise and a compelling point. He calls Buckingham’s contribution “the major surprise” on the album, and cites the role of the acoustic guitar in “Go Your Own Way” as representing the influence of the Byrds.

The highlighting of Christine McVie is where fans of Buckingham and Nicks may take issue with the review. Not only is she the leader of the three vocalists, in Swenson’s view, but also “only (her) voice has much character.” Now I can understand calling McVie the bandleader in 1977– she claims the most writing credit on Rumours – but come on, if there’s anything one can say about Stevie Nicks’ voice it’s that it possesses a distinctive timbre in evidence going back to the Buckingham/Nicks record. Sure, it’s not for everybody, but I wouldn’t call it characterless. And Lindsey Buckingham’s vocal tone cuts glass on “Second Hand News” and “Never Going Back Again,” period.

Which brings us to this howler: “Nicks has nothing on Rumours to compare with ‘Rhiannon,’ her smash from the last album. ‘Dreams’ is a nice but fairly lightweight tune, and her nasal singing is the only weak vocal on the record.” Wait, what? Cue needle screeching on vinyl! In retrospect it’s hard not to see this statement as a first-degree pop culture commentator fail, even though Swenson could never have predicted that “Dreams” would one day be the soundtrack to a generation’s backseat-of-the-station-wagon upbringing, and sell more copies than just about any single ever.

In any case, nothing excuses his lack of even mentioning “Gold Dust Woman,” which for my money ranks among Nicks’, and Fleetwood Mac’s, greatest songs. I should point out here how daunting it was for Fleetwood Mask to try and play the whole Rumours album live because it ends with this number that, while a masterpiece, isn’t exactly a rah-rah, goodnight-everybody party anthem. Lyrically it hearkens back to that earlier British blues period, to Peter Green’s “Black Magic Woman,” but a decade on. Where Green’s spooky girlfriend was dabbling in witchcraft, Nicks’ updated version has been steeping in the seedy underbelly of the L.A. scene so long she has emerged just downright evil. Nicks doesn’t get due credit for her lyric writing; the opening couplet, “Rock on gold dust woman/Take your silver spoon and dig your grave,” is one that Pulitzer Prize winning poet Bob Dylan would be proud to call his own. It’s our entrance into a haunting piece that builds to Rumours’ ambivalent and ingenious finale, a roiling cauldron of dobro and buried screeches and Nicks chanting about shadows and dragons.

It’s too bad this was all overlooked by Swenson, who focused on the band’s “bright little three-minute singles with a hook in every chorus.” Of course those singles and the pretty California-style harmonies are a crucial part of Rumours, but so are the melancholy and darkness evident throughout. For every songbird singing there’s loneliness like a heartbeat driving you mad, and the seamless interplay between the two is what makes this record linger in the brain long after the needle has lifted from the final groove.

But that’s just my take. Read the review. What do you think?

Best, Jason

Four Big Nights!! Six Big Shows!!

Upcoming Performances

Opera House Saloon

Fri, March 3, 2017
Doors at 8pm

411 Lincoln Street, Roseville, CA 94568

An Evening with Fleetwood Mask
CELEBRATING THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF RUMOURS!

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Rancho Nicasio

Saturday, March 4, 2017
Show starts at 8:30pm

1 Old Rancheria Rd., Nicasio, CA 94946
Come to this beautiful frontier town in the heart of Marin for a great dinner and our awesome show

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Yoshi’s Oakland

Friday, April 7, 2017
TWO SHOWS!!!
First Show: Doors at 7:30pm; Show starts at 8:00pm
Second Show: Doors at 9:30pm; Show starts at 10:00pm

510 Embarcadero West Oakland, CA 94607
We love this venue and they love us! So much so they want the Mask for both shows!!

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Silo’s

Saturday, April 8, 2017
TWO SHOWS!!!
First show starts at 7:00pm
Second show starts at 9:30pm

530 Main Street, Napa, CA 94559.
We love this intimate venue! Come snuggle up with us in beautiful Napa! Come early and/or late! We’ll be looking for you!

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Happy New Year!! 2017 Performances

Upcoming Performances

Great American Music Hall

Friday Jan 13, Doors Open @8PM

Opening band Southern Comfort begins at 9pm
The Mask is HEADLINING and will start around 10pm.
859 O’Farrell Street, San Francisco, CA 94109
WE ARE VERY EXCITING TO BE HEADLINING AT THIS LEGENDARY VENUE!!!!!

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Harlow’s Sacramento

Saturday Jan 14, Show starts at 9pm
2708 “J” Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
We love this intimate venue! We look forward to seeing all our Sacramento friends!!

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Our NEW promo video!

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As usual we have more irons in the fire as we hussle to get 2017 off to a rockin start!! We will keep you posted!

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Visit our online store with the T-shirts we have for sale. Below is the link which you can also find on our web-site!