Five things you didn't know about Fleetwood Mac

There's more to this classic rock band than meets the eye: here are five facts that aren't just rumours



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Photo: Herbert Worthington

Fleetwood Mac are back. One of the most popular and evocative bands of all time are returning to London – where it all began – to play three nights at The O2. But this comeback is only the latest chapter in an ever-expanding story of unravelling relationships and unparalleled perserverance.

The band’s journey spans almost half a century and copious members, taking in dusky blues, ethereal pop and rock ’n’ roll excess. It runs from the genius of Peter Green’s blues-infused early classics like ‘Albatross’, which made them stars, through ongoing personal traumas that eventually led to the loss of all three of the band’s guitarists and a more melodic shift, and into the now familiar Anglo-American global powerhouse featuring Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

After years of break-ups and fall-outs, comebacks and more break-ups, and a telecoms advert featuring a dancing pony, the band are as popular as they’ve ever been, with a whole new generation of fans. To celebrate their return to London, here are five Mac facts that might come as a surprise.

1. Their original frontman left after three years.
Peter Green named the group after his two bandmates, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie: the only two members of the band to play with every line-up. Claiming that money was evil, he quit the band in 1970 and went to work as a gravedigger.

2. Another founder member quit a year later after joining a cult.
During a US tour in 1971, the group suffered another loss when founding member Jeremy Spencer went out ‘to buy a magazine’ and instead joined a religious cult called The Children of God.

3. A member of the most famous line-up really loves Christmas…
Stevie Nicks, who joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, likes to keep a decorated Christmas tree in her garden all year round.

4. …and is prone to nasty throat infections.
As a result, Nicks refuses to sing outdoors in wet weather. (Luckily, The O2’s roof will stop the rain washing anyone clean during ‘Dreams’.)

5. The band’s other female singer-songwriter went out with a Beach Boy.
As a rare treat, keyboardist and singer Christine McVie is set to rejoin the band for two of this week’s London shows. Once, as a declaration of love, Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys had a heart-shaped flower bed planted in her back garden. It worked, as they dated for two years from 1979-81. McVie later learned that Wilson had charged the work back to her.

Ian Daniels, 32, is a musician from Notting Hill who plays with Daniels And The Gold Seal. He was selected to write this review as part of the Time Out Takeover – a special edition of the magazine written entirely by our readers.

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