Fleetwood Mac - Impressive Facts You Didn't Know

Fleetwood Mac – 21 Impressive Facts You Didn’t Know

Fleetwood Mac are a rock band formed in 1967 in London, England, UK. They were founded by Peter Green (guitar), Jeremy Spencer (vocals) and Mick Fleetwood (drums). Bob Brunning was hired as bass guitarist on a temporary basis until John McVie was ready to join the band full time.

They released their self-titled debut album after which Danny Kirwan (guitar, vocals) joined in 1968. Christine Perfect (keyboards) who was a session musician from their second album onwards, married John McVie, changed her name to Christine McVie and joined the band in 1970.

On New Year’s Eve 1974, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined the band and Fleetwood Mac went on to become one of the most successful British/American bands in the history of popular music.

If you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan, keep reading because we have found 21 impressive facts about Fleetwood Mac you never knew.

They Split With Their Manager After He Took A Fake Fleetwood Mac On Tour

In 1974, before Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band, Fleetwood Mac had to cut short their American tour. Clifford Davies, their manager put together a completely different band and continued the tour under the name of Fleetwood Mac.

This led to legal wrangles and confusion which eventually left the real Fleetwood Mac without a manager, which is how they stayed and became even more successful.

Fleetwood Mac’s First Leader Was One Of The Best British Blues Guitarists Ever

Peter Green left John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers to form Fleetwood Mac along with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Peter was considered to be one of the best British blues guitarists of all time.

What Is Widely Considered To Be The Classic Lineup Was The 10th Incarnation Of The Band

Most people consider the lineup of Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, along with Christine and John McVie to be Fleetwood Mac’s classic lineup and to be fair they were the most stable and most successful. 

This lineup produced 5 studio albums between 1976 and 1987 and apart from Christine McVie, who retired from music, they still perform together.

When Lindsey Buckingham Was Asked To Join He Insisted That Stevie Nicks Joined Too

Mick Fleetwood heard Lindsey Buckingham play guitar and asked him to join the band. Lindsey said that he would only join if Stevie Nicks could join too.

Lindsey Buckingham Can’t Read Music

Lindsey Buckingham has been accredited on numerous Fleetwood Mac albums and he plays a mean guitar. But despite all of this, he can’t read music.

Stevie And Lindsey Never Always Got On

While working with Lindsey on the album “Tusk”, Stevie Nicks told US Magazine in 1980 it was like “being held hostage in Iran with Lindsey as the Ayatollah”.

Rumours Was Nearly Called Yesterday’s Gone

Fleetwood Mac’s most successful and iconic album “Rumours”, was nearly called “Yesterday’s Gone” which was a lyric from the album track and number 3 hit  single “Don’t Stop”. 

Stevie Nicks Wrote Dreams In 10 Minutes

When Fleetwood Mac were recording tracks for the album “Rumours”, there was a lot of down time for Stevie Nicks. The sessions were at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, and when she wasn’t needed in the studio, Stevie used to use an unused studio in the same building that had been originally built for Sly Stone.

 Stevie said “I sat down on the bed with my keyboard in front of me. I found a drum pattern, switched my little cassette player on and wrote ‘Dreams’ in about 10 minutes”.

Christine McVie Thought Dreams Was Boring

When she first heard Stevie Nicks play Dreams on the piano, Christine McVie thought it was boring. She said “When Stevie first played it for me on the piano, it was just three chords and one note in the left hand. I thought, ‘This is really boring,’ but the Lindsey genius came into play and he fashioned three sections out of identical chords, making each section sound completely different. He created the impression that there’s a thread running through the whole thing”.

One Of The Band’s Guitarists Left To Join A Cult

The original lineup of Fleetwood Mac was completely different to the classic lineup. They often had band members leave or get fired, but one of them left for very different reasons. Jeremy Spencer (guitar) left the band’s hotel room just before a gig to go and buy a newspaper. 

He went missing for days, leaving the band no choice but to cancel shows. When they eventually found him, he’d joined a cult called the “Children Of God”. He wouldn’t come back so they had to call on Peter Green to fill in until a replacement could be found.

The Male And Female Parts Of Big Love Are Both Sung By The Same Person

The track “Big Love”, taken from the 1987 album “Tango In The Night” has a section which sounds like a male voice and a female voice moaning. Most people assume that those voices are Lindsey and Stevie. But they’re not, they’re both provided by Lindsey Buckingham.

His voice needed to be electronically altered to sound right and it doesn’t sound so good at live performances. However, on the 12 inch extended dance mix Stevie Nicks does provide backing vocals.

The “Balls” That Mick Fleetwood Wore On The Cover Of “Rumours” Were Stolen

The cover image of the album “Rumours” which shows Stevie Nicks in her “Rhiannon” costume and Mick Fleetwood holding a crystal ball with a pair of wooden balls dangling by his knees. They were originally stolen by Mick from the toilets of a club the band were playing at in the 60s.

He saw them as a good luck talisman and used to wear them onstage hanging from his belt. He had the original set stolen from him and had this set made to replace them.

The Band’s Name Never Originated Where You Might Think

Most people are aware that the band’s name comes from the surnames of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. But what’s not so widely known is how the band’s name originated. Peter Green was given time in a recording studio by John Mayall the legendary blues artist and band leader as a birthday present. 

Peter asked Fleetwood and McVie to join him to record 5 songs with him. Peter Green named the 5th track Fleetwood Mac in tribute to his friends. Within weeks of this Green and Fleetwood were forming their own band and within weeks of that John McVie joined and Fleetwood Mac became a band.

It Takes Two Guitarists To Replace Lindsey Buckingham

When Lindsey Buckingham left the band in 1987, he was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito who were both needed to replace him. 

Then when he subsequently left again in 2018 he was replaced by Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.

Mick Fleetwood Was Once A Fish

On the 19th episode of the 2nd series of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was entitled “Manhunt”, Mick Fleetwood played an Antedean dignitary (Fish/Alien). He shaved his beard off and had to say one line “Food” which took him 19 takes.

Even After They Split Up, They Performed Together At The White House

Nicks and Buckingham left the band in 1987 but the classic lineup got back together to play at Bill Clinton’s first inaugural ball. Clinton asked for Fleetwood Mac specifically because he used their song “Don’t Stop” as his campaign song.

Stevie Nicks Was Sued For Plagiarism

A songwriter called Carol Hinton sued Stevie Nicks after claiming that the song “Sara” was extremely similar to a song that she had sent to Warner Bros. 

She conceded her case after Stevie Nicks proved she had recorded “Sara” months before.

One Of Their Songs Was Made Famous By The Smashing Pumpkins

Fleetwood Mac’s hit single “Landslide” was only released after Billy Corgan recorded a solo version which he used as a “B” side and subsequently appeared on the Smashing Pumpkins compilation album “Pisces Iscariot”. It became a radio hit  which gave Fleetwood Mac the encouragement they needed to release it themselves and it became a hit for them, reaching number 51 on the US charts.

Incidentally, the song which was written by Stevie Nicks, was also released by the Dixie Chicks where it became a hit for a third time.

Their Most Iconic Album Was Inspired By Relationship Breakups

Fleetwood Mac’s most iconic album, “Rumours” was inspired by the breakup of the relationships of Buckingham and Nicks and the McVies. The track “Dreams” was written by Nicks as a way of expressing her feelings about her breakup with Buckingham. While “Go Your Own Way” written by Buckingham, expresses his side of their breakup.

If It Never Worked Out, Some Band Members Would Have Been Gravediggers, Tax Inspectors And Window Cleaners

Many musicians have daytime jobs before they make it in the music industry. In the case of Fleetwood Mac, Mick Fleetwood was going to be a window cleaner, and John McVie was already training to become a Tax Inspector. 

Meanwhile, Peter Green gave all his money away after leaving the band stating that all money was evil. He then took a job as a gravedigger.

One Of The Band Has An Olympian As A Brother

Greg Buckingham, Lindsey’s brother, won a silver medal in the men’s 200m individual medley at the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City.

Do You Know Any More?

We have found 21 impressive facts about Fleetwood Mac that you didn’t know, do you know any more? We’d love to hear them, please let us know in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which original member of Fleetwood Mac became a gravedigger?

After leaving Fleetwood Mac, Peter Green gave all of his money away and took a job as a gravedigger.

What Fleetwood Mac song became a hit for Santana?

The Fleetwood Mac song that became a hit for Santana is Black Magic Woman.

Which Fleetwood Mac song contains the lines “And is it over now, do you know how? Pick up the pieces and go home”?

The Fleetwood Mac song that contains the lines “And is it over now, do you know how? Pick up the pieces and go home” is Gold Dust Woman” which was taken from the album “Rumours”.

What job was John McVie training for before Fleetwood Mac became famous?

John McVie was training to be a tax inspector before Fleetwood Mac became famous.

Which Fleetwood Mac song was used by the BBC as the theme tune for Formula One racing from 1978 until 1996 and then again from 2009 until 2015?

The Fleetwood Mac song which was used by the BBC as the theme tune for Formula One racing from 1978 until 1996 and then again from 2009 until 2015 is “The Chain” which was taken from the album “Rumours”.

Is it true that Stevie Nicks wouldn’t join Fleetwood Mac unless Lindsey Buckingham joined as well?

It was the other way round, Lindsey Buckingham was invited to join Fleetwood Mac but he said he would only join if Stevie Nicks could join as well.

Which Fleetwood Mac song contains the lines “I don’t want no damage, but how am I gonna manage with you”?

The  Fleetwood Mac song that contains the lines “I don’t want no damage, but how am I gonna manage with you” is “Hold Me” which was taken from the album “Mirage”.

What was Fleetwood Mac’s first number one single?

Fleetwood Mac’s first number one single was “Albatross” which was taken from the compilation album “The Pious Bird of Good Omen”.

Which Fleetwood Mac song did Bill Clinton use as his campaign song?

The Fleetwood Mac song that Bill Clinton used as his campaign song was “Don’t Stop” which was taken from the album “Rumours”.

What was the first Fleetwood Mac album to feature Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham?

The first Fleetwood Mac album to feature Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham was “Fleetwood Mac (The White Album)” which was released on 11 July 1975.

Was there a Fleetwood Mac album called Elephant?

There wasn’t a Fleetwood Mac album called “Elephant”, you’re probably thinking of the album “Tusk” which Fleetwood Mac released on 12 October 1979.

Which Fleetwood Mac song contains the lines “She rules her life like a fine skylark, and when the sky is starless”?

The Fleetwood Mac song which contains the lines “She rules her life like a fine skylark, and when the sky is starless” is “Rhiannon” which was taken from the album Fleetwood Mac also known as the “White Album”.

What was Christine McVie’s surname before she married John?

Christine McVie’s surname before she married John was Perfect.

What band did Mick Fleetwood once play in that featured Rod Stewart as vocalist?

The band that Mick Fleetwood once played in that featured Rod Stewart as vocalist was Shotgun Express.

Which Fleetwood Mac album was the song “Sara” taken from?

The Fleetwood Mac song “Sara” was taken from the album “Tusk” which was a double album released in 1979.

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