It is so nice to have a look back in time and read these historical texts from a time when these bands still were in their infancy. This band had already made their two first albums at the time, both released in 1968, and they were soon on their way to a fantastic career!
Perfection before hits –
that`s the claim of Fleetwood Mac
says Richard Green
MOST groups hope and pray that their latest record will be a hit and are extremely disappointed if it does not become one. Not so, however, Fleetwood Mac even though their “Albatross” is flying high.
This odd situation stems from the quintet’s desire for perfection in their music and its need to always put out good records.
The newest member of the group, Danny Kirwan, who looks as though he is about to sit for his ” 0 ” levels instead of going on stage with one of the country’s biggest groups, told me about the Mac’s attitude before they left for an American tour.
“If this one hadn’t been a hit, we wouldn’t have minded because we’d have been able to look back, and say ‘that was a good record’, ‘he said confidently.” The last one,’Need Your Love So Bad,’wasn’t a big hit, but it sold quite well and was another good sound.”
Getting Danny to say something or express an opinion is quite difficult as he is a shy lad who is generally content to let others do the talking.
So I tried the old trick of attempting to loosen the tongue with alcohol. On Danny, that doesn’t come off.
Vainly hoping that he would be incensed, I asked him why Fleetwood Mac swear on stage and if he didn’t think it had an adverse effect on people’s opinions of the group.
He didn’t say anything for a while, then he looked up and commented: “They seem to like it. If Jeremy yells ‘——` or something, a cheer goes up. I don’t think it does any harm. If they like it, let them have it.”
He should have been in the diplomatic corps, but as he isn’t, I asked about the difficulty of having three lead guitarists. This time, the response was immediate and definite.
“It doesn’t work like that, you see,” he told me. “It’s not three lead guitars playing at the same time. We all have our own spots. When Jeremy’s playing, Peter and I don’t play the same, we stay in the background, then Peter has his go and then me.
“We don’t work things out before we go on, we just take our spots when it comes to it and we play what we want to play.”
He also talked about the Mac’s image as a group that plays mainly Elmore James numbers and little else.
“Only Jeremy plays Elmore James numbers,” Danny reasoned. “When he does his spot, he may pick one of his numbers or he may not, it depends. We’re gradually getting away from the Elmore James image and we won’t be playing his numbers much longer . . . unless Jeremy wants to.”
Fleetwood Mac’s current American tour is a long one, but “Albatross” and a couple of good LPs are around to keep their fans company until they return. When they do, it will be back to the gruelling slog of clubs and ballrooms.
“We seem to play in all the pubs that have clubs upstairs,” Danny agreed. “That seems to be our scene. It would be nice to play a few concerts, but that’s not really Fleetwood Mac’s scene.”
Danny was recruited to the ranks of Fleetwood Mac after being unable to find suitable musicians with whom to form his own group. How did he find fitting into a well-established outfit? Difficult?
“No, not really because, as I say, everyone has his own place and we don’t clash,” he replied. “At first, I found I had to concentrate more, but that was only because I’d been playing with little groups. Soon, I found I was in with things and the going was easy.”
First on the list of things to do when the group is back from America is to get another LP ready. And Danny told me a story about it which illustrates how free and unbound by strict rules they are.
“Peter and I have done most of the things for the album, and Jeremy’s not going to be on it.”
Noting my look of surprise and clevery guessing what I had in mind, he quickly added: “That doesn’t mean he’s leaving, be just doesn’t want to be on it. He may change his mind, then he will be.”