A few years ago the band Dawes released a song called, “All Your Favorite Bands.” It was a tender friendship song. Not quite a love song but the singer is more or less reminiscing over a friend of the opposite sex, but it never led to sex. The platonic connection is evident in the lyrics and so is the iconic sentiment of the song’s last lines, “I hope the world sees the same person that you always were to me/And may all your favorite bands stay together.” Well, my friends, it’s a heartfelt wish, but like unicorns and world championships for the home team, it tends to be wishful thinking.
Bands fall apart all the time, sometimes even before they become a band (Google Denver’s own Churchill). Most of the times it’s ugly. Take the current he said, she said of the Fleetwood Mac drama. Ok, that’s a sentence rock critics have written many times (“Take the recent Fleetwood Mac drama”). Lindsey Buckingham claims he was fired from the band by Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks, his former lover, and partner on one of the greatest soft rock albums of all time, Buckingham Nicks. But now the band has ‘reunited’ for a massive tour and replaced Buckingham with not one but two stellar musicians. In a nod to just how good Buckingham is, the Mac had to get former Crowded House singer Neil Finn to sing Buckingham’s parts and rock god guitarist Mike Campbell from Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers to play the brilliant guitar parts.
Trust me; musically The Mac shows will be fantastic. With two proven professionals to replace one and the recent recordings by Nicks and harmonist, Christine McVie has proven the seventy plus-year-olds can still hold a tune. (Nicks turns 70 on May 26th). But is it Fleetwood Mac? Granted the early years of the band didn’t include Buckingham nor Nicks for that matter. In fact, Buckingham’s predecessor was a singer-songwriter named Bob Welch.
Then there was the case of The FAKE Fleetwood Mac. Back in 1974, the band’s manager Clifford Davis decided he owned the name. In spite of the fact that the two band’s namesakes (Mick Fleetwood and John McVie) were not in the group, a Fleetwood Mac toured. The disastrous troupe ended shortly after it started and the band members went on to minimal work as members of Deep Purple and Alan Parsons Project. The ensuing court battle left the name and the band in limbo for well over a year. Then, there was a ten year run with Welch, Fleetwood and the McVies making up the core of the band. Welch went solo and then Fleetwood heard that aforementioned record, Buckingham Nicks, and soft FM radio had its hits for a lifetime.
Since then it has been an on again off again relationship with the core members in and out of the band. The latest rendition makes its way to Denver in early December and I will assure you the professionalism of the show will be as top notch as it comes. The super anal Fleetwood will make sure; however, are they Fleetwood Mac? Are the super, upper deck, balcony seats worth $100 plus? Are you a trader to Buckingham if you attend?
It doesn’t have to be that way. If they are your favorite band than it’s all worth it. Maybe you even pop for the $500 needed to see the band from the main floor of the Pepsi Center. Dead and Company has proven that the merit of musicianship and playing the ones you love with as close rendition as possible to original line up is what counts (right Lynyrd Skynyrd?). So did your favorite band stay together? That’s a question only you can answer, and for you, I hope it did.