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Fleetwood Mac: An Infamously Drama-Filled Band

How the drama within Fleetwood Mac led to the creation of ‘Rumors’
Keena Boschert
The “Rumors” album was Fleetwood Mac’s best performing album, and lives in infamy for being conceived during a time of drama within the band.

Even as the decades rage on, Fleetwood Mac continues to see itself maintain its fame. This band that has produced so many hits is something of an enigma itself. The band was plagued with affairs, relationship problems, drugs, and fights, but that is what made their music so good.

Not many people know that there was a time before the iconic Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. The band was actually formed in the late 60’s by Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green, joined later by John and Christine McVie as well as a guitarist named Bob Weston. In 1973, however, Fleetwood realized Weston was having an affair with his wife, and promptly kicked him out of the band. After divorcing his wife, Fleetwood looked for new people to join the group.

The affair is what allowed the infamous couple, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, to join the band. Entering the group as somewhat of a package deal, they quickly became vital members of Fleetwood Mac.

With the affair out of the way, the band went on to produce a self-titled album that contained the hit “Rhiannon.” It wasn’t until the conception of the “Rumors” album that trouble started to brew once agian.

Christine and John began their heated divorce the same time that Stevie and Lindsey separated. Both couples had screaming matches with one another, likely spurred on by the copious amounts of cocaine the members were on. Each used it to cope with their frustration, and Nicks even admitted to keeping a bottle of it in her boot at all times.

Stevie Nicks once said  that “devastation leads to writing really good things.” This is incredibly apparent in the “Rumors” album. The members used the songs they wrote to communicate with one another.

In “Go Your Own Way” Lindsey Buckingham reflects on his breakup with Nicks. Buckingham essentially wrote insults in the form of a catchy tune, and had Stevie sing backup. In this way, Stevie was attacking herself while recording the song. Fueled by anger, Buckingham wrote lines that weren’t even accurate to his ex-girlfriend, one line in the song saying “packin’ up, shackin’ up’s all you want to do.”

Stevie took another approach in her song “Dreams.” With lines like “Like a heartbeat drives you mad, in the stillness of remembering what you had and what you lost,” as well as “Now here you go again, you say you want your freedom. Well, who am I to keep you down?” Nicks reflects on her relationship in a more polite manor.

I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you… You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.

— Stevie Nicks

Nicks also wrote “Silver Springs,” however, which is an angry and vengeful ballad. This song, while not actually featured in the album, was received incredibly well and made it into the deluxe version of “Rumors.” Stevie Nicks, The White Witch, powerfully cries out in the song “I’ll follow you down ’til the sound of my voice will haunt you… You’ll never get away from the sound of the woman that loves you.” These hard-hitting lyrics are paired with ones filled with sorrow, as Stevie sings “I’ll say I loved you years ago, tell myself you never loved me,” and “Don’t say that she’s pretty, and did you say that she loves you? Baby I don’t want to know.”

Following her divorce with John, Christine soon found love with the band’s lights director, going on to write the song “You Make Loving Fun.” Not wanting to cause drama, Christine told John the song was written about her dog. But listening to the lyrics “Sweet wonderful you, you make me happy with the things you do,” and “You, you make loving fun, and I don’t have to tell you but you’re the only one,” everyone could tell that was a lie.

Overall, the hardship and hard drugs that led to the creation of this album were vital to its success. This was their best performing album, and the 10th best selling album of all time, with over 40 million copies worldwide. The lyrics and melodies this album reflects the inner heartbreak and turmoil within the band, and ultimately led to its downfall.

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About the Contributor
Keena Boschert
Keena Boschert, Reporter
Keena Boschert is a sophomore and this is her first official year in the publications department. After writing small articles for the website, she has finally joined magazine and is working to catch up with her peers. Outside of school, she does costumes for theater, enjoys hanging out with her boyfriend and cats, and creates paintings. In her future, she hopes to become an environmental lawyer.

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