The recent announcement from Fleetwood Mac that Kiwi Neil Finn, along with Mike Campbell from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, would be replacing Lindsay Buckingham for their planned world tour led me to think about the history of this incredibly popular band and the many reincarnations it has had in its long history.
Fleetwood Mac's origins go back to 1967 when Peter Green was a member of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. The drummer for the Bluesbreakers was replaced by a newcomer to the British music scene, one Mick Fleetwood.
The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, bass player John McVie and John Mayall.
After a short time playing together, Peter Green decided to form a new group featuring Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass.
However, McVie opted to stay with the John Mayall band, so another bassist, Bob Brunning was signed. They also added Jeremy Spencer on guitar. The band made their debut in August 1967 as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer.
Within a few weeks of their first gig, Bob Brunning left the band to be replaced by John McVie and so began Fleetwood Mac.
The band released their first album in 1968, a hard out blues album called Fleetwood Mac.
The band's second album, Mr. Wonderful, was another all blues album but it did feature a friend of theirs on keyboard, Christine Perfect from the band Chicken Shack. Christine would go on to become a regular band member and eventually marry the bass player ... John McVie.
After the release of the second album the band added another guitarist, 18-year-old Danny Kirwin. So the band now had three guitarists. With the addition of Kirwin, Fleetwood Mac released the hit single Albatross which became their first No 1.
By 1970, Peter Green was not in good health and began suffering from schizophrenia, eventually leaving the band. At the time Fleetwood Macwere moving away from their blues roots and began focusing on a new sound so they asked Christine Perfect to join.
She played her first gig as a member of Fleetwood Mac in August 1970. A year later, while on tour in the US, their guitarist Jeremy Spencer went out to buy a magazine and never returned. After days of frantic searching the band discovered that Spencer had joined The Children of God religious sect. Peter Green was brought in as a temporary replacement, but a new guitarist was needed.
To be continued in next week's Vinyl Word.