They formed as a blues band, reliably selling about 250,000 copies of every album until their 1975 self-titled effort, which was the first to include Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. That album sold over 5 million copies and introduced the group configuration that made them one of the most popular bands in the world, selling well over 100 million albums.
Peter Green named the band after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, but McVie didn't join the band until four months after they formed, as he was playing with The Bluesbreakers at the time. Green wanted to stay out of the spotlight, which is why he named the band after the rhythm section.
Fleetwood, Green, and McVie were all disciples of blues guitarist John Mayall.
Their debut performance was at the British Jazz and Blues Festival in August 1967.
On their first American tour, Fleetwood Mac was billed third behind Jethro Tull and Joe Cocker.
When Green left the group, he declared money to be evil and gave it all away, and then got a job as a gravedigger. A bad LSD trip may have been a factor in his erratic behavior.
Fleetwood was originally in a band called Shotgun Express, which had Rod Stewart as their vocalist.
Spencer disappeared and joined a religious cult called the Children of God (later the name of his 1973 solo album) in 1971. When he was found, his head had been completely shaved.
Christine Perfect had sung with Spencer Davis and was a member of the blues band Chicken Shack when she started working with Fleetwood Mac. She had been named "Top Female Vocalist by Melody Maker."
Manager Clifford Davis sent out a fake version of Fleetwood Mac on tour in 1973. It was centered around Weston and Walker. The real band got an injunction and stopped them from playing as Fleetwood Mac. They changed their name to Stretch. Mick Fleetwood took over most managing responsibilities for Fleetwood Mac.
Buckingham and Nicks played together in a 5-piece band called Fritz for five years, until Buckingham contracted mononucleosis, which effectively ended the group. He and Nicks, who was by then his girlfriend, formed Buckingham Nicks, which released one acclaimed but poor-selling album before joining Fleetwood Mac.
When Bob Welch left the group to form Paris in 1974, it put them in a bind. Mick Fleetwood found his replacement when he scouted Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California; when studio owner Keith Olsen played him a Buckingham-Nicks song to demonstrate the studio's acoustics, Fleetwood asked about the guitarist. Olsen told him that Lindsey Buckingham was the axeman, but he came as a package deal with his girlfriend Stevie Nicks and also with Olsen, who had signed them to a production deal and produced their first album. Fleetwood took that deal, making Olsen a co-producer of the Fleetwood Mac album and recording it at Sound City. Nicks ended up giving the group a distinctive voice and an additional songwriter that helped define their new sound. Olsen was jettisoned after that album and later sued the band for withholding royalties.
Nicks was always prone to throat nodes, which made touring a little difficult.
In 1981, Mick Fleetwood released a solo album called The Visitor that was recorded in Ghana with African musicians.
-era lineup briefly reunited to perform Bill Clinton's theme song "Don't Stop
" at his inaugural celebration
in 1993, but didn't officially get back together until 1996.
Bramlett is the daughter of Delaney and Bonnie, whose sidemen performed in Derek & the Dominos with Eric Clapton, who played John Mayall before Peter Green joined him. Five degrees of separation.
Mason enjoyed a healthy solo career and has been in Traffic, Blind Faith, and Delaney and Bonnie (before Bekka was born).
Christine Perfect married John McVie shortly after joining the band, becoming Christine McVie. They divorced in 1976.
Fleetwood, who is 6'6," is one of the most distinctive drummers in rock. Many of his stories sound like they could be from the pages of Spinal Tap, and indeed, he has played with that band.
Fleetwood was at least partial inspiration for the Muppet character Animal. You'll see the resemblance.
Mick Fleetwood's signature is that on the third verse of a song, he extends his drum fill over the bar to the second beat of the next phrase. He does this in several songs, including "Everywhere," "Gypsy" and "Go Your Own Way." Fleetwood didn't have any formal training on drums. (thanks, Dave - Leesburg, VA)
In their early years, Fleetwood Mac was known for raucous stage behavior, and were even banned from the Marquee club in London. One of their tricks was squirting milk-filled condoms at the crowd.
When you hear the names Lindsey and Stevie, you're not sure of the gender, are you? Their record company didn't know either, and mixed up the names in a 1975 ad for the band in Billboard magazine.
Christine McVie dated Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys in the late '70s. He had a heart-shaped garden installed at her home as a surprise.
Christine McVie retired from the band and moved back to England following Fleetwood Mac's reunion tour in 1997. She refused to rejoin them for any of their subsequent concert treks until she made a couple of guest appearances during their September 2013 concerts in London. It was announced in January 2014 that McVie had rejoined the band.
In a 2013 interview with BBC Radio 4, Stevie Nicks painted a picture of her relationship with McVie. "Both of us in a man's world, from the very beginning, we made a pact that we would be a force of nature together. And we were," Nicks said. "We had a lot of power when there were two of us. That wasn't really so noticeable to us because we just had it until she left. And then when she left I realized how much power we had when she was there, and how when she left she took 50% of the power with her… I felt powerless in many ways." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Lindsay Buckingham's brother, Greg, was a competition swimmer. He won a silver medal in the men's 200-meter individual medley at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
Mick Fleetwood and John McVie kept the group going throughout the decades and across the myriad changes. Fleetwood says they stuck it out through "abject fear." "That's the nature of being in a rhythm section. You need someone to play with," he told Rolling Stone in 2017. "What the hell would we do if there was no band?"
Peter Green originally let Mick Fleetwood join his band in order to cheer him up, after he split from first wife. Fleetwood recalled to 6 Music's Georgie Rodgers:
"I asked Peter on the phone, 'why did you ask me to play drums?,' and I was probably fishing for, 'Well I thought you were a pretty good drummer,' or something."
"And Peter said, 'You were unhappy... you were devastated," he continued. "The reason I asked you to play drums is you are my friend and I wanted you to put yourself back together and you needed something to do.' I thought that was extraordinary and very moving."