Friday, December 02, 2022

Think About Me

Bummer about the passing of Christine McVie.

She being the oldest member of Fleetwood Mac at 79. The rest of them not far behind. It kind of reminds me of my age, and aging.  How can it not.

While Stevie Nicks certainly assumed a 'star' role in Fleetwood Mac, it was McVie who racked up the hits. Of their 16 'greatest hits', half of them were written and sung by her. The other half split between Lindsey Buckingham and Nicks. 

For the most part, her songs would be considered lower-key, but you hear a song like "Hold Me" and it became almost a perfect pop song. She made a 2022 comeback with "Everywhere", which being highly utilized in Chevy ads. 

It was her songs on Fleetwood Mac that truly broke-out the band in the U.S.. It was her "Don't Stop" that Bill Clinton used as a campaign song. It was her "Little Lies" that was used in a funny Super Bowl ad with Scarlett Johansson (or however you spell it) and her SNL husband. 

Actually, a year or so ago, McVie sold her music catalog for something estimated at $100 million. That's on top of the $50 million she was allegedly worth before that sale. As she had no current husband or any kids, someone is gonna inherit a boatload of dough. 

As a teen, Fleetwood Mac was my go-to band. My cohort liked Van Halen, Aerosmith, Billy Joel (ugh) and the Doobie Brothers (double ugh). I guess I stayed more poppier, though Tusk certain threw a wrench into that for most folks' perception of the band.  

I consider Fleetwood Mac's Rumours tour to be my first concert*.  It was 1977 and getting tickets was a stretch goal, as the band was at their most popular. I was young enough and stupid enough to send cash (!!!) in the mail to get them. And I got them!  My mother had to drive me. 

Over the years, I'd see Fleetwood Mac in concert eight times between 1977 and 2009 - two without McVie, once without Buckingham. She also came out and sang "Sentimental Lady" with Bob Welch when he opened for Jefferson Starship in Cleveland. That's a lot of air miles to sing on one song. 

When she returned to the band in 2015 (?) after a 16 year absence, I opted not to pay the hyper-inflated price to see them again.  Their set list had not changed much since 1997. It was a nostalgia act - albeit a well put together one, but still by-the-numbers.  Gotta give the folks what they think they want. 

Still, in their recorded music, she was the constant. I mean, I was never a fan of "Don't Stop" and a few things on Mirage I can do without. But her music on Tusk was probably as good as she (and Nicks) had ever been. It's just that save one song, none of it was commercial. Not a bad thing, but it went against the grain. 

Her 2017 disk with Lindsey Buckingham (really a Fleetwood Mac disk without Nicks), was fair. I would say she had one decent song and one really good one. Too little too late? 

Over the past two days, I've debated what song to feature here. I narrowed it down to four. Three from Tusk and one was "Hold Me", as it really is a well constructed song. Two from Tusk were deep cuts, but original. "Over & Over" which is so low key, was an odd track to kick off a two disk set, but I love it. And "Honey Hi" was just different for her. 

I almost went with "Think About Me", the only single song on that disk that truly had chart potential (I even completed the draft with the video and changed my mind last night). Yes, "Tusk" and "Sara" both were hits, but not HITS. Neither was "Think About Me",  but more because by the time it was released, the public had written off the album completely.  I assert, had it been the lead off single, it would have been the band's second #1 hit. But it didn't even crack the top 10. Barely the top 20. 

I ended up selecting another song, just pre-Buckingham / Nicks. Coming from the last Bob Welch iteration, Heroes are Hard to Find (1974), I picked "Come a Little Bit Closer". 

I'm sorry she's gone. It's a passing of an era as much as anything else. But the music lives on. 

*my mother dragged us to see Barry Manilow two years earlier. I refuse to let myself believe that was my first concert.  Mike - you remember him, right? - he would have thrown his BVD on stage there. 

Song by: Fleetwood Mac


James Dwight Williamson said...

I was not a major fan of this band, I felt very little!

Old Lurker said...

I was wondering how you might commemorate her. It was clear from your music posts that Fleetwood Mac was one of your favorite bands.

VoenixRising said...

The Rumours concert was my first as well - 1977 at the University of Arizona stadium. (The university bitched for YEARS afterward how the turf was so thoroughly destroyed by the concert goers). And to this day, I consider Rumours to be one of the—if not *the*—finest rock album of the 20th century.

And yes Blobby, we're getting OLD. But unlike so many of our peers who left us in their 20s and 30s, we're still here. That's gotta count for something, right?