Mick Fleetwood's Autobiography: Fleetwood - My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac

Posted by Miss Ess, May 6, 2009 04:48pm | Post a Comment
Ever since I wrote this post a few months ago, it's been a full on Mac attack in my life -- I have been listening non-stop to Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, everywhere I go, over and over. I picked up Mick Fleetwood's 1991 autobiography as well, Fleetwood - My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac, hoping for some salicious tidbits about the band that is known not only for its instantly addicting, mega-popular music, but also for the many interband rumours...

The book is pretty great. Mick describes his childhood and early life with candor, including his stints in boarding school and his feeling that he was not smart, upheld by his poor academic performances and difficulty memorizing facts...thus, he turned to music, and with perfect timing. Although he certainly slaved away upon moving to London, paying his dues in one dank club after another, he makes the process of gaining early fame and fortune seem somewhat simple -- after all, this was Swinging London! He was in the right place at the exact right time to make a career for himself.

Mick portrays himself as the glue that held the various incarnations of the band together over the years, and it appears to be true -- he and a rather mute John McVie are the only two members that have stuck with the band since its creation in the mid 60s. Mick felt he had no back up career; holding the band together was what he pledged his whole heart to, even at the expense of his first marriage, relationships and children.

Mick tenderly describes being in love with Stevie Nicks fairly early on in their friendship, but when it comes to the actual relationship that occured between them, we don't get many details-- I guess some things must be left private. Mick mentions that he realized he must have a talk with her former flame/bandmate Lindsey Buckingham about his new relationship with Stevie, but never details when, where or how that conversation took place. And it must have at some point, because Stevie and Mick were a couple on and off for a few years. He hints that he's never gotten over her, although he did go on to marry one of her best friends, Sara! (Nowadays he is married to someone else though.)

On a fairly random aside, did you know that Christine McVie's mother was a healer? I always wondered how it was that Stevie Nicks and Christine got along so easily, considering Christine seemed like a stiff upper lip kind of Brit, but now I see that they were probably connected in a great many ways, including their spiritual leanings, and of course there is also the fact that they were talented, driven women in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field.

Mick's book was contested by Lindsey Buckingham and it's easy to see why, as Lindsey's quitting the band in 1987 is carefully, detailingly documented. Buckingham quit at the moment when Fleetwood Mac was coming back together to tour to help Mick, who had recently declared bankruptcy. Lindsey comes off as a chauvanistic egomaniac. Who's to say what's right and what's wrong? We only have Mick's side of the story, and I have to say, overall the entire book was definitely an interesting read.

One of my favorite over-the-top, decadent moments came late in the book, when Fleetwood Mac is recording and living at an old chateau in France. It's a foggy morning and Mick and a friend are returning via car to the chateau when they pass a stable and Mick is overcome with the sudden desire to ride on horseback the rest of the way home, to make a grand entrance. He somehow secures a grey horse and rides off through the mist, galloping to the chateau, right up the front stairs and into the entryway! Suddenly, a caped and hooded Stevie Nicks comes flying down the staircase, leaps on the horse and takes off back out into the countryside. Now that is why I read this autobio!&n

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Fleetwood Mac (33), Stevie Nicks (14), Mick Fleetwood (2), Christine Mcvie (5), John Mcvie (2), Lindsey Buckingham (6), 1970s (45), Book Review (5)