Representatives of Fleetwood Mac made preliminary overtures to concert promoters recently for a possible tour this summer reuniting the most popular lineup of the veteran band: Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and co-founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.
That quintet, which was behind two of the ‘70s era’s most successful and quintessential albums, “Fleetwood Mac” and “Rumours,” came to an end when Buckingham left in 1987, and hasn’t toured together since the early ‘80s.
Nicks and Christine McVie also departed after a “farewell” tour in 1990, though the five did come together to perform the 1977 hit “Don’t Stop"--the theme song of President Clinton’s 1992 campaign--at an inaugural event kicking off his first term four years ago.
Group manager Carl Stubner had no comment, but sources close to the group confirmed the reports and said that a new album is also expected, possibly involving material that Buckingham and Nicks have been working on for planned solo albums. The group is still under contract to Warner Bros. Records.
But in a market where many pop fans can’t stop thinking about yesterday, the time seems ripe--even without an album--for the Mac to follow such other ‘70s acts as the Eagles, Steely Dan, KISS and the Sex Pistols onto the reunion trail.
“If it’s launched the right way, with a lot of support from VH1 and with that lineup back together, this could be a very meaningful tour,” says Brian Murphy, president of Los Angeles concert promotions firm Avalon Attractions.
No one is talking about the prospect with the same kind of excitement that greeted the hugely successful Eagles and KISS tours, though. Projections for the shows’ sales potential range from large theaters (3,000-6,000 seats) to amphitheaters and arenas (15,000-plus) in most major markets--good, but nothing spectacular.
The one problem is that even after the departure of those key members, Fleetwood Mac continued, with Dave Mason, Bekka Bramlett and Billy Burnette (who replaced Buckingham in 1987) joining Fleetwood and John McVie in a new lineup. It too broke up last year following one poor-selling album and a tour, but even that limited presence may have diluted the band’s value.
“The only debate over this is that the name ‘Fleetwood Mac’ has been used by variations of this band for so long that it doesn’t have the impact that ‘the Eagles’ had,” says Murphy.
Still, the presence of a “name” act is welcome in a year that, at this point, is looking pretty thin on sure things. The U2 and possible Rolling Stones tours are the only stadium-level shows on that level, while Aerosmith and an expected Journey reunion tour are the only ones considered can’t-miss for arena bookings.
Meanwhile, a planned tour by a reunited Motley Crue comes with a big question mark in terms of how big it can be, as do expected returns to action by George Michael and Lionel Richie.