Fleetwood Mac dig deep on world tour

Lindsey Buckingham breaks down the hits, rarities, and new tunes they’re playing.

IT’S BEEN EXACTLY A DECADE since Fleetwood Mac released an album, but that hasn’t stopped a new generation of fans from discovering the band. “We’re doing the best business we’ve done in 20 years!” says guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, a few hours before the Tulsa, Oklahoma, stop on the Mac’s latest world tour. “There’s been a lot more young people in the crowd than three years ago. Maybe it’s a generational thing.” Buckingham called from his Tulsa hotel room to explain how they’re choosing the set lists for this tour – mixing up the hits with plenty of deep cuts and tunes from their new EP, Extended Play.

‘Second Hand News’

“Making a set list is like making the running order for an album,” says Buckingham. “This is the opening track from [1977’s] Rumours, and it was an obvious choice for the tour opener. We’re actually opening with three straight songs from Rumours — it gets them out of the way.”

‘Sad Angel’

“I wrote this song last year for Stevie [Nicks], who always had to fight for everything. ‘Sad angel, have you come to fight the war?’ We’re all warriors with a sword of one sort or another, and she and I have known each other since high school.”

‘Sisters of the Moon’

“Warner Bros. would have really liked to see us cut Rumours II right after Rumours, but I wanted us to subvert that notion on [1979’s] Tusk. I don’t remember if we’ve ever done this song onstage before. Stevie wanted us to try it, and it really works.”

‘Landslide’

“When Stevie wrote that, she was probably, oh, all of 25 or 24. She wasn’t exactly ‘getting older.’ Now, that line certainly resonates with a far deeper perspective.”

‘Don’t Stop’

“This is the only Christine McVie song we do. After we did The Dance tour in 1997, she pretty much burned all her bridges in L.A. — sold her house, ended her relationship, quit the band. I’m not particularly sure why. But this song is still so strong. It’s an anthem. That’s why Bill Clinton latched on to it.”

‘Say Goodbye’

“We end the show with this song — just me and Stevie onstage. For years, it was difficult to get complete closure with her, like picking a scab off a wound over and over. The song is about how all the illusions have fallen away, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope and belief in our future in a different context.”

(Original caption: RETURN OF THE MAC Nicks and Buckingham in Washington, D.C.)

Andy Greene / Rolling Stone / May 23, 2013 (RS1183)

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