Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac)

Fleetwood Mac "Rumours" high res cover artMick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac was born 24 June 1947. The band were formed in 1966 in London. Founder Peter Green named the group by combining he surnames of two of his former bandmates (Fleetwood, and John McVie) from John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Christine Mc vie joined the band in 1970 while married to John McVie, Green asked if drummer Mick Fleetwood could join. The Bluesbreakers now consisted of Green, Fleetwoo John McVie and Mayall. Soon after, Green cotacted Fleetwood to form a new band. The pair wanted McVie on bass guitar and even named the band ‘Fleetwood Mac’ as a way to entice him. Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood then teamed up with slide player Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning.

The band made its debut on 13 August 1967 at the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival. Within weeks of this show, John McVie agreed to join the band as permanent bassist.fleetwood Mac’s first album, Fleetwood Mac, was a no-frills blues album and was released on te Blue Horizon label in February 1968. In fact there were no other players on the album (except for the song “Long Grey Mare”, which was recorded with Brunning on bass). The album was successful in the UK, though it did not have any singles on it. The band soon released two singles “Black Magic Woman” (later a big hit for Santana) and “Need Your Love So Bad”.The band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful, was released in August 1968. This was another -blues album, but with a few changes. The album was recorded live in the studio with miked amplifiers and PA system, rather than plugged into the board. This method provided the ideal environment for producing this style of music, and gave it an authentically vintage sound. They also added horns . The Next album was Then Then Play On the American which contained the song “Oh Well”

5324Sadly Peter Green left and In September 1970, Fleetwood Mac released Kiln House. Kirwan’s songs sounded more “rocky”, while, Spencer’s songs resembled the country-tinged “Sun Sound” of the late 1950s. Christine Perfect, contributed to Kiln House, by singing backup vocals, and drawing the album cover, and was asked to join the band. They also released a single at that time; “Dragonfly” b/w “The Purple Dancer” . At this time Christine Perfect was also married to bassist John McVie. an album of previously unreleased material from the original Fleetwood Mac called The Original Fleetwood Mac was also released. Then While on tour in 1971, Jeremy Spencer disappeared And joined a religious group, the Children of God. So the band hired Bob Welch as guitarist. In September 1971, the band released Future Games, which gained them many new fans in America. six months later the band released the album Bare Trees. Though mostly composed by Kirwan, Bare Trees featured Welch’s “Sentimental Lady”. It also featured “Spare Me a Little of Your Love”, a bright Christine McVie tune that became a staple of the band’s live act throughout the early to mid-1970s, sadly Danny Kirwan developed an alcohol dependency and became alienated from Welch and the McVies until Fleetwood eventually sacked Kirwan. The next two and a half years proved to be the most challenging for the band. In the three albums they released in this period, they constantly changed line-ups.

In September 1972, the band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, and also hired Savoy Brown’s road manager, John Courage. Mick, John, Christine, Welch, Weston, and Walker recorded Penguin, which was released in January 1973. After the tour, the band fired Walker The remaining five carried on and recorded Mystery to Me six months later, containing the song “Hypnotized” which became one of the band’s most successful songs to date. However, things were not well within the band. The McVies’ marriage at this time was under a lot of stress, which was aggravated by their constant working with each other, and John McVie’s considerable alcohol abuse. During the tour, Weston had an affair with Fleetwood’s wife, Jenny Boyd Fleetwood, the sister of Pattie Boyd Harrison. Fleetwood soon fired Weston and the tour was cancelled.

Then in one of the most bizarre events in rock history, the band’s manager, Clifford Davis, claimed that he owned the name Fleetwood Mac and put out a “fake Mac” consisting of Elmer Gantry (vocals, guitar), Kirby Gregory (guitar), Paul Martinez (bass), John Wilkinson (keyboards) and Craig Collinge (drums). Gantry and Gregory went on to become members of Stretch, Gantry later joined The Alan Parsons Project and Martinez eventually became a bassist for Robert Plant. Fans were told that Bob Welch and John McVie had quit the group, and that Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie would be joining the band at a later date. So Fleetwood Mac’s road manager, John Courage, hid the real Fleetwood Mac’s equipment, to shorten the tour by the fake band. But a subsequent lawsuit concerning the ownership of the name Fleetwood Mac delayed Fleetwood Mac even more, although the band was obviously named after Fleetwood and McVie they signed contracts forfeiting the rights to the name. The “real” Fleetwood Mac were in fact Fleetwood, Welch and the McVies. While this did not end the legal battle, the band was able to record as Fleetwood Mac again.

Fleetwood Mac, released the album Heroes Are Hard to Find in September 1974 and added a second keyboardist Doug Graves for the subsequent tour. Then Bob Welch left and while looking of a replacement Mick Fleetwood heard the song Frozen Love by Buckingham Nicks and liked it and later met guitarist Lindsay Buckingham at Sound City and asked him to join Fleetwood Mac and he agreed on condition that his musical partner and girlfriend, Stephanie “Stevie” Nicks, also join, Fleetwood agreed. Then In 1975, Fleetwood Mac released the album Fleetwood Mac. Containing the songs “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me”, and Stevie Nicks’ “Rhiannon” and “Landslide” . Sadly by this point John and Christine McVie’s marriage, and Buckingham and Nicks’ long term romantic relationship both broke up and Fleetwood was in the midst of divorce proceedings from his wife, Jenny. This combined with the immense pressure to record another successful album led to creative and personal tensions, fuelled by high consumption of drugs and alcohol.In 1977 Fleetwood Mac released the classic album Rumours. Which despite the emotional turmoil the band were going through, won Grammy Award for Album of the Year for 1977. Hit singles included Buckingham’s “Go Your Own Way”, Nicks’s U.S. No.1 “Dreams” and Christine McVie’s “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”. Buckingham’s “Second Hand News”, Nicks’ “Gold Dust Woman” and “The Chain”.

Fleetwood Mac’s next album was the ambitions and experimental 20-track double album, Tusk, which contained “Tusk”,”Think About Me” and Stevie Nicks’ 6½ minute opus “Sara” . The band embarked on an 18-month tour to support and promote Tusk. including the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom and even shared the bill with reggae superstar Bob Marley. It was on this world tour that the band recorded music for the Fleetwood Mac Live Album(1980). The next album, 1982′s Mirage, following 1981 solo turns by Nicks (Bella Donna) and Buckingham (Law and Order), was more conventional and included The songs “Hold Me”,”Love In Store”,”Gypsy”, and Lindsey Buckingham’s “Oh Diane”, “Eyes Of The World” and “Can’t Go Back”. Following Mirage, Stevie Nicks released two solo albums (1983′s The Wild Heart and 1985′s Rock a Little), Lindsey Buckingham released Go Insane in 1984, and Christine McVie released her solo album featuring the songs “Got A Hold On Me” and “Love Will Show us how”.

Fleetwood+Mac+-+Tango+In+The+Night+(1987)Sadly there were further personal traumas Mick Fleetwood was declared Bankrupt and Nicks was admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for addiction problems, and John McVie had suffered an addiction-related seizure—all attributed to their excessive lifestyles. It was even rumoured that Fleetwood Mac had finally broken up. However Fleetwood Mac recorded one more album for the time being, Tango in the Night, in 1987. Which become their best-selling release since Rumours and contained the songs “Little Lies”, “Everywhere”,”Seven Wonders”, “Big Love”. “Family Man”and “Isn’t It Midnight”. Lindsey Buckingham left and Following his departure, Fleetwood Mac added two new guitarists to the band,Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Burnette had already worked with Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and, Fleetwood and Christine McVie played on his Try Me album in 1985. Rick Vito, was a Peter Green admirer, Who had previously played with Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall, and John McVie. In 1988 Fleetwood Mac released a Greatest Hits album featuring singles from the 1975–88 era, plus two new compositions: “No Questions Asked” and “As Long as You Follow” And was dedicated to Buckingham by the band, with whom they had now reconciled. Following the Greatest Hits collection, Fleetwood Mac recorded the album Behind the Mask, which included the songs “Save Me”. The subsequent “Behind the Mask” tour saw the band play sold out shows at London’s Wembley Stadium, and Los Angeles
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, both decided that the tour would be their last (McVie’s father died during the tour) and in 1991, both Nicks and Rick Vito left Fleetwood Mac altogether. In 1992, Fleetwood himself arranged a 4-disc box set spanning highlights from the band’s 25 year history, titled 25 Years – The Chain. Plus new songs, “Paper Doll”,”Heart of Stone” and “Love Shines” and “Make Me a Mask”. Mick Fleetwood also released a deluxe hardcover companion book to coincide with the release of the box set, titled My 25 Years in Fleetwood Mac, which featured many rare photographs and notes (written by Fleetwood himself) detailing the band’s 25 year history. The Buckingham/Nicks/McVie/McVie/Fleetwood line-up also reunited at the request of U.S. President Bill Clinton for his first Inaugural Ball in 1993. Clinton had made Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” his campaign theme song. Inspired by the new interest in the band, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie recorded another album as Fleetwood Mac, with Billy Burnette on lead guitar, however he was replaced by singer/guitarist Bekka Bramlett and Traffic’s Dave Mason, who had worked with Bekka’s parentsDelaney & Bonnie twenty five years earlier. By March 1994, Billy Burnette, himself a good friend and co-songwriter with Delaney Bramlett, returned and the band, minus Christine McVie, toured in 1994, performing classic Fleetwood Mac songs from the initial 1967–1974 era On 10 October 1995, Fleetwood Mac released Time. Then Bramlett and Burnette left and formed a country music duo, Bekka & Billy.

In May 1996, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks made an appearance at a private party in Louisville,Kentucky prior to the Kentucky Derby. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham composed the duet, “Twisted” for the film “Twister” with Mick Fleetwood on drums. This eventually led to a full Rumours line-up reunion when the band officially reformed in March 1997. The regrouped Mac performed a live concert which was recorded as a live album, they also released the 20th anniversary of their Rumours album. In 1998, Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan) were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and performed at the Grammy Awards program that year. They were also the recipients of the “Outstanding Contribution to Music” award at the BRIT Awards(British Phonographic Industry Awards)

In 2003 Fleetwood Mac released the album,Say You Will, containing the songs “Peacekeeper” and “Say You Will” which was followed by a WorldTour. In 2009 Fleetwood Mac embarked on a ‘greatest hits’ show entitled Unleashed and Stevie Nicks wrote a song to raise funds for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac was re-released on an extended two-disc format and a new one-hour documentary, Fleetwood Mac: Don’t Stop, was shown. An episode of Glee entitled “Rumours” also featured six songs from the band’s 1977 album Rumours and sparked renewed interest in the band. Stevie Nicks’ also released a new solo album In Your Dreams. Fleetwood Mac reunited for a 2013 sellout tour without Bob Brunning, Former guitarist and singer Bob Weston or singer and guitarist Bob Welch who are sadly no longer with us, and performed two new songs. (“Sad Angel” and “Without You”), The band released their first new studio material in 10 years, Extended Play, on 30 April 2013. On 27 October, 2013 the band announced that John McVie had been diagnosed with cancer, and cancelled their New Zealand and Australian performances. HoweverSubsequent reports have described John McVie’s prognosis as “really good.” In 2014 Christine McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac and they embarked on a 33 Date North American Tour called on with the Show. In 2015, Buckingham suggested that the new album and the new tour might be Fleetwood Mac’s last act, however Mick Fleetwood was more enthusiastic.

Death to the Daleks

imageI have recently watched the exciting classic Doctor Who episode Death to the Daleks starring Jon Pertwee and Elizabeth Sladen. It starts when the TARDIS loses all power and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith venture outside to investigate the cause of the interference. The Doctor is captured by the planet’s inhabitants – the savage Exxilons. Sarah is also attacked by an Exxilon and flees into the night, finding a huge white city with a flashing beacon. When daylight arrives, the Doctor is found by a party of the Marine Space Corps; led by Galloway, who take him to their ship, which has been stranded by a power drain. They are on an expedition to mine “Parrinium” – a mineral abundant only on Exxilon – which can cure and give immunity from a deadly space plague which is affecting at least 10 million people. They show the Doctor some photos they have taken of the nearby city – which the Exxilons worship, sacrificing anyone who ventures too close to it. Unfortunately Sarah-Jane does so, and is captured and taken to the Exxilons’ caves to be sacrificed by their High Priest.

Shortly after A Dalek ship also crash lands on Exxilon.The Daleks try unsuccessfully to exterminate the Doctor and then explain that they are also suffering from the same Plague and Power drain and also need Parrinium. So The Daleks, the Doctor, and the humans form an uneasy alliance to obtain Parrinium and escape Exxilon. However the Exxilons ambush them and they are captured and are taken to the Exxilon caves where the Doctor interrupts Sarah Jane’s sacrifice and is also condemned to death. However the dual sacrifice is suddenly interrupted when a second force of Daleks attack with different weapons killing a number of Exxilons. They force the captured Exxilons and humans to mine Parrinium. The Doctor and Sarah flee into underground tunnels. Meanwhile Daleks reveal a diabolical plan to use the Perrinium to immunise themselves against the Plague whilst spreading it to other planets in order to kill the local population and conquer other worlds

Later The Doctor and Sarah meet a group of subterranean, fugitive Exxilons. Their leader, Bellal, explains that the city was built by the Exxilons’ ancestors, who were once capable of space travel. The ancient Exxilons built the city to be capable of maintaining, repairing, and protecting itself. However the city became self-aware and self sustaining and tried to clobber the Exxilons who fought back but to no avail and now the savage surface dwellers and Bellal’s group are the only survivors. Bellal’s people seek to complete their ancestors’ last, failed act – to destroy the city and ensure their race’s survival. Bellal explains that the city supports itself through underground “roots” and the aerial beacon. The Doctor goes to the city to resolve the problem.

Shortly afterwards The Daleks enter the maze-like city and the Doctor and Bellal face negotiating a series of increasingly lethal booby-trapped corridors whilst being hotly pursued by the Daleks in order to get to the Central Chamber and try to turn off the City’s computer and deactivate the beacon. However the City’s computer fights back, then the Dalek’s appear and it really kicks off. Meanwhile the bomb placed on the Beacon explodes and power is restored, which has a devastating effect on the city. Elsewhere The Daleks decide to leave Exxilon with the Parrinium intending to fire a Plague missile at Exxilon and destroy all life on the planet and reveal a devious plot to blackmail the galactic powers by witholding the Parrinium with which to immunise themselves against the space plague unless their sinister demands are met. However Sarah Jane reveals that all is not as it seems, Elsewhere Galloway stows away on the Dalek ship with explosive results…

Astro (UB40)

Astro, the percussionist and one of the founding members of British Reggae/pop band UB40 was born June 24 1957. Formed in 1978 in Birmingham, England, UB40 were named after the Unemployment Benefit form, in protest of widespread unemployment (As was the song “One in Ten” and have gone on to enjoy massive success, having placed more than 50 singles in the UK Singles Chart, and also achieving considerable international success. The band have also been nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album four times, and in 1984, were nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Group. One of the world’s best-selling music artists, UB40 have sold over 70 million records. Among Their hit singles are their debut “Food for Thought” and two U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number ones with “Red Red Wine”, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “I Got You Babe” featuring guest vocals from Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders.

The ethnic makeup of the band’s original lineup is diverse, with musicians of English, Scottish, Irish, Yemeni and Jamaican parentage. The band’s initial lineup lasted for 30 years from the band’s formation in 1978 until frontman Ali Campbell’s departure from the band in 2008. Since that time, two other founding members (Mickey Virtue and Astro) have also left the band, and the trio of Campbell, Virtue, and Astro have since formed UB40 Reunited and are due to play Birmingham O2 Academy on 19 December, London IndigO2 on 20 December and Manchester Academy on 21 December 2014. They also have a new song “Reggae Music” available to download from the website http://www.ub40.org and the released a new album in 2015.