Mick Fleetwood names the “most important period” of Fleetwood Mac

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From a commercial standpoint, the most successful era of Fleetwood Mac was the line-up that consisted of Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Those five individuals are who most people would immediately think of when they cast their mind to The Mac, but not for founding member Mick Fleetwood.

For him, the most crucial incarnation of Fleetwood Mac is their earliest, with Peter Green at the helm. Without that initial period of the band, the rest would never have occurred. Despite the vast heights they hit once later members joined the line-up, with Rumours alone selling 40 million copies worldwide, Fleetwood remains loyal to the band’s first line-up.

Under Green’s influence, Fleetwood Mac were a blues-rock outfit straight out of London in the swinging sixties. He was a virtuoso at the heart of the band and laid the foundations for their future, even if they drastically changed stylistically.

During his tenure with the band, Fleetwood Mac released four albums and established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in British music. Sadly, Green was ensued by mental health problems, which made him leave the band in 1970, coinciding with the exit of Danny Kirwan.

Following their departures, Fleetwood Mac went through a period of transition and evolving their sound until finally landing on their feet with the arrival of two young Americans, injecting new-found life into the group.

As much as Fleetwood enjoyed the life of luxury, which later came once they conquered the world, the drummer retains an intense emotional attachment to the first manifestation of Fleetwood Mac. They may have played dingy clubs rather than sold-out stadiums and travelled in vans instead of private planes, but it made for a more exciting experience.

Fleetwood told The Guardian in 2017: “I think it’s the most important because it’s how it started. We came from nothing, and with Peter [Green], we were doing what we love to do. For that reason, it’s the most important period for me. Because I like to think when things got crazy later on, at least I personally would remind myself that I was lucky to be doing what I was doing.”

In the same interview, Fleetwood explained why they didn’t consider disbanding after Green’s exit: “No, because we were really frightened. When Peter left, if ever there was a period where it was over rover, that was it. First of all, it was like: ‘What do we do?’ Jeremy was there, Danny was there, John was there. We were so petrified we all huddled together like we were in an elevator when there’s a power cut – you learn to make friends really quickly.”

According to the drummer, Green’s decision to name the group after his bandmates was because he knew they’d outlast him, and eventually, he’d decide to move on. While Fleetwood and McVie likely expected Green to survive with the band for over three years, his indelible mark remains tied to their legacy.

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