Clips & Pix: Fleetwood Mac/Black Magic Woman

The above clip was captured in Tulsa, Okla. during the opening show of Fleetwood Mac’s 50-plus-date North American tour – the first featuring the band’s new lineup with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn and without Lindsey Buckingham. According to setlist.fm, Fleetwood Mac had not played Black Magic Woman since 1987. The tune goes back all the way to the band’s blues origins. Written by British blues rock artist Peter Green, Black Magic Woman was Fleetwood Mac’s third single released in March 1968. Only a couple of years later, it became a signature song and major hit for Santana.

I realize posting this footage may trigger some comments, or maybe not, but one thing is for sure – ever since Fleetwood Mac announced Buckingham’s exit and their new lineup, there has been a good deal of debate whether the band can be same without him. In my opinion, the answer is a clear ‘no,’ but I also feel this doesn’t mean they can’t go on. Plus, it’s worth remembering that this wasn’t Buckingham’s first departure.

To be clear, I think Lindsey Buckingham is a terrific artist who wrote or co-wrote many Fleetwood Mac tunes I dig, such as Monday Morning (Fleetwood Mac, 1975) The Chain (Rumours, 1977), Tusk (Tusk, 1979) and Big Love (Tango In The Night, 1987). His distinct vocals blended well with Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie. And let’s not forget he’s a really talented guitarist with a signature sound. Fleetwood Mac simply cannot be the same band without him – and that’s okay!

I will say the circumstances of Buckingham’s departure look unfortunate. Supposedly, there were artistic disagreements between him and the band about the tour, which was then in the planning stages. Sure, at the time there were five members in Fleetwood Mac, and when it’s four against one, at some point you have to figure out how to move forward as a band. But the speed with which that decision was made is remarkable, especially when it comes to a longtime member like Buckingham, who had been with Fleetwood Mac for a total of 38 years, if my math is correct. He already departed once before in 1987 and returned in 1992.

I think it’s intriguing that Fleetwood Mac have revamped their set list, which now combines older material and deeper cuts like Black Magic Woman, Tell Me All The Things You Do (Kiln House, 1970), Hypnotized (Mystery To Me, 1973) and Monday Morning (Fleetwood Mac, 1975) with usual suspects, such as The Chain (Rumours, 1977), Dreams (Rumours), Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac, 1975) and Little Lies (Tango In The Night, 1987). I also feel the inclusion of Crowded House’s Don’t Dream It’s Over Over and Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’ is okay and doesn’t make Fleetwood Mac a cover band.

Having said all of the above, I saw Fleetwood Mac (Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) once in 2013, just months prior to the announcement of Christine McVie’s return. It was a solid show, and I think that does it for me with seeing this band live for time being, especially given high ticket prices and other artists I’d like to see.

Sources: Setlist.fm, Wikipedia, YouTube

15 thoughts on “Clips & Pix: Fleetwood Mac/Black Magic Woman”

  1. Wow, they even go back to the original rendition! Funny how that song came out years before Stevie joined, yet it’s such a Stevie song. As for Buckingham, the saga of FM has gone on for so long now, this just seems like another chapter. If they’re going to try to be the same Rumours-era band, then they’ll fail. If their setlist is all over the place going back to the early-mid 70’s, then it’ll work. I wouldn’t go hear that same ‘ol show anyway. This, though, is intriguing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree it’s smart from Fleetwood Mac that they have revamped their set list.

      Somewhere I read that adding the older material plays to Mike Campbell’s strengths. While I’m not saying Buckingham couldn’t play a track like “Black Magic Woman”, I think Campbell is more of a traditional rock guitarist, so it’s more up his alley.

      Campbell, on the other hand, may have a harder time to pull off tunes like “Big Love” and “Never Going Back Again” where Buckingham absolutely killed it on acoustic guitar. So it’s perhaps not a coincidence that those two songs aren’t on the current Fleetwood Mac set list.

      Like

  2. Very interesting. I wasn’t at all expecting Stevie to sing that. I guess the larger question is whether she can sing the blues. I’ll give her a B+ but not every vocalist can sing blues for whatever reason. As to Campbell, he acquits himself pretty nicely here although Green’s famous vibrato is a tough act to follow. I read somewhere recently that when they hired Buckingham/Nicks, they wanted to make sure Lindsey could follow in the Peter Green tradition. Which, to me, sounds like so much revisionist bullshit. Mick Fleetwood is determined to keep this band going. As great a player as Buckingham is – and I think he’s terrific – he’s not really a blues player. But as you well know with all the tribute bands, the guy that replaces the guy has to be good enough to pull off all the parts. I’m going to see another version of Cream tribute band tomorrow night. (Baker’s son, Clapton’s nephew, Bruce’s son.) We’ll see if I miss Clapton. And BTW, if Campbell/Finn can acquit themselves reasonably on “Oh Well,” that’s all they need.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with you on Fleetwood Mac.

      I also think you and I are going to see the same Cream tribute show: The Music Of Cream 50th Anniversary Tour. They’re coming to my neck of the woods on Oct 23.

      This Saturday, I’m also going to see another Cream tribute called Heavy Cream. They are playing with this Jimi Hendrix tribute Kiss The Sky I mentioned the other day.

      Afterwards, I suppose I’ll have cream coming out of me everywhere!🤣

      Like

      1. Yep, that’s the Cream one. I already saw (and wrote about) Kofi a while back. I had no plans to see him again but my buddy hadn’t seen the show so off we go. We’ll give Clapton’s nephew 5 minutes to establish himself and if he’s not up to snuff, we’ll grab his guitar and show him how it’s done! 🙂

        As to the cream coming out of you, no comment. 🙂

        Like

      2. BTW, I should also add I wonder why they would throw a band member under the bus after so many years. Maybe it wasn’t just his attitude about this particular tour but perhaps the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Buckingham’s exit certainly does look somewhat mysterious to me.

        Probably, it came down to strong egos clashing, something that unfortunately is all too common in music and the main reason why most bands don’t last. Perhaps given the creative nature of making music, perhaps it’s unavoidable to some extent.

        Somewhere I read Buckingham had gotten bored. So maybe he somewhat deliberately provoked rattling the boat. Since he already left once before, yet Fleetwood Mac continued, perhaps Mick Fleetwood concluded, ‘we went on without him then and can do so again.’ And he’s probably right!

        Like

      4. I would think ego is certainly one of the main clashes in bands. But in my reading it’s often money and fame, the very things they want, that does them in. Pink Floyd will tell you that ‘Dark Side’ was a double-edged sword. And speaking of money, I was just reflecting on how Buckingham in Mac plays in arenas to huge crowds while Buckingham the solo artist, well?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Wow. Excellent article. Thanks for sharing that. So Stevie put her foot down, eh? Her ex-lover. Harsh. And if true, the band made a calculated decision that Buckingham was dispensable but the fans gotta have Stevie! And I note that, as we discussed, Mac will be playing the Garden while Lindsey plays Town Hall, whatever that is. But, as his own wife admits, Lindsey’s a “prickly guy.” I think he got off on taunting Nicks’ image and she got sick of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Wow, huh. Well, it’s not the first time something like this has happened in a band. You want ugly? Look no further than the Beatles’ breakup. “How Do You Sleep At Night” “Fuck You” etc. Good for Lindsey I say, frankly. Yes it is about the money. But at this point, a band like Mac is basically a money machine. It’s a business. Stevie even says it. Why record a fucking album when you can go on the road and make a ton of cash? It’s a cash grab. And as we discussed, Lindsey is going to earn a LOT less as a solo artist no matter how you slice it. Well, at least they’ll get a good album’s worth of songs out of it.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s