If there’s one band to epitomise the turbulence of artistry that one can find in a band, it’s Fleetwood Mac. The group are the poster-band for tense working relationships, but while the complexity of the band’s workings is deeply rooted in their legacy, Fleetwood Mac was always all about the music. In this rare footage of a 1977 rehearsal, you can see that as the band perform ‘Go Your Own Way’.
Fleetwood Mac was founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Bassist John McVie completed the lineup for their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1968. Keyboardist Christine Perfect, who contributed as a session musician from the second album, married McVie and joined in 1970. During this time the band represented a British blues band and only really found their heightened fame when they found Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in 1974.
Three years later and the band found international success with their eleventh studio LP Rumours. Written in the midst of personal turmoil for the majority of the band, who were almost impossibly intertwined with each other’s despair, the album laid bare their emotional fragility. Released in the spring, the album represented a sense of heightened drama between the group.
Despite this, the band were sent out on a huge worldwide tour (nearly 10 months of travelling) to promote the album, meaning that as space closed in the band’s tensions continued to rise. They, therefore, used their rehearsal time not only as a way of practising songs, they could likely play in their sleep, but as a way of trying to reinforce a bond which only comes between a group of musicians. In the footage you can see below you can watch one of these typical rehearsals for the Rumours tour of 1977.
In the same tape, you can hear the group sharing a laugh as Christine McVie, John McVie and Stevie Nicks all joke on the state of their roadies. But as Lindsay Buckingham brings the notes of his iconic track ‘Go Your Own Way’ to life the band clicks into gear and joins in effortlessly. They come together to build on Buckingham’s work and deliver a cherished performance of the song.
This building of layers and slowly an integration of sound allows us as the audience to appreciate the track in a new light. It might have now superseded the album it came from and become a classic rock track in its own right, it’s easy to forget the intricacy in the guitar work, the subtlety of power used in the vocal, and the band who transcended their issues for their art.
Watch below as Fleetwood Mac rehearse their classic track ‘Go Your Own Way’ back in 1977.
Source: Society of Rock