Remembering when Fleetwood Mac reunited for Bill Clinton’s inauguration
For Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaign in 1993, the politician used Fleetwood Mac song ‘Don’t Stop’ throughout as his overriding message. Given its significance, it was only right that when he was inaugurated into the White House as our 42nd President that the group would come out of retirement to perform the track that had helped win election into the oval office. Here, we revisit the celebratory show at the Inaugural Gala the night before at the Capital Centre in Landover.
The event marked the first time that the Rumours era of the band had played together in six years following Lindsey Buckingham’s departure from the group in 1987, it arrived as a poignant moment to see Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie all alongside Buckingham once more even if it was just for one song.
“I didn’t feel overly connected to any of it, really,” Lindsey Buckingham told Westword back in 1993. “It was short and sweet. There were a lot of questions about whether this suggested a long-term reunion, and those were quickly put to rest by me. And that was it.”
Although Buckingham said in 1993 he didn’t give the performance much thought, it did reignite interest in the band whose career had started to falter as the years went by thanks to his departure after Stevie Nicks leaving in 1990 to focus on her solo career. The period also marked a time when Christie McVie was refusing to tour due to fear of flying and, for a moment, it had seemed that Fleetwood Mac’s magic had gone.
A low point of this era came when the band headed out on a tour of America as the middle act on a nostalgia bill alongside REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar with only Mick Fleetwood and John McVie being from the Rumours line-up.
After seeing the success of other bands getting their original line-up together to adoration, and following the increase in demand after the 1993 reunion, the five members put their personal issues behind them to go on The Last Dance tour which saw Fleetwood Mac fly back to the top.
Following the reformation, Nicks said how the inauguration played a part in her decision-making process: “At the inauguration, I just realised I wanted it to be back the way it was, or I didn’t want to be in it anymore,” she told the Houston Press. “For me, it made me realize that it had to be that five, or it couldn’t be. I couldn’t continue to be in a Fleetwood Mac that didn’t have Lindsey in it.”
There is something truly special that occurs when these five forces of nature put their personal problems complicated relationships to one side. The moment they step on stage, it creates tangible chemistry which is impossible to replicate that makes this Fleetwood Mac line-up so iconic.