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Fleetwood Mac is one of the most popular bands in the history of rock and roll. What is so unique about them is the fact they are still together (after splitting up briefly albeit). They are currently touring, and they sound great. But they have a tumultuous history, full of drugs and love and strife. Here are 11 facts about Fleetwood Mac you may not have known…
1. They are ranked #22 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Atists of Rock & Roll. Their seminal album, Rumours, is ranked #16.
2. One of their earliest members, guitarist Danny Kirwin, was fired from the band way back in 1972. He spent some time homeless in the 80s, and has since disappeared from the music industry.
3. A year earlier, in 1971, Guitarist Jeremy Spencer left his hotel on a US tour to visit a book shop and did not return. He was eventually tracked down and found to have joined the religious group Children of God, and declared that he no long wanted to be part of the group.
4. While touring Europe in late March 1970, Peter Green binged on LSD at a party at a commune in Munich – an incident cited by Fleetwood Mac manager Clifford Davis as the crucial point in his mental decline. He would later be diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in psychiatric hospitals undergoing electroconvulsive therapy during the mid 1970s. Green was arrested in 1977 for threatening his accountant, Clifford Davis, with a shotgun, to reportedly stop him from sending him royalties. It was after this incident that Green was sent to a psychiatric institution in London.
5. The song “You Make Loving Fun” is inspired by Christine McVie’s affair with the band’s lighting director, Curry Grant.
6. Former US President Bill Clinton used the song “Don’t Stop” as a part of his election campaign. They performed the track at his Inaugural Ball in 1993.
7. Christine McVie left the band in 1998 at the end of the US tour of “The Dance”. She sold up and moved back to the UK where she now lives in Kent. While she has seen Fleetwood Mac on subsequent tours, she had not joined them on stage until recently.
8. The band remains one of the highest-selling acts of all time, with their record sales totaling over 140 million.
9. Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were in a band called “Fritz” prior to both “Buckingham Nicks” and Fleetwood Mac. They opened for Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix in the San Francisco Bay Area.
10. Stevie Nicks sought treatment at the Betty Ford Center in 1986 for cocaine addiction and was prescribed the tranquilized Klonopin to help avoid a relapse. In 1993, she entered detox from Klonopin in a hospital which led to her subsequent weight gain.
11. Their 1988 greatest hits album is said to have been the last to be commercially released as an 8 track tape by a major label.