Q&A Sessions
Ken Caillat: August 2 - 15, 2001
Page 5

Lindsey appears very at ease with a guitar in his hands, but he has always admitted that hes not confident or particularly satisfied with his lyric writing. I recall Stevie once saying too that she thought Lindsey was sometimes shy about singing. Was he ever shy about sharing or singing the lyrical content of his songs? Thanks very much. (Anonymous, Washington)

Always-- the reason, as discuss on the DVD, was that there were 2 versions of Never Going Back Again, he refused to let us hear the vocal until he had laid all the guitar tracks down, but when he finally sang it, it was in the wrong key!

Among the bandmembers, who do you think has changed the most through the years? Your business ventures all sound very exciting and I look forward to following the new ways you come up with to enhance our listening experiences. Good luck to you! (Anonymous, Washington)

Changed in looks? No comment. In attitude, Chris.

Hi Ken! Thank you so much for doing this. You asked for a little info, so I'll tell you that I am 24 years old, and my love for Fleetwood Mac started when I saw The Dance on MTV. (Although at that point I thought Mick was Lindsey and vice versa-I've learned a little bit since then. ;)

My question is, what do you think of demos, rehersal tapes, and the like making it out to fans? It is common knowledge that these are out there, many of us knew some of Stevie's songs from the new album because we had heard them in demo form. Do you think hearing such rough cuts and what not hurt or help the band? From my perspective, having them comes from a place of love for the band and their music, and wanting to hear their brillance as much as possible. Again, thank you for your candor and knowledge, and I hope you and FM work together again in the future! (Maura Carney, Arlington, Massachusetts, USA)

I don't mind versions getting out early except when it hurts record sales.

The Tusk liner notes state that some tracks were done in Lindsey's home. Did he deliver finished tracks or did you have to do anything to them to prepare them for the record? I remember him stating that 1912 bathrooms were "very rock 'n' roll." (Tracy Garner, Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

No, never finished tracks, maybe finished ideas, but they still had to be recorded on a 24 track and the rest of the band would play their parts. He liked to record in his old bathrooms.

Hi Ken. I dont have a question, but a comment. As an adult, Im more emotionally attached to the members of Fleetwood Mac than I like to admit. I became a fan when I was a kid and still see no signs of growing out of it. I dont think I ever will. Besides the music, which is the ultimate draw, it seems like there are a lot of non-musical things that draw fans to the members of Fleetwood Mac. For me personally, its not even the romantic entanglements, but it has more to do with recognizing the disparate types of personalities involved and the very human, flawed, insecure people (who also happen to be really talented) trying to work through their own considerable amounts of sh*t as individuals and as a group. Sometimes they really struggle, dont show their best sides, and do so before millions of watching and judging eyes, which is a trade-off for rock stardom, but I dont imagine its a trade-off that is at all easy to handle; I dont think I could. I just want to thank you for your insights that dont play up the infallible rock idol angle, but the human angle. Theyre a gloriously messy group of people and I hope each last one of them realizes how much love there is out there for each of them, because I know Im not alone in this. Love and best wishes to you and the band forever. (Anonymous, Los Angeles, California)

We know the story about Stevie writing Dreams in the studio and bringing it in for everyone to listen to thanks to the Making of Rumours video, and I was wondering if this was a regular occurance...for all of the writers in the band. (Tracy Garner, Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

Regular for Stevie.

Hi Ken! Thanks so much for answering all of our questions. I was wondering, since there were a lot of emotional issues among the band members, did this have an effect on which songs were chosen for albums or whether song lyrics were edited to avoid conflict? If so, can you remember and particular instances or examples? Thanks! (Anusha, New York, New York)

Sure it's kind of survival of the fittest and only the best songs make it through the process. I don't think any songs were edited to avoid conflict, there was plenty of conflict, what's a little more?

Hello Ken, you busy man! This is a thrill - thanks! My question is about the song that made me want to play guitar, which evolved into studio engineering blahblahblah... I'm talking about "So Afraid"; The version off `80's "Live" album still blows my doors off after 21 years, but whenever I hear the fade-out at the end of the original 'white album' version I wonder where the band went with it in the studio - did Lindsey's guitar weep buckets for another 3 or 4 minutes??? Did Mick, John & Chris build to a cool frenzy; or did that whole thing develop in the shows over the next few tours? What I wouldn't give to hear the multi-track masters of that session... Also, I hope and pray you and Richard are involved with the new project. Peace. (Jeff Tweeter, Glenwood, Minnesota, USA)

Since I didn't do the earlier album, I don't know what went on after the fade, but I'm sure the answer is nothing, Keith would not have faded out that. I remember Lindsey telling me the song just evolved live and became this monster and who knew? Some songs just do that-- Rhiannon would be another.

What album did you have the most fun working on? And what did you do when you were bored in the studio? (Was it drugs and parties and jams, Oh my!?!) (Tracy Garner, Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

All of them. When I was bored, I would usually try to get something going, as opposed to what you suggested, which would cause more of the same, a vicious cycle...

Hello again, Ken! Now that I've fawned all over you, I thought I'd ask a question or two. Have you heard any of the pre-Stevie/Lindsey Mac albums? If so, what do you think of them? (Also, when you're on the phone with Warners, lobbying on our behalf and telling them about all the stuff we want to help them make a profit from, please mention those pre-1975 albums as well. The fanbase may not be as large as the one for the Rumours-era, but there's still plenty of us!) (Jim Wagner, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, USA)

You mean like the Blues, sure, great stuff. Ok, I will.

On Tusk -- do you know what the reasoning was behind giving Lindsey "Special Thanks" instead of a producer credit? Was it purely a financial issue (he would make more money if he got the producer credit, right)? Thanks again for answering my question! (Anusha, New York, New York, USA)

Well, it had always said "produced by Fleetwood Mac", and Lindsey was in Fleetwood Mac. And it's not like the rest of the band were outside taking a nap! No financial issue at all.

Hi there! I guess this is less of a question and more of a suggestion as to what fans would like to see released. I personally would be thrilled with solid, remastered reissues on CD of the main albums-white album, Rumours, Tusk, Mirage, Mystery to Me, and Bare Trees for starters (I'd like to see the whole back catalog, but let us not get greedy!) The current CD issues on all of these leave something to be desired. Tusk, especially, is an embarassment both in sound quality and (especially) in packaging. It is, in my humble opinion, on of the best LP packages I have ever seen (and I've seen them all-I work retail in a indie record store). I would like to see all of these albums done justice by Warner Brothers with proper remastering and original packaging. (Betsy, Orlando, Florida, USA)


When the recording of Tusk was going on did Lindsey use any furniture to create the sounds he wanted like He did with the chair for I think "Second Hand News"? Also on Tusk during the song "Sister of the Moon" if you read the lyrics in the cd case there is a couple extra verses, but when I listened to the song there are no extra verses. Where are these verses were they cut or is it that I just can't hear them? (John, Attleboro, Massachusetts, USA)

I don't remember any furniture, I think those lyric were removed, I remember I thought that song would never end. Stevie could go on and on! She's prolific!

I am thankful for your previous answer! I too would be happy with Chris performing on the album but not on tour. I think all of the fans hope to see her do what makes her happy. And I truly feel the record company has NO CLUE what they are doing (promotion, Europe, MTV, higher sales, to name a few). My question-- recently I bought a fender Rhodes Mark.1 '73 stage piano, for like NO money. Did the Mac ever use it, and is it nowadays as rare as it said? I really like the sound ! When I start recording my own music (I'm a singer/ piano player) in time I'll defenitely use it. Do you like the F.R.? (Michel, Utrecht, The Netherlands (Holland))

Yes, Chris used to use the Rhodes. I don't know how rare it is, I liked it.

Hi Ken-- It's Jeanne from Abraham Lincoln High School. It is great to see you doing a Q&A session on the Penguin. It is a great site with lots of information on the band it's music and it's members. I am a relatively recent fan of Fleetwood Mac and I do especially love their music. I am going to get to see Stevie's Trouble In Shangri-La tour performance at Shoreline on August 14th. I am SO excited. I first recognized your name on the credits of the Rumours video. You have a distinctive, unusual name like I do. I looked you up in the yearbook to verify it was you. It was then I remembered talking with you all those years ago at our Class reunion at the St. Claire Hotel about you producing records. I seem to be a bit late on the uptake here. hahaha.

Those Fleetwood Mac albums you and Richard produced were and are still really great. You still seem to be at the forefront of technology with your earthquake predictor and surround sound product. That is great. Glad to hear you are doing so well. Thanks for the information on the DVD player and stuff. I have wanted to get the Rumours DVD but I have nothing to play it on. LOL. Thanks for doing the Q&A. It is great to see you around again. (Jeanne, Campbell, California, USA)

Hello Jeanne, it's very nice to hear from you. I will also be seeing Stevie's tour August 17th in Santa Barbara, if I ever finish all these questions! It appears I have lost my yearbook but I do remember talking to a a young lady at my reunion but I'm sorry I can't put a face to your name. I'll send you an e-mail offline, Thanks for remembering. Ken

Did Christine and Stevie ever collaborate on composition like Lindsey and Christine had? Thanks again for your superb DVD package. I can't put it down and want more! (John Barbarotta, Encino, California, USA)

Stevie and Chris collaborated on The Chain.

Hello Ken, Thanks for your time and graciousness! It is really incredible for fans (and avid music lovers) to be able to speak with you almost directly!

I am impressed by all the different questions posted here, as well as your answers. I have a couple of questions.

First a point, not really a question. Obviously, you have already commented on how the music industry and radio has changed so much in the last few years. But believe me, there are plenty of people out there that are not as interested in the new music that is out now, or that has come out in the last 10 years. A few hits here and there, but nothing really solid like the old days. Now I may sound like a old fogy, but I am just 32. I have plenty of purchasing power in the years to follow. I am technically savvy, and this new stuff is cool! (I am just drawing a little profile for you here....) I grew up on 80's (including 80's Mac), and wondered what happen to music in the early 90's, so I started listening to the 70's, and I was hooked. I discovered Rumors much later than Tango. For me, slowly discovering 70's music in the early 90's was kind of like finding a new lease on life. Everyday there is something new to listen to in the old stuff, because it is so incredibly good. Pure emotion (and unfortunately, drugs) made a lot of good music. I have turned through countless pages of boxed sets, read hundreds of hours of internet articles, and message boards, and I still can?t soak it all in. My point is, if you are re-releasing anything 5.1 from the 70's, your company will probably do well. I think even the people in there 20's now will turn to the older music as they mature.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Stevie at a radio promotion in Dallas. A very small setting, in a room of about 20 people. I had won a promotion, and was allowed to bring something for her to sign, and was allowed to speak with her directly. I brought my Buckingham Nicks LP, which a friend gave to me about a year ago. (I wrote a complete compilation of my Stevie visit and posted it here on the Ledge, as well as NicksFix) When it was my turn to speak to Stevie, I asked her if she minded that I brought the LP, and she said was fine with it. I told her that the music was incredible, and it was a shame that it couldn't get released to CD. She agreed, and told me that she and Lindsey owned the rights to it, and that she was ready to let it fly, but Lindsey was not quite ready yet. I understand all that you have posted about the multi-track masters, but have you asked Lindsey about whether he would agree to have it re-released? Does it matter if he would? (Phillip Greene, Fort Worth, Texas, USA)

Speaking of the '70s, we have many great compilations in 5.1 available. Go to the web site and check it out. There's "Classic Rock", "Women on Top", "Classic Crooners" , "New Wave", and "New-Age". My engineers did a great job. I highly recommend these! Naturally, I have spoken to Lindsey about Buckingham Nicks and we are helping him find the multi's. Thanks.

In your many adventures with FM, you've obviously met Bob Welch. What was it like working with him ? Bob Brunning in his book claims that Lindsey resented Bob Welch and his influence on FM. Did Lindsey ever show ANY behaviour of this sort ? Is John McVie really obsessed with penguins as we are led to believe ? Did you ever have any interesting experiences with Billy Burnette and Rick Vito ? Lastly, besides FM & Classic Rock, what other types of musical genres do you enjoy ? I personally like Country & Western (Dixie Chicks, Dwight Yoakam, & Shania Twain) Jazz (Diana Krall) New Age (Lorenna McKennitt)and even Mexican Mariachi music !!!! Once again thank you for all of your time and I'll probably see you with some more questions ! (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, New Jersey, USA)

Bob was a great guy, very friendly. No, I never saw any resentment. John is not obsessed with penguins, He never wore a penguin suit for Holloween, Billy could party!!!!! I like all kinds of music

Thank you Ken, for such detailed answers. If you ever do write a book, I'll be first in line :) What did you do after Rumours hit? Did you go right back to work? (Tracy Garner, Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

I went to Aspen with the guys of the Mac and went skiing and looking for girls, naturally!

Hi Ken --- one last question. You worked with Fleetwood Mac for a long period, during which there was always tension. Did the tension ever get worse or better? Which albums had the most troubled sessions? Do you think that the emotional tension benefited the music for all of the albums? some? none? Thanks! (Anusha, New York, New York, USA)

Every album had some sort of tension. When we were in France, everybody was homesick. On Tusk, nobody wanted Lindsey to play their part for them, and Rumours, it was love, for somebody else. Emotional tension? For Rumours yes, after that, maybe not.

Who worked out the vocal arrangements for the music? Or the musical arrangements, for that matter? (Tracy Garner, Stockbridge, Georgia, USA)

The band as a whole worked on the arrangements.

Hello Ken!! I am a Huge Fan of FM but only where Lindsey Buckingham is involved, I'm from Ireland and from what I can see when somebody mentions Fleetwood Mac people think of Stevie Nicks and they don't even know who LB is. Was it Buckingham's solo career that kind of kept him sublime like this or am I imagining it, I also wonder why FM didnt play in Ireland on the Tusk tour? (James Tierney, Clontemple, Ireland)

Hello, James, You are certainly right about Lindsey's solo career versus Stevie's, but I think she always wrote the better songs, on the average. We have a saying in the music biz, it's all about the songs (the song is King). I think Lindsey's problem is he's not comfortable with people and it comes across in his music, Stevie on the hand is comfortable with people (and loves them to adore her) and it comes across in her songs. I'm sorry James, I don't know why they didn't play in Ireland. Thanks for the question.

Hi Ken, can I just say thank you so much for doing this, it means a lot to all the Mac fans out there. We all know the 'Rumours' album is one of the best. You must feel real proud knowing you were part of that. All relationships were in turmoil at the time, wasn't there times when everyone just got along and had a laugh? I've heard that when Stevie & Lindsey argued, they did just that, when they got along did they really get on well? (Kelly, Yapton, West Sussex, U.K.)

Thank you for you kind words. Yes, there were many times when everyone was getting along. Remember I have said this is a business, it was their job, they came to work just like you or me and had to get to work and they did, they had a job to do and they were professional. We would go out to dinner in Sausalito, and cluster in groups, there were ups and downs.

Hi Ken! I've heard you say a lot about people's questions to release live recordings to the public. But what is the PROBABILITY that it could happen? I am a HUGE fan of a lot of they're live material from the Tusk tour, and would love to see some of it out. Do you think it can happen? Thanks!! (Graham Zebrasky, Brownsburg, Indiana, USA)

If not help from the outside, then Warners would have a less than 10% chance of releasing something live. Remember they already have the Dance out and the live album, they don't want to hurt sales on those, I promise you some exec at Warners knows he'd be canned for suggesting such a "stupid" idea as hurting sales of product they already have out. Plus, you know musicians, they're always excited on what they're working on now. The band probably would feel not inclined to release old stuff. I believe they'd think that their fans would think they're just releasing the old stuff to make money, which is exactly what labels do after a band is finished putting out new stuff. Look at the Beatles. Capitol is releasing every possible combination they can think of to make more money. We call it "milking the catalogue." I'm going to downgrade my estimate to 1%. Now if Marty can collect enough requests for this as well, we could probably license it.

Greetings Ken, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. I have a few questions from all over - so please bear with me. First, going back to "25 Years: The Chain" can you explain the different (aka "Alternate") mixes provided there of some of the better known songs (The Chain for example)? Where any of these mixes the starting point for the DVD-A release? Secondly, during the preparation of the that box set, how involved where each member of the band (both the "Rumours" and the "Mask" members....)?

I am very happy to hear you've signed Dishwalla to your label. I had the pleasure of seeing them open for Matthew Sweet at Peabody's in Cleveland many years ago. Loved there stuff then, and am hopeful for new material. Do they have an official website? Will there material (as well as all your clients material) only be released in 5.1?

I may be the ONLY person who has yet to hear the remastered DVD-A "Rumours" (hey- I'm a broadcaster - we make NO money!!!), but I did have a great time watching the "Classic Albums: Rumours" DVD, especially when the master tapes were dissasembled (soloed) to show the raw performance of each. The story of the loss of high-end on the master tapes was classic. How hard was it to sync-up the mastertapes to the back-ups before SEMPTE (time code)? What is your opinion of the other forthcoming DVD audio technology "super cd" or something to that effect?

Finally, my vote for the next DVD-A Fleetwood Mac item would have to be the white FM album, in my mind these have always gone together. "World Turning" in 5.1 would be fantastic..... All the best to you Ken, hope you get to be a part of the new project! Thanks to Marty and family for hosting this Q&A, and to you for taking the time. (Todd Richards, Cleveland, Ohio, USA)

First question, we make alternative mixes to cover our butts, we might do one with the vocals up and then one with the bass up, in case later we change our mind. During the preparation of the box set, John, Mick, and Lindsey were involved, along with Richard. Dishwalla is great. We are very happy that they are with us, Great guys!! You can get to their web site thru ours, under immigrant Records. Their material will be released in CD as well as DVD-Audio(96k/24bit) in February. How hard was it to sync up the master and Safety reel, from 1-10, 8.5?

We did it at ABC Dunhill studio's and there was this head of maintenance who persevered for at least 12 hours! We should all be eternally grateful to him, but I don't know his name...Jerry????? Super Audio Cd, sucks in my opinion . It doesn't allow for video or pictures, like DVD Audio does. Thank you for your questions.

Hello Ken. Thanks for doing this and being willing to answer so many questions. I can just tell you, as a long-time fan, how meaningful it is to hear from you. My question is about the album you co-produced with Christine for Robbie Patton. That album has a wonderful sound to it. Do you have any memories of what it was like working with Christine on this project?

Also, as a keyboard player, I love the sound of vintage the Wurlitzer, Fender R., Hohner, and I play on a Yamaha CP model (like what Chris used on Think About Me and Angel). Do you like recording those keyboards or would you prefer digital boards? I know the classic ones (my Wurly in particular) has extra noise that is hard to get rid of. Thanks again, Ken. God Bless. (Mark, Missouri, USA)

Robbie Patton, yes I had just had an operation on my foot and I had to keep soaking it in cold water, so I was hopping around the studio on one foot. I have a tape somewhere of when Chris got me hammered on Champagne and got me to sing Distant Shores, it wasn't pretty!

I love the old keyboards, yes Chris had a Yamaha. The nice thing about recording the new keyboaard is that they sound so great, no noise, no low end distortion, but they don't sound the same. My favorite key is the Hammond B3. I used to love using the B3 by itself on other instruments. Extra noise on the Wurly hard to get rid of? No, just nuke the top end and compensate with mids.

Hi! I was wondering if there was any video footage taken of the Tusk tour? Do you think VH1 will produce the Fleetwood Mac Behind the Music on DVD so all of the crazy Fleetwood Mac fans can buy it?!!It would be cool if they put all of their music videos on there too. I really appreciate the work and time you put into Rumours, Mirage and Tusk. They are works of art with lots of texture. You should be very proud. (Marci Ramos, Carlsbad, California, USA)

Thank you for your kind words, I don't know what VH1, will do. Somebody should license the Classic album series and release it. I think you probably seen all the footage from the Tusk tour.

I know that you are amazed with how educated Fleetwood Mac fans are; I didn't even know how educated we were, amazing. Nonethless, Ken, I hope that I am not repeating a previous question; I want to ask you about a Christine McVie song from "Tusk." There is an obscure song that people rarely discuss called "Never Make Me Cry". I have only ever listened to it on my vinyl copy. I have always wanted to hear it reworked into DVD-Audio. I feel that this song is an ironic masterpiece. My question is, do you have memory of how the song came into being, the recording effort, yours or the bands viewpoint on the song, or just anything about it? I really feel that the recording is a perfect rendition to the lyrics, and would love to hear it live. (Arnold Corkill, New York, New York, USA)

I don't have any memories of this song. I think after I get the multi's and start playing with it, things will come back to me. I think you will hear a diffferent Tusk when you hear DVD Audio, people (the average listeners) are going to understand Tusk a lot better. I think this album was made for DVD audio. But Chris' song always happened the same way-- she'd come in, sit down, and start playing on piano, organ or rhodes. She'd kind of go into a trance, I'd get her into her head phones, everybody else would put the cans on, and start playing along quietly. Finally Chris would look up and say "Bloody Hell, that sounds great you guys, do you like it? (spoken in her British accent with the "like it" part pitching up.)

Hi Ken, sorry to be speculative again but if the Mac CD catalogue was remastered (whether it be with bonus tracks or not), would it be possible to list all of the instuments used on each song individually (as you had done on the Rumours DVD audio) after the lyrics in the CD booklets with the person who played each of those instuments, vocals tracks, etc.? I know it would be very obvious in most places as to who played what but it seems there have been a handful of cases over the years where, for instance, say Lindsey may have played drums on some Tusk songs or whatever (which of course would mean that Mick wouldn't be on that particular song. So if I was making a list for a friend of all the songs that Mick played on, for example, then I could rest easy knowing that I would have documentation to back it up rather than doing a lot of assuming and probably end up passing on incorrect information which I really don't want to do to my friends) and as I would like to learn about all the Mac recordings as much as I can, this would be most helpful and informative. I realize that there will be cases when it simply can't be determined as I remember Lindsey stating on the Rumours DVD audio commentary for "The Chain" that it could have been "himself or Mick" that would've done the kick drum part but at least if it's as narrowed down as it can be, we would have the most correct info that we can get and I know these records were done, well, let's just say, years ago that people questioned about these facts may not remember who played what on which song too well but at least if it's done now, some things may be recalled as oppossed to this being done many years from now when nothing would be remembered then we would never know. Anyway, this would be great. Especially on some of the live accompanyment the band has had on the live releases (such as "The Dance" & "Live" among others) and a few of the guest appearances that have been used over the years (such as Waddy on "Sugar Daddy," Peter Green on "Brown Eyes" etc). It's done with most solo artists anyways but they just list the general list like guitar by so & so, bass by so & so, keyboards by so & so, but not each guitar part, vocal part, etc. At least the complete list like the way you have it on the Rumours DVD audio on CD rereeases would set the Mac catalogue releases far apart and above from it's other Warner's counterparts. What do you think? Thanks again for your patience with my ramblings, I just wanted to make sure that I covered all the bases when I explained it to you. (Sincerely, John Fitzgerald, Peabody, Massachusetts)

It is possible if you start working at Warners, but probably, if things go unchanged and Warner decides to release something they probably wouldn't call anyone and this info wouldn't be gotten from me, so I should write a book? By the way, Mick played the Kick on the "Chain".

Hi Ken, thank you for your time and patience ... its been a real treat being able to "pick" the mind of an insider! My question is: What was the mood of the band after Stevie released Bella Donna and was there any tension? Do you think that her solo career has affected the band in a negative manner i.e. the Mac could have released more albums / toured longer, etc.? Don't get me wrong -- I'm a huge Stevie fan, I was just curious as to what the mood was like around that time period as well as your thoughts about a band member having a solo career. Thanks! (Michael Hanson, Eden Prairie, Minnesota, USA)

As I've said, this is business. And it's good business for a Fleetwood Mac album if one of the members is hot and is having a hit. They know they're going to sell more records, more royalties, more cars, bigger houses. The only worry would have been if Stevie would have been too distracted doing interviews and being hasseled by her biz managers regarding financial issues. Now it is an issue-- they are having to wait until October for Stevie to join them in the Studio, but she sent them her demos and they are working on them without her (not the best idea in my opinion).

Dear Mr. Caillat! Thank you for your time and the wonderful work you have done with FM. My question concerns the new DVD Audio everybody is so excited about. Please understand, not all of us can afford a DVD Audio player. They cost a lot of money, especially in Europe. Now, do you think there will be a remastered release of the CD including "Silver Springs"? Compared to newer albums, the sound quality of the original CD is unfortunately rather poor, so it would be great to hear a digitally remastered version. I am sure this would prove to be a smart move from Warner. Thank you. (Dirk Gindt, Stockholm, Sweden, USA)

No, I do not think Warners will release a CD version, but maybe if our friend, John gets a job at Warners! My chief engineer, Claus, just bought a DVD player, open box, at Best Buy for $249.

Hi Ken! This has to be my favorite Q&A yet, you are very friendly and I haven't stopped smiling once! You seem very together and happy and it's nice to know the music business doesn't mess up everyone's heads!

Among so many other things, I'm very facinated by the making of Mirage. I know you have mentioned various things about it (your 8-month old daughter crawling on the console) but what exactly was it like? I know there must have been tension because of the solo records that had come out and also because they were older and not as connected. Did you find those sessions more difficult than the Rumours sessions? Was everyone more into drugs at that point? I know you have a million questions being tossed at you right now, but if you could just describe the Mirage sessions...?? :) Well, thank you! You rock! (Janet Strayer, Riverside, New Jersey, USA)

Honestly, I thought several of the younger members acted like babies in France. They were picky about the food, we had full time chefs there, and I would walk down past their rooms and I would see piles of uneaten food left outside their doors. I had to order TV's and VCR's for them and had my friends in L.A. tape their favorite shows and send them to me. Yes, I found the Mirage sessions in France much more difficult than Rumours because they didn't want to be there, during Rumours they were just sad. But during Mirage there were so many business distractions for them (I, of course, was on holiday, I brought my family (including the life of the party, Pal)). Of course the seasoned veterans of the band were great! In the end I think we all gave up and went home to L.A. I felt like that effort to get everybody away failed. We got good tracks though, but for those who were uncomfortable in France, they got to go home. And at home, guess what? I had to spray the studio every day to keep out the biz managers.

Hi Ken! I think you are the greatest producer there is. I give you a lot of credit for what you do. A job well done! My question for you is what inside of you made you want to become a producer? Thanks. (Dani Worster, Johnston, Rhode Island, USA)

Wow, thanks very much. Producers are frustrated musicans. I liked the pay and working with music. Producers get a percentage of the record sales, which means when I'm not working, and the record is selling , I'm getting paid! Not bad! Of course if the record stiffs or if the record company doesn't do their job, I don't get paid.

Hi Ken! Thanks for joining us all for Q&A. I'm a weekend warrior musician with a small project studio (Mac/PC) at home. What do you think of all the nifty things that musicians can do with their computers nowadays using ProTools, Logic Audio, Cubase, Cakewalk etc.? Do big studios perceive this as a threat? BTW, I thought my CD copy of Fleetwood Mac's "Mirage" could be a little more punchy. I extracted the audio from the CD and processed all the tracks using Sound Forge 5.0 using the Wave Hammer plug-in (volume maximizer) with a -6.0 dB threshold and 0.0dB volume ceiling. (Note, I didn't mess with compression.) I then burned a new CD using these processed tracks. My "new" Mirage sounds better to me. Wish I could have you listen to see what you think. Anyway, that's one example of what us little people can do. Just wondering what you think of it all? (Jonathan Villegas, Encinitas, California, USA)

I love all the new toys. The big studios hate it. Studios have to remain competitive and need the newest gear, and in contrast to the toys these "garage studios" buy, professional recording consoles cost $400k+++ and it is impossible for studios to compete. But besides that, it's great for aspiring writers. One of our artists, Peter Destephano, of Porno for Pyro's, recorded his entire new album into his laptop (Mac).

Hey Mr. Caillat! Thank for doing this!!! OK,my question is this, during the recording of the Tusk, Rumours and Mirage albums, could you hear any changes in Stevie's voice (unable to hit the high note, etc.....)?? Was there any concerns about this?? Did Stevie or any other band members comment on her vocal problems??? (Anonymous, New York, New York, USA)

Stevie developed nodules during her touring days and slowly, began to watch what she sang. But I don't think back then she had the restrictions she's having now. It sounds like she's lost an octive or two on top. Thanks for you question.

Did Stevie ever go into detail about the meaning behind some of her songs ( like Sisters of the Moon) did you ever ask her out of curiosity?? (Anonymous, New York, New York, USA)

No she didn't and I never asked. Producers are supposed to know these things!

I've heard some AMAZING versions of Rhiannon (during the early part of the Rumors tour and also the White album tour like Passaic, New Jersey) that much better in comparison to the version used on the Live album. Why was it decided upon to use this paticular version instead of various other ones that had better vocals, to me Stevie's voice on the Live album sounded kinda strained. (Anonymous, New York, New York, USA)

I heard every version. And I believe this was the best version. Maybe the ones you heard had other things wrong (feedback, tuning problems with the background vocals) ???

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