Mick Fleetwood AOL Chat

Mick Fleetwood Chat on AOL, July 28, 1998

Welcome, everyone, to AOL Live and a special welcome to our guest, Mick Fleetwood. Good evening, Mr. Fleetwood!

MFltwood: I'm glad we're all together and looking forward to an interesting chat from here and from you!

AOLiveMC8: We're glad you're here. Ready for some questions from the audience?

MFltwood: Yes!

Question: Will Fleetwood Mac be at the Emmy's... due to the 3 nominations the MTV Dance concert special received?

MFltwood: I actually wasn't aware -- that's nice to know. I would suspect in some configuration we would be, yes. Not the whole band tho...also when is it? ;) John's in Tahiti sailing and Christine's in Kent, England.

Question: Mick, when/if Lindsey tours to support his new album (whenever it is released), will you be touring with him?

MFltwood: Yes I will. I worked on his album with him prior to the tour -- I also helped produce in the studio so I definitely will be out on the road with Lindsey at some point, yes.

Question: I saw you at the Stevie Nicks Concert in Phoenix last week!!!! Is your DRUM always wired for sound?

MFltwood: I played at a charity a few days ago... it was for the Heart Assn which is run by her father in Phoenix. And I had a great time apart from the African Talking Drum and the strap broke and instead of playing that I played on the drum kit ... it was a bit of a shambles but it all worked out and I didn't make a fool out of myself.

Question: Did the reunion go well enough for us to expect another album sometime soon?

MFltwood: Yes, the reunion was a great success and I'm glad to say it was a very happy event for all 5 bandmembers. My strong sense is that there will be more music from Fleetwood Mac and we hope for another tour. Maybe in the next 18 months...this band will be doing something of substance, yes.

Question: What has it been like performing with John and Christine McVie for 30+ years?

MFltwood: It's been fantastic. John and Chris are so much part of my life. We lived together in England...shared a home for many years, saw my kids grow. A family. Hopefully it's a threesome -- Christine supplies fantastic songwriting skills and sometimes it's forgotten what a rhythm we have from makes up the sound of Fleetwood Mac.

Question: Mick, we see you play your vest in concert, what kind of technology is that?

MFltwood: That is the Hotz technology.... one that I've been involved with for many years and is onward going. The vest is one facet.. the nuts and bolts is a software enabling a non musician to freely play music without having had the time or chance to take formal lessons. It opens the door to millions of people who never had the opportunity to enjoy the experience of playing music.

MFltwood: As a drummer, I really appreciate this technology and the depth to draw from because the nature of the drums is nonmelodic. The frustration of not being able to play a nonmelodic instrument is no longer a problem. The product we have available on America Online is the consumer side of our technology that allows the people we just described to play music right out of the box.

Question: Mick, do you like the outdoor concerts, or indoor?

MFltwood: They're both very different animals in terms of the ambience and I have to say that I probably in terms of sound I have to take indoors is more consistent -- the audience gets a better sonic experience however there is nothing like a fantastic outdoor concert. The atmosphere and sense of celebration and people tend to treat it more like a pilgrimage and you very often get those classic moments...the most classic being Woodstock. I remember playing in Hyde Park in London. Those are fantastic moments and unique to an outside concert, I find.

Question: What differed Mac from the other groups of the 70s and 80s?

MFltwood: I think Fleetwood Mac was -- fair to say -- people realize that as glitzy and self serving the 70s tended to be... I believe and hope that Fleetwood Mac as a band was accepted as people and I think that that's what made us different... people identified with us outside of the music.

Question: Since things have calmed down for the band, what does a member of FM do when they're not on tour or in the studio?

MFltwood: On the other question -- I think although the imaging of Fleetwood Mac was certainly very quite show-bizzy almost in terms of imaging... in reality, the music we made in the 70s and early 80s, I think, had something very personable about it that people identified with and I think, luckily, hold on to til this day which I think is fantastic.

MFltwood: Back to the other question.... It varies...John McVie is very much a family man and takes a lot of time with his young daughter. Outside of his family, he's an avid sailor and has an incredibly beautiful boat.. he just got back from sailing to Hawaii. And that's his passion. Chris loves cooking and gardening -- and is is quite a home body, she is.

MFltwood: Stevie never stops working ! She comes off tour, goes back on. That's her life. She's totally driven by her music, her performance.. she doesn't seem to have any spare time. I'm much the same way. I'm very involved in things outside of music though they end up being somewhat music oriented like the Hotz technology. I have a record company -- Tall Man Records. And I'm doing some producing now.

MFltwood: Other than that...I like to do that terrible thing like lying in the sun and roasting myself! I keep very, very busy. There's no such thing as sitting around and doing nothing in Mick Fleetwood's world. And Lindsey Buckingham is completely and utterly dedicated to the craft of music and recording. He thinks day and night about what he's going to do. Like an artist. He enjoyed being on tour with Fleetwood Mac.. he hadn't for many, many years. And he's working on finishing off a solo project that we mentioned earlier in this get together. I think you just have to think of Lindsey being synonymous with complete cerebral activity.

Question: Mick, I have never played a musical instrument but I would love to, how can I actually play music with Hotz Trax?

MFltwood: Hotz Trax is extremely easy to use. It installs on any multimedia PC. It comes up ready to play music the first time you click on the program icon... Out of the chute you're able to perform music on the keyboard that comes out of your PC. Comes with your PC, that is :) There are over 40 different songs in 20 different styles and from those songs you can make your own musical creations. It's a lot of fun... and it's an activity that a family can enjoy as well as on your own!

Question: Do you think there is a possibility of you promoting your new software on the web (if you already haven't). I know of many fans who would love to see it there!

MFltwood: You can find lots of information at:

Question: Did you find the Zoo and your other solo work as fulfilling as working with Fleetwood Mac ?

MFltwood: I'm glad that someone actually remembers The Zoo! ;) lol And...I loved that short project, it was many years ago. With Bekka Bramlett...and other players. Tagalong Keyboards... That band was a helluva lot of fun fairly short lived... My real reality is that the history and depth of performance that I've been able to explore with Fleetwood Mac couldn't compare. My life has been Fleetwood Mac...but I've enjoyed other projects as well. Billy Thorpe was the other member of that band :)

Question: Mick, with all the accolades FM has received throughout the years, in your opinion, what has been the band's greatest accomplishment?

MFltwood: On staying alive, I think! :) On a more serious note, truly I think the last 18 months was a real personal accolade to realize that after being through so much ...some very confused times with some confused emotions involved with this strange creature called Fleetwood Mac, we were able to come out the other end in good humor and truly with a lot of love and respect for each other and I'm very, very happy about that.

Question: Who was the most talented person you have ever worked with?

MFltwood: I think I'd have to pick two people who have affected me very profoundly.. one was Peter Green who was with the band in the beginning and the other is Lindsey Buckingham. Buckingham... as you might have gathered, I'm a guitar freak ;)

Question: Mick, What do you think of female drummers. * Hint, I'm one. :-)

MFltwood: I think you're much better off playing the drums than playing a cello between your legs ;) And the reality is it makes no difference as long as you're laying down a nice, big fat groove. It makes no difference.. child, lady, man-- and more importantly as long as you're enjoying it that's what it's all about.

Question: How is Peter Green doing? Any chance of a doing a gig?

MFltwood: Peter Green is touring in the U.S. this August. I'm glad to say about 3 months ago I spent some time in England with Peter and he is not the man I used to know... but on a positive note he started writing, playing and singing again. And that has brought him back into the world. For people who weren't and aren't aware, Peter had a very troubled 15 years or so with schizophrenia and yet again it's testimony to the healing powers of playing music and how important that is. He's back singing the blues and touring California in August and I'm looking forward to seeing him.

Question: You have a wonderful voice. Do you use it on your new software? I love listening to "These Strange Days". It's wonderful to actually hear YOU on a Mac CD! Also, do you do any voice-overs or plan to? If so, what are your plans?

MFltwood: Thank you so much -- that's sort of an unknown track on an the Fleetwood "Time" album. I thank you for enjoying it. And strangely enough, just these last 2 weeks I've been asked to do some voice overs -- maybe on some cartoons and some children's stories -- on audio tape. So wouldn't you know!

MFltwood: The new software is oriented to instruments -- but there's no reason you can't sing while you play it!

Question: Have all combinations of the Fleetwood Mac group included both you and John McVie?

MFltwood: Yes, they have. Apart from one. Which was the original band that for 2 months played with a bass player called Bob Brunning. Although the band was called Fleetwood Mac. John soon joined the band as we wanted him to do in the first place.

Question: Just thought that I'd let you know, you were a great part of the show in LA last night. Is learning to play the drums hard?

MFltwood: Thanks very much -- it's always fun to work up a sweat! In theory, it's not hard... the theory is -- if you can tap in time with your foot, you can play the drums. If you have an innate sense of rhythm and a passion and desire to play the instrument, you should be able to play that instrument.

Question: Mick - hi! this is John from CT - I saw you in NYC some years back with Peter Bardens - it was great! Can we look forward to you working with him again?

MFltwood: Yes -- that's great. I'm actually helping Peter Bardens produce a new album coming out on a small album in LA -- we start next month, mostly instrumental but there will be some vocalizing by some people in his band. He's becoming active again. Peter Bardens gave me my first gig when I was 16...we go back a long way so I'm happy to be reassociated with him.

Question: Hi Mick. My name is Kelly. I LOVE Fleetwood Mac, but who doesn't? My question is: What is it like being up on stage with 4 other very talented people playing some of the most famous songs ever?

MFltwood: It never fails to be a very, very inspiring feeling. It's unbeatable -- it's fantastic.

Question: If you didn't become a drummer, what would you imagine you would have done with your life?

MFltwood: Me likes to think I might have been an actor. Just recently I did my first full length feature film. I won't be so bold to say I'm a professional actor...I would like to have studied but maybe I'm going to be doing more acting.

Question: Mick, is there one specific Fleetwood Mac album that you hold in particularly high regard?

MFltwood: Again, I am going to pick 2. One is "Then Play On" and the other one is "Tusk." I just think that both of these albums represented a real adventurous, unfrightened moment in the band's history in terms of where we took our music.

Question: Do You feel that the hardships that you've been through with Fleetwood Mac has in any way benefitted you?

MFltwood: Yes, I do. I think it's all to do with a growth process in our visit on this planet. I have no regrets -- not that the journey is over, but certainly I'm aware that I'm able to reflect on my life and up until now a part of my life has been with Fleetwood Mac. ...that leads me to believe I've grown because of that experience.

AOLiveMC2: We have time for one final question tonight.

Question: Are you going to write another book. I love the one you wrote years ago.

MFltwood: I think I have a few more years before I even think about doing something like that again. But thanks for reading the book -- I enjoyed writing it -- actually two of them. Maybe that's something to get into when I really do find myself sitting on a chair on some balcony many years from now, hopefully.

AOLiveMC2: Mick Fleetwood, thanks so much for joining us tonight in AOL Live! Any closing comments?

MFltwood: I'd like to add one more closing. It's a phrase from Shakespeare that I think is very appropo... If music be the food of love, play on.

Thanks for Karen, for posting this on The Ledge

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Thanks to Karen for posting this to The Ledge.