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Fleetwood Mac's latest tour focuses on classic songs
POST-DISPATCH POP MUSIC CRITIC

Fleetwood Mac members regularly show how much they need each other — and how much they don't.

Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham, for example, all brought their own outside projects to St. Louis for shows last year.

But behind the scenes, the members were gearing up for their group tour.
This time, it's a greatest-hits trek, accompanied by a special reissue of the group's landmark "Rumours" CD, featuring "Don't Stop," "Go Your Own Way" and "Gold Dust Woman."
The tour includes Nicks, Fleetwood, Buckingham and John McVie. During a group interview shortly after the tour was announced, Nicks said they enjoy the flexibility of being able to jump back and forth between solo projects and the Fleetwood Mac behemoth.

"It really is kind of a blessing in many ways. It's like you never get bored," she says. "We've been apart for four years, now we're back together, and we're having a blast."

The band says this is the first time Fleetwood Mac has gone out on tour without new music to promote, allowing the band to exclusively perform songs that feel familiar to fans.

"It takes a little pressure off not having to reinvent anything," Buckingham says. "Then you have a little bit more fun with it than we would normally be able to have."

Nicks is, again, the sole female out front with Fleetwood Mac, a role she has grown accustomed to.

"I've been the only girl in Fleetwood Mac now since 1998, and it's 2009," says Nicks. Former member Christine McVie is no longer with the group.

"(Christine) was my best buddy — my best friend. … There's not a day that goes by that I don't wish she'd call up and say 'I'm back.' But she's not going to," Nicks says.

Talks to replace McVie with Sheryl Crow never materialized. Nicks says they got as far as setting up studio time that would include Crow, but the time coincided with Crow's first Mother's Day, and she passed on the idea.

Though Crow didn't work out, the band is happy to report that Nicks and Buckingham are on solid ground. Their relationship, part of Fleetwood Mac's colorful history, is rock legend.

Nicks says Buckingham has been happy since rehearsals started in January. "And when Lindsey is in good humor, everybody is in good humor. ... And it's not just me and Lindsey. Everybody has been getting along great."

With relationships and the lineup figured out, the band is able to focus on giving a classic trip down memory lane.

That includes figuring out interesting ways to present the songs that Christine McVie performed and refreshing crowd favorites.

And as far as presenting new music after the tour, Fleetwood says they've got a wait-and-see attitude.

"We have careers and families and whole different sort of perspectives from what would have been 20, 30 years ago," Fleetwood says. "I think the consensus is that we would love to be challenged to go out in a couple of years with some new songs. I hope it happens."