Canadian Online Explorer-- August 14, 1997

With personal tensions settled, they're ready to put their Dance on tour

Time for Fleetwood Mac attack


NEW YORK -- It's been a couple of decades, but she's still Stevie.

That would be Stevie Nicks, the throaty singer and focal point of the recently reunited Fleetwood Mac, who still favors chiffon, flowing gowns and high-heeled suede boots.

"I'm the original hunter-down-of-fabulous-things," says Nicks, 49, on the phone from her L.A. home prior to Tuesday's release of the new Fleetwood Mac live album, The Dance.

"Twenty years ago I sat down and decided that I would create a really wonderful image, an unforgettable image. And now I'm kind of stuck with it. It's like when I don't wear my fringy, gypsy stuff, people kind of look at me like, 'What's wrong?' "

No chance of that happening on Fleetwood Mac's North American tour, which will kick off Sept. 17 in Hartford, Conn. While no Canadian dates have been confirmed yet, Fleetwood Mac is expected to play SkyDome in November.

Nicks says it's no coincidence the '70s supergroup is getting back together just as Rumours, the band's best-selling release with staggering sales of 25 million and counting, celebrates its 20th anniversary.

"I think the timing's very crucial," says Nicks. "We have been offered this reunion thing ever since the day Lindsey stopped playing on stage with us in 1983. So this comes up every year, but it just was never even conceivable before. I guess everybody woke up and wasn't angry anymore."

You may recall that in addition to being bandmates, Fleetwood Mac was made up of drummer Mick Fleetwood and two couples, Nicks and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and the married McVies, John on bass and Christine on keyboards.

Both pairs split up in the mid-'70s and the resulting tension helped fuel the strength of the material on 1977's Rumours.

"We're older," says Nicks. "We're a lot more able to appreciate what we have and to realize what an incredible opportunity this is for five people in their 40s to be on MTV and to go out and tour the world again and to cause this kind of a stir. What kind of an opportunity is that and how stupid would we be to not do this and really enjoy it?"

The cataylst for the reunion was Buckingham's solo album last year on which Fleetwood played drums.

Now, in addition to the new album and tour, there's also an accompanying 90-minute video, Fleetwood Mac: The Dance, filmed over two days in May, which will be broadcast on MuchMusic on Aug. 25 at 8 p.m. (There's also the one-hour TV special, The Making Of Rumours, airing on Much on Sept. 28.)

The record and filmed performance, consisting of such hits as Dreams, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, and Don't Stop, as well as four new songs, marked the first time they had played a full-length concert in 14 years.

"We figured we'd give it a couple of days and if it wasn't a lot of fun, we would just stop it," says Nicks. "So it just worked out ... And it has worked ever since."

But noticeably absent from the new album's song lineup is Gold Dust Woman, which Courtney Love's band Hole covered last year for the Crow II soundtrack, sparking renewed interest in Fleetwood Mac.

"She lives not far from where I've lived in Los Angeles and she and her little girl have been over, and we've just actually hung out and had a really good time," says Nicks of Love. "Courtney kind of did that before she even knew me and now we're really friends. She's actually the first performer who's been through a whole lot that I've ever had as a friend. As far as Courtney and I musically, it may happen."

Another event that got people thinking about Fleetwood Mac was the group's appearance at U.S. President Bill Clinton's Inaugural Ball in 1993 in which Nicks appeared on stage with her four bandmates to sing Don't Stop, Clinton's campaign theme song.

"The Inaugural Ball stopped the ball," said Nicks, with a laugh. "We got on a plane and flew there the night before. We were there for the dress rehearsal the next day. Then the next day we really did it, and got on a plane the next morning and never spoke again. Things were definitely not settled at that point."

Now they obviously are.