Fleetwood Mac Says "Go your Own Way" to Lindsey Buckingham


Fleetwood Mac and Rumours. Lindsey Buckingham will be gone.

Have a favorite song? I’ve been reading the book “Why You Love Music: From Mozart to Metallica, the Emotional Power of Beautiful Sounds.” It had me wondering what songs would make my Top Ten list.

Of course, in my list, there would be some U2, some Steely Dan, a flicker of Pink Floyd. But sitting way up at the top would be the most perfect rock-pop song ever recorded, Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way.” A relentless drumbeat, a wailing guitar, and the Lindsey Buckingham lead vocals make a relentless, infectious, pop wall of sound.  But things are about to change…

A little history. Way back in the sixties, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, two bluesy sorts of guys helped form a group with the inspired name of Fleetwood Mac. The band got some radio airplay here in the states and had a minor hit or two, but was best known for its constantly changing lineup and for a fight with a manager over whether the band, or the manager, owned the name “Fleetwood Mac.” A phony tour and the ensuing lawsuits gave the group some publicity but didn’t sell many albums or concert tickets.

And then, in the mid-70’s, the California couple Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band and the blues guys began to rock and roll. They called their first album together “Fleetwood Mac.” The lead single in the US, “Over My Head,” was written and sung by Christine McVie, John’s ex.  I heard it and I was hooked. Hearing the song still reminds me of my first med school crush.  The album was a hit, but Fleetwood Mac was about to unleash a monster.

Late in 1976, the band released the single “Go Your Own Way,” followed in early  1977 by the album “Rumours.” Fueled by drugs and disintegrating relationships, the song and the album were the band’s pinnacle of success, selling millions and spending months at #1.

The band has rolled on ever since. Barb and I caught them in Rosemont three years ago. Mick, John, Christine, Stevie, and Lindsey had all aged, there were rumours of a shadow band playing behind the curtain, but the show was still fun and still brought back all the memories.

And now the band has announced it is going on tour again–but without Lindsey Buckingham. While the reasons why are known only to insiders, the man behind my top tune has been fired, replaced by two other musicians. But I will always have his sound, safe in my iTunes, as he goes his own way.

And how about you? What is your favorite song?
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