All the way from the west side, yeah. The traffic was a bitch.
we ended up doing multiples. We couldn’t get away from The Forum for once
but other cities as well, that there seemed to be a market for us that we did not necessarily expect and it’s just a good time for the band.
[low voice] I don’t know. It could go on forever.
the repetition of doing the shows can get a little surreal after awhile, the downtime can get a little challenging, um, you know, Stevie really needs a lot of days off for her voice but, uh, the hardest part is being away from the family, for sure. So thank you, guys, for not only, you know, sanctioning (?) this event but for some of you even being here. I mean, my god, they’ve seen me enough, I think, onstage
I think she even sold her publishing. That’s a big no-no.
And you can tell it is passed down, my students, some of whom didn’t know as much about the band, but they all said ‘my parents listen and can I bring my parents to tonight?’
‘My great-grandmother listened to them!’ Boy.
I grew up in Atherton, which is *audience member cheers* Wow. You don’t hear that very often. You can say Palo Alto is the general area. And obviously that whole area has been impacted greatly by Silicon Valley. When I was very little it was all strawberry fields out there and orchards
but, uh, yeah, I mean, it was a great place to grow up. Stanford University nearby,
I think, informed the whole area with a kind of intellectual rigour that, uh, gave us an excuse to perhaps look down on Los Angeles slightly in a display of snobbism
, which was not well-founded,
Without Jeff probably I wouldn’t be here so (?) *quiet voice* damn you, Jeff.
Are you all sensing that there might’ve been a little bit of talk about this before?
Slightly. Yeah, well, this is a sort of an offshoot of a track - The one thing we didn’t really do was, uh, rehearse the music. So. Alright. What was it you wanted me to do?
Never Going Back Again. Just a perfect - As much as you feel comfortable with.
plays Never Going Back Again
Thank you for that. I don’t think I was prepared for that. That was so -
So far, so good.
Oh. (?) so thank you for that.
Somebody guilted me into playing the whole song! Yeah, no, no, it was actually good to do.
That was fantastic.
I’m here; I might as well, you know.
Love that attitude.
how you met Mick Fleetwood and the condition you required in order to join his band.
legendary Sound City studio up out in the Valley, which does not exist anymore. Dave Grohl did a wonderful documentary on it.
“Well, you know, I’d have to talk it over with someone but I think basically, you know, if you’re going to take me, you have to take my girlfriend too.” And he said “I’ll get back to you on that.”
I guess he asked Christine McVie and she was okay
Well, you know, it’s interesting. We went into rehearsals before we recorded that first album, and we, uh, it became very clear to me, a couple of things. One was that these three people desperately needed a musical leader and probably hadn’t had a very strong one in a good long time. And I knew I could do that job, pushy guy that I am. Um, but I also felt that there was this intangible synergy that we had.
So I think that buoyed the whole idea of optimism and possibility for us very early on, before we even set foot in the studio.
I would’ve covered on a single guitar part became, for the most part, irrelevant in that context. That was a big pill for me to swallow. A somewhat bitter pill but, you know, these are the choices you make and you have to sort of look at it as just one of the compromises that needs to made if you’re going to call yourself a bandmember. So I did that. Um, I had to even, uh, change the kind of guitar I was using because the guitar did not fit in with the pre-existing sound. So there were things I’d’ve wanted to do with the guitar that needed to be adjusted and I don’t want to say compromised but, uh, you know, altered to fit. And there was a certain amount of perhaps, that was given up in that process.
if the follow the adage ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, um, I think you have to assume that at the very least, having painful experiences will broaden your emotional landscape and allow you to create more, uh, authentic art or art of more depth. Um, I don’t think you necessarily have to suffer in order to make effective art. No, I wouldn’t say that.
As you said, I don’t know if there’s a band with more internal relationships, the heartache, the dramas, (?) talked backstage. If it ever gets made, it’s going to be a great movie. Speaking of loving relationships, you wrote a beautiful song twenty years ago, sorry, twenty years after Rumours in 1997. It wasn’t released as a single but it really is one of those songs that stands the test of time. I don’t think you play it acoustically very often, um, and…
they talked backstage about making a movie about FM?
You sensing the set-up again? You wouldn’t be talking about ‘Bleed To Love Her’, would you?
You think about it, you know, there’s just not many bands or songwriters that are still writing great songs. Not good songs, not their old songs, but great songs, twenty or thirty years after they recorded the zenith of their career. And you and Fleetwood Mac still write great songs. So if you would treat us to a little bit of ‘Bleed To Love Her’.
i love that DB said that!!
Now I have to give you a slight disclaimer because, uh, David here, some of these things that we’re going to be doing got sprung on me at the last minute so… But I can see a method to his *laughs* you know, he figured that if he told me everything he was thinking of, I wouldn’t have showed up. Something like that. So, we’ll see. I don’t know if we can get through this whole thing but, uh, because I haven’t actually played this in quite in some time. Oh, he’s gonna leave! Oh. Okay. Okay. Wish me luck.
plays Bleed to Love Her
they became quite enchanted with what was happening and were quite drawn in. Now, this is the important thing. They only revised that opinion of things when, as you said, it didn’t sell 60 million albums.
Well, you probably have to credit Mick with both of those things. I mean, I had the song and Mick is, you know, he’s like an animal in the jungle sometimes
and that’s what we love about him. If I’m a refined primitive, he's unrefined primitive.
In more ways than one. And, uh, and yet a sublime figure and a sublime feeler and a poetic soul,
to be sure. And so, um, I think the way we got that beat was he wanted to play something that had kind of a jungle roll to it, but he wanted it to be ultra-hypnotic.
I think he was thinking John Philip Sousa or something because it did have time to it, even though it was a jungle thing as well.
We gotta blame Mick for that one too. Because Mick liked to think big, you know. So I mean, it was a beautiful place to do the filming. Perhaps, uh, were one to speak to Mick’s accountant, there might’ve been a suggested alternative. Maybe more cost-efficient. Or maybe we got the thing for free. I don’t really know.
So, I wasn’t there. It was before my time. No, I’m kidding. I wasn’t there but -
Yeah, you weren’t born yet.
I keep telling myself that.
“Who are we to deserve the USC Band to play for us?” Um, one of the greatest quotes of all time. And so that, the New York Times article I’m talking about was actually a recent article that did say the genius of Tusk and reflected on that and that, aside from the pre-conceived expectations, in itself it’s a great album, great double album. And Tusk set the record for, the unofficial record for, the highest number of musicians to ever perform on a single record.
I didn’t know that.
And it earned the USC Marching Band the distinction of the only collegiate marching band to have a platinum record. So Tusk has, and it went to sell more than a million copies and a bunch of records for USC and distinctions, and so Tusk is played at every USC football game, concert and athletic event since 1980. You have given us a piece of music history. Thank you.
Fleetwood Mac, when it continued, had to hire three guitarists at the same time just to play the parts that Lindsey played by yourself. Put up the graph-
Thank you for pointing that out too.
if someone were to really pay attention to what you’’ve done, it doesn’t fit with the pre-conceptions, and as you move to a certain point in your life, it becomes less relevant what kind of business you’re doing. It’s really just the process of creating and making something worthwhile.
Small Machine is where I get to grow as an artist and can then bring that vitality into the larger situation, which is why you see me jumping around onstage in a very age inappropriate way.
What astounded me, as I mentioned, is to keep writing great songs, a lot of the bands from the Seventies and Eighties are pretty much nostalgia. They play their hits, which we all want to hear, but they’re not producing new stuff. In terms of just pure fitness and energy, they play two and a half hours, maybe a little bit longer; he doesn’t leave the stage once. Everybody else takes a little bit of a break; you do not leave. So not only do you, I mean, athletically, you’re fit. I imagine afterwards, you weren’t even out of breath.
Well, see, everyone else has to take pee breaks. You may not know this, this is why The Eagles have an intermission. (?) through, I have a catheter. No, no, no, no.
music has certain qualities, it posses beauty, um, in a way which is perhaps the presentation of that, that other art forms have as well, but I think music presents it in the most visceral way. That’s the only thing I can think of.
watching you in concert playing Big Love, you see it transform you. Can you (?) take us to that place you know.
I can. If you really want me to do Big Love, I can. That’s one I can do sitting down, almost. *fiddles with guitar*
This is one of the ones he sprung one me so… Let’s see how it sounds on this guitar.
You know, this song does represent - I think one of the things you try to do as an artist is keep refining and looking for your center. Now this song began as an ensemble piece. It was the first single from album, Tango in the Night. But it was the whole band. But it became sort of a template for many songs I’ve tried to do that are really getting back to kind of what I was referring to before, one of the guitars doing, one guitar doing the work of all the track. And that’s the sort of road I’ve taken so I guess this song is really about transition. (?)
plays Big Love
Um, you know, I, it depends on who you cite, you know. I actually like Taylor Swift. Not so much, I liked her last album a little more but I admire what she’s been able to do on some levels.
what you’ve got is probably half the people you hear on like Alt. Nation or like some satellite stations who are making their albums on their laptop in their bedroom, and that’s great. Because, you know, then you get something like Sylvan Esso or I mean, there’s a ton of really good people out there, you know. I don’t think music is necessarily getting less vital. I think it’s a little harder to kind of chart how it interfaces with the sociology of things.
I come up with *semi-singing* If I showed you the number of voice memos I have on my phone, rough ideas yet to be explored
. Um, so I start with a melody.
Um, I don’t even consider myself to be a skilled writer in the sense of Burt Bacharach or someone is a great writer of songs. You know, I’m sort of a, I don’t know -
I’m also a songwriter and your band has had a huge influence on my own writing and I brought my album with me just to show you how you’re an influence your songs and your music still have -
I know, that’s really your parents’ album.
i figure he must have signed the album here
-show you. Oh my gosh. Thank you. Thank you so, so much.
Thank you so much for that very generous performance. Um, I just had a question. When you’re feeling off center, what do you do to kind of get back to yourself?
so I think when I’m looking for more of a center, I just, I look to my wife and my children.
I went to, uh, a festival recently and saw a set done by Jack White and he had a beautiful quote that he ended his set with; he reinforced the fact that music is sacred, that music is sacred, that music is sacred.
You went to Coachella.
You knew it. My question is: for you, have you experienced a moment of just sheer beauty either in performance, writing where that did happen? And beyond that, perhaps a little generally, um, do you hope to leave a legacy - obviously you have - but did you ever intend to? And if you leave one, what are you most proud of?
Well, you know, the funny thing is that I was never really very goal-driven
. Um, when Stevie and I decided to move to L.A., it was her idea. I would’ve just stayed up in Northern California probably. I was never that ambitious.
as long as I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing, then even halfway remember who you are and halfway care about what I think is important to care about as a musician or as an artist
, um, and halfway remember why you got into it in the first place, that’s success. And that would make me happy if I get to the end and I feel I’ve accomplished that.
So I wanna kind of want to write this Fleetwood Mac movie so, uh, my question for you is during, when you were making your first album, John and Christine were dating, you and Stevie Nicks were dating. How awkward was it to have Mick Fleetwood as the fifth wheel?
To have Mick Fleetwood as what?
How awkward was it to have Mick Fleetwood as the fifth wheel?
Oh, as the fifth wheel. Well, yeah, I mean, it wasn’t awkward for me. I think maybe it was awkward for him. Um, you know, he had his own, uh, challenges with his wife too. Even though she wasn’t in the band.
There is sort of this symmetry of these two couples and there was this guy
. But also he was also, at this time especially, sort of the Big Daddy. He was the guy who was, um, seemed to have (?). It was his intuition
And he’s a very intuitive guy
and, um, so, you know, I think he always kinda stood apart in that way, looking at everybody, hopefully looking after everybody a little bit, or at least trying to. Even when he didn’t, you know, he always, his heart, he has the biggest heart.
So you mentioned earlier how you aspired, obviously succeeded in being an artist, not a craftsman involved in business. I’m just wondering how did you build the courage to resist, you know, what everybody was telling you on the outside? You know, everybody who wasn’t involved in the creative process. How did you get past what they said and truly become your own self as an artist?
That’s a very good question. I must’ve had a lot of issues. No, I mean, I think in my own strange way that I did have something to prove
, you know. Um, by that time, you know. I was looking for my place still and I think, to some degree, Mick had his place. Um, Stevie had
kind of, you know, found her kind of witchy image which for a lot of people was very easy for people to gravitate towards that and to understand that, and I just, I think part of it was just feeling that there was a need to keep my head above water. You know, there was, part of it was just a survival thing and the other part of it was just the ideas, I think.
Well, you are wearing my shirt.
Can you take us through your process of getting a Christine demo and what, how you’d go to town sort of arranging her music in particular?
Well, I mean, I don’t think the two applications are that dissimilar. There were maybe things that Stevie needed that Christine didn’t need, and vice versa. Um, it’s hard for me to really quantify that or say I did this specifically for one versus the other. But I think there’s the instinctual kind of imagination to take something, it’s much easier to do it for other people than yourself because you’ve got the objectivity, you know, that you don’t have for your own stuff. So I think probably that’s, you know, I’m better at that than I am at writing for myself. Um, and it’s just, you know, these things come to you and, then again, I was talking earlier about when we first started rehearsing. Before we cut the very first album. It was obvious to me that, I mean, I was already doing it for Stevie but it was obvious to me that Christine, as a writer, needed pretty much that same thing and that was a defining moment for being able to sort of realize that that was going to be an important contribution that I was able to give the band.
Was it easier for Christine to welcome that because you didn’t have romantic baggage?
Um, not back in the day. If you cut to the present, yes.
I mean, that thing, it does help that somebody wants you to do it and trusts you to do it. For sure.
Is this on? My name’s Eddie. (?)
Eddie. How are you? Looking good.
You’re scaring me.
My question to you is can you and I play Tusk?
Well, are you ready? Should I start? I guess I should, right. Okay.
plays Tusk with USC Marching Band
plays Go Your Own Way with USC Marching Band