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  #16  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by soul_drifter333 View Post
You know it had to be rough on Neale to have to tour in that mess. He always seemed like a nice guy but I doubt that they spend any time together when they're not on stage anyways.
He seemed like he was having a good time in those bathroom jam videos and in some of the pictures from the off time.
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  #17  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:39 PM
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I just read the article and was coming to the Ledge to post. Someone beat me to the punch. This is a great article with a lot of information. Thank you Brett.

I am so mad that Fleetwood Mac would go on national TV and lie about Lindsey like that. To say he wouldn't agree to tour. I had my doubts at the time they were spewing their lies. And Stevie sitting there saying no one is boss of this band. Yea right! I always thought the real reason was Lindsey wanting to do a record and Stevie not committing. I think she was very pissed about Buckingham/Mcvie.

Interesting about The Civil Wars guy. Can't think of his name, but they make really good music. I downloaded a few of their songs a few years back.

That would have been an interesting choice. So I assume, Stevie and Lindsey were also at odds over the song choices for the 2018 tour. Lindsey wants to move forward, Stevie wants to stay in the past.
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  #18  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:49 PM
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Wonder why things got more isolated when Chris came back? They went from a big plane to 2 private jets? I don't see Chris as a snob type person. Was it Stevie wanting it to be the girls in one and the guys in the other?

I love when Brett talked about Lindsey being the driving force and wanting new music and how "some" of the others can't see that. Even if it doesn't sell 12 million copies. At this point I can't imagine trying to see millions of records. You make music for your fans and for your musical growth.
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Last edited by sleepless child; 10-15-2020 at 06:55 PM.. Reason: more to say about subject
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  #19  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:55 PM
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Do you think there’s any chance they’ll bring him back in the next few years?
That’s the $65,000 question. I wish I knew, man. I would love nothing more than to see them have one more shot to do a tour again and maybe put some music out. But this bitterness has run so deep. I really don’t know. I remember saying to both Mick in Hawaii and in an email to Stevie that I hoped there was redemption for Lindsey some day. I think they just realized that I support him and figure I’m basically committed. The thing is, I care about them all. They’re all a big part of my life.

Well that explains it. In an email to Stevie that she could never read because she doesn't own a computer.
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  #20  
Old 10-15-2020, 06:59 PM
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Amazing but unsurprising. It really validates what so many of us here have posted about and felt since this whole thing with Lindsey being fired went down. It's all so ridiculous, petty and shameful but considering who was behind the whole thing, it's also unsurprising.
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  #21  
Old 10-15-2020, 07:06 PM
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This is upsetting, but not surprising, and seems as though all of the initial rumors we heard were correct.
Brett is clearly the most honest, and loyal person in this circle of fools. I met him during Lindsey's solo tour. He's also extremely nice.

I have to say though, the cynic in me is coming out---all of this press from FM last few weeks is odd, and I think not a coincidence
Curious to see who we will hear from next. There is an agenda here
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  #22  
Old 10-15-2020, 07:08 PM
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https://www.nme.com/news/music/stevi...8v24bTuPKJH_VA

So now it wasn't just her that wrote Buckingham after the heart attack but apparently the whole band?...which isn't what she said last time referring to this letter.

"Nicks said that Buckingham’s heart attack “was serious” and that she and her Fleetwood Mac bandmates “wrote to him and told him that he’d better get well”.

Asked if Buckingham had acknowledged the letter they sent, Nicks said that he “wrote a kind of group letter to us all” in return.

“None of us have had any communication with him since,” she said, adding: “You know, it lasted 43 years, so we had a really, really good run.”

But Mick has had contact with him since as we learned earlier this week.


Is she even capable of making a coherant statement? It's either a group letter or it was not a group letter. I love how she somehow lobs the ball back in his court like it's up to him if they hear from one another. You had him fired from the band, do you seriously expect to be greeted with a dozen roses?

You know what would be more helpful than anything? If she could just stop talking about this. She has her own project coming out, why TF is Lindsey even getting dragged into this latest round of press.

According to Brett, she didn't write to Lindsey. Her assistant wrote to Kristen.....WTF
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  #23  
Old 10-15-2020, 07:11 PM
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I have to say though, the cynic in me is coming out---all of this press from FM last few weeks is odd, and I think not a coincidence
Curious to see who we will hear from next. There is an agenda here
As crazy as 2020 has been, I’m betting on John.
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  #24  
Old 10-15-2020, 07:12 PM
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As crazy as 2020 has been, I’m betting on John.

If it's ever gonna happen, this is the year it will
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  #25  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:00 PM
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I love when they ask about the letter Stevie supposedly wrote and Brett answered with one word. No.

That just made me laugh and laugh.

Also, kudos to KB. When these rockstars get married you make assumptions about the women, especially if they're younger, especially if a lot of money is spent on to promote their business and they don’t seem that talented (um, enough with the picture frames), but what great support he has had through all of this. What a partner and what a fighter. Lindsey is very lucky.

Last edited by michelej1; 10-15-2020 at 08:53 PM..
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  #26  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:06 PM
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I love when they ask about the letter Steve he supposedly wrote and Brett answered with one word. No.

That just made me laugh and laugh.

Also, kudos to KB. When these rockstars get married you make assumptions about the women, especially if they're younger, especially if a lot of money is spent on to promote their business and they don’t seem that talented (um, enough with the picture frames), but what great support he has had through all of this. What a partner and what a fighter. Lindsey is very lucky.
It really cracked me up. And to everyone reading it, it's funny. Why? because she's such a liar.

One word answer was amazing!
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  #27  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:07 PM
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[pasting FM related parts below]

Veteran Sideman Brett Tuggle on His Years With Fleetwood Mac, David Lee Roth, and More

Tuggle played in Fleetwood Mac and their various solo offshoots for nearly 20 years, but was let go shortly after the band parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham

By ANDY GREENE

Brett Tuggle has played with everyone from Fleetwood Mac and Jimmy Page to Rick Springfield and John Kay during his long career.

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Rolling Stone interview series Unknown Legends features long-form conversations between senior writer Andy Greene and veteran musicians who have toured and recorded alongside icons for years, if not decades. All are renowned in the business, but some are less well known to the general public. Here, these artists tell their complete stories, giving an up close look at life on music’s A list. This edition features keyboardist Brett Tuggle.

Keyboardist Brett Tuggle was traveling through Europe on a 1997 tour with Toto’s Steve Lukather when he heard that Mick Fleetwood was trying to get in touch with him. “I called him from the airport and he said, ‘Brett, we’re putting the Big Five [members of Fleetwood Mac] back together,'” says Tuggle. “‘We’re going to augment the band with a couple of great musicians and you’d be great with Christine [McVie]. Are you in?'”

“Let me check my calendar,” he joked. “Of course, I’m in.”

The single television special that resulted kicked off a two-decade stint for Tuggle as the go-to keyboardist for all Fleetwood Mac tours along with solo treks by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in addition to the Buckingham McVie side project.

Related
LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 1: Fleetwood Mac (L-R Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood) backstage at the Los Angeles Rock Awards on September 1, 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
RS Charts: Fleetwood Mac's 'Dreams' Skateboards to Number Two
Stevie Nicks Joins TikTok, Nods to Viral 'Dreams' Challenge

Tuggle is also an original member of the David Lee Roth Band and co-writer of Diamond Dave’s 1987 hit single “Just Like Paradise.” Over the years, he’s also played with Rick Springfield, Coverdale-Page, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Tommy Shaw, Belinda Carlisle, and many, many others.

He phoned us up from his home in Los Angeles to share his incredible story and reveal why he was let go from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 shortly after they fired Lindsey Buckingham.
--------------------------------------------------------------------
How did you first enter the world of Fleetwood Mac?
It was because of Mick Fleetwood, his majesty. I was in a band with Mick called the Zoo. We did an album in the Nineties. David Lee Roth wasn’t doing much. I think that was already over. I had gotten a call that Mick was looking for a keyboard player for his band the Zoo, which I had heard of. I didn’t know much about them, but I thought it could be interesting. It had a pretty good lineup of people. It was Bekka Bramlett on lead vocals. She’s Delaney and Bonnie’s daughter. There was also Billy Thorpe from Down Under. He was a big star in Australia.

Mick put together a great, little band and needed a keyboard player. I took the gig and we ended up doing this album for Capricorn Records, which was a good album. A lot of it was with Billy Thorpe at the helm. We did a bunch of gigs, but they were small gigs in clubs and theaters. We did a run in the States trying to break the band. We did Arsenio Hall and got close to breaking the single “Shakin’ the Cage.” It seemed like it might break, but it actually didn’t.

Mick asked you to join Fleetwood Mac for the Dance TV special. The model for that was clearly the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over.
It was. I can 110 percent guarantee it.

Tell me how you and Christine McVie figured out how to share the keyboard duties.
It was really easy with her. First of all, she’s the sweetest human ever. I think she’s a really great keyboard player. She’s a blues player and such an amazing writer and voice. It was not hard. On the Fleetwood Mac records, there are so many keyboard parts, layers and things, overdubs, because they were doing that.

I knew the old Fleetwood Mac because I had the Peter Green records back in the day. I didn’t know much about the Stevie and Lindsey version beyond the hits that everyone would hear on the radio. But I started listening to all the albums with Stevie and Lindsey. There’s a lot of guitar stuff that I didn’t even realize was guitar because Lindsey would slow down the tape. Then he’d play these little arpeggios or beautiful, melodic phrases and bring the tape to a normal speed and get these twinkly, chime-y little parts that I thought were synthesizers. A lot of them were, but plenty are Lindsey’s guitars.

There’s plenty of keyboards. Basically, we shared them because Christine had to sing. She’d play her main keyboard part on either the piano or the organ. I did all the colors and synthesizers and other stuff. There were so many parts on things, so it was really easy.

On the Dance tour, did you sense that she was ready to get off the road and make that her last tour?
Everybody could feel that as we were winding up. It was huge, but Chris wasn’t enjoying it. She didn’t like to fly, first of all. She had a few issues going, too, and she was unhappy. You could sort of feel it.

They pleaded with her to stay and at least do another leg because the three months was like a blip. We did all this work. We did the filming of The Dance and then went out and did sold-out shows everywhere with that lineup being back. It was amazing. But she was like, “No. I’ve contracted for three months. That’s all I’m going to do. I’m done.” She just stuck to her guns. It wasn’t about money. No matter what they said, she was just over it. She needed to stop for her sanity.

Luckily for me, I got to step right in. But I tell everybody, “You don’t replace Christine McVie. You just play the parts that are there and honor the work and play the cool parts she played.” It was sad to see her go like that, but we did a whole lot of years without her.

What’s it like as the keyboardist on the road in a big band like Fleetwood Mac? Are you staying at the same hotels as the principals? Are you on the private plane?

It’s changed a little bit over the years. We usually stay in the same hotels as the band and we usually travel together. Things got a little more isolated when Chris came back in terms of what size jet we’d use. We used to get the 737 jet that U2 and the Stones would use. Then they got more into a couple of private jets.

When that started happening, the band guys started bussing more and flying commercially. But we were treated really well. We got pretty deluxe accommodations everywhere. It was good touring. It was country-club touring, pretty much. In the early years, with The Dance and Say You Will, we all hung together.

How were your experiences on the Stevie solo tours?
It was great. I had a wonderful time. Stevie likes to work. The good thing was, we came off The Dance and she asked me to be in her band. She put out the box set Enchanted in 1998 and we went out and hit the road right on that to promote it. We did a lot of sheds. She would do a tour every couple of years. I loved working with her.

You backed Lindsey also on his tours. How were those tours different for you than the ones with Stevie?
I did 10 years with Stevie. Around 2006, Lindsey started making little boutique records he’s been putting out over the past 14 years. He didn’t have a band. Stevie has her nine-piece band and lots of players. We did a thing called Soundstage. That was the beginning of Lindsey trying to do some solo stuff again.

We had gotten to know each other fairly well and I think he trusted me, so he asked me to play with him, too. I was walking the fence for a while in both camps. I thought it was fine with everybody for a minute. In the end, I think, Stevie thought I was more in Lindsey’s camp. But I tried to be Switzerland to all the principles in the Mac. I felt like that was my job.

That’s a tricky thing. It’s Mick’s band, but Stevie and Lindsey carry a ton of weight too. And then you’re in the middle of all that.
Exactly. There were times it got to be very challenging. It came to a point where Stevie said, “You’re going to have to decide.” I said, “You know, Stevie, I love playing with you. I support you. But Lindsey doesn’t have a band.” She said, “I know he needs good people.” She seemed to be OK with it when I went off to do Lindsey’s thing. But think in the end, she looked at me a little as abandoning her and going over to Lindsey’s camp. It really wasn’t that. I wasn’t all “pro-Lindsey.” I’m “pro” all of them.

Before Say You Will, did the band worry that it might not work without Christine?
I think they felt it would work without Christine because she would dabble in and out of various projects anyway at times. When she officially retired, I think they realized that they weren’t ready to stop. They proved, even on this last tour, that the brand is bigger than any of them.

But I think that Lindsey is really the one that is driving the ship. He’s the instigator and the architect of the music. He’s the one with the vision when it comes to writing new music and putting out new stuff. He’s the one that champions all that. To me, that’s super important. At times, I think other band members have lost sight of some of that. You’ve got to put out new stuff to remain viable even if it’s not going to sell 12 million copies. Lindsey is all about putting out new art.

I presume that Buckingham McVie started as a Fleetwood Mac project that didn’t happen.
I’m going to be totally honest with you. Stevie wouldn’t commit. It drove Lindsey out of his mind. He just wanted to keep going. To his credit, he just kept making music. When Christine came back … those two have a very special bond and a great working relationship. Christine was able to take some of her bits of songs that she had and give them to Lindsey and have Lindsey nurture them and bring them to life with this Buckingham McVie thing. It was a great record. If you closed your eyes, if Stevie would have given up three songs, it would have been a Fleetwood Mac record. It’s just super sad.

What was it like to be in the middle of the Buckingham McVie tour and go straight back to Fleetwood Mac for two stadium shows with Classic East and Classic West?
That needed to happen in terms of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac finally doing something together. They had been talking about it forever. Glenn Frey’s passing obviously changed everything. And then the opportunity to came about for them to do these two big shows. … It was a big deal. We were on the road with Buckingham McVie and went back and rehearse with Fleetwood Mac here at Sony in L.A. Everybody was excited. I felt we were energized by it. Everything was sort of feeling like it was working.

Tell me about MusiCares and what happened that night.
Tensions had been building a lot over the past year regarding this tour that was going to happen with Lindsey still involved. There were some key things that had caused tension between Lindsey and Stevie regarding this thing at MusiCares. There had been some meetings that didn’t go well and people would walk out. There was some pretty upset people at other people. A lot of this was coming from Stevie and Lindsey’s differences about how they viewed this next tour.

We were all on board for this tour. Everyone had signed on for it. They were booking it. Everything was going fine. And what Lindsey originally wanted to do was have three or four months to do some solo touring and get that out of the way because he had a new record he wanted to put out, and then do the Mac.

They framed it in the press that he didn’t want to tour. That isn’t true. He wanted to tour. But there were a couple of bad exchanges in meetings and other things that lead to some high drama with Stevie. After the Pretenders tour and the success of that, she had gotten to a place where she wasn’t going to bend on things. She wanted it to be her way more than the rest of the people did in the band. It wasn’t John McVie. It was really between Lindsey wanting time for a little short run of his solo work and then get back to the Mac.

You must have been shocked when you learned he was out.
Oh, yeah. I was there the night of MusiCares. We did rehearsals across the street the day before. I could feel there was some tension there, but it didn’t feel like it was going to blow up. When Stevie came out and did her speech and talked about Tom [Petty], I felt that she did a wonderful job. But they were there to celebrate the legacy of Fleetwood Mac. I think Stevie felt that Lindsey was rolling his eyes behind her and not being respectful. And he had a little outburst over the house music they played before we went on. He was a little short with some people. That’s the only thing I saw happen. It wasn’t worth someone getting a life sentence and getting fired for it.

When they walked back after their speeches, we got to our gear, got in place, and fired off a few songs. I thought it went down well. I know there was tension. It would be crazy to say I couldn’t feel it. It was coming from Stevie and Mick both when we were standing there and waiting to go on and play. Something was definitely up. I could feel there was bad vibes going on.

How did you find out that you weren’t going to be on the tour?

Funnily enough, Lindsey called to tell me that he’d been fired the week after MusiCares. He calls me and goes, “Brett, I’ve had the weirdest week ever.” He was on the phone with Irving [Azoff], who basically chewed him out on the phone. He was fired per Stevie’s request.

I didn’t know how that would affect me, but I thought my gig was probably safe only because I got along with everyone so well, especially with Christine since I was there to support her and her keyboard role. I actually went down to Hawaii to rehearse with them with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.

We got down there and did a couple days of rehearsal, but something felt weird with Stevie. I could tell something was off with her. I think she had already made up her mind about me being Lindsey’s guy. I think my fate was already sealed whether I was there or not.

I was really shocked when I got the call that they weren’t going to use me. I also realized that I was in the middle of the politics of Lindsey and Stevie and this band and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it. I had become Lindsey’s guy and that was it and I had to accept it. There was nothing else I could do.

I just jumped into music and doing a tour with Lindsey, which was refreshing and at least gave us some common ground together. I grew even closer to Lindsey in terms of friendship and music. All of a sudden, we were both outcasts and he was on my side.

Before the heart attack, you guys were set to tour.

Oh, yeah. We were absolutely going to tour. But it was kind of one blow after another. It was pretty rough there for a while. Luckily, his recovery has gone real well. He’s in great shape. He auditioned some drummers back in early March before the pandemic really kicked in. We found an awesome drummer for the tour and he’s got a new album that is amazing and ready to go. We’re really exited about the future and being out there on tour with this new album. We keep in touch and look forward to doing it again.

He regained his singing voice, which is amazing.
Yeah. We were really worried about his voice because one of his vocal cords was screwed up when they went in to save his life. But he’s healed up almost completely. I look at him and he looks better — the mother****er. The guy is in good shape. He’s looking good and he sounds good.

I know Stevie wrote a letter to him after his heart attack …
No.

She told the L.A. Times that she did.
Her assistant may have sent something to Kristen [Buckingham], I don’t know. Lindsey was disappointed he didn’t hear anything from the band. They’re still family.

Do you think there’s any chance they’ll bring him back in the next few years?
That’s the $65,000 question. I wish I knew, man. I would love nothing more than to see them have one more shot to do a tour again and maybe put some music out. But this bitterness has run so deep. I really don’t know. I remember saying to both Mick in Hawaii and in an email to Stevie that I hoped there was redemption for Lindsey some day. I think they just realized that I support him and figure I’m basically committed. The thing is, I care about them all. They’re all a big part of my life.

A reunion would make sense. Each tour needs an angle to sell it, especially when there’s never new music. In the past it’s been “Christine is back!” or “Check out this new lineup!” Another tour with that last lineup won’t feel like a big deal to people. “Lindsey’s back!” however …
I absolutely agree. I think right now what you have is a great band with Neil and Mike, but it’s not the same band. You really don’t have the tension that makes that band so great, which is Stevie and Lindsey, ex-lovers and everything, looking each other in the eye and giving you chills from the emotional context. You won’t get that from this band. You’re going to get the Stevie Mac, the people she wants there. And it’s going to be a Mac Lite, no offense. You’re not going to get the full goods.

One thing you will get is the older, bluesy stuff they could bring back. That’s great. I don’t think they did enough of that with Lindsey. I think he needed to do more even though he did a great version of “Oh Well.”

Mike Campbell is one of my favorite guitar players. And I truly love Neil Finn, but it’s a little weird to watch him sing “Second Hand News.”
It’s not right, man. I was in that room for two days with this lineup when they first started. I just knew, “This is not right. This is not right.” I was heartbroken.

Did they audition someone besides Neil Finn?
There was another singer on day one. I can’t think of the name of the band. The guy from Civil Wars, maybe? I’m trying to think. But Neil and Mick had been friends, so that was already set up, and Campbell and Stevie, of course, from the Heartbreakers. But my heart is broken for all of them.

It would be great if you and Lindsey tour next year.
Stranger things have happened, my friend. I’d like to see that happen. What’s mind-blowing is that Lindsey has been so great about his attitude towards this. I know he’s been hurt. At the same time, he’s remained open about going back. He’s tried to reach out. He gets radio silence, but he’s trying. He may not always be as sensitive as they want him to be, but I know that he is open to working with them again.

If his wife had anything to say about it, he’d probably never go back. That’s because of all the pain that’s been caused. At the same time, I know that Lindsey, deep down inside, wants to have a chance to finish that legacy the right way, with him involved. I know he’d be up for it.

It could be 2024 or something.
You never know. If they can all stay alive

Hopefully they’d bring you back, too, in that instance.

I hope so. I like to think that someday that could be a possibility.
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  #28  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:21 PM
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It really cracked me up. And to everyone reading it, it's funny. Why? because she's such a liar.

One word answer was amazing!
It must be a hard pill to swallow, right?

All we have been saying since the day Lindsey was fired (and even before that) is now being confirmed. And still, some fans are trying to twist it so Lindsey can end up as the bad guy.

This is the confirmation from an inside source. Stevie is a liar, manipulative, horrible person. End of the story.

I hope all those theories about a last FM tour with Lindsey there are nothing but wishful thinking.
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  #29  
Old 10-15-2020, 08:25 PM
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[pasting FM related parts below]

Veteran Sideman Brett Tuggle on His Years With Fleetwood Mac, David Lee Roth, and More

Tuggle played in Fleetwood Mac and their various solo offshoots for nearly 20 years, but was let go shortly after the band parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham

By ANDY GREENE

Brett Tuggle has played with everyone from Fleetwood Mac and Jimmy Page to Rick Springfield and John Kay during his long career.

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Rolling Stone interview series Unknown Legends features long-form conversations between senior writer Andy Greene and veteran musicians who have toured and recorded alongside icons for years, if not decades. All are renowned in the business, but some are less well known to the general public. Here, these artists tell their complete stories, giving an up close look at life on music’s A list. This edition features keyboardist Brett Tuggle.

Keyboardist Brett Tuggle was traveling through Europe on a 1997 tour with Toto’s Steve Lukather when he heard that Mick Fleetwood was trying to get in touch with him. “I called him from the airport and he said, ‘Brett, we’re putting the Big Five [members of Fleetwood Mac] back together,'” says Tuggle. “‘We’re going to augment the band with a couple of great musicians and you’d be great with Christine [McVie]. Are you in?'”

“Let me check my calendar,” he joked. “Of course, I’m in.”

The single television special that resulted kicked off a two-decade stint for Tuggle as the go-to keyboardist for all Fleetwood Mac tours along with solo treks by Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in addition to the Buckingham McVie side project.

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Tuggle is also an original member of the David Lee Roth Band and co-writer of Diamond Dave’s 1987 hit single “Just Like Paradise.” Over the years, he’s also played with Rick Springfield, Coverdale-Page, John Kay and Steppenwolf, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Tommy Shaw, Belinda Carlisle, and many, many others.

He phoned us up from his home in Los Angeles to share his incredible story and reveal why he was let go from Fleetwood Mac in 2018 shortly after they fired Lindsey Buckingham.
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How did you first enter the world of Fleetwood Mac?
It was because of Mick Fleetwood, his majesty. I was in a band with Mick called the Zoo. We did an album in the Nineties. David Lee Roth wasn’t doing much. I think that was already over. I had gotten a call that Mick was looking for a keyboard player for his band the Zoo, which I had heard of. I didn’t know much about them, but I thought it could be interesting. It had a pretty good lineup of people. It was Bekka Bramlett on lead vocals. She’s Delaney and Bonnie’s daughter. There was also Billy Thorpe from Down Under. He was a big star in Australia.

Mick put together a great, little band and needed a keyboard player. I took the gig and we ended up doing this album for Capricorn Records, which was a good album. A lot of it was with Billy Thorpe at the helm. We did a bunch of gigs, but they were small gigs in clubs and theaters. We did a run in the States trying to break the band. We did Arsenio Hall and got close to breaking the single “Shakin’ the Cage.” It seemed like it might break, but it actually didn’t.

Mick asked you to join Fleetwood Mac for the Dance TV special. The model for that was clearly the Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over.
It was. I can 110 percent guarantee it.

Tell me how you and Christine McVie figured out how to share the keyboard duties.
It was really easy with her. First of all, she’s the sweetest human ever. I think she’s a really great keyboard player. She’s a blues player and such an amazing writer and voice. It was not hard. On the Fleetwood Mac records, there are so many keyboard parts, layers and things, overdubs, because they were doing that.

I knew the old Fleetwood Mac because I had the Peter Green records back in the day. I didn’t know much about the Stevie and Lindsey version beyond the hits that everyone would hear on the radio. But I started listening to all the albums with Stevie and Lindsey. There’s a lot of guitar stuff that I didn’t even realize was guitar because Lindsey would slow down the tape. Then he’d play these little arpeggios or beautiful, melodic phrases and bring the tape to a normal speed and get these twinkly, chime-y little parts that I thought were synthesizers. A lot of them were, but plenty are Lindsey’s guitars.

There’s plenty of keyboards. Basically, we shared them because Christine had to sing. She’d play her main keyboard part on either the piano or the organ. I did all the colors and synthesizers and other stuff. There were so many parts on things, so it was really easy.

On the Dance tour, did you sense that she was ready to get off the road and make that her last tour?
Everybody could feel that as we were winding up. It was huge, but Chris wasn’t enjoying it. She didn’t like to fly, first of all. She had a few issues going, too, and she was unhappy. You could sort of feel it.

They pleaded with her to stay and at least do another leg because the three months was like a blip. We did all this work. We did the filming of The Dance and then went out and did sold-out shows everywhere with that lineup being back. It was amazing. But she was like, “No. I’ve contracted for three months. That’s all I’m going to do. I’m done.” She just stuck to her guns. It wasn’t about money. No matter what they said, she was just over it. She needed to stop for her sanity.

Luckily for me, I got to step right in. But I tell everybody, “You don’t replace Christine McVie. You just play the parts that are there and honor the work and play the cool parts she played.” It was sad to see her go like that, but we did a whole lot of years without her.

What’s it like as the keyboardist on the road in a big band like Fleetwood Mac? Are you staying at the same hotels as the principals? Are you on the private plane?

It’s changed a little bit over the years. We usually stay in the same hotels as the band and we usually travel together. Things got a little more isolated when Chris came back in terms of what size jet we’d use. We used to get the 737 jet that U2 and the Stones would use. Then they got more into a couple of private jets.

When that started happening, the band guys started bussing more and flying commercially. But we were treated really well. We got pretty deluxe accommodations everywhere. It was good touring. It was country-club touring, pretty much. In the early years, with The Dance and Say You Will, we all hung together.

How were your experiences on the Stevie solo tours?
It was great. I had a wonderful time. Stevie likes to work. The good thing was, we came off The Dance and she asked me to be in her band. She put out the box set Enchanted in 1998 and we went out and hit the road right on that to promote it. We did a lot of sheds. She would do a tour every couple of years. I loved working with her.

You backed Lindsey also on his tours. How were those tours different for you than the ones with Stevie?
I did 10 years with Stevie. Around 2006, Lindsey started making little boutique records he’s been putting out over the past 14 years. He didn’t have a band. Stevie has her nine-piece band and lots of players. We did a thing called Soundstage. That was the beginning of Lindsey trying to do some solo stuff again.

We had gotten to know each other fairly well and I think he trusted me, so he asked me to play with him, too. I was walking the fence for a while in both camps. I thought it was fine with everybody for a minute. In the end, I think, Stevie thought I was more in Lindsey’s camp. But I tried to be Switzerland to all the principles in the Mac. I felt like that was my job.

That’s a tricky thing. It’s Mick’s band, but Stevie and Lindsey carry a ton of weight too. And then you’re in the middle of all that.
Exactly. There were times it got to be very challenging. It came to a point where Stevie said, “You’re going to have to decide.” I said, “You know, Stevie, I love playing with you. I support you. But Lindsey doesn’t have a band.” She said, “I know he needs good people.” She seemed to be OK with it when I went off to do Lindsey’s thing. But think in the end, she looked at me a little as abandoning her and going over to Lindsey’s camp. It really wasn’t that. I wasn’t all “pro-Lindsey.” I’m “pro” all of them.

Before Say You Will, did the band worry that it might not work without Christine?
I think they felt it would work without Christine because she would dabble in and out of various projects anyway at times. When she officially retired, I think they realized that they weren’t ready to stop. They proved, even on this last tour, that the brand is bigger than any of them.

But I think that Lindsey is really the one that is driving the ship. He’s the instigator and the architect of the music. He’s the one with the vision when it comes to writing new music and putting out new stuff. He’s the one that champions all that. To me, that’s super important. At times, I think other band members have lost sight of some of that. You’ve got to put out new stuff to remain viable even if it’s not going to sell 12 million copies. Lindsey is all about putting out new art.

I presume that Buckingham McVie started as a Fleetwood Mac project that didn’t happen.
I’m going to be totally honest with you. Stevie wouldn’t commit. It drove Lindsey out of his mind. He just wanted to keep going. To his credit, he just kept making music. When Christine came back … those two have a very special bond and a great working relationship. Christine was able to take some of her bits of songs that she had and give them to Lindsey and have Lindsey nurture them and bring them to life with this Buckingham McVie thing. It was a great record. If you closed your eyes, if Stevie would have given up three songs, it would have been a Fleetwood Mac record. It’s just super sad.

What was it like to be in the middle of the Buckingham McVie tour and go straight back to Fleetwood Mac for two stadium shows with Classic East and Classic West?
That needed to happen in terms of the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac finally doing something together. They had been talking about it forever. Glenn Frey’s passing obviously changed everything. And then the opportunity to came about for them to do these two big shows. … It was a big deal. We were on the road with Buckingham McVie and went back and rehearse with Fleetwood Mac here at Sony in L.A. Everybody was excited. I felt we were energized by it. Everything was sort of feeling like it was working.

Tell me about MusiCares and what happened that night.
Tensions had been building a lot over the past year regarding this tour that was going to happen with Lindsey still involved. There were some key things that had caused tension between Lindsey and Stevie regarding this thing at MusiCares. There had been some meetings that didn’t go well and people would walk out. There was some pretty upset people at other people. A lot of this was coming from Stevie and Lindsey’s differences about how they viewed this next tour.

We were all on board for this tour. Everyone had signed on for it. They were booking it. Everything was going fine. And what Lindsey originally wanted to do was have three or four months to do some solo touring and get that out of the way because he had a new record he wanted to put out, and then do the Mac.

They framed it in the press that he didn’t want to tour. That isn’t true. He wanted to tour. But there were a couple of bad exchanges in meetings and other things that lead to some high drama with Stevie. After the Pretenders tour and the success of that, she had gotten to a place where she wasn’t going to bend on things. She wanted it to be her way more than the rest of the people did in the band. It wasn’t John McVie. It was really between Lindsey wanting time for a little short run of his solo work and then get back to the Mac.

You must have been shocked when you learned he was out.
Oh, yeah. I was there the night of MusiCares. We did rehearsals across the street the day before. I could feel there was some tension there, but it didn’t feel like it was going to blow up. When Stevie came out and did her speech and talked about Tom [Petty], I felt that she did a wonderful job. But they were there to celebrate the legacy of Fleetwood Mac. I think Stevie felt that Lindsey was rolling his eyes behind her and not being respectful. And he had a little outburst over the house music they played before we went on. He was a little short with some people. That’s the only thing I saw happen. It wasn’t worth someone getting a life sentence and getting fired for it.

When they walked back after their speeches, we got to our gear, got in place, and fired off a few songs. I thought it went down well. I know there was tension. It would be crazy to say I couldn’t feel it. It was coming from Stevie and Mick both when we were standing there and waiting to go on and play. Something was definitely up. I could feel there was bad vibes going on.

How did you find out that you weren’t going to be on the tour?

Funnily enough, Lindsey called to tell me that he’d been fired the week after MusiCares. He calls me and goes, “Brett, I’ve had the weirdest week ever.” He was on the phone with Irving [Azoff], who basically chewed him out on the phone. He was fired per Stevie’s request.

I didn’t know how that would affect me, but I thought my gig was probably safe only because I got along with everyone so well, especially with Christine since I was there to support her and her keyboard role. I actually went down to Hawaii to rehearse with them with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn.

We got down there and did a couple days of rehearsal, but something felt weird with Stevie. I could tell something was off with her. I think she had already made up her mind about me being Lindsey’s guy. I think my fate was already sealed whether I was there or not.

I was really shocked when I got the call that they weren’t going to use me. I also realized that I was in the middle of the politics of Lindsey and Stevie and this band and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it. I had become Lindsey’s guy and that was it and I had to accept it. There was nothing else I could do.

I just jumped into music and doing a tour with Lindsey, which was refreshing and at least gave us some common ground together. I grew even closer to Lindsey in terms of friendship and music. All of a sudden, we were both outcasts and he was on my side.

Before the heart attack, you guys were set to tour.

Oh, yeah. We were absolutely going to tour. But it was kind of one blow after another. It was pretty rough there for a while. Luckily, his recovery has gone real well. He’s in great shape. He auditioned some drummers back in early March before the pandemic really kicked in. We found an awesome drummer for the tour and he’s got a new album that is amazing and ready to go. We’re really exited about the future and being out there on tour with this new album. We keep in touch and look forward to doing it again.

He regained his singing voice, which is amazing.
Yeah. We were really worried about his voice because one of his vocal cords was screwed up when they went in to save his life. But he’s healed up almost completely. I look at him and he looks better — the mother****er. The guy is in good shape. He’s looking good and he sounds good.

I know Stevie wrote a letter to him after his heart attack …
No.

She told the L.A. Times that she did.
Her assistant may have sent something to Kristen [Buckingham], I don’t know. Lindsey was disappointed he didn’t hear anything from the band. They’re still family.

Do you think there’s any chance they’ll bring him back in the next few years?
That’s the $65,000 question. I wish I knew, man. I would love nothing more than to see them have one more shot to do a tour again and maybe put some music out. But this bitterness has run so deep. I really don’t know. I remember saying to both Mick in Hawaii and in an email to Stevie that I hoped there was redemption for Lindsey some day. I think they just realized that I support him and figure I’m basically committed. The thing is, I care about them all. They’re all a big part of my life.

A reunion would make sense. Each tour needs an angle to sell it, especially when there’s never new music. In the past it’s been “Christine is back!” or “Check out this new lineup!” Another tour with that last lineup won’t feel like a big deal to people. “Lindsey’s back!” however …
I absolutely agree. I think right now what you have is a great band with Neil and Mike, but it’s not the same band. You really don’t have the tension that makes that band so great, which is Stevie and Lindsey, ex-lovers and everything, looking each other in the eye and giving you chills from the emotional context. You won’t get that from this band. You’re going to get the Stevie Mac, the people she wants there. And it’s going to be a Mac Lite, no offense. You’re not going to get the full goods.

One thing you will get is the older, bluesy stuff they could bring back. That’s great. I don’t think they did enough of that with Lindsey. I think he needed to do more even though he did a great version of “Oh Well.”

Mike Campbell is one of my favorite guitar players. And I truly love Neil Finn, but it’s a little weird to watch him sing “Second Hand News.”
It’s not right, man. I was in that room for two days with this lineup when they first started. I just knew, “This is not right. This is not right.” I was heartbroken.

Did they audition someone besides Neil Finn?
There was another singer on day one. I can’t think of the name of the band. The guy from Civil Wars, maybe? I’m trying to think. But Neil and Mick had been friends, so that was already set up, and Campbell and Stevie, of course, from the Heartbreakers. But my heart is broken for all of them.

It would be great if you and Lindsey tour next year.
Stranger things have happened, my friend. I’d like to see that happen. What’s mind-blowing is that Lindsey has been so great about his attitude towards this. I know he’s been hurt. At the same time, he’s remained open about going back. He’s tried to reach out. He gets radio silence, but he’s trying. He may not always be as sensitive as they want him to be, but I know that he is open to working with them again.

If his wife had anything to say about it, he’d probably never go back. That’s because of all the pain that’s been caused. At the same time, I know that Lindsey, deep down inside, wants to have a chance to finish that legacy the right way, with him involved. I know he’d be up for it.

It could be 2024 or something.
You never know. If they can all stay alive

Hopefully they’d bring you back, too, in that instance.

I hope so. I like to think that someday that could be a possibility.
Thank you for doing this---reminded me of the best line in the entire article
"You never know. If they can all stay alive"
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Old 10-15-2020, 08:28 PM
jbrownsjr jbrownsjr is offline
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Originally Posted by button-lip View Post
It must be a hard pill to swallow, right?

All we have been saying since the day Lindsey was fired (and even before that) is now being confirmed. And still, some fans are trying to twist it so Lindsey can end up as the bad guy.

This is the confirmation from an inside source. Stevie is a liar, manipulative, horrible person. End of the story.

I hope all those theories about a last FM tour with Lindsey there are nothing but wishful thinking.
I would love to see another BuckVie album! That would piss the old goat off!
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I would tell Christine Perfect, "You're Christine f***ing McVie, and don't you forget it!"
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