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  #1  
Old 10-28-2018, 04:37 PM
tango87 tango87 is offline
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Default Love the art, not the artist?

Like many other Ledgies no doubt, I have found the events of the past few months frankly rather depressing. Despite the band's reputation for soap opera-style drama, after all this time I was expecting them to roll slowly into the sunset, much as the Stones seem to be doing, with all hatchets finally buried and safe in the knowledge that they've contributed some truly beautiful and influential music to the rock canon. But, once again, they've managed to confound my expectations...

I first fell for the band when Tango In The Night was released - with each new single, I thought, 'Wow, I love this song!'; got the album for Christmas, listened to it endlessly on my Walkman. I knew that album inside out. But I hardly knew anything about the band. The only images I'd seen of them were the ones on the sleeve, and then of course the videos - but we didn't have MTV, and UK TV hardly showed music videos, so they were snatched glimpses at best. I didn't see any interviews with them, had barely any knowledge of their lives at all. I remember a big ad in the Sunday Times for their upcoming London shows, and being utterly confused - there were two men without beards in the picture, and neither of them seemed to be Lindsey Buckingham. I tried to make one of them into Lindsey by squinting very hard, but he clearly wasn't there... Finally I saw a BBC documentary about them, and only then I realised he'd left.

Fast-forward 31 years, and now I know practically everything about them. All the stories, all the rumours and news (fake or otherwise). The result has been that I've found it really hard to listen to their music since Lindsey's firing - music that has been right at the centre of my listening since 1987. Now, when I hear a Mac song, I find myself thinking about all the animosity between them, all the arguments and fights, how they just couldn't keep it together - what a miserable situation it all is, and I put something else on instead.

But maybe that's the problem. In 1987, I could barely recognise them; now, I know way too much. Maybe If I didn't read about all the bitching and fighting and smirking, I could listen to those records again, in the same way that I listen to Roxy Music, for example. I haven't got a clue what Phil Manzanera said to Andy Mackay in 1979, and I'm all the happier for it. After all, there's more than enough drama in Fleetwood Mac's music, why should I need to run to Google to try and find out more? Like a few Ledgies, I work in the entertainment world, and meet a lot of well-known people, and invariably my opinion of them changes once I've met them - and not always for the better.

So maybe that's it? If we still want to love the art, even though we don't love the artist any more, perhaps it's easier if we don't know so much about them...
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2018, 05:09 PM
BLY BLY is offline
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I got into the MAC in 1976 when there was very little info to get on bands (prior to social media)I had to hope that Hit Parade or Cream magazine would make mention of them. I was a kid obsessed with this band and I am to this day. I still separate all the BS thatís going on and just love the music, when one of their songs come on my play list. I just crank it up and enjoy......
I donít give a **** about what happened in their personal/business lives.....Does it suck? Yes...but let the music play on.....Thatís really all us fans should care about.
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  #3  
Old 10-28-2018, 06:06 PM
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Honestly, for me the human interest story part was largely what contributed to this band's appeal, when I found out about them in 79, wow, that long ago, we are all getting old aren't we !

to me personally, the '75 to '80 band music is ok, not that I'd seek it out these days. After that, mweh. I can find far better musical art. In my opinion. LB solo still entices me, he still innovates and creates interesting music. But art... hmm, that's too big a word in my opinion.

Chopin etudes are art, the phrasing and musicality of those, Lux Aeterna is art. Beethoven is art. Fleetwood Mac? Musical diversion ditties. Pop. Soap bubbles. Fun to sing along to or in the background. I personally would never ever call it art though.

But that's just my humble opinion.
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2018, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasja View Post
Chopin etudes are art, the phrasing and musicality of those, Lux Aeterna is art. Beethoven is art. Fleetwood Mac? Musical diversion ditties. Pop. Soap bubbles. Fun to sing along to or in the background. I personally would never ever call it art though.

But that's just my humble opinion.
Would you say that to Bob Dylan?
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2018, 07:02 PM
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Certainly would, though his contribution to the world at least is some great beatnik poetry!
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2018, 08:43 PM
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Lindsey is the only artist in the group.
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2018, 08:45 PM
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I think Lindsey would say that "art" (of the caliber that sasja mentions) is largely dependent on the equation of time--and thus even the most diversional of pop ditties might be rightly labelled "art" if they withstand the test of longevity.

Lindsey always seems very much interested in creating "art" and avoiding any label to the contrary.

Stevie, one assumes, is angling for the Nobel Prize in Literature with her insistence on six-minute poetry epics, endless references to classical literature, and pervasive use of Dylanesque pronominalization.

Contrast with Christine, who--unlike her ambitious Californian colleagues--has always seemed satisfied if she can successfully create a "diversional ditty," and almost seems uncomfortable if one of her enduring hits is elevated to planes of greater significance. That's my read on it anyway.


Regarding tango87's topic, I find that I can still blithely enjoy the music if it's a Christine song or a Lindsey solo song, for example, but as soon as it's an FM song where the Buckingham-Nicks narrative is salient (or imputable), I find it difficult to disentangle the song from the story. And even over the past 20 years, they've been selling the story as part of the song since The Dance.
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  #8  
Old 10-28-2018, 09:45 PM
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HomerMcvie HomerMcvie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondalar View Post
Lindsey is the only artist in the group.
Absolutely. Without question. Lindsey is the only one who doesn't care about "praying to the commercial gods", or.........."viable product".

He's the reason they've stayed relevant for 150 years. But they're too stupid to admit that... "My twirling is the reason people come to see us". Sadly, $he's half right...
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  #9  
Old 10-28-2018, 09:57 PM
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HejiraNYC HejiraNYC is offline
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As long as they are not playing at Trump rallies or touring with Ted Nugent, I'm good. And as long as they haven't harmed me personally in some way, I really couldn't care less what they do to each other.
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2018, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomerMcvie View Post
Absolutely. Without question. Lindsey is the only one who doesn't care about "praying to the commercial gods", or.........."viable product".

He's the reason they've stayed relevant for 150 years. But they're too stupid to admit that... "My twirling is the reason people come to see us". Sadly, $he's half right...
How was Lindsey the "reason they've stayed relevant"? Lindsey has played a part, for sure. However, the main reason they stayed relevant is because of the songs written by Stevie and Christine that have stood the test of time and appealed to generation after generation.
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  #11  
Old 10-28-2018, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugar Mouse View Post
How was Lindsey the "reason they've stayed relevant"? Lindsey has played a part, for sure. However, the main reason they stayed relevant is because of the songs written by Stevie and Christine that have stood the test of time and appealed to generation after generation.
Firstly Mick, READ my two quotes. Those are $tevie and Christine quotes. If you comprehend those quotes, you'll hopefully know that I meant that he wanted to create EDGY material...to push the boundaries, to not recreate Rumours.

They want "pop fodder", radio hits, etc...Nothing wrong with that, it certainly pays the bills, but he pushed them into staying fresh, with material that challenged the ears. That's what becomes an artist.

Now how's Neil feeling today?
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  #12  
Old 10-29-2018, 05:02 AM
tango87 tango87 is offline
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I have no problem describing popular music as art - in the same way that a work by Richard Hamilton or Roy Lichtenstein is clearly art.

Some of the Mac's songs are more disposable than others, but they still deal with human emotions in a way that many of us can (clearly) relate to. The lyrics are often rather trite and shallow, but the settings for those lyrics are frequently tremendously beautiful and inventive, which means they endure.

As Coward wrote: "Extraordinary how potent cheap music is..."
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  #13  
Old 10-29-2018, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jondalar View Post
Lindsey is the only artist in the group.
Christine graduated from art school FFS.
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  #14  
Old 10-29-2018, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tango87 View Post
As Coward wrote: "Extraordinary how potent cheap music is..."
He's not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2018, 09:00 PM
dreamsunwind dreamsunwind is offline
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I do think it's true that Lindsey was the primary one in later years who really cared about the art itself and it was obvious he was very much the one gunning for them to keep creating music. So if you're referring to that, then yes I could totally understand why one would grow disillusioned with someone like Stevie who seems to have very drastically adapted on a new perspective on creating music.

But if you're talking about just in light of all the drama and bad things that have gone down in the band and how it just impacts your view on them as people in general, I also understand that and agree with it because that's probably happened for me too, but I do think it would've been very naive to hold any member of this band up as a type of role model for morality or glorify any of them as people. They were always a great band filled with great musicians and artists and writers but none of them have ever been the greatest of people.
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