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Old 10-28-2018, 04:37 PM
tango87 tango87 is offline
Senior Ledgie
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 154
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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