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  #1  
Old 02-22-2023, 03:50 PM
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Arrow When Fake Fleetwood Mac was booked in Pittsburgh

I found this article really interesting. The concert promoter met Fleetwood Mac before so when he booked in them in Pittsburgh he knew something was wrong when fake members took the stage. A fight almost broke out between the promoter and the Fakewood Mac manager. Before he could stop the concert, the band ran on stage. Sure enough the fans went crazy and most did not notice. They did offer refunds but very few took advantage. The show had such bad headlines that the next year Fleetwood Mac could not sell many tickets in Pittsburgh because of the debacle.


****Article****
The recent death of longtime Fleetwood Mac member Christine McVie brought memories flooding back for music industry insiders recalling the band’s storied and tumultuous history.

Pittsburgh concert promoter Rich Engler is among them . Although Engler has several stories about bringing the rock group to Western Pennsylvania, one of his strongest memories, recounted in his recent memoir “Behind the Stage Door,” doesn’t involve the band at all.

Engler booked the first show for a 1974 U.S. tour by a group that would become known derisively as “Fakewood Mac,” the result of a British band manager who didn’t want to wait for the real Fleetwood Mac to decide they were ready to go back on tour.

Even in its early years, Fleetwood Mac’s lineup was in regular flux, with guitarist Peter Green departing in 1970 and guitarist Jeremy Spencer quitting during the 1971 U.S. tour to join a religious cult.

After guitarist Danny Kirwan was fired by the rest of the band in 1972, guitarist Bob Weston and singer Dave Walker came on board. Both would be gone by late 1973, a period that included Weston having an affair with drummer Mick Fleetwood’s wife.

All of this led to the band essentially telling its management that while they weren’t breaking up, they weren’t planning a new album or tour anytime soon. Despite some contractual obligations, they needed some time off.

Engler — an East Deer native who had just partnered with fellow promoter Pat DiCesare to form Pittsburgh entertainment company DiCesare Engler Productions — didn’t know about any of this drama. He was just looking to book a big show as his new partnership got underway.


“I’d done other Fleetwood Mac shows on my own in Oakland, and I knew Mick (Fleetwood) fairly well,” Engler said.

He booked the band through the now-defunct Artist Talent International (ATI) agency to perform Jan. 16, 1974, at the Syria Mosque.

“That night, I was starting to get nervous because their equipment was there but no band,” Engler said. “Then the stage door opens, and a group walks in that I figured was the roadies. And then they went into the dressing room.”

Engler said a man named Clifford Davis introduced himself as Fleetwood Mac’s new manager.

Engler asked when the band was coming.

“He said, ‘They’re here.’ Well, no, they weren’t,” Engler said.

Engler said Davis told him this was indeed the “new” Fleetwood Mac and that Engler would be causing trouble and maybe risking future business if he insisted otherwise. Engler said this band was not going to take the stage and tell people they were Fleetwood Mac.

“He started to take a swing at me,” Engler said. “I was ready to do the same, and then security got between us. The next thing I know, all of those guys ran out onstage and the show started.”

Engler, who had met Fleetwood Mac before, knew the group going onstage did not include any of its actual members.

“But you have to remember, there’s no MTV, no social media, no internet,” Engler said. “Unless you were a big fan of Fleetwood Mac, and if you only knew them from the radio, you might not know that this wasn’t them.”

Sure enough, Engler said, the band launched into “Rattlesnake Shake,” “and the audience was going wild and loving it. They weren’t Fleetwood Mac, but they were actually really good.”

Engler offered money back to concert*goers who complained but said, at the end of the night, it amounted to fewer than a dozen refunds.

“The only person I had to confront about it was Rex Rutkoski from the Valley News Dispatch,” Engler said with a laugh. “He came up and said, ‘Rich, what’s going on? This isn’t the band.’ ”

Word about the imposters spread quickly. By the time the group was set to perform in New York City a week and a half later, Rolling Stone had sent a reporter to cover the debacle.

By that time, Davis was insisting he was in charge of Fleetwood Mac.

“I want to get this out of the public’s mind as far as the band being Mick Fleetwood’s band,” Davis told the magazine. “This band is my band. This band has always been my band.”

That turned out not to be the case, courtesy of eventual legal action by the real band members. But some damage had been done.

“I was going totally crazy after the show,” Engler said. “I called ATI and told them they’d sent me a bogus band. They’d been dealing with Clifford Davis, but they didn’t know he was booking dates without the actual band.”

About a year later, the real band called and wanted to book a Syria Mosque gig. But the embarrassment of the 1974 concert was still dogging them in the Pittsburgh area.

“The show ended up being a disaster, in terms of ticket sales,” Engler said. “Word got around from people who’d seen the fake band, and people didn’t believe the real Fleetwood Mac would show up.”

The band that took the Syria Mosque stage in January 1974 went on to become the British rock group Stretch, which scored a minor chart hit with “Why Did You Do It?” in 1975.

Of course, Fleetwood Mac turned out just fine, maintaining its position as a top-tier rock act for decades and booking plenty more shows with Engler in Pittsburgh, Hershey and Wheeling, W.Va.

Engler said it was one of the stranger episodes in his long entertainment career.

“It was pretty wild,” he said.

Here is the link to the story:
https://triblive.com/aande/music/pit...fleetwood-mac/
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Last edited by Macfan4life; 02-22-2023 at 05:35 PM..
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2023, 11:01 PM
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Good article. All of this matches what I’ve read elsewhere—that the “bogus” band was indeed bogus but that they were quite a good group of musicians.

I give people like Rex Rutoski a lot of credit for knowing and respecting the authentic lineup enough to know the difference.

Clifford Davis was a bully—and a bit of a thug. Dave Walker recounts a time when, backstage after a show where the band dropped the ball during their encore, he viciously laid into them.
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Old 02-23-2023, 08:13 AM
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Here is Fakewood Mac AKA Stretch

If I was tripping on acid, I would swear that was Bob Welch on vocals and a taller John McVie on bass. I would just rationalize and think Mick got a perm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smg2S8CssQU
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Old 02-23-2023, 02:28 PM
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You're gonna upset bwboy!!
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Old 02-23-2023, 04:10 PM
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You're gonna upset bwboy!!
No, you can't say anything bad about the goat with him.
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Old 02-24-2023, 01:53 PM
Mr Scarrott Mr Scarrott is offline
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Originally Posted by aleuzzi View Post
Good article. All of this matches what I’ve read elsewhere—that the “bogus” band was indeed bogus but that they were quite a good group of musicians.

I give people like Rex Rutoski a lot of credit for knowing and respecting the authentic lineup enough to know the difference.

Clifford Davis was a bully—and a bit of a thug. Dave Walker recounts a time when, backstage after a show where the band dropped the ball during their encore, he viciously laid into them.
This article quotes Elmer Gantry's recollections of the set-up of the supposedly "fake" Mac

https://pleasekillme.com/fakewood-mac/

In a 2017 BBC Radio interview, Gantry and Gregory confirmed that they were indeed told by Davis that they were forming the new Fleetwood Mac. But they alleged that Fleetwood’s involvement in the project went much further than what Fleetwood described in his autobiography. Gantry said, “Mick Fleetwood came to our house and we talked through the new band, and it all seemed fine. Mick said, well, I can’t actually come and rehearse with you, it was fairly imminent going to America to tour, but if you get [a temporary] drummer, I’ll join you for the tour.” He added that he had recently seen “court papers from the 1970s” in which Fleetwood testified that this meeting had taken place. Gregory said that he and Gantry had played Little Feat’s ‘Dixie Chicken’ to Fleetwood as an example of the type of music they liked, and that Fleetwood gave his approval to the set list of Fleetwood Mac numbers they had chosen.

[That interview can be acccessed here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p04z7cg6}

If Elmer Gantry had indeed seen “court papers from the 1970s” in which Mick, presumably under oath, had confirmed this, this would presumably give him licence to talk about the whole shenanigans openly.
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Old 02-26-2023, 06:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Scarrott View Post
This article quotes Elmer Gantry's recollections of the set-up of the supposedly "fake" Mac

https://pleasekillme.com/fakewood-mac/

In a 2017 BBC Radio interview, Gantry and Gregory confirmed that they were indeed told by Davis that they were forming the new Fleetwood Mac. But they alleged that Fleetwood’s involvement in the project went much further than what Fleetwood described in his autobiography. Gantry said, “Mick Fleetwood came to our house and we talked through the new band, and it all seemed fine. Mick said, well, I can’t actually come and rehearse with you, it was fairly imminent going to America to tour, but if you get [a temporary] drummer, I’ll join you for the tour.” He added that he had recently seen “court papers from the 1970s” in which Fleetwood testified that this meeting had taken place. Gregory said that he and Gantry had played Little Feat’s ‘Dixie Chicken’ to Fleetwood as an example of the type of music they liked, and that Fleetwood gave his approval to the set list of Fleetwood Mac numbers they had chosen.

[That interview can be acccessed here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p04z7cg6}

If Elmer Gantry had indeed seen “court papers from the 1970s” in which Mick, presumably under oath, had confirmed this, this would presumably give him licence to talk about the whole shenanigans openly.
Thank you for this. I had heard such reports from journalists summarizing the case but never directly from one of the “bogus” band members.

Regarding your quote in the signature/footer section: maybe “carelessness” could also be “callousness”!
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Old 02-26-2023, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr Scarrott View Post
This article quotes Elmer Gantry's recollections of the set-up of the supposedly "fake" Mac

https://pleasekillme.com/fakewood-mac/

[I]In a 2017 BBC Radio interview, Gantry and Gregory confirmed that they were indeed told by Davis that they were forming the new Fleetwood Mac. But they alleged that Fleetwood’s involvement in the project went much further than what Fleetwood described in his autobiography. Gantry said, “Mick Fleetwood came to our house and we talked through the new band, and it all seemed fine. Mick said, well, I can’t actually come and rehearse with you, it was fairly imminent going to America to tour, but if you get [a temporary] drummer, I’ll join you for the tour.”

If Elmer Gantry had indeed seen “court papers from the 1970s” in which Mick, presumably under oath, had confirmed this, this would presumably give him licence to talk about the whole shenanigans openly.
All very interesting. I'd certainly believe that Mick knew more about this than he ever let on. I think at that time, both John and Chris had said they might be leaving the band also, things had just gotten very bad and maybe it was mick's way of somehow hanging on and thinking he could move forward w fm on a different path...always Mick's mindset was 'how can i keep this going?'

--Lis
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Old 02-26-2023, 12:19 PM
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All very interesting. I'd certainly believe that Mick knew more about this than he ever let on. I think at that time, both John and Chris had said they might be leaving the band also, things had just gotten very bad and maybe it was mick's way of somehow hanging on and thinking he could move forward w fm on a different path...always Mick's mindset was 'how can i keep this going?'

--Lis
And then there is the poster that Clifford put up, advertising the NEW Fleetwood Mac, featuring Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie. So I am not sure what was going on there. Mick says in his book, "we saw what was going but we just sort of let it happen to ourselves" [not exact quote].

Clifford Davis HATED Bob Welch. Comments he made in Bob Brunning's book make that clear. But I suspect even Clifford knew replacing someone entirely unique to the scene like Christine or someone with such visual flair as Mick would make things difficult. The band would move from a group of people with personality to a collection of highly competent professionals. I suspect Davis thought he could strong arm the group into the fold by getting the ball rolling without them. Then, with their tails between their legs, they would come back. To this end, maybe Mick felt initially he had no choice but to give Davis some commitment, however tenuous.
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Old 02-26-2023, 04:13 PM
Mr Scarrott Mr Scarrott is offline
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And then there is the poster that Clifford put up, advertising the NEW Fleetwood Mac, featuring Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie. So I am not sure what was going on there. Mick says in his book, "we saw what was going but we just sort of let it happen to ourselves" [not exact quote].

Clifford Davis HATED Bob Welch. Comments he made in Bob Brunning's book make that clear. But I suspect even Clifford knew replacing someone entirely unique to the scene like Christine or someone with such visual flair as Mick would make things difficult. The band would move from a group of people with personality to a collection of highly competent professionals. I suspect Davis thought he could strong arm the group into the fold by getting the ball rolling without them. Then, with their tails between their legs, they would come back. To this end, maybe Mick felt initially he had no choice but to give Davis some commitment, however tenuous.
There's an interview with Dave Wilkinson, who played keyboards on the "fake" Mac tour here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cw-5yiZYzgc&t=1618s

He makes no mention of Mick's supposed involvement. I suspect that on the basis of the settlement of the court case with Clifford Adams and the "real" Mac, people had to be pretty circumspect about what they said. In media interviews Mick has always steadfastly denied any involvement, but that's a different scenario to a court deposition. I can recall him saying something along the lines of "we agreed to disagree".

For what it's worth, and it may not be much, given that his book was so poorly written, I can recall that in Bob Brunning's book, Brunning claimed that either Bob Welch or Christine had returned their shares in Fleetwood Mac, or something to that effect.

I would really be interested to see those "court papers from the 1970s" myself!

Yeah, Aleuzzi, "callousness" is a good fit. I wish Oscar Wilde had thought of that...
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Old 02-26-2023, 04:29 PM
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Clifford Adams/Davis also took Warners to court in 1974 in an effort to stop Heroes are hard to find being released in the UK.

The link below details part of the case but the result is not included.

https://vlex.co.uk/vid/clifford-davi...-ltd-793040769
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Old 02-26-2023, 05:01 PM
Mr Scarrott Mr Scarrott is offline
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Elmer Gantry and Kirby interview from 2018, I think:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjn7ELNVJB0

They basically claim they were set up. Gantry claims he was anonymously sent court papers in which Mick apparently admitted in court he had been to their house to discuss performing as Fleetwood Mac. "Murky" is the word which springs to mind.



"This year is the first time we've had any relief from this situation because somebody kind of anonymously sent us court papers- I didn't know until this year that Mick Fleetwood had to admit in court that he'd been to our house, I didn't know that.

I got the documents old documents you know from bloody 35 years ago when he was in court and he had to admit that he came to our house and had a meeting about forming a new Fleetwood Mac but imagine the amount of damage over three decades of damage being done before we can actually say anything about it- once I'd got that information I said I'd like to do an interview now and say okay we could say this because he's actually admitted what's always been kind of unsaid"
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Last edited by Mr Scarrott; 02-26-2023 at 05:04 PM..
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Old 02-26-2023, 05:11 PM
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But I suspect even Clifford knew replacing someone entirely unique to the scene like Christine or someone with such visual flair as Mick would make things difficult. The band would move from a group of people with personality to a collection of highly competent professionals.
Exactly. I can't imagine anyone who had followed the Bob Welch era band not knowing they had a female keyboardist/singer, and a very tall, kind of crazy drummer.

But apparently the musicians who would become Stretch were good, and they played known FM songs, and that satisfied the audience. I don't suppose there are any bootleg recordings out there??

Nowadays there are many tribute bands covering the music of Fleetwood Mac and other star performers, but they usually try to look and act like the real band they are covering.
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Old 02-26-2023, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr Scarrott View Post
Clifford Adams/Davis also took Warners to court in 1974 in an effort to stop Heroes are hard to find being released in the UK.

The link below details part of the case but the result is not included.

https://vlex.co.uk/vid/clifford-davi...-ltd-793040769
There are some intriguing bits of info in that document. Bob Welch did not sign a publishing agreement with Davis until the end of 1972, whereas Christine signed hers at the beginning of 1971. Was Welch strongarmed into it?

Also, this:

“…In the case of Mrs. Mcvie, she promised to deliver to the publisher at least one complete musical composition a month.”

“10
(3) The publisher was not bound to publish any of the works. At any rate, he did. not give any positive undertaking to do so. All he did was to promise Mrs. Mcvie that he would use his best endeavours to launch her works to the fullest extent. There was no such promise to Mr. Welch; but it may perhaps be implied.”

Did Christine write one song a month and submit it to Davis? If so, why never more than 4 songs (and often less) on those albums ?
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