Fleetwood Mac is witnessing the folly of this summer's glut of touring rock bands at first hand. The chart-topping rock group is on its first tour since singer Stevie Nicks left the band in January 1993.
When Fleetwood Mac performed recently at New York's Beacon Theater, Nicks was performing a concert in Cincinatti as part of her own tour."She arrived in Washington the day after we left," Mick Fleetwood said with a laugh by telephone from a Philadelphia hotel.
Fleetwood Mac, which is performing some concerts with Crosby, Stills and Nash, has added to its lineup guitarist and singer Dave Mason, who is a founding member of the 1960s British band Traffic. Traffic, by coincidence, is also competing with Fleetwood Mac on the road this summer. The band is on its first tour in two decades, including a stop as part of the Woodstock '94 festival.
"I wasn't invited to play with Traffic," Mason said of the re-formed band, which includes only two original members, Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. "To me, it seems strange that they would go out as Traffic with just the two of them without really asking me if I wanted to be part of it."
Actually, Fleetwood Mac is touring with only two longtime members, bassist John McVie and Fleetwood, who plays drums. Though she's still a member of Fleetwood Mac, singer and keyboardist Christine McVie did not go along. She will help the band complete a new album after the tour.
To make matters even more confusing, McVie has been replaced on the road by Bekka Bramlett, whose parents, the recording duo Delaney and Bonnie, had a hit with a song written by Mason, "Only You Know and I Know."
Fleetwood Mac has been performing the song on tour, along with the Traffic song "Dear Mr. Fantasy."
"It's a fairly amazing situation that we've survived through seemingly ridiculous odds," Fleetwood said. "I think the reason is that there's always been a healthy nucleus of the band."