Fleetwood Mac is a British-American rock band that has been around since 1967. While the group started out with a blues sound, they would end up developing more of a pop rock vibe. One of Fleetwood Mac’s successes would be the fact that the album "Rumours" sold more than 40 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling albums of all time (via CNN).
However, while creating it, the band was dealing with personal issues. There were many romantic relationships that ended, yet the show had to go on, and music still had to be made. In addition to this, there were several changes in Fleetwood Mac, as members left, were fired, and/or were replaced.
Still, this is one of the best-selling bands on the planet. They have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They’re in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And Fleetwood Mac has a very interesting history, as is evident by the facts down below (via Biography).
There have been quite a few members
First, fans should know the members of Fleetwood Mac and when they were part of the group, of which could be pretty hard to keep track of.
On drums/percussion, there is Mick Fleetwood, who was active between 1967 and 1995, as well as between 1997 and today. John McVie, the bass player, was involved for the same years, while Christine McVie, who sings and plays the keyboard, was in the band from 1970 to 1995, 1997 to 1998, and 2014 to the present. Vocalist Stevie Nicks was active from 1975 to 1991, followed by 1997 to now. Lead guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, on vocals and the rhythm guitar, have both been part of the band since 2018 (via Lincoln Journal Star).
Past members include guitarists Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Bob Welch, Bob Weston, Billy Burnette, and Lindsey Buckingham, and vocalists Dave Walker, Bekka Bramlett, and Dave Mason (via Rolling Stone).
There have also been romantic relationships within the group
As mentioned, Fleetwood Mac’s album "Rumours came" about when the group was dealing with many personal issues. During this time, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, who had been romantically involved, broke up. Mamamia reports that some of the most well-known songs were actually written in retaliation. For instance, Buckingham wrote "Go Your Own Way" about Nicks, and she said, "I very much resented him telling the world that ‘packing up, shacking up’ with different men was all I wanted to do. He knew it wasn’t true. It was just an angry thing he said. Every time those words would come out onstage, I wanted to go over and kill him."
Additionally, when Nicks was dating Don Henley of the Eagles, she started up a relationship with Mick Fleetwood (both Nicks and Fleetwood appear on the "Rumours" famous cover art, via Far Out), who was married to model Jenny Boyd at the time. And before that, Boyd had an affair with another Fleetwood Mac member, Bob Weston. After Nicks and Fleetwood broke up, Fleetwood moved on to one of Nicks’ best friends, Sara Recor. Nicks said, "No one was speaking, and I wouldn’t even look directly at Mick. That went on for months. And it was great fodder for writing! The songs poured out of us."
Of course, John McVie was also married to Christine McVie (née Perfect) for seven years. While working on the album, they had split but were still legally married … and they weren’t speaking to each other either.
The name comes from two of the members’ names
How did the group actually form back in the day, and how did they decide on this name that fans around the world know and love? Well, Peter Green was with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and suggested Mick Fleetwood as a replacement for the drummer. This led to the group being made up of Mayall, Green, Fleetwood, and John McVie (via BBC News).
Green then thought they should start a new band, and he and Fleetwood wanted McVie as the bass player, so they suggested the name Fleetwood Mac, with "Mac" being short for McVie.
McVie decided to not take a risk and stayed with Mayall, so Green and Fleetwood joined guitarist Jeremy Spencer and bassist Bob Brunning. In 1967, these four made their debut as Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. Soon after, McVie decided to join them, as stated by the Daily Express, and the rest is history.
There was a dispute around the name, though
In 1973, the group took a break, as members went their separate ways. However, Fleetwood Mac’s manager, Clifford Davis, had touring commitments. Therefore, he put together The New Fleetwood Mac. He claimed he owned the group’s name, so he simply chose new members, in order to complete the tour. Soon, though, crowds realized this was not the real Fleetwood Mac. Lawsuits came about, and it was years before it was all resolved (via Please Kill Me).
The members of The New Fleetwood Mac reformed as a group called Stretch and put out a single called "Why Did You Do It?" (via The Guardian). Mick Fleetwood said it was "a direct attack on me for not showing up for the bogus tour, which I’d never promised to do in the first place," since apparently, the stand-in members were told, at the time, that the real Fleetwood Mac members would join them on their tour!
Fleetwood Mac has won several awards
With all the hits throughout all the years, it makes sense that Fleetwood Mac has received a great deal of recognition, praise, and awards. Taking it back to the well-known album "Rumours," it specifically won the group quite a few accolades.
In 1978, Fleetwood Mac won the Juno Awards’ Best Selling International Album and the Grammy for Album of the Year. They also won the American Music Awards’ Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group as well (via AceShowbiz.com). According to Billboard and when it comes to the Grammy Awards’ history, "Rumours" is one of only six albums to win for album of the year and nothing else at the annual award show.
Fleetwood Mac was also recognized by the Brit Awards for Outstanding Contribution to the British Music Industry in 1998, the same year the band was inducted into the Rock & Rock Hall of Fame. Fleetwood Mac won the American Music Awards’ Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group again in 2003.