Sunday, 20 May 2018

Fleetwood Mac, 'Oh Well' - My Desert Island Discs - 2

I loved Fleetwood Mac as a blues band, long before they became a pop group. I saw them live more often than any other band apart from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, where three of the band originated anyway. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were Mayall's rhythm section when Eric Clapton left and Peter Green stepped in. It was an improvement! Clapton is technically brilliant but his guitar playing has no soul. Peter Green has a true bluesman's soul, his voice and songs are from that soul and his guitar is sublime.

All three musicians - Greeny, McVie and Fleetwood - subsequently left The Bluesbreakers and became Fleetwood Mac.  Mayall didn't miss them, that band has always been about him anyway, I don't think he ever really liked others in the limelight. He frequently changed his line-up and he's still touring today.

The last time I saw Fleetwood Mac live, at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone in 1969, they played 'Oh Well', written by Peter Green, which was on its way to becoming a hit record - it reached no.2 in the UK charts. For the live version they were loud, though not as loud as Led Zepplin who I'd go to see a month or two later. However by this stage Fleetwood Mac had three lead guitarists - Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. As a live band they were unsurpassed and though the opening riff and the major part was played by Greeny, the others joined in - the intensity of the sound was incredible. As far as I remember, they didn't play the eight minute full length version.

As the rules don't allow me to take my copy of Fleetwood Mac's first album (known as the dog & dustbin album) to the desert island, I chose  'Oh Well', because of that live performance and for the defiant lyrics -

"...don't ask me what I think of you,
I might not give the answer that you want me to!"

I didn't love Fleetwood Mac after the three guitarists had left and the Mac became just another pop group.

No comments:

Post a Comment