The amazing and often overlooked early years of a classic rock mainstay. #fleetwoodmac #classicrock #petergreen
When I was young, I remember reading an article where the members of Aerosmith told an interviewer what artists their influences were. The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, The Beatles and The Yardbirds were all obvious answers. One, however, stood out from the remainder of their list: Fleetwood Mac.
Only knowing the latter band since the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in their most successful phase from 1975 on, I found it to truly be a mystery how a mainstream pop/rock band could in any way be an early influence on America’s greatest hard rock band.
As time went on, I found out that there were several incarnations of Fleetwood Mac prior to their hugely successful commercial breakthrough, going all the way back to 1967. They started out as a four-piece blues band with a genius guitarist, three members of whom had played in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, and no women were members.
In fact, there were six different line-ups of Fleetwood Mac, with members leaving for a variety of reasons: affairs with a band member’s wife, LSD psychosis, excessive alcohol abuse, being cheated out of royalties by others in the group, one joining a commune and even one guitarist joining a religious cult. You can’t even make this up.
As time went on, the saga of Fleetwood Mac just getting to 1975 would be a mini-series all its own, with an incredibly rich and diverse soundtrack. Though largely forgotten or completely unaware by their current fans, these are some of the tracks that laid the foundation of their Rumors-era membership.
- Black Magic Woman, 1968, single A-side
- Albatross, 1968, Live at the BBC
- Sentimental Lady, 1972, Bare Trees
- Madison Blues, 1969, Blues Jam At Chess *(see note below)
- Bad Loser, 1974, Heroes Are Hard To Find
- Hypnotized, 1973, Mystery To Me
- Jewel Eyed Judy, later 1970, Kiln House
- Purple Dancer, 1971, Preaching the Blues (originally the B-side of the “Dragonfly” single)
- Rattlesnake Shake, 1969, Then Play On
- Remember Me, 1973, Penguin
- Oh Well, early 1970, Live In Boston, Vol. 2
- The Green Manalishi, early 1970, Live In Boston, Vol. 1
Tracks 1, 9, 11 & 12– Peter Greene, lead vocal; Tracks 3 & 6– Bob Welch, lead vocal; Tracks 5 & 10–Christine McVie (nee Perfect), lead vocal; Tracks 7 & 8– Danny Kirwin, lead vocal, Track 4–Jeremy Spencer, lead vocal.
*NOTE: This was the 1969 line-up (without Christine Perfect) with Bluesmen Otis Spann (piano, vocals), Willie Dixon (upright bass), Shakey Horton (harmonica, vocals), J.T. Brown (tenor saxophone, vocals), Buddy Guy (guitar), Honeyboy Edwards (guitar, vocals), and S.P. Leary (drums) at the sessions.
Fleetwood Mac membership timeline 1967-1974:
- 1967-1968: Peter Green – vocals, guitar, harmonica; Jeremy Spencer – vocals, slide guitar, piano; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums. (Note: Bob Brunning was the original bass guitarist in 1967, but did not play one their initial recordings.)
- 1969 to early 1970: Peter Green – vocals, guitar, harmonica, six string bass, percussion, violincello; Danny Kirwan – vocals, guitar; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion; Jeremy Spencer – piano; Christine Perfect (later Christine McVie) – uncredited piano, and not an official member at this time.
- Later 1970: Jeremy Spencer – guitar, vocals, piano, lead vocals; Danny Kirwan – guitar, vocals, lead vocals ; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion; Christine Perfect (later Christine McVie) – uncredited piano, and not an official member at this time.
- 1971-1972: Danny Kirwan – guitar, vocals; Bob Welch – guitar, vocals; Christine McVie – keyboards, vocals; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion.
- Early 1973: Bob Welch – guitar, vocals, bass guitar; Bob Weston – lead guitar, slide guitar, banjo and harmonica, harmony vocals; Christine McVie – keyboards, vocals; Dave Walker – vocals, harmonica; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion.
- Late 1973-1974: Bob Welch – guitar, vocals, bass guitar; Bob Weston – lead guitar, slide guitar, harmony vocals; Christine McVie – keyboards, vocals; John McVie – bass guitar; Mick Fleetwood – drums, percussion.
Love to you all.
Ben “Daddy Ben Bear” Brown Jr.
Host, Producer, Webmaster, Audio Engineer, Researcher and Writer
“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for ‘fair use’ for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”