Mick Fleetwood

Michael John Kells Fleetwood (born 24 June 1947) is a British musician and actor, best known for his role as the drummer and co-founder of the rock band Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood, whose surname was merged with that of the group's bassist John "Mac" McVie to form the name of the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Born in Redruth, Cornwall, Fleetwood lived in Egypt and Norway for much of his childhood years as his father travelled with the Royal Air Force. Choosing to follow his musical interests, Fleetwood travelled to London at the age of 15, eventually combining with Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Bob Brunning, at Green's behest, to become the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood would remain the only member to stay with the band through its ever-changing line-up.

After several album releases and line-up changes, the group moved to the United States in 1974 in an attempt to boost the band's success. Here Fleetwood invited Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to join. Buckingham and Nicks contributed to much of Fleetwood Mac's later commercial success, including the celebrated album Rumours, while Fleetwood's own determination to keep the band together was essential to the band's longevity.[1][2] He has also enjoyed a solo career, published written works, and flirted briefly with acting and vinification, as well as opened blues-themed restaurants in Alexandria, VA and Hawaii.[3]

Mick Fleetwood
FleetMacTulsa031018-33 (31359883398)
Fleetwood performing with Fleetwood Mac in 2018
Background information
Birth nameMichael John Kells Fleetwood
Born24 June 1947 (age 71)
Redruth, Cornwall, England
Occupation(s)Musician, actor
Years active1963–present
Associated acts

Early life

Michael John Kells Fleetwood was born in Redruth, Cornwall, second child to John Joseph Kells Fleetwood and Bridget Maureen (née Brereton) Fleetwood.[4][5] His elder sister Susan Fleetwood, who died of cancer in 1995, became an actress.[5][6] In early childhood Fleetwood and his family followed his father, a Royal Air Force fighter pilot,[7] to Egypt. After about six years, they moved to Norway where his father was posted on a NATO deployment.[4] He attended school there and became fluent in Norwegian.[8][9]

Biographer Cath Carroll describes the young Fleetwood as "a dreamer, an empathetic youth" who, though intelligent, did not excel academically.[5] According to his own autobiography,[8] Fleetwood had an extremely difficult and trying time academically at the English boarding schools he attended,[7] including King's School, Sherborne, Gloucestershire, and Wynstones School, also in Gloucestershire. He performed poorly on exams, which he attributes to his persistent inability to commit facts to memory.[8] He nevertheless enjoyed acting during school, often in drag, and was a competent fencer.[5] At 6'6", he was an imposing figure, and sported a beard and long hair for much of his life. "Mick was very aristocratic," recalls Ken Caillat, a sound engineer on Rumours. "The way he formed sentences was impeccable. When he spoke, everyone stopped and listened. He was quiet and wise, and he had a great sense of humour. He loved to laugh, but he was also a straight shooter."[10]

Diverting from academic pursuits, Fleetwood took up the drums at a young age, grateful to his parents for their recognition that it was in music that he may find a future and their purchasing for him of a small "Gigster" drum kit when he was thirteen.[7] His family encouraged his artistic side, his father composed poetry and was an amateur drummer himself.[7] Fleetwood's early drumming was inspired by Cliff Richards' drummer in The Shadows, Tony Meehan, as well as that of the Everly Brothers.[5] With his parents' support, he dropped out of school aged 15; and, in 1963, moved to London to pursue a career as a drummer.[8] At first he stayed with his younger sister Sally in Notting Hill.[11] After a brief stint working at Liberty in London, he found his first opportunity in music.[5]


Early efforts in London

Keyboard player Peter Bardens lived only a few doors away from Fleetwood's first home in London,[11] and upon hearing of the proximity of an available drummer, Bardens gave Fleetwood his first gig in Bardens' band 'The Cheynes' in July 1963, thus seeding the young drummer's musical career.[11] It would take him from The Cheynes – with whom he supported early gigs by the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds – to stints in The Bo Street Runners, where he replaced original drummer Nigel Hutchinson,[12] who had enjoyed brief television fame on Ready Steady Go!.[11] However, by April 1965, when Fleetwood joined the band, it was fading into obscurity.[11] By February 1966 Bardens, who had left the group, called on Fleetwood to join his new band, the 'Peter Bs', which soon expanded to become 'Shotgun Express' (with Rod Stewart). Peter Green, who was a guitarist in the Peter Bs,[11] left to join John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, followed by Fleetwood in April 1967. His new band already featured John McVie.[5]

Green became a supportive bandmate who helped Fleetwood in his early experimentation with the drum kit.[13] In his personal life meanwhile, Fleetwood soon became infatuated with model Jenny Boyd, the sister of whom, Pattie Boyd, would be wife to both George Harrison and Eric Clapton.[5][14][15] He was, however, dismissed from the Bluesbreakers for repeated insobriety during gigs.[16] Both Fleetwood and McVie were heavy drinkers, and their combined efforts were too much for Mayall and the band to cope with.[11] Green, feeling trapped within the Bluesbreakers, also left in June 1967. Recalling "his favourite rhythm section, 'Fleetwood Mac'" – Mick Fleetwood and John McVie – Green elected to invite both to join him in his new band, Fleetwood Mac. Though McVie hesitated briefly due to financial reasons, both joined Green by the summer of 1967 with a record contract on the horizon.[17]

Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood mac mick fleetwood 2
Fleetwood with Fleetwood Mac, 18 March 1970

The initial incarnation of Fleetwood Mac performed its first gig in August 1967 at the seventh annual Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival, playing a Chicago-style blues.[18] McVie, initially hesitant to commit, was later prompted to leave the Bluesbreakers and join Fleetwood Mac full-time when the former adopted a horns section with which he disagreed.[19] He replaced the initial bassist, Bob Brunning. McVie, Fleetwood, Green and guitarist Jeremy Spencer thus formed the first fixed line-up of Fleetwood Mac.[20]

The band's first album, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, was released in 1968, and the band toured the United States for the first time, though Green was reluctant to do so for fear of gun crime.[21] Upon their return, they recorded a second album, Mr. Wonderful under simply "Fleetwood Mac" with Green's name dropped.[22] A guest musician on the album, Christine Perfect, became close with the group and she and McVie were married in 1968. A third guitarist, Danny Kirwan, was also added to the line-up. Despite the success of their third album, Then Play On, and a string of hit singles including "Albatross" and "Man of the World", Green himself drifted away from the band, struggling both creatively and with increasing use of LSD.[23] He later joined a Christian religious group.[24]

Fleetwood himself later remarked on the growing stature of Green's difficulties: "I think there is certainly some credence given to the idea that Peter's condition could in some way be blamed on a bad acid trip he had in Germany ... I don't think it did him much good."[25] He also recalled in 1995 that "Peter basically ceased to see the light with Fleetwood Mac and had aspirations of playing for nothing in strange places—none of which really happened. He made several interesting albums after he left, then basically took a left turn in terms of his psyche. He pulled out of the mainstream and chose to stay at home. He doesn't play much anymore, which is certainly a shame, because he's my mentor, and he's the reason that Fleetwood Mac became what we became."[24]


Fleetwood remained a consistent presence in the ever-changing line-up of the group following the departure of Green in May 1970, when Spencer and Kirwan assumed more central roles in the group's song-writing. In June 1970, Fleetwood and Boyd were married.[26][27] In September 1970 the release of Kiln House saw a line-up of Spencer, Kirwan, John McVie and Fleetwood, with Christine McVie providing keyboards and backing vocals.[28] Fleetwood, "a social creature who prized community and communication", was particularly taken with the group's new living arrangements: they moved into a large Victoria-era mansion near Headley, Hampshire.[29]

By early 1971, with Christine Perfect becoming an official member of the band, Fleetwood and the group boarded a plane to San Francisco. Spencer, fearful following the recent 1971 San Fernando earthquake, reluctantly boarded the plane. Having arrived in America, he grew more disillusioned with the group, and unsuccessfully pleaded with Fleetwood to cancel this leg of the tour.[8] He left the hotel abruptly one evening, and was found later to have joined Family International, then known as Children of God, a religious group started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California.[30] Once more, Fleetwood attempted to mediate; however Spencer would not return. After Green was asked to return temporarily to help finish the tour, the band met with Bob Welch who would become their next member.[31] Their next album, Future Games, was released later that year. Bare Trees came a year later, in 1972.[32] During the subsequent tours to promote the latter, Fleetwood once more adopted the role of mediator: Kirwan's self-destructive personality and problems with alcohol culminated in a refusal to go on stage before one concert; Fleetwood himself made the decision to fire the band member.[33] Furthermore, there were early signs of strife in the marriage of John and Christine McVie. Fleetwood again stepped in to mediate between the two members, talking Christine out of a decision to leave the group.[34] The band added guitarist Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker, formerly of Savoy Brown and Idle Race. The resulting turmoil, however, negatively affected their next album, Penguin, released in 1973 to poor reviews.[35] Walker was subsequently asked to leave the group, and the next album Mystery to Me was received more warmly.[36]

During the group's next tour to the United States, Fleetwood discovered that his wife, Boyd, was having an affair with band member Weston. Boyd and Fleetwood had one daughter together at the time. Fleetwood, after wrestling with the idea of leaving the band, was later critical of his own role in "neglecting" his family,"[37] though Caillat described Fleetwood in 2012 as "a womaniser."[38] In October 1973 Fleetwood instructed Weston to leave Fleetwood Mac.[39][40] Fleetwood and Boyd divorced in late 1975.[41] Fleetwood travelled to Zambia to convalesce, with Christine McVie – who was also suffering marital problems – travelling with him for part of the journey. Meanwhile, manager Clifford Davis began to lead a separate group of musicians under the name 'Fleetwood Mac', and his increasing legal assault on the original group pushed Fleetwood and his fellow band members to consider managing themselves. Fleetwood took on more managerial responsibility and leadership over the group.[42] Davis meanwhile led a 'rebel' tour with a group under the name Fleetwood Mac, which was a failure. While the legal battle raged, Fleetwood applied his skills to a recording project being done in George Harrison's studio; Harrison also contributed to the project. On the Road to Freedom, a collaboration from Alvin Lee and Mylon LeFevre was released in 1973. Also on the project were Ron Wood, Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi.

Heroes Are Hard to Find, Fleetwood Mac, Rumours

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on the Say You Will Tour, 2003

By November 1974, despite having survived legal challenges from Davis, Welch departed. His marriage was failing and he felt that he had hit the end of his creative road with the group.[43] Fleetwood meanwhile was planning a follow-up album to Heroes Are Hard to Find – Welch's last with the group – which had charted at 34 in the United States. Fleetwood was shopping with his children when a chance encounter with an old friend led him to visit Sound City and producer Keith Olsen. While at the studio, Olsen played samples from an album entitled Buckingham Nicks. Fleetwood immediately "was in awe". Unbeknownst to him, both Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were working in the studio at the time, though the three did not meet until later.[44] On New Year's Eve, 1974, Fleetwood contacted Olsen to advise him that their planned project was on hiatus after Welch's departure, however he then suggested that Nicks and Buckingham join Fleetwood Mac.[45] The group ate together at a local restaurant before practising together for the first time in the new studio.[46][47][48] The next year the new line-up released Fleetwood Mac.

The album proved to be a breakthrough for the band and became a huge hit, reaching No.1 in the US and selling over 5 million copies. Fleetwood and Olsen collaborated on a number of drumming innovations. "It was all about 'plastic puke.' First off, for the kick drum I had Mick use a real skin, not a plastic head. All the bass drum sounds had snap and rack and warmth, but the snare drum on the whole album was a plastic puke."[49] The album had reached No. 1 come November 1976, and at this time Fleetwood Mac became self-managing, with Fleetwood himself arguing that an external manager would be less apt at holding together such a group of dynamic personalities.[50] He put forward an idea of promising to reimburse any losses suffered by promoters should they occur, in an attempt to raise the group's profile and earn more contracts and gigs. "Self-management was the right decision," remembered freelance Rolling Stone writer John Grissim. "Mick Fleetwood had great leadership skills ... had a great deal of experience – nine years. They were business-like, they always delivered the product and had the right lawyers and accountants for the job. They didn't need what Van Morrison called 'pressure mongers,'... they just needed to get on and make a really good album."[51] Ken Caillat, sound engineer on Rumours, concurred that Fleetwood "had superb intuition and a flair for taking risks."[52]

The Plant - Sausalito - front door 2
Rumours was largely recorded in Sausalito's Record Plant, a wooden structure with few windows, located at 2200 Bridgeway.

As with many musicians during the period in Los Angeles, the band began using copious amounts of cocaine.[53] Fleetwood would go on to recollect in his autobiography that "Until then, Fleetwood Mac hadn't had much experience with this Andean rocket fuel. Now we discovered that a toot now and then relieved the boredom of long hours in the studio with little nourishment."[54] The personal relationships between the band members were becoming frayed. After six months of non-stop touring, the McVies divorced in August 1976, ending nearly eight years of marriage.[55][56][57][58] The couple stopped talking to each other socially and discussed only musical matters.[59] Buckingham and Nicks also fought often, a fact that was revealed to fans by Rolling Stone in April 1976.[57] The duo's arguments stopped only when they worked on songs together.[60] At the same time, Christine McVie and Nicks became closer.[61] Fleetwood, meanwhile, began searching for a new recording location, and landed on the Record Plant of Sausalito, California.[62] Grissim, working for Rolling Stone, frequently met with the group and took a particular liking to Fleetwood, whom he described as "a real pro."[63]

Fleetwood Mac convened at the Record Plant February 1976 with hired engineers Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut.[64] Most band members complained about the studio and wanted to record at their homes, but Fleetwood did not allow any moves.[65] Despite his talent at keeping the group together, the recording of Rumours was fraught with emotional turmoil due to the collapsing relationships within the line-up. Christine McVie and Nicks decided to live in two condominiums near the city's harbour, while the male contingent stayed at the studio's lodge in the adjacent hills.[66] Chris Stone, one of the Record Plant's owners, when the band jammed, recalled that "The band would come in at 7 at night, have a big feast, party till 1 or 2 in the morning, and then when they were so whacked-out they couldn't do anything, they'd start recording".[67] Fleetwood often played his drum kit outside the studio's partition screen to better gauge Caillat's and Dashut's reactions to the music's groove.[68] After the final mastering stage and hearing the songs back-to-back, the band members sensed they had recorded something "pretty powerful".[69]

Rumours was a huge commercial success and became Fleetwood Mac's second US number one record, It stayed at the top of the Billboard 200 for 31 non-consecutive weeks, while also reaching number one in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The album was certified platinum in America and the UK within months of release after one million units and 300,000 units were shipped respectively.[70] The band and co-producers Caillat and Dashut, would go on to win the 1978 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. By March, the album had sold over 10 million copies worldwide, including over eight million in the US alone.[71]

Tusk, experimentation

In November 1977 Fleetwood and Nicks began having an affair.[72][73][74] It would continue sporadically for the next two years during the fallout from the end of Fleetwood's relationship with Boyd, until the pair mutually decided to end the affair. "Never in a million years could you have told me that [her affair with Fleetwood] would happen," Nicks later stated. "Everybody was angry, because Mick was married to a wonderful girl and had two wonderful children. I was horrified. I loved these people. I loved his family. So it couldn't possibly work out. And it didn't. I just couldn't."[75] Boyd and Fleetwood had in fact begun living together once more in 1976, and would remarry temporarily to assist their children with emigration to the United States.[76] However they quickly divorced for the second time some months later. In November 1978 Fleetwood moved into a Bel Air home with Sara Recor, mutual friend of Fleetwood and Nicks who was at the time married to another music producer.[77] Meanwhile, Fleetwood began working on a charity project to get Fleetwood Mac to tour the Soviet Union, however the Soviet–Afghan War later made the tour untenable.[78]

Tusk, Fleetwood Mac's 12th studio album, was released in 1979. The work represented a more experimental direction taken by Buckingham. Fleetwood, recently diagnosed as having diabetes after suffering recurring bouts of hypoglycemia during several live shows,[79] was again instrumental in maintaining the band's cohesion. He placated Buckingham over feelings of creative claustrophobia and discomfort playing alongside Nicks. On the issue of Buckingham taking creative control away from the other members of the group for the creation of Tusk, Fleetwood recounts that his three-day discussion with Buckingham culminated in him telling the latter that "if it's good, then go ahead."[80] Though the nature of the album strained relationships again within the band – particularly John McVie, a long-established blues musician who disliked the experimental nature of the album – Fleetwood himself rates the album as his favourite by Fleetwood Mac, and cites the freedom of creative expression allotted to each band member as integral to the survival of the group.[81] The album sold four million copies worldwide, a return noticeably poorer than Rumours. Though Buckingham was blamed by the record labels, Fleetwood linked the album's relative failure to the RKO radio chain playing the album in its entirety prior to release, thus allowing mass home taping.[82]

Later that year, Fleetwood Mac embarked on a lengthy tour that brought them across America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK. The tour lasted from October 1979 to September 1980, consisting of 113 concerts.

Later career

Mick Fleetwood crop
Fleetwood in 2009

Fleetwood also led a number of side projects. 1981's The Visitor produced by Richard Dashut, featured heavy African stylistics and a rerecording of "Rattlesnake Shake" with Peter Green. The song "You weren't in love" was a hit in Brazil because of the Soap-opera Brilliant. In 1983 he formed Mick Fleetwood's Zoo and recorded I'm Not Me. The album featured a minor hit, "I Want You Back", and a cover version of the Beach Boys' "Angel Come Home". A later version of the group featured Bekka Bramlett on vocals and recorded 1991's Shaking the Cage. Fleetwood released Something Big in 2004 with The Mick Fleetwood Band, and his most recent album is Blue Again!,[83] appearing in October 2008 with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band touring to support it, interspersed with the Unleashed tour of Fleetwood Mac.[84]

He has played drums on many of his bandmates' solo records, including Law and Order, where he played on the album's biggest hit, Trouble. Other albums include French Kiss, Three Hearts, The Wild Heart, Christine McVie, Try Me, Under the Skin, Gift of Screws, and In Your Dreams. In 2007 he was featured on drums for the song "God" along with Jack's Mannequin in the Pop album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, a collection of covers of John Lennon songs.

In literature, Fleetwood co-authored Fleetwood – My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac with writer Stephen Davis, published by William Morrow & Co. in 1990. In the book he candidly discussed his experiences with other musicians including Eric Clapton, members of The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, as well as the affair with Stevie Nicks and his addiction to cocaine and his personal bankruptcy.[8] Reception was mixed. Robert Waddell of the New York Times described the piece as "a blithe, slapdash memoir."[54][85] The Los Angeles Times's Steve Hochman noted that "Fleetwood tells the story as if he was sitting in your living room, which is good for the intimacy of the tale, but bad for the rambling, sometimes redundant telling."[86] Hochman did acknowledge that Fleetwood was "one of rock's more colorful characters."[86]

Fleetwood has a secondary career as a TV and film actor, usually in minor parts. His roles in this field have included a resistance leader in The Running Man and as a guest alien in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Manhunt". Fleetwood co-hosted the 1989 BRIT Awards, which contained numerous gaffes and flubbed lines. In the wake of this public mishap, the BRIT Awards were pre-recorded for the next 18 years until 2007; the awards are now again broadcast live to the British public. Fleetwood and his third wife, Lynn, had twin daughters (Ruby and Tessa) who were born in 2002.[14][15] He became a U.S. citizen on 22 November 2006.[8] Fleetwood filed for divorce from Lynn in 2013.[87]

Playing style

Fleetwood was a self-taught drummer from his early childhood, after moving from a lacklustre academic performance at school to a love of music encouraged by his family, who bought him his first drum kit.[5] His first years were heavily influenced by Tony Meehan and the Everly Brothers, and during his formative years in London during the late 1960s, Green helped Fleetwood through bouts of "rhythmic dyslexia" during live performances when Fleetwood panicked and lost the beat.[13] He often sang filled pauses along to songs to help keep the beat.[89] Green also instilled in Fleetwood an ability to follow and predict the lead guitarist, enabling him to meet the guitar with the drum rhythm as well as allowing him to know a good guitarist when he saw one – which would in part lead him later in his career to select Lindsey Buckingham.[90]

Fleetwood drumming in 2013

Bob Brunning recalled from his early involvement with Fleetwood Mac that Fleetwood was "very open to playing with different people as long as he didn't have to change his style. He was, and is, a completely straightforward drummer, and it works with a lot of different styles. I don't s'pose [sic] he's played a traditional drum solo in his life!"[91] Biographer Carroll highlights this ability as integral to the success of Fleetwood Mac, arguing that Fleetwood was not a virtuoso, but his disciplined and in-distractable manner of play allowed him to hold together a band of strong leading personalities without impinging upon their expression.[92]

Caillat, in contrast, cites Fleetwood as "still one of the most amazing drummers I've ever met. He had his rack of tom drums arranged back to front. Most drummers place them from high to low (in pitch) from their left to right, but Mick chose to place his mid, high, low. I think perhaps this helped him develop his unique style. He hit his drums very hard, except for his kick drum. For some reason, when he played his high hat, it distracted him. He would keep perfect beat with his kick, but he played it so softly that we could hear his mouth noises through his kick mic."[10]


Fleetwood in 2013, surrounded by his extensive drum kit

At the age of 15, Fleetwood's parents bought him a Rogers drum kit, which helped him land his first gig as a drummer.[93] During his tenure in Fleetwood Mac, he primarily used Ludwig Drums for live performances and Sonor Drums in the studio. He specifically sought Ludwig drums for their oversized bass drums and tom-toms.[94] By the Tusk tour, Fleetwood dropped both drum kits from his arsenal in favor of Tama Drums. He attributed his pivot to Tama to Ludwig's supposed deterioration in quality and Sonar's inability to produce a bass drum suitable for Fleetwood's large frame.[93] From the 90s onwards, Fleetwood has been an endorsee of Drum Workshop.[95] His drum kit for the Say You Will Tour was made from wood dredged from the bottom of the Great Lakes.[96] All of his drum shells and hardware are coated in 18 carat gold.[94]

Fleetwood had played Paiste cymbals from the late 60s to early 90s, favoring their expressiveness and higher frequencies over Zildjian cymbals.[93] He became dissatisfied with Paiste by 1994 and was added to the Zildjian roster.[97]

He also uses Remo drumheads, Easton Ahead 5B Light Rock drumsticks and Latin Percussion.[98] Fleetwood has incorporated many percussion instruments into his drum rig, including a 40 inch Zildjian gong, two rows of wind chimes, and congas.[99][100]


With Fleetwood Mac

Year Album US UK Additional information
1968 Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac) 198 4
1968 Mr. Wonderful 10 Fleetwood featured on the cover art
1969 Then Play On 192 6 Fleetwood was credited with writing the instrumental "Fighting For Madge"
1970 Kiln House 69 39 Fleetwood co-wrote "Jewel Eyed Judy" and it was the first album without Peter Green
1971 Future Games 91 Fleetwood co-wrote "What A Shame"; debut with Christine McVie and Bob Welch; certified Gold in the U.S.
1972 Bare Trees 70 Certified Platinum in the U.S.; last with Danny Kirwan
1973 Penguin 49
1973 Mystery to Me 68 Certified Gold in the U.S.; last album recorded in England
1974 Heroes Are Hard to Find 34 Fleetwood featured on the cover art; first album recorded completely in Los Angeles; last with Bob Welch
1975 Fleetwood Mac 1 23 Fleetwood featured (with McVie) on the cover art; Certified 7x Platinum in the U.S. and Gold in the U.K.; first with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham
1977 Rumours 1 1 Fleetwood co-wrote "The Chain" / featured (with Nicks) on the cover art / 8th best-selling album of all time / Certified 20x Platinum in the U.S. and 11x Platinum in the U.K.
1979 Tusk 4 1 Certified 2x Platinum in the U.S. and Platinum in the U.K.
1980 Live 14 31 Certified Gold in the U.S. and Gold in the U.K.
1982 Mirage 1 5 Certified 2x Platinum in the U.S. and Platinum in the U.K.
1987 Tango in the Night 7 1 Certified 3x Platinum in the U.S. and 8x Platinum in the U.K.
1988 Greatest Hits 14 3 Certified 8x Platinum in the U.S. and 3x Platinum in the U.K.
1990 Behind the Mask 18 1 Certified Gold in the U.S. and Platinum in the U.K.
1995 Time 47 Fleetwood co-wrote and performs lead vocals on "These Strange Times"
1997 The Dance 1 15 Certified 5x Platinum in the U.S. and Gold in the U.K.; Fifth best selling live album of all time in the U.S.
2003 Say You Will 3 6 Certified Gold in the U.S. and Gold in the U.K.

Solo albums

Year Album US UK Additional information
1981 The Visitor 43 Featured two Fleetwood Mac remakes – "Rattlesnake Shake" & "Walk A Thin Line"
1983 I'm Not Me Billed as "Mick Fleetwood's Zoo"
1992 Shakin' the Cage Billed as "The Zoo", Co-wrote every song
2001 Total Drumming
2004 Something Big Billed as "The Mick Fleetwood Band"
2008 Blue Again! with "The Mick Fleetwood Blues Band feat. Rick Vito"

Songwriting credits for Fleetwood Mac

Although not a prolific writer, Fleetwood has co-written or written a few songs on Fleetwood Mac's albums.

Year Song Netherlands Singles Chart U.S. Mainstream Rock
1969 "Fighting For Madge" (Mick Fleetwood)
1970 (1985) "On We Jam" (Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer, Danny Kirwan, Peter Green)
1970 "Jewel-Eyed Judy" (Fleetwood, J. McVie, Kirwan)
1971 "The Purple Dancer" (Fleetwood, J. McVie, Kirwan)
1971 "What A Shame" (Fleetwood, J. McVie, Kirwan, Christine McVie, Bob Welch)
1975 (2004) "Jam No.2" (Fleetwood, J. McVie, C. McVie, Lindsey Buckingham)
1977 "The Chain" 1 (McVie, Fleetwood, Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, C. McVie)
1977 (2004) "For Duster (The Blues)" (McVie, Fleetwood, Buckingham, C. McVie)
1977 (2004) "Mic The Screecher" (Fleetwood)
1990 "Lizard People" (Fleetwood, Pete Bardens)
1995 "These Strange Times" (Fleetwood, Ray Kennedy)
  • 1 The Chain also reached #51 in Canada.



Year Title Role Notes
1987 The Running Man Mic
1995 Zero Tolerance Helmut Vitch
1997 Snide and Prejudice Pablo Picasso
1997 Mr. Music Simon Eckstal TV Movie
1998 The Corrs: Live at the Royal Albert Hall Himself Special Guest
2001 Burning Down the House Bartender
2011 Get a Job Unemployed Band Member


Year Title Role Notes
1989 The BRIT Awards Co-Presenter with Sam Fox
1989 Star Trek: The Next Generation Antedean dignitary Episode "Manhunt"
1989 Wiseguy James Elliot Episode "And It Comes Out Here"
2013 Top Gear Himself Series 19 Episode 2 "Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car"
2017 Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Himself Series 26 Episode 14

See also



  1. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 1–12.
  2. ^ Brackett (2007) p. xvi–xx.
  3. ^ https://wapo.st/2o6B9Nk
  4. ^ a b 'Susan Fleetwood; Obituary,' The Times (2 October 1995), p. 23
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Carroll (2004) p. 14–15.
  6. ^ "Susan Fleetwood Biography (1944–1995)". Filmreference.com. 21 September 1944. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  7. ^ a b c d Evans (2011) p. 21.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Mick Fleetwood (1990). Fleetwood–My Life and Adventures with Fleetwood Mac. Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd. ISBN 0-283-06126-X.
  9. ^ Fleetwood (1991) p. ?
  10. ^ a b Caillat (2012) p. 38.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Evans (2011) p. 22–23.
  12. ^ Croot, James (2017-03-27). "Goodbye Pork Pie producer Nigel Hutchinson dies, aged 75". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2017-04-19.
  13. ^ a b Carroll (2004) p. 16.
  14. ^ a b "Star interview: Blues legend Mick Fleetwood comes to Croydon's Fairfield with his new band". Thisissurreytoday.co.uk. 15 October 2008. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood's Daughter Recovering After Pool Accident". Contactmusic.com. 21 July 2008.
  16. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 19.
  17. ^ Evans (2011) p. 24.
  18. ^ Carroll (2004), p. 21.
  19. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 22.
  20. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 23.
  21. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 24.
  22. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 25.
  23. ^ Brackett (2007) p. 35–36.
  24. ^ a b Seigal, Buddy (2 March 1995). "Whale-Balanced Career: Though Mick Fleetwood Still Enjoys the Mac, His Blues Band Gives Him Some Freedom". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  25. ^ Brackett (2007) p. 37.
  26. ^ Martin Adelson, Lisa Adelson. "Jenny Boyd". fleetwoodmac.net. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  27. ^ Jenny Boyd, Holly George-Warren (1 May 1992). Musicians in Tune. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-73440-4. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  28. ^ Kiln House (CD booklet notes). Fleetwood Mac. Reprise. 1970.
  29. ^ Carroll (2004) p. 32.
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Written sources

  • Brackett, Donald (2007). Fleetwood Mac : 40 years of creative chaos. Greenwood.
  • Brunning, Bob (2004). The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-011-4.
  • Caillat, Ken (2012). Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 1-118-21808-6.
  • Carroll, Cath (2004). Never Break the Chain: Fleetwood Mac and the Making of Rumours. Vinyl Frontier. ISBN 1-55652-545-1.
  • Dimartino, Dave (December 2014). "Mick Fleetwood". The Mojo Interview. Mojo. 253: 44–49.
  • Evans, Mike (2011). Fleetwood Mac: The Definitive History. Sterling. ISBN 1-4027-8630-1.
  • Fleetwood, Mick (1991). Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac. Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-71616-6.
  • Fleetwood, Mick; Bozza, Anthony (2014). Play On : Now, Then & Fleetwood Mac : The Autobiography. Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 978-1-444-75325-7.
  • Rooksby, Rikky (2005). Fleetwood Mac: The Complete Guide to Their Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 1-84449-427-6.

External links

Bare Trees

Bare Trees is the sixth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1972. This is their last album to feature Danny Kirwan, who was fired during the album's supporting tour. In the wake of the band's success in the mid-1970s, Bare Trees peaked at No. 70 and achieved Gold status in 1976 and certified platinum in 1988 for selling over a million copies.

Behind the Mask (album)

Behind the Mask is the fifteenth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1990. It was the first album released by the band after the departure of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. He was replaced by Billy Burnette and Rick Vito, both guitar players, singers and songwriters. Fleetwood Mac thus became a six-piece band with four singer/songwriters. The album was not as successful as its predecessor, Tango in the Night, nor did it spawn any big hit singles although "Save Me" made the US Top 40, while "Love Is Dangerous" and "Skies the Limit" enjoyed some airplay. "Save Me" and "Skies the Limit" were much more successful in Canada, where they both reached the Top 30. Though it barely reached the US Top 20, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number 1 and achieved platinum status there. Following the album's release and subsequent world tour, bandmembers Stevie Nicks and Rick Vito left the band, though Nicks would rejoin in 1997.

The cover for the album was created by photographer Dave Gorton. He stated that the band did not wish to appear on the front cover of the album and Mick Fleetwood himself suggested that he create an image that "spiritually symbolised" the band instead. The album cover earned a Grammy nomination in 1991 for "Best Album Package".

The song Freedom was written by Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. Campbell would join Fleetwood Mac in 2018.

English Rose (album)

English Rose is a compilation album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in January 1969. It was originally a US-only compilation, combining six tracks from the UK release Mr. Wonderful (Tracks 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, and 11), three UK non-album single sides (Tracks 2, 7, and 12), two not-yet-released songs from the UK version of Then Play On (Tracks 9 and 10) and one other previously unreleased track (Track 4). It was released some months before the UK release of The Pious Bird of Good Omen, sharing five songs with that album. Mick Fleetwood appears in drag on the cover.

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands. In 1998, select members of Fleetwood Mac were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2018, the band was declared MusiCares Person of the Year.Fleetwood Mac were founded by guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood and guitarist Jeremy Spencer. Bassist John McVie completed the lineup for their self-titled debut album. Danny Kirwan joined as a third guitarist in 1968. Keyboardist Christine Perfect, who contributed as a session musician from the second album, married McVie and joined in 1970. At this time the band was primarily a British blues outfit, scoring a UK number one with "Albatross", and had lesser hits with the singles "Oh Well" and "Black Magic Woman". All three guitarists left in succession during the early 1970s, to be replaced by guitarists Bob Welch and Bob Weston and vocalist Dave Walker. By 1974, all three had departed, leaving the band without a male lead vocalist or guitarist.

In late 1974, while Fleetwood was scouting studios in Los Angeles, he was introduced to folk-rock duo Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Fleetwood Mac soon asked Buckingham to be their new lead guitarist, and Buckingham agreed on condition that Nicks would also join the band. The addition of Buckingham and Nicks gave the band a more pop rock sound, and their 1975 self-titled album, Fleetwood Mac, reached No. 1 in the U.S. Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac's second album after the arrival of Buckingham and Nicks, produced four U.S. Top 10 singles and remained at number one on the American albums chart for 31 weeks. It also reached the top spot in various countries around the world. Rumours has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-selling album in history. The band went through personal turmoil while recording the album as both the romantic partnerships in the band (John & Christine McVie and Buckingham & Nicks) separated, although they continued making music together.

The line-up remained stable through three more studio albums, but by the late 1980s began to disintegrate. The first to leave was Buckingham, followed by Nicks in 1991, to be replaced by a series of short-term guitarists and vocalists. In 1993, a one-off performance for the first inauguration of Bill Clinton featured the five central members back together for the first time in six years, and in 1997 a full reunion occurred. In 1998 Christine McVie retired from touring. The band stayed together as a four-piece consisting of John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. In 2014 Christine McVie rejoined full-time. The latest studio album by the band was 2003's Say You Will. A side project known as Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie was released in 2017, containing contributions from the other band members except Nicks. In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band, and was replaced by Mike Campbell, formerly of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House.

Future Games

Future Games is the fifth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 3 September 1971. It was recorded in the summer of 1971 at Advision Studios in London and was the first album to feature Christine McVie as a full member. This album was also the first of five albums to feature American guitarist Bob Welch. “He was totally different background – R&B, sort of jazzy. He brought his personality,” Mick Fleetwood said of Welch in a 1995 BBC interview. “He was a member of Fleetwood Mac before we’d even played a note.” Without the 1950s leanings of departed guitarist Jeremy Spencer, the band moved further away from blues and closer to the melodic pop sound that would finally break them into America four years later. After the band completed the album and turned it in, the record label said that it would not release an album with only seven songs, and demanded that they record an eighth. "What a Shame" was recorded hastily as a jam to fulfill this request.

Heroes Are Hard to Find

Heroes Are Hard to Find is the ninth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 13 September 1974. This is the last album with Bob Welch, who left at the end of 1974, and was replaced by Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. It was the first Fleetwood Mac studio album properly recorded in the US as well as the first to enter the top 40 of the Billboard 200 album chart. The title track was edited and issued as a single but it failed to chart.

Bob Welch would re-record Angel, Bermuda Triangle, and Silver Heels for His Fleetwood Mac Years & Beyond (2003). A re-write of Silver Heels, entitled Hustler with explicit lyrics appeared on Bob Welch Looks at Bop (1999).

John McVie

John Graham McVie (born 26 November 1945) is a British bass guitarist, best known as a member of the rock bands John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers from 1964–1967 and Fleetwood Mac since 1967. His surname, combined with that of Mick Fleetwood, was the inspiration for the band's name. He joined Fleetwood Mac shortly after its formation by guitarist Peter Green in 1967, replacing temporary bass guitarist Bob Brunning. McVie and Fleetwood are the only two members of the group to appear on every Fleetwood Mac release, and for over forty years have been the group's only remaining original members.

In 1968, McVie married blues pianist and singer Christine Perfect, who became a member of Fleetwood Mac two years later. John and Christine McVie divorced in 1977. Around this time the band recorded the album Rumours, a major artistic and commercial success that borrowed its title from the turmoils in McVie's and other band members' marriages and relationships. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 as a member of Fleetwood Mac.

Kiln House

Kiln House is the fourth studio album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 18 September 1970 by Reprise Records. This is the first of the post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac albums, and their last album to feature Jeremy Spencer. Christine McVie was present at the recording sessions and contributed backing vocals, keyboards and cover art, although she was not a full member of the band until shortly after the album's completion.

Live (Fleetwood Mac album)

Live is a double live album released by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac in 1980. It was the first live album from the then-current line-up of the band, and the next would be The Dance from 1997. The album was certified gold (500,000 copies sold) by the RIAA in November 1981.Live consists of recordings taken primarily from the 1979-1980 Tusk Tour, together with a few from the earlier Rumours Tour of 1977. Two songs were recorded at a Paris soundcheck and three at a performance at Santa Monica Civic Auditorium "for an audience of friends and road crew."

Of particular note are three new songs - Christine McVie's "One More Night", Stevie Nicks' "Fireflies", and a well-harmonized backstage rendition of The Beach Boys' "The Farmer's Daughter". The latter two were released as singles; "Fireflies" reached the top 60 in the US, while "The Farmer's Daughter" reached the top 10 in Austria. "Fireflies" was Nicks' rumination on the tumultuous recording of the "Tusk" album and her observance that the band stayed intact nevertheless. Her lyrics referred to band members as the "five fireflies." "Don't Let Me Down Again" is a song from the Buckingham Nicks album. Also notable are two Lindsey Buckingham guitar showcases. The first, "I'm So Afraid", was popular as a concert finale during this period. The second was Buckingham's take on former Mac guitarist Peter Green's signature number, "Oh Well" (originally a 1969 single release).

Mystery to Me

Mystery to Me is the eighth studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 15 October 1973. This was their last album to feature Bob Weston. Most of the songs were penned by guitarist/singer Bob Welch and keyboardist/singer Christine McVie, who were instrumental in gearing the band toward the radio-friendly pop rock that would make them successful a few years later. Although Mystery to Me sold moderately and produced no hit singles, "Hypnotized" became an American FM radio staple for many years. In the wake of the Buckingham/Nicks-led line-up's success a few years later, the album achieved a RIAA gold certification in the United States in 1976.

Penguin (album)

Penguin is the seventh studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in March 1973. It was the first Fleetwood Mac album after the departure of Danny Kirwan, the first to feature Bob Weston and the only one to feature Dave Walker.

The penguin is the band mascot favoured by John McVie. His fascination with the birds originated from when he lived near London Zoo during the early days of his marriage to Christine McVie. He was a member of the Zoological Society and would spend hours at the zoo studying and watching the penguins.

Rattlesnake Shake

"Rattlesnake Shake" is a song by British rock group Fleetwood Mac, written by guitarist Peter Green, which first appeared on the band's 1969 album Then Play On. The track was considered the high point of its parent album, and was one of the band's crowd-favorites in the late 1960s.

Rick Vito

Richard Francis "Rick" Vito (born October 13, 1949 in Darby, Pennsylvania, United States) is an American guitarist and singer. He was part of Fleetwood Mac between 1987 and 1991. Vito took over as lead guitarist after Lindsey Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac. He is best known for his blues and slide guitar style, whose influences include Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk, B.B. King, Alvino Rey, Les Paul, Mohan Bhatt, George Harrison and Keith Richards.

Vito has been a featured player on Bob Seger's albums since 1986. He played the famous slide guitar solo on the Bob Seger song and Chevy truck ad, "Like a Rock". He was a long-standing member of Bonnie Raitt's touring band in the 1990s. Rick also played with John Mayall, Jackson Browne, Little Richard, Roger McGuinn, Bobby Whitlock, Dobie Gray, John Fogerty, Delaney & Bonnie, Albert Collins, Dolly Parton, Maria Muldaur, and others. Vito tours often in Europe with his own band. He produced rockabilly singer Rosie Flores' CD, "Speed of Sound." His CD/DVD production collaboration with Mick Fleetwood, Blue Again! was Grammy nominated in 2010. Vito is also the recipient of the W.C. Handy Blues Award. His latest CD, "Mojo On My Side," was released in Europe in 2014, and worldwide in 2015 on Delta Groove Records with two new tracks.

He played with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band at Byron Bay Bluesfest over Easter 2016.

The Chain

"The Chain" is a song by the British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on their critically acclaimed, best-selling album Rumours. It is the only song from the album credited to all five members (Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood).

"The Chain" was created from combinations of several previously rejected materials, including solo work by Buckingham, Nicks and Christine McVie. It was assembled, often manually by splicing tapes with a razor blade, at the Record Plant in Sausalito, California, with hired engineers Ken Caillat and Richard Dashut.Following the critical and commercial success of Rumours, "The Chain" has become a staple of the band's live shows, typically the opening song. It was featured as the opening track on The Dance, a 1997 live concert CD/DVD release, as well as several greatest hits compilations. It has attained particular fame in the United Kingdom, where the instrumental section is used as the theme tune for the BBC and Channel 4's television coverage of Formula One.

The Visitor (Mick Fleetwood album)

The Visitor is an album by Mick Fleetwood, released by RCA Records in 1981. All the songs were recorded in Accra, Ghana between January and February 1981 at the "Ghana Film Industries, Inc. Studio" and produced by Richard Dashut, and were later mixed in various studios in England.

Two of the tracks were covers of Fleetwood Mac songs: "Rattlesnake Shake" was originally recorded for the 1969 album Then Play On, and "Walk a Thin Line" first appeared on the 1979 album Tusk. Peter Green sang lead vocals and played lead guitar on "Rattlesnake Shake", and was credited as Peter Greenbaum. George Harrison appeared on "Walk a Thin Line".

The album has been re-released several times, most recently with a US CD release by Wounded Bird Records on October 18, 2011.

Then Play On

Then Play On is the third studio album by British blues rock band Fleetwood Mac, released on 19 September 1969. It was the first of their original albums to feature Danny Kirwan and the last with Peter Green. Jeremy Spencer did not feature on the album apart from "a couple of piano things" (according to Mick Fleetwood in Q magazine in 1990). The album, appearing after the group's sudden success in the pop charts, offered a broader stylistic range than the classic blues of the group's first two albums. The album went on to reach #6 in the UK, subsequently becoming the band's fourth Top 20 hit in a row, as well as their third album to reach the Top 10. The title is taken from the opening line of William Shakespeare's play Twelfth Night — "If music be the food of love, play on".

This was the band's first release with Warner/Reprise after being lured away from Blue Horizon and a one-off with Immediate Records. All subsequent Fleetwood Mac albums have been released on Warner. The album, which at its original UK release had an unusually long running time, has been released with four different song line-ups. The original CD compiled all songs from the two US LP versions, both of which omitted tracks from the original UK version. In August 2013, a remastered edition of the album was reissued on vinyl and CD, restoring its original 1969 UK track listing. This version reached No. 112 on the UK Albums chart.

Time (Fleetwood Mac album)

Time is the 16th studio album by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1995. This album features a unique line-up for the band featuring the addition of former Traffic guitarist Dave Mason and country vocalist Bekka Bramlett (daughter of Delaney and Bonnie). Lindsey Buckingham, who had left Fleetwood Mac in 1987, makes an appearance as a backing vocalist on one track, but Time is the first and only Fleetwood Mac album since 1974's Heroes Are Hard to Find not to feature any contribution from Stevie Nicks.

Walk a Thin Line

"Walk a Thin Line" is a song by British-American rock band Fleetwood Mac, released in 1979. Composed and sung by guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, it was one of the nine songs he wrote for the Tusk album.

World Turning

"World Turning" is a song written by Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie for the British/American rock band Fleetwood Mac's tenth album, Fleetwood Mac.

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