Mick Fleetwood: The fear keeps us together

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Mick Fleetwood has joked that Fleetwood Mac have survived 50 years of upheaval because he and bassist John McVie live in “abject fear” of having to find something else to do.

And he’s reflected on the purchase of an Australian farm that left him bankrupt in the 1980s, insisting that he doesn’t regret the move.

Asked about his philosophy of “No matter what, the band carries on,” Fleetwood tells Rolling Stone: “That’s the nature of being in a rhythm section. You need someone to play with. John and I can’t do this in our living room.

“Also, John and I sticking it out comes from abject fear. What the hell would we do if there was no band? For the most part, amazingly, it worked out – which is a form of alchemy and magic that I will never truly understand.”

Asked to reveal his most indulgent purchase, he replies: “I bought a thousand-acre farm in Australia. It was this whimsical decision to start a whole new love. I cashed out about three million bucks and bought it.

“I thought it was a great place for all my friends and family – but it was also a pipe dream that literally took me to the poor house. I went broke.

“It was beautiful and I don’t bemoan the fact that I did it. I also don’t bemoan that I’m not sitting there right now getting eaten by toxic spiders.”

Fleetwood Mac are preparing for a world tour that kicks off next year – but the drummer insists there’s no suggestion that it’s planned as a farewell trip.

“Everyone in the band has decided it’s not,” he says. “But we thought we were finished 30 years ago. Phil Collins is calling his tour ‘Not Dead Yet.’ Well, we’re not dead yet.

“But, God forbid, we might be – so you could be like, ‘I better go and see them!’ But you will not see a poster saying this is our farewell tour, that I could dream of.”

He reveals that the tour setlist will be very different from their last one. “Stevie said to me, ‘Let’s sit down and really listen to some stuff that almost got forgotten.’ So I know she’s already thinking that she wants to do some things we haven’t done in years.

“I always think Stevie and Lindsey should do a Buckingham Nicks song in the set, and have Christine do a blues song. I hope it won’t be the same show as we did before.”

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.