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SXSW 2017: summary of SXSW Conference conversation with Mick Fleetwood

By on Thursday, 30th March 2017 at 5:00 pm

For me, the name Fleetwood Mac immediately conjures up mental images of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. This is a function of my age—as a child born in the late 1970s, I’ve always associated Fleetwood Mac with songs like ‘Go Your Own Way’ and ‘Gypsy’, ‘Landslide’ and ‘Rhiannon’. I think it was my father who told me, on some late night cross-country drive as we listened together to 1980s FM radio, that Fleetwood Mac had once been a blues band, that their history went back to London in the 1960s, that the Buckingham-Nicks years were a sort of re-invention of the original band and its sound.


Lineup changes have been a consistent part of Fleetwood Mac’s history, going back to the band’s origins in 1967 under founding member Peter Green. Through it all, the one constant has been drummer and co-founder Mick Fleetwood. Fleetwood has recently penned a memoir of the band for Genesis Publications, titled ‘Love that Burns – A Chronicle of Fleetwood Mac’. Volume One of the memoir specifically covers the years 1967-1974, the period of time that most modern listeners would be least familiar with, which naturally prompts a look back at the band’s remarkable evolution over the past 50 years.

Fleetwood joined the SXSW Music Conference for a well-attended panel session on the Wednesday afternoon, called simply a ‘Conversation with Mick Fleetwood’. The informal discussion was facilitated by Rolling Stone contributor and well-known music critic David Fricke, who is also a knowledgeable longtime fan of Fleetwood Mac. Fricke had clearly done his homework on this assignment, and he deftly led the discussion from the band’s early years in England, through their relocation to America and their later pop-rock orientation. While Fricke directed the trajectory of the conversation with a number of astute questions, he also wisely allowed Fleetwood ample space to relate interesting first-person accounts and expand on the multitude of characters who crossed paths with Fleetwood Mac’s storied history.


For lifelong music fans like myself, the conference session with Fleetwood and Fricke was a chance to experience music history as a living and present entity, rather than as a discrete set of far-removed past events. I was interested to learn about Fleetwood Mac’s part in the British blues revival of the mid-1960s, when blues and rock began to come together, creating a foundation for the current proliferation of blues rock artists like The White Stripes and The Black Keys. But Fleetwood Mac has proved its own staying power over the course of 50 years, and their work has already begun to find its way into the accepted canon of “serious” music discography and literature, especially as the defining line between “pop” music and “art” music becomes ever more indistinct.

Mick Fleetwood currently spends most of his time running a restaurant and bar in Hawaii, where he makes his home. But he insists that Fleetwood Mac is alive and well, though they now work intermittently around the individual schedules of their members’ other projects, notably Stevie Nicks’ solo career. Our readers across the pond might remember the iconic band’s 2015 UK/Irish Tour, and American audiences will have a chance to see Fleetwood Mac this summer as part of The Classic Concerts in New York and Los Angeles.


TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: this year’s Music keynotes and recommended speakers

By on Tuesday, 7th March 2017 at 3:00 pm

Every year, SXSW has the good fortune to be able to draw incredible speakers involved in tech, film, and of course what we’re interested in, music. This year is no exception. So I’ll be highlighting who I consider the can’t miss recommended speakers of the Music stream of SXSW 2017.

Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (Thursday 17 March, 12:30 PM) – Utter his name and those beats from Run DMC’s version of ‘Walk This Way’ come into your head, don’t they? The thing that fascinates me about people like McDaniels is that you know they could retire on the royalties from songs and projects from so long ago. So why do they keep at it? It’s the passion. McDaniels has another passion besides music, comic books, which he parlayed into a comic book company back in 2014. He’s also a published writer two times over. Certainly a man with a lot to say and considering the current political climate, I am sure he has an opinion on what is going in our country today. Darryl “DMC” McDaniels is a legendary music icon who first impacted the world over 30 years ago. From the first rap group to grace the cover of Rolling Stone to the first to appear on MTV, Grammy nominated Run-DMC changed music, culture, fashion, language and made American history. It would be hard to overstate his influence on popular culture.”

Krist Novoselic (Tuesday 14 March, 3:30 PM) – After Kurt Cobain’s untimely death, history could have been written such that the surviving two members of Nirvana never could overcome the late Cobain’s shadow. We all know what Dave Grohl went on to, but did you know that bassist Krist Novoselic went on to making politics a high priority in his life? From SXSW: “A member of the groundbreaking rock band Nirvana, Krist Novoselic and his bandmates changed the course of music history with their much-acclaimed album Nevermind. Novoselic went on to become one of rock’s most politically-minded musicians and an influential part of the Northwest political scene. He serves as Board chair for FairVote, a non-profit that seeks to make democracy fair.”

Mick Fleetwood (Wednesday 15 March, 5 PM) – His surname is half of the name of one of the greatest rock bands to have come out of the Seventies, so Mick Fleetwood’s place in the history of rock ‘n’ roll is assured. However, music is not the only thing Fleetwood has dabbled in. He owns a highly successful restaurant and bar in his current locale of Maui, Hawaii, and will be trying his hand at writing a chronicle on the band that made him famous. “Mick Fleetwood is a self-taught drummer and a founding member of one of the most successful bands of the last fifty years, Fleetwood Mac. Formed in 1967, their first album Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac came in at no.4 in the UK charts and brought the band overnight success. They went on to release the no.1 hit “Albatross” and a series of critically acclaimed albums, with further hit singles including “Black Magic Woman” and “Need Your Love So Bad.”

Nile Rodgers (Keynote / Wednesday 15 March at 11 AM / pictured at top) – Suffice to say, there are few people who have as many credits to their name, are as well-respected and are still in demand for collaboration and for so many decades as Nile Rodgers. While he’s probably best known as the co-founder and guitarist of disco trailblazers Chic, he’s responsible for countless hits that benefitted from his golden production touch. For myself, my life would never have been the same if he hadn’t been drafted in as a co-producer of Duran Duran’s ‘Notorious’ album. Rodgers is the epitome of cool and a living legend. As much as I’d like to be there for his keynote, to hear the stories he has to share from his many years in the business, something tells me it’s going to be rammed. From SXSW: “Among music legends, Nile Rodgers is truly exceptional. He amplifies his legacy as a multiple Grammy Award-winning composer, producer, arranger, and guitarist. As a cultural icon and music innovator with more than 200 production credits to his name, Nile Rodgers transcends all styles of music across every generation.”

Rachael Ray (Friday 17 March, 12:30 PM) – Her name probably sounds funny on a music speakers list like this, but having watched her cooking shows over the years, sister’s got a good taste in music and loves it. The now national network personality has hosted her own – and mind you, free – curated day of bands in Austin for the last 9 years of SXSW and as an unusual entry among the other Music Influencers, I’d venture to say this could be the most interesting Music Influencers session of them all. From SXSW: “Television host, bestselling author and Austin enthusiast, Rachael Ray, has hosted two annual Feedback food and music events in Austin during SXSW for the last nine years which have played host to the likes of The Districts, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Shovels & Rope, JEFF The Brotherhood, Blondie, Raekwon and over 150 other acts.”

Zane Lowe (Keynote / Thursday 16 March at 11 AM) – I was never a fan of Zane’s shouty delivery style when he was still the primetime evening presenter on BBC Radio 1 a few years ago. However you feel about him and the music he chooses to tip, it’s undeniable that he is well-respected in the global music community, his finger now on the pulse of things well beyond merely Britain as Creative Director of Beats 1. From SXSW: “Zane’s wealth of music knowledge and creative vision bring personality back to the modern age of music discovery through the human experience. With free-form, cutting-edge programming built purely on taste and passion, Lowe creates a united way for the world to talk about music in a free space. The objective is clear: to break records, to find new music, and to put exciting new artists in front of an audience that wants to hear it.”

As always, the schedule of events at SXSW 2017 is subject to change. For the most up-to-date information about the entire festival, including the music conference and the lineup of showcasing artists, you can consult the official schedule here. TGTF’s ongoing preview coverage of SXSW 2017 is collected here.


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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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