At last – a glimpse behind the scenes of Fleetwood Mac, the mega group of the 1970s. As fans know, the writing and recording of the band’s 1975 album Rumours won its members international fame and enormous wealth. It also shattered the relationship of guitarist/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham and long-time girlfriend/collaborator Stevie Nicks, as well as the marriage of band members John and Christine McVie.
While gossip about the group has been rampant from the release of Rumours until now, insiders’ accounts have been few. Enter Carol Ann Harris, ex-long-time girlfriend of guitarist/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham, who had a front row seat on day to day life in “The Mac” for almost nine years.
Harris tells it all, from her eye-locking flirtations with Buckingham just prior to Rumours’ release, to his proclamation that a night spent with another woman was chaste due to his longing for Harris, right through the consummation of their relationship and the resulting cocaine-fueled nights, anger-filled recording sessions, and tearful accusations of sexual betrayal.
The tales, while not unbelievable, make Elvis Presley’s reported indulgences seem almost modest.
The stories not only involve Harris and Buckingham but the entire “Mac” family, including managers and technicians plus the band’s A-List cast of intimates such as Dennis Wilson, Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart, and Eric Clapton. One thing you can say — Harris doesn’t hold back.
Although she professes to have made peace with Nicks through the years, this book portrays the singer as a bubble-headed, self-absorbed nymphomaniac who never felt genuine affection or compassion for others. Mick Fleetwood is cast as a dull-witted old addict and a rampant womanizer who drives Jenny Boyd (sister of model Pattie Boyd, who is also the ex-wife of Clapton and George Harrison) to near insanity, Although John and Christine McVie come off as halfway intelligent, their purported excesses and failings are recounted in painstaking detail.
What’s interesting is while Harris tsk tsks at the antics of the Mac family, she takes on a fairy-tale like vision of her own life. Time and time again, Harris said she returned to the physically and emotionally abusive Buckingham because he needed her as his muse. Despite seemingly endless accounts of strangling, hair-pulling and other torture, Harris proclaims she never saw the mistreatment coming.
Yet for all her tales of how she sought to be just a normal influence leading a regular life in this chaotic world, Harris' glee at the abundent cocaine, 5-star hotels, limos, and luxury living bubbles just below the surface.
Her tales of her kindness and self sacrifices fall a bit flat in some scenarios such as when she vividly recounts mocking an ex-love of Fleetwood’s – whom she calls “The Blob.” The woman’s major sin was that she wore a size 12. Oh, wait, maybe she was “mentally ill” too, Harris says later in the book. That’s just a glimpse into the superficial status and values in this woman’s life.
Everyone makes mistakes, especially as young adults. But generally as one grows older and reflects on those blunders they feel regret and sadness. What’s stunning is that Harris tells of her “fairy tale” life and times without a shred of self awareness or remorse. Even now, she doesn't seem to realize that this "fairy tale" is a nightmare.Powered by Sidelines