Mick Fleetwood Didn’t Know That One Of Their Songs Was About Him All Along
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Devoted Fleetwood Mac fans would know that it’s impossible to overstate just how crucial Mick Fleetwood was to the band’s enduring success and legendary status. Apart from sharing the name with the band and being its sole drummer since like forever, Mick was the heartbeat of Fleetwood Mac, and his multifaceted importance goes far beyond just keeping the rhythm.
The founding member’s understated importance became pronounced during the recording of Rumours, Fleetwood Mac’s best and most successful record.
In the middle of their Rumours saga, Fleetwood was yet to entangle himself in an affair with bandmate Stevie Nicks. However, at that time, Nicks’ relationship with then-boyfriend and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham had crumbled, and the marriage of John and Christine McVie had also fallen apart.
Christine, who had a close relationship with Fleetwood, was deeply grateful for his unassuming behind-the-scenes efforts and had expressed her appreciation by writing “Oh Daddy”.
“Sentimentally, I say this, because I didn’t know it at the time, but I found out not too long afterwards that the song was actually written about me,” Fleetwood shared.
Mick Fleetwood loved “Oh Daddy”
In “Oh Daddy,” Christine McVie warmly sings, “Oh Daddy, You soothe me with your smile, You’re letting me know, You’re the best thing in my life.”
The “Songbird” singer saw Fleetwood as a father figure and wrote the song for him in appreciation for remaining constant as the band struggled to keep relationships intact.
— Mick Fleetwood (@MickFleetwood) May 7, 2015
In a 2012 interview with Music Radar, Fleetwood revealed “Oh Daddy” as one of his greatest recordings of all time.
“I’m a sucker for this one because it really is a structured song, which is so appealing to me as a player. Basically, it’s me playing a slow blues with Christine,” the drummer said of the song.
The sentimentality behind the song was acknowledged by Fleetwood, even though he did not know for quite a while that the song was about him. He continued, “At that point, I was the only daddy in the ranks of Fleetwood Mac. Christine is a sister of mine and truly a great musician – and a blues player.”
“This is me in a very comfortable place playing, in essence, what I would deliver in a slow blues to her song,” the drummer concluded.
When Christine McVie died in November 2022, Fleetwood spoke more of their sibling-like relationship in a moving Twitter post: “This is a day where my dear sweet friend Christine McVie has taken flight.”
— Mick Fleetwood (@MickFleetwood) November 30, 2022
Fleetwood keeping the band intact through Rumours
On the 45th anniversary of Rumours in 2022, Fleetwood reflected on many things in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, and one of them was his role in helping the band keep their sanity during the album’s creation.
Rumours, which produced their biggest hits after also going through their greatest emotional obstacles, yielded classics such as “Dreams”, “Go Your Own Way”, “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun”.
— Mick Fleetwood (@MickFleetwood) February 9, 2022
“When I listen to our music, not only this album, [but] for a long time, I didn’t really know what it was I was really contributing. I do know now,” Fleetwood said.
He credited himself for keeping the band together throughout the turmoil. Before this, surprisingly, Fleetwood thought he contributed little to the success of the band he founded.
“My keeping some semblance out of panic or insecurity, to have this not stop, that seeing and hearing, hearing a body of work from time to time, that actually now comfortably does cross my mind.,” Fleetwood revealed in the Apple interview.
Fleetwood often found himself in the challenging position of mediating disputes and quelling conflicts. Without his diplomatic efforts, the band might have succumbed to the pressures of fame and disintegrated.
— Mick Fleetwood (@MickFleetwood) March 25, 2021
Rumours, a heartfelt triumph
Thank God Mick was there and the band was able to complete Rumours. The magical album was an instant commercial success, and would become one of the few top-selling albums that would sell 40 plus millions of records.
It was more than just a triumph during an emotional roller-coaster ride for the band, it was Fleetwood Mac’s biggest win after gambling their fortunes by changing their sound and moving to America.
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Devoted fans and casual listeners can’t help but be captivated by the emotional wrappings of this iconic album, as it continues to resonate with listeners around the world.
Again and again, the timeless classics from it captured the hearts of many, like that time when the world trapped bogged down by the pandemic became enthralled by a Tiktok video of a skater lipsyncing to “Dreams”.
And who wouldn’t fall in love with the musical journey that is Rumours? With the intricate and often turbulent emotions of Fleetwood Mac’s members laid bare, each track is a snapshot of their personal lives, exposed and explored. From heartbreak and longing to resilience and hope, the album encapsulates the raw, unfiltered emotions that we all experience at some point in our lives.
The emotional depth of Rumours is perhaps most evident in the band’s willingness to confront their own pain and conflicts head-on. Songs like “Go Your Own Way” and “Dreams” lay bare the emotional scars of breakups and betrayals, while “The Chain” reflects a commitment to holding on, despite the fractures. These songs are not just catchy tunes; they’re cathartic expressions of the human experience.