Friday Night with Guitar George: Fleetwood Mac – I’m So Afraid

It is not clear how future rock historians will view Lindsey Buckingham.  Fleetwood Mac had already enjoyed several years of success in Britain with founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie and a revolving door of singers and guitarists before Fleetwood asked Buckingham to join the band in 1974.  Buckingham famously accepted the offer under the condition that his girlfriend Stephanie be allowed to join as well.  Stephanie, of course, was Stevie Nicks, and the addition of the Buckingham/Nicks couple ushered in the hugely successful period of the band’s tenure, beginning with the Fleetwood Mac album in 1975.  1977’s Rumours is not only one of the best selling albums of all time, it is also one of rock’s most well-crafted LPs, and Buckingham’s contributions were key to the critical and commercial success of these two albums and the tours that followed them. When Buckingham first joined Fleetwood Mac, he brought with him a beautiful and haunting blues composition called “I’m So Afraid”. It was included on his first album with the band, and it became a staple of their live performances for years.

 After Rumours, Fleetwood Mac would record three more albums with Buckingham on guitar, but he would never again sustain the artistic peak of the Rumours period, and his solo work has been largely unimpressive.  Lindsey’s songwriting eccentricities and onstage quirkiness were “charming” during the glory years, but have since become at best distracting, and at worst embarrassing. That being said, tonight’s FNWGG feature is taken from Fleetwood Mac’s 1997 reunion concert, which was  dubbed “The Dance” and was released both as a DVD and a CD, and it is extremely well done and worth checking out.

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