'After 46 years of being on the road, now is the right time to look back in a way I've never done before: now and then. I'm looking forward to sharing it with you.'
Mick Fleetwood has been part of one of the world's most successful and adored bands for over four decades. Here he tells the full and candid story of that life, and what it is to be part of the ever evolving Fleetwood Mac.
His all-access autobiography spans the career of one of classic rock's greatest drummers and band leaders, the co-founder of the deeply loved super group that bears his name.
In this intimate portrait of a life lived in music, Fleetwood vividly recalls his upbringing in Cornwall, Egypt, and Norway, tapping along to whatever song was playing on the radio; his experiences as a musician in Sixties London; the early days of the band featuring Peter Green, and his close friendship with George Harrison and seemingly all of music royalty.
Play On sheds new light on Fleetwood Mac's raucous history, describing the highs and lows of being part of a band that he often single-handedly kept together. His love affair with Stevie Nicks, the creation of landmark albums like Rumours and Tusk, and the many incredible and outrageous moments of recording, touring, fighting, and loving with Fleetwood Mac: all are here. He describes his life's moments with the honesty and immediacy that his fans expect, taking us to the very heart of this multi-layered life.
It's been a tumultuous journey with the excesses of the band's huge success at times threatening to destroy what they strived so hard to create. But through it all, it's been the drive to play on that has won out. Now, then, and always, it's Fleetwood Mac.
©2014 Constant Endeavor, LLC (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
Some years ago Mick Fleetwood published his autobiography and I must say it was without doubt the best book about music I’d ever read.
This audiobook is not an update to that original title but a complete re-write of his story, and brings the story right up to their 2014 world tour. I’ll admit I approached this with some trepidation as I thought it might just re-hash the previous book. But not so, and I’m very happy to say that Mr Fleetwood does not disappoint in any way as this title is every bit as fresh and engaging as his first. Fleetwood has also taken the interesting step of not relying only on his own memories of events but has taken the time to talk with past colleagues, friends and even ex-wives to ensure he presents an even telling of the story.
In this age of instant game-show 15-minute stardom people can forget just how long Mick and the various versions of his band have been on the scene. From the early blues scene in London with Peter Green to the heady days of mega-stardom with the revamped band and Buckingham/Nicks the pace never falters. Even though the emotional stresses and pressures within the band during the recording of ‘Rumours’ have been well documented in previous books and magazine articles, this title takes a fresh perspective on the whole period, explaining how the relationships, both personal and professional, were continuously tested and pushed from all sides, and the emotional minefield that needed to be negotiated practically every day. Many bands wouldn’t have survived such an ordeal, and it is testament to them, and Fleetwood’s management skills, that they did, and ended up producing one of the most important albums of its time.
Fleetwood also deals very openly and honestly with the problems their subsequent success brought, both emotional and financial, as their constant touring led to new excesses in hedonistic revelry and expensive living that resulted in Fleetwood waking up to discover that, amazingly, he was bankrupt.
A special mention must also be made to Martin Dew who delivers a first-class reading. It helps that his speaking voice is very close to Fleetwood’s and in no time at all you feel like it’s Fleetwood himself telling the story.
Very highly recommended
Mick Fleetwood is a member of the rock and roll family tree. He has been in so many great line ups - not just the many iterations of Fleetwood Mac - but also in the pre-FM scene. It's hard to name some influential, gifted artist of the period that he didn't know, rub shoulders, or play along side.
So this guys has the goods and this should make for a dazzling account of a life in rock and roll. At this point I will compare this to Keith Richards autobiography 'Life'. I don't hesitated to tell you that Richards delivers and experience that is far more compelling, and candid.
Mick Fleetwood never gives you the impression that he has ever, in his whole life, achieved any degree of self reflection, self awareness or self knowledge. That might not be true - it may simply be a case that he didn't want to put that much on show.
Everyone knows that - of all bands - Fleetwood Mac had bust ups that were explosive and disagreements that would paint vivid colours across any biography. You wouldn't think so from listening to this. Mick Fleetwood tiptoes through his retelling without an adverse comment to anyone and some fantastic retrospective justifications that smooth over and minimise any frictions.
He tells of his wrecking ball personal life that tore through a series of wives (he admits that he repeatedly married women to stop them leaving him - which I find disturbing) and girlfriends. He mentions his own cocaine addiction peddling the true/false suggestion that he spent £60 million on the stuff and snorted a line seven miles long (when he sat down and worked it out).
If he went into rehab and actually challenged his addictions there's no meaningful account of it here. He would have you believe that he simply stopped drinking and taking copious amounts of drugs.
Two bankruptcies lead to Mick complaining dolefully about his lack of royalties because he never wrote any of the songs - particularly on 'Rumours' - whereas Lindsay Buckingham, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks made huge sums on the album and on their personal ventures and solo projects.
He sounds like the perenial victim, a bit of wet drama queen, and even when he's talking about buying houses in California, and Maui, and London, and his cars, and his private jets and so on (and on and on) - he always has a pessimistic tone. Perhaps this is a failure of the performance. This being said he over plays the 'it's hard being a rich rock star' angle. A number of times.
So as you can see I never warmed to him. I never thought he was being honest or candid with me. I compare his account that of Richards (as mentioned earlier) and Carole King (both of whom really do expose themselves and offer meaningful insights). By comparison Mick Fleetwood is giving a very superficial, happily ever after story, and while I listened all the way to the end it was a 'ho hum' experience.
This book provides a broad account of Mick Fleetwood’s life, from a teenager, through the successes and challenges of a long musical career and up to the recent past. The backbone of the narrative is centred on the bands, the people that made them up and their successes, but there is much about Mick’s personal life and the way that he has lived it. I had thought of using the heading ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’, because it is clear that this would describe a lifestyle that pervaded his environment and those around him, but there was more to his life than this and what came through was a likable, sociable, nice, but sometimes naïve man who has the same allocation of flaws in his character as most of us,.
The book is well read, which it needed to be as it is not a great work of prose, but it is a great insight into the life of a rock star in his own voice. Also, I thought it a bit slow to begin with and there were sections that I would have edited out, as they seemed a little self-indulgent. However, I enjoyed this autobiography and there seemed to be even handed account of situations that clearly had many facets. This is definitely a book for Fleetwood Mac fans and for anyone interested in the lifestyle of a successful and durable rock star.
Loved the story of his life and sometimes felt that I was part of re-living the history of Fleetwood Mac. Buy it and enjoy the references to times in your life bookmarked by so many of their songs. A great listen and well read.
I guess if you live life in the kind of bubble he has you're going to be a bit odd but here Fleetwood often left me shaking my head at in particular his romantic engagements and the way he treated friends and lovers. Total narcissist.
The problem, or rather, problems, with this book is the choice of co-writer and the performance. The co-writer, Anthony Bozza, seems to be a well educated man who knows lots of fine words. His vocabulary and turn of phrase manages to turn this rather compelling story into an almost accountant-y account. I'm glad he's not done a Stephen Davis, turning it into a festival of depravity, but there's a middle ground between lurid tales of excess and this Wind in the Willows naiveté. Martin Dew is a technically gifted narrator, but he, like the text itself, holds too much back.
I'm not aware of any other books by Mick Fleetwood.
Yes. A bit too staid, boring even.
Maybe get some more Fleetwood Mac records, in all their phases.
This book isn't NOT worth the time it takes to read it, but it's not the most inspiring book i've come across in the last few years.
loved it so much..that I was sad it ended..buy and enjoy great book well told. and narrated
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