Keeping A Permanent Lineup Together Is A Nasty Business
Ever since Fleetwood Mac formed, they have had a difficulty keeping a permanent lineup. We all know that most of their hits and greats were made with the combination Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie and founders Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Fleetwood Mac had several guitarists and singers prior to Nick-Buckingham joining the band in 1974, and their departures from time to time led to others joining in and contributing something new to their catalog.
Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, Mike Campbell, and Neil Finn are still together and still kicking it on the road.
So Where Are The Other Former Members? What Are They Up To Nowadays?
Bob Brunning after leaving the group he spent a year in Savoy Brown before beginning a teaching career. Sadly he died on October 18, 2011, at the age of 68 after suffering a heart attack.
Peter Green was their first lead guitarist — he wrote some of their classics such as Albatross,” “Oh Well” and “Black Magic Woman, (a breakout hit for Santana).” Green left the band in 1970 due to his drug abuse and was diagnosed with a mental illness called schizophrenia in the mid-’70s, but still, he managed to contribute Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ LP in 1979 and a few solo albums in the early ’80s. He has his own group now called “Peter Green Splinter Group” formed in 1997 and has been joined occasionally with his friends.
Jeremy Spencer co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 and had contributed to the group until the release of ‘Kiln House’ in 1970, but when he and his wife joined a religious group called “Children of God,” he almost gave up his music career for the religious organization, but still he managed to resume his career in the ’00s and has released several albums since 2006.
Danny Kirwan joined in 1968 when Fleetwood Mac decided to expand to a three-guitar quintet. But due to his drinking problem that caused him to be fired in 1972 because he smashed his guitar and refused to go onstage. He ventured to had a solo career that lasted through the late ’70s before giving up. People speculated that he has been homeless at times.
Bob Welch joined Fleetwood Mac in 1971 and had helped the group to indulge in a more pop-oriented direction. He left Fleetwood Mac for a solo career. He committed suicide on June 7, 2012, gunning himself down to the chest.
Dave Walker replaced Kirwan after he got kicked out. Walker only appeared on two tracks on ‘Penguin’ before being kicked out as well, the reason wasn’t considered a perfect fit for the band. After being a member of Fleetwood Mac for a shorter period of time, he joined in a bunch of bands, even joined Black Sabbath for a brief period from 1977-78, when Ozzy left temporarily. Now he’s spending his career fronting his self-named band.
Bob Weston, just like Walker, he didn’t last much longer, he got fired due to an affair he had with Mick’s wife, Jenny Boyd. He died on January 3, 2012, the cause of his death was a gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Billy Burnette replaced Lindsey Buckingham for awhile when Buck departs from the group shortly after the release of “Tango in the Night” in 1987. He also spent a brief career in acting.
Rick Vito had played as a session musician before joining Fleetwood Mac, playing for such legends including, Todd Rundgren, Little Richard, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and Bob Seger, among others. He left Fleetwood Mac after ‘Behind the Mask’ release in 1990 to focus on his solo career, which he managed to release 12 albums since then.
Dave Mason was one of the finest guitarists to ever joined the Mac. He’s been in Traffic, recorded with a lot of major rock acts, including playing the acoustic guitar on Jimi Hendrix’s “All Along the Watchtower,” wrote “Feelin’ Alright” and had solo hits with “Only You Know and I Know” and “We Just Disagree.” He with singer Bekka Bramlett joined Fleetwood Mac in 1993 until departing in 1995. He’s still on tour and continues to record music.
Bekka Bramlett joined the group after Stevie Nicks left the band. She left the group in 1995, and now enjoys a steady career as a backup singer for a long list of rock, country, and blues records.
Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac on1974 along with his girlfriend at that time, Stevie Nicks. Nicks-Buckingham duo helped the band to launch their greatest records ‘Fleetwood Mac’ and ‘Rumours.’ He left in 1987 but rejoined in 1996 when the classic lineup reunited. But recent reports say Buckingham was fired in April 2019 due to a feud about the band’s upcoming tour.