Fleetwood Mac Friday #13: Why Did You Do It

Most Fleetwood Mac fans know about the domestic drama surrounding the 1977 album Rumours— the dissolution of the McVie marriage as well as the uncoupling of Buckingham and Nicks. But all past is prologue, and all transgressions reach down through the ages like a butterfly landing on some dominos that are somehow floating atop a rippling body of water, and so we can look back earlier in the band’s existence and see that in the wake of Peter Greene’s departure from the band, Jeremy Spencer leaving to go “get a magazine” then disappearing and joining a religious cult that would later be implicated in child abduction, John McVie struggling with drinking, and the addition of various other new members, including Bob Weston, who was fired for seducing and carrying on an affair with Mick Fleetwood’s wife, who was the sister of Pattie Boyd Harrison, the subject of both The Beatles’ beautiful yet super-apathetic “Something” and Derek and the Dominos’ heartfelt “Layla,” (also, Pattie apparently this year married one Rod Weston)– after all these member changes and sundry personal troubles, the band found themselves at a probably somewhat exhausted impasse, and manager Clifford Davis found a unique way to take advantage of it.

He claimed to own the rights to the name Fleetwood Mac, then assembled some musicians for a tour, told them Mick would be joining them at some point later, and called this group Fleetwood Mac. Mick denied any involvement, so the fake Fleetwood Mac– like so many marriages or domino structures or anything else built frivolously– fell apart. The musicians, including Paul Martinez and Elmer Gantry, blamed Mick Fleetwood, formed a new band called Stretch, found some costumes I guess and recorded this dope funk number directed unfavorably at everyone’s favorite bug-eyed, avuncular drummer and gambling addict:

Martinez, who would later go on to work with Robert Plant, tells the whole story of Stretch pretty incoherently in a bio on his charmingly dysfunctional website, which ends, “For a better World, rise above mediocrity and remember, your body is not solely your temple, it is also your nightclub !  Adios Amigo’s!”

Elmer Gantry took his name from a 1926 sensationalistic and zeitgeisty-looking Sinclair Lewis book which, not surprisingly if you’ve read Lewis, must not have aged well enough even for people to catch the reference by the ’70’s– so it’s like if some rock star twenty-five years from now starts calling himself “Chip from The Corrections.”

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