Fleetwood Mac Play Surprise Farewell Gig for Clinton

President's staff surprises him with Fleetwood Mac farewell

January 8, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Fleetwood Mac surprised President Bill Clinton on Saturday night just outside the White House by performing at a farewell party organized by his staff. Though the band members hadn't played together in nearly three years, they pulled together an eleven-song set that included "Don't Stop," Clinton's campaign theme from 1992.

"We got a call maybe two weeks before the event," says Lindsey Buckingham. "I said to Stevie [Nicks], 'Do you think we can pull this off? We need to rehearse, right?' They wanted an hour, so we figured we could put together the workhorses for the set."

The band performed without Christine McVie, who departed shortly after the band's 1997 live comeback album, The Dance, though Buckingham claims that the set still "went very smoothly."

As for the rest of the band, Buckingham said the experiences were a mixed bag. "I think Mick [Fleetwood] just enjoyed the event. John [McVie] is a staunch Republican, so I think he was just taking it all pretty much in terms of the event itself. You also have to take the fact that [Clinton was] sitting twenty feet away. It didn't make me too nervous. I think it did make Stevie a little more nervous, because she doesn't have a guitar to hide behind."

For Fleetwood Mac, the performance served as the second of two bookends for the Clinton administration. In addition to Clinton using "Don't Stop" during his campaign, the band appeared at his inauguration eight years ago to perform the song. But in bidding the president farewell, the band offered a lengthier set that featured "The Chain," "Dreams," "Landslide," "Gold Dust Woman," "Go Your Own Way," "Rhiannon," "Tusk," "Big Love," "Gypsy" and "So Afraid."

"We were involved in a small way in ushering in his administration, so it was nice to kind of complete that cycle," Buckingham said of Clinton's era in office. "Before we did the last song, I said we were just pleased to be here at the end, just as in the beginning . . . Especially in light of what we have coming now, you have to appreciate a lot of the things that he did and what he tried to do and even the things he couldn't do."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories


The Pack | 2006

Berkeley, California rappers the Pack made their footwear choice clear in 2006 with the song "Vans." The track caught the attention of Too $hort, who signed them to his imprint. MTV refused to play the video for the song, though, claiming it was essentially a commercial for the product. Rapper Lil' B disagreed. "I didn’t know nobody [at] Vans," he said. "I was just a rapper who wore Vans." Even without MTV's support, Lil' B recognized the impact of the track. "God blessed me with such a revolutionary song… People around my age know who really started a lot of the dressing people are into now."

More Song Stories entries »