on 14 June 2010
This book is a great read, interesting, full of backstage and insider info and anecdotes, a real must for any FM fans.
BUT it does have a few drawbacks, particularly the lack of photos - there are a handful of poor quality pics, a real shame there weren't more.
CAH's written style can be a bit annoying at times as she keeps announcing what is to come or summarising what she has just told you rather than just getting on with it.
More than anything I think this book leaves you wanting more. You have to take what she says at face value, even though at times you wonder how true it all is, but I was left wanting to get the rest of the band's side of the story too.
I would definitely recommend it to any music fans out there as it is a great slice of history.
on 20 October 2013
I couldn't put this book down, which for
me signifies a good read. If you want the inside story of fleetwood mac during their most exciting years as a band then you'll love it (though don't expect it to be pretty, dramatic is probably a better word for it). Only slight issue I had with it was her writing style was occasionally a little poor, the content makes up for it though.
on 20 December 2013
I had never thought much more than I loved their music, but this definitely gave a little insight into the personal side of the group. Parts were a little repetitive and parts are still missing but after all it is written from a point of view of someone in a relationship with an icon not from the icon himself and until one of them writes their biography this fills the gap.
on 1 October 2014
The story of eight years spent in the heart of Fleetwood Mac as the girlfriend of great guitarist/singer/songwriter Lindsey Buckingham is an anguished tale of talent, decency, drugs, riches, privilege and grief. If you like a good tale (and, probably, if you are female) then this is fascinating. Carol Ann Harris describes Buckingham as the 'Heathcliff of the band' and as 'half man and half pure music - savage, unformed and fundamentally dangerous'. All five members of the band seemed like decent people in many ways. But their talent and their wealth made them obsessive and gave them access to as much drink and drugs as they could take. The book charts their musical rise - from the launch of 'Rumours' - and their personal fall (into substance abuse, infighting, separations, ill health and other problems). They all tried to get away from each other at times. Carol Ann Harris writes near the end of how she viewed leaving the wealthy man who was Lindsey Buckingham. She writes"..everyone that I knew had a lot of money and they weren't happy. I just didn't want it."
on 13 August 2014
An intense insight into the world of Fleetwood Mac and an education on toxic relationships and how damaging these, along with fame, can be to a person. A must read for any Fleetwood fan and a fascinating story.
Eloquently written by Miss Harris, this book is able to both document the lives of some of the most interesting people and depict a magical fairy tale at the same time.
on 23 September 2015
I was given this book by a friend who knew I liked Fleetwood Mac, I found this book a better read than Visions, Dreams and Rumours by Zoe Howe which I had read a month previously. What was interesting was I had read VD&R first and both books give their accounts of the same incidences that happened but with each giving their side to the story, so when reading this I was mentally comparing versions.
Carol Ann Harris's account of her life with Lyndsey Buckingham is no holds barred, Lyndsey was just not a nice person at all, he is consumed with music to the point of insanity which makes functioning normally in other areas of his life a big task. He is portrayed in this book as a needy, controlling, manipulative, domestic abuser who will use any force possible to get compliance and his point across, although the abusive episodes are Carol Ann's version of events you get the feeling she is being truthful and I felt that I was walking on eggshells around him knowing what is coming next.
Carol gives a good insight to the lives of the band members, the relationships they have with each other, their personal ones, their life on the road and their drink and drug habits all done to excess. I got the feeling that Carol Ann was initially being used by Lyndsey to annoy Stevie, but because Stevie never took the bait Lyndsey just continued on with the union. Lyndsey never quite got over being dumped by Stevie, his behaviour towards her was deplorable, she is either very forgiving or very resilient !!! but before Fleetwood Mac they were in a relationship together and she lived with him and kept him for a few years while working a waitress job to pay the bills so he could concentrate on his music, maybe during this time she had a taste of his darker side and that's how she got rid, but we will only know that if Stevie writes her own autobiography, now that is one book I would love to read.
on 3 September 2013
I have to be honest I HATED this book when I started to read it. All the 'oh my god oh my god I'm Lindsey Buckingham's girlfriend' gushing. All the self proclaiming 'I love my man', and the endless 'he said this, then she said that' retelling of conversations in minute detail like Vicky Pollard from Little Britain... it all got right on my nerves. I put it down at first to the fact that I am a huge fan of the band and was almost protective I guess about the music I hold in such high regard. But then I realised that the writing was just really annoying!!
However, she slowly drops that style and settles into the story telling and it gradually becomes a really good book. Nobody comes out of it looking particularly great I must say, even the writer, and as other reviews have said you have to give her credit for not trying to paint a whiter than white picture of herself. She was in there in the thick of it enjoying the spoils with the rest of them and she accepts the final consequences too of the lifestyle she participated in. Which makes the books very believable.
Whilst there are two sides to a story I don't think there is any doubt about the fact that Lindsey Buckingham wasn't a very nice person during that period. That should be a known fact to any half informed Fleetwood Mac fan even before reading this book, but even if you take away the domestic abuse story from within it, the reader still can't get away from the fact that he was a very, very unpleasant person. Far more so than people realise. So if you're a fan of the band you really should be prepared to not be able to escape that fact. They all had their flaws, and whilst Stevie Nicks was undoubtedly insane, for example, the sheer malice and vindictiveness Buckingham approached each day with is quite shocking. It's a tough read really from that point of view.
I liked the book and I liked that it added a lot of depth to the background stories that spawned Rumours and how those issues continued to shape the daily life of the band. It won't tell you anything new necessarily beyond what we already know, but it does put the wider human and social element to it all and how it impacted on those around the five band members. I liked it. Eventually. But I liked it.
on 27 May 2013
So called Kiss & Tell books certainly have their place in biography. An excellent example would be Alanna Nash's "Elvis Aaron Presley" in which bodyguard revelations about Elvis are put in context; a balanced view of his great talent with the causes of his undeniable self destruction. Another might be May Pang's book about living with John Lennon, which gave a rare in sight into Paul & Linda's ongoing friendly link with John in the 70s, his distant relationship with his 1st son, and that of his marriage to Yoko. Such details are important when studying any artist / writer, simply because it is these aspects which inform their work.
For me, Carol Ann Harris failed to give any real insight or context. We already knew about the excessive drug use within the band, the phenomenal "out of the blue" success of Rumours, and probably even more detail about their in-group love affairs than appears here. So was there any new information? Well, accordinging to her book, Lindsey Buckingham turns out to be an unpleasant, violent woman hitter on occasion, and may also on at least one occasion suffered a "seizure" akin to either epilepsy or anxiety. But his alledged behaviour is given no context other than the pressures of fame and the hit making expectations of the record industry. No insight into his past upbringing and if that had any relevance. No insight into his musical, creative processes. As for the rest of the band, all 4 members are pretty much as the fans have understood them to be from countless other sources. Nothing revelatory there.
The author uses the all embracing, generic term of "The Fleetwood Mac Family" rather than simply the group of 5 musicians itself. Maybe in this way she depicts herself as being a bigger part of things. Yes, it seems she was responsible for getting Lindsey into suits on stage rather than jeans. But such superficial detail isn't enough for me. In the end what this reads like is akin to the style of a teen romance type story, before the longing lingering looks turn to sour violence. The break-ups the make-ups. Told in a remembered dialogue style which pads out various events beyond the point of holding my interest.
on 4 October 2009
If you can get past the teen-angst "OMG I LOVE LINDSEY OMG OMG LINDSEY OMG MY LINDSEY!" fawning that permeates the first few chapters, this is a great insight into a band whose story puts today's crotch-showing, publicity-whore "musicians" to shame. The talent, crazy amounts of drug abuse and some absolutely shocking behaviour. . .it's all here!
Even if only 50% of what's in this book is true, it's still an epic tale. Lindsey Buckingham, one of the world's finest rock guitarists, is portrayed as an unrepentant addict, genius and all-around jealous, self-serving, abusive nutjob.
However, it's obvious that Harris is only giving her side of the story, and to her credit she doesn't misrepresent that one iota. The first few chapters are difficult to get into as previously mentioned, but once you hit the story of the tour kick-off, the rock-and-roll hijinks start and don't stop for a few hundred pages. As a diarist, Harris gives the story a raw immediacy that's both obnoxious and strangely appropriate for such a (mostly) hearts-on-their-sleeves band like Fleetwood Mac.
Some of the best stories concern the family of people that surrounds FM at this time. Roadies, tour managers, drug dealers, studio folks, hangers-on, they're all described pretty well and flesh out the story.
The portrayal of Stevie Nicks is actually fair and believable, given Harris' status as "Lindsey's new girl" and the tumult that was happening around the time that Harris joined the Mac machine. The McVies are the least well-described, but I believe that since Buckingham, Nicks and Fleetwood are such larger-than-life characters, that's inevitable. Christine's got some fantastic episodes in the book, though; her tremendous dedication to FM at that time is obvious even second-hand. Mick Fleetwood is, as in all the interviews and books I've read, the crazy, kind guy who keeps the beat (most of the time). John is pretty much just snorting cocaine, drinking too much and wishing he was on his boat instead of starring in a soap opera.
If you are an FM fan, or if you, like me, just enjoy really gossipy, in-depth biographies, this one's for you. It's a blast to read (again, after the first few chapters) and makes you wonder how much worse the Rolling Stones and The Who could possibly have been. . .
on 5 August 2015
If you can get past the authors cringingly sycophantic dribblings and massive over use of the terms "the Fleetwood Mac family" and "the inner circle" it's a good insight into the famous behind the scenes turmoil of the band and the violent, spoiled egotist that was Lindsey Buckingham at his peak. Only 3 stars due to my perpetual nausea of the authors obvious hero worship made it difficult to sometimes keep my dinner down.