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More Mac than Nicks - Missed Opportunity
on 10 April 2013
This new 'unauthorised' two hour documentary claims to re-evaluate Nicks as a major writing and performing force in rock over the past four decades, and accord her the accolades that come in the wake of that.
This will come as a bit of a surprise to her millions of fans around the world who already proclaim the longtime Grammy-award winning Fleetwood Mac member and solo artist as the 'Queen of Rock and Roll' - a title that even Rolling Stone has bestowed on her for many years. As such, the basis of this documentary immediately comes laden with questionable pedigree and intent.
It's composed of many archive clips from early Fleetwood Mac live performances and interviews with Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood (none of it new or original), interspersed with the usual round of talking heads - from Keith Olsen, producer of Buckingham Nicks, Ken Caillat, co-producer of Rumours, to journalists and academics, who all seem to bristle with an 'intimate and penetrating' knowledge of Nicks, but who actually offer very little in persuasive analysis.
Much of this feature focuses on Fleetwood Mac, not unsurprisingly, but this is really at the expense of ironically sidelining Nicks for much of its running time. We are almost 75 minutes in before any mention of Nick's solo career is made, for example, and from 1985 onwards we get but cursory mentions of her output and absolutely no analysis or insights whatsoever.
Ultimately, there's nothing here that fans of Nicks or the Mac haven't seen or heard before - unless you consider some would-be titillating snippets of studio gossip from Ken Caillat to be of dubious pleasure - and the whole enterprise is somewhat disappointing in its relative lack of attention to Nicks' solo career.
This really could have been so much better if the Fleetwood Mac side of the story was covered more quickly and offered as a given rather than a revelation, and time was taken to really consider Nicks' approach to her solo work, her poetry and her maturity as her career continues to this day.
Not a bad way to pass a couple of hours if you're a fan of Nicks or the Mac, but don't come to it with any high expectations.