Ah, my dear nephew, I thought those were your steps I heard. Allow me to pause this Mirage concert bootleg; may I ask to what I owe this unexpected visit? Surely you haven’t come to my basement hideaway to spend the evening hours with your doddering old uncle, who, as you have made abundantly clear so many times before, has nothing at all to teach you—
But, wait, what’s that you say? Do my ears deceive me? Has my headstrong nephew at long last come to his senses and crawled back to hear his uncle’s Fleetwood Mac concert stories?
My, my, my, it seems the chickens have come home to roost. Imagine, after all this time my brother’s son would let go of his foolish pride and ask his uncle to conjure the sights and sounds of the great Fleetwood Mac during their immortal Lindsey Buckingham–era tours. That same stubborn youth who for years spitefully refused to hear the legendary tales of the greatest touring band of the modern age now approaches humbled, begging me to take him away to the amphitheaters and parking lots of old.
How I have waited for this day to come.
But have you not been given your chances? From the beginning, I offered you free access to my most treasured of remembrances. From the Mac’s fabled performance before 18,000 enraptured fans in Indianapolis in 1977, when I managed to sneak in a jug of Thunderbird and stole some guy’s jacket. Or that storied sound check at the Vet in Fort Wayne, when I convinced arena personnel I was Lindsey’s guitar tech and watched in awed silence as he and John McVie tuned up and ran through an instrumental version of “Landslide” before security was alerted to my presence and I was removed from the venue.
These anecdotes and so many others lay well within your grasp, and yet you brushed them aside, turning your back on me. And now, look at you.
Pathetic. Completely and utterly pathetic.
What you should have realized, nephew, is that these memories of mine cannot be bought or sold, but to you I offered them free of charge. And why? So you could tell me how “boring” and “lame” Fleetwood Mac is? So you in all your teenaged wisdom could point out how Mick Fleetwood looks like a “queer pirate” on the cover of Rumours, that pinnacle of compositional achievement? So you could shy away as I attempted to convey the indescribable pleasures your Aunt Carol and I experienced in so many post-concert trysts, the music still hot in our ears?
And after all that scorn and ignorance, here you kneel before me with your tail between your legs, pleading with me to bring you back to those wondrous nights, knowing full well that the power to do so now lies with me and me alone. How the tide has turned.
But possibly I can forgive. Possibly. For I admit I am not entirely surprised to see you here tonight. Your father tells me he has lately heard the haunting strains of “Gold Dust Woman” floating from your bedroom. And even now I see your eyes darting over my collection of priceless concert mementos, each one of which leads to a time and place not so distant in memory. A time and place where the summers were hot, the beer was cold, and the music of Fleetwood Mac, and occasionally Supertramp, cast the world in the glow of song.
Of course, to explain what this all means will take time. But perhaps you are ready to understand, and perhaps I can forgive a child’s carelessness.
Because even children get older. And I’m getting older, too.
Here, come closer. Take this. It is a kerchief thrown from the stage by Stevie Nicks during the band’s performance at the Richfield Coliseum in 1980. A gift from Rhiannon herself, and a handsome reward for enduring a 12-hour overnight bus ride to catch the group at the height of its powers during the Tusk tour. She was pretty stoned that night, but the band was cooking.
The kerchief, now: Take it, do not be afraid. Breathe deep, my boy. Fall away. Do you smell that? Lavender. Now we will never break the chain.