1967 - Fleetwood Mac is Formed
As members of John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers in the 1960s, guitarist Peter Green, drummer Mick Fleetwood, and bassist John McVie collaborated on side projects, which helped spawn the name “Fleetwood Mac,” coined by Green. After recording songs on their own, Green and Fleetwood eventually decided to branch off and start their own band with the hopes of taking McVie with them. He initially declined so he could stay with the Bluesbreakers, but ultimately joined Fleetwood Mac in 1967 and the group’s self-titled debut was released a year later.
1970 - Green Departs, Christine McVie Joins
A decline in mental health, attributed mostly to serious drug use, caused rifts between Green and the rest of the group. One of the final straws came when Green wanted to give all the band's profits to charity, much to the dismay of his fellow group members. By May 1970, he would play what was then going to be his final show with the band, but he would ultimately return once more in 1971 to help finish out tour dates after slide player Jeremy Spencer abruptly left without notice. Shortly after Green's departure, the group finally got a commitment from John McVie's wife, Christine, who had been contributing in various ways before becoming a full-time band member.
The lineup changes early on provided a bit of foreshadowing, as Fleetwood Mac continually dealt with a rotating cast of personnel in the ensuing years. The changes did not stop the band from producing music, however, and had released nine albums by the time the group finally found what it had been missing.
1974 - Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham Arrive
A chance meeting at Sound City Studios led to the discovery of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks, who were dating at the time and had their own band, but accepted Fleetwood's invitation to join the band in 1974.
Newfound Success Leads to Breakups
The new lineup consisting of Fleetwood, the McVies, Buckingham, and Nicks unveiled its sound via the release of their self-titled album in 1975. Featuring songs like "Over My Head," "Rhiannon" and "Landslide," the album was a success in the U.S., selling millions of copies and hitting No. 1 on the charts. Unfortunately, with success came relationship troubles for each band member, as the McVies divorced, as did Mick Fleetwood, and Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks broke up.
"Rumours" Released in 1977
In an attempt to find something positive from the string of failed relationships afflicting the group, the band produced what would become its most successful album to date. "Rumours" boasts timeless hits like "Go Your Own Way," "Don't Stop," and "Dreams," and has been certified Platinum 19 times in the U.S. alone, won the GRAMMY for Album of the Year, and is widely considered one of the greatest albums in history.
1998 - Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
Through all the ups and downs, Fleetwood Mac achieved a significant milestone in 1998 via induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Inductees for the band included founders, Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood, as well as John and Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Danny Kirwan, and Jeremy Spencer. Fellow honorees for that year included The Eagles, The Mamas and the Papas, and Santana.
Splits, Reunions, Tours
As is the case when following any major rock band, Fleetwood Mac fans have been forced to endure splits by key contributors, solo projects, short-lived reunions, but best of all, the notion that the band will never truly be finished. Despite denials from nearly every member, Fleetwood Mac re-emerged in 2013 with a World Tour, as well as an EP called "Extended Play," featuring new songs. As of June 2013, the lineup is without Christine McVie, who officially retired from the band in 1998.
Early Fleetwood Mac recordings resembled "British blues," and multiple lineup changes and style differences over the years gave way to a variety of different sounds spanning mixes of rock, blues, and pop.
As one of the most important rock bands in music history, Fleetwood Mac has earned numerous accolades over the years, as well as garnered a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. View a sampling of other honors below.