And I love them.
And they have forsaken me.
See what I mean?
Mick, when you fired Lindsey Buckingham, you destroyed the souls of an entire generation of Fleetwood Mac fans. For those of us who discovered Fleetwood Mac when you reunited for "The Dance" in 1997, Fleetwood Mac is the five fireflies. It is the Rumours 5. It is Stevie, Lindsey, Christine, Mick & John. That is our Fleetwood Mac. This isn't limited to those of us who discovered you in 1997, of course, but I only feel confident speaking for me as a member of this generation.
When Christine left in 1998, we accepted her absence because it was her choice to be gone. We wanted what she wanted for herself because we love her. You carried on without her and we came along for ride, happy to witness Lindsey and Stevie front our band together in the wake of Christine's absence. It wasn't the same, but it was still Fleetwood Mac.
This is not Fleetwood Mac.
It is your band and, of course, you are allowed to do with it what you will. You kept the band going for a decade when it probably should have faded away. Because of you, the band survived long enough to reunite in 1997 and awaken the spirits of an entirely new generation of fans.
I'm not discounting the millions of fans you already had. I'm not. They're yours and you earned them.
But we are absolute lunatics.
In the pre-social media days of the late 1990s after "The Dance" was released, we begged our parents for AOL free trial CDs and then thanked them for getting them for us by clogging up their telephone lines for hours just so we could learn your history. We learned your birthdays, your astrological signs, the names of your high schools, your parents' names, your first pets' names, your favorite colors. We waited hours for a single photo of the band to download so we could tape it to our bedroom wall or glue it to our school folders. Yes, we invented "set image as home screen" before smartphones and tablets even existed because of you. My freshman year of college, I once spent three hours in our school's library feeding the photocopier dime after dime after dime, and in exchange it spit our very poor photocopies of the photos inside the Rumours album, an album the library happened to carry, just so I could have them. We found others like us in sketchy, dial-up chat rooms and made plans to someday meet in person, to our parents' absolute horror.
When social media became a thing, we found each other again. In droves. We spread your name like wildfire. We Facebooked, Twittered, Insta'd, and Snapped the good word of Fleetwood Mac and we did it across the globe.
Over the last two decades, as we've (allegedly) grown into adulthood, we've irresponsibly spent fistfuls of cash-- I'm talking many, many thousands of dollars, each--on front row tickets to Fleetwood Mac shows, meet & greet tickets to meet you, our fairy godfather, plane tickets to get to the venues, and hotel rooms to collapse in after the shows, after once again getting our fairy godfamily fix.
Due in large part to our insanity, Fleetwood Mac is still the massively-successful, wildly-popular, world-touring monster it is, in this, the year 2018.
Because you were our best friends, our families, our shoulders to cry on, and our souls. Maybe you never wanted to be but you were. Your music got us through our awkward years. It got us through lost loves, deaths, substance abuse issues, eating disorders, and depression.
Because the five of you made it through your shit, alive and together, we made it through our shit, alive and intact.
It isn't just that you fired Lindsey. It is that, but it isn't just that. It's that you're lying to us about the reason you fired him. It's that you're placing the blame for this disbandment squarely on his shoulders when it was his talent and determination and willingness to compromise his own solo work that is largely responsible for Fleetwood Mac being the legendary band that it is. It's that you insist on calling this the "new" Fleetwood Mac and, in doing so, have completely disregarded Lindsey's 43-year legacy with this band and the decades we've spent adoring our five fireflies. It's that you've replaced him without batting an eye, and not only that, but you've replaced him with two much-loved and talented members of two other highly-successful bands. One of whom is still mourning the loss of his musical soul mate. You've forced these guys to spew your party line, that this is a brand new band. Now we find ourselves getting angry with them when they really don't deserve it, and that makes it all hurt even worse.
You seem to think of this as simply another changing of the Fleetwood Mac guitarist guard and that every fan will just fall in line behind you as we always have.
But we won't. Not us. Not "The Dance" generation. Not ever. Some of us might still see a show, out of love and loyalty. I won't but some of us might. But it won't ever be the same. What was magic is gone.
I love you for everything that this band has given me over the last 21 years. I'm alive still because of you, because of this band, because you survived, because of your music. It was the only thing that could soothe my soul when it is too cracked and frayed.
Right now, I can't even listen to the music without sinking deeper into my emotional black hole.
I guess that's what ultimately bothers me the most. You've taken away the music by firing Lindsey.
I'll love you forever for what you've given me, but I don't think I'll ever be able to forgive you for taking it all away. And that might be the thing that hurts the most.
A Lost Girl, clutching a broken chain