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“Where Were You?” – Fleetwood Mac at Freedom Hall, in Louisville, Kentucky [September 21, 1977]

After many years of off-and-on attempts to edit the digital scans of these negatives, I am ready to present the mixed results of the Fleetwood Mac show from 1977, that I attended. To begin with, my reserved seat in the cavernous Freedom Hall, was about half-way back, on the concourse level, if I recall correctly. The majority of the images were captured during the last few songs, when the audience had become a bit more loose, and some started moving up closer in the aisles, to get a closer look. This allowed me to leave my seat and blend in, thus allowing me to get close enough to quickly start shooting. I had only owned my camera for about 5 months, and had already attempted shooting a few large shows, like this one, but most of those shows were general admission, which allowed me a bit more freedom to move in and around the venue, in an attempt to get good sight-lines to work with. In this case, the only areas to work from, were the aisles on either side of the reserved seats on the floor, and no real chance to approach the stage, so the results, were not altogether satisfying – although I feel that about half-a-dozen frames meet my standards.

Searching for ads promoting this show, ended up fruitless, for some strange reason, but I did manage to find some for an earlier performance that took place in Lexington, Kentucky, in July of 1977, for the same tour.

Same tour, but different venue in Kentucky, for the ‘77 tour

Now, I had been listening to the earlier, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Macintensely – for several years, and had a passing interest in a few of the releases after the former Christine Perfect (later taking the family name from her husband, John McVie), from the band Chicken Shack, joined. Of those “in-between” releases [post-Peter Green, and pre-Buckingham Nicks], “Bare Trees” has to be the most realized album, personally speaking. It still featured Green‘s guitar foil, Danny Kirwan, and the foundation of the future sound of the group had been laid down, by this point: less guitar soloing and duelling, and more song-based tunes, increasingly featuring the female voice of Christine McVie, as a lead vocal on her compositions, or in harmony with the other singers/composers in the group. Admittedly, the band, in its phase before the major personnel changes that led to the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, had more or less fallen off my musical radar, when the album “Fleetwood Mac” hit the record shops and airwaves. Its immediate success, and subsequent momentum, was hard to dismiss, much less avoid, as the strength of the material continued to impress, with the followup, “Rumours“. The sheer number of hits that followed does not diminish the quality of the writing and performances on those releases – they hold up very well, even today.

The performance on this evening, was impressive, although there were moments where Ms. Nicks‘ voice seemed a bit strained, perhaps due to a combination of the lengthy tour and the toll that “life on the road” inevitably takes on musicians. This was even pointed out in a review from this tour, seen below…. The strains that sudden and immense success created are well-documented elsewhere, but the professionalism – and sound – coming from the stage that night, lessened the sting of having so-so seats for the evening. It would not be much longer, that I would find myself attending fewer shows with an attendance capacity in the tens of thousands, and opting – instead – to see performances increasingly more often, in vastly more intimate venues, with capacities ranging from a couple of hundred, to a couple of thousand audience members. Sights and sounds were often more satisfying, in my humble opinion….

The only decent image I managed to capture, of John McVie

Likewise, with this capture of Mick Fleetwood, out from behind the kit that blocked him from view

The most satisfying frame I captured on this night, of Stevie Nicks

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Additional links:

Fleetwood Mac entry on Wikipedia:

Fleetwood Mac official website:

Mick Fleetwood official site:

Stevie Nicks official site:

Lindsey Buckingham official site:

A very good David Fricke article in Rolling Stone, on the band’s history:

Rolling Stone summarizes the key members coming-and-going throughout the years:

Guitar World article on the earliest days:

Otherwise, there are loads and loads of links to articles of all sorts on the later-period versions of the band and its members’ solo careers…….

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As always, constructive criticism, and thoughtful comments are welcome, and thanks, in advance, for visiting my blog/pages. Check the links at the top of this page, for further information, and photos from my archives.

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