If there was a soundtrack to my teens, the lead band was Fleetwood Mac. I first saw Fleetwood Mac in concert at Cleveland Municipal Stadium in 1978. Last week, the entire band returned to Cleveland for the first time in more than 16 years and I was there with my 23 year-old daughter, Courtney.
From the time my daughters were born until the time they discovered their own music—somewhere between the ages of 10 and 12—they listened primarily to what I played. And what I played were songs from my earliest memories of music to the songs and artists that accompanied me through my teens and twenties.
With my two young daughters as the audience, the playlist was carefully curated. Much of my music stayed in boxes. But my Fleetwood Mac albums and CDs took center stage. And my daughters loved them. When they were little we would dance to everything. As they got older, I believe the music became a kind of touchstone for them, as it had for me.
When I was 16, my creative writing class considered the lyrics of the songs on the Rumours album. We did not have the windows into the lives of the stars that we have today, but we knew just enough for context and not so much that we could not look through the lenses of our own lives. We made the songs our own.
Memories of those conversations flooded back as my daughters grew and began to listen with ‘new ears’ to the lyrics of songs they’d known the words to for years.
Although I have seen Fleetwood Mac several times, when I learned that Christine McVie was rejoining Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood after a 16-year break, I knew I would be in the audience when they came to Cleveland.
Then I asked Courtney if she would want to go with me. I wasn’t sure. She was. “I grew up listening to this music!” she exclaimed. And so I realized, in this small way, I have provided part of the soundtrack of her life, too.
The night of the concert, my not-so-little girl and I drank some wine, sang a lot of songs, laughed and shared our love of this band, this music. The poingnancy of this experience (and all that had lead to it) moved me to tears.