I’m a Fleetwood Mac fan, and that has not always been an easy thing to be given the band’s self-destructive tendencies, which have continued long after the band members could have been expected to grow up and mellow out. Although the band has been a going concern since the late 60’s and early 70’s, when they went through a revolving door of singers and guitarists that never really has entirely settled down over the course of the decades, the band is still just as immature as it always has been even as it has found itself once again with an unexpected viral hit as the TikTok popularity of “Dreams” has pushed the band’s lone #1 Billboard Hot 100 hit over the course of its history back up the charts, making it a likely top ten some forty-five years after it was first recorded for the epic Rumors album. And yet the band remains in many ways as dysfunctional as it always has been, which makes them a frustrating act to be a fan of, since they never can seem to get the chemistry of being a band right despite the obvious talent of so many members that have come and gone over the course of years.
Before the current popularity of “Dreams” that got Fleetwood Mac into the news, they were last in the news for the continued drama between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham that led Buckingham to be kicked out of the group and forced into another attempt at a solo career. That was only the latest in a long series of issues that over the past twenty years has kept one core member or another out of the group because of the struggles between different members. During the lengthy “Say You Will” sessions, Christine McVie left the band and released a solo album. Then by the time she came back Stevie Nicks was estranged from the group and a “Buckingham-McVie” album was released because Stevie Nicks refused to let them use the name without her. It should go without saying that these people are all adults and should have learned how to grow up and get along with others at some point.
Yet it is immensely easy for people who have worked together for decades to fall out because they simply do not know how to get along. This is not only a problem in our marriages, but is also a problem in other endeavors, like bands. When a band like Journey can find themselves in court over ownership of Journey Inc., and where some members of the band don’t know where the royalties of the band are going, including to people who have not been in the band for decades, and a case that could have been resolved with some open and honest communication and discussion over such matters instead has to be addressed in a court of law. This is definitely a sign of failure that senior citizens who have been working together for generations can’t find a way to deal with their struggles.
At what point should one grow up? Growing up means more than getting older. We are well used to people who have become legal adults who are not remotely equipped to handle the responsibilities of adulthood. And most of us would prefer to outsource various aspects of adulthood to others in order to enjoy as much as possible the sorts of lives we want to live. And we should come to understand as well that creative people are not often the sort of people whose lives are the best examples of mature humanity. Our praise of creativity should not blind us to the fact that even though human creativity consists of the ordering of what exists, those who are praised as being the most creative are often those whose lives are the most disordered. This ought to cause us to reflect upon what we are praising and celebrating when it comes to the cretivity of others, seeing as people who wish to order when it comes to music and art seldom live ordered lives that are worthy of praise and emulation themselves.