Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop": From Pop Smash to Presidential Flash

Fleetwood Mac in 1978
Photo Credit
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

How does a rock track from 1977 transform into a political anthem? It all involves the right person asking at the right time about the right song.

Written by Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac's “Don’t Stop” was definitely not intended to make a political statement when she penned it. It was, however, very much a statement about the disintegration of the marriage of Christine and John McVie. Then again, pretty much every song on Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours was about the disintegration of someone’s relationship, so it was definitely right at home on the album. In fact, the album was almost called Yesterday’s Gone after a line in the song, but it was John who suggested the eventual title, since it seemed like everyone in southern California was talking about the drama within the band.

READ MORE: Even in Heartbreak, Fleetwood Mac Made "Dreams" Come True

When released as a single, “Don’t Stop” was a decent-sized hit in the U.K., where it hit #32, but it was another smash in America, climbing all the way to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, permanently cementing itself in the public consciousness. This worked out well for Bill Clinton in the ‘90s: he utilized the song during his 1992 presidential campaign, had it played during the final night of that year’s Democratic National Convention, and – wait for it – convinced Fleetwood Mac to reunite and perform it at his inaugural ball in 1993.

The fact that Clinton asked the band to perform the song was no surprise, of course, but the fact that they actually did it...That was somewhat of shocker. In his book Fleetwood Mac on Fleetwood Mac: Interviews and Encounters, author Sean Egan suggested a simple explanation: “When the president asks, one doesn’t really say no.”

(Apparently, it depends on the president...but we won’t go there!)

WATCH: Fleetwood Mac Reunites for 1993 Inauguration

After their performance, Fleetwood Mac went their separate ways - Buckingham had left in 1987 and Nicks in 1991 - and it would be quite some time before they came back together again.

“I didn’t feel overly connected to any of it, really,” Lindsey Buckingham told Westword back in 1993. “It was short and sweet. There were a lot of questions about whether this suggested a long-term reunion, and those were quickly put to rest by me. And that was it.”

“It was a one-off thing, and I don’t think anyone thought much beyond that show,” Christine McVie told the Houston Press. “At the airport as we left to come back to L.A., it was pretty much, ‘Well, see you around…’”

And so they would...in 1997.

READ MORE: When Fleetwood Mac Reunited for 'The Dance'

Artist Name

Read More

David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Macmillan, Brett Hemmings/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
In the words of Elton John, "It's an apocalyptic absolute disaster."
(Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns)
"In some ways, you kind of think it’s God’s way of telling everybody, ‘Slow down. Everybody get back with your families.’"
Warner Records
He was nearly an out-of-the-gate smash in England.

Facebook Comments