Three members of Fleetwood Mac have been cleaning out their closets.
Julien’s Auctions presents “Fleetwood Mac: Property From the Lives and Careers of Christine McVie, John McVie And Mick Fleetwood,” set to take place live in a two-day auction event Dec. 3-4 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills and online on julienslive.com. An unspecified portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares.
The two other members of the celebrated quintet — Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks — are not involved with the auction. Fleetwood Mac was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, and its legacy remains potent. “Dreams,” a Billboard Hot 100 hit from the band’s 1977 blockbuster Rumours, became a viral hit in late 2020, introducing the band to a new generation of fans.
“Julien’s Auctions is honored to offer this exceptional collection of music history coming directly from three legendary members of one of the most influential and successful rock and roll bands of all time, Fleetwood Mac,” Martin Nolan, executive director and CFO of Julien’s Auctions, said in a statement. “We are also pleased to announce that a portion of the auction proceeds will benefit MusiCares, who honored Fleetwood Mac in 2018, as the organization’s Person of the Year, to support the charity’s work providing critical services to underserved members of the music community.”
Fleetwood Mac was the first band to be named MusiCares’ person of the year at that annual fund-raising gala. All of the previous honorees, and all but one of the subsequent honorees, have been solo personalities. Fleetwood Mac’s history with the Recording Academy goes further back. In 1978, the band won album of the year for their blockbuster album Rumours.
The auction includes more than 700 lots featuring instruments, awards, wardrobe, equipment and memorabilia from Fleetwood Mac’s recordings, live performances and appearances, as well as furnishings, artwork, jewelry, and personal items from their homes.
One of the most prized offerings is a stage-played Yamaha C3 baby grand piano, known as the “Songbird Piano” and played by Christine McVie while on tour with Fleetwood Mac for many years. It would come out at the end of the show for the last song, “Songbird,” from Rumours. Julien’s has attached an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000 for the piano.
“This baby grand, where I have played ‘Songbird,’ the song I’m most proud of, has been such an important part of my life and career,” McVie said in a statement. “Though it’s hard to let go, I’m happy that it will find a new home and owner who will hopefully cherish it as much as I have through the years. I’m additionally pleased that the proceeds of this instrument and my other pieces in this auction will go towards MusiCares to help so many music people in need.”
Here are some of the other items up for auction, with estimates provided by Julien’s.
Rumours stage- and album cover-worn hanging balls ($100,000-$200,000): “The two wooden balls worn by Mick Fleetwood as part of his attire for the seminal 1977 album cover,” as Julien’s writes, with a sly double entendre. Attached to leather cords and housed in a soft maroon cloth drawstring case with the words “Open Sesame” embroidered in gold-tone thread. The balls were originally lavatory chains snatched from a club Fleetwood Mac played during their early years and incorporated into Fleetwood’s stage attire in a ribald nod to the blues tradition.The balls are accompanied by a signed art print.
A dress worn on the back cover of Rumours ($10,000-$20,000): A vintage maxi green, yellow, red, and cream leaf-patterned dress, worn by Christine McVie on the back cover of the band’s classic 1977 album.
A custom electric bass guitar ($40,000-$60,000): John McVie played the Alembic “Continuously Fretted” stainless steel fingerboard instrument extensively both in studio and onstage c. 1976-80, notably on “The Chain,” a highlight of Rumours.
An American Video Award for “Gypsy” ($800-$1,200): Presented to Christine McVie for the 1982 music video for “Gypsy.” The American Video Awards (1983–1987) was an annual music video awards show hosted by countdown king Casey Kasem hosted. The first show was taped on April 6, 1983 at the Beverly Theatre in Beverly Hills, Calif.
A 1969 Melody Maker “Pop Poll Awards Top Singer” award ($600-$800): The award was presented to Christine Perfect, as Christine McVie was then known.
A surfboard, a gag gift from Stevie Nicks to John McVie ($6,000-$8,000): A beige Island Fin custom surfboard gifted to John McVie by Stevie Nicks as a joke while he was living in Hawaii. (McVie did not and does not surf.)
Bare Trees RIAA gold record award ($50,000-$70,000): Presented to Mick Fleetwood for the 1972 album’s sale of over 500,000 copies. The album was certified gold on Feb. 10, 1976 and was certified platinum 12 years later.
A Bill Clinton-signed drumhead and farewell concert setlist ($80,000-$100,000): From a private performance by Fleetwood Mac for President Clinton’s farewell from office, organized by the White House staff in 2001. The clear Remo Weatherking Ambassador is inscribed from President Bill Clinton and reads, “With thanks for hosting me from beginning to end!/ Bill Clinton/ 6/22/2001.” (Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 classic “Don’t Stop” had been Clinton’s campaign theme song in his winning 1992 campaign.)
A 1998 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame award ($3,000-$5,000): Presented to Mick Fleetwood for Fleetwood Mac’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Sheryl Crow inducted the band – the classic five-piece from the 1970s plus previous members Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer.
An ensemble worn by Mick Fleetwood for a Harry Styles promotion ($20,000-$30,000): A psychedelic purple swirl patterned suit and top hat, worn by Mick Fleetwood during a collaboration for Harry Styles’ beauty brand Pleasing.