Fleetwood Mac Bassist John McVie Diagnosed With Cancer; Band Cancels Remaining Tour Dates

Fleetwood Mac

Well, this has been an extraordinarily terrible day for rock music. As most of you have probably already heard by now, confrontational legend Lou Reed has passed away, and now Fleetwood Mac bassist/founding member John McVie has been diagnosed with cancer.

The band had been riding a wave of success this year, having just finished the European leg of their massive world tour (with a new EP also released back in April). Given McVie’s diagnosis, the band has canceled the remaining 14 dates in Australia and New Zealand, with the bassist scheduled to receive treatment during this time.

Fleetwood Mac broke the sad news this morning on their Facebook.

“We are sorry to not be able to play these Australian and New Zealand dates,” they wrote in a statement. “We hope our Australian and New Zealand fans as well as Fleetwood Mac fans everywhere will join us in wishing John and his family all the best.”

We certainly send positive thoughts to McVie, his family, and the rest of the band. We also respect Fleetwood Mac’s decision to cancel the remaining tour dates: McVie’s melodic playing — always in the pocket, never showy but always hypnotic — is an undeniable glue in the band’s trademark style.

In a gesture of good wishes, I present my favorite McVie bassline, found in the classic “Dreams.” McVie’s a master of “less is more,” and never has a simple two-note pattern been played with such rock-solid force.

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