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Technology was both an aid and a hindrance, and the ever-simmering tension within the band was always threatening to surface once again. By the time of "Tango in the Night," Dashut had been working with the members of Fleetwood Mac for well over a decade. In fact, Nicks was his one-time roommate; as he recalls, among other things, she cooked Hamburger Helper and did the laundry. I had more of a direct input with Lindsey. And Greg was just such an amazing help. Perhaps unbeknownst to Dashut and the band, however, Droman reveals that he was "pretty new and young and inexperienced" at the time.
I learned pretty quickly that just the personal vibe of them feeling comfortable made as much difference as what you knew.
I'm sure they could've sought out the best guy in the business at the time. They just didn't — they went with me," he laughs. Droman was also relatively new to Los Angeles, having been convinced to move to California from Ohio by Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh, with whom he had toured. I met Ronnie James Dio and Ratt. Guns n' Roses did their first album there. REO Speedwagon lived there, pretty much.
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Droman first crossed paths with Richard Dashut at Rumbo. Several weeks later, Rumbo's studio manager informed Droman that Buckingham wanted to return to the studio, as he was cutting the song "Time Bomb Town" for the "Back to the Future" soundtrack. I'll help out on the session, whatever I need to do,'" Droman recalls. Buckingham then tapped the engineer once again as he started work on a solo record at Rumbo.
At the same time, Fleetwood Mac was rumbling back to life and started working on what would become "Tango in the Night. A different engineer collaborated with Fleetwood Mac, while Droman continued engineering Buckingham's solo record. Sessions for the latter were put on hold as "Tango in the Night" started revving up and Buckingham was pulled away, leaving Droman "kind of without a job all of a sudden," he laughs.
Until late one night: Dashut called him up and beckoned him to a nearby studio, where Buckingham officially asked him to hop on the Fleetwood Mac sessions. Dashut, Droman and Buckingham formed a tight-knit triad to oversee the record's creation. For starters, Buckingham had developed some distinctive studio techniques that helped make the sound of "Tango in the Night" unique and different.
Droman shares that one inspiration for this approach was the U. However, Buckingham's studio mad-scientist skills also prevailed. We came up with whole techniques for how to do that, and keep things organized. When you record something really slow and you speed it up, all the harmonics get shifted up. You end up with this high-end, this tinkly little high-end, that wouldn't exist [otherwise]. There's not another way you could get that, at least back then.
They also experimented with slowing down songs — which, say, would double the length of five-minute tunes. We would do parts, and then double it and triple it and quadruple it, and each part would have maybe a little bit of a different tweak in the speed.
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That would give it a depth you wouldn't get normally, and a sort of chorusing effect. Unsurprisingly, both Droman and Dashut stress that doing a record this way required an almost superhuman amount of patience. Adds Dashut: "We'd just spend hour after hour, seemingly day after day, just on one part, two parts, because [Buckingham] had a certain way of doing it. And quite often we'd redo them the next day, because he wasn't quite happy with them.
That was quite normal. The intensity and long days made for an "isolating" experience for months on end, Droman says. We never even knew what time of day it was. You'd go out on the hall to go to the restroom or whatever, and all of a sudden, you realize it's nighttime — you've missed all the sun of the day. To cope with the stress, he and Dashut would make it a point to grab breakfast, go golfing or build remote-control cars.
The producer's personality also helped add levity and balance. The pair would also coax Buckingham out of his house on Friday nights for dinner or a drink. Still, the musician's focus and confidence rarely wavered. For Dashut, this changed the way he approached his role as producer. And then, of course, add to it what I could based around which direction I felt everything was going. He just needed more support. He needed a mirror, he needed some people to bounce off of. And that's what Greg and I tried to do with Lindsey, and pretty much succeeded with that.
Although Droman wasn't necessarily expecting such a trial by fire so early in his career, he saw the upside to the immersion. At that time they did, anyway, as if you're part of their family and that's all there is to it, for better or worse. You're giving up your life to be in that camp. Yet the sound of "Tango in the Night" also incorporated some technology: Buckingham, for example, used a digital sampler called the Fairlight CMI to record various sounds and parts. But I started to miss the old live feeling of the band — not that we did that with any of the albums live; they were all overdubbed — but still it all started off with the band in the studio playing together, as did 'Tango,' although not so much.
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But I think the Fairlight started replacing some of that human touch, some of the other band members. Lindsey was able to do a lot more on his own and control it a lot more artistically. But I also lamented the fact that the band didn't participate as much, as a whole. They were all going through personal things, especially Stevie.
And it wasn't a particularly pleasant time in any of our lives, I don't think. It was a painful time. This distance wasn't due to illicit substances, Dashut stresses.
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By then, thankfully the cocaine age had left for us. For example, the band did overdubs on the record at Lindsey Buckingham's house.
An announcement on the band's Facebook page did not disclose details about McVie's cancer, only saying that the year-old is "now scheduled to be in treatment for cancer during that period of time. Photos: Fleetwood Mac through the years. Hide Caption. Welch joined the band in before launching a solo career. On June 7, , Welch died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest. He was She joined Fleetwood Mac in with her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham. Fleetwood Mac through the years — British drummer Mick Fleetwood is the only original member left in the band.
Though the band's name is derived in part from his, bassist John McVie didn't join the band until shortly after it was formed. Buckingham was the lead singer from to , and form to present day.