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When band drama fuels the music: from Fleetwood Mac to Fugees

There was a time in Fleetwood Mac's storied musical history when just about everyone in the band — Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie — was sharing one big ol' bed. • Oh, it was a mess, a disaster, the ultimate cautionary tale of dating co-workers. It was also a brilliant business move! Romantic entanglements fueled 1977's Rumours, one of the top-selling albums of all time, a hooked-out conceptual masterpiece of he-said, she-said, I-hate-your-guts. • When the Mac plays the Tampa Bay Times Forum on Friday, Christine McVie won't be there, but the rest of the crew, all in their mid to late 60s, will be. And although there is relative peace now, their songbook — Don't Stop, Go Your Own Way, Big Love — remains a patchwork of grudges and broken hearts. • All that bed-hopping and backbiting got us thinking about other romantically messy bands that turned something awkward into something beautiful — or maybe it's the other way around? There was Sonny & Cher, of course. And Ike & Tina Turner. All those Swedish blonds in ABBA were hitched at one point. But we prefer the drama of the following heartachers:

The Fugees

Wyclef Jean was married; Lauryn Hill was not. But that didn't stop the hip-hop bandmates from falling in love, which turned The Score into a deeply passionate, complex album that went six times platinum on the strength of hits Killing Me Softly and Ready or Not. Alas, that was the good news. Jean's continued refusal to leave his wife for Hill also led to the trio's premature breakup. Poor Pras Michel: Not only was the Fugees' other member caught in the middle of the nasty brouhaha, he totally dropped off the radar after the band bitterly parted ways.

The White Stripes

Were they husband and wife? Brother and sister? Detroit duo Jack White and Meg White had the world bamboozled and mesmerized in the late '90s and early '00s by the myths surrounding their garage-rocking force of nature. It was eventually revealed that yes, indeed they were married — but sadly, not for long. Blistering hits such as Fell in Love With a Girl and Seven Nation Army were guttural and fast, loose and short, much like the life span of the band and the relationship.

Missing Persons

Remember '80s New Wave hits Words and Destination Unknown? Perhaps you better remember bleached-blond frontwoman Dale Bozzio's metallic MTV-ready brassieres? What you probably don't recall is Dale's hubby Terry, who was actually Missing Persons' drummer. Terry met Dale (a former Playboy Bunny, by the way) while they were working for Frank Zappa. They married in '79, formed Missing Persons in '80 — and wound up divorcing in '86, demolishing the band along with their love. As for the whereabouts of either Bozzio? Destination unknown, boys and girls.

Sean Daly can be reached at Follow @seandalypoplife on Twitter.

If You Go

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac performs at 8 p.m. Friday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $36.75-$146.75. (813) 301-2500.

When band drama fuels the music: from Fleetwood Mac to Fugees 06/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:17pm]
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