Fleetwood Mac was once as famous for its drug use as its music, and the classic rock band even used Adolf Hiter’s train to evade drug searches. Here’s what Lindsey Buckingham’s ex-girlfriend said about Hitler’s move and how it fits in with what we know about Fleetwood Mac’s drug use.
In her book Storms: My Life with Lindsey Buckingham and Fleetwood Macthe guitarist’s ex-girlfriend, Carol Ann Harris, described the time the band was touring with Adolf Hitler’s old train.
“It was Mike [Fleetwood] and JC [tour manager John Courage]’s brilliant idea to let us travel by train through Germany and to France and Holland,” Harris wrote. “At least it would have been a brilliant idea if there wasn’t one macabre little fact. The saloon car of our private train once belonged to Adolf Hitler.”
At first, the band was impressed by the luxury vehicle. “When we first went on board, we hurt ourselves [sic] about the luxurious velvet curtains and sofas, the gilded lighting fixtures and the gleaming wooden interior of the perfectly preserved carriage.”
But the group fell ill upon learning that the train once belonged to Hitler. “Then we found out who the original owner was and we all threw up,” Harris wrote. “It was downright sick and no one – not even Third Reich collector-mad John McVie – could bear to spend more than a minute within its walls.”
Not only did Fleetwood Mac tour Europe on Adolf Hitler’s old train, but the dictator’s former companion even operated them.
“And it got worse,” Harris continued. “The old and distinguished companion in the white jacket on board was once the guide’s own servant. It was like a train from hell.”
Buckingham’s ex-girlfriend said the group could hardly stand their time on the train. “Needless to say, we spent all of our time in the dining car and in our separate tiny sleeping quarters, trying to avoid the train’s ghastly lounge car and its polite but creepy servant,” she wrote. “We were counting down the minutes until we could disembark and exit the Twilight Zone to our hotel in the cities scheduled on this leg of the tour.”
Why did the hugely successful band agree to travel on Adolf Hitler’s old train? Allegedly, the drug investigation made them feel safer in the vehicle.
Several members of Fleetwood Mac have spoken openly about their drug use. Keyboardist Christine McVie said her drug of choice was “champagne and cocaine,” and she thought the combination improved her performance. Stevie Nicks snorted so much cocaine that she burned a coin-sized hole in her nose and nearly died.
Drummer and founding member Mick Fleetwood once joked that if they combined all of the powder the group was inhaling and cut into a single line, it would become seven miles long.
Fleetwood later told The Sun that he realized how risky the band’s drug abuse was. “In a way, I’m glad I got through it and didn’t bite the big bullet,” he said. “But I just had a deep awareness and realization that enough is enough.”
The drummer said he’s careful not to romanticize his past drug use. “I know I want to speak appropriately about this. Because the romance of these war stories can embellish something that isn’t a good idea.”
How to get help: In the US, contact the Administration of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Hotline at 1-800-662-4357.
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