Stevie Nicks? USC Song Girls? Yes!

Crate diggers do it all the time. Whether it’s an LP or a 45, we’re always looking for fillers. Maybe we need a better copy of a record that’s been loved to death.

Or maybe we buy a record for one cut. This is one such record.

I’ve always liked the title track to Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” but never owned it until today. I’ve always dug the USC Trojan Marching Band as the backing group.

Lest my pal JB cop all my material for his radio show, I should mention that this record carried a list price of $15.98 when it was released in the fall of 1979. That’s $50 in today’s dollars. Would you pay $50 for a new double LP today?

I picked it up for $2, just so I could have a nice rip of this at long last.

“Tusk,” Fleetwood Mac, from “Tusk,” 1979.

Part of the appeal of “Tusk” is, shall we say, visual.

In that early video, there was the sight of Fleetwood Mac and that USC marching band recording it live at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Oh, yeah, and Stevie Nicks wearing a sun dress and twirling a baton.

The first video comes from the old “Solid Gold” TV show. It features clips from the “Tusk” video along with the USC marching band in the “Solid Gold” studio. Oh, yeah, and the USC Song Girls also are in the studio to dance for no apparent reason. It’s not clear what the “Solid Gold” audience made of all that.

This behind-the scenes video on the making of the song “Tusk” apparently comes from “Fleetwood Mac: Documentary and Live Concert,” a 1980 release which appears to be out of print. It includes this great exchange:

Stevie Nicks: “Who are we to deserve the USC band to play for us?”

Christine McVie, carrying a glass of wine as they walk across the field: “Stevie, don’t be so humble.”

Stevie Nicks: “Oh, no, but I mean, really, that’s a lot of people playing …”

Oh, yeah, and later, more of Stevie Nicks in that sun dress, twirling that baton.



Filed under May 2012, Sounds

6 responses to “Stevie Nicks? USC Song Girls? Yes!

  1. J.A. Bartlett

    There are probably sexier things on Earth than Stevie Nicks and that sun dress with her baton, but it’s the damnedest thing . . . I can’t think of any right now.

  2. LarryO

    Can u say awesome for the rest of time….

  3. barelyawakeinfrogpajamas

    Tusk was just such a strange little song and it’s an interesting album, too.

    (and, yeah, Stevie’s pretty swell, too)

  4. “Tusk” has always been a compelling track for me. It was the reason I picked up the album. There’s just something about that riff . . .and I concur with the above comments about Stevie.

  5. Shark

    The first time I played “Tusk” on the radio, I thought, “this sucks.” But, after a few more listens, I started to grow on me. 17 years later, when Fleetwork Mac released the CD and video of their reunior concert, “The Dance,” I was captivated by “Tusk” with Lindsay Buckingham’s spooky intro and the USC Marching Band marching down through the audience onto the stage. Must’ve been great to be in the USC Marching Band and to be on stage with Stevie Nicks bopping around to the music.

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