Michael Chugg recalls Fleetwood Mac’s “over the top” rider on their 1977 tour of Australia: “It was a total waste of money!”

The band wanted a “medieval marquee like you would see in the old jousting movies”, the veteran promoter has recalled in a new podcast

When Fleetwood Mac toured Australia in the 70s, the band wanted a lavish “medieval marquee” backstage – which they never used, according to promoter Michael Chugg AM.

Chugg shared stories from his years of bringing the likes of Fleetwood Mac, Billy Idol, Bon Jovi and more huge acts Down Under on the first episode of Matty Johns’ new podcast Good Chat, which was released March 12.

Chugg worked Fleetwood Mac’s Australia tour in November 1977, two years before he would co-found Frontier Touring with the late Michael Gudinski and seven others – and nine months after Fleetwood Mac became superstars with their classic record ‘Rumours’. While on that national tour, they headlined promoter Paul Dainty’s one-day outdoor Rockarena festival, the Sydney edition of which drew over 40,000 people.


Michael Chugg
Michael Chugg. Credit: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

After expressing his admiration for Chugg’s 2010 memoir Hey, You In The Black T-Shirt, Johns asked him what it was like specifically to work on the Fleetwood Mac tour. The band – which in 1977 comprised Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham – had an extravagant rider, Chugg said, which included a backstage “medieval marquee like you would see in the old jousting movies”.

“In the marquee, there was a 40-foot long table with king and queen chairs. And on the table were whole pigs and whole sheep and just piles of fruit and vegetables,” he recalled. “It was just over the top. Every imaginable drink – I’d never heard of Pimms before that tour. Vintage French champagne. Just everything.”

But even over the course of multiple tour stops, Fleetwood Mac never made use of the marquee: “They never went into that tent at all. It was a total waste of money!”

The food and drink didn’t go to waste, though, as Chugg remembers. “The roadies had a great feast after they bumped out. A lighting designer friend of mine and I… we got three road cases and put bottle holders in them, and at the end of the night we’d take all the great booze.”

Fleetwood Mac’s rider also included items that were hard to find in Australia at the time: Heineken and Gatorade, which Chugg needed to import, and “a dozen fresh limes”. Stream Chugg’s episode of Good Chat below and head to the 8:35 mark for the Fleetwood Mac conversation:


After their maiden outing in 1977, Fleetwood Mac would return to Australia three years later to support their album ‘Tusk’. Their most recent tour Down Under was 2019. The band’s performing line-up then included Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Crowded House’s Neil Finn, while it did not include Lindsey Buckingham, who had been fired from the band the year prior.

In February, Mick Fleetwood said he found it “unthinkable” that Fleetwood Mac would tour following the death of Christine McVie: “I think right now, I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris.”

Fleetwood Mac are the inspiration for the fictional rock band of Daisy Jones and The Six, the ongoing series starring Riley Keough and Sam Claflin and streaming weekly on Prime Video in Australia.

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