WATCH: Fleetwood Mac Reunites for 1993 Inauguration

Fleetwood Mac close Bill Clinton's inaugural gala, 1993
Photo Credit
Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images

The office of president of the United States of America comes with considerable power. When Bill Clinton assumed office in 1993, he wielded that power in a most interesting way: by reuniting Fleetwood Mac's classic line-up.

The legendary line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were famously volatile, but rode an incredible wave of success from 1975 to 1987 with a string of blockbuster albums including the bestselling Rumours. The party ended when Buckingham left the group after recording Tango in the Night, replaced by guitarists Rick Vito and Billy Burnette. After 1990's modestly-received Behind the Mask, Nicks and Vito exited the group, with Christine McVie promising to stay on only as a studio member.

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The biggest thing keeping Mac's popularity alive in the early '90s was Bill Clinton, a charismatic Arkansas governor running as the Democratic candidate for president against incumbent George Bush. At 46, he was one of the nation's youngest presidential hopefuls, and he brought with him a love of pop and rock music that was rare for elected officials. His appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, where he donned sunglasses and played a saxophone solo, was a watershed moment in the crossover between politics and culture - and he'd play the Rumours smash "Don't Stop" at every campaign stop.

“They let me use it as a theme song and I have been trying to live by it ever since,” Clinton said in 2018, when he presented the group with the MusiCares Person of the Year award. “I owe a great deal to all of them."

When Clinton was elected to office, he planned a star-studded inaugural gala with performances by Michael Jackson, Elton John, Aretha Franklin and others - and in a surprising move, he persuaded Fleetwood, the McVies, Buckingham and Nicks to put aside their differences for one performance of "Don't Stop."

"This is pretty much a one-off thing, as far as I'm concerned," Buckingham later said. "In fact, if we had been asked to do much more than the one song, I don't know if I would've been able to do that." Nonetheless, Nicks told Q magazine that it was "one of those experiences that you never forget. Bill was very sparkly…Michael Jackson had lost his makeup and wanted to borrow some, so we sent over my foundation and it was not the right color. He sent it back with a big 'thank you' note."

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Despite the group's promises that it was a one-and-done, the line-up reunited again in 1997 for live album The Dance and a subsequent tour. Christine McVie retired from the band in 1998, rejoining yet again in 2014; Buckingham was next to depart in 2018, being replaced by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Neil Finn from Crowded House.

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