Unlike many other kids I know, my parents didn't introduce me to Fleetwood Mac. Between my jazzhead father and Motown-loving mother, there were hardly any rock records in my house growing up. My love of the group isn't rooted in childhood nostalgia. It is purely out of love for their tunes. As soon as I first heard "Dreams" on KBOO, I knew the Mac would become one of my favorites. A few years after I began collecting vinyl, I had nearly their entire discography on wax, from their early, bluesy stuff to 12-inch singles for huge hits like "Rhiannon." Only one album was missing from my collection: 1982's Mirage. Fans consider it their "sellout" record, but to me, that's when the band's organic sound found an alluring smoothness—"Gypsy" will forever be my summertime cool-out jam.
It took me about three years to find the album. Crusty, old record-store owners would laugh at me, asking why they would even consider keeping Mirage in stock. I dug through stacks of the band's records, only to discover endless copies of Rumours and Heroes Are Hard to Find. Even Lindsey Buckingham's solo albums were easier to find. Not even the dollar bins had a dinged-up version. Somehow, this had become my holy grail record—an album a lot of people probably adopted from their parents, then threw out.
In 2012, I flew down to L.A. to visit my girlfriend, who I'd been in a long-distance relationship with since meeting at the Goodfoot in Southeast Portland. Two days into the trip, we broke up. Dejected, I decided to do some shopping at Hollywood's massive Amoeba Music record store. And that's when I saw it: that beautiful, purple-tinged cover of Buckingham and Stevie Nicks dancing, all mine for the buying. I damn near cried. It was as if God said, in a burnt-out hippie voice, "Cheer up. Who needs a girlfriend when you have Stevie?"
When I got back to Portland, the first thing I did was open the windows to my overstuffed basement room and put the record on. "Gypsy" was as smooth as ever; "Hold Me" still catchy as hell. My world was finally whole.
Of course, I could have just ordered the album online years earlier. But what's the fun in that?
SEE IT: Fleetwood Mac plays Rose Garden Arena, 1 N Center Court St., rosequarter.com, on Sunday, June 30. 8 pm. $29.50-$149.50. All ages.