A Short Story of Beginnings, Ends, & Understanding Why Fleetwood Mac’s “Save Me a Place” Is the Foundation That Holds True No Matter What

Fleetwood Mac © Norman Seeff, 1978
Fleetwood Mac © Norman Seeff, 1978
A raw and poignant track from the gargantuan Fleetwood Mac, “Save Me A Place” doesn’t just summon reflection and sorrow; it pierces the heart with pure sentimentality.
Stream: “Save Me a Place” – Fleetwood Mac

When I was four years old, my family, a few cousins, and I waltzed our way into the middle atrium of Shoppingtown Mall in Syracuse, NY, awaiting a local band consisting of a few family friends to start playing on a stage the size of a foosball table.

For some reason, we had to be there. At that early age, you can imagine the utter turmoil I was dealing with of simply standing still, attempting to distract myself from whatever the hell was about to happen. Naturally, I whined, wanted to leave, and probably considered faking a bathroom emergency, only to hopefully exit the vicinity. Suddenly, a bit of feedback hit the amps on stage. I quickly shifted my head once the first strum of the Fender Telecaster buzzed, and my ears perked up. The metallic acuity of the strings bounced around my ears for a minute, fabricating a new sense, almost feeling like a sixth in my own head, only for the band to burst out in a bluesy, eyebrow-furrowing melody that immediately focused my attention. I was tapping my feet, nodding my head, and generally grooving to the beat. Now, most of the retelling is from my father, but he said, after telling me this lengthy anecdote, that a couple walked by and said, “He’s got it.”

I never understood that statement because I always thought everyone had a similar taste or “ear” in music. Music was everywhere to me: in the car, throughout school, and even the catchy jingles we all remember from our local businesses on the television. Music was like glue, keeping everything together in a way that made sense to me, but apparently, I had an ear for it.

The first time I recognized this certain “ear” was stumbling upon Greatest Hits by Fleetwood Mac, released in 1988, and gathered no dust once I picked it up. Front to back, it holds some of the most prized Fleetwood songs out of their 35-year span as an unpredictable band, switching out members left and right, experimenting to the fullest, and honestly doing so much cocaine that it birthed my favorite album of all time, Tusk.

"Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' is a fever dream, but one you never want to leave."
“Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk’ is a fever dream, but one you never want to leave.”

One of the most unforgettable memories was sifting through their discography, starting from 1968 and climbing the steady but janky ladder that led them to bring on Stevie Nicks (who was Lindsey Buckingham’s girlfriend at the time) and unfolding the notorious sound of Fleetwood Mac that is most recognizable today. While Rumours is a masterpiece in several categories, Tusk is, for lack of a better phrase, on a different planet. It catapulted me into a different understanding of what bands can do, change, morph, whatever you want to call it. Alongside the hits and fame the previous records did for the band, Tusk is a fever dream, but one you never want to leave. I picked this album off my uncle’s basement CD rack, you know, the ones that look so ’90s it’s trending again, and proceeded to immerse myself in the atmosphere they crafted.

Of course, songs like “Sara,” “Not That Funny,” or “Angel” are the standouts on the album, or at least the ones that get the most radio play. Still, one song truly resonated with me to the point that I made sure everyone within my vicinity experienced it: “Save Me A Place.”

Fleetwood Mac © Norman Seeff, 1978
Fleetwood Mac © Norman Seeff, 1978

As someone who considers themselves a “hard lover,” this track has been the pinnacle of growth throughout my life.

In 2017, I dropped everything, quit my job, and moved to the West Coast within 24 hours – and I did not tell a soul.

This was not part of the plan, shocking my best friends, my family, and fellow acquaintances; nobody, including myself, knew what was happening. Without sounding incredibly sappy, it was one of the most challenging decisions I have ever made. I started a new life, sleeping on a futon in my sister’s studio apartment for months, struggling to find a way to establish myself because I refused to go back to the “city” I grew up in. It’s LA; I thought music would lead me through all the troubles, but wholeheartedly, I needed to feel free; I craved the hustle and bustle, the opportunities.

While trying to become established, there was a rock the size of Mars in my stomach that kept tumbling, and the thoughts repeated of “How could I abandon my best friends,” “My family must be pissed,” etc. Eventually, everyone accepted the fact that I was not built for a small town – not without pushback, of course – and that was why I needed to leave. They understood.

“Save Me A Place” solidified itself into a sort of anthem for me when my best friends and former co-workers came around, reinforcing my decisions and letting me know that no matter what happens, I still have a home. It may not be precisely why Lindsey Buckingham, the famed guitarist for the band, wrote it, but it widely represents the emotion of feeling loss and expecting yearning for those who support you to be there for the long run, no matter how far you travel.

I’ll come running, if you love me today.

“Save Me A Place” is true in its own title. Please save me a place, just in case I want to come around again. I’ll be back, maybe not permanently, but save me a seat just in case I want to stay a bit longer.

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Stream: “Save Me a Place” – Fleetwood Mac

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"Fleetwood Mac's 'Tusk' is a fever dream, but one you never want to leave."

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