Fleetwood Mac plans '09 tour

Album from the band also in the works

DETROIT -- Fleetwood Mac is gearing up for a tour in early 2009 that will likely be followed by a new band album.

Lindsey Buckingham, whose solo disc "Gift of Screws" is due on Sept. 16 via Warner Bros., said Fleetwood Mac will convene in January to begin rehearsing for the tour, whose itinerary is being assembled. It will be the group's first outing since promoting the "Say You Will" album in 2003-04.

"There was no sense we had to jump right in the studio," Buckingham said. "I think maybe there was even a sense that we would make a better album if we went out and hung out together first on the road ... maybe even sowing some seeds musically that would get us more prepared to go in the studio rather than just going in cold. It takes the pressure (off) from having to go in and make something cold."

Contrary to earlier reports, however, the Mac tour will not include Sheryl Crow, who spoke of the possibility of being part of the group while promoting her most recent album, "Detours." Buckingham said the matter "kinda got out of hand," though there were discussions between the Fleetwood Mac members and Crow. Ultimately, he said, the prospect "just kind of lost its momentum."

"I think with Stevie (Nicks) ... maybe to some degree there was a little too much testosterone onstage when we went out in 2003," Buckingham said, "and I think the band was looking to kind of balance that out a little bit.

"I think the good side has been, for Stevie, she came to a point of clarity where she realized the most appropriate thing we could do as a band was to create what needs to be created in the context of the four of us. That's been a real positive, and it's been a real rallying point for all of us, too."