In a statement Sunday posted to their website, the members of legendary folk-rock band Fleetwood Mac announced that bassist John McVie had been diagnosed with cancer and the band would be canceling the New Zealand and Australian leg of their world tour so he could undergo immediate treatment.
Reuters reported (via Yahoo News) Oct. 27 that band members Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham issued the statement on FleetwoodMac.com, writing that McVie, 67, "is now scheduled to be in treatment for cancer during that period of time."
The announcement did not disclose details concerning McVie's cancer.
The trio wrote: "We hope our Australian and New Zealand fans as well as Fleetwood Mac fans everywhere will join us in wishing John and his family all the best."
As AllMusic recounts, John McVie jointed Fleetwood Mac soon after its formation in 1967, hooking up with former John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers bandmates Peter Green (guitar) and Mick Fleetwood (drums). And although he wasn't an original member of the band, his name was -- sort of. Green named the band by combining the names of two bandmates from the Bluesbreakers -- Fleetwood from the drummer and Mac from McVie, the bassist, in an attempt to lure him into the new band. He resisted, but only for awhile. (The band would later gain McVie's wife, Christene, on keyboards as well.)
Although prolific under the leadership of Green, the band, which began as a blues ensemble, would gain some commercial success, especially in the United Kingdom. Their growing fame would only be enhanced by the addition of guitarist Bob Welch, who took over on guitar when founder Peter Green left the band. However, it wouldn't be until the addition of the folk duo Buckingham Nicks (Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks) and losing Welch to a solo career that Fleetwood Mac's mainstream success would truly begin.
With 1975's eponymous offering, Fleetwood Mac, the band would hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart in the United States and see three songs chart in the top fifteen of the pop charts. But their follow-up, Rumours, would prove to be their crowning achievement, landing their only No. 1 hit "Dreams" and eventually selling over 19 million copies (to date) in the United States alone. The classic album was rereleased earlier this year with additional unreleased studio and live tracks.
With a timeline spanning six decades, Fleetwood Mac is one of the best-selling band's in modern history, selling over 120 million albums worldwide, with 45 million of those sold in the U. S. alone.
And John McVie was there for nearly all of it, from 1967 to the present.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the rest of Fleetwood Mac in 1998.
The band had just completed the European leg of their world tour, simply called the 2013 World Tour.
In related news, the rock world was dealt a second stunning blow with the passing of Lou Reed, the iconic deadpan voice of the influential rock band, Velvet Underground. He was 71.