Clifford Davis (music manager)

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Clifford Davis is a British musician and music manager, chiefly known for his time as manager of successful blues rock band Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1974.

Davis's name is actually Clifford Adams. He was 'Cliff Adams' to the members of the early Fleetwood Mac circa 1967, but by 1969 had changed his surname to Davis to avoid confusion with the British vocal group The Cliff Adams Singers.[1] He continued to use the name Adams in songwriting credits, such as those he shared with band founder Peter Green for legal or copyright reasons on the 1968 album Mr Wonderful.


Career[edit]

Davis (as Cliff Adams) worked for Beatles manager Brian Epstein before being brought in to run the Gunnel Brothers Agency in London, which was handling all of Fleetwood Mac's work, in 1967. Peter Green came in one day shortly after Davis had arrived and said he was dissatisfied with the way the agency was promoting the band and their new single, Black Magic Woman. Davis, having been thus introduced to Fleetwood Mac, thought the band was "stunning" and immediately did all he could to help them. Like Green, Davis was a tough East End Cockney: he liked and respected Green and Green, impressed by his enthusiasm, asked Davis to be their manager. [2]

Tenure as Fleetwood Mac manager[edit]

Having also managed Curved Air, his tenure as Fleetwood Mac's band manager came to an end during 1974 when he started promoting a different band under the name of Fleetwood Mac, after the original band had been forced to cancel or disrupt a number of tours. The band's leader Peter Green left in 1970 after a bout with drug use and mental illness. In February 1971, guitarist Jeremy Spencer quit the group without prior notice causing concerts to be cancelled and another guitarist, Danny Kirwan, was sacked in the middle of a tour in August 1972. Kirwan's replacement, Bob Weston, was fired during a tour the following year after having an affair with Mick Fleetwood's wife, after which the tour was abandoned. Davis recruited several new musicians including ex-members of Curved Air to masquerade as Fleetwood Mac and complete the tour, claiming that he owned the group's name. The remaining members of the real Fleetwood Mac brought legal proceedings against Davis, and the subsequent court case lasted several months. Davis eventually lost the case, which caused considerable ill-feeling between him and the band.

Recording artist[edit]

During 1969 Davis embarked on a recording career of his own with the help of Green and Fleetwood Mac. His first single, "Before the Beginning" / "Man of the World", was a coupling of two reworked Fleetwood Mac songs written by Green. His second and final recording, "Come On Down and Follow Me" / "Homework", followed in 1970; neither single was commercially successful.

After Fleetwood Mac[edit]

Davis later managed the career of ex-Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan, making use of some of the musicians who formed the fake Fleetwood Mac. He also continued to act as manager for Peter Green during the early part of his solo career.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brunning, B (1998): Fleetwood Mac – The First 30 Years. London: Omnibus Press. p24
  2. ^ Brunning, B (1998): Fleetwood Mac – The First 30 Years. London: Omnibus Press. p16
  • "Fleetwood Mac: Behind the Masks", Bob Brunning, Hodder & Stoughton, 1990.
  • "My 25 Years in Fleetwood Mac", Mick Fleetwood, Hyperion, 1992.