10 Questions for Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac

The peacemaker of Fleetwood Mac on Mirage, Maui, and missing the buzz

theartsdesk meets Christine McVie on a sunny Friday afternoon in September; the Warner Brothers boardroom (with generous hospitality spread) is suitably palatial. We’re the first media interview of the day, so she’s bright and attentive. McVie was always the member of Fleetwood Mac who you’d want to adopt: the most approachably human member of a band constantly at war with itself. Readily admitting that she’s the “peacekeeper” in the band, the singer/songwriter behind such Mac classics as “Everywhere” and “You Make Loving Fun” is as sweet and serene as you’d hope she would be.

She’s here to promote the new deluxe remaster of 1982 album Mirage – the follow-up three years on to the somewhat deranged Tusk, which was recorded and released as Christine and John McVie, the band’s bassist, were divorcing. She quit the band in 1998 after the hugely successful live album The Dance, after which she started a fairly solitary life of her own in the English countryside for the best part of 16 years. The first four of those, she says, were simply spent working on the house. It was only therapy and the canny, persuasive hand of Mick Fleetwood that coaxed her into returning after a trip to Maui, Hawaii, where Mick lives close to John McVie, his lifelong partner-in-crime.

The former Christine Perfect had a severe fear of flying that she’s now completely beaten, and as we speak, it’s clear that she’s fairly perplexed about having left the fray for so long in the first place. So what was she doing in all that time exactly? “A lot of people ask me that question!” With a brand new album (their first since 2001’s Say You Will) and a new world tour in the planning stages, it’s clear that the Fleetwood Mac story still has several enthralling chapters ahead. Somewhere near Fleetwood’s on Front Street – Mick’s fancy restaurant in Maui – the drummer must be feeling pretty smug that the ragged band of brothers and sisters he founded are finally back together.

RALPH MOORE: What was the mood of the band post-Tusk?

CHRISTINE McVIE: I remember we did two huge world tours after Tusk. We drove ourselves into the ground physically, and obviously there was a lot of drinking and a lot of drugs, and that just about killed us all, so we took a lot of time off. There was a long time between Tusk and Mirage. Mick went to Ghana to make an album called The Visitor and Stevie [Nicks] made Bella Donna, which was a huge hit for her.

Fleetwood MacBut I think maybe we were under contract so had to make a record at that time, so Mick tried to recreate a similar bubble to Rumours where we were away from our homes, and that’s how that started. The mood? I was quite looking forward to it. We recorded at Honky Château [the infamous Chateau d’Herouville, located 20 miles north of Paris in the Val d’Oise]. There was a big piano there that Elton John had left there, so that was great. I seem to remember we did a lot of mucking around, playing table tennis. The guys from the French Open came down to visit us and John McEnroe also came down – I think I actually beat him at table tennis one night! It was a funny time. I don’t remember any particular animosity. I’m sure we were under contract to do another record so that was the basis of it. And from that, from little acorns the oak tree grew and it turned into a much nicer experience with some really good songs on it.

You returned to the band in 2014: had the dynamic changed?

Well, I just couldn’t believe that 16 years had actually passed. I mean, quite literally, from the moment I stepped on stage in Dublin to rehearse “Don’t Stop” I knew: the eye contact with all the band members, it was like going home. Truthfully. And they felt the same about me. The circle was complete. Had anything changed? Only technically. Vibe wise, I had Mick looking at me through his cymbals, but there was always that gap there on the stage when I left – they hadn’t filled it up with anyone else. That gap when they were touring without me was there every night. It was such a great feeling.

Is it fair to say that you’re the peacekeeper in the band?

I know Stevie always calls me Mother Earth, so possibly! How do I put this…. I have always been the most sane one of the lot, more down to earth, but I think John’s probably even more down to earth now. Peacekeeper? Yeah, I like that title. I do tend to meander around in the cracks! And do I have to be a peacekeeper now? Only occasionally. You always get moments with Stevie and Lindsey [Buckingham], that’s part of their make-up – they are each other’s muses and they have not been together for years, but they have this love/hate thing that they’ll always have and someone has to gently insinuate in the middle.

But Stevie and I are really good friends, in fact I think we’re better friends now than we were 16 years ago. And it’s a fact, when it’s the Buckingham/Nicks show backed by John and Mick, that’s going to cause a lot of tension and stress. But with me in there, it gave Stevie the chance to get her breath back and not have this constant thing going on with Lindsey: her sister was back.

Is it fair to say that Fleetwood Mac is a democracy, but driven for the most part by Mick?

Yes, but you’ve got to have a degree of flexibility. We’re very democratic. If one person is outvoted, you go with it. Mick always says, I’m a drummer, I can’t just sit in a room and play drums, I need a band. So in Maui, he has his own little band and when Fleetwood Mac’s not touring, he plays with them. It keeps him busy.

(Photo: Danny Clinch)
(Photo: Danny Clinch)

In the 16 years interim, what were you doing and did you see the band much?

I didn’t see them very much. First of all, I never flew anywhere. I saw them at Earl’s Court a few years back and sat at the sound board and that was a weird feeling. But I had no sense at that time of wanting to rejoin and at that time it was a relief – but I didn’t realise what pleasure I was missing until more recent days when I made the phone call to Mick and asked, “What would be it be like if I came back?” Fortunately Stevie was dying for me to come back, as were the rest of the band. Lindsey didn’t believe it would ever happen, but when I walked back onstage he did and they were delirious.

But when I first left, I was married at that point and spent four years restoring the house, a big rambling place with gardens – it was quite a project. But I didn’t write very much and the marriage didn’t work out, and I started to find I was twiddling my thumbs in this huge place, bouncing off the walls. So I thought that I’d do a little solo project. I got together with my nephew who’s a good musician and quite handy with ProTools and I thought, I’ll do a little record because I can’t fly, and I don’t want to tour, so we did that in my garage. And that took a couple of years, because we didn’t have a pressing need to finish it.

And then I sunk into isolation and got in a bit of trouble and sought help, and that was when I called Mick. It was healing and cathartic going back into the band. I missed all that buzz. I was also deluded about some idea of being the country lady with dogs, a Range Rover and Hunter boots, going for long walks, all that. Baking cakes in my Aga. It was not what I wanted in the end.

How did you overcome the fear of flying?

I was starting to realise that I was trapped in England unless I went by train or boat – and that I will never be able to see the world. So I went to a therapist and said, “I have to be able to get on a plane.” And he said, “Where would you most like to go?” And I said, “Maui!” And he said, “Buy a first-class ticket. Don’t get on – you have the ticket, that’s the starting point.” And as serendipity would have it Mick said, “I am coming to London” and I said, “I have a ticket to Maui!” So he said “Stay there! And we’ll go back together.”

So I went back with Mick to Maui and didn’t even feel the plane taking off, that’s how unafraid I was. I had some pretty good therapy, and I love flying now! And I did some songs with his little band there, and that was the start of it all. It’s the best thing we could have ever done. In many ways, I think we sound better and the audience reaction is better than even it was before. It’s unprecedented in rock ‘n’ roll that someone should leave and rejoin 16 years on and all five of us are still alive and healthy – touch wood and whistle.

Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie work on new songs in the studio.

Let’s talk about the new album.

I love every single track we’ve done, bar none. This’s something to me that is really special. Stevie hasn’t come in on it yet because she’s been busy doing something else. Last year, I was in there with Mick and Lindsey and John – John’s healing very nicely now – and nearly completed seven tracks and they’re magic. Seriously, no padding! I’m going to go over again in October to work on it. Stevie’s on tour but we’ve got until next year to finish it because we’re planning a world tour again, for the summer of ’17. I don’t know if I’m privy to give song titles yet, but Lindsey and I have practically co-written everything. Getting the band all together is like herding sheep: to get all five of us in a room is nigh-on impossible. And then somebody will wander out. But it does happen.

Mirage is still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. And what’s great is Fleetwood Mac is now a genuine, cross-generational experience.

The generation gap is phenomenal! Kids are going, “We’d better see them before one of them dies!” The songs endure. I have lots of friends with growing children, even 12- and 11-year-olds and some of them are avid listeners, they carry Rumours on their iPods! Tango is a favourite and Tusk is a favourite of some the weird 14-year-old boys. The demographic is remarkable.

And you still have the potential to play Glastonbury again.

Yes. I think we have been asked but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened, I don’t know for what reason. Would I love to do it? Love’s a strong word! I wouldn’t mind – so long as we could helicopter in and helicopter out!

Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)Let’s end by returning to Mirage – where does it sit in the Mac canon for you?

If I have to be really truthful, it’s not catalogued as my favourite but on it are some great songs and some really good memories and it harkens in a vague sense not to the soul of Rumours but to more commercial roots after Tusk, which was the antithesis of commercial. On Mirage we made an effort to have a few more catchy songs. But it’s still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. It’s nuts!

The deluxe edition of Mirage is out on September 23rd on Warner Brothers.

Ralph Moore / theartsdesk (UK) / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Mac album almost ready

Christine McVie
Christine McVie (Photo: Reyhaan Day)

Rumours has it

After 16 years in the Kent wilderness, Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac are creating magic once again… there’s even a new album in the pipeline.

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie offers me tea and a seat on a plush sofa. Among the things on her coffee table is a picture book called Crap Taxidermy. There’s a platinum record on the wall, and a stuffed dog looks out from under a side table next to a flickering fireplace.

“Do you like my dog? I found him in an antique shop – he’s 100 years old and I call him Jarvis.”

McVie is a dog person – she had two until recently. “I had a lovely time with them, but do I miss having dogs? Dogs tie you down. Who’s going to look after them when I go on tour?” she says. “I thought about getting a bird – a parrot perhaps – and teaching it to talk.” But McVie doesn’t want to be held back any longer. “I want my freedom now.”

As one fifth of Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie has helped define popular music since the late 1960s. With her bandmates, McVie has written songs that are loved across generations. With 1977’s Rumours, Fleetwood Mac became superstars, experiencing both critical acclaim and public adoration. She explains that there is something about the band’s music, and Rumours in particular, that appeals to all ages. “Parents played the album at home, but kids gravitated to the album as well; and now some of their children are turned on to Fleetwood Mac.” It’s something that McVie is still surprised by. “It’s really quite amazing, the dichotomy of people coming to see the shows – it ranges anywhere from 80 to eight. It’s very exciting.”

Nearly 40 years on, Rumours is an album that still resonates with audiences today – herself, included, says McVie.

“I think people love Rumours – I think that the songs are timeless and ageless. I still love Rumours too; I don’t listen to it all the time, but when I do, I’m always stunned by how fresh it still sounds.”

McVie and Fleetwood Mac achieved a virtually unparalleled level of acclaim and adoration with Rumours, but the road to success wasn’t always easy. “There weren’t that many women around back then [the 60s and early 70s]. It was a very male-oriented industry. I wasn’t in the pop industry at that time – I was playing in a blues band, so that was even more unusual.”

It was peaceful, and I learned about birds. I just wish I’d filled that 16 years with a hell of a lot more. After the house was finished, I was bouncing off the walls. It was an isolating time. I’ve wasted a bit of my life, and I want to make up for it now.

McVie had her first taste of life on the road with British blues outfit Chicken Shack; a gig she held down until she married her future band mate and Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie in 1969.

“We had a Ford transit van and we used to schlep up and down the M1,” she recalls. The young songwriter was paying her dues, living a lifestyle far removed from what she would later experience with Fleetwood Mac. “You couldn’t say it was a life of luxury by any means.”

After a couple of years playing the British blues circuit, the band made the biggest decision of their career. “We moved to America. We thought it would be great to move to LA, because we weren’t doing anything here. We couldn’t buy a gig.”

Soon after the relocation, the band’s guitarist and driving force over the past few years Bob Welch departed, leaving Fleetwood Mac guitar-less. A chance meeting with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham led to the band bringing Buckingham and his lover and collaborator Stevie Nicks into the fold. “I was a bit cagey in case we didn’t get on or something – but we met for dinner one night and we all got on really well. We didn’t even have auditions. The rest, really, is history.”

The tide truly began to turn with the band’s 1975 self-titled album (referred to as the “White Album” by McVie) – the first with Buckingham and Nicks.

The album demonstrated a more pop-oriented sound than before. It was during the writing of Fleetwood Mac that McVie saw the band’s potential to be big. “I remember that I’d written a song called ‘Say You Love Me’. We went into a little rehearsal room in a cellar somewhere, and I said: “Well, it goes like this…’ When the chorus came, Stevie and Lindsey both chimed in with the most fantastic harmony,” says McVie.

“We all had goose bumps. That was the moment when I thought: ‘This is going to be amazing’.” With Buckingham and Nicks, the band took on an unusual dynamic. “The combination of two Americans and three Brits, two girls and two couples as well, made for all kinds of things we never could have expected.”

More than a year after its release, Fleetwood Mac went to number one on the Billboard 200 chart. “That took some time to take off,” says McVie. “Once we started touring, people started to flock to see us, and they would buy the album.” The band was receiving huge support from radio, and was riding a wave of critical acclaim and success before the band began to record a follow-up. “I don’t think people realised, but the ‘White Album’ was number one in the charts about six months before we even made Rumours.”

What happened next is rock and roll legend. Personal relations between band members hit a low; the McVies were in the midst of a divorce; and Nicks and Buckingham’s on-off relationship was strained. “When we finished Rumours, we knew we had something good – but we weren’t getting on very well. Stevie, Mick [Fleetwood] and I would get on great; Lindsey, Mick and John would get on great, but the ‘couple’ thing got quite tense in the studio sometimes.”

Against adversity, Fleetwood Mac made one of the finest albums of their career – and one of the most popular albums of all time. Rumours is estimated to have sold more than 40 million copies. McVie says there is an understanding between them, which leads to memorable music. “What’s that saying? ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. In our case that is true, because there is a great chemistry between the five of us. We’re all different, but we connect musically in a really strange way.”

In 1998, after continual chart-topping albums and lucrative tours, McVie left the band. “My father died in 1990, and I was desperate to move back to England,” she says. “I wanted to be closer to my brother who was my only remaining close family. I’d also developed a chronic fear of flying – and the band knew when I did the last tour that there was no persuading me to stay.”

McVie spent the next 16 years in Kent, restoring her house and looking after two dogs. Now McVie has mixed feelings about her time out of the spotlight. “I could say I have regrets, but then there were quite a few years doing that that I did enjoy,” she says. “It was peaceful, and I learned about birds. I just wish I’d filled that 16 years with a hell of a lot more. After the house was finished, I was bouncing off the walls. It was an isolating time. I’ve wasted a bit of my life, and I want to make up for it now.”

McVie says she came to a realisation. “There came a point when I finished doing the house that I realised I was just sitting in the country, rotting away. I thought: ‘What am I doing?’”

McVie sought the help of Dr. Richard Wolman, a Belgravia psychiatrist who helped her overcome her fear of flying. “He worked with me for quite a long time.” Soon, the idea of getting back with the band began to take shape. “It just so happened that I was thinking about what it would be like to go back to Fleetwood Mac. I called up Mick and said: ‘Do you think it’s possible? Would you guys even be interested?’” Fleetwood was arriving in London and suggested meeting to discuss a reunion.

As part of her therapy, Dr. Wolman suggested McVie buy a plane ticket. “He said: ‘If you could get on a plane, where would you go?’ I said Maui, because I love Hawaii. He told me to just buy a ticket, and said I didn’t have to get on it, but it would be a positive move. So I did.”

McVie flew from London to Hawaii with Fleetwood, who lives on the islands. “I ended up going on stage with his little blues band – he owns a restaurant called Fleetwood’s on Front Street, Lahaina. He persuaded me to play a couple of songs with his band, and I loved it.” Soon she spoke with other members of the band, and the five members that recorded Rumours were reunited.

Since McVie’s return, the band has completed a world tour taking in 120 shows. Now Fleetwood Mac is in the process of recording a new album.

I’m waiting to hear when we’re going to finish [the new Fleetwood Mac album], which I suspect will be April. Everybody has different things going on. But my feet are firmly planted in this record at the moment, because quite a lot of the songs are mine!

“I started sending demos to Lindsey and he worked on them, then we got together to start making a record – we’re talking two years ago now. We only got it half-finished; we’ve got seven or eight songs at the moment, and we’re very, very thrilled with them.”

Fans will have to be patient – getting each band member in the same room is not as easy as it once was. “I’m waiting to hear when we’re going to finish it, which I suspect will be April. Everybody has different things going on. But my feet are firmly planted in this record at the moment, because quite a lot of the songs are mine!

“The songs are fantastic, they have a whiff of Rumours about them. I think people could do with a new Mac album from the five of us.” Once the album is ready, McVie says the band will embark on another tour. “Depending on how decrepit we feel, it may not be the last. We’re all fit, so we think we can do another tour and put a record out – and people seem to love us, so we appreciate that.”

McVie says that playing with the band feels natural, even after so long out of the public eye. “It was strange in the fact that it wasn’t strange at all. The moment I stepped on stage, it felt right – it was like 16 years hadn’t happened.”

According to McVie, there is one song in particular that audiences connect with. “When I do ‘Songbird’, you can hear a pin drop. I’m not saying it’s my favourite song, particularly, but it seems to be the one that I get associated with, because people have played it at weddings, funerals or when their pets die. In all kinds of situations, people play ‘Songbird’, because it’s a little prayer. I wrote that song in 30 minutes!”

For now, McVie is back in London, and enjoying what Mayfair has to offer. “I love it around Bond Street – now I’m back in the city, that’s top of my list: burning some plastic!” As for Fleetwood Mac, she is content just seeing where the music will take her. “It’s a rebirth, in a sense – and it’s fantastic because we’re way over 60. I’m having a ball.”

Reyhaan Day / Mayfair Times / Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Kingdom up for sale

Going to go her own way: Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie puts her 19-acre Grade II listed Kent home on the market for £3.5million ($8 million).

  • Christine McVie, 72, has been spending an increasing amount of time in London since rejoining Fleetwood Mac
  • So now, she has decided to put stunning Grade II-listed country home in Kent village of Wickhambreaux on sale
  • She is selling the mansion – where she wrote some solo material following band’s disintegration – for £3.5million
  • It boasts six bedrooms, four reception rooms, a three-bedroom outhouse, two cottages and sprawling gardens

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McVie, a famed vocalist and pianist, purchased her six-bedroom Wickhambreaux home, dubbed The Quaives, in 1990. She worked on solo material in the 19-acre estate’s converted barn following the continued disintegration of Fleetwood Mac through the 1990s. When McVie moved into the property, it was in dire need of refurbishment, and over the past 25 years, she has overhauled the entire estate.

The star officially left Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and all but retired from public view. She released just one solo album in 2004, written with her nephew Dan Perfect at The Quaives. But now, she has listed her home for sale – less than a year after stunning the music world by rejoining Fleetwood Mac for the On With The Show tour.

Strutt and Parker estate agents, which is selling the mansion, said McVie has been spending more time in London since the band’s reform.

Simon Backhouse, of Strutt and Parker, said:

  • Christine McVie bought this house in 1990 and when she did it was in a bit of a state.
  • She has spent an enormous amount of money on it since then, putting a new roof on it and restoring it to its former glory.
  • She has family in Kent and it’s a very beautiful and private house. It’s quiet and you can’t see it from anywhere so that ticked a lot of boxes for her.
  • The house itself is stunning and the village it’s in is a quintessential chocolate box village.
  • The full Fleetwood Mac line-up have reformed recently and Christine now spends more time in London than she had been doing.
  • She’s looking to upsize in London and downsize in the country.
  • The Quaives is new to the market but already there has been much interest in it.
  • Whether you’re a music fan or not, this is an incredible opportunity to own something very special indeed.

As well as six bedrooms and a converted barn, The Quaives boasts four reception rooms, a massive kitchen, a saloon and a thatched stable. It also features a three-bedroom outhouse, two separate cottages, a tennis court, a croquet lawn, paddocks and extensive gardens.

McVie, who is currently on tour with Fleetwood Mac in Australia and New Zealand, spoke fondly of the property.

“I have whiled away many peaceful days song writing in this tranquil home. Much fun was had by all on the croquet lawn,” she said.

McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970, where she joined her husband John McVie, the band’s bassist, and drummer Mick Fleetwood. American guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his singer girlfriend Stevie Nicks were added in 1974. Three years later the group released their most celebrated album, Rumours. Fleetwood Mac were one of the biggest bands in the world until Buckingham and Nicks left in 1987.

The band then went on to perform in various incarnations but only appeared again as the full Rumours line-up in September last year. McVie is responsible for some of the most-loved songs including “Songbird,” “Everywhere,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy.”

The singer and her husband divorced in 1976 and she went on to marry keyboardist Eddy Quintela in October 1986. She and Quintela split up in the mid-1990s. McVie has no children.

Sophie Jane Evans / Daily Mail (UK) / Thursday, September 24, 2015

Christine McVie: Why I went back to Fleetwood Mac

She wrote some of the band’s best known hits but walked away for a quiet life in the country. But now Christine McVie is back with Fleetwood Mac on a tour which is heading to New Zealand. She talks about her return to the fold.

Fleetwood Mac, from left: Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, John McVie and Christine McVie.

Speaking from London, Christine McVie sounds a bit like a more mellow, less posh Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous.

There’s a lovely, light, warm huskiness, and plenty of character in the voice that’s been missing from the Fleetwood Mac line-up for the past 17 years – the voice (and pen) behind many of their hits, like Don’t Stop, Little Lies, Songbird, and You Make Loving Fun.

But now that voice is back.

Rumours swirled after McVie appeared on stage with the band in Dublin and London during their 2013 tour, and in January 2014 it was announced that she was officially back in the band.

And now, more than halfway through their current world tour – entitled On With The Show – the 71-year-old sounds totally convinced she made the right decision, and is thrilled to be touring again.

“We’re having a ball. Every night, I look across the stage from where I’m playing piano, stage right, and I can see the rest of them, John, Mick, Stevie, and Lindsey, and it awes me every night. I just think, blimey, you guys are fantastic. I think the difference this time is that we’re all smiling.”

Not that she had any dissatisfaction with the band or the music, or even the performing when she left the group in 1998. McVie felt she had to leave for a far more simple reason: she couldn’t deal with aeroplanes anymore.

“It was never the playing or the people, it was just that I’d developed a hideous fear of flying! And I loathed living out of a suitcase forever and I really longed for some roots. I wanted to have a home, where I could go home, and unlock my door, and go in, and be settled. I was tired of being a gypsy. And that was fine really.”

She’d been doing it for nearly 30 years, after all, and as has been well documented, some of those years were pretty rocky – McVie was probably the least naughty of the five.

But the band had its fair share of sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll excess. So the appeal of some time out at an old country farmhouse in England was understandable. She wanted a bit of isolation, a bit of quiet, and a different kind of life.

“I restored the house from the roof downwards, and I had fun with that for about five years, imagining I was living this country life with the welly boots and the dogs and the Range Rover. And then I just started to get bored.

“And I hadn’t really sat at a piano very much at all during that time, so I started to play again, and drifted around, writing and so on, and I did make a solo album with my nephew Dan Perfect, called In The Mean Time. But because of my fear of flying, I didn’t promote it. And so it was released and did nothing at all” she laughs.

She pottered about for another few years, but her boredom and isolation got worse, and so she decided to seek help for her fear of flying, and for the various other issues she was grappling with.

“I went to a psychiatrist, and I was looking for help with other problems as well, isolation problems – all sorts of stuff started happening being in the country on my own – so I sought help, and this chap, who has since become a really good friend, he said, ‘Well what are you going to do for the rest of your life? Are you going to sit around, and drive your Range Rover, and put your Hunter boots on, and that’s it?”

That got her thinking. He also asked where she’d most like to go if she could get on a plane, and she knew the answer immediately: Hawaii – where Mick Fleetwood is based on Maui.

“So my psychiatrist said ‘Why don’t you book yourself a ticket? You don’t have to get on the plane, just book the ticket. So I did.”

Serendipitously, Fleetwood happened to be coming to London for promotional duties around the same time, and decided to align his return ticket with McVie’s so she could (hopefully) fly to Maui with him. And she did it.

“It was funny, I stepped on the aeroplane, and I texted my psychiatrist and said, ‘Oooh, I don’t know about this, I’m smelling the jet fumes’, and he replied ‘No, that’s the perfume of freedom’. And I thought, ‘Yeah! That’s cool’.

“So we took off and I didn’t even think about it, and I haven’t since. I’m free! It’s an incredible feeling when you’re grounded and you feel like you can’t really go anywhere, I felt like I was stuck. No chance of coming to Australia and New Zealand. But now it’s fantastic.”

Of course overcoming her fear of flying was one step, but rejoining the band was another.

Christine McVie performing in LA in 1979, at the height of Fleetwood Mac’s fame.

While she was in Maui, she got up on stage with Fleetwood at his local venue, and really enjoyed jamming along. So then when whole band went to Britain in 2013, she thought she’d try getting up on stage as part of Fleetwood Mac again, as a special guest.

“I was terrified. I had met them in Dublin, and rehearsed with them. But it was a very strange feeling walking on to the stage – I was terrified, because the technology has changed so much since I was in the band originally, now we use these really sophisticated in-ear contraptions, which I wasn’t used to at all, and all those little things took a bit of getting used to.”

But the overwhelmingly positive response to her appearance convinced McVie it was time to ask her bandmates if she could rejoin the band – and they welcomed her with open arms.

Now she’s convinced Fleetwood Mac are the best they’ve ever been.

“I feel more at home on stage than ever, much more confident, and happier.

” I love the way we sound. And, not trying to blow my own trumpet, but we sound better than we’ve ever sounded before I believe. I think we all now have an appreciation of what we were 18 years ago. Because for quite a few years in the middle there they couldn’t play things like Little Lies and Make Loving Fun. And then me rejoining and playing my part on the piano, and the little nuances I contribute, and the backing vocals, it’s making us all realise ‘Gosh, that really is a great song’.”

In fact things are going so well that they’ve already started recording a new album.

Lindsey Buckingham and McVie started writing new songs together in February last year, and the band has recently finished a nearly two-month run in Studio D at the Village Recorder in Los Angeles, where they also made 1979’s Tusk.

“We did about eight songs so far, which are all fantastic. One is about my flying fear, which is called Carnival Begin, which is a really beautiful song.

“Stevie was working on another project so she hasn’t come in yet, but she will. And we’re planning on trying to have an album finished by early next year, and releasing it in the spring.

“It’s exciting, because the songs feel fresh – they’re modern, they’re sexy, they’re great.”

Writing with Buckingham again felt completely natural too – like the proverbial pair of worn slippers.

“We just fell right back into the same slot,” she laughs. “It was as though time had not existed all those years, we just fell into this great songwriting partnership again immediately. It’s chemistry really.”

And the things that inspire her songwriting haven’t changed much either. “I’m still emotionally a 17-year-old, always looking for the right man, you know!”

But even though she professes to still be searching for Mr Right, the tumultuous relationships of her 20s and 30s are well laid to rest, including her 1976 divorce from bandmate, bassist John McVie, and now they feel more like a family than ever.

“When we’re flying between shows, I just often look around our little plane, and look at everybody, and everyone is chatting and laughing or sleeping or eating, and I just feel, this is really a family.

“For all our differences and history and unsettled times in the past, we’ve come out of it, on the other side, and we can celebrate that. Our diversity is still keeping us together somehow. Don’t ask me how, but it’s magic.”

Who: Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac
What: On With The Show tour
Where and when: Performing at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland on November 21 and 22.

Lydia Jenkin / New Zealand Herald / Saturday, 6th June 2015

Why we’re excited about the return of Christine McVie

Those heading for the Isle of Wight festival will see something Mac fans feared they would never see again: Christine McVie’s return after a 16-year absence.

To listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie speak, you’d never guess she was a member of one of the world’s most successful – not to mention debauched and dysfunctional – bands of all time. Level-headed and prone to understatement when I interviewed her for the Guardian in 2013, she described the songwriting gift that enabled her to knock out such hits as Don’t Stop and Little Lies as follows: “I don’t know what it is really … I think I’m just good with hooks.”

During that interview, she went on to discuss the band’s legendarily gargantuan drug intake without a hint of romance – “Well, I’d be lying if I said I was sober as a judge” – and described the crazy routine the band adhered to at the peak of their success in similar terms: “You look at tennis players; it’s the same kind of thing.”

So grounded can McVie appear that it’s almost surprising that the songs she writes take flight so effortlessly: heartfelt and clear, they’re given extra wind beneath their wings by her pure, songbird falsetto. This summer, those heading to the Isle of Wight festival will get to see her perform them, something many Mac fans feared they would never see again: McVie left the group in 1998, succumbing to a fear of flying and longing for a quiet life in the country; she rejoined in 2014.

It’s a testament to Fleetwood Mac’s abundance of talent that they have not just survived without McVie and her many hits during this 16-year absence, but delivered storming three-hour sets packed with classic tracks. Great though those shows were, it wasn’t quite Fleetwood Mac. McVie’s songs don’t just stand out in their own right, but also provide a counterbalance to the other artistic directions in the band. Less mystical than Stevie Nicks’ and less wilfully experimental than some of Lindsey Buckingham’s, McVie’s simple songs of love nonetheless brim with a sense of positivity, not to mention an abundance of melody.

Her musical gifts – let’s not forget she’s a skilled keyboard player with a style schooled in the blues – are not the only reason Mac fans should celebrate her return. In a famously fractured band, whose existence always seems precariously balanced, thanks to decades of broken marriages, flings and rows, McVie’s down-to-earth personality provides a steadying role similar to that of her songs.

She always seemed capable of rising above the tangled love dramas that caused jealously and tantrums among the men, and her enduring friendship with Nicks helped the pair to face the perils of being female artists during the sexist 70s. When McVie first left, Nicks said she was heartbroken; today she talks lovingly about having her musical sister back in the band: “When I finish Silver Springs, Christine waits for me and takes my hand,” she recently told Canadian magazineMaclean’s. “We walk off and we never let go of each other until we get to our tent. In that 30 seconds, it’s like my heart just comes out of my body.”

McVie is too key a figure for Fleetwood Mac to have carried on touring without her, and drummer Mick Fleetwood has admitted that her return to the band makes them “complete” again. Speaking to the Vancouver Sun in March, he added that he “couldn’t think of a better ending, when this does end … we’re all on the same page and writing the same last chapter”.

Comments such as this only add to the sense that their Isle of Wight show will be a magical, uplifting and emotional experience. Or “not a bad gig”, as Christine may well say afterwards.

Fleetwood Mac play the Isle of Wight festival on 14 June.

Tim Jonze / The Guardian / Wednesday, 3rd June 2015 

Christine McVie will record with Fleetwood Mac in March

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Christine McVie will be heading to the recording studio with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 2003 (when she contributed vocals for Say You Will’s “Bleed to Love Her” and “Steal Your Heart Away”), according to Mick Fleetwood via the Maui News. McVie, who officially rejoined the band earlier this month, will start recording with the band in March. In December, McVie told the Daily Mail that she had already sent new songs to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham for tweaking. The band will presumably record a new album and support it with a tour later this year.

OFFICIAL: Christine McVie rejoins Fleetwood Mac, possible 2014 tour

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Christine McVie is officially back with Fleetwood Mac.

The band’s publicist, Liz Rosenberg, has confirmed to Billboard that McVie has rejoined the band after departing the group in 1998.

Rosenberg says that McVie “has indeed re-joined Fleetwood Mac and we are hoping to make an announcement about a possible tour for the full tilt Macsters some time in 2014.”

McVie joined the band in 1970 after marrying the group’s bassist, John McVie. She continued on with the group for the next 28 years as a principle songwriter, vocalist and keyboardist.

McVie wrote some of the act’s biggest Billboard Hot 100 chart hits, including “Say You Love Me” (No. 11 peak, 1976), “Don’t Stop” (No. 3, 1977), “You Make Loving Fun” (No. 9, 1977), “Hold Me” (No. 4, 1982), “Little Lies” (No. 4, 1987) and “Everywhere” (No. 14, 1988).

Fans of Fleetwood Mac have been teased with a possible McVie reunion since last September, when word first broke that McVie was going to rejoin her bandmates for a couple concerts in London. She appeared with the band — for just one song each night — on Sept. 25 and 27 at the O2 Arena, to sing “Don’t Stop.”

(Fleetwood Mac’s 2013 tour incidentally, was the 17th biggest tour of 2013, according to Billboard Boxscore, grossing $62 million from 45 shows reported.)

Soon after guesting with the band at the O2, McVie told the Guardian that she would be “delighted” if the band were to “ask” her to play with them again. “But it hasn’t happened, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

When Billboard caught up with Stevie Nicks late last year, while promoting her new “In Your Dreams” film and appearance on “American Horror Story: Coven,” Nicks said “If Chris wants to come back to the band, I said to her, ‘It’s your band. I don’t really think you have to ask. Because it’s your band. McVie. Fleetwood Mac-vie? So, it all depends, Chris, on you. How you feel. Do you want to take this on again?'”

Finally, over the last weekend, the band’s Mick Fleetwood reportedly told a crowd at a Maui, Hawaii show that McVie had indeed rejoined the group.

Undoubtedly, devotees of Fleetwood Mac are hoping for a new album from the famed “Rumours”-era lineup of the band, with singer/songwriters Nicks, McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. Together, the three were the principle writers of five studio albums from the group: “Fleetwood Mac” (released in 1975), “Rumours” (1977), “Tusk” (1979), “Mirage” (1982) and “Tango In the Night” (1987).

Following McVie’s departure, Fleetwood Mac has released one new studio set, 2003’s “Say You Will.” The band also issued a four-song EP, “Extended Play,” in 2013.


Keith Caulfield / Billboard / Monday, January 13, 2014

Mick Fleetwood: Christine McVie will be rejoining Fleetwood Mac

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On Saturday, Mick Fleetwood announced on stage at the 2nd Annual Uncle Willie K’s BBQ Bluesfest in Maui that keyboardist and singer-songwriter Christine McVie would be returning to Fleetwood Mac. McVie left the band in 1998 to pursue a quieter life in England. After appearing at two London shows with band last year, McVie realized that she deeply missed performing with her former bandmates. Rumors about McVie rejoining the band had circulated ever since the cameo appearances.

According to a fan who attend the show, Fleetwood said “This is the worst kept secret there is, but Christine McVie will be rejoining Fleetwood Mac!”

Special thanks to “aprilsrain” for sharing the news. See more discussion at The Ledge.

Christine McVie may guest with Fleetwood Mac soon

(GAB Archives)
Christine McVie with her former Fleetwood Mac bandmates, circa 1975 (GAB Archive/Redferns)

By Derek
Anglotopia (UK)
Monday, April 22, 2013

Christine McVie may be the most underrated of the five members of Fleetwood Mac’s “classic” lineup. She’s been with the band since the days with Peter Green, wrote songs like “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun”, and “Say You Love Me,” and you probably didn’t know that she hasn’t been in the band proper since 1998. Since then, she has repeatedly refused to perform live with the band (despite performing on two songs on their last album, Say You Will). And Mick Fleetwood has given up on asking her to rejoin, but apparently, Christine has softened her stance.

In September, the band will perform three gigs at London’s O2 Arena, and Christine has said that she would be willing to do a duet at one of those concerts. Quoth Christine McVie: “If they wanted me to, I might pop back on stage when they’re in London just to do a little duet or something like that.”

Also, quoth Mick Fleetwood: “A lot of bands, including us, never know when the audience is going to finally disappear,” he said. “But we have a whole influx of new fans, young people who’ve been brought up on us by their parents or picked us up on the internet. There’ll be people on this tour in their seventies and others seeing us for the first time, and that’s really cool.”

And because I have two other Fleetwood Mac articles in my queue, one dating back all the way from February, and this article is short, I may as well cover those two here.

(Mike Gunnill)
Christine McVie, circa 2010 (Mike Gunnill)

Earlier in the year, Mick Fleetwood spoke about the interpersonal dynamics of the group: “The biggest misconception to me is that these people really don’t like each other. That’s the worst rumour about Rumours. There’s bands out there, usually a bunch of guys, who don’t give a — about each other. They just come to an arrangement. We can’t do that. We’re all ex-lovers, so we don’t have that corporate, guy thing where it’s just ‘get the job done’. I think it bodes in our favour that, in a funny, shaky way, there is some integrity. We do actually love each other, for real. Unfortunately. ‘Cause it’s tough.”

And on the subject of ex-lovers in the group, Lindsey Buckingham had this to say about his relationship with Stevie Nicks: throughout their songs, there’s a “Subtext of love” between the two of them. Though they broke up while making Rumours, they still maintain a professional relationship.

Quoth Buckingham: “There’s a subtext of love between us, and it would be hard to deny that much of what we’ve accomplished had something to do with trying to prove something to each other. Maybe that’s fucked up but this is someone I’ve known since I was 16, and I think on some weird level we’re still trying to work some things out. There will never be romance there, but there are other kinds of love to be had.”

When asked how he can work with an ex-girlfriend, he said: “You get used to it. And for me, getting married and having children was a positive outcome. I wonder sometimes how Stevie feels about the choices she made, because she doesn’t really have a relationship — she has her career. But there are a few chapters to be written in the Stevie-Lindsey legacy.”

Stevie Nicks replied that, while it was difficult at first, the duo recognised their priorities: “We never, ever, with everything that happened to us, ever, let love affairs break Fleetwood Mac up.” Well, at least they worked out their problems better than Richard and Linda Thompson did. Stay tuned for another Gallagher Brothers article in the near future.

Moonwalking pony goes viral, wins praise from Fleetwood Mac

Walking to Optimism (UK)
Monday, March 4, 2013

Our moonwalking pony ad for Three mobile is now topping the global viral charts. Second Sync, which analyzes Twitter conversations, says that the video generated 14,000 tweets within five hours of its internet premiere on Friday.

But even more excitingly, we got a telephone call from Martin Wyatt, manager of Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, the writer and performer of the song ‘Everywhere’ that soundtracks the ad. He told us that Christine is “absolutely thrilled to bits” that we used ‘Everywhere’ and wanted to congratulate whoever made the decision to use it in the ad. She “absolutely loves” the ad and has been “glued to the TV all weekend” waiting for it to come back on. Our Three team is a bit starstruck and overwhelmed at this news.

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