Fleetwood Mac's classic lineup inching closer to reunion

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Fleetwood Mac are on hold while bassist John McVie sorts out his recent health scare, but once he’s back on the mend, it’s looking more and more likely that the band will welcome back a former member.

We’re talking about longtime keyboardist and singer Christine McVie, whose presence has been sorely missed since she decided to retire from the band in 1998. As we recently reported, McVie’s brief appearances during Fleetwood Mac’s latest tour seem to have reawakened her urge to perform — and her love for the band she helped propel to superstardom in the ’70s.

Noting that it “felt great” to be back onstage with the group again, McVie told the Guardian that she recently realized that her dream of being an “English country girl” after leaving Fleetwood Mac wasn’t really what she wanted. “I like being with the band,” she admitted. “The whole idea of playing music with them.”

One member who’ll definitely welcome McVie back with open arms is Stevie Nicks, who recalled their instant bond in a separate interview with the paper. “We felt like, together, we were a force of nature,” Nicks said. “And we made a pact, probably in our first rehearsal, that we would never accept being treated as second-class citizens in the music business. That when we walked into a room we would be so fantastic and so strong and so smart that none of the uber-rockstar group of men would look through us. And they never did.”

As Nicks later found out, it was McVie’s deciding vote that got her in the band in the first place. “It was critical that I got on with her,” McVie said, “because I’d never played with another girl. But I liked her instantly. She was funny and nice, but also there was no competition. We were completely different on the stage to each other and we wrote differently too.”

Their friendship was cemented during the band’s most successful years — partly because, as Nicks sees it, they led a separate existence from the other members of the group. “The band had two couples in it, plus Mick was married with two little girls, so we had to behave,” Nicks explained. “We’d play a gig, get on an airplane right after the show and leave to the next place. And we were watched like hawks. We had security outside each of our rooms so Chris and I were almost like travelling rock ‘n’ roll nuns.”

Laughing off Nicks’ use of the word “nuns” but admitting it was “regimented … like the Army,” McVie added, “We shared rooms, did each other’s makeup and lived on Dunkin’ Donuts.”

And more shared crullers could be in the duo’s future, if McVie has anything to say about it. “At the time, they tried to persuade me to stay so hard,” she recalled of her decision to quit. “But back then I’d made my mind up that I’d done enough touring. I just couldn’t live out of a suitcase any more. Whereas now I would really rather like to again.”


Ultimate Classic Rock / Monday, December 16, 2013

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