On With the Show

Christine McVie returns to Fleetwood Mac

Although the band has undergone many lineup changes over the years, most Fleetwood Mac fans consider Mick Fleetwood (drummer) and John McVie (bass player), for whom the band is named, Lindsey Buckingham (rock guitar god), Stevie Nicks (resident gypsy queen) and Christine McVie (keyboardist) to be the real Fleetwood Mac.  Never mind the last three have come and gone a number of times in the life of the band.

Almost sixteen years ago, Christine announced to the band she was through, and this time for good.  Not only was life on the road hard on the aging rocker, she had developed a real phobia about flying.  She just couldn’t take it anymore, so she retired to the English countryside where she had purchased an old manor and set out to rehab the place.  She told the group they could get rid of her various keyboards.  She no longer needed them.

She continued to support the band and even went to see them in concert, but that was it.  She was not going to travel.  As the years wore on, however, boredom ensued and she decided she needed to conquer her fear of flying.  She saw a therapist who asked her where she would go if she could fly.  Maui was her response so she was told to buy a ticket, even if she did not actually go.  Fleetwood, who lives in Hawaii, was coming to London, so she travelled back with him to Hawaii.  Subsequently they visited the others in Los Angeles.  The wheels were in motion for a return.

Nevertheless, she surprised her mates when she called last year to ask about a reunion.  All were onboard, but Buckingham was skeptical.  He said she did not have to join full-time, just come in and out, but she had full-time on her mind.  Still, the questions were there.  How well could she play and perform on tour after all these years?  Could the oldest member of the band (Christine is now 71) return to the road for shows that ran in excess of 2 and a half hours?   She answered the questions by going into training.  Her house had exercise equipment and she would be ready to stand through these concerts.  McVie was not a keyboard player who sat through concerts. And she rehearsed her parts.

When the group assembled at Stevie Nicks’ house in March to announce on the Today show that Christine was rejoining the band, and they would launch a major tour in the Fall, they found a bit of a surprise.  It seems Stevie could not get rid of the keyboards that Christine had and they were now in various places around her house, wherever there was room.  She always believed McVie would return.  In the encore of their show in Chicago, Nicks told the stadium crowd that for years she had been telling audiences about being their dream catchers and they had finally caught their dream girl, and Christine has returned.  Yes, Fleetwood Mac is now able to put some of their biggest hits, written and sung by Christine McVie, back on their set list.

Click on a picture to get the larger versions and go through the gallery.

CBS Sunday Morning, Interview and rehearsal


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