When Stevie Nicks Solo posed for a January 2015 cover rolling stone, in the middle of a Fleetwood Mac tour, a move that wasn’t particularly popular with her bandmates. But one member of Fleetwood Mac agreed to give a secondary interview for my cover story about Nix — her longtime “best friend in the whole world,” Christine McVie, who rejoined the band after several years in retirement. Our conversation from December 2014 is published in full for the first time.
I’ve seen two shows in a row and it’s amazing to see you again with the band.
Oh, this is the most wonderful thing to me. Just amazing. It’s like being in the middle of a soap opera all over again. That is unusual. These people are across the stage from me and it’s as if the years never existed. This is absolutely stupid.
In some ways, it feels like you never left.
Yeah, well, I mean, everyone says so … so those years didn’t exist! I go, “What did I do?” For the past 15 years I have been living my country life.
Well, that sounds good too, frankly.
It wasn’t bad.
There’s long been this sort of sexist assumption that having two women in Fleetwood Mac would be a problem, but in reality, you two always seem happy to have each other. How did your relationship work out?
When Mike first heard it Buckingham Knicks Whatever recording studio called the album in the valley, he thought, listening to Lindsey’s guitar on that album, this guy is bloody brilliant, we need him. And then we pushed Lindsay and he said, “Okay, we’re a couple, we’re coming as a couple.” So Mick came up to me and said, “They’ve got a girl here. You should meet her and see if you like her. ” We met and I liked her instantly. She and I are in no way competitive. We are completely different, but completely sympathetic to each other. We are beloved, dear friends. We have no competition on stage. She herself. I am who I am. Easy, easy, easy.
What makes you different from each other?
I am a tomboy and hang out with boys. I love men. I like hanging out with men. Stevie is kind of a girl. She likes to hang out with her girlfriends. Grew up with Mick [Fleetwood] and John [McVie] In all the years before Stevie and Lindsay, I grew up with a sense of humor. Which kind of territory comes with Mick walking around with wooden balls on stage. This is so comical to me. Stevie may have been a little shy at first. It’s just part of how I’ve lived the last 40 years with Mick and John. [original Fleetwood Mac member] Jeremy Spencer, who had a dildo on stage, you know. I grew up with all that stuff.
How was it for you to witness the endless soap opera between Stevie and Lindsay?
Well, I obviously haven’t been there for 15 years or so. So I got a little break. But they coexist, there is love between them, and there is gesture. It is what makes us who we are and why we are what we are. One tries to mediate. They love and hate each other at the same time. I don’t really know how to say it other than this.
Has anything changed in that department since you were gone?
No, I don’t think anything has changed. They’re these incredible individuals and they have this thing for each other and it’s never going to change. They have chemistry, great chemistry. For better or for worse. It is real. Everything on stage is real and at the same time, off stage sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s bad. That is the truth. But it’s always fun. They create fire. That’s a good thing.
Why the band survived Through these endless changes?
I think it’s Mick. Underneath it all is Mick, who holds it all together. He’s big dad, big cheese. He’s holding us all together, he won’t let this band die, he keeps making it the best it can be, and I think he’s succeeding. Because we all believe in this band. Even after I was gone for so long, I wanted to come back. And I said, “How about if I come back?” They all desperately wanted me to come back, which was amazing. Really amazing.
You are clearly an accomplished keyboardist. By her own admission Stevie isn’t, but she’s a great songwriter. How do you think it works?
Personally, I think it’s destructive to be so technical. So if you have piano lessons and you understand all your harmonies and arpeggios and so on, it makes you a little bit more excited. I think Stevie had the ability to play chords that made her happy, that made her sing. Lindsey will be translating her songs into chords. Then he comes to me and he and I work together. ‘Cause he and I have an amazing musical relationship. Chemistry, as well. It’s a different chemistry than Stevie and Lindsay. But she puts her basic chords into it with her passion and her melody and Lindsay has a wonderful sense of what she means… I don’t. She comes to me with a song and I go, “I don’t know what you mean.” you know? I don’t understand that at all. But Lindsay does.
For example, like “dreams”, it seemed like the simplest thing in the world. She played it with me while we were doing it Rumors album, I told her, “It’s boring, it’s really boring.” She said, “No, I just made three segments out of two chords…” and that was the only number one hit single we ever had! There are two chords! My part has one basic note in the left hand and three chord changes in the right hand, it’s all the same thing except the segments are raised to different things, you know.
It’s brilliant. How has the experience of two rehabs changed Stevie? How is she different now?
Wow, that’s a tough one. Look, I mean, Stevie is straight as an arrow. She is very direct, very honest, very self-righteous in a way. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. She has her brand, you know? She is an icon. She is a genius. She is a beautiful, kind, beautiful woman and I love her to death. She and I are different, I cannot love woman; She is amazing. She is very generous in all departments. In each department.
In her backstage area, there is an influx of children. There is so much love and warmth there..
She sings to me! Every night she sings for me on stage. She looks at me and sings “I still see your bright eyes” in “Gypsy” and she looks straight at me. And we are happy to be reunited. it’s good. She’s glad I’m back on the road. Another girl to hook up with. So it’s all good.
The push and pull between her solo stardom and Fleetwood Mac, how does that affect things? How is everyone in the band handling it?
We all had a shot at it. Lindsay did and I did. Look, I mean, everybody should have their own space and have the freedom to create and do what they want to do, and we all did that. I think it’s important that we all give each other the freedom to do that. Stevie was very successful at that. The rest of us weren’t, and aren’t. Lindsay has had an amazing solo career, absolutely bloody awesome. I want to record that. I loved his solo stuff. We are five individuals doing what we do. Somehow there is chemistry between us and we live and survive on it.