BBC Radio Two Interview
Show: Steve Wright in the Afternoon,
BBC Radio 2 Thursday 8th July 2004
Host: Steve Wright (SW), with Tim Smith (TS) and Janey Lee Grace
interviewing Christine McVie (CMV)
SW: "These are a couple of classic Fleetwood Mac tracks and
then we'll talk to Christine on Radio Two."
SW: Christine McVie is on with us now look, [applause]and err
Christine's just arrived, Good Afternoon.
CMV: [in the distance] Afternoon
SW: How are you? You're going to have to come up this
microphone, you know how to work a microphone don't you Christine?
CMV: Yeah, but I don't have headphones on, you guys do.
SW: Oh, do you want headphones? You can have headphones if
CMV: No, no no, no, How's that?
SW: I didn't realise that a) you'd left the band, and that
was about 5 or 6 years ago right
CMV: That was... yeah 1997
SW: Cause.. y'know Fleetwood Mac we don't really quite know
what's going on at any one time with Fleetwood Mac
CMV: [laughs] Nobody does, that's half the charm I think!
SW: Now, was it acrimonious or was it all cool?
CMV: No, it was fine... I mean what had happened was we'd
already disbanded quite a few years before that, before 1997, then
because of President Clinton... he'd picked up on Don't Stop as
SW: Oh the campaign thing, yes
CMV: Exactly. So they called us up and said d'you guys fancy
performing at the inaugural ball, and if so you gotta come in and
recut the song 'Don't Stop' which we did...
CMV: and we sort of jammed around a bit and played ...and got
SW: [interjects]Yeah...and then you were back
CMV: ...Surprise surprise; and we decided to do 'The Dance'
and that's how The Dance came about.
SW: I mean...We all remember Fleetwood Mac of course from
...it's late sixties innit?... And then it seemed to me what
happened was different band members came in and out and then you all
disappeared off to America that's where the major success had been
in the last twenty years
CMV: We've morphed quite a lot
SW: Yeah absolutely. But consistent has been you, because you
were always the songwriter weren't you, I mean you wrote most of
those..err... hits on Rumours and most of the singles and many of
the hits right
CMV: Well I... err... I bow to that thank you very much,
yeah, I suppose the reality is yeah, that a lot of my songs were
SW :So, are you so wildly rich that you don't need to work
again.. or what?
CMV: I I'm not wildly rich, no I mean I don't have to scrape
around ...and I don't pick up me dole money and things like that but
I'm comfortable... but reached the point in my life where I've done
forty years... loyal service to Fleetwood Mac and it's just time...I
just felt that I wanted to come home and live back in England again.
SW: But if they tour again and they say 'look Christine you
know, you fancy coming in on a few gigs... you would do that?
CMV: We'll they've already done a couple of tours without me,
no... they have asked me and sort of tried to
TS: They gigged last year...
CMV:...break my arm
TS: ..they gigged last year... why didn't you... join them on
CMV: Well they asked me to, but I think... I think I just got
stage shy in the end I just thought' I haven't done this for so many
years I'll probably have a heart attack probably on stage' [laughs]
now, you know
SW :[laughs]Get off!
CMV: No no it's true
JLG: But surely you're gonna, you're gonna do some gigs with
own stuff aren't you, with your new stuff?
JLG :You can't be stage shy, I don't believe that [laughs]
CMV: I don't suppose it's stage shy really, it's
just...stage... tired. I'm quite domestic by nature and I like to be
SW: As a songwriter... who's inspired you over the years? I
mean, clearly there's your style but where did it come from, or did
it just come from within you?
CMV: That's hard, I suppose that it's grounded sort of in the
blues, because, I mean, whenever I write a song there's always some
kind of boogie line in the left hand...
CMV:...that threads through the chords. But then as time went
on, I think I was influenced a lot by Lindsey and Stevie to mix the
chords up and the tempo's and I got very influenced by the
SW: Yeah I can tell
CMV: ...side of things
SW: When did you realise it was time to be radio- friendly?
CMV: I think there's something...ticking away inherently in
the back of my brain anyway that says you've gotta have a hook
SW: it's almost like the intro's are made to sound like they
should come out of a slick jingle[laughs]
CMV: Well... you want them to pull you in to the song and
there I suppose is the secret, if there is a secret, to writing a
good hit song...
SW and JLG: Yeah
JLG: As..As such a great songwriter do you write for other
people? I mean, would it interest you to write for someone totally
different to yourself?
CMV: Yes it would, I'm...in principle I'm completely for
that, but err.. actually [laughs] nobody's ever really asked me
SW: Haven't they?
JLG: I'm surprised...
TS: Well Janey's putting together a new album very shortly...
JLG: I do find that very surprising, I mean your songs are
just...real classics aren't they so it's interesting..
CMV: Well a lot of people...
JLG: .. you're not covered
CMV: Well a lot of people are slightly nervous of covering a
Fleetwood Mac song and I say Fleetwood Mac - I'm using the whole
group, only because once you've heard it, it's hard to sort of
re-cut it, I mean who was it that cut Dreams, Stevie's...
TS: Oh the Irish band..err.. The Corrs
CMV: The Corrs and they did a really great job of it, but in
general I think people shy away from it ' cause they say how can you
SW: tell us, what else is on the album?
CMV: Well it's a relationships album because that's what I
write about, I can't write messag-ey type songs., I run quickly to
the nearest vomitorium if I start to try and do that kind of thing,
I'm not good at it. They're love songs, I suppose the thread is
about one man, different periods during that relationship, and the
feeings that happened...from
SW: it's about Dennis Wilson?
CMV: No no...
CMV: No...Nobody knows this bloke,[ laughs]
CMV:... he's not famous. it's generally about my feelings
towards him and it was kind of a cathartic thing to do you know as a
SW: it could be Fleetwood Mac couldn't it lets be honest,
when we hear the single, it could be a Fleetwood Mac song
CMV:Yeah,I don't think there's ever going to be anyway that
I'm not gonna sound a little bit like Fleetwood Mac [everyone
laughs]... cause , I mean, you said it... I wrote most of the
blooming hits! [everyone laughs again]. No, there is a Mac vibe,
because we're all influenced by Lindsey, I have been very influenced
by Lindsey all these years, and I loved his productions and have
learnt a lot from him.
SW: Well we're going to play a track from the album and then
we're gonna to morph it, as you said earlier, morph it's good word,
write that down morph, I like that word, into the single, so what
track shall we play that is kind of typical of the album's
difference in style ? Then we're gonna play the single
CMV: The Antithesis of it...
SW: Antithesis.. another good word...write that one down...Janey
can write that one down
CMV: The Anthesis of 'You Are' could possibly be 'Friend',
but then there's lots of them
SW: OK... we're gonna play 'Friend' then the single is 'You
Are' and coincidentally that's the first and the second track on the
album so um.. how an I gonna do that for goodness sake, how am I
gonna morph those in!?
TS:... I'll run out and get another album
SW: ...You'll have to get another album and I'll see what I
can do...In the Meantime [Everyone laughs]
CMV: Morph away!
SW: I've no idea what I'm doing! Give our best to everyone in
Kent, Christine McVie... in the Meantime...Christine McVie! In the
Plays: 'Friend' and 'You' from 'In the Meantime'
Transcribed by Rachel Lewis FirefliesUK/fleetwoodmac-uk.com