By Alison Abbey
16th June 2017
The storied history of Fleetwood Mac has been well documented, from breakups and makeups, with a few band member shufflings along the way. But through all the ups and downs, The Mac has always come back together in one form or another. Now, members Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham have partnered up for their own project, the new album Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, a collection of 10 original songs. The duo will hit the road this summer, starting June 21 in Atlanta, ahead of two Fleetwood Mac festival shows in July.
McVie chatted with Parade about working with her old friend, that well-publicized break she took from The Mac and what’s next for the band.
How did this project with Lindsey come about?
I had sent Lindsey a couple of demos of songs that I’d written and he did his Lindsey thing in his studio, made sense of them, and played them to me. I loved them. He said, “Why don’t we go into a proper studio and cut them?” That was the chrysalis of – the birth of – this album. Little did I think I’d end up doing a Lindsey/Chris album, but here we are.
Why did you retire from Fleetwood Mac in the ’90s?
I just couldn’t tour anymore. I didn’t want to live out of suitcases, and I was terrified of flying at that point. I was a nervous wreck by the end. It was nothing to do with the band members, at all. It was just that I’d had it. So I left, and I moved back to England. I bought myself a couple of dogs, and they became my life, but I tripped over one of them coming down the stairs one night and hurt my back. Fortunately there was nothing broken, but I got into painkillers, blah, blah, blah, the same old story, and I was going nowhere fast.
What brought you out of that darkness?
I decided to seek help and go to a psychologist. I talked about my flying problem, because I couldn’t travel. I spoke to him about all my other problems, and slowly I started to come out of this situation I’d found myself in. He said, “If you were to fly, where would you want to go to?” I said, “Well, I’d like to go to Maui and visit Mick [Fleetwood].” He said, “Well, why don’t you buy yourself a ticket?” This is how the whole thing with the Mac started. So I bought a first-class ticket to Maui, and about a week later Mick called me and said, “Hey Chris, I’m coming over to London to do some press for the four-piece Fleetwood Mac. Are you around?” I said, “Yes, and bizarrely enough I’d bought a ticket to come over and see you.” He was shocked because he knew I was terrified of flying. He said, “Cancel that ticket and we’ll fly back together.” That’s exactly what we did, and I didn’t even notice the wheels leaving the ground. Since then, I’ve loved flying.
And how did that parlay into a return to Fleetwood Mac?
When we went back to Maui, Mick was doing some gigs with his little blues band that he’s got on the island, so I just did a few gigs with them and thought to myself, “What have I started here?” It wasn’t that long before I had words with Mick about maybe coming back to the band. So we had a conference call, and everybody loved the idea. It was Lindsey who called me once and said, “Now, if you’re serious about this you’ve got to commit. You can’t be leaving again.” I said, “No, I commit, I commit! I’m serious.”