Amid the various personal upheavals for which the members of Fleetwood Mac are known, one relationship animated the band for decades: the friendship between its two frontwomen, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks.
McVie joined the band in 1970 during one of its early lineup changes and remained its only woman for years. When Nix was added to the lineup in 1975, the two became fast friends.
They had no competitive relationship, but a sisterly relationship—both women were talented songwriters, responsible for crafting many of the band’s best-known tunes. Although the two separated in the 1980s amid Nick’s worsening drug addiction and increasing internal tensions within the band, they got back together when McVie returned to Fleetwood Mac in 2014.
At a concert in London, shortly before McVie officially joined the band, Nicks dedicated the song “Landslide” to his “mentor”. Big sister Best friend.” And at the end of the show, McVie was there, along with his bandmates, for “Don’t Stop.”
Nick told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2015, “I never want her out of my life ever again, and it has nothing to do with music and everything to do with her and my friends.”
On Wednesday, “Songbird” McVie of the band died at the age of 79 after a brief illness.
The story of Nick joining Fleetwood Mac is now legend: the band’s founder and drummer Mick Fleetwood wanted to recruit guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, who stipulated that he would only join if his girlfriend and musician Nick could also join. . McVey cast the deciding vote, and the rest is history.
McVie told the Guardian in 2013, “It was important that I got on with her because I’ve never played with any other girl.” “But I liked her immediately. She was funny and nice but there was no competition either. We were completely different on stage and we wrote differently.
During the band’s many personal complications—McVie married and divorced Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie and had an affair with the band’s lighting director, while Nicks had a rollercoaster romance with Buckingham and Fleetwood—they grew close to each other. The centers were
“To be in a band with another girl who was this amazing musician — (McVie) instantly became my best friend,” Nicks told The New Yorker earlier this year. “Christine was a whole different ball game. She liked hanging out with boys. She was more comfortable with men than she ever was.
The two protected each other, Nick said, in a male-dominated industry: “We made a pact early on, that we would never be disrespected by all the male musicians in the community.
“I would tell him, ‘Together, we are a serious force of nature, and that will give us the strength to tread the waters that lie ahead of us,'” Nick told The New Yorker.
“Rumours” was the band’s biggest success to date when it was released in 1977. While the pair were breaking up with their significant others, Nick and McVey relished their time together.
The Guardian asked McVie if she was trying to assuage the band’s furore over “Rumors” with her lyrics, which included “You Make Lovin’ Fun” and the optimistic “Don’t Stop”. He said she probably was.
The band’s dynamics became strained as several members’ drug use escalated. McVie distanced herself from the group in 1984 amid her bandmates’ addictions, telling the Guardian she was “just sick of it.” Meanwhile, Nick was becoming dependent on cocaine.
McVie told Rolling Stone that year that she had split from Nick: “It’s like he’s developed his own fantasy world, somehow, that I’m not a part of. We don’t socialize much.
In 1986, Nick checked into the Betty Ford Center for treatment for her addiction, although she later became addicted to Klonopin, which she said claimed years of her life. He gave up on prescription drugs in the 1990s.
After recording some solo work, McVie returned to Fleetwood Mac for their 1987 album “Tango in the Night”, and two of his songs on that record – “Little Lies” and “Everywhere” – became major hits. But Nick soon left the band, and the band’s best-known lineup did not officially reunite until 1997 for “The Dance” tour and subsequent live album.
The reunion was short-lived: after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, McVie officially left Fleetwood Mac, citing a fear of flying and exhaustion of life on the road.
In the 2010s, after more than a decade in retirement, McVie toyed with a return to performing. He officially joined Fleetwood Mac after calling Fleetwood himself and learning what his return would mean for the group.
“Luckily Stevie was Die For me to come back, as the rest of the band,” she told Arts Desk.
In 2015, a year after rejoining Fleetwood Mac, McVie hit the road with his bandmates. Touring with the group was exhausting but fun, the first time they had performed together in years.
“I’m just here for Stevie,” she told The New Yorker that year.
Nick agreed: “When we went down the road, I realized what a good friend I had lost and didn’t realize the full consequences of until now,” she told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2015. .
During that tour, McVie wore a silver chain that Nicks had given him—a “metaphor,” McVie told The New Yorker, “that the band’s chain would never be broken. Not by me, anyway. By me.” not again.
McVie told Arts Desk in 2016 that she and Nick were “better friends now than they were 16 years ago.”
Touring with Buckingham and Fleetwood could quickly be tumultuous for Nicks, McVey said, due to their shared history. “But with me there, it gave Stevie a chance to get his breath back and with Lindsay it wasn’t constant: her sister was back,” she said.
Their mutual admiration continued: In 2019, McVie said that Nicks was “incredible” on stage: “The more I watch her perform on stage, the better I think she is. She holds the fort.
When their 2018-2019 tour ended, though — without Buckingham, who was fired — the band “kind of broke up,” McVie told Rolling Stone earlier this year. She said that she didn’t talk with Nick as often as they did when they were on tour together.
For the reunion, McVie told Rolling Stone that while that was not off the table, she did not feel “physically ready for it”.
“I’m getting a little long in the tooth here,” she said. “I am very happy to be at home. I don’t know if I ever want to tour again. It’s hard work.
The news of McVie’s death leaves Nick in shock wrote that he had only known a few days earlier that McVie was ill. She called McVie “the best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975”.
On his social media accounts, Nicks shared a handwritten note containing lyrics from the Haim song “Hallelujah”, some of which discussed grief and the loss of a best friend.
“See you on the other side, my love,” Nicks wrote. “Don’t forget me – always, Stevie.”