Categories
Peter Green

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie on Peter Green: “Every guitar player adores him”

The latest issue of Uncut celebrates the mercurial guitarist – and discovers what he’s up to now

Ahead of a major tribute concert at the London Palladium, the latest issue of Uncut – in shops now or available to buy online by clicking here – celebrates the brilliance of blues-rock guitarist Peter Green. Christine McVie, Jeremy Spencer and John Mayall are among the friends and former bandmates who help Rob Hughes chart Green’s course from the British blues boom, through Fleetwood Mac’s early success to the wilderness years and his low-key comeback. Plus we discover what Green is up to now…

Every three months or so, Bernie Marsden makes a two-hour drive from his home near Oxford, heading south-west. He’ll arrive at his destination – an unremarkable house in a quiet residential street – feeling a little nervous. A short while after he rings the bell, the front door opens. “I go, ‘Hello Pete’,” says Marsden. “Or sometimes I’ll call him Pedro. Then he invites me in and makes me a cup of tea. Mentally, I still pinch myself as I walk through the door.”

As former songwriter and guitarist with UFO, Paice Ashton Lord and Whitesnake, Marsden isn’t normally given to starry-eyedness. But these visits are different. The person he comes to see is Peter Green, his idol as a young guitarist growing up in the late ’60s. The fanboy, it transpires, has never quite left him.

Before too long, Marsden and Green move to the front room with their guitars, where they are joined by Green’s neighbour, Paul. “He makes sure Peter plays every other day,” says Marsden. “I think they go fishing together, too.”

The three of them begin playing – a loose jam between friends, with no agenda. Marsden sets a tape running to record what they do: “Last time around we did ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On’, Little Richard’s ‘Lucille’, ‘The Young Ones’ by The Shadows and The Beatles’ ‘Help!’ Then we’ll start rolling into ‘Oh Well’.”

“Oh Well” is the only concession made to Green’s own legacy. Originally released in 1969, it arrived at the commercial peak of early Fleetwood Mac, the band that Green founded during the British blues boom. As singer and lead guitarist, Green was a formidable figure back then – blessed with a preternatural talent that enabled him to assimilate American blues into his own distinct vision.

“All of us in the band realised that Peter was very gifted,” says Jeremy Spencer, fellow guitarist in the original Fleetwood Mac. “I learned so much from him, especially when it came to less is more.” For Christine McVie, who joined the group just as Green was departing, “Fleetwood Mac were like a bluesy Beatles. Each of them carried an amazing charisma, yet Peter stood out. You could tell that Peter had a talent way beyond most other people. He was the one who created the genius behind it all. I thought he was just unbelievable.”

Green left the band in May 1970, less than three years into Fleetwood Mac’s career. His life has taken many turns over the ensuing decades, yet his influence endures. His prowess as a live performer has recently been documented in Before The Beginning – a collection of live Fleetwood Mac recordings from 1968 and 1970 – while his debut solo album, The End Of The Game, is reissued next month. Also in February, Mick Fleetwood hosts a special celebration of Green’s music at the London Palladium on behalf of the Teenage Cancer Trust, joined by a host of famous friends and ex-bandmates – Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Steven Tyler, Bill Wyman and more. “For a man who was only really performing for a total of maybe four years – and you’re talking 50 years ago now – every guitar player I talk to adores him and how he developed his magic,” says Christine McVie.

The only thing missing from the Palladium, in all likelihood, will be the master himself. On his most recent visit to Green’s place, shortly before Christmas, Bernie Marsden took with him a bootleg of Fleetwood Mac recordings, circa 1967–68. “It’s BBC sessions and two American concerts,” he says. “Really good quality. When I mentioned that one section sounded particularly good, Peter just went, ‘Bit messy!’ I imagine that’s what he was like to be in the band with at the time – really tough. But he admitted, ‘Yeah, we were a good little band.’”

Rob Hughes / Uncut (UK) / Friday, January 31, 2020

Categories
Fleetwood Mac Peter Green

Mick Fleetwood announces Peter Green tribute

Mick Fleetwood announces concert to honor Peter Green and early Fleetwood Mac

Mick Fleetwood will host a one-of-a-kind concert honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and its co-founder Peter Green on February 25th at the London Palladium.

Fleetwood has enlisted an all-star cast of musicians to perform, including Billy Gibbons, David Gilmour, Jonny Lang, John Mayall, Christine McVie, Zak Starkey, Steven Tyler and Bill Wyman.

“The concert is a celebration of those early blues days where we all began, and it’s important to recognize the profound impact Peter and the early Fleetwood Mac had on the world of music,” Fleetwood said in a statement. “Peter was my greatest mentor and it gives me such joy to pay tribute to his incredible talent. I am honored to be sharing the stage with some of the many artists Peter has inspired over the years and who share my great respect for this remarkable musician.”

Fleetwood will act as the house band alongside Andy Fairweather Low, Dave Bronze and Ricky Peterson, and producer Glyn Johns will be the executive sound producer for the concert. The event will be filmed for eventual release and directed by Martyn Atkins.

Exclusive pre-sale tickets go on sale Wednesday November 13th at 10 a.m. GMT while public tickets go on sale Friday November 15th at 10 a.m. GMT via Ticketmaster. A donation from the event will go to Teenage Cancer Trust, a U.K. charity dedicated to providing specialist nursing and emotional support to young people with cancer.

Green co-founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 alongside Fleetwood, John McVie, Jeremy Spencer and Danny Kirwan. Fleetwood told Rolling Stone in 2017 that there was little possibility of the original lineup of the band reforming down the road.

“I went there many years ago,” he said. “We got into it and we were going to put a whole thing together at the [Royal] Albert Hall. This is years and years and years ago. Probably about 15 years ago. And right at the last minute, Peter, in the world that he lives in, just suddenly pulled out. … Suddenly it was not a good idea. And we had put a whole bunch of things together, I had even booked the venue. So I would never do that again.”

Emily Zemler / Rolling Stone / Monday, November 11, 2019

Categories
Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

Bright and breezy

ALBUM REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie – Buckingham/McVie

***1/2 (3 and a half stars out of 5)

If you’ve ever wondered what a golden era Fleetwood Mac album might sound like without Stevie Nicks, here’s your answer. From 1975’s self-titled effort to ‘87s Tango in the Night, the Mac’s transatlantic reinvention and huge global success was built on the potent creative relationship between the British trio of Mick Fleetwood, John and Christine McVie and American pair Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Boasting a unique combination of interpersonal friction and natural musical understanding, the quintet crafted some of the finest, most emotionally raw pop-rock songs ever made.

In particular, Buckingham and McVie struck up an immediate rapport, elevating each other’s songwriting as his idiosyncratic musicianship melded perfectly with her penchant for penning melodic, romantic gems. That was most apparent on Tango in the Night, a record that, with Nicks largely absent, was largely shaped by the duo and went on to shift 15 million copies.

Fast forward three decades and the circumstances surrounding the genesis of this release are somewhat reminiscent of that period. After McVie re-joined the band in 2014, she and Buckingham swiftly realised their collaborative spark still burned bright.

A new Fleetwood Mac album might have been in the works, but Nicks was again on solo duty. So, instead we have Buckingham/McVie.

Stylistically speaking, this is a simple sounding record full of immaculately produced, easy listening vignettes that are incredibly bright and breezy. McVie’s musical aesthetic forms the blueprint, with her gifted co-creator reining in his experimental tendencies to complement her easy going pop sensibilities.

“Feel About You” is a bubbly ‘60s bijou with instrumental nods to “Everywhere” and the exquisitely tuneful “Red Sun” offers a relaxed gospel-style chorus that has the air of a soothing nursery rhyme. “Lay Down For Free” finds the pair’s vocal interplay as enchantingly timeless as ever, while “Too Far Gone” echoes “You Make Loving Fun.” Its electronically swaggering groove, brilliantly clipped chorus and tribal drum bursts are an absolute blast.

With Mick Fleetwood and John McVie also playing on the LP, strands of Fleetwood Mac’s DNA are, understandably, woven into the fabric of these songs. “Love Is Here To Stay” recalls a slower, more optimistic “Never Going Back Again” and the sparse piano and guitar strains on “Game of Pretend” immediately bring to mind “Songbird.” “Carnival Begin” is a hazy dream-like number that could have featured on Tusk, with Buckingham’s closing solo his most intense contribution.

Where the simmering undercurrent of love and hate betwixt Buckingham and Nicks always gave their music a certain spikiness, the collaborative vibe here is noticeably more relaxed, enjoyable and carefree. The only downside to such harmony is that these songs are very middle of the road and some will find them far too bland and beige. If you’re looking for a little edginess in your life, feeding ducks at the local park or eating a non-organic apple with the skin on will offer more than this record.

It won’t wipe away the frustration with Nicks for potentially depriving us of a final album from Fleetwood Mac’s classic line-up, but without her presence the dynamics at play on this classy, mature and well sculpted offering do present another fascinating portal into the inner workings of music’s longest running soap opera.

Simon Ramsay / Stereoboard (UK) / Monday, June 26, 2017

Categories
Buckingham McVie Featured

Christine, Lindsey sing ‘Don’t Stop’ with Jimmy & The Kids

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie joined Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and a room full of school kids for a fun, stripped-down rendition of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Don’t Stop.”

Categories
Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie

Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVieAlbum review: Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie is an engaging side project for Fleetwood Mac members.

Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
Atlantic
***1/2 (Three and a half stars)

The sessions that eventually spawned this album might well have heralded the return of Fleetwood Mac – indeed, Mick Fleetwood and John McVie contribute throughout here – but when Stevie Nicks stalled on her involvement, the songs instead became an engaging side project for Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie.

The mood throughout is part sun-dappled Californian sunshine and part crisp English winter, and McVie – who by her own admission turned her back on music for much of her 16-year break from touring and recording – is the undoubted star.

“Carnival Begin,” which closes the album, finds McVie brooding over a “new merry-go-round”, a transparent reference to returning to the recording fold.

“Game of Pretend,” another McVie composition, considers the complex world of relationships, a key Fleetwood Mac battleground over the decades. Buckingham shines, too, particularly on the radio-friendly “In My World,” “Sleeping Around the Corner,” and “On With the Show.” Throughout, there is a clarity of thought and sound that rolls back the years.

Nick March / The National (Middle East) / Monday, June 12, 2017

Categories
Album Reviews Article Buckingham McVie

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie – strange and beautiful

Fleetwood Mac’s last masterpiece, Tango in the Night, relied heavily on Buckingham/McVie compositions, with the group’s third great songwriter, Stevie Nicks, generally absent. Now that McVie and Buckingham are back together in the touring Mac band for the first time since 1997, they’ve reunited in the studio for this succinct collection of gentle pop-rockers, familiar yet far more strange and beautiful than 2013’s brittle Fleetwood Mac EP.

Buckingham’s spidery guitar shivers through “Love Is Here to Stay” and slays the solo on “Carnival Begin,” while McVie’s undimmed gift for melody illuminates every song.

Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
(East West)

**** (4 / 5 stars)

Damien Morris / The Guardian (UK) / Sunday, 11 June 2017

Categories
Buckingham McVie

Listen to Buckingham/McVie

First Listen: Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie

Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and keyboardist team up for a new album

People often think of Fleetwood Mac as a band propelled to artistic eminence by interpersonal turmoil. Who could forget that Rumours, the band’s defining album, was the product of a period of libertine excess and relational meltdowns? Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were on the rocks, Christine McVie and John McVie were divorcing and Mick Fleetwood’s civilian marriage was disintegrating, too. Long before bloggers began parsing insinuating lyrics from Taylor Swift and others who’ve passed through her orbit, there was perverse sport in scrutinizing the wistful, wounded or prickly lines in Fleetwood Mac songs, not to mention group members’ on-the-record comments and on-stage interactions, for evidence of unresolved conflict.

No such history hangs over the pairing of Buckingham and Christine McVie, he a famously exacting guitarist and producer, she a blues-schooled keyboardist, and each of them singers and songwriters responsible for significant chunks of their band’s discography. Over the decades they’ve ventured into a handful of direct collaborations, but they haven’t truly explored the potential of their partnership until now. Their album features most of the band’s classic lineup (notably, minus Nicks), but gets its identity from ideas generated within the closed circuit of the duo; all of the songs are credited to Buckingham, McVie or both.

When McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 2014, no longer content with the tranquility of retirement in the English countryside she’d chosen a decade and a half earlier, she and Buckingham struck up a tentative creative conversation, she sending him snippets of lyric, melody and chord progression, he fleshing them out and passing along his own incomplete song ideas to her. “This was just for me to get familiarized with playing and performing again,” McVie told Stephen Deusner in a recent cover story for Uncut. “One thing led to another, and by the time we knew what was happening, we had six basic tracks in the bag….” Their casual exchange reactivated musical muscles she hadn’t used in a while and reaffirmed her faith in the relevance of her contributions.

In the mythology built up around the music of Fleetwood Mac, McVie represents an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Buckingham a more barbed one, but to reduce them to polar opposites — the optimist vs. the pessimist — is to miss out on the nuanced outlooks that come into focus when they’re working side by side. He remains quite skilled at enhancing shifts in tone with his production. The pensive resolve of his “On With the Show” gives way to breezy resignation with the introduction of sun-kissed harmonies and a crystalline guitar figure. In the propulsive pop-rock number “Lay Down For Free,” he dwells on a lover’s elusiveness, then pivots to buoyant defiance, lifted by the entrance of shimmery vocals and guitar. During “Carnival Begin,” McVie broods in the shadows, until the warm haze of harmonies and Buckingham’s delicate, single-stringed counterpoint illuminate her expression of desire.

McVie and Buckingham make room for unfurling multi-faceted emotions in their songcraft itself. In “Sleeping Around the Corner,” he offers reluctant reassurance, intoning, “If you want me to stay, you’ve got to let me go” over spasmodic digital beats. “In My World” is his melancholy expression of idealism. In “Love Is Here To Stay,” he savors the sweetness of romance in spite of his seasoned wariness. There’s a willfulness to her giddy affection in “How I Feel,” a self-conscious insistence that celebrating the pleasure she takes in another person is, in itself, a worthwhile gesture. In “Red Sun,” she tries to separate out the bitterness from the solace in a lover’s memory. “My mind is filled with journeys, echoed with your smile,” she sings. “No, you won’t take that away from me, even if you try.”

The marvel is that these two longtime band mates can simultaneously stand on their own and exert a gentle pull on each other, expanding our appreciation of them as living, breathing artists, rather than subjects of tabloid-heightened legend.

Listen to Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie’s self-titled new album below and pre-order it now! (Editor’s Note: Original NPR links have since been removed.)

Jewly Hight / NPR Music / Thursday, June 1, 2017

Categories
Buckingham McVie

The Making of Buckingham McVie

Categories
BLOG: For What It's Worth... Fleetwood Mac Original Features

UPDATE: Buckingham McVie out June 9

According to the L.A. Times, Fleetwood Mac members Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are planning to release their first…wait for it…duets album! There’s no doubt that Lindsey and Christine have long had musical chemistry. After all, some of their best songs — “Don’t Stop” and “Hold Me” — have been Buckingham/McVie collaborations, not to mention Billboard Top 5 singles and now SiriusXM classic rock radio staples.

But are they serious? Maybe. Stevie has made it clear that she isn’t in a hurry to release another Fleetwood Mac album, arguably residual effects from the contentious 2003 Say You Will sessions, where Stevie and Lindsey bickered like bitter ex’s (cue: their screaming match in Destiny Rules documentary DVD). The rest of the band is clearly restless to get back on the road and probably hoping to support something besides Rumours for the gazillionth time. So now they’re tired of waiting.

But the proposed name of the album, Buckingham McVie, sounds like a little…cheeky…and far too similar to the iconic Buckingham Nicks brand. And will they seriously go down the indie route again, like 2013’s Extended Play. (Warner Bros. Records is unlikely to back a Fleetwood Mac release without Stevie Nicks.) Sounds a little fishy.

With Mick Fleetwood and John McVie still involved in the project, it seems more likely the latest media bombshell is intended to light a fire under Stevie to finally get on board with a legitimate Fleetwood Mac release. It’s a passive-aggressive approach, but it may ultimately get Stevie to declare, “Uh, not over my dead body! Still, with Stevie’s 24 Karat Gold Tour to pick up again this February in the States, with a possible leg in Australia and New Zealand to follow, the dream of another Fleetwood Mac album with the classic 1975 lineup seems to be fading.

Whatever happens, the latest news adds yet another dimension to the crazy Fleetwood Mac story, whether it’s “the-drama-of-the-moment” posturing or going their own way, once again.

Read more about the ambitious project herehere, and here.

Categories
Article Mirage (1982)

Christine McVie: ‘Without one of us, we’re incomplete’

The singer on the band’s half-finished album, the visitation she had when writing Songbird, and growing up with a psychic mum

Hi, Christine. What was it like growing up with the surname Perfect (1)?

It was difficult. Teachers would say: “I hope you live up to your name, Christine.” So, yes, it was tough. I used to joke that I was perfect until I married John.

Fleetwood Mac’s Mirage is being reissued as a box set for £50 (2). Does that seem like a fair price?

It’s a really nice item! It’s quality, isn’t it? It’s good value for money – you’ve got a lot of outtakes, a lot of previously unheard demo versions of songs, you’ve got the vinyl … a CD, I believe, is in there? I mean it’s a nice package! I haven’t had a good look at it, but the label has given me one to take home. I get a free one!

Have you listened to the demos and outtakes?

No. I’m not a big fan of those things. I know people are interested but for my own personal enjoyment I prefer not to listen to them. My songwriting, when I’m writing, is nothing like it is in its finished form – but you have to start somewhere.

Is the new album finished?

No, it’s half-finished. It’s just seven tracks that we’ve got, and they’re only with guide vocals.

I’m sure I saw a news story about two years ago saying it was half-finished?

Well … Yeah.

Is it the same half?

It is the same half. We’ve been doing a world tour! I’m going back in October to try and finish it. If it’s not finished by Christmas then I’ll go back after and finish it then. We do things in a weird way, I guess.

What’s your favourite of those new songs?

I don’t think we’ve given titles yet.

Would you like to now?

Er, no. I don’t think we’re supposed to. But I like them all, and that’s not a lie. We have a fantastic variety of songs and I’m very, very pleased with what’s happened so far.

Can we talk about Songbird? (3)

Yes, of course.

JESUS CHRIST, WHAT A SONG.

That was a strange little baby, that one. I woke up in the middle of the night and the song just came into my head. I got out of bed, played it on the little piano I have in my room, and sang it with no tape recorder. I sang it from beginning to end: everything. I can’t tell you quite how I felt; it was as if I’d been visited – it was a very spiritual thing. I was frightened to play it again in case I’d forgotten it. I called a producer first thing the next day and said, “I’ve got to put this song down right now.” I played it nervously, but I remembered it. Everyone just sat there and stared at me. I think they were all smoking opium or something in the control room (4). I’ve never had that happen to me since. Just the one visitation. It’s weird.

Have you inherited any of your mother’s psychic abilities?

Well, I believe they were real. She was a healer. I just wanted her to be an ordinary mum, so the less I knew of that side the better, but here’s a story I can tell you. There was an old friend of my dad’s, in Newcastle – this rich old lady who lived in a run-down castle. She had terminal cancer. She sent a pair of her kid gloves to my mother, who wore one during the night, and a couple of weeks later there was a phone call: the doctors were amazed that all the cancer was completely gone.

Did you psychically predict that I would ask you a couple of questions about your reissue before attempting to get information about the new album?

Aha! I did notice you sneaking those in. I was thinking, What’s he talking about? We’re supposed to be talking about – what’s it called? – Mirage.

It’s exciting when a band gets back together, though. Especially when elsewhere in pop you’ve got Abba, whose refusal to get on with it is bordering on trolling.

Why wouldn’t they get back together? I suppose they made all the money in the world – I mean, we’re not doing it for the money either – but I don’t know. Maybe the need for each other is not there. You see, I still think there’s a certain need for each other in our band. In a strange way. We’re umbilically tied together, somehow. Without one of us, we’re incomplete.

What’s your No 1 piece of house renovation advice? (5)

Well, I didn’t do it personally, but I oversaw it. It was a very old house; the beams had to be stripped. It’s subjective. Keep the wood beautiful, I suppose, but there’s so much I could say. That’s the worst question you could possibly ask.

Well, let’s see, shall we? Have you ever been missold PPI?

I just press delete on those texts.

You could have £20,000 sitting around!

I don’t believe any of those things. Anyone I don’t know, in my emails or texts, I just delete. If it’s someone legitimate they’ll send it again.

What are your favourite apps?

[Whips out iPhone in garishly decorated protective case] WhatsApp I adore. I use it all the time with my friends. I’ve got thousands of apps, and most of them I never use. Look at this! [Flicks though terrifying number of apps]

That’s quite an iPhone case, Christine. Did you stick those jewels on yourself?

It’s Dolce & Gabbana, dear!

It’s slightly alarming that you haven’t put any of your apps in folders.

Oh, I don’t do that. You’re talking to a complete phone moron. As long as I can make a phone call and do a WhatsApp, I’m fine. Oh, and I use it to learn a bit of Italian.

Would you like to conclude this interview in Italian?

Ciao, arrivederci. A presto!

Footnotes
(1) When still called Christine Perfect, Christine released an album called Christine Perfect. In 1984, as Christine McVie, she released an album called Christine McVie.

(2) Mirage was Fleetwood Mac’s 13th album. Released in 1982, it was seen as a return to poppier territory after the slightly-all-over-the-place Tusk. The remastered version – in expanded and deluxe editions – is out now on Rhino.

(3) Songbird was originally released as the B-side to Dreams, in 1977. Eva Cassidy had a bash at it a couple of decades later.

(4) Famous opium fans include word enthusiast Samuel Johnson, Piano Concerto No 2 In F Minor hitmaker Frederic Chopin, and US bigwig Thomas Jefferson, who used it to control diarrhoea.

(5) During her 16 years away from Fleetwood Mac, Christine renovated a massive, subsequently flogged Kent property. She now lives in London.

Peter Robinson / The Guardian (UK) / Thursday, October 6, 2016

Categories
Article Mirage (1982)

Christine McVie on Mirage, Fleetwood Mac’s future

Christine McVie on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘peculiar’ Mirage Sessions, new LP — as the singer-songwriter looks back on heady days at Château d’Hérouville, discusses band’s future plans

Christine McVie has a confession to make. The 73-year-old singer, songwriter and keyboardist is on the phone with Rolling Stone to discuss the new deluxe reissue of Fleetwood Mac’s 1982 effort, Mirage; but, she admits, she hasn’t actually listened to it yet. “I just now got my copy of the remastered edition in my hands,” McVie says, calling from her home in the U.K. “But I just moved to a flat where I don’t have my DVD or CD player yet. So I’m unable to play it. And there’s all these outtakes and demos and things in there that I certainly haven’t heard since we made them. So I’m most curious to listen.”

Indeed, the new package is a treasure trove for Mac completists (and, apparently, band members). In addition to presenting the original 12-track album – which spent five weeks at Number One and spawned two of the group’s biggest and enduring hits in McVie’s “Hold Me” and Stevie Nicks’ “Gypsy” – in remastered form, the three-CD and DVD set offers up a disc of B sides, titled “Outtakes and Sessions,” as well as a live collection culled from two nights at the L.A. Forum in October 1982 on the Mirage tour. The whole thing is rounded out by a vinyl copy of the album and a DVD in 5.1 surround sound, as well as a booklet with extensive liner notes and photos from the era.

Fleetwood Mac Mirage 1982
(Photo: Neal Preston)

An impressive package, to be sure, and one that is perhaps necessary for an album that, for all its multi-platinum success, never quite gets its due, having been overshadowed in the band’s canon by the career-defining trio of records that preceded it – 1975’s Fleetwood Mac, 1977’s mega-smash Rumours and 1979’s sonically adventurous double album Tusk. In an earlier interview with Rolling Stone, drummer Mick Fleetwood acknowledged that, in such imposing company, Mirage often gets overlooked – a notion that McVie seems to agree with. “It does, and I don’t know why,” she says. But, she adds, “As it stands today, a lot of people know every track on it. Which is quite unbelievable. So I just take it for what it is.”

McVie spent some time reminiscing about the album with RS, from the “unusual” experience of recording at the Château d’Hérouville outside of Paris, to the “nightmare” of filming the video for her song “Hold Me” in the Mojave Desert outside of Palm Springs. But she wasn’t only looking backward. McVie also discussed Fleetwood Mac’s plans for the future, which may include a new album and another world tour. “We’re just gonna keep on doing what we do best,” she said, then laughed. “Which, I’m not really sure what that is!”

What was the state of Fleetwood Mac going into the making of Mirage?

I suppose we all felt in a way that what we were doing was kind of an homage to Rumours, in the sense that, obviously, after Rumours we went completely the opposite way and made a double album of an entirely different nature with Tusk. And for Tusk we had done this hugely long tour. Two world tours, I believe. Then we all disappeared for a few years. But we have a habit of doing that, Fleetwood Mac. Just kind of taking quite long hiatuses. And as we got together again, I think it was Mick who had this idea that perhaps we should enter another bubble-like situation, which was similar to what we had done for the Rumours album, when we recorded in Sausalito. Just taking us away from familiar things, like our families. There was the idea that maybe something would emerge from there that was completely different. Maybe it would make us more creative. And I think it worked, to an extent. It was definitely an unusual experience.

Rather than Sausalito, for Mirage you went to France. Do you recall anything particular about recording at the Château d’Hérouville?

Well, I don’t think any of us remember a huge amount about it! But I don’t remember there being anything bad about it, how about that [laughs]?

That’s a good thing.

Yes. But, I mean, my recollections in general are of thinking, What a peculiar, odd place to be going. …

How so?

It was extremely odd in the sense that it wasn’t really a studio. It really was a rather beaten-up old castle. We were living in it, and then there was another area that was made to be a studio. And there were wine cellars underneath, which I believe we used as echo chambers. So it was unusual, but it also provided a “come-together” sort of moment. Because we really had no options to do anything else. In Sausalito, at least you were close to restaurants, clubs, whatever. But at the chateau, you were just there. We had the table tennis out, we had some radio-controlled helicopters, we had food cooked for us every night on the premises. … I don’t know, it was like some weird, manic kind of resort or something. But I think we got on really well during the making of the record. The actual recording part of it, there were no particular spats I can think of. And some of the tracks are really good.

One of your tracks, “Hold Me,” became the lead single off Mirage, and it was also a big hit. What do you recall about writing it?

I’d co-written it with a friend of mine, Robbie Patton. And when we first recorded it, it was only semi-finished, really. But everybody liked it so we thought, Well, we’ll lay something down on tape and get the bones of it. What we put down was very basic – there were huge chunks that had nothing in them. And then we just built it up in sections.

In the demo version of the song that appears on the second disc of the Mirage deluxe package, you perform the vocal alone. But the final version of “Hold Me” is more of a duet between you and Lindsey [Buckingham]. How did that change come about?

I think some of these things just happen organically. I don’t think it was a plan. But I do know that when I wrote the song with Robbie, he was also a singer, and he was always singing a lower part. And so at some point it became obvious to me that Lindsey would eventually do it.

Do you have a favorite track on the album?

Yes, well, I think “Gypsy” stands out clearly as the best track on the album. Without a doubt.

Why do you feel that way?

I just think the whole song came together in a very cohesive way. It’s very musical. Very melodic. All the parts are right. It’s just a very beautiful record. And, of course, that video – I know the record company spent a lot of money on it.

Reportedly it had the biggest budget of any music video produced up to that point.

Yeah. And it’s one of my favorite videos of all time. And I don’t mean just of Fleetwood Mac’s.

What do you recall of shooting the video for “Hold Me”?

“Hold Me” was a nightmare! It was the middle of the desert in Palm Springs, in the height of summer. I don’t know what possessed us to do that. But we sometimes do crazy things [laughs].

Did it feel unnatural that you were doing it at all? MTV, and the idea of music video being a promotional tool, was a very new concept at the time.

I’m sure we were a bit uneasy with doing it. To some extent, I’ve always felt that the music should be the thing that creates the emotion in you, rather than a video. There are so many songs that have become massive hits merely because the video is great, while the song is pretty rubbish. From that point of view I think I’ve always preferred to listen to a song rather than look at it. So it was a bit difficult.

The directors of both the “Gypsy” and “Hold Me” videos have stated that they encountered some difficulties trying to navigate the thorny romantic relationships between band members at the time. Do you recall as much?

[Laughs] Well, of course! I’m sure it oozes out over the screen when you watch some of the scenes. Yeah, for sure. And I’d be the first one to admit that none of us were stone-cold sober. There was a fair degree of alcohol and drugs going on. But everyone was doing it, so it was kind of the norm.

“I’d be the first one to admit that none of us were stone-cold sober. There was a fair degree of alcohol and drugs going on.”

In contrast to the long tour behind Tusk, the Mirage tour was relatively brief – just two months in the fall of 1982. Was there a reason for such an abbreviated run?

I don’t know why that was. Maybe Stevie was going off to do a tour. I can’t remember if Lindsey had a tour. But it was short, and then we did another vanishing act for another couple years before we came back and did Tango in the Night.

More recently, you took some time away from Fleetwood Mac, before returning in 2014 for a world tour. What is the future of the band at this point?

Well, we cut seven songs in the studio already for the start of a brand-new studio album. Which we did probably nearer two years ago. We shelved that temporarily and then went on the road and did the tour. And now, actually, I think we’re going back in in October to try to finish it off. Stevie hasn’t participated yet, but hope springs eternal. She’s going on a solo tour at the moment. But Lindsey and I, we have plenty of songs. There are tons more in the bag that we have yet to record. And they’re fantastic. So we’re going to carry on and try to finish the record. And then maybe if Stevie doesn’t want to be part of that then we can go out and just do some smaller concerts.

You would consider doing some shows with just you, Lindsey, Mick and John [McVie]?

As a four-piece, yeah. With a view of doing a huge world tour after that, with Stevie.

And would you expect that we’ll see this new album in 2017?

One would hope so, yeah. That’s the plan. And I can’t wait for it to be finished. It’ll be great. And then we’ll hopefully do this world tour with Stevie. And after that, who knows? But we’re all still alive, how about that? So that’s a start.

Richard Bienstock / Rolling Stone / Monday, September 26, 2016

Categories
Christine McVie Mirage (1982)

10 Questions for Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac

The peacemaker of Fleetwood Mac on Mirage, Maui, and missing the buzz

theartsdesk meets Christine McVie on a sunny Friday afternoon in September; the Warner Brothers boardroom (with generous hospitality spread) is suitably palatial. We’re the first media interview of the day, so she’s bright and attentive. McVie was always the member of Fleetwood Mac who you’d want to adopt: the most approachably human member of a band constantly at war with itself. Readily admitting that she’s the “peacekeeper” in the band, the singer/songwriter behind such Mac classics as “Everywhere” and “You Make Loving Fun” is as sweet and serene as you’d hope she would be.

She’s here to promote the new deluxe remaster of 1982 album Mirage – the follow-up three years on to the somewhat deranged Tusk, which was recorded and released as Christine and John McVie, the band’s bassist, were divorcing. She quit the band in 1998 after the hugely successful live album The Dance, after which she started a fairly solitary life of her own in the English countryside for the best part of 16 years. The first four of those, she says, were simply spent working on the house. It was only therapy and the canny, persuasive hand of Mick Fleetwood that coaxed her into returning after a trip to Maui, Hawaii, where Mick lives close to John McVie, his lifelong partner-in-crime.

The former Christine Perfect had a severe fear of flying that she’s now completely beaten, and as we speak, it’s clear that she’s fairly perplexed about having left the fray for so long in the first place. So what was she doing in all that time exactly? “A lot of people ask me that question!” With a brand new album (their first since 2001’s Say You Will) and a new world tour in the planning stages, it’s clear that the Fleetwood Mac story still has several enthralling chapters ahead. Somewhere near Fleetwood’s on Front Street – Mick’s fancy restaurant in Maui – the drummer must be feeling pretty smug that the ragged band of brothers and sisters he founded are finally back together.

RALPH MOORE: What was the mood of the band post-Tusk?

CHRISTINE McVIE: I remember we did two huge world tours after Tusk. We drove ourselves into the ground physically, and obviously there was a lot of drinking and a lot of drugs, and that just about killed us all, so we took a lot of time off. There was a long time between Tusk and Mirage. Mick went to Ghana to make an album called The Visitor and Stevie [Nicks] made Bella Donna, which was a huge hit for her.

Fleetwood MacBut I think maybe we were under contract so had to make a record at that time, so Mick tried to recreate a similar bubble to Rumours where we were away from our homes, and that’s how that started. The mood? I was quite looking forward to it. We recorded at Honky Château [the infamous Chateau d’Herouville, located 20 miles north of Paris in the Val d’Oise]. There was a big piano there that Elton John had left there, so that was great. I seem to remember we did a lot of mucking around, playing table tennis. The guys from the French Open came down to visit us and John McEnroe also came down – I think I actually beat him at table tennis one night! It was a funny time. I don’t remember any particular animosity. I’m sure we were under contract to do another record so that was the basis of it. And from that, from little acorns the oak tree grew and it turned into a much nicer experience with some really good songs on it.

You returned to the band in 2014: had the dynamic changed?

Well, I just couldn’t believe that 16 years had actually passed. I mean, quite literally, from the moment I stepped on stage in Dublin to rehearse “Don’t Stop” I knew: the eye contact with all the band members, it was like going home. Truthfully. And they felt the same about me. The circle was complete. Had anything changed? Only technically. Vibe wise, I had Mick looking at me through his cymbals, but there was always that gap there on the stage when I left – they hadn’t filled it up with anyone else. That gap when they were touring without me was there every night. It was such a great feeling.

Is it fair to say that you’re the peacekeeper in the band?

I know Stevie always calls me Mother Earth, so possibly! How do I put this…. I have always been the most sane one of the lot, more down to earth, but I think John’s probably even more down to earth now. Peacekeeper? Yeah, I like that title. I do tend to meander around in the cracks! And do I have to be a peacekeeper now? Only occasionally. You always get moments with Stevie and Lindsey [Buckingham], that’s part of their make-up – they are each other’s muses and they have not been together for years, but they have this love/hate thing that they’ll always have and someone has to gently insinuate in the middle.

But Stevie and I are really good friends, in fact I think we’re better friends now than we were 16 years ago. And it’s a fact, when it’s the Buckingham/Nicks show backed by John and Mick, that’s going to cause a lot of tension and stress. But with me in there, it gave Stevie the chance to get her breath back and not have this constant thing going on with Lindsey: her sister was back.

Is it fair to say that Fleetwood Mac is a democracy, but driven for the most part by Mick?

Yes, but you’ve got to have a degree of flexibility. We’re very democratic. If one person is outvoted, you go with it. Mick always says, I’m a drummer, I can’t just sit in a room and play drums, I need a band. So in Maui, he has his own little band and when Fleetwood Mac’s not touring, he plays with them. It keeps him busy.

(Photo: Danny Clinch)
(Photo: Danny Clinch)

In the 16 years interim, what were you doing and did you see the band much?

I didn’t see them very much. First of all, I never flew anywhere. I saw them at Earl’s Court a few years back and sat at the sound board and that was a weird feeling. But I had no sense at that time of wanting to rejoin and at that time it was a relief – but I didn’t realise what pleasure I was missing until more recent days when I made the phone call to Mick and asked, “What would be it be like if I came back?” Fortunately Stevie was dying for me to come back, as were the rest of the band. Lindsey didn’t believe it would ever happen, but when I walked back onstage he did and they were delirious.

But when I first left, I was married at that point and spent four years restoring the house, a big rambling place with gardens – it was quite a project. But I didn’t write very much and the marriage didn’t work out, and I started to find I was twiddling my thumbs in this huge place, bouncing off the walls. So I thought that I’d do a little solo project. I got together with my nephew who’s a good musician and quite handy with ProTools and I thought, I’ll do a little record because I can’t fly, and I don’t want to tour, so we did that in my garage. And that took a couple of years, because we didn’t have a pressing need to finish it.

And then I sunk into isolation and got in a bit of trouble and sought help, and that was when I called Mick. It was healing and cathartic going back into the band. I missed all that buzz. I was also deluded about some idea of being the country lady with dogs, a Range Rover and Hunter boots, going for long walks, all that. Baking cakes in my Aga. It was not what I wanted in the end.

How did you overcome the fear of flying?

I was starting to realise that I was trapped in England unless I went by train or boat – and that I will never be able to see the world. So I went to a therapist and said, “I have to be able to get on a plane.” And he said, “Where would you most like to go?” And I said, “Maui!” And he said, “Buy a first-class ticket. Don’t get on – you have the ticket, that’s the starting point.” And as serendipity would have it Mick said, “I am coming to London” and I said, “I have a ticket to Maui!” So he said “Stay there! And we’ll go back together.”

So I went back with Mick to Maui and didn’t even feel the plane taking off, that’s how unafraid I was. I had some pretty good therapy, and I love flying now! And I did some songs with his little band there, and that was the start of it all. It’s the best thing we could have ever done. In many ways, I think we sound better and the audience reaction is better than even it was before. It’s unprecedented in rock ‘n’ roll that someone should leave and rejoin 16 years on and all five of us are still alive and healthy – touch wood and whistle.

Lindsey Buckingham Christine McVie
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie work on new songs in the studio.

Let’s talk about the new album.

I love every single track we’ve done, bar none. This’s something to me that is really special. Stevie hasn’t come in on it yet because she’s been busy doing something else. Last year, I was in there with Mick and Lindsey and John – John’s healing very nicely now – and nearly completed seven tracks and they’re magic. Seriously, no padding! I’m going to go over again in October to work on it. Stevie’s on tour but we’ve got until next year to finish it because we’re planning a world tour again, for the summer of ’17. I don’t know if I’m privy to give song titles yet, but Lindsey and I have practically co-written everything. Getting the band all together is like herding sheep: to get all five of us in a room is nigh-on impossible. And then somebody will wander out. But it does happen.

Mirage is still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. And what’s great is Fleetwood Mac is now a genuine, cross-generational experience.

The generation gap is phenomenal! Kids are going, “We’d better see them before one of them dies!” The songs endure. I have lots of friends with growing children, even 12- and 11-year-olds and some of them are avid listeners, they carry Rumours on their iPods! Tango is a favourite and Tusk is a favourite of some the weird 14-year-old boys. The demographic is remarkable.

And you still have the potential to play Glastonbury again.

Yes. I think we have been asked but for whatever reason it hasn’t happened, I don’t know for what reason. Would I love to do it? Love’s a strong word! I wouldn’t mind – so long as we could helicopter in and helicopter out!

Fleetwood Mac Mirage (1982)Let’s end by returning to Mirage – where does it sit in the Mac canon for you?

If I have to be really truthful, it’s not catalogued as my favourite but on it are some great songs and some really good memories and it harkens in a vague sense not to the soul of Rumours but to more commercial roots after Tusk, which was the antithesis of commercial. On Mirage we made an effort to have a few more catchy songs. But it’s still a pretty eccentric record when you listen to it. It’s nuts!

The deluxe edition of Mirage is out on September 23rd on Warner Brothers.

Ralph Moore / theartsdesk (UK) / Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Categories
Christine McVie

New Mac album almost ready

Christine McVie
Christine McVie (Photo: Reyhaan Day)

Rumours has it

After 16 years in the Kent wilderness, Christine McVie and Fleetwood Mac are creating magic once again… there’s even a new album in the pipeline.

Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie offers me tea and a seat on a plush sofa. Among the things on her coffee table is a picture book called Crap Taxidermy. There’s a platinum record on the wall, and a stuffed dog looks out from under a side table next to a flickering fireplace.

“Do you like my dog? I found him in an antique shop – he’s 100 years old and I call him Jarvis.”

McVie is a dog person – she had two until recently. “I had a lovely time with them, but do I miss having dogs? Dogs tie you down. Who’s going to look after them when I go on tour?” she says. “I thought about getting a bird – a parrot perhaps – and teaching it to talk.” But McVie doesn’t want to be held back any longer. “I want my freedom now.”

As one fifth of Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie has helped define popular music since the late 1960s. With her bandmates, McVie has written songs that are loved across generations. With 1977’s Rumours, Fleetwood Mac became superstars, experiencing both critical acclaim and public adoration. She explains that there is something about the band’s music, and Rumours in particular, that appeals to all ages. “Parents played the album at home, but kids gravitated to the album as well; and now some of their children are turned on to Fleetwood Mac.” It’s something that McVie is still surprised by. “It’s really quite amazing, the dichotomy of people coming to see the shows – it ranges anywhere from 80 to eight. It’s very exciting.”

Nearly 40 years on, Rumours is an album that still resonates with audiences today – herself, included, says McVie.

“I think people love Rumours – I think that the songs are timeless and ageless. I still love Rumours too; I don’t listen to it all the time, but when I do, I’m always stunned by how fresh it still sounds.”

McVie and Fleetwood Mac achieved a virtually unparalleled level of acclaim and adoration with Rumours, but the road to success wasn’t always easy. “There weren’t that many women around back then [the 60s and early 70s]. It was a very male-oriented industry. I wasn’t in the pop industry at that time – I was playing in a blues band, so that was even more unusual.”

It was peaceful, and I learned about birds. I just wish I’d filled that 16 years with a hell of a lot more. After the house was finished, I was bouncing off the walls. It was an isolating time. I’ve wasted a bit of my life, and I want to make up for it now.

McVie had her first taste of life on the road with British blues outfit Chicken Shack; a gig she held down until she married her future band mate and Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie in 1969.

“We had a Ford transit van and we used to schlep up and down the M1,” she recalls. The young songwriter was paying her dues, living a lifestyle far removed from what she would later experience with Fleetwood Mac. “You couldn’t say it was a life of luxury by any means.”

After a couple of years playing the British blues circuit, the band made the biggest decision of their career. “We moved to America. We thought it would be great to move to LA, because we weren’t doing anything here. We couldn’t buy a gig.”

Soon after the relocation, the band’s guitarist and driving force over the past few years Bob Welch departed, leaving Fleetwood Mac guitar-less. A chance meeting with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham led to the band bringing Buckingham and his lover and collaborator Stevie Nicks into the fold. “I was a bit cagey in case we didn’t get on or something – but we met for dinner one night and we all got on really well. We didn’t even have auditions. The rest, really, is history.”

The tide truly began to turn with the band’s 1975 self-titled album (referred to as the “White Album” by McVie) – the first with Buckingham and Nicks.

The album demonstrated a more pop-oriented sound than before. It was during the writing of Fleetwood Mac that McVie saw the band’s potential to be big. “I remember that I’d written a song called ‘Say You Love Me’. We went into a little rehearsal room in a cellar somewhere, and I said: “Well, it goes like this…’ When the chorus came, Stevie and Lindsey both chimed in with the most fantastic harmony,” says McVie.

“We all had goose bumps. That was the moment when I thought: ‘This is going to be amazing’.” With Buckingham and Nicks, the band took on an unusual dynamic. “The combination of two Americans and three Brits, two girls and two couples as well, made for all kinds of things we never could have expected.”

More than a year after its release, Fleetwood Mac went to number one on the Billboard 200 chart. “That took some time to take off,” says McVie. “Once we started touring, people started to flock to see us, and they would buy the album.” The band was receiving huge support from radio, and was riding a wave of critical acclaim and success before the band began to record a follow-up. “I don’t think people realised, but the ‘White Album’ was number one in the charts about six months before we even made Rumours.”

What happened next is rock and roll legend. Personal relations between band members hit a low; the McVies were in the midst of a divorce; and Nicks and Buckingham’s on-off relationship was strained. “When we finished Rumours, we knew we had something good – but we weren’t getting on very well. Stevie, Mick [Fleetwood] and I would get on great; Lindsey, Mick and John would get on great, but the ‘couple’ thing got quite tense in the studio sometimes.”

Against adversity, Fleetwood Mac made one of the finest albums of their career – and one of the most popular albums of all time. Rumours is estimated to have sold more than 40 million copies. McVie says there is an understanding between them, which leads to memorable music. “What’s that saying? ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. In our case that is true, because there is a great chemistry between the five of us. We’re all different, but we connect musically in a really strange way.”

In 1998, after continual chart-topping albums and lucrative tours, McVie left the band. “My father died in 1990, and I was desperate to move back to England,” she says. “I wanted to be closer to my brother who was my only remaining close family. I’d also developed a chronic fear of flying – and the band knew when I did the last tour that there was no persuading me to stay.”

McVie spent the next 16 years in Kent, restoring her house and looking after two dogs. Now McVie has mixed feelings about her time out of the spotlight. “I could say I have regrets, but then there were quite a few years doing that that I did enjoy,” she says. “It was peaceful, and I learned about birds. I just wish I’d filled that 16 years with a hell of a lot more. After the house was finished, I was bouncing off the walls. It was an isolating time. I’ve wasted a bit of my life, and I want to make up for it now.”

McVie says she came to a realisation. “There came a point when I finished doing the house that I realised I was just sitting in the country, rotting away. I thought: ‘What am I doing?’”

McVie sought the help of Dr. Richard Wolman, a Belgravia psychiatrist who helped her overcome her fear of flying. “He worked with me for quite a long time.” Soon, the idea of getting back with the band began to take shape. “It just so happened that I was thinking about what it would be like to go back to Fleetwood Mac. I called up Mick and said: ‘Do you think it’s possible? Would you guys even be interested?’” Fleetwood was arriving in London and suggested meeting to discuss a reunion.

As part of her therapy, Dr. Wolman suggested McVie buy a plane ticket. “He said: ‘If you could get on a plane, where would you go?’ I said Maui, because I love Hawaii. He told me to just buy a ticket, and said I didn’t have to get on it, but it would be a positive move. So I did.”

McVie flew from London to Hawaii with Fleetwood, who lives on the islands. “I ended up going on stage with his little blues band – he owns a restaurant called Fleetwood’s on Front Street, Lahaina. He persuaded me to play a couple of songs with his band, and I loved it.” Soon she spoke with other members of the band, and the five members that recorded Rumours were reunited.

Since McVie’s return, the band has completed a world tour taking in 120 shows. Now Fleetwood Mac is in the process of recording a new album.

I’m waiting to hear when we’re going to finish [the new Fleetwood Mac album], which I suspect will be April. Everybody has different things going on. But my feet are firmly planted in this record at the moment, because quite a lot of the songs are mine!

“I started sending demos to Lindsey and he worked on them, then we got together to start making a record – we’re talking two years ago now. We only got it half-finished; we’ve got seven or eight songs at the moment, and we’re very, very thrilled with them.”

Fans will have to be patient – getting each band member in the same room is not as easy as it once was. “I’m waiting to hear when we’re going to finish it, which I suspect will be April. Everybody has different things going on. But my feet are firmly planted in this record at the moment, because quite a lot of the songs are mine!

“The songs are fantastic, they have a whiff of Rumours about them. I think people could do with a new Mac album from the five of us.” Once the album is ready, McVie says the band will embark on another tour. “Depending on how decrepit we feel, it may not be the last. We’re all fit, so we think we can do another tour and put a record out – and people seem to love us, so we appreciate that.”

McVie says that playing with the band feels natural, even after so long out of the public eye. “It was strange in the fact that it wasn’t strange at all. The moment I stepped on stage, it felt right – it was like 16 years hadn’t happened.”

According to McVie, there is one song in particular that audiences connect with. “When I do ‘Songbird’, you can hear a pin drop. I’m not saying it’s my favourite song, particularly, but it seems to be the one that I get associated with, because people have played it at weddings, funerals or when their pets die. In all kinds of situations, people play ‘Songbird’, because it’s a little prayer. I wrote that song in 30 minutes!”

For now, McVie is back in London, and enjoying what Mayfair has to offer. “I love it around Bond Street – now I’m back in the city, that’s top of my list: burning some plastic!” As for Fleetwood Mac, she is content just seeing where the music will take her. “It’s a rebirth, in a sense – and it’s fantastic because we’re way over 60. I’m having a ball.”

Reyhaan Day / Mayfair Times / Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

The World’s Highest-Paid Women In Music 2015

The top-earning woman in the music business has been cashing in on a massive world tour, a constant stream of hit singles and a string of endorsements with a slew of major companies, while occasionally throwing thinly veiled barbs at her chief rival.

Sounds like Taylor Swift—but, in fact, it’s her frequent competitor, Katy Perry. Largely because of her Prismatic World Tour, which is now winding down, Perry pulled in $135 million this year. She grossed more than $2 million per city over the course of 126 shows in our scoring period, and added to her total through deals with Coty, Claire’s and Covergirl.

“I am proud of my position as a boss, as a person that runs my own company,” Perry told FORBES for our Celebrity 100 cover story this past summer. “I’m an entrepreneur. … I don’t want to shy away from it. I actually want to kind of grab it by its balls.”

Swift has also been having quite the year, claiming the No. 2 spot with $80 million. More than a year after the launch of 1989—the top release of 2014 with over 3.6 million copies sold—her latest single, “Wildest Dreams,” has ascended to the top of the charts, boosted by a music video with Scott Eastwood. But it was the beginning of her epic 1989 World Tour that placed her so close to the top of this list.

Rounding out the top three is Fleetwood Mac at $59.5 million. Though the band contains three men, it also boasts two high-profile ladies—Stevie Nicks and the recently-returned Christine McVie—rendering the group eligible for this list. Its On With The Show tour included 86 concerts during our scoring period, grossing well over $1 million per city.

“Fleetwood Mac is out there slogging it on the road,” says Gary Bongiovanni, chief of concert data outfit Pollstar. “From a fan perspective, I think that Fleetwood’s core fan base recognized that Christine McVie being back in the group was something special, and worth coming out for.”

Lady Gaga ranks fourth with $59 million, followed by Beyoncé at $54.5 million. The former played 66 shows during our scoring period, also cashing in on deals with Versace and MAC, as well as her own Fame fragrance. The latter’s On The Run tour with husband Jay Z grossed over $100 million for 19 North American dates, giving music’s first couple a nightly average comparable to that of the Rolling Stones.

Top 10 World’s Highest Paid Women in Music 2015

1. Katy Perry ($135 million)
Our Celebrity 100 cover star also claims the top spot on this list, largely because of her Prismatic World Tour. During our scoring period, Perry grossed more than $2 million per city over the course of 126 shows. She adds to her total through deals with Coty, Claire’s and Covergirl.

2. Taylor Swift ($80 million)
More than a year after the launch of 1989–the top release of 2014 with over 3.6 million copies sold—Swift is still selling. Her latest single, “Wildest Dreams,” has ascended to the top of the charts, boosted by a music video featuring Swift and Scott Eastwood. With her 1989 Tour grossing some $4 million per city, she’s got the early edge for the No. 1 spot on our list next year.

3. Fleetwood Mac ($59.5 million)
Though the band contains three men, it also boasts two high-profile ladies—Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie—rendering Fleetwood Mac eligible for this list. The group’s On With The Show tour included 86 concerts during our scoring period; it also boasted a staggering secondary ticket price of over $300.

4. Lady Gaga ($59 million)
Gaga has remained one of the biggest names in the music industry for nearly a decade, pushing limits with her over-the-top performances and fashion choices. Aside from playing 66 shows during our scoring period, Gaga also cashed in from deals with Versace and MAC, as well as her own Fame fragrance.

5. Beyoncé ($54.5 million)
Last year’s On The Run tour with husband Jay Z grossed over $100 million for 19 North American dates, giving music’s first couple a nightly average comparable to that of the Rolling Stones. Deals with Pepsi, L’Oréal and her own Heat fragrance add considerable cash to her plentiful coffers.

6. Britney Spears ($31 million)
The cyborg pop star continues to release new songs like “Pretty Girls,” her collaboration with Iggy Azalea, but it’s her Planet Hollywood residency in Las Vegas that accounts for the bulk of her bucks. She also cashes in on The Intimate Britney Spears, a lingerie line that sells globally.

7. Jennifer Lopez ($28.5 million)
Though she began her career as Jenny from the Block, she’s as nearly as far from music as she is from the Bronx these days: she played only five concerts during our scoring period. Lopez made double-digit millions as a judge on American Idol; recent acting roles include the film The Boy Next Door. With a residency at Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood due to start in early 2016, though, a partial return to her roots is imminent.

8. Miranda Lambert ($28.5 million)
The country star scored Female Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year and Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, part of a huge year full of diverse income streams. Lambert boasts partnerships with Red55 Wine, Pink Pistol and Dixie Darlin, as well as her own line of clothing and pet accessories.

9. Mariah Carey ($27 million)
In May 2015 the golden-voiced diva joined a long line of cash queens in taking her talents to Las Vegas for a residency. Dubbed Mariah Carey’s #1’s, the series is set to stretch into 2016, making her an early favorite to land on next year’s list.

10. Rihanna ($26 million)
After seven albums in eight years through 2012, Rihanna has gone quite some time without a full-length release, and she only played nine dates in our scoring period—resulting in a lower-than-usual finish on our list. That’s set to change with the launch of new album Anti, and likely a tour, in the coming months.

Zack O’Malley Greenburg / Forbes / November 4, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Australia/NZ

Dressed-down Fleetwood Mac out and about in Adelaide

Fleetwood Mac: Supergroup being pretty low-key ahead of their Adelaide concert

Mick Fleetwood
Mick Fleetwood outside The Intercontinental in Adelaide (Photo: Mike Burton)

THE members of legendary supergroup Fleetwood Mac are being pretty low- key during their Adelaide stay.

Heading out of the band’s city hotel yesterday wearing jeans and a T-shirt Lindsey Buckingham, greeted our shutterbug telling him to stay put because “there will be a raft of people for you to photograph’’.

He wasn’t telling Little Lies either because soon after appeared Christine McVie, who is back with Mac after 16 years, with an entourage. Like Lindsey, she was casually dressed and looking relaxed as she left to take in some city sights.

Mick Fleetwood was even more chilled out, rocking a beanie.

Fleetwood Mac is performing at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night and there are Rumours the band will be at the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Lindsey Buckingham
Lindsey Buckingham outside The Intercontinental in Adelaide (Photo: Mike Burton)

“Fleetwood Mac has been invited and inundated with requests to attend Cup Carnival events,” a source close to the band tells Confidential.

The Advertiser / Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Categories
Christine McVie

Kingdom up for sale

Going to go her own way: Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie puts her 19-acre Grade II listed Kent home on the market for £3.5million ($8 million).

  • Christine McVie, 72, has been spending an increasing amount of time in London since rejoining Fleetwood Mac
  • So now, she has decided to put stunning Grade II-listed country home in Kent village of Wickhambreaux on sale
  • She is selling the mansion – where she wrote some solo material following band’s disintegration – for £3.5million
  • It boasts six bedrooms, four reception rooms, a three-bedroom outhouse, two cottages and sprawling gardens

[slideshow_deploy id=’172022′]

McVie, a famed vocalist and pianist, purchased her six-bedroom Wickhambreaux home, dubbed The Quaives, in 1990. She worked on solo material in the 19-acre estate’s converted barn following the continued disintegration of Fleetwood Mac through the 1990s. When McVie moved into the property, it was in dire need of refurbishment, and over the past 25 years, she has overhauled the entire estate.

The star officially left Fleetwood Mac in 1998 and all but retired from public view. She released just one solo album in 2004, written with her nephew Dan Perfect at The Quaives. But now, she has listed her home for sale – less than a year after stunning the music world by rejoining Fleetwood Mac for the On With The Show tour.

Strutt and Parker estate agents, which is selling the mansion, said McVie has been spending more time in London since the band’s reform.

Simon Backhouse, of Strutt and Parker, said:

  • Christine McVie bought this house in 1990 and when she did it was in a bit of a state.
  • She has spent an enormous amount of money on it since then, putting a new roof on it and restoring it to its former glory.
  • She has family in Kent and it’s a very beautiful and private house. It’s quiet and you can’t see it from anywhere so that ticked a lot of boxes for her.
  • The house itself is stunning and the village it’s in is a quintessential chocolate box village.
  • The full Fleetwood Mac line-up have reformed recently and Christine now spends more time in London than she had been doing.
  • She’s looking to upsize in London and downsize in the country.
  • The Quaives is new to the market but already there has been much interest in it.
  • Whether you’re a music fan or not, this is an incredible opportunity to own something very special indeed.

As well as six bedrooms and a converted barn, The Quaives boasts four reception rooms, a massive kitchen, a saloon and a thatched stable. It also features a three-bedroom outhouse, two separate cottages, a tennis court, a croquet lawn, paddocks and extensive gardens.

McVie, who is currently on tour with Fleetwood Mac in Australia and New Zealand, spoke fondly of the property.

“I have whiled away many peaceful days song writing in this tranquil home. Much fun was had by all on the croquet lawn,” she said.

McVie joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970, where she joined her husband John McVie, the band’s bassist, and drummer Mick Fleetwood. American guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and his singer girlfriend Stevie Nicks were added in 1974. Three years later the group released their most celebrated album, Rumours. Fleetwood Mac were one of the biggest bands in the world until Buckingham and Nicks left in 1987.

The band then went on to perform in various incarnations but only appeared again as the full Rumours line-up in September last year. McVie is responsible for some of the most-loved songs including “Songbird,” “Everywhere,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Oh Daddy.”

The singer and her husband divorced in 1976 and she went on to marry keyboardist Eddy Quintela in October 1986. She and Quintela split up in the mid-1990s. McVie has no children.

Sophie Jane Evans / Daily Mail (UK) / Thursday, September 24, 2015

Categories
2015 On With The Show Tour - Europe Christine McVie Festivals Fleetwood Mac

Why we’re excited about the return of Christine McVie

Those heading for the Isle of Wight festival will see something Mac fans feared they would never see again: Christine McVie’s return after a 16-year absence.

To listen to Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie speak, you’d never guess she was a member of one of the world’s most successful – not to mention debauched and dysfunctional – bands of all time. Level-headed and prone to understatement when I interviewed her for the Guardian in 2013, she described the songwriting gift that enabled her to knock out such hits as Don’t Stop and Little Lies as follows: “I don’t know what it is really … I think I’m just good with hooks.”

During that interview, she went on to discuss the band’s legendarily gargantuan drug intake without a hint of romance – “Well, I’d be lying if I said I was sober as a judge” – and described the crazy routine the band adhered to at the peak of their success in similar terms: “You look at tennis players; it’s the same kind of thing.”

So grounded can McVie appear that it’s almost surprising that the songs she writes take flight so effortlessly: heartfelt and clear, they’re given extra wind beneath their wings by her pure, songbird falsetto. This summer, those heading to the Isle of Wight festival will get to see her perform them, something many Mac fans feared they would never see again: McVie left the group in 1998, succumbing to a fear of flying and longing for a quiet life in the country; she rejoined in 2014.

It’s a testament to Fleetwood Mac’s abundance of talent that they have not just survived without McVie and her many hits during this 16-year absence, but delivered storming three-hour sets packed with classic tracks. Great though those shows were, it wasn’t quite Fleetwood Mac. McVie’s songs don’t just stand out in their own right, but also provide a counterbalance to the other artistic directions in the band. Less mystical than Stevie Nicks’ and less wilfully experimental than some of Lindsey Buckingham’s, McVie’s simple songs of love nonetheless brim with a sense of positivity, not to mention an abundance of melody.

Her musical gifts – let’s not forget she’s a skilled keyboard player with a style schooled in the blues – are not the only reason Mac fans should celebrate her return. In a famously fractured band, whose existence always seems precariously balanced, thanks to decades of broken marriages, flings and rows, McVie’s down-to-earth personality provides a steadying role similar to that of her songs.

She always seemed capable of rising above the tangled love dramas that caused jealously and tantrums among the men, and her enduring friendship with Nicks helped the pair to face the perils of being female artists during the sexist 70s. When McVie first left, Nicks said she was heartbroken; today she talks lovingly about having her musical sister back in the band: “When I finish Silver Springs, Christine waits for me and takes my hand,” she recently told Canadian magazineMaclean’s. “We walk off and we never let go of each other until we get to our tent. In that 30 seconds, it’s like my heart just comes out of my body.”

McVie is too key a figure for Fleetwood Mac to have carried on touring without her, and drummer Mick Fleetwood has admitted that her return to the band makes them “complete” again. Speaking to the Vancouver Sun in March, he added that he “couldn’t think of a better ending, when this does end … we’re all on the same page and writing the same last chapter”.

Comments such as this only add to the sense that their Isle of Wight show will be a magical, uplifting and emotional experience. Or “not a bad gig”, as Christine may well say afterwards.

Fleetwood Mac play the Isle of Wight festival on 14 June.

Tim Jonze / The Guardian / Wednesday, 3rd June 2015 

Categories
2014-2015 On With the Show Tour Christine McVie

Christine McVie will record with Fleetwood Mac in March

2013-0916-curzon-mayfair-in-your-dreams2

Christine McVie will be heading to the recording studio with Fleetwood Mac for the first time since 2003 (when she contributed vocals for Say You Will’s “Bleed to Love Her” and “Steal Your Heart Away”), according to Mick Fleetwood via the Maui News. McVie, who officially rejoined the band earlier this month, will start recording with the band in March. In December, McVie told the Daily Mail that she had already sent new songs to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham for tweaking. The band will presumably record a new album and support it with a tour later this year.

Categories
It's Not Only Rock 'n' Roll

Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie attend Jenny Boyd’s book launch party

Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie attended author Dr. Jenny Boyd’s book launch at My Hotel Chelsea in London on Thursday evening. Boyd’s new book, It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity which was published on September 2, explores the creative process of the world most famous and beloved musicians. The book includes new interviews from Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood, among many others.

From Amazon.com:

In this exciting, original and inspiring book, 75 of the world’s most iconic musicians reveal — many for the first time — their thoughts on creating music. Psychologist Jenny Boyd has probed the minds and souls of these artists and has delved into the drive to create, the importance of nurturing creativity, the role of unconscious influences and the effects of chemicals and drugs on the creative process. Music legend who contributed exclusive interviews include: Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Julian Lennon, Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Don Henley, Hank Marvin, Keith Richards, Ravi Shankar, Ringo Starr, Steve Winwood, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and Joni Mitchell.

Buy It’s Not Only Rock ‘n’ Roll: Iconic Musicians Reveal the Source of Their Creativity at Amazon.com.

Categories
Christine McVie Christine McVie (1984)

A fatigued McVie is still in fine voice

A nonstop tour schedule of one-night stands since April 15 has left singer-songwriter Christine McVie more than a mite weary. Her lack of energy was evident in concert Thursday night at Sunrise Musical Theatre, and was the only deterrent to an otherwise fine performance.

McVie was in good voice, right on the mark with her distinctive smoky, sleepy, blues singing style. She was backed by an excellent five-piece band, most of whose members also accompanied her on her recently released solo album, titled Christine McVie. Her repertoire was a well-chosen selection of her solo songs, as well as those she has recorded in her 13-year career with Fleetwood Mac.

McVie’s reputation as a laid-back performer seems to have preceded her throughout her first tour apart from the legendary band. Sunrise Theatre was less than half full, as has been the case at many of McVie’s other stops. This was unfortunate, not only for McVie and band, but also for those who missed the show, an enjoyable and musically proficient package of ballads, rockabilly and basic rock ‘n’ roll.

McVie is more than aware that the tour hasn’t been a big draw.

“Being on solo tour is less and more than I expected,” she said after the show. “Actually, I expected more people, but I’m happy with the response from the people that did come out.”

Those who did made up for their small numbers with a warm reception, which became warmer and louder as McVie seemed to pick up on their positive vibes and opened up, if just a little.

Accompanying herself on electric and acoustic piano, McVie sang most of the songs from the Christine McVie album, including its two singles — “Got a Hold on Me,” which became a hit soon after its release, and “Love Will Show Us How,” now rising on the charts. Also memorable were her album cuts “Ask Anybody,” a haunting ballad that clearly displays the soulful emotion of McVie’s voice, and “So Excited,” a rollicking rockabilly-style number.

For the most part, the songs from McVie’s solo album sounded better than the Fleetwood Mac hits she sang — “Hold Me,” “Over My Head,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Don’t Stop.” “Don’t Stop,” especially, sounded rather empty without Stevie Nicks’ high accompanying vocals.

McVie’s back-up band nearly made up for her subdued manner with an energetic, rhythmic performance. Lead guitarist Todd Sharp (especially notable for some hot breaks), guitarist Steve Bruton, bassist George Hawkins, drummer Steve Ferrone and keyboardist Eddy Quintela formed a tight, balanced unit. When the three guitarists performed without McVie on Guitar Bug, a bouncy rocker a la Chuck Berry, the audience responded almost as enthusiastically as it did at McVie’s encore.

McVie, who said she plans to record another solo album after helping Fleetwood Mac complete its new LP, looked smashingly British in red suede boots, a black and white leopard-spotted blouse, black vest and jeans.

Opening the show for McVie was the Baxter Robertson Band, a five-piece Los Angeles-based rock group with a good beat, some promising songs, and a hard-working lead singer-guitarist- saxophone player.

Linda R. Thornton / Miami Herald (FL) / June 2, 1984

Categories
Christine McVie Christine McVie (1984)

Fleeing the Mac, Christine McVie goes solo

It has certainly become fashionable for members of a superstar band to break out with their own solo LPs.

Fleetwood Mac is a case in point. Side projects have made a solo star of the group’s resident mystic dreamer Stevie Nicks, and won critical renown for the rock eccentricities of Lindsey Buckingham. Mick Fleetwood has jumped at exotic African recording opportunities (for The Visitor) and hit the road with Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo. Unfortunately, Mick also has found himself recently in the bankruptcy courts.

Pianist/vocalist/songwriter Christine McVie, the 40-year-old earth mother of Fleetwood Mac, is a latecomer to the solo LP arena. Now, she’s making up for lost time with an absolutely delicious Warner Brothers release of romantic rock shufflers (Christine McVie), and a tour bringing her to the Tower Theater tomorrow.

Self-doubts, she says, have held her back from solo-land ever since 1968, when last this native Britisher headlined an LP as Christine Perfect, then stepping out from her blues cocoon Chicken Shack.

“People have constantly been saying, ‘When is Christine going to do her album, when, when, when?’,” she says. “But I wasn’t ready when everybody else was doing it. I didn’t want that kind of pressure or responsibility. Also, I’m always insecure about material.”

This, you gotta understand, is coming from the woman who has contributed the likes of “Show Me a Smile,” “Over My Head,” “Say You Love Me,” “You Make Lovin’ Fun,” “Think About Me,” “Hold Me” and “Love In Store” to the big Mac. However, producing three songs for a group project, knowing that your work will be balanced out by two or three other composers, isn’t nearly as difficult as doing it all yourself, she suggests. “I tend to get bored by solo artists.”

So McVie’s LP, carefully planned out in California (a switch from FM’s painful “wing it-in-the-studio” approach) and then recorded in Montreux, Switzerland, and London, is also a collaborative effort. It’s designed, she says to “protect my own interests.” Guitarist Todd Sharp, whom she met when he was playing with former Mac member Bob Welch, co-authored five songs with Christine. Alone or with other writers, Sharp also takes credit for three of the remaining five tracks. “Ask Anybody” is a McVie-Stevie Winwood collaboration. Eric Clapton, Mick Fleetwood and Lindsey Buckingham make instrumental contributions.

“Got a Hold On Me” has gotten the most radio play, to date. Now a very funny video for “Love Will Show Us How,” featuring Paul “Eating Raoul” Bartel as a symbolism-crazed director, is boosting the cause of that song.

The LP’s sound is comfortingly familiar to Mac fans, though a bit happier, overall, than one might have suspected from the often bittersweet McVie. ”There was no particular thing I aimed at. I do have a personal love for close harmonies and guitars. And I do think I might have backtracked toward a blues flavor that’s been missing from recent songs with the band.”

Yes, Virginia, there is still a Fleetwood Mac. The two once-married, now divorced couples in the band (Christine and John McVie, Nicks and Buckingham) are getting on quite amiably, claims McVie (which may explain why recent group albums have lacked the bitter sting of their soap-opera-on-vinyl Rumours.) Another FM group recording project, she says, is scheduled for the fall.

Jonathan Takiff / Philadelphia Daily News / May 18, 1984

Categories
Christine McVie Christine McVie (1984)

Mac’s First Songstress goes her own way

Christine McVie’s current solo album and cheery single, “Got a Hold on Me,” are being hailed as her first work apart from Fleetwood Mac.

But the 40-year -old singer and songwriter, who appears in concert here Saturday, also had a solo effort in 1969 that was well-regarded but which she’d rather forget.

“The Christine Perfect Album” might have sounded too boastful at the time, but Perfect was her maiden name.

Miss Perfect was born in Birmingham, England, to a musical family.

Her grandfather once played organ in Westminster Abbey. Her father began a musical career, switched in order to support the family, but eventually earned his teaching degree and became professor of music at the local university, where he still plays violin with a local ensemble.

Piano Lessons

Young Christine, meanwhile, got her piano lessons.

“I absolutely hated it,” she said. “And my parents eventually let me stop.”

She pursued art instruction, returning to the piano years later when she became interested in classical music. It wasn’t until her older brother John introduced her to some Fats Domino records.

She hung around the burgeoning British folk and blues scene, sang with Spencer Davis for a time and eventually joined some friends in a blues band that became known as Chicken Shack.

Around the same time, she married John McVie, a bassist for another struggling young British band, Fleetwood Mac, and was about to quit Chicken Shack for the married life.

“I was quite happy being a housewife,” she said. “But I had sung a soul ballad on my last album with Chicken Shack, and a British music paper gave me an award for it top female vocalist of the year.”

Managers at the time urged her to capitalize on the honor. So the Christine Perfect album was issued. It was well – received at the time but hardly a hit.

It probably sold more copies when it was reissued in 1977 to cash in on her mega – success as part of Fleetwood Mac.

Didn’t Mean It

“I really didn’t intend to launch that first, disastrous solo career,” she said recently. “I did around 10 shows in pubs and other small venues. Not many other women were doing this sort of underground club circuit in the late ’60s.

“And I was very immature emotionally; I wasn’t at all ready for it. I wanted to be with John. Then there were some personnel changes in Fleetwood Mac. I played keyboards on an album of theirs and then was asked to join the band.”

Her first appearance on a Fleetwood Mac album came, uncredited, in 1969 with Then Play On. On 1970’s Kiln House she took a larger role, providing vocals, keyboards and another talent she painted the album cover.

Fleetwood Mac had formed as a blues band in 1967, but had been changing since the departure of founder Peter Green.

As an official member of the band in 1971, Miss McVie also began to write songs for the first time. They were light, frothy love songs that began with “Show Me a Smile” on the Future Games album and extended into some of the band’s biggest hits in 1976: “Over My Head” and “Say You Love Me.”

By that time, Fleetwood Mac reached a favorable mix with two Los Angeles singer – songwriters named Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, and the first album under the new lineup, titled simply Fleetwood Mac, sold 4 million copies.

Rocky Romances

The success put a strain on relationships in the band and in 1976, the McVies split. Buckingham and Miss Nicks also ended their romance.

It all provided great material for music, though, and the next album, Rumours, sold more than 15 million copies.

In the past few years, drummer Mick Fleetwood, Buckingham and Miss Nicks have turned out solo albums, but this is the first for Miss McVie since the success of Fleetwood Mac. She thinks it will help the band.

“Fleetwood Mac has a reputation for taking a long time. It’s tough with five people with relatively big egos because there’s an almost constant changing of minds.”

Her album, she said, “went so smoothly because everybody was prepared and knew what they were supposed to do. I think we should make demos of the songs just before the album is due to commence. It really makes life a lot easier. I never want to spend a year in the studio again to make one record, that’s for sure.”

The touring band includes Todd Sharp on guitar, Steve Ferrone on drums and George Hawkins on bass all of whom also appear on the album along with Eddy Wuintela on additional keyboards and Stephen Bruton on rhythm guitar.

She connected with Sharp and Hawkins after they backed Fleetwood on his two solo efforts. Guest stars on the record, recorded last year in Montreux, Switzerland, include Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood as well as Mick Fleetwood and Buckingham.

The most recent of Fleetwood Mac’s appearances in the state was in October 1982 at Lincoln’s Bob Devaney Sports Center.

By comparison, the City Auditorium Music Hall will be a much more intimate setting to hear the songs by Miss McVie. Opening the show is Baxter Robinson.

Tickets for Saturday’s Christine McVie concert at the Auditorium Music Hall are $12.75 and are available at the Auditorium box office, Brandeis, Pickles, TIX and Uncle John’s in Sioux City.

Roger Catlin / Omaha World-Herald (NE) / April 22, 1984

Categories
Christine McVie Christine McVie (1984)

McVie juggles old, new at Fox

In Fleetwood Mac, Christine McVie appears as the stable Earth-bound performer balanced against Stevie Nicks’ wild flights of fancy and unfocused demeanor. The rock vs. the roll.

McVie’s balancing number is more than just an act. She is a solid performer on her own as well, as her quiet take-control attitude indicated last night at the Fox Theater.

The sparse, sedate crowd seemed to have the same quiet respect for McVie’s work as did the performer herself. The applause was frequent but controlled, and when McVie performed some of her early ’70s music, the loyal fans sighed in remembrance.

“Say You Love Me” opened the set without much fanfare. McVie played keyboards and other than a few hellos and intros to the songs was silent and determined as she switched from old tunes to songs from her latest album.

Fleetwood Mac brought her to prominence and McVie was wise enough to know the crowd wanted to hear the Mac hits. Once the audience became receptive she launched into some of the songs off her solo album.

The Christine McVie album has the talents of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood contributing vocals and instruments.

“Ask Anybody,” co-written with Winwood, was well-received as was the slightly countrified “So Excited.” Both songs were flavored a little differently than the standard McVie love ballads.

It is the sameness of her songs that is McVie’s short suit. Almost all the tunes are about love — happy love — and most have the familiar Mick Fleetwood drum emphasis.

Steve Ferrone plays drums on her album and on tour. The surprising difference is that on the album the beat becomes monotonous. Last night, his drumming gave a tougher rock sound to many of McVie’s numbers.

Guitarist Todd Sharp was a vital toehold for McVie, saving many numbers from degenerating into bland white-bread rock ‘n’ roll.

Sharp co-wrote several songs on the Christine McVie album and his guitar playing adds a much-needed bite to the music.

This was not a hard-rocking type of concert, yet McVie conveys a tougher image than her soft ballads would suggest. One of her classics, “Spare Me A Little,” proved a powerfully tight song that received spontaneous applause.

However, a new, mellow love tune, “Your Smile is All I Live For,” fell flat. Even Sharp’s guitar bridge on this song was trite and one-dimensional.

Though McVie’s writing tends to fall into the top-40 genre, she brings a living fire and zest to her performance that is missing from her albums.

Ehrenfeld is a free-lance writer.

Marlee J. Ehrenfeld / San Diego Union-Tribune (CA) / April 17, 1984

Categories
Chicken Shack Christine McVie

For Christine, hard work hasn’t made Perfect

Hard work is not always rewarded, as Christine Perfect is unfortunately finding out. Since leaving Chicken Shack to spend more time with her husband, Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie, then forming her own band and touring again, she has not exactly achieved what a lot of people know she deserves.

It’s rather an odd situation as she has a healthy fan following and always does well in popularity polls. One of her main problems is the total unpredictability of the television companies who used to fight over well-known acts but who now make a habit of booking lesser-knowns at the expense of people like Christine.

“I sat down and added up all the points in my favour and it’s ridiculous,” she explained. “They just won’t give me any TV work. They like the records but they have so much power and they know it.”

She can be excused a modicum of bitterness. It must be very frustrating to have the talent without it being given enough exposure. An endless round of one-nighters isn’t quite the same as a few hours in a TV studio.

Mixture

Her last single, “Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)” was released on April 24 and her album is due out in the middle of next month. It has quite a mixture of tracks: a new version of the Chicken Shack hit “I’d Rather Go Blind,” Tony Joe White’s “I Want You,” her single “When You Say,” Ike and Tina Turner’s “Crazy Bout You Baby,” Bobby Bland’s “I’m On My Way” and “Too Far Gone” without the strings and brass. There are also some numbers written by her group which includes the exceptionally good guitarist Top Topham.

But even the album isn’t really making Christine all that happy. When I asked her about it, she smoothed down her blonde hair, creased her brow and replied: “You know how it is with albums, they’re always representative of what you were rather than what you’re doing now… so I’m happy with fifty per cent of it.”

Christine took the decision to go back on the road when she found the contrast between working with Chicken Shack and looking after John and nothing else was too much.

Her first London concert date at the Drury Lane Theatre Royal was a bit of a disaster, mainly because of a compere who calmly announced: “Next is Christine Perfect, I don’t expect many of you have heard of her.” Very professional.

None the less, Christine enjoys working if not the actual travelling and she knows a lot about venues.

“London audiences seem to be blasé,” she told me. “They’re far better further North. Those pubs that have rooms above are usually very good, the kids seem more relaxed. They have a drink or two and don’t have to worry about sitting down all the time like at a concert, they feel freer to enjoy themselves.”

Things should get better, it’s nice to think they will. How about joining Fleetwood Mac, I joked, after all Peter Green is leaving?

She thought this funny and had to put her pint down rather quickly to avoid spilling it. Then she looked more serious and said: “That’s funny you mention that because Peter introduced me to the audience once and I got an ovation. I was amazed. I did a number with them and it went off great.”

Richard Green / New Musical Express / May 30, 1970