Stevie Nicks: “Without Christine there is no chance of putting Fleetwood Mac back together.”

Stevie Nicks speaks exclusively to MOJO about the “devastating” loss of her Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie and what it means for the future of the group.

Fleetwood Mac's Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks 2018

by Bob Mehr |
Updated on

Speaking exclusively in the latest issue of MOJO, Stevie Nicks describes the “devastating” loss of her Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie and what it means for the future of the band.

“It was all stunningly strange, because there wasn’t any lead up to it,” says Nicks of McVie’s death following a stroke in Autumn 2022. “We got a call, and I was going to rent a plane and go see her, but her family said, ‘Don’t come, because she may not be here tomorrow.’ And the next day, she passed away.

“I wanted to go there and sit on her bed and sing to her – which definitely would have made her pass away faster,” jokes Nicks to MOJO’s Bob Mehr through tears. “But I needed to be with her. And I didn’t get to do that. So that was very hard for me. I didn’t get to say goodbye.”

Since McVie’s death Nicks has been adamant that she no longer considers Fleetwood Mac a going concern. “Without Christine, no can do,” she says. “There is no chance of putting Fleetwood Mac back together in any way. Without her, it just couldn’t work.”

While Fleetwood Mac operated successfully between 1998 and 2014 largely without McVie, her absence heaped more onus on Nicks and Buckingham to front the band in tandem.  But, as she explains, a détente between her and Buckingham wouldn’t necessarily clear the way to a final tour.

Following the guitarist’s exit from the band in 2018, his place in Fleetwood Mac’s last tour was taken by The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn, while Nicks and Buckingham last crossed paths at a memorial service for McVie in early 2023.

“Even if I thought I could work with Lindsey again, he’s had some health problems,” says Nicks, referring to Buckingham’s emergency open heart surgery in 2019. “It’s not for me to say, but I’m not sure if Lindsey could do the kind of touring that Fleetwood Mac does, where you go out for a year and half. It’s so demanding.”

Nicks own solo tour returns to Europe for a run of dates this summer, including her headlining show at London's Hyde Park on July 12.

“I do [Landslide] and we have beautiful video montage of me and Chris,” says Nicks of her current set. “I can never look at it, though, when I’m singing, because I’ll just get hysterical and sob. The world is a little bit of an empty place without her.”

Although she’s lost several musical comrades in recent years, including Tom Petty, Nicks continues to find connection in her band, which includes decades-long collaborators Sharon Celani and Waddy Wachtel.

“When I walk on stage, I couldn’t be prouder of my band,” says Nicks. “I mean, I would rather not be freed up from Fleetwood Mac, because of Christine. But I’m in a place where I can concentrate on my solo work. I can do anything I want now, and not have to worry about stopping and going back to Fleetwood Mac.”

At the same time, Nicks admits that “Fleetwood Mac is all over my set. Now that there is no more Fleetwood Mac, that opens the door for me to do other songs, like The Chain, that I’ve never done [solo]. I will keep the music of Fleetwood Mac alive, for as long as I can.”

Speaking to MOJO in April, Neil Finn described his shock at being invited to take Buckingham’s place in the band.

“I was gobsmacked. I was 60 and I’d had a wonderfully diverse musical life when Mick [Fleetwood] called and said, ‘We’ve got rid of Lindsey, would you play with us?’” he told MOJO’s John Aizlewood.

Finn’s tenure with the band ended before Christine McVie’s passing and he’s since returned to Crowded House, who released their eighth studio album Gravity Stairs last month. However, Finn appears to back up Nicks’ assertion that – for the time being at least – Fleetwood Mac are not a going concern.

“[Fleetwood Mac] doesn’t currently exist, but when I was there Mick carried the flag. He always has and he’s the heart and soul,” said Finn.

“Yet Stevie’s the leader in many ways, because Stevie wants it the way Stevie wants it and that’s the way it’ll be. She couldn’t bear to be in a band with Lindsey anymore, but she still wanted to do it exactly the way he would have. It was more difficult for Mike Campbell: she was really happy with the way it sounded between me and her, but she put a lot of pressure on Mike to be more like Lindsey. Sometimes Mike’s solos would go on and Stevie would get exhausted playing tambourine. She’d be, “Fucking hell, Lindsey only did 12 bars!”

“Rumours was a lot to experience – and all happened very fast. In a way, it still seems sort of unreal…” Stevie Nicks relives her rollercoaster ride in rock ‘n’ roll, from her first musical excursions, the wild success of Fleetwood Mac, solo stardom, fallen friends, Barbie and more. Read the full interview only in the latest issue of MOJO. More info and to order a copy HERE!

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