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Christine Interview with the Florida Sun-Sentinel < Christine McVie < Main Page

Christine Interview with the Florida Sun-Sentinel
Penguin

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, November 6, 1987

Section: FEATURES SHOWTIME


FLEETWOOD MAC `ABLE TO EXPAND`
JUAN CARLOS COTO, Special to the News/Sun-Sentinel

`The beauty of this band is that we do whatever we want; I don`t think we`ve ever been scared to try things,`` says singer, songwriter and pianist Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac. ``We never restrict ourselves. That`s the joy of it.``

From their first straight-ahead blues to the current sophisticated strains of Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac`s 20-year career (McVie has been with the band for 17 years) has not only proven its diversity, but its resiliency.

In a phone interview from Montreal, where the band was playing during its 2 1/2-month tour of the United States, McVie talked about the ``new`` Fleetwood Mac.

``Through the years, Fleetwood Mac has been able to always expand,`` says the 44-year-old musician. ``In that sense I think that the band can only grow, since we now have two more writers and we`re going to take on another dimension all together.``

Those new members are lead guitarist Rick Vito and lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Billy Burnette. The remaining members of the band include John McVie on bass (Christine`s former husband), Stevie Nicks, vocals, and Mick Fleetwood on drums.

During their show at the Hollywood Sportatorium tonight, Burnette will perform in place of Lindsey Buckingham, the 12-year Mac member who announced last month that he would not tour with the band because of solo obligations.

Vito also will sing tonight, performing some vintage Fleetwood Mac songs by Peter Green, a founding member who left the group in 1971.

``We`re having a ball,`` Christine McVie says of the tour. ``We`ve been received so well. People are very forgiving about the fact that Lindsey isn`t with us anymore. After the second song, they`ve completely forgotten about him, it seems.``

Buckingham had been recognized as a driving force in the band. He produced Tango in the Night and wrote or co-wrote seven of 12 cuts on the LP.

But according to McVie, the split wasn`t bitter. ``It`s another chapter,`` she says. ``Lindsey is just not too crazy about touring -- there are certain aspects of this business which he`d just as soon not be involved with.``

This is Fleetwood Mac`s first tour in five years. For much of the `80s, the band has been on the shelf, allowing for solo careers by Buckingham, Nicks, Fleetwood and Christine McVie.

Her self-titled 1984 solo album was a success, producing the Top 10 single, Got a Hold on Me, but she still says she was happy to return to the group.

``I`ve not been too crazy about solo careers. I enjoy having my band, you know?`` says the accomplished songwriter, who likes to cook and paint when she`s not writing hit tunes.

--

McVie joined her first band, Sounds of Blue, during the British blues boom of the early `60s. She formed the group with her classmate at Birmingham Art College, Chris Wood, who went on to play saxophone and flute for Traffic.

Although the then-18-year-old McVie was the Sounds of Blue bassist, piano became her dominant instrument when she joined another blues group, Chicken Shack, in 1969.

``I went out and bought every Freddie King record I could find,`` McVie says of her early research for learning blues piano.

In addition to listening to King and Sonny Thompson, this daughter of a classical music professor played her favorite ``boogie lines`` from Fats Domino song books to help get a handle on the keyboard.

``My father wasn`t too crazy about the idea, but I went on pursuing it.``

And did she ever. Not only is she practicing mandolin in the hopes of adding it to her list of instruments, but McVie`s songwriting has played an important role in Fleetwood Mac`s success.

She has her hand in five songs from Tango in the Night, most notably the band`s current single, Little Lies. She also penned Everywhere, a tune she says may be the next release.

``I don`t set myself any restrictions, I just kind of sit at the piano and wait until I hear a chord change that I like,`` McVie says of her writing.

She often completes a song by piecing together melodies she records in a small studio at home. McVie co-wrote Little Lies with Eddy Quintela, the man she married a year ago. They live in Los Angeles. ``We`re pals first, which I think is important,`` McVie says of their relationship in and out of the music scene.

``When I write songs,`` McVie says, ``I`m very aware of the kind of blues lines that I`m playing, even though they`re a lot more submerged (than in the early days). I think I write a lot more commercially than I used to.``

McVie says there`s a certain formula in which she finds herself writing. ``I like to hear `hooky` lines and I tend to repeat them when I know they`re a hook,`` she explains.

The best example of that hook may be Little Lies, a song with a refrain that immediately chisels itself on the mind.

Still, McVie insists that she has not been forced to conform. ``I think I just always write what I feel like writing,`` she says.

If she had to pick an all-time favorite composition, it would be Songbird, from the pre-Buckingham-Nicks era of the band. But she confesses, ``I like them all. The ones that I don`t like don`t see the light of day.``

At least three songs from the new album -- Little Lies, Seven Wonders and Isn`t It Midnight -- will see the light during tonight`s show, McVie says.

They`re only a drop in Fleetwood Mac`s musical bucket though, one that is filled to the rim with two decades of doing everything from singing the blues to dancing a little Tango in the Night.


Date: 1987-11-06         Number of views: 1361

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