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Tribune (9/24/1997), McVie says time is right for big Mac reunion < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Tribune (9/24/1997), McVie says time is right for big Mac reunion


McVie says time is right for big Mac reunion

By Lynne Margolis

When Fleetwood Mac announced plans for a new album, tour and video, it wasn't a far leap to make the assumption there was something special behind it. Dollar signs. After all, everyone knows what happened when hell finally froze over for the Eagles: The money was so good, the band's once-in-a-lifetime reunion turned into repeat concerts in many markets.

Then there were the Beatles. A video box set and three anthology albums put them on the Forbes magazine list of the top-earning entertainers more than 25 years after they were last together. Kiss did it. Styx did it. Even Hall and Oates are, to borrow their own words, back together again. Well, why not Fleetwood Mac?

Remember the Rutles, the parody band with a "mockumentary" titled "All You Need is Cash?" Christine McVie has already heard it. And she's not gonna take it. "I'm quite sure there are cynics out there who are going to be saying that," McVie said via telephone recently. "But we know why we're doing it. We're doing it as a celebration."

If nothing else, she said, the band is putting closure on a lot of unresolved issues from 15 years ago, when broken relationships, too much drug use and egos run amok caused fissures that eventually split the band apart. "What we're doing is celebrating each other's music," McVie, former wife of band co-founder John McVie, said.

"Obviously, there's money involved, but that is not our primary reason for doing that at all," she insisted. If people want to think that, she added, "I don't care."

The two McVies, co-founder Mick Fleetwood and the rest of the most renowned Mac lineup, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, are also at work mending old wounds, rehashing the old days and sharing their mutual love. "It's a rush that you can't believe," McVie said of being together again. "Especially when we heard the news yesterday. We almost cried."

She was referring to learning, the day before, that the band's new album, "The Dance," entered Billboard magazine's Top 200 album chart at No. 1. To say the band was surprised was putting it mildly, McVie said in her light British lilt. "I think our status was suspended disbelief. I'm sort of in a state of shock. ... I just can't even describe to you how we feel. It's unbelievable. We're all walking around looking at each other with new eyes."

They even went out and celebrated together.

While the band first reunited to perform at President Clinton's inaugural - their song "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)" was his campaign theme - McVie said that wasn't where the seed of reformation got planted. It came later, when Fleetwood was asked by Buckingham to help out on a solo album. "The obvious natural progression from that was the bass player," she said. John McVie joined in, then Christine was invited to help.

"It ended up with all of us being involved," she said. Then Buckingham assisted his former paramour, Nicks, on her solo project. You can fill in the yada-yadas for the rest. "You don't want to tempt providence," McVie said, "but at the moment, everything is going really, really well."

Issues that were important 20 years ago, when the band was riding high on the success of what became the third-best-selling album in history, "Rumours," and on copious amounts of cocaine and alcohol, just aren't so relevant anymore, she said. Freely admitting the band's past drug use ("if you didn't do drugs, you were weird"), McVie said while it didn't take much to ignite an argument then, "life in general is sweeter now."

She's working with her current husband on restoring a house in England and has written more than 40 songs for a solo album, now on hold.

As for the old Fleetwood Mac tunes, the ones from the era before the Buckingham-Nicks duo joined, they won't get an airing on this tour. To do that would sell short the songs from the band's heyday, McVie said, admitting, "It's a difficult choice. I agree with you. I would love to do `Crazy Love.'"

A few new songs will be added, however. Some are on "The Dance," cleverly designed with cover art closely resembling the "Rumours" cover. (Not coincidentally, this reunion comes on the 20-year anniversary of that album.) "That was a little bit camp, a little bit cheeky. That was Mick's idea," McVie said. They also considered re-creating the famous Rolling Stone magazine cover shot of them all in bed together - which, at one time, wasn't far from the truth.

They backed off on that, but they're still stirring it up some. For "The Dance" video, originally aired on MTV, the band brought in its own band - the University of Southern California Trojans Marching Band - for the encore songs "Tusk" and "Don't Stop." In their Ben-Hur helmets, crimson capes, sunglasses and funky moves, the USC band is a highlight of the 106-minute video. And it certainly lightens up what threatened to lapse into sugary sentimentalism.

But who can blame Fleetwood Mac's members if they're feeling affectionate? It's not every day you can reunite with ex-bandmates (not to mention lovers) and top the charts again. Come to think of it ... is the devil still wearing that sweater the Eagles gave him?

Thanks to Lisa Wellman for the submission.

Date: 1997-09-24         Number of views: 845

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