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Christine McVie Interview Montreal Gazette 11-22-1978 < Christine McVie < Main Page

Christine McVie Interview Montreal Gazette 11-22-1978

Fleetwood Mac's Christine On love and live


Special to The Gazette


The Montreal Gazette, Thursday, November 22, 1978, p.55


HOLLYWOOD - Christine McVie was married to John McVie, who plays bass for Fleetwood Mac, for more than eight years. They were divorced in February this year.


I went to her mansion in Hollywood the day after John had remarried, to his secretary.


Christine did not seem to mind at all.


"We're much better friends than we were lovers," she said smiling, rubbing her bare stomach with sun oil to make the most of the bright California sun dazzling off her turquoise pool.


Christine joined Fleetwood Mac on keyboards and vocals in 1970. Before that, as Christine Perfect, she had fronted an English blues band Chicken Shack.


"There's no point in feeling bitter about divorce" she went on. as we leafed through pictures of what looked like a very merry wedding party. "What has come out of it is better than what we had."

She has lived with Fleetwood Mac's light­ing director, for the past three years.


"John and I were happy for a long time in our marriage," she said. "But when it start­ed to go wrong it was almost a relief when we separated. It was one less pressure to think of.


"I blame the pressures of success for the break-up of our marriage. Seeing each other all the time, never having a break from each other is very difficult. You see the other person at their worst.


Crazy or drunk


"If you get crazy or drunk you have to see the hangover the next morning. You have to go through the whole day together and then work."


Christine is very down to earth, matter of fact and British. She stocks her massive fridge with Newcastle Brown and Guinness even in the heart of Hollywood, and lives in a home which looks like a Cotswold manor house, with sweeping lawns and rosebeds and wisteria dangling from the beams.

The only difference between here and Oxfordshire is the weather, the lurid intensity of the greens, the perfect symmetry of the roses, and the heat of the pool.


Did she ever want to exchange success and excess for a little patch of land back home?


She laughed. "Why should I want to go back and live in England? I have every pos­sible reason for staying here. All my friends and my work is here, and I've definitely es­tablished my home here.


"Now, as opposed to being non-resident aliens, which we were for a long time, we are resident aliens which means we walk around with antennae on our heads!''


She feels accepted and appreciated by America.


"Over here people take you for what you are, for your talent. They don't worry about which sex you are. I think there definitely used to be a lot of sexual discrimination in England, especially in the days when I was playing with Chicken Shack.


"It was very unusual to have a lady in a blues band. In rock and roll it was more acceptable because there were always female back-up singers.


"Now the industry has grown to such an incredibly affluent level, life isn't made nearly so hard for successful women. You don't have to truck around in a bus all night and lose your beauty sleep.


"We get packed off into a limo. We have our own plane and stay in deluxe hotels with security men posted outside our doors.


"When I started it was tough, tough, tough. I know a lot of women that tried it thought. Oh no, this life is not for me.' "


But it was for Christine. She has always been singing, playing piano, writing songs. She came up the hard way so it doesn't seem so bad to be contemplating a tour of Russia by private plane.


"The lesson I learned most from my early days was patience," she says. "In this business you are always waiting for something. Things get canceled, postponed.


"I've learned to curb my temper and just accept things, let them ride. At the beginning we were too busy scrubbing around trying to earn 5 to be waiting for anything."


It all started for Christine when her father, who was a musician, sent her to piano lessons when she was a child. She played classical piano, but her brother liked jazz and influenced her taste.


While she was studying sculpture at art college she met the group of musicians who eventually formed Chicken Shack.


"I left art school as a qualified sculptress," she continues. "But you can't exactly go out and get a job as a sculptress so I ended up doing window display at Dickens and Jones."


Crushing boredom caused her to leave Regent Street for Chicken Shack. which was a fairly successful band.  


When she met, fell in love with , and then in 1970, married John McVie, she became a vital part of the sound of Fleetwood Mac.


Now John and Christine have split up as man and wife. So have Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, the other long-standing "pair" in the group. The obvious conclusion is that it is hard to maintain a strong one-to-one relationship in a rock and roll band.


New album

So how do they start work on a new album, a follow-up to the most successful sound ever to be recorded?


"As a group we communicate well." says Christine. "We have to, because we're thrown into each others' paths every day. We have to work things out. Most people when they separate rarely see each other. In fact they avoid each other like the plague, especially if they get divorced.


"But John and I had to see each other. We had to very quickly re-establish our friend­ ship, which we did."


She has no children to complicate matters and says that although she will be 35 this year, she has not desire for any of her own.


"I'm too set in my ways." she shrugs her shoulders. "I don't intend to leave Flee­twood Mac until it crumbles on its own.


"Besides. I'm a night owl. The thought of getting up at 7:30 .. . sometimes I don't go to bed until then! To a lot of women it's a wonderful form of self expression and creativity to have kids. But I have that in other fields.


"I've got so many godchildren and children related to me I don't really need or desire to have any of my own. Mick and Jenny Fleetwood's kids are closer even than my blood relatives because I see them more often and I love them.


"1 have absolutely no desire to give birth. In fact the thought scares me. It's such a massive responsibility


1 also feel that to have a first baby at 35 is really a dumb thing to do unless I really wanted that more than anything in the world, and I don't.


I've been sterilized," she told me calmly. "That was a big decision. But I'd already decided about not having kids and all the hassle of birth control was making me crazy."


One of the problems for any rock star, male or female, married or single, is constant recognition, the reality of suddenly not being able to go anywhere, even the super market, without being recognized, the constant threat of assault from fans and groupies.


"I don't get bothered by them too much." says Christine, "although Stevie does some­ times. But we're so well protected by security guys we don't get really hustled. It does seem cruel to some fans, but when you only have an hour to get ready, you can't stop and talk to someone in the hotel lobby.


She says that though she likes to rave, this rest has made her feel more of a recluse.


"I think I'll probably stay here for the rest of my life' " she says.


"Rock and roll has taken over from the old Hollywood era of the Twenties. There's room for as many women as can handle it."

Solo News Agency


Thank you to ejb1969, for this article

Date: 1978-11-22         Number of views: 2408

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