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When Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham first joined Fleetwood Mac, they were struggling musicians who helped propel the band to megastardom. After years of weathering the wear and tear of drugs, failed romances, and fame, the band’s iconic lineup dissolved. When Christine McVie decided to quit Fleetwood Mac, she complained that the group’s two Americans took themselves far too seriously.

Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie wear black and pose together in front of a red background.
Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks grew close when they first joined Fleetwood Mac

Not long after Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, their relationship imploded. McVie and John McVie were also going through a divorce. Because of the tense dynamic, Nicks and McVie stuck close together.

“We shared rooms, did each other’s makeup and lived on Dunkin’ Donuts,” McVie told The Guardian.

They also weathered mistreatment from others in the music industry by making a pact.

“Christine [McVie] and I were a force of nature,” Nicks told NME. “In the first two months I was in the band, Chris and I made a pact that we would never be in a room full of famous English or American guitar players and be treated like second class citizens.”

McVie believed the two Americans took themselves too seriously

Despite their early closeness, Nicks and McVie drifted apart as the band became more famous. Nearly a decade after Nicks joined the band, McVie said the two women barely socialized.

“Ten years ago, she really had her feet on the ground, along with a tremendous sense of humor, which she still has,” McVie told Rolling Stone in 1984. “But she seems to have developed her own fantasy world, somehow, which I’m not part of. We don’t socialize much.”

In 1998, McVie decided to leave Fleetwood Mac for good. She had a worsening fear of flying that made touring practically impossible. She also was fed up with Nicks and Buckingham. According to the book Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis, McVie complained about Nicks’ interest in “astrology and stuff” and her “many boyfriends.” In general, though, she believed the group’s two Americans — Buckingham and Nicks — took themselves “much too seriously.”

“Christine just flipped out and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore. I’m having panic attacks,’” Nicks explained. “She moved back to England, never to be heard from for years. Mick [Fleetwood] stayed in touch with her, so we always knew she was OK.” 

Notably, Nicks mentioned McVie staying in contact with Fleetwood, not herself. According to McVie, the two women never saw each other after she left the band.

Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks have rebuilt their friendship

After 16 years of retirement, McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac. When she came back, Nicks realized how important their friendship was to her.


Stevie Nicks Supported Christine McVie’s Exit From Fleetwood Mac: ‘Pack Your Bags and Go Home’

“When we went on the road, I realized what an amazing friend she’d been of mine that I had lost and didn’t realize the whole consequences of it till now,” Nicks told the Star Tribune. “She brings the funny back into Fleetwood Mac. Before, it was just a boys’ club. With her back, there’s more of a feminine touch to the whole thing. I never want her to ever go out of my life again, and that has nothing to do with music and everything to do with her and I as friends.”