Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie Say Fleetwood Mac Was Tamer Than You Think: They Were ‘Like Traveling Rock’n’Roll Nuns’
Fleetwood Mac has picked up a reputation for lavish parties and cocaine-fueled fights. The stories about the band are just as famous as their music. Despite this, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie say that their lifestyle wasn’t as decadent as the rumors claim. Both vocalists shared that life touring with Fleetwood Mac was strictly regimented, making it difficult for them to break the rules.
Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie became close friends in Fleetwood Mac
When Mick Fleetwood invited Nicks and her then-boyfriend Lindsey Buckingham to join Fleetwood Mac, he initially only wanted Buckingham. Nicks only got the invite because she and Buckingham were a package deal. Because of this, their induction into the band hinged on McVie. She was the only woman in the band at the time, and they wanted to make sure she got along with Nicks.
“It was critical that I got on with her because I’d never played with another girl,” McVie told The Guardian. “But I liked her instantly. She was funny and nice but also there was no competition. We were completely different on the stage to each other and we wrote differently too.”
When they joined the band, Nicks and McVie’s relationship became the sturdiest, given all the breakups and affairs among the rest of the members.
The pair says their life was very regimented while touring
Fleetwood Mac’s legacy will include the sordid tales of their rock and roll lifestyle just as much as the music. Despite this, both women say tour life was tamer than most expect.
“We shared rooms, did each other’s makeup, and lived on Dunkin’ Donuts,” McVie said of their friendship.
Nicks added that in the band’s early years, things were relatively calm.
“We really were quite tame people back then,” she said. “The band had two couples in it, plus Mick [Fleetwood] was married with two little girls – so we had to behave. We’d play a gig, get on an airplane right after the show and leave to the next place. And we were watched like hawks. We had security outside each of our rooms so Chris and I were almost like traveling rock’n’roll nuns.”
Though McVie says that she doesn’t know if “nuns” is the right word to describe them, she agrees that their lifestyle was tightly controlled.
“It was like the army,” she explained. “It was regimented. The rock’n’roll lifestyle did have its perks but it wasn’t all limos and parties in the early days.”
Stevie Nicks was thrilled when Christine McVie rejoined Fleetwood Mac
In 1998, McVie’s fear of flying led her to take a lengthy hiatus from the band. She returned in 2015 to tour with the band. Nicks says she was delighted to have her back.
“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.”