Stevie Nicks Said It Was Hard to Deal With the ‘Boy’s Club’ of Fleetwood Mac

In 1998, Stevie Nicks became the only woman in Fleetwood Mac. Her longtime bandmate Christine McVie exited the group to focus on living a quieter life. While Nicks was happy to still be a part of the band, she shared that she missed having another woman alongside her. She explained why she felt this way.

A black and white picture of Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, and John McVie posing close together.
Fleetwood Mac (L-R Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood) | Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Christine McVie left Fleetwood Mac, making Stevie Nicks the group’s only woman

After nearly 30 years with Fleetwood Mac, McVie decided to retire. She desired a more laid-back lifestyle, and she had developed a fear of flying that made touring practically impossible. 

“I left the band because I developed a terrible fear of flying,” she told the New Yorker. “I wanted to restore an ancient house in Kent, and that’s what I did. It was a heap — this Tudor building with the beams painted lime green, so hideous. And I had this idea that I’d love the small village life, with the Range Rover and the dogs and baking cookies for the Y.W.C.A.”

Her retirement left Nicks as the only woman in the group. 

Stevie Nicks said it was a bit hard to deal with the ‘boy’s club’ of Fleetwood Mac

When McVie left, the rest of the band wasn’t sure how the group’s dynamic would work. Ultimately, though, they realized that they could function as a foursome. 

“For years, we thought we can’t do this again because Chris was gone,” Nicks told MSN in 2003, per The Nicks Fix. “Five years went by and we thought, maybe it’s OK, because it’s not like Fleetwood Mac hasn’t made changes before. And it’s not like there weren’t 25 guitar players in this band before Lindsey and I joined.”

While the group could still successfully create music, Nicks said she missed having McVie as a member.

“It’s a boy’s club now,” she says. “That’s been a little hard for me. But from a musical standpoint, it was really kind of fun to go back to a more guitar-oriented genre.”

Nicks has always preferred a more feminine touch and was disappointed to see that everything — from the musical collaboration to the studio snacks — was better suited for the men in the group.

The ‘Landslide’ singer was thrilled when McVie rejoined the group

When McVie rejoined the group after a 16-year hiatus, Nicks truly realized how much she had missed her.

“She brings the funny back into Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks told the Star Tribune. “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.”

McVie said she helped alleviate some of Nicks’ stress when she rejoined the band.

“Stevie and I are really good friends, in fact I think we’re better friends now than we were 16 years ago,” she told theartsdesk. “And it’s a fact, when it’s the Buckingham/Nicks show backed by John and Mick, that’s going to cause a lot of tension and stress. But with me in there, it gave Stevie the chance to get her breath back and not have this constant thing going on with Lindsey: her sister was back.”

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