How Stevie Nicks Sometimes Irritated Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham to Death, ‘Like a Little Bug’

Stevie Nicks thinks she sometimes irritated her Fleetwood Mac bandmates, Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham. She was often excited about harmonizing with them. That’s why she wanted to be in a band, after all. She saw her idols Crosby, Stills & Nash do it, and they inspired her.

However, Nick’s excitement might have come across as a little too overbearing at times. However, if Nicks hadn’t pushed McVie and Buckingham to sing with her as much, we might not have gotten songs like “Go Your Own Way” and “The Chain.”

Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham performing with Fleetwood Mac in 1980.
Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham | Pete Still/Redferns

Stevie Nicks said she irritated Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham

In a 1982 interview with High Times, Nicks mentioned what it was like working with McVie and Buckingham. “You must have a great relationship with Christine McVie,” High Times told the singer. “You dedicated ‘Think About It’ to her.”

Nicks said she may have gone overboard whenever McVie was doing something she liked.

“Yeah, when I really love something that she does, I really get in there and help her with it,” Nicks explained. “She can do it alone, she really doesn’t need anyone, but when she writes something that I really take to heart, then I go for it. I stay up all night with her and we work on it.”

Then, Nicks usually involved Buckingham in McVie’s song. However, they more than likely saw Nicks’ involvement as a bit overbearing. She was just happy to be able to do something, though. Nicks continued, “I really work on it and I drag Lindsey and her in there and make them sing, because that’s what they forget—they forget that there’s three of us and how good we sing.”

“I irritate them to death, it’s like a little bug. I keep saying, ‘Lindsey, you and I should sing this part. It’s important that we sing this part, it would sound terrific.’ And they eventually do it. Especially because I am not going to stand by and watch no singing go on this album.”

“It sounds like there has been some dissatisfaction on your part in the past,” High Times interjected.

“That’s because they’re players, they get really wrapped up in the playing of it, and I don’t get to play. I don’t have anything to do. I sit around and watch them play—it’s boring. The thing I do real well is vocal production. I can really get them happening on singing, but if it wasn’t for me, there wouldn’t be nearly half the vocals.”

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McVie knew how to calm Buckingham after he fought with Nicks

The trio didn’t just harmonize well. Nicks, McVie, and Buckingham knew how to calm each other down when tensions arose. In an interview with Billboard, Nicks revealed one of the reasons why it was great having McVie in the band. Initially, McVie was the buffer zone between Nicks and Buckingham.

“Christine was like my mentor, and the only person who could buffer Lindsey,” Nicks said. “She could totally soothe him and calm him down, and that was great, because I wasn’t good at that. We were sailing along on the highest wave. It was OK for a while, until it wasn’t. At the end of 1976, that’s when it just blew up.”

McVie wasn’t just the buffer zone; she was sometimes the voice of reason and sometimes the complete opposite of Nicks.

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It was hard for Nicks to get songs on Fleetwood Mac’s albums because there were three writers in the band

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2019, Nicks said her solo career was partially a product of not being able to squeeze in more songs on Fleetwood Mac albums. With her, McVie, and Buckingham serving as the band’s songwriters, there was a lot of competition.

“You’re one of the few rock stars with both a band and a solo career,” Rolling Stone pointed out. Nicks replied, “I always wanted to be just in a band. But I just had so many songs!

“Because when you’re in a band with three prolific writers, you get two or three songs per album — maybe four. But I was writing all the time, so they just went into my Gothic trunk of lost songs.

“Christine would walk by me — my totally sarcastic best friend. She’d say [imitation of Christine McVie’s English accent] ‘Soooo. Writing another song, are we?’ To this day, I write all the time. I have a poem that I’ve written about Game of Thrones, and I have a really beautiful poem that I’m writing about Anthony Bourdain.”

So, Nicks’ songs found homes somewhere, but most of them landed on her solo albums. We love Nicks’ overexcitement to help McVie with her songs, though. That’s just who she is. However, looking back, we hope McVie and Buckingham didn’t think Nicks was seriously irritating. Nicks helped them make their songs into hits.

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