The devastating news of Christine McVie’s death reached Wednesday afternoon and we are still processing it along with Fleetwood Mac fans around the world. “We were so lucky to have a life with her,” Fleetwood Mac said in a group statement. “Individually and together we have deeply cherished Christine and are grateful for the wonderful memories we have. She will be missed so much.”
When Rolling stone spoke to McVie in June, she was excited about her new LP Songbird (a solo collection), but highly skeptical that she would ever set out with Fleetwood Mac again. “I don’t feel like it physically,” she said. “I am in pretty bad health. I have a chronic back problem, which weakens me. I get up to play the piano so I don’t know if I could physically do it. What does that say? The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
McVie’s last tour with Fleetwood Mac took place between 2018 and 2019, although Lindsey Buckingham was out of the band at the time and Neil Finn and Mike Campbell played in his place. Just a year before, McVie recorded an album with Buckingham and took it on tour. “I had a great time with him on the road and making that record,” she shared Rolling stone in 2018. “I was surprised when I heard the news [Buckingham was leaving the band] because it happened after I went back to London that the decision was made. But life goes on and I wanted to keep going with these guys.”
The tour was a huge financial success and McVie grew close to the band’s new members. “Those guys were great,” she said earlier this year. “We had a great time with them, but we’re sort of broken up now, so I hardly ever see them.”
McVie’s only on-stage appearance after the final date of the final Fleetwood Mac tour took place on February 25, 2020 at the London Palladium. It was a tribute show to founder of Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green with Pete Townshend, Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, Kirk Hammett, Steven Tyler, Billy Gibbons, Bill Wyman, Jeremy Spencer, Neil Finn and Mick Fleetwood. In a video of the performance, McVie sings the 1968 Fleetwood Mac classic “Stop Messin’ Around” with Tyler, Fleetwood, and several of the night’s other guests.
McVie had no idea this concert would mark the end of her career, but it feels very appropriate that they honor the early days of Fleetwood Mac. She’s been a huge part of their sound over the past five decades, and it’s hard to imagine them moving on without her.