Fleetwood Mac is not only one of the most commercially successful rock bands of all-time, but they are also an extremely interesting group to follow. The intra-band relationships, narcotics, and extreme excess are a rarity that makes the band fascinating beyond their timeless music. One of the band’s pillars, Christine McVie, recently sat down with BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs program and gave a fascinating interview.
Even though she was with the band from 1970 through 1998 and rejoined in 2014, I knew much less about McVie than I did her more highly-publicized bandmates Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham. McVie began her performance career as a window dresser before joining the British blues band Chicken Shack. With a brief interlude as a solo artist (she fled from a stage during solo gig), she segued from Chicken Shack to Fleetwood Mac.
While with Fleetwood Mac she had a hand in several of the band’s hits, including “Songbird.” A B-side of the band’s 1977 classic Rumors, McVie said that the song came to her during a restless night. She provided surprisingly direct assessments about the impact of drugs on her songwriting and how the band’s wealth and tensions reached the point of each member being picked up at airports in individual limousines.
The entire interview was an enjoyable listen. One of the more private members of Fleetwood Mac, McVie’s journey to being a member of the venerable band is unique. McVie was briefly one of the few women of her era to be a solo rock artist before she joined Fleetwood Mac. Her time away from the group is also unexpected – she endured a brief bout of agoraphobia while living in rural Kent, England.
McVie also detailed the time she snuck into an Everly Brothers concert and how her mother hosted séances.
Desert Island Discs has been a BBC mainstay since 1942. The radio program constructs an interview around the premise that the celebrity guest is choosing the songs that they will take with them before they are castaway on a desert island. It is currently hosted by Kirsty Young and is available as a podcast. You can listen to Young’s interview with McVie here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/