Most people are either solidly ready to retire at the age of 70, or already there. Christine McVie said “No way” to that idea, deciding instead to rejoin Fleetwood Mac after a 16-year break.
“I honestly could never in my wildest dreams have thought I could return to the band,” she told People. “It’s just a dream come true. I go to bed going, ‘This is so great. This is what I’ve been yearning for all these years and I didn’t know it.’ We’re family. We’re very lucky.”
I’m not even going to try to be cool because I am just giddy about this. Like many a child of the ’70s, I was raised on Fleetwood Mac. Rumours is one of my desert island discs — the ones I’d take with me if I were dropping out of society and I could pick 10 things to stuff in my carry-on. My mom loved this band, and we listened to them all the time. My uncle had the Rumours album sleeve tacked up on his wall with all of the lyrics, and I remember sneaking in when he was at school and reading it, along with riffling through all of his concert ticket stubs. Looking back, it makes perfect sense why the music bug bit me so hard.
The truth is, I was most obsessed with Stevie Nicks when I finally realized who the people were who made up Fleetwood Mac. I thought she was the coolest person ever and also the most talented. If I’d ever had a daughter, the plan was to name her Rhiannon, and I developed a thing for gauzy scarves that has never really gone away.
Now, although I still love Stevie and appreciate her for her longevity and ability to reinvent and evolve with age, I appreciate Christine more. She is a songwriting virtuoso and gave me tunes like “Over My Head,” “Say You Love Me,” and “You Make Loving Fun.” Her songs don’t have the raspy vocal magic that Stevie’s have always had for me, but I’ve caught up with them with time, and they’re gaining on my previous favorites. Everyone seems to love “Landslide,” for instance — the tune born out of Mick Fleetwood and Nicks’ breakup — and yes, it’s beautiful. But I am most looking forward to hearing “Songbird” — a Fleetwood Mac tune I came to love later in life and that may just now be my favorite — live, with Christine up there in her rightful place.
I love that the band is excited about this, too.
“We’re thrilled,” Mick Fleetwood told People. “She’s just the dearest of friends, and we’ve remained that way always. We’ve always missed Chris. To have a key, key member return to the fold is huge. It’s really not happened, to my knowledge in any shape or form, on this level.”
Stevie Nicks told Today that Christine had the group “seriously convinced” she wasn’t coming back. Nicks and Fleetwood were a couple, as were Christine and John McVie, and both pairs split up during Fleetwood Mac’s original run. These two difficult relationship breakups were good for the music, if nothing else. Now these two previous couples will be together again on stage as one of the most famous, famously reunited rock bands of all time. John McVie was diagnosed with cancer last year, but is responding well to treatment.
“It is a celebration and it is a really joyful time for the band,” Christine said. “God must have been smiling on me because I feel like a different person. This has done nothing but wonders for me and I love my band so, so much.”
I can’t wait to see them live, and I’m glad for a change that I waited to scratch a band off of my concert bucket list. Fleetwood Mac hits D.C. on October 31, and I’ve never had Halloween plans this early that don’t involve candy. And please, at 70 and beyond, may I follow in the footsteps of women like Christine McVie who do what they love, on whatever my stage may be, at any age. That’s the coolest thing about this story — that it’s never too late to be the rock star you always were — again.