When Stevie Nicks Featured single for the January 2015 cover of Rolling Stone, in the middle of a Fleetwood Mac tour, was not a particularly popular move among her bandmates. But one Fleetwood Mac member agreed to do a secondary interview for my cover story on Nicks — her longtime best friend in the whole world, Christine McPhee, who had just joined the band after many years of retirement. Here’s our conversation from December 2014, published in full for the first time.
I just watched two shows back-to-back and it’s great to see you again with the band.
Oh, it’s the most amazing thing to me. Just awesome. It’s almost like being in the middle of a TV series all over again. It’s a phenomenon. These people crossed the stage from me, and it’s as if the years never existed. It’s totally amazing.
In some ways, it feels like you never left.
Yeah, well, I mean, everyone says that…so those years never existed! I’m going, “What the hell have you done?” For the past fifteen years, I’ve been living my own life.
Well, that looks pretty good too, honestly.
It wasn’t bad.
There has always been this kind of sexual assumption that there might be a problem with two women in Fleetwood Mac, but in reality, it seems like the two of you have always been happy to be around each other. How did your relationship work?
When he first heard Mick Buckingham Knicks The album’s in the valley wherever it’s called a recording studio, listen to Lindsey’s guitar on that album and think, This guy’s bloody bright, we want him. Then Lindsey pushed us and said, “Okay, we’re a couple, we come as a couple.” So Mick came over and said to me, “They have a girl here. You’re going to have to meet her and see if you like her.” And we met and I immediately fell in love with her. She and I are not competitive in any way whatsoever. We are so different, but we absolutely sympathize with each other. We are my dear friends. We don’t have any competition on stage. She is who I am who I am. Easy, easy, easy.
What makes you so different from each other?
I’m a tomboy, I hang out with guys. I love men. I love hanging out with guys. And Stevie is a rather feminine girl. She loves hanging out with her friends. Having grown up with Mick [Fleetwood] and John [McVie] All those years leading up to Stevie and Lindsey, I grew up with a dark sense of humor. Any kind comes with the area with Mick, strutting around with his wooden balls on stage. It’s just too comical for me. Maybe Stevie blushed a little at first. It’s just an integral part of how I’ve been for the past 40 years of my life, living with Mick and John, and [original Fleetwood Mac member] Jeremy Spencer, who used to have a dildo on stage, you know. I grew up with all of these things.
What was it like for you to watch some sort of endless soap opera between Stevie and Lindsey?
Well, apparently I haven’t been there in the last 15 years or so. So I took a short break. But they get along, and there is love between them and there is also anxiety. And that is something that makes us who we are and why we are who we are. One is just trying to be the go-between. They love each other and hate each other at the same time. I really don’t know how to say it otherwise.
Has anything changed in this department over the time you’ve been away?
No, I don’t think anything has changed. They are these amazing individuals, and they have this thing with each other and that will never change. They have chemistry, tremendous chemistry. for good or for bad. It’s real. Everything on stage is real, at the time, and off it is sometimes good, sometimes bad. And this is the truth. But it’s always interesting. They create fire. This is a good thing.
Why did the band survive? Through all these endless changes?
I think it’s Mick. At the bottom of it all, it’s Mick, he brings it all together. He’s the big daddy, the big cheese. He brings us all together and he’s not going to let this band die and he’s relentlessly continuing his work and making it the best it can be, and I think it works. Because we all believe in this band. I mean even after I’ve been gone for so long, I wanted to come back. And I said, “What would it be like if I came back?” They all so badly wanted me to come back, and it was amazing. Really amazing.
You are clearly an accomplished keyboardist. Stevie, by her own admission, isn’t, but she is an amazing songwriter. How do you think this works?
Personally, I think it can be devastating to be so technical. So, if you’ve had piano lessons and you understand all the harmonies, voices, etc., that can make you very much into music. I think Stevie just has the ability to play the chords that make her happy, that make her sing. Lindsey would be the one to come in and translate her songs into chords. Then he will come to me, and we will work together. Because he and I have a wonderful musical relationship. Chemistry too. It’s a different kind of chemistry from Stevie and Lindsey. But she brings her passion and her melody and puts her main chords on it, and Lindsey has this tremendous understanding of what she means…and I just don’t get it. You come up to me with a song and I’m like, “I don’t know what the hell you mean.” you know? I don’t understand that at all. But Lindsey does.
Like “Dreams,” for example, seemed like the simplest thing in the world. She played her part with me when we were doing Rumors , and I told her, “This is boring, this is really boring.” And she said, “No, I only made three clips out of two chords…” and it was their only number one song ever! There are two chords! There’s one basic note on the left hand on my side, three chord changes on the right hand, and it’s all the same all the way through, except the syllables are elevated to, you know, different things.
It is a nice. How has two rehab experiences changed Stevie? How is it different now?
Bloody well, this is hard. Look, I mean, Stevie is straight as an arrow. She is very direct, very honest, and obsessed with herself in a way. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. She has her own brand, you know? It’s an icon. It’s genius. She is such a beautiful, kind, beautiful woman and I love her to death. She and I are different, and I cannot love a woman; It’s just amazing. She is very, very generous in every department. in every department.
In her backstage area, a torrent of kids flock. There is a lot of love and warmth going there.
sing to me! She sings to me on stage every night. She looks at me and sings, “I still see your bright eyes” on “Gypsy,” and she looks right at me. We are glad to be back together. it is good. She’s glad I’m back on the road again. Another girl to hang out with. So it’s all good.
The push and pull between her solo star and Fleetwood Mac, how does that affect things? How does everyone in the band deal with it?
We all had a chance at that. Lindsay did, did. Look, I mean, everyone should have space, be free to be creative and do what they want to do, and we all did that. And I think it’s important that we give each other the freedom to do that. Stevie was very successful with this. The rest of us weren’t, not so much. Lindsey has had a great solo career, absolutely fantastic by blood. I’d like to record that. I loved his solo stuff. We are all five individuals doing what we do. Somehow there is chemistry between us, and we live and live on that.