Rob Sheffield on Fleetwood Mac’s Songbird – Rolling Stone

Christine McVie always He came across as the big man in the room, which might not be hard to do when the room is Fleetwood Mac. But McVeigh was the emotional glue in a band he’d spent the last 50 years tearing apart over and over again, the calmest, most intelligent, member of rock’s most unstable, no-nonsense, lost circus. The universally loved piano lady who wrote great song after great song, everyone else joined in. Christine sang the songbird as if she knew the score, and because she always does.

That’s why the world was thrown into shock and dismay by the news of McVeigh’s death on Wednesday. As she told him rolling stone’Andy Greene said earlier this year, “I was like Mother Teresa trying to hang out with everybody or just try [keep] Everything is fine and dandy and relaxed. ” But she said, “Even though I’m a peaceful person, I really enjoyed that storm. Although it is said that we fought a lot, we spent most of our time laughing.

That spirit came out in her songs – peaceful and stormy at the same time. She wrote many of Mack’s classics, with a husky, intimate voice and piano-oriented. “Say You Love Me”, “Over My Head”, “Oh My Father”, “Little Lies”, “Why” – she sang the voice of a world-weary adult, except for a woman who was on fire and knew better. She can’t talk herself out of falling, falling, falling. These were always scary songs to hear on the radio, but they’ve only grown over the years.

Her solo show in 1979 pine The piano ballad “Never Make Me Cry” is one of her most powerful heartbreakers, and it was the first song this fan played upon the devastating news of her death. “Go ahead and do what you want,” says her fickle lover, as she promises, “You’ll never make me cry.” The first time she sang that line, she cried, her refusal sounding arrogant and triumphant. But in the end, she becomes the tragic part of the story.

McVeigh was part of the Mack drama, especially in Rumors She is survived by her late husband, John McVeigh, a bassist. She walks in with the lighting director, shifting her wedding ring onto another finger. Not only did she write her hit “You Make Lovin’ Fun” about how it’s fun to have sex with a new guy, but she had her ex-wife play bass for the next 45 years — now that’s a real boss move. (And to his credit, he played it brilliantly – another boss move.) In the funniest line, he “sang her.Yoo-hoo-hooYou make Lovin’ fun/And I don’t have to tell you but you are!” Of course, Christine—loyalty, true love, sure, that goes without saying. As John wearily put it years later, “The two people in the band who didn’t have a relationship were me and Lindsey.

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Some of the best moments in Fleetwood Mac’s final tours, bringing together all five of the classic lineup, came during the Stevie Nicks/Linsey Buckingham solo shows. Every night, Christine sits beside John on the piano bench, out of sight of most of the audience, just the two of them whispering and laughing together. They always hugged like two old friends, sharing only a private laugh. It was a very touching sight – very sweet and civilized, in the middle of passion Storm and drag. She brought out that warmth in people. Even These People.

Christine and Stevie had a unique chemistry – two singer-songwriters, two front women, in the ultra-male world of seventies LA rock. Stevie always gave McVeigh credit for making it possible. In the year As she told me in 2019, “Kristin Fleetwood and I made a deal the day I joined Mac. She and I said, ‘We will never be treated as second-class citizens. We’re never allowed to hang out in a room full of smart, crazy rock and roll stars, because we’re just as crazy and just as smart as them.’ We promised each other that we would do our best for women, that we would fight for and get whatever we wanted. For our songs and music to be as good as all the men around us. And it was.”

They’ve always had a big sister/little sister relationship, with Christine as a world-weary old woman with more passion and a wry smile on her flighty sidekick—Jane Russell to Stevie’s Marilyn Monroe. That sisterhood sets Mac’s apart from its Hotel California peers. “If I had been the only woman in Fleetwood Mac, it would have been very different,” Nix said. “So I’m really happy to be joining a group that has another woman in the band. At first people said: ‘Christine. want Another girl in the band?’ I said: ‘I hope she does I hope you like me when you meet me.’ She He did So much like me – we got Mexican food and we were laughing and looking at each other and going, ‘This is going to be great.’

That was the last time in Fleetwood Mac history anyone said those words. The group was a constant whirlwind of heartbreak, betrayal and rock excess. “There was blood floating in alcohol,” McVeigh later recalled. “The studio contract rider was like a phone book for colorists. Special food sent to the studio, boxes of champagne. And it had to be the best, no matter the cost. Stupid. Really stupid. Someone said they could have made an entire album with the money we spent on champagne in one night. It’s probably true.”

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Starting out in the sixties, Christine is a consummate, rare female instrumentalist in the macho English blues scene. She found her voice playing piano in the band Chicken Shack on songs like “When the Train Comes Back” from their 1968 debut. In the year She married McVeigh in 1970, becoming a songwriter for Fleetwood Mac, whose unsung classics such as A mystery to me Ballad “Why?”

After Mick Fleetwood hired a new guitar dude named Lindsey Buckingham, he became a star when he announced that they were hiring his girlfriend. She brought up “Say You Love Me” for their first rehearsal together. “I heard this incredible sound – our three voices – and I said to myself, ‘Is this me singing?’ “I couldn’t believe how great this three-part harmony was. My skin turned to goosebumps.”

in the pine She played with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, who brought a whole new level of chaos into our world. Within days of meeting her, he spent her money and broke into her apartment drinking her vodka. He soon married (and left) Mike Love’s 19-year-old daughter. “I wish you were here,” laments McVie. mirage, The year before he got drunk and was buried at sea. As she told him A rolling stone This year, “Dennis was a little crazy.”

However, she turned the ruins of sex and drugs into classic songs. “Think About Me” is her heaviest hit since the late seventies. In Decade of Me, she teases the singer, sounding like a head full of love and snobbery: “I ain’t got you down/Maybe that’s why you’re here,” but she makes it sound romantic. In the year In 1984, she made a modest solo record – you can hear the highlights of the previous year Songbird (a solo set). But she really shined in 1987’s Mack’s Last Breath. Tango by night. “Everywhere” was a moderate hit at the time, but the album had to be revived in later years as it became popular with millennial fans. In “Little Lies,” the most scheming Mac is hit harder than ever, giving up her usual job to cheat, lie, look like shit. But every one of the band’s lead singers, top-notch fan service, her pleas from Lindsay, “Tell me, tell me!” It has a singing that goes against the bitterness.

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She’s burned out on the rock-star life. As Nix said A rolling stone, “We reformed in Dance In the year In 1997, however, it only lasted a year before Christine came out and said ‘I can’t do this anymore – I’m having panic attacks’. She sold her house, car and piano and moved back to England. She didn’t feel anything anymore. McVie developed a terror of flying – understandable, considering how much time she spent on Mick Fleetwood’s chartered planes. “Of course the nomad thing is a bit off for me,” she said. A rolling stone In the year In 2014. “I had this delusional idea that I wanted to live the life of a ‘country lady’ – basically customize it with my Range Rover and my dogs and bake cookies or something. I don’t know what I was thinking. I wanted to live a normal domestic life with roots.

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But she made a triumphant return for the 2015 tour. In the year In 2017, she and Lindsey released their very strange collaboration album. Buckingham McVie, It shows four-fifths of a mac. The studio reunion was supposed to be a blockbuster, but Nicks bailed. So it ended with “On the Show,” the theme song for the band’s On With the Show reunion tour — two years after it ended. A classic Mack moment of self-destruction. The band kicked out Buckingham in a surprisingly messy fashion, but McVeigh sounded as good as ever on the 2019 summer stadium tour, his last.

Characteristically, McVeigh was thoughtful and private about her terminal illness. to speak A rolling stone This year, she casually reveals that the band members are no longer dating and have essentially broken up. “I’m not physically interested in this,” she said. “I am in very good health. I have a chronic back problem that debilitates me,” he said. When asked about her goals, she says, “Live in hope. Well, next year I will be 80. So, I’m just hoping for a few more years, and we’ll see what happens. We didn’t get those more years of Christine McVie. But she’s scattered so many great songs across so many albums — some classic hits, others obscure cult favorites — that it’s taken her years to find her greatness. These are the songs people always sing to themselves in those lonely-night-in-the-night bluesy moments that Kristen McVie always knows how to handle.



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