Fleetwood Mac’s Christine McVie says she doesn’t know if the band’s seminal 1977 album “Rumours” would have been possible without drugs and alcohol.
“I don’t know if I would have written ‘Songbird’ had I not had a couple of toots of cocaine and a half bottle of champagne, and I just couldn’t sleep,” the 74-year-old singer-songwriter said while being interviewed as a guest on “Desert Island Discs” — a long-running BBC radio series. “Or written any of the songs that were on that album because, I mean, I think we were all pretty loaded,” she added.
“For me, I think I was probably the most restrained of the lot of us, but I was no angel,” McVie said before expressing her amazement at the fact that everyone in the band is still alive. “Everybody does look great, clean and sober and happy. Somehow we crawled through the cracks. All five of us are healthy.”
“Rumours” was famously composed and recorded during a tumultuous point in the band’s history. At the time, McVie’s marriage to her bandmate John McVie was crumbling, as was guitarist Lindsay Buckingham’s relationship with singer Stevie Nicks.
Christine McVie eventually left the band in 1998 and took a 15-year-hiatus before reuniting with her bandmates in 2013 and embarking on several successful tours.
“I had this wild image in my mind that I was going to become a country lady,” McVie said of her time away from the spotlight. “Everything had to be really English, the Aga, the Range Rover, the Hunter boots, the Barbour jacket. I think because my dad was ill to start with and later died, I think I wanted to be closer to my family, and that’s why I moved to Kent.”
“I developed agoraphobia, a dreadful fear of leaving my front doorstep. I couldn’t even get in my car. That’s how bad it was,” she said. “So then this therapist said, ‘Well, first of all you have to get someone to drive your car out of the garage so it is closer to the house, go touch the car and the next day sit in the driver’s seat.’ I did that for about two weeks, and within two weeks I was driving again.”
The British/American rock band has sold more than 100 million records.