The future of Fleetwood Mac seemed to be in doubt last week when Christine McVie told the BBC that the band might never tour again. “If we do, it will be without John [McVie] and without Stevie [Nicks], I think,” she said. “I think I’m getting a bit too old for it now, especially having had a year off. I don’t know if I can get myself back into it again.”
She went on to explain that John McVie was “feeling a little bit frail” and didn’t have “the heart for it anymore” and that Mick Fleetwood was the only remaining Rumours-era member who would definitely be up for another tour. The off-the-cuff remarks created headlines all over the world, and she walked them back yesterday in a statement to Rolling Stone.
“In no way are any members of Fleetwood Mac ‘done’ with being part of the band,” she said. “If anyone took that from my statement, that was a misperception and not intended. Fleetwood Mac is part of the DNA of who I am, and I know the same is true for Stevie, Mick and John. As for future touring………Who knows. We continue to hope for the best.”
The future of Fleetwood Mac has been a murky thing for decades now and the touring lineup changes with great regularity. Despite all the shows they’ve done in the past 35 years, they’ve only gone out with the complete Rumours line-up for the brief Dance tour in 1997 and the 2014–15 On With the Show outing. All the other tours were either missing Christine McVie or Lindsey Buckingham. And even that’s discounting the 1995 tour that was just Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and a bunch of ringers playing dates with REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar.
Here’s video of McVie singing the 1987 Fleetwood Mac hit “Little Lies” at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on October 15th, 2014. It was a glorious tour that welcomed her back into the fold after a 17-year break and played 120 dates all over the world. But the band booted out Lindsey Buckingham prior to the next one in 2018.
As McVie says herself, nobody knows what the future holds for Fleetwood Mac. But with everyone now in their seventies, there’s only so many remaining years where all five of them will be fit to handle the strains of a world tour. Let’s hope they find a way to make peace with Lindsey Buckingham and give the fans a proper farewell tour while it’s still possible.