“For a while, I got jealous." Christine McVie on playing second fiddle to Stevie Nicks in Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac in 1975
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The history of Fleetwood Mac is pockmarked with ups, downs, intra-band turmoil and explosive fallouts but one relationship that remained unscathed throughout the decades was the close friendship between Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks. McVie, who died in November 2022, was already an established member of the band when Nicks waltzed in and took centre-stage. But showing remarkable clarity for what might lay ahead, McVie took her place in the second tier rather than demanding a place in the spotlight. Quite the move considering she went on to write some of the group’s best songs.

In a clip shared on TikTok, the singer and keyboardist explained that it was all about understanding the dynamic that would help the band to become as big as they did. “For a while, sure, I got jealous,’ McVie says. “It didn’t last long. You realise what your role is and my role is being part of what John [McVie, bassist] and Mick [Fleetwood, drummer] is and not being a frontliner. I could no more do twirls in chiffon than Stevie could play the blues on the piano.”

“She would never have let me know that because she would’ve known that would’ve freaked me out,” says Nicks when informed about McVie’s jealous comments. “It would’ve made me pull back because I would’ve went, ‘I’m not here to steal the show’. If I had known that was difficult for her, I probably would’ve started walking back into the shadows with John [McVie, bassist]. She never let me know that, she never reigned me in.”

The clip also includes Nicks doing a humorous and sweet impression of McVie, who in real life didn’t actually sound like a female version of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. It’s done with love, though, as Nicks’ emotional Twitter post in the wake of McVie’s death last year demonstrated. Nicks said McVie was her “best friend in the whole world since the first day of 1975,” and wrote out the lyrics to the Haim song Hallelujah in tribute. McVie passed away after a short illness.

Watch the full clip below:


♬ original sound - Stevie Nicks Nation
Niall Doherty

Niall Doherty is a writer and editor whose work can be found in Classic Rock, The Guardian, Music Week, FourFourTwo, on Apple Music and more. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Q magazine, he co-runs the music Substack letter The New Cue with fellow former Q colleagues Ted Kessler and Chris Catchpole. He is also Reviews Editor at Record Collector. Over the years, he's interviewed some of the world's biggest stars, including Elton John, Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Robert Plant and more. Radiohead was only for eight minutes but he still counts it.