Flashback: Fleetwood Mac Reunite in 1997

Rolling Stone

Fleetwood Mac's reformation in 1997 was hardly a huge surprise. The past few years had seen reunions of the Eagles, the Who, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant and Kiss earn a fortune on the concert circuit.  Fleetwood Mac didn't actually break up until 1995, but by that point Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham were long out of the band and they were opening up for REO Speedwagon and Crosby, Stills and Nash. It was a sad state of affairs for one of the mightiest bands of the Seventies.

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When the Rumours-era lineup of Fleetwood Mac agreed to reform, they used the exact same plan the Eagles executed with huge success in 1994: an MTV concert special, a live album recorded at the special and a huge world tour. The whole thing was a great success and people who weren't even alive when "Rhiannon" first hit the radio were shelling out big bucks to go see them live.

They only had one problem: Christine McVie, who stuck with the group all through the REO Speedwagon era, quit the band when they began work on a new album a few years later. (Here is video of McVie singing "You Make Loving Fun" in 1997.) The band begged her to reconsider, but McVie wouldn't budge. 

"I would say there's no more a chance of [Christine McVie returning to Fleetwood Mac] than an asteroid hitting the earth," Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone in 2012.  "She is done. You know when you look in somebody's face and you can just tell? She doesn't want to do it anymore. She doesn't want to fly. She doesn't want to come back to America. When she left, she left. She sold her house, her piano, her car. She went to England and she has never been back since 1998, so it's not really feasible, as much as we would all like to think that she'll just change her mind one day. I don't think it'll happen. We love her, so we had to let her go." 

Well, it seems like an asteroid might be headed towards earth. Christine McVie played with Fleetwood Mac a couple of months ago and recently told the press she wants to rejoin the band. Mick Fleetwood recently told the crowd at a solo gig she's back in. Next year marks the 40th anniversary of the Buckingham/Nicks era of Fleetwood Mac, and a tour to commemorate that with Christine McVie doesn't seem like an impossible proposition. 

This article originally appeared on Rolling Stone: Flashback: Fleetwood Mac Reunite in 1997

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