-- Over the years, we've heard stories about concert promoters offering bands ridiculous amounts of money to reform. But Christine McVie, who recently announced her return to Fleetwood Mac after 16 years in retirement, says she once turned down an offer of millions to come back -- from her own band mate. The singer/keyboardist tells USA Today that a few years after she left the band in 1998, Stevie Nicks "offered me $5 million to come back," adding, "She was begging me, 'Don't leave me in this wilderness.'"
McVie didn't take Nicks up on the offer at the time, because she was content living in a small village in England, where she'd retired after completing the band's The Dance tour in 1998. "I have my friends and my family and dogs and I have a lot of fun," she told ABC News Radio back in 2004. "I can't exactly tell you what it is I do…People say to me, 'What are you doing with yourself?' And I always say, 'Well, do I have to do anything? I'm retired. You know, I'm busy having fun.'"
As for why she left Fleetwood Mac in the first place, it wasn't any one particular thing that sparked her departure. Rather, as she told ABC News Radio in 2004, "It was totally gradual..I'd bought a house in England back in 1990...I had decided even then. The seed had been planted to go back home to England at some point and spend more time with my family."
Christine added, "It's tough when you live in L.A., and your family live in London, to be going constantly back and forth. And I missed England. You know, the bottom line truth of it is, I missed England and I wanted to be back there again." Plus, the life of a traveling musician no longer appealed to her.
"I did love performing live," she said in 2004. "I didn't like the travel and I didn't like the nomadish kind of existence, the bubble experience. I didn't like constantly being on the move and I didn't like flying." She laughed, "So I guess that's enough reasons to quit, you know?"
However, as Christine now tells USA Today, her quiet country life didn't provide her with the camaraderie, chemistry and creative atmosphere she'd enjoyed with Stevie, Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and her ex-husband, John McVie. Now, not only will the group kick off a major North American tour starting in late September, but they've also begun to work on a brand-new album.
Buckingham tells USA Today that the disc will be "a mix of things." He adds, "We've done some strange things with one of Christine's songs already. It's going to sound like Fleetwood Mac but not overly retro."
The songwriting aspect of Fleetwood Mac was something that Christine, who penned classics like "Don't Stop," "You Make Loving Fun" "Say That You Love Me" and "Over My Head," never had any issues with. Unlike other groups, which are often dominated by one or two main songwriters, leaving the other writers in the band frustrated, Christine told ABC News Radio in 2004 that Fleetwood Mac was always "quite democratic" when it came down to who would write their material.
"Logic decreed that there were three writers," she explained, "there were usually 12 songs on a record, so we get four each. There would never be a situation where someone would dominate to the point where one would have six, and the others would have three each. It just never worked that way." She added, "I think there was a general sense of fair play and flexibility floating through the working of that band."
Now, she'll get to experience that again, and so will the fans. Fleetwood Mac's On with the Show tour begins September 30 in Minneapolis; tickets go on sale April 7.
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