Obituary – Christine McVie – Musician & Singer for Fleetwood Mac with an early career as part of blues group ‘Chicken Shack’.
A statement on Facebook said: “On behalf of Christine McVie’s family, it is with a heavy heart we are informing you of Christine’s death.
- Died: November 30th, 2022
- Details of death: Died after a short battle with illness.
McVie was born in the Lake District village of Bouth, and grew up in the Bearwood area of Smethwick near Birmingham. Her father, Cyril Percy Absell Perfect, was a concert violinist and music lecturer at St Peter’s College of Education, Saltley, Birmingham, and taught violin at St Philip’s Grammar School, Birmingham. McVie’s mother, Beatrice Edith Maud (Reece) Perfect, was a medium, psychic, and faith healer. McVie’s grandfather was an organist at Westminster Abbey.
Although McVie was introduced to the piano when she was four, she did not study music seriously until the age of 11, when she was reintroduced to it by Philip Fisher, a local musician and school friend of McVie’s elder brother, John. Continuing her classical training until age 15, McVie shifted her musical focus to rock and roll when her brother, John, came home with a Fats Domino songbook.
McVie studied sculpture at Moseley School of Art in Birmingham for five years, with the goal of becoming an art teacher. During that time, she met a number of budding musicians in Britain’s blues scene. Her first foray into the music field came when she met two friends, Stan Webb and Andy Silvester, who were in a band called Sounds of Blue. Knowing that McVie had musical talent, they asked her to join. She often sang with Spencer Davis. By the time McVie graduated from art college, Sounds of Blue had split up, and because she did not have enough money to launch herself into the art world, she moved to London and worked briefly as a department-store window dresser.
In 1967, McVie learned that her ex-bandmates, Andy Silvester and Stan Webb, were forming a blues band, Chicken Shack, and were looking for a pianist. She wrote to them asking to join. They accepted and invited her to play keyboards/piano and to sing background vocals. Chicken Shack’s debut release was “It’s Okay With Me Baby”, written by and featuring McVie. She stayed with Chicken Shack for two albums, during which her genuine feel for the blues became evident, not only in her Sonny Thompson-style piano playing, but also through her authentic “bluesy” voice. Chicken Shack had a hit with “I’d Rather Go Blind”, which featured McVie on lead vocals. McVie received a Melody Maker award for female vocalist in both 1969 and 1970. McVie left Chicken Shack in 1969 after marrying Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie a year earlier.
McVie was a fan of Fleetwood Mac, and while touring with Chicken Shack, the two bands would often meet. They also were both signed to Blue Horizon, and Fleetwood Mac had asked her to play piano as a session musician for Peter Green’s songs on the band’s second album, Mr. Wonderful.
Encouraged to continue her career, McVie recorded a solo album, Christine Perfect; following her success as a member of Fleetwood Mac, the album was reissued under the name The Legendary Christine Perfect Album. After marrying John McVie, she joined Fleetwood Mac in 1970. She had already contributed backup vocals and painted the cover for Kiln House. The band had just lost founding member Peter Green, and its members were nervous about touring without him. McVie had been a huge fan of the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, and since she knew all the lyrics to their songs, she went along.
McVie went on to become an integral member, another lead vocalist, and keyboardist of the group; the first album with her as a full-fledged band member was Future Games. It was recorded at London’s Advision Studios and included the first with American-born member Bob Welch in place of founding member Jeremy Spencer.
Upon the death of her father, Cyril Perfect, while she was touring for Behind the Mask, McVie decided to retire from touring. Despite the departure of Stevie Nicks, McVie remained with the band, writing and recording a new track (“Love Shines”) for the 1992 boxed set 25 Years – The Chain, and five songs for the band’s 1995 album Time. After Fleetwood, John McVie, and Buckingham got together for one of Buckingham’s solo projects in the mid-1990s, she was asked to sing and play on some of the tracks. Then, the four decided a full reunion was possible and Nicks joined them. The 1997 live album, The Dance, reached number one on the US album charts.
Despite her reservations, McVie complied with the band’s touring schedule, and then performed for the group’s 1998 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as well as the Grammy Awards show, and the Brit Awards in the UK. McVie later revealed in a 2014 Rolling Stone interview that she had developed a phobia about flying, which was later treated with psychotherapy. This phobia was the reason she decided not to continue with Fleetwood Mac after 1998.
Return to Fleetwood Mac and album with Lindsey Buckingham
In 2013, McVie appeared on stage in Maui, Hawaii, performing with the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, which included Mick Fleetwood and ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Rick Vito. This was her first appearance on stage in 15 years. Later in September, Christine McVie joined Fleetwood Mac on stage for the first time in 15 years to play “Don’t Stop” at The O2 Arena, London. She played on two dates and her appearance on stage was received with rapturous applause. On 11 January 2014, Mick Fleetwood announced during a concert in Maui that McVie would be rejoining the band, and it was officially announced two days later that she had rejoined. The band’s most popular lineup (Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, John McVie, and Stevie Nicks) performed together for the first time since 1998 in its On with the Show tour beginning in Minneapolis at the Target Center on 30 September 2014.
Personal life and death
During the height of Fleetwood Mac’s success in the 1970s, McVie resided in Los Angeles in a house that had previously been owned by Joan Collins and Elton John. In 1990, she moved to a Grade II-listed Tudor manor house in Wickhambreaux, near Canterbury in Kent, whither she retired after leaving Fleetwood Mac in 1998, and worked on her solo material. For years, McVie found inspiration in the home’s country setting, not only writing songs there, but restoring the house. However, after rejoining Fleetwood Mac in 2014, McVie began spending more time in London, and put the house on the market in 2015.
After a brief illness, McVie died in hospital on 30 November 2022, at the age of 79.
Date of birth: 12th July 1943
Date of Death: 30th November 2022 (aged 79)
Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_McVie