Christine McVie on rejoining Fleetwood Mac


Christine McVie attends the Ivor Novello Awards at The Grosvenor House Hotel on May 22, 2014 in London, England.

Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images

Born in England, singer, songwriter and keyboardist Christine Perfect joined the band Fleetwood Mac in 1970, after marrying the band's bass player John McVie. She performed with the group through it's most successful years, which saw the release the such top-selling albums as the 1975 "Fleetwood Mac," "Rumours, " "Tusk," and "Mirage."

She left the group in 1998, but this year has rejoined Fleetwood Mac, recording songs for an upcoming album and heading out on tour with her bandmates -- Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and ex-husband John McVie -- for the first time in 17 years.

Correspondent John Blackstone recently talked with McVie about her return to performing with Fleetwood Mac.

Blackstone: On that rehearsal stage, does it seem like you were never gone? Or-- or is it a struggle sometimes?

Christine McVie: I thought it was gonna be a struggle, to be honest. I was a little anxious. But actually walking onto the stage, I mean, we started off in a smaller room that didn't have a stage, that was just one big flat room all on the same level. And it was much more of a laid-back rehearsal atmosphere.

But the moment you find yourself playing with these fantastic musicians and friends, it just melted away. And now I feel completely comfortable, really, surprisingly so.

Blackstone: Surprised yourself?

McVie: I surprised myself, indeed. I thought I was gonna be much more nervous. And we did a bit of recording beforehand as well earlier this year, which I had a little trepidation about. But that ended up being a magical time for us all. And hopefully, we'll finish the album next year. And now looking forward to the tour. (laughs) It's gonna be fantastic.

An early iteration of Fleetwood Mac, from left: John McVie, Danny Kirwan (who left the band in 1972), Christine McVie (who joined in 1970), Bob Welch (who joined in 1971), and Mick Fleetwood. Warner Brothers Records

Blackstone: This all started with you climbing on a plane to Hawaii, having the nerve to climb on a plane to Hawaii.

McVie: Well, yeah. I've told quite a few people this story. But still, I mean, it's worth a tell. I did have a phobia about flying. And I had the phobia when I left Fleetwood Mac. It was a multiple of different reasons that led me to leave -- my father had died in England, and I wanted to be close to my own family there. So I bought a house.

The earthquake happened in '94. I developed a phobia about flying. It was multiple reasons why I thought, "I've had enough. I wanna go home, and live in the country and get a Range Rover and get the dogs, the wellie boots and the scarf and cook for the YMCA," or whatever.

And I sort of had this misguided idea that that was the life that I wanted, you know? And to some degree, I enjoyed it for a few years. Moving onto more recent times, I've then gone for therapy. 'Cause I found that I couldn't go anywhere except by boat or train.

So I was okay if I wanted to go to the Med or something, I could sail there. But I couldn't really go to anywhere exotic because I was frightened to fly. So I went to a therapist, had that dealt with, and in the end, bought myself a ticket to Maui and called Mick and said, "I'm gonna come to Maui to visit you."

And he said, "You're gonna get on a plane? Oh, my God!" he said. "But I'm now coming to England in about 10 days to promote the European leg of Fleetwood Mac's tour," last year, two years ago. "And so you stay there. And then I'll come back with you."

So that's what happened ultimately. We met up in London and hung out together for a few days. And then I joined him, or he joined me, to go back to Maui. And I got on the plane. And I swear, it was completely effortless. I didn't even think when we took off, you know, I was so busy chatting. "We're in the air. And do I care? No." I didn't.