Revisiting Christine McVie’s Final Show
The rock world suffered a devastating loss with the death of Fleetwood Mac songbird Christine McVie on Nov. 30, 2022. The 79-year-old singer and pianist left behind a towering legacy of heartrending songs and era-defining hits — and when she died, so did the prospect of Fleetwood Mac's most popular lineup taking the stage together again.
McVie hadn't performed live in nearly three years before her death. Her last public performance took place on Feb. 25, 2020, at the London Palladium, at a star-studded tribute to founding Fleetwood Mac singer and guitarist Peter Green, who died the following June. The event, hosted by Mick Fleetwood, featured several other A-list rockers, including Billy Gibbons, Steven Tyler, Noel Gallagher, David Gilmour, Pete Townshend and Kirk Hammett. McVie performed the Green-penned Fleetwood Mac classic "Stop Messin' Round" with Tyler, as well as another Green composition, "Looking for Somebody," both off Fleetwood Mac's 1968 eponymous debut album.
The Green tribute show took place roughly three months after McVie wrapped up her final tour with Fleetwood Mac. The 2018-19 trek notably featured guitarists Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in place of longtime Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, whom the band dismissed in 2018. Shortly before Buckingham's ouster, he and McVie recorded the 2017 collaborative album Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie and toured in support of it.
Watch Christine McVie and Steven Tyler Perform 'Stop Messin' Round' at the Peter Green Tribute Concert
Fleetwood Mac's last tour was a windfall, but in the years that followed, McVie expressed uncertainty about the band's future. "Those guys [Finn and Campbell] were great," she told Rolling Stone in June 2022. "We have a great time with them, but we've kind of broke up now, so I hardly ever see them." She added that she didn't communicate much with Stevie Nicks either: "When we were on the last tour, we did a lot. We always sat next to each other on the plane and we got on really well. But since the band broke up, I've not been speaking to her at all."
McVie stated explicitly that she "[did not] feel physically up for" a farewell tour featuring Fleetwood Mac's classic Rumours lineup of Nicks, Buckingham, Fleetwood, former husband John McVie and herself. "I'm in quite bad health," she lamented. "I've got a chronic back problem which debilitates me. I stand up to play the piano, so I don't know if I could actually physically do it. What's that saying? The mind is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Although McVie expressed her desire for Buckingham to rejoin the band, she also admitted she was "getting a bit long in the teeth here" and was "quite happy being at home. I don't know if I ever want to tour again. It's bloody hard work." Still, she didn't rule out one last hurrah entirely. "I really can’t say for sure," she said, "because I could be wrong. So I'll just leave it open and say that we might."