Singer Christine McVie opened the champagne when she arrived at her home in the Hollywood Hills on March 21, 1978.
Just three weeks earlier, she had been celebrating her divorce from bass player John and opened up about how she put their band Fleetwood Mac ahead of her personal life.
She was then 34 years old, and she was a millionaire.
Their album Rumors topped the US charts for six months last year.
It did not leave the UK top ten for 55 consecutive weeks.
It has since sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
At that time, Christine was part of one of the biggest success stories in rock and roll.
But it wasn’t just a rise to the top of one of the most controversial and chaotic bands in rock history, with a string of c*caine dealings.
Kristin’s ex-husband John once joked that the only band members who didn’t have an affair were himself and guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
By the time they were recording The Rumors, Christina wasn’t talking to John and had an affair with lighting director Curry Grant.
Married couple Lindsey and singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks broke up, causing more tension during recording.
To make matters worse, Stevie fell in love with drummer Mick Fleetwood, whose wife, Jenny Boyd, had previously had an affair with previous Fleetwood Mac member Bob Weston.
After Mick and Jenny divorced, he left Stevie for her good friend Sarah Recor.
But it wasn’t until Christine’s marriage fell apart that she really came into her own professionally.
In 1977, she wrote her biggest hits “Don’t Stop”, “Songbird” and “You Make Loving Fun”, which were rumored on Rumours.
She spoke candidly about the mixture of talents, fights and breakups that held the group of five together.
She told me: “When Lindsey and Stevie joined us, they lived happily together for about eight years. But they disbanded after about six months with this group.
“Fleetwood Mac seems to be contagious. Breakups are a disease. Even Mick (Fleetwood) divorced his wife Jenny. But they got married again and are now very happy.”
In fact, Mick was supposed to dump Jenny just six months after this interview.
Kristin added, “All the personal issues with each other and all that tension seemed to help the group’s special magic.”
We first met ten years ago when she was singing the blues in Birmingham clubs under her maiden name Christine Perfect.
She was only 16 when she first stepped onto the stage of the Liberal Dudley Club in my native Black Country, for which she was paid £3.
All the personal problems with each other and all this tension seemed to help the group’s special magic.
Now she and Fleetwood Mac were filling stadiums with 50,000 seats, and she could afford a Cotswold-style mansion furnished with antiques and oil paintings as if she still lived in England.
There was even a roar from the fireplace, despite the warm California afternoon.
And Kristin explained how important her musical life has become: “John and I broke up three years ago, but we had two options – to break up and see the band fall apart, or bite the bullet and keep playing. together.
“Usually when couples break up, they don’t need to see each other anymore. We have been forced to overcome these difficulties.
“There was no doubt that the band had just ruined our marriage.
“We saw each other so often at work, at games and at home that it was very exhausting for our relationship.
“I used to think that touring away from home put a lot of stress on a marriage. But not many relationships can survive if they see each other every hour of every day.”
She added: “As you can imagine, there was a lot of awkwardness, especially in the first days after we stopped living together.
“It had to do with the fact that we were trying to be super mature and we had to hide our subtle feelings.
“In fact, we never got around to finalizing our divorce until now, although it was reported that we got divorced two years ago.
“John started dating a girl named Julie, who used to work for our former business manager. They are getting married on April 16 (1978) so John wanted a formal divorce.
“Now I live with a guy named Curry Grant, a lighting engineer from Texas. He gets bored of being at home all day.
“So now he’s acting as the road manager for a singer named Bob Welch who used to be in Fleetwood Mac.”
Christina lived so much in music and the band that she decided not to have children.
She said: “I had a big slice and a cube (neutered) four months ago. I have reached the point where my lifestyle and mood are no longer meant for babies. Where would they fit in?
“I have two godchildren, a half-brother and half-sister, who are 11 years old. It’s great that they are always close to home when they come from England.
“I can always wave them goodbye at the end of the visit and it makes me realize that I can’t take the kids now. With my career, there is no place for them.”
After the interview, Kristin remarried in 1986 after dating Curry and briefly Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys.
This time she lived with Portuguese keyboardist and writer Eddy Quintela for 17 years.
They co-wrote songs including Little Lies, which was featured on Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 album Tango In The Night.
By 2003, they were divorced, although they continued to work together, with Eddie dying in 2020.
Christine was born in the village of Booth in the Lake District in 1943 to the violinist Cyril Perfect and his wife Beatrice, a healer.
At first, she was obsessed with the desire to become an artist, as well as learn to play the classical piano and cello.
She graduated from Birmingham College of Art with a degree in sculpture, but her passion for music soon led her to join her first band, Chicken Shack.
The three of us, English, have a special sense of humor that helps on the road. It is based on constant irritation. Lindsey and Stevie are Californians and take everything deadly seriously.
After marriage John McVie in 1968 she retired from music and briefly became a housewife.
But just two years later, she released a solo album, Christine Perfect, and soon she was playing keyboards and singing backing vocals in Fleetwood Mac.
In 1974 the band moved to the States where Stevie and Lindsey joined.
The mixture of British and American newcomers worked well, apart from the obvious cultural differences.
Christine said: “The three of us, English, have a special sense of humor that keeps us going when we’re on the road.
“It is based on constant nonsense. Lindsey and Stevie are from California, and Americans take everything deadly seriously.
“They can never tell for sure when you’re teasing or fooling them.”
In 1999, Kristin left the band and returned to England to be close to her family, dodging various Fleetwood Mac reunions.
She moved into an idyllic Grade II listed mansion near Canterbury in Kent called The Quaives.
There she recorded two solo albums – one in 2013, which was never released.
That same year, she surprised fans by joining Fleetwood Mac.
In 2018, Lindsey was kicked out of the group, causing controversy, forcing them to settle out of court.
But even last year, Mick Fleetwood played the last farewell tour.
Kristin said: “If we do this, I think it will be without John and without Stevie. I’m already too old for this. I don’t know if I can go back to it.”
Christina was warm, hospitable and talkative, and well aware of her good fortune.
She said, “We are pretty spoiled right now. We have limousines and private jets. It’s far from small clubs and pubs.”
At the end of our conversation, she gave me a tour of the house.
But even then, despite the luxury and the heated swimming pool in the garden, she still yearned for England.
She said: “I miss cheese, bread, bottled milk, delicious fatty sausages and a sense of humor.”
When we finished our champagne, she added, “But what I miss most is talking in a good English pub over a glass of beer.”
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