trust a musician who says he's retiring. Jay-Z's promise to
leave the limelight last December didn't stop him from mapping
out a national tour this fall with R. Kelly. And Christine
McVie's declaration to deep-six her career after leaving
Fleetwood Mac six years ago, apparently hasn't hindered her from
releasing a new solo CD, "In the Meantime," which hits the
charts this week. "No one is more surprised than me," McVie
insists of her first solo release in 20 years. "I was just
doodling around in what I laughingly call 'my studio' - a barn
by my house - and the ball started rolling."
McVie, 61, stresses that she's
hardly launching a full-scale comeback. She won't tour, and the
CD appears on an indie label, Koch, rather than on the large
company that launched Mac, Warner Bros. "They weren't
interested," McVie says. "When they saw I wouldn't tour, they
knew it wasn't going to be financially viable." McVie herself
doesn't have to worry about finances. "I'm not Elton John," she
says, "but let's just say life has been fair."
McVie, who wrote Mac's most
mainstream hits, from "Don't Stop" to "You Make Lovin' Fun,"
says what led her to ditch Mac dates to the 1994 earthquake in
her adopted home of L.A. "I lost so much sleep over whether I
would be in another one," she says. A few years earlier she
bought a house in Kent, in her birth country of England. But it
took her until '98 to make the final move. "My father died," she
explains. "And I wanted to spend more time with my big brother."
McVie says Mac knew she wouldn't stay beyond the band's initial
comeback tour of 1997-98.
The group had originally
reconvened to play at Bill Clinton's second inauguration. He
used her "Don't Stop" as his campaign theme. "I don't do
politics," McVie says. "But Clinton seemed like a nice guy."
McVie says she knew she'd made the right decision to part with
the group when she saw bandmate Stevie Nicks on tour. "I didn't
envy her up there," she says.
McVie says she has spent most
of her time "lurking around my house." She didn't write much.
"I'm not brimming over with confidence," the songwriter reveals.
"I'm not sure if I'm any good."
It was only when her nephew,
Dan Perfect (McVie's maiden name), started playing guitar with
her for a lark three years ago that they started laying down
tracks for what would be the new CD. McVie says the songs deal
with a failed affair she had at the time. She has had two
marriages which ended in divorce, and says she won't marry
again. "I have my dogs," she laughs. As to whether she'll
stumble into making another CD, McVie hedges. "Usually," she
says, "you end up doing precisely what you try most to avoid."