Christine McVie died on November 30, but before her death the Fleetwood Mac star often spoke about her fear of flying. Here’s why McVeigh referred to himself as a “total can flyer” and how it relates to his airplane phobia.
Fleetwood Mac keyboardist Christine McVie once described herself as “flying in a jam jar.”
Christine McVie has often spoken about her fear of flying, but the Fleetwood Mac star has also opened up about her agoraphobia.
“Well, my brother always described me as a fly in a jam jar. Because I was a little agoraphobic,” the keyboardist told CBS in September 2014. “I’ve had a few little problems along the way with the isolation that drove me to seek help, along with my fear of flying.”
McVie said that after treating her phobias, she went from being a fly to a butterfly. “So I’ve worked it all out. Yes. I was a bit like a fly in a jam jar,” he said. “But my brother calls me butterfly now.”
Christine McVie said she had to take a break from performing because of her fear of flying
In 1998, Christine McVie took a hiatus from Fleetwood Mac after inducting the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
According to Keyboard, he had to leave the band due to fear of flying and panic attacks. “I had a phobia of flying. And I had a phobia when I left Fleetwood Mac,” he told CBS News (via Express ).
His best friend and bandmate, Stevie Nicks, said he understood why McVeigh left the band. “I understood why. I could tell that deep down in his heart, he couldn’t do it anymore,” Nick told Vulture in October 2014. “There were reasons… he had panic attacks. He was afraid of flying. There is nothing worse than being afraid of flying.”
After years of avoiding airplanes, McVeigh worked with a therapist to overcome his phobia of flying. When a therapist asked him where he would go if he could fly anywhere in the world, McVeigh’s instinctive response was to see his former bandmate Mick Fleetwood.
“I said Maui because that’s where Mickey is [Fleetwood] Lived at the time,” the keyboardist told Harper’s Bazaar in March 2019. “So the therapist said, ‘Why don’t you buy a ticket. You don’t have to get on the plane, just buy a ticket.”
McVie continued: “Then ironically, Mick called me and said, ‘Look, I’m coming to London, are you?’ So I did it.”
The Fleetwood Mac drummer said his friend and bandmate “flew away” when he died
Since Mick Fleetwood helped Christine McVie overcome her fear of flying, it makes sense that a keyboard tribute after her death would refer to flying several times. On the day McVie died after a short illness, the Fleetwood Mac drummer posted some touching words about his friend.
“This is the day my dear friend Christine McVie flew away… leaving us earthbound people to breathlessly listen to the sounds of this ‘songbird’…[treble clef emoji]..reminding everyone that love is all around us to reach out and touch this precious life we are gifted with,” she wrote on Instagram.
“Part of my heart flew away today… I will miss everything about you Christine McVie,” Fleetwood continued. “The memories are many… they fly to me.”