Leave the past behind… Look forward to tomorrow. “Don’t Stop” is a positive love letter to a lover that needs to move on. Christine McVie wrote this song about John McVie when they were separated. One would think this was still hard for John, who then had to perform a song about him, but the song isn’t spiteful. The song was just another song in an album chuck full of songs that the band wrote about one another. Rumors took years to make, and most of it was recorded in separate pieces because the band was so pissed at each other and/or breaking up with each other and/or sleeping with each other despite being in relationships. The album really did end up with the perfect name.
The album, Rumors, originally was called Yesterday’s Gone after a line in “Don’t Stop.” Since most of Southern California was talking about Fleetwood Mac’s business during this time, John McVie suggested Rumors instead.
Every member of Fleetwood Mac was going through a breakup. John and Christine McVie were divorcing. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks were breaking up, and Mick Fleetwood was also in the middle of a divorce. Everyone was a hot mess and there was Christine McVie in the middle of it all with words of positivity.
“Don’t Stop” Lyrics
Why not think about times to come?
And not about the things that you’ve done
If your life was bad to you
We’ll just do what tomorrow will do
Christine said in The Fleetwood Mac Story: Rumours and Lies, “It might have, I guess, been directed more toward John, but I’m just definitely not a pessimist.” John and Christine were married for nearly 10 years. When they married in 1968, Peter Green was their best man.
Christine broke up with John and filed for divorce while Fleetwood Mac was on the road. “I broke up with John in the middle of a tour.” Christine continued, “I was aware of it being rather irresponsible,” – (Rolling Stone interview 1977). “I had to do it for my sanity. It was either that or me ending up in a lunatic asylum.”
Time and Perspective
In a 1997 interview, Christine spoke of her breakup with John again. “I dare say, if I hadn’t joined Fleetwood Mac, we might still be together. I just think it’s impossible to work in the band with your spouse. Imagine the tension of living with someone 24 hours a day, on the road, in an already stressful situation, with the added negativity of too much alcohol. It just blew apart.” – cheatsheet.com
Despite the song being used in political campaigns decades after is was written, “Don’t Stop” wasn’t written to be a political song. It was about Christine’s relationship with John McVie, but maybe he wasn’t bothered by playing it so much. In a 2015 interview, he said, “I never put that together. I’ve been playing it for years and it wasn’t until somebody told me, ‘Chris wrote that about you.’ Oh really?” I personally, have to think he was being campy in his answer. There’s no way he could be that dense, but who knows?
“Don’t Stop” is one of Fleetwood Mac’s most successful songs, second only to “Dreams.”