Lindsey Buckingham Discusses Fleetwood Mac Firing In New Interview

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On April 9, Fleetwood Mac confirmed the shocking news the band was parting ways with longtime guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and replacing him with Mike Campbell of The Heartbreakers and Crowded House’s Neil Finn. Later that day, Rolling Stone reported Buckingham had been fired from Fleetwood Mac. Lindsey Buckingham recently spoke about the circumstances surrounding his departure for the first time in an interview with Rolling Stone.

The first sign of trouble came two days after Fleetwood Mac’s performance at a MusicCares benefit in New York City on January 26. Manager Irving Azoff called Buckingham to relay a number of issues Stevie Nicks had with Lindsey’s behavior at the MusiCares event. Nicks felt Buckingham was disrespectful of her and smirked when she gave a thank-you speech. “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time,” Buckingham said of the smirking. “I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood) are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.” The guitarist came away from the call thinking Stevie Nicks was quitting the band. He went on to send Mick Fleetwood a note stating that he wanted Fleetwood Mac to continue without Nicks.

After he didn’t receive a response, Buckingham contacted Azoff:

“I called Irving and said, ‘This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?’ ” Azoff told the guitarist he was “getting ousted” and that Nicks gave the rest of the band “an ultimatum: Either you go or she’s gonna go.” Asked if those were Azoff’s exact words, Buckingham responds, “Pretty much. I don’t remember his exact words, but that was the message.”

Lindsay Buckingham told Rolling Stone he tried to contact Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood without success. He has not spoken with his former band mates since their MusicCares performance. “Am I heartbroken about not doing another tour with Fleetwood Mac? No,” Buckingham said, “because I can see that there are many other areas to look into.” He added, “The one thing that does bother me and breaks my heart is we spent 43 years always finding a way to rise above our personal differences and our difficulties to pursue and articulate a higher truth. That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this.”

Buckingham recently began a solo tour just days after Fleetwood Mac’s tour opener in Tulsa. The members of Fleetwood Mac and Irving Azoff declined comment for the story. Head to Rolling Stone for more from Lindsey about life after Fleetwood Mac.

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