Lindsey Buckingham has finally revealed the backstory that resulted in him being fired from Fleetwood Mac. Both Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac are currently on tour respectively, with the Mac criss-crossing the continent through the spring of 2019 with Buckingham's replacements — Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Crowded House's Neil Finn.
Buckingham, who has just released the triple-disc compilation, Solo Anthology – The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham shed light on how he was canned by the band, explaining to Rolling Stone that following Fleetwood Mac's MusiCares tribute earlier this year, he received a call from Mac manager and music industry tycoon Irving Azoff, who told him, "Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again." Buckingham was taken by surprise, explaining that things ran smoothly between the band members prior to the annual event, which salutes musicians' charitable works: "We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great. We were getting along great."
According to the report, "On the phone, Azoff had a list of things that, as Buckingham puts it, 'Stevie took issue with' that evening, including the guitarist’s outburst just before the band’s set over the intro music — the studio recording of Nicks' 'Rhiannon' — and the way he 'smirked' during Nicks’ thank-you speech. Buckingham concedes the first point. 'It wasn’t about it being 'Rhiannon,' he says. 'It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something. As for smirking, 'The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time. 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."
After the phone call, Buckingham, who had presumed that it was Nicks that was quitting the band, sent an email to Mick Fleetwood outlining how the band could proceed with her — and got no reply: "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.'"
Buckingham — who has known Stevie Nicks since he was 16-years-old, began making music with her just over a year later, and was romantically involved with her from 1971 to 1976 — explained, "Our relationship has always been volatile. We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts and destroy everyone around them because it’s just hard."
Although Buckingham had asked for several months more away from the band after last year's shed tour with Christine McVie so that he could squeeze in some solo dates, he maintains the "(Fleetwood Mac) came first. And I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired. We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group."
He went on to say, "Am I heartbroken about not doing another tour with Fleetwood Mac? No, because I can see that there are many other areas to look into. 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 came clean about his emotions over being dumped, admitting, "I had a visceral reaction to it for a long time. . . completely hurt. I’d be fine for a while, and then it would come back." He says he was "disappointed" with "the disproportion in what happened and anything you can put on me in terms of behavior and the scale of what went on."
Regarding a reunion with hos former bandmates, Buckingham said, "It is not my place or intent to open that door. I’ve done my best to reach out to them. (I've not) technically closed the book on anything. Nor would I. But I am not planning that anything will change from what it is now."
Back in April, the latest lineup of Fleetwood Mac appeared on CBS This Morning and spoke about the then-upcoming tour — with Mick Fleetwood finally breaking his silence on Lindsey Buckingham's exit. Fleetwood was asked if the stories are true that Lindsey Buckingham was indeed fired from the band: ["We don't use that word, because I think it's ugly and it's not a question of that. Lindsey has huge amounts of respect and kudos to which he's done in the ranks of Fleetwood Mac and always will. But, it's like a marriage that came to an end — and there are reasons why. And as a band, we need to move on and we have. It became just a huge impasse and hit a brick wall, where we decided that we had to part company. This is absolutely a new band. This is the new lineup of Fleetwood Mac."] SOUNDCUE (:30 of Fleetwood Mac)
Lindsey Buckingham's firing came to a suprise to many — especially seeing as how when we last caught up with Buckingham he told us that his relationship with Stevie Nicks was stronger than ever and still extremely important to him: ["Whatever happens with Stevie, I would just wanna, with the band in general obviously, but I mean with Stevie in particular, because I've known her for so long, since I was about 16, one thing that would be very important to me by the time we say 'we're not gonna do this any more,' would be that Stevie and I end up in a really good space together, y'know?"] SOUNDCUE (:19 OC: . . . space together y'know)
Lindsey Buckingham's next show is set for Friday (October 12th) at L.A.'s Orpheum Theatre
Fleetwood Mac next performs on Friday (October 12th) at Lincoln, Nebraska's Pinnacle Bank Arena.
Source: Pulse of Radio