For the first time, Lindsey Buckingham has recounted his explanation as to why he left Fleetwood Mac. The guitarist was fired from the legendary band just days after the group were paid tribute to at 2018’s MusiCares benefit show in New York.
Stevie Nicks claimed Buckingham was looking for too much leave time, to focus on his own music, and this was why he was kicked out of the band.
Now in an interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham gave his account of just what really happened. He says that two days following the MusiCares concert, the group’s manager, Irving Azoff, called him in his house in LA to give him a message from Nicks. It simply said, “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again.”
Buckingham explains, “We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great. We were getting along great.” However, during the chat with Azoff, Buckingham was provided with a list of problems “Stevie took issue with”. Two of the complaints were over how he had “smirked” during her thank you speech and that he had an outburst over the band’s intro music, ‘Rhiannon’.
“It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon’, it just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.” Buckingham says he “may or may not have smirked” but his fellow bandmates were also joking about during Nicks’ speech. “I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”
Buckingham claims he had mistakenly assumed that Nicks was exiting the band and had emailed drummer Mick Fleetwood to instruct him how they could go on without her, but got no response. Days later, he called Azoff and said: “This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?” Azoff confirmed it was he who was “getting ousted” after Nicks had given the band “an ultimatum” and forced them to choose between him or her.
Regarding time off to pursue solo work, Buckingham said he had asked for “three or four months extra” to go on a solo tour but was met by “stonewalling” and left the meeting. “I don’t think there was ever anything that was a just cause to be fired,” he said. “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.”
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