Rock and roll’s resident feuding dynasty have kicked off another round of sparring. Ex-Fleetwood Mac member Lindsey Buckingham has reignited his feud with Stevie Nicks in a new interview with Rolling Stone. This comes after Buckingham was fired from the band in April 2018, after things came to a head backstage when they played at the MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony in January that year.
There were many reasons why Buckingham was fired, but it is clear that a “huge impasse” had been reached and something needed to give. Subsequently, it was announced that the vocalist/guitarist would not appear on that year’s tour. Later that year, he sued the rest of the band claiming that he was “suddenly cut off” after a dispute over the possibility of postponing the tour to play solo dates.
Typical of Fleetwood Mac, the truth is opaque. Buckingham also claimed that he learned about his firing after a call from Fleetwood Mac manager Irving Azoff, who relayed a message from Stevie Nicks. Allegedly Azoff said: “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again.”
Eventually, the lawsuit was settled out of court. Buckingham told the press: “We’ve all signed off on something. I’m happy enough with it. I’m not out there trying to twist the knife at all. I’m trying to look at this with some level of compassion, some level of wisdom.”
However, in the new interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham has reopened the wound. He has now said that he was fired because Nicks “wanted to shape the band in her own image, a more mellow thing”.
It is who he likened Nicks and the rest of the band to that has caught the headlines and clearly offended Fleetwood Mac. He opined: “I think others in the band just felt that they were not empowered enough individually, for whatever their own reasons, to stand up for what was right. And so it became a little bit like Trump and the Republicans.”
Of the tour that he did not play, which saw Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn replacing him on guitar, he posited that he felt it “seemed somewhat generic and perhaps bordering on being a cover band … what this did was dishonour the legacy that we built”.
The Rolling Stone interview also included a scathing response from Nicks, who called Buckingham’s account “revisionist history” and “factually inaccurate”.
The contradictory statement read: “Following an exceedingly difficult time with Lindsey at MusiCares [award show] in New York in 2018, I decided for myself that I was no longer willing to work with him … we could start in 1968 and work up to 2018 with a litany of very precise reasons why I will not work with him. To be exceedingly clear, I did not have him fired, I did not ask for him to be fired, I did not demand he be fired. Frankly, I fired myself.”
Nicks‘ version of events, told a completely different tale of that fateful show back in 2018: “I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my wellbeing. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it. I have championed independence my whole life, and I believe every human being should have the absolute freedom to set their boundaries of what they can and cannot work with. And after many lengthy group discussions, Fleetwood Mac, a band whose legacy is rooted in evolution and change, found a new path forward with two hugely talented new members.”
It seems there’s never a year that goes by in Fleetwood Mac without some form of fallout. Regardless, the world of music keeps on turning. Buckingham is releasing a new solo album, and prior to the pandemic, Fleetwood Mac embarked on a 50th-anniversary tour.
Listen to Buckingham’s new track, ‘Scream’, below.