Fleetwood Mac fires Lindsey Buckingham, hires Neil Finn and Mike Campbell

April 24, 2018

by John Larson

Fleetwood Mac has parted ways with longtime singer/guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. The band has hired former Crowded House singer/guitarist Neil Finn and former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell to join Fleetwood Mac for the band’s 2018 tour, which is expected to launch in the autumn. According to Rolling Stone, Buckingham was let go from Fleetwood Mac over disagreements on when he would be willing to start the  tour. Buckingham reportedly wanted the tour to be delayed to 2019. Fleetwood Mac’s last performance with Buckingham was at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018, when Fleetwood Mac was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year. Fleetwood Mac was the first band to receive this honor.

Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks, who were previously the duo Buckingham Nicks, joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974, when the lineup consisted of original members drummer Mick Fleetwood, bassist John McVie and singer/keyboardist Christine McVie, who was John’s wife at the time. With Buckingham and Nicks in the band, Fleetwood Mac had an unbroken string of hit albums, starting with with the band’s self-titled 1975 album until 1987’s “Tango in the Night.” Fleetwood Mac’s Grammy-winning 1977 album, “Rumours,” which remains the band’s biggest hit, was recorded during the breakups of the romantic relationships of the McVies and Buckingham/Nicks. Over the years, Buckingham became Fleetwood Mac’s unofficial music director.

Buckingham, who launched a solo career in 1981, quit Fleetwood Mac in 1987, and rejoined the band in 1997 for the live reunion album “The Dance.” He sang lead vocals on the Fleetwood Mac songs that he wrote, such as “Go Your Own Way,” “Second Hand News,” “Tusk” and “Big Love.” In 2017, Buckingham and Christine McVie teamed up for an album titled “Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie” and toured in support of the album.

Fleetwood Mac issued this statement about Campbell and Finn joining the band: “We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs. Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”

There’s no word yet if Campbell and Finn will record a studio album with Fleetwood Mac, which has not released a studio album of new songs since 2003’s “Say You Will.”

October 11, 2018 UPDATE: Buckingham has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Fleetwood Mac, claiming he was wrongfully dismissed from the band. He is seeking millions in damages to compensate for the income he would have gotten from the band’s 2018 tour and other revenue sources, according to Variety. Fleetwood Mac’s publicist issued this statement to The Hollywood Reporter: “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court. The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case.”

December 8, 2018 UPDATE: The lawsuit between Buckingham Fleetwood Mac has been settled. In an interview with “CBS This Morning,” Buckingham said that his ouster from Fleetwood Mac “hurt” for few months after it happened. He also said he found out he was fired when Fleetwood Mac manager Irving Azoff called Buckingham up in a surprise phone call and allegedly screamed at him: “Stevie Nicks never wants to be on stage with you again!” Buckingham added that his current relationship with Nicks (who was his girlfriend for most of the 1970s) is “fragmented,” but that Fleetwood Mac keyboardist Christine McVie emailed him to say that McVie missed him and had nothing to do with the idea to kick him out of the band. Buckingham also claims that McVie also told him in the email that, deep down, Nicks misses Buckingham too, and eventually wants him back in the band. However, Buckingham said in the interview that it is doubtful that he will reunite with Fleetwood Mac.

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