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So why did Fleetwood Mac fire Lindsey Buckingham?

Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images


Fans are trying to make heads or tails over Lindsey Buckingham’s sudden firing from Fleetwood Mac. In the announcement that Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn would be joining the band to cover Buckingham’s parts, fans were never given any reason for the change in the band’s classic lineup. There are some whispers that Buckingham had actually wanted to have a new Mac album readied before hitting the road again — but that doesn’t really play out. Following the band’s sold out 2015 reunion dates with Christine McVie, the band was all geared up to record a new album, yet Stevie Nicks balked, citing that albums don’t sell anymore, and proceeded to book yet another solo arena tour.

The 2017 Buckingham McVie album — featuring Mick Fleetwood and John McVie — was in truth a Fleetwood Mac album under a different brand due to Nicks refusing to contribute. It was confirmed to us that the group was absolutely holding out for Nicks’ involvement for both creative and financial reasons. As it stood, Lindsey Buckingham played two major Fleetwood Mac world tours back to back, wrote and produced an LP that performed far under the expectations of what a “proper” Fleetwood Mac album would’ve, and supported it with Christine McVie performing one-nighters on the shed circuit rather than the Mac’s standard of several nights in arenas. Buckingham wanting to hit pause on the Mac machine, along with bucking Stevie Nicks’ allotted time for Mac roadwork was likely the reason for him being ousted.

The fact of the matter that can’t be ignored is that Buckingham is a 69-year-old father of three teenagers. He and wife and Kristen are the parents of 19-year-old William, 18-year-old Leelee, and 13-year-old Stella. The pull of a massive world tour away from his brood probably played a significant part in how and when Buckingham wanted to hit the road.

Lindsey Buckingham admitted to us that having a happy and stable family life has centered him — especially when it comes to his music: “I actually saw a lot of my friends who were parents, or were spouses, who were not really there for their families back then (and I) did not want to be one of those people. And the fact that I was lucky enough to meet someone and was able to have children relatively late after all of that other garbage was out of the way, y’know, it’s been a great gift. Y’know, you could talk about the balance between the big machine and Fleetwood Mac and the small machine of solo work and how those two things feed off each other and support each other — and you can also talk about the balance between a creative life and a family life.”

Unlike some of his peers who are leveled after a two-hour-plus show, Buckingham admitted he still feels as though he’s performing at the top of his game: “A lot of the idea of (laughs) being in a rock n’ roll band and getting to be one of, sort of the people who’s been around for a while, y’know, you can manage that equation any number of ways. Y’know, it’s hard for me to sort of. . .  I feel the same physically as I did 25 years ago. I think I’m mentally, somewhat in arrested (laughs) development – y’know, in a good way, I hope!”

Side Notes:

Fleetwood Mac will release Tango In The Night – Alternate for “Record Store Day” on April 21st. The LP, which was released as part of last year’s deluxe expanded version of the 1987 album, will be limited to 4000 copies on vinyl LP.

Tango In The Night – Alternate features 13 unreleased tracks, including the alternate version of “Mystified,” a demo for the album’s title song, plus the rare b-sides: “Down Endless Street” and “Ricky.”

Tango In The Night, which is the band’s second biggest selling album, spawned four hit singles “Little Lies” (#4), “Big Love” (#5), “Everywhere” (#14), and “Seven Wonders” (#19).

Check it out: Fleetwood Mac in concert on March 27, 2015 at Scottrade Center