Lindsey Buckingham Addresses Fleetwood Mac Firing in L.A. Times Profile; Stevie Nicks and Irving Azoff Respond


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Rock Cellar Magazine
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The in-fighting and quarreling that went on in Fleetwood Mac is as much a part of the band’s legacy as the music itself — arguably a central inspiration behind some of the group’s most inspired work (such as 1977’s Rumours). The status of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, specifically, has always been at the center of the band’s many phases over the years, and the upcoming release of his self-titled album (on Sept. 17) inspired some interesting comments from Stevie Nicks.

In 2018, Buckingham was fired from the band ahead of a big tour, being replaced by Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fame — and, as you’d assume given the nature of how things go with Fleetwood Mac, the circumstances around that situation differ depending on the source. In a new Los Angeles Times profile about Buckingham’s new album, for example, suggests that Buckingham’s focus on his solo material around the time of that Fleetwood Mac tour sparked tensions with Nicks, ultimately leading to his dismissal.

Per The Times:

Upon completing the 10-song collection, he asked his bandmates in Fleetwood Mac if they’d be willing to slightly delay an upcoming tour so he could promote his new music. He’d made a similar request back in 2006 and was granted two years to tour behind back-to-back solo efforts. For his new album, he only wanted three months.

Lindsey Buckingham will be released on Sept. 17, and was previewed recently with its opening track, “Scream.”

Being fired from Fleetwood Mac, compounded by Buckingham’s February 2019 heart attack and, later, his wife divorcing him after 21 years of marriage, left him in a tough state. As he told the Times:

“I’ll tell you what: Between the Fleetwood Mac stuff and the heart attack, it’s all been humbling,” Buckingham says now. “I’ve never suffered from a lack of confidence, and sometimes could get carried away with that in the process of leading the band. But everything has pulled me in a little bit. I’m not as aggressive a person as I was before, which is probably not a bad thing. It made me look around more — and become less self-involved, hopefully.”

Some of Buckingham’s comments regarding his dismissal focused on band manager/music mogul Irving Azoff, and Azoff responded in The Times piece:

In negotiations with the group, Buckingham posits, Azoff “threw me under the bus.”

“Irving doesn’t need the money, but he’s still driven by the money,” says the guitarist, who also used to be managed by Azoff as a solo act.

“I have historically declined comment on artists, but in the case of Lindsey Buckingham, I will make an exception,” Azoff says in a statement to The Times. “In speaking with Stevie, her account of events are factual and truthful. While I understand it’s challenging for Lindsey to accept his own role in these matters and far easier to blame a manager, the fact remains that his actions alone are responsible for what transpired.

Responding to Buckingham’s comments in the Los Angeles Times profile, Nicks also took  pointed issue with his rendition of what happened in 2018. Replying through a publicist, she is quoted in the piece as saying:

“His version of events is factually inaccurate and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, certainly it feels the time has come to shine a light on the truth,” Nicks says. “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. 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.

“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.”

Does all of this mean that any further reunions between Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac are out of the question? Given the band’s history, that’s anyone’s guess, though band leader Mick Fleetwood told Rock Cellarin early 2021 that he’d be open to another tour with Lindsey, should the cards shake out in that fashion:

Mick Fleetwood: My pipe dream is at some point, I think we sort of have to say goodbye. And I have huge deference to the band that we now are, but I have total deference to Lindsey, and I think, “Wouldn’t it be great if some mutant fantastic stadium shows or something actually does that?”


Buckingham is also out on a solo tour in support of his new record. The remaining dates:

9/9/2021 The Academy of Music – Northampton, MA
9/11/2021 The Chevalier Theater – Medford, MA
9/12/2021 The Music Hall – Portsmouth, NH
9/14/2021 Warner Theatre – Washington, DC
9/16/2021 The Town Hall – New York, NY
9/18/2021 Tropicana Casino & Resort – Atlantic City, NJ
9/19/2021 Santander Performing Arts Center – Reading, PA
9/21/2021 Knight Theatre – Charlotte, NC
9/22/2021 Woodruff Arts Center – Symphony Hall – Atlanta, GA
9/24/2021 Bijou Theatre – Knoxville, TN
9/26/2021 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
9/27/2021 Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL
9/29/2021 King Center for the Performing Arts – Melbourne, FL
9/30/2021 Parker Playhouse – Fort Lauderdale, FL
12/2/2021 The Theatre at Ace Hotel – Los Angeles, CA
12/3/2021 Magnolia Performing Arts Center – El Cajon, CA
12/5/2021 Fox Tucson Theatre – Tucson, AZ
12/8/2021 The Paramount Theatre For the Performing arts – Austin, TX
12/9/2021 Majestic Theatre – Dallas, TX
12/11/2021 Smart Financial Centre – Sugar Land, TX
12/13/2021 Von Braun Center – Mars Music Hall – Huntsville, AL
12/15/2021 Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
12/17/2021 The Criterion – Oklahoma City, OK
12/18/2021 Orpheum Theatre – Wichita, KS
12/20/2021 Boulder Theater – Boulder, CO

UK/EU TOUR DATES:
5/17/22 – Dublin, IE – Helix
5/19/22 – Glasgow, UK – SEC Armadillo
5/21/22 – Liverpool, UK – Philharmonic
5/22/22 – London, UK – Palladium
5/24/22 – Ghent, BE – Capitole
5/25/22 – Paris, FR – La Cigale
5/26/22 – Utrecht, NL – Tivolivrendenburg
5/28/22 – Berlin, DE – Theater am Potsdamer Platz
5/30/22 – Stockholm, SE – Cirkus
5/31/22 – Oslo, NO – Folketeateret


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