If there are two things you can always count on with Fleetwood Mac, it’s classic rock ‘n roll and classic band drama. Infighting is as much a part of the band’s legacy as their music is, and even after over 50 years, it doesn’t look like that’s changing. In a new interview, de facto bandleader Mick Fleetwood said he doesn’t foresee a situation in which ousted guitarist Lindsey Buckingham ever returns to the group.
Buckingham was unceremoniously fired in April of 2018 ahead of Fleetwood Mac’s massive North American tour. Rumors (zing) had it that disagreements with Stevie Nicks and Buckingham’s attempts to push rehearsals for the tour back led to an impasse. He later sued the band for “fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.” A settlement was reached out of court in late 2018.
Now, as Fleetwood Mac unwind from the finale of their 50th anniversary tour, Mick Fleetwood has said a reconciliation with Buckingham is unlikely. “No,” he said flatly when asked by Rolling Stone if there were “any scenario where you’d ever play with Lindsey Buckingham again.” He continued,
“Fleetwood Mac is a strange creature. We’re very, very committed to Neil and Mike, and that passed away a time ago, when Lindsey left. And it’s not a point of conversation, so I have to say no. It’s a full drama of Fleetwood Mac, no doubt. His legacy is alive and well, and as it should be. A major, major part that will never be taken away, and never be down-spoken by any of us. Neil [Finn] and Mike [Campbell] have tremendous respect for Lindsey. The situation was no secret. We were not happy. It was not working, and we parted company. And that really is the all of it.”
Fleetwood added that he hadn’t spoken to Buckingham since his heart attack and subsequent open heart surgery back in February 2019.
In the good news column, Fleetwood said, “There’s no breaking up of the band.” While they’re taking a break following a long stretch on the road, it won’t be a permanent one. As for where we might see them again, Fleetwood added,
“We’re not going to do a [long] tour, I would say, ever again. But there’s loads of alternatives. People like Peter Gabriel have a lovely way of working where they go and just do four or five major festivals during the summer. That’s the sort of vision that I see for Fleetwood Mac. We’re able to cherry-pick things that have dignity, and are fun to do, and they’re historically interesting.”
Fleetwood Mac may be off the road, but Buckingham is set to play Beale Street Music Festival in May (get tickets here), while Stevie Nicks is on the lineup for Governors Ball, BottleRock Napa Valley, and New Orleans Jazz Festival (tickets here).