Lindsey Buckingham has been fired from Fleetwood Mac, with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House's leader Neil Finn replacing him, according to Variety.com. Fleetwood Mac issued a flat statement, which read: "Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best." Fans got the first hint of band discord when Buckingham's late-'80s replacement, guitarist Billy Burnette, tweeted back on April 4th, "Breaking news: Lindsey Buckingham is out but I’m not in. A little pissed off, but I'll get over it. It's all in the book," which was a followed by a link to his memoirs. Seeing as how the tweet was immediately scrubbed, most die-hards in the Mac community wrote it off as either a prank, a rumor, or simply wishful thinking on Burnette's part. According to a source, Buckingham did not quit the band -- which is currently plotting a massive world tour -- but in the insider's words: "He was fired.”
The website posted: "A source close to the situation tells Variety that although the group was on a high note after the MusiCares event (last January), and had announced last spring that it planned to tour this year, Buckingham was reluctant because he wanted to focus on solo material. The other four bandmembers -- (Stevie) Nicks, (Christine) McVie, bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood -- were eager and ready to tour, and after failing to obtain a commitment from Buckingham, told him they were proceeding with plans to tour without him. Suggestions that the group make an announcement along those lines were not acted upon."
- Fleetwood Mac said in a prepared statement: "Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound. 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.”
- Neil Finn said in a statement: "Two weeks ago I received a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band. A few days later I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and two of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait to play." He went on to tweet: "Snow warnings for parts of the country, the mystery of Stonehenge solved and yes I’ve joined Fleetwood Mac."
- Aside from January's MusiCares honor in New York City, Lindsey Buckingham spent the better part of 2017 on the road with Christine McVie in support of their self-titled first album as a duo. The set -- which was originally intended to be a Fleetwood Mac album and also featured Mick Fleetwood and John McVie -- was billed to the two songwriters when Stevie Nicks declined to take part in the project, opting instead to hit the arenas touring with the Pretenders.
- This is not the first time that Fleetwood Mac has hit the road without Lindsey Buckingham. He famously quit the band in 1987, practically on the eve of its tour behind their hit Tango In The Night album. The band reunited with Buckingham for a one-off performance with him in 1992 for Bill Clinton's inaugural bash, and by 1995 only Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were performing in a non-hit, low rent version of the band.
- The classic Rumours lineup once again joined forces in 1997. And following that tour, Christine McVie retired from the band for 16 years -- only deciding to return in 2014.
INTERNET COMMENTS via AVClub.com and Variety.com -- agree or disagree???
lattethunder wrote: "I wonder if maybe he wanted to do fewer shows than the others were perhaps suggesting. Pretty sure he’s the only one who still has kids at home, so maybe he didn’t want to do one of those never-ending farewell tours."
The Hole In Things wrote: "I don’t think it’s the same without Lindsey Buckingham. He’s so indispensable that every time he leaves the band, they have to bring in two guys to replace him."
Perry Carter wrote: "Interesting how he was the one that showed the most hesitation in allowing McVie back into the band... and now he’s the one that’s gone a few years later."
AlwaysBeenTim wrote: ". . .Buckingham is the most interesting member of the band and it is in the reunion tours that he participated in that seem to be the most highly regarded/attended. That said, Mike Campbell and Neil Finn. That is a hell of a replacement."
MySingleIsDropping wrote: "How dramatic do you have to be to get FIRED from Fleetwood friggin Mac?? I’m assuming this was Mick and Stevie’s idea. Like, you know if Christine was on board with this, he must have screwed up bad. It’s just so embarrassing that a group of literal senior citizens can’t get their collective sh** together."
Jill Friedfeld wrote: "I can’t believe after all these years that he’s gone again! Every time they come to town I’ve been there so I’ve seen them countless times, aside from the Beatles they have been my all time favorite band ! He’s a great singer song writer and guitarist of our time. He will be missed!"
Madalyn says: "Why can’t they just work it out. The band has been together forever. They are losing a talented man. They are too old to be fighting like this. Enjoy the success your band has and just get along..life is too short for drama."
Michael Landy wrote: "No more Fleetwood Mac concerts for me"