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Fleetwood Mac fired Buckingham after a cocktail of interpersonal conflict and disagreements about the schedule and setlist of the band’s then-imminent tour.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham disputed claims that his behaviour during a 2018 MusiCares event was the breaking point for Nicks’ tolerance of Buckingham. Instead, he asserted that it was his new solo record that led to his firing, as he wanted to delay Fleetwood Mac’s tour to have time to promote it.
He also accused Stevie Nicks of wanting to “shape the band in her own image, a more mellow thing, and if you look at the last tour, I think that’s true.” He added that he “didn’t see” any performances from the 2018 tour, on which he was replaced by Neil Finn and Mike Campbell. However, he still took the opportunity to call the setlist “somewhat generic and perhaps bordering on being a cover band.”
Buckingham then went on to give his own take on the band’s dynamic at the time in an analogy Rolling Stone called “thermonuclear.” “I think others in the band just felt that they were not empowered enough, individually, for whatever their own reasons, to stand up for what was right,” he said. “And so, it became a little bit like Trump and the Republicans.”
His implication that Nicks’ own ego became the driving force in the band is one Buckingham has made before, however was disputed in Nicks’ first public statement on Buckingham’s firing, provided to Rolling Stone for the new interview.
In it, she said: “It’s unfortunate that Lindsey has chosen to tell a revisionist history of what transpired in 2018 with Fleetwood Mac. His version of events is factually inaccurate, and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, preferring to not air dirty laundry, certainly it feels the time has come to shine a light on the truth. Following an exceedingly difficult time with Lindsey at MusiCares in New York, in 2018, I decided for myself that I was no longer willing to work with him.
“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 well-being. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it. I have championed independence my whole life, and I believe every human being should have the absolute freedom to set their boundaries of what they can and cannot work with. 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.”
In the Rolling Stone interview, Buckingham also seemed to imply that Nicks would be jealous of the fact that he has children, and that this was a contributing factor to his firing. “It certainly wasn’t lost on her that, even though I waited till I was 48 to have my first child, I did get in under the wire,” he said.
Nicks also commented on this, responding that: “I was thrilled for Lindsey when he had children, but I wasn’t interested in making those same life choices. Those are my decisions that I get to make for myself. I’m proud of the life choices I’ve made, and it seems a shame for him to pass judgment on anyone who makes a choice to live their life on their own terms, even if it looks differently from what his life choices have been.”