Lindsey Buckingham Says Stevie Nicks Had Him Fired From Fleetwood Mac Over The Phone

Earlier this year, Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham and announced a tour without him, which they’re currently on. (They debuted the new lineup, with Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn, on Ellen last month.) Buckingham recently announced a solo tour that’ll take place concurrently with the Fleetwood Mac one.

He hasn’t spoken publicly about the break-up outside of a brief comment at a live show in May, but in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham lays out his side of the story.

He says that he received a call from Fleetwood Mac manager Irving Azoff when he was at home watching the Grammys, a couple days after the band was honored at the MusiCares Person Of The Year event in late January and played together on stage for the last time.

According to Buckingham, Azoff said something to the effect of: “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” and then cited some issues that Nicks had with the way their performance and award presentation was handled, including to the way that Buckingham reacted to them being introduced with Nicks’ “Rhiannon.” “It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon,” Buckingham told Rolling Stone. “It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”

Buckingham also addressed a smirk that he apparently gave during Nicks’ speech: “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time,” he said. “I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”

After that phone call, Buckingham says he was under the impression that Nicks was quitting Fleetwood Mac, but soon after he was told that he was in fact getting the boot.

In the original announcement that revealed Buckingham would be kicked out of the band, Fleetwood Mac cited scheduling conflicts that would’ve pushed the timeline back a year and a half, though Buckingham said that isn’t entirely true. He says he asked for a few extra months to perform solo dates, but that Fleetwood Mac “came first.” He continued: “And I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired. We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group.”

In the Rolling Stone profile, he also says:

Am I heartbroken about not doing another tour with Fleetwood Mac? No. because I can see that there are many other areas to look into. […] The one thing that does bother me and breaks my heart is we spent 43 years always finding a way to rise above our personal differences and our difficulties to pursue and articulate a higher truth. That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this.

Buckingham’s solo tour is currently underway, and he has plans to release a solo album, tentatively titled Blue Light, next year. He says he hasn’t watched the new Fleetwood Mac lineup’s television debut.