Stevie Nicks Comments On Lindsey Buckingham’s Firing From Fleetwood Mac For The First Time
Next week, Lindsey Buckingham will release a self-titled album, his first solo effort since 2011. It’s also his first album since being kicked out of Fleetwood Mac in 2018 shortly after the band’s performance at a MusiCares event in New York.
Buckingham has not been quiet about that ordeal. Soon after his dismissal, he told an audience, “I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective,” and he later said Stevie Nicks had manager Irving Azoff fire him over the phone. Speaking to Stereogum that year, he called Mick Fleetwood “weak-willed” and summed up his attitude toward his former bandmates: “I just have to forgive them because it’s really just Stevie being so needy for a certain kind of attention and maybe not wanting to compete with the vitality that I have.”
In a pair of new interviews this week, he finds incendiary new ways to communicate the same concept. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Buckingham says he was fired because he asked Fleetwood Mac to delay an upcoming tour so he could release this new solo album and take it on the road. He thought they were still in negotiations about it when he received word from Azoff that he was out. He continues to blame Nicks, who “wanted to shape the band in her own image, a more mellow thing.” Buckingham says the other members of Fleetwood Mac could have stepped in to keep him in the band, but they cower before Nicks: “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. And so, it became a little bit like Trump and the Republicans.”
Buckingham also speculates that Nicks refused to make a new Fleetwood Mac album after the classic lineup’s ultra-successful 2015 tour because she didn’t have any new songs to offer. And he wonders aloud whether Nicks, who was dating Buckingham when they joined Fleetwood Mac together in 1975, struggled with his ability to start a family in his 40s and 50s while she remained childless. (Nicks told Rolling Stone in 2015, “Lindsey and I would always laughingly say — which we both knew was never going to happen — that, like, when we were 90, and everybody else was dead, maybe we would end up together in an old folks’ home… So when his first child was coming, I think we were walking in an airport, and I said, ‘Well, I guess we’re never going to get to that old folks’ home.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I guess we never are.'”)
Buckingham shared similar thoughts with the LA Times: “You could do a whole analysis on Stevie at this point in her life and what she’s allowed to happen and what she’s allowed to slip away from her. Her creativity, at least for a while it seemed like she wasn’t in touch with that. Same with the level of energy she once had onstage. I think that was hard for her, seeing me jump around in an age-inappropriate way. Also, she’s lonely. She’s alone. She has the people who work for her, and I’m sure she has friends, but you know.”
In response, Nicks shared this statement to Rolling Stone:
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. I could publicly reflect on the many reasons why, and perhaps I will do that someday in a memoir, but suffice it to say we could start in 1968 and work up to 2018 with a litany of very precise reasons why I will not 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.
Further to that, as for a comment on “family” — 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.
Earlier this year Mick Fleetwood seemed optimistic about the prospect of getting Buckingham back in the band. In light of all this, it feels… unlikely.