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Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood Discuss Firing Lindsey Buckingham

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: (L-R) Honorees Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac take a bow onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Fleetwood Mac announced a four month-long American tour today, and in doing so, the band’s current members spoke at length for the first time about their decision to part ways with Lindsey Buckingham. Speaking to Rolling Stone, the band says it decided to move on without Buckingham after he objected to the upcoming tour schedule.

“We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until November [2019],” Stevie Nicks told Rolling Stone’s Andy Greene. “That’s a long time. I just did 70 shows [on a solo tour]. As soon as I finish one thing, I dive back into another. Why would we stop? We don’t want to stop playing music. We don’t have anything else to do. This is what we do.”

If this is indeed true (Buckingham declined to comment to RS), then Buckingham and the rest of the band were not seeing eye to eye—the upcoming tour begins in October of this year and continues through March 2019, with a month off in January. If Buckingham didn’t want to begin rehearsing until November of 2019, then his idea of going back on the road with the band was wildly mismatched with that of everyone else.

Mick Fleetwood framed the situation to RS as a “majority rules” decision.

“Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall. This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band. To that purpose, we made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward.”

Nicks, speaking further, seemed to take a wistful but matter-of-fact tone.

“Our relationship has always been volatile,” she said. “We were never married, but we might as well have been. Some couples get divorced after 40 years. They break their kids’ hearts and destroy everyone around them because it’s just hard. This is sad for me, but I want the next 10 years of my life to be really fun and happy. I want to get up every day and dance around my apartment and smile and say, ‘Thank God for this amazing life.’”

Still, there may be some other sorts of frictions that contributed to the band’s decision to leave Buckingham behind. Greene reports that the newly formed band—which now includes former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn—will play early Fleetwood Mac songs, from before 1975, when Buckingham and Nicks joined the band.

“We were never able to do that since 1975 because certain people in the band weren’t interested in doing that,” Nicks said cryptically.