In a new profile in Rolling Stone, former Fleetwood Mac singer and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham opened up about his acrimonious split with the band earlier this year. In the past, Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks have cited a disagreement about tour dates and a comprehensive sense of dissatisfaction in the band as their primary rationales for deciding to fire Buckingham, one of the primary creative forces in the group. In the new RS interview, however, Buckingham claims that Nicks specifically requested that he be fired. Fleetwood Mac’s manager Irving Azoff told Buckingham that Nicks “never wants to be on a stage with you again” and that she had given the band “an ultimatum: Either you go or she’s gonna go.”
According to Buckingham—to whom the information was relayed by Azoff—Nicks objected to Buckinham’s behavior during a MusiCares event the group played earlier this year, where the band were named the charity’s Person of the Year. claiming he “smirked” while she gave a speech onstage and had an “outburst” about the choice of entrance music for their appearance: the Nicks-penned Mac classic “Rhiannon.” Buckingham responded to the accusations in the interview, saying that the “outburst” “wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon.’ It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”
He conceded that he “may or may not” have smirked onstage, and threw his other bandmates under the bus for their behavior in the situation. “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time,” the singer-songwriter explained. “I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”
“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,” Buckingham opined later in the interviewf. “That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this.”
Both Buckingham and Fleetwood Mac, which now features Buckingham surrogates Mike Campbell from the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House and Split Enz, are out on the road on separate tours. Buckingham released a new anthology of his solo work, which includes two unreleased songs, earlier this month. Read the full Rolling Stone profile of Buckingham here.