Fleetwood Mac has fired Lindsey Buckingham after a disagreement over the band’s upcoming tour, Rolling Stone has confirmed. The band announced Monday that Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House will replace him.
News of Buckingham’s departure initially broke when former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette shared an April 4th tweet that has since been deleted, saying: “Breaking news: Lindsey Buckingham is out but I’m not in.” Rolling Stone has confirmed Buckingham’s departure, though no specific tour dates have been announced.
A little over a month ago, the majority of Fleetwood Mac – Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood – quietly gathered at a little theater in Maui with their future in doubt. The band had secretly parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, the longtime guitarist and voice behind many of their most enduring songs. According to the group, the split came down to a scheduling conflict surrounding a world tour. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until November ,” says Nicks. “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.”
So instead, they invited Mike Campbell, the former guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn and spent a few days workshopping tunes from their vast catalog to see if this new lineup had the right chemistry. “I immediately felt like I’d known them for years,” says Christine McVie, “even though we’d only just met.”
The new lineup will embark on a massive 52-date tour beginning October 3rd in Tulsa and criss-crossing the country before wrapping up in Phladelphia in April 2019. Tickets for the tour go on sale Friday, May 4th at 10 a.m. local time. (A complete itinerary is listed below.) The group also announced the launch of a SiriusXM channel devoted to the band beginning Tuesday, May 1st.
Nobody in the group is quite willing to say Buckingham was “fired,” but they don’t completely object to the term. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” says Fleetwood. “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.” Buckingham did not respond to multiple requests for comment for this story.
Fleetwood Mac issued a collective statement about the news, saying: “We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs. Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”
Mick Fleetwood added, “Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents … We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”
“Two weeks ago, I received a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band,” Finn tells Rolling Stone in a statement. “A few days later, I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and two of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait to play.”
Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974 along with Stevie Nicks. He wrote and sang many of their most memorable songs, including “Go Your Own Way,” “Tusk” and “Second Hand News.” He left in 1987 shortly before the Tango in the Night tour (where he was replaced by Billy Burnette) and rejoined in 1996 for The Dance reunion tour. He remained active on the road with them for the next two decades. They last played full sets at Classic East and Classics West in July of last year, through they did play a brief set in January at the pre-Grammy MusiCares concert in their honor. The set ended, fittingly enough, with “Go Your Own Way.”
(Excerpt) Read More in: Rolling Stone