Lindsey Buckingham is no longer a member of Fleetwood Mac, but it’s not the first time he has exited the band he first joined in 1974. Buckingham, who wrote some of Fleetwood Mac’s biggest songs, including “The Chain,” “Go Your Own Way” and “Tusk,” was fired from Fleetwood Mac just two months before the band’s upcoming tour.
In a statement posted by Variety, the band announced that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn will be joining Fleetwood Mac veterans Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, and John McVie for the band’s upcoming “farewell” tour. The announcement concluded with, “Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best.” The Variety source reiterated that Lindsey did not leave Fleetwood Mac voluntarily.
The official Fleetwood Mac website previously included a link to the tour, set to kick off in June, but it now gives a dead page error code.
This is not the first time Lindsey Buckingham has departed Fleetwood Mac. In 1987, Lindsey left the group for an extended period of time and was replaced with two singer-guitarists, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Buckingham briefly reunited with Fleetwood Mac in 1993 to perform at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration, but his overall hiatus from the band lasted 10 years. Lindsey rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 1997 for the live album and tour, The Dance.
The fact that Lindsey Buckingham has always been replaced with two guitarists did not go unnoticed by fans who flocked to social media after his firing was announced. Other fans blamed Lindsey’s ex-girlfriend and Fleetwood Mac bandmate Stevie Nicks for the latest band drama. Others said that Fleetwood Mac is all but dead without Lindsey Buckingham. You can see some of the fan reaction to Lindsey Buckingham’s firing below.
Lindsey Buckingham’s latest departure from Fleetwood Mac is very different from his first exit more than 30 years ago. When he left the group in 1987, Lindsey told Rolling Stone it was understood that he had no plans to tour with his longtime band after an extended stay in the studio. Instead, Lindsey revealed that it had always been his intention to pursue his solo career after wrapping production on the group’s album Tango in the Night.
At the time, Fleetwood Mac singer Christine McVie expressed sadness over Lindsey’s departure from the band.
“This is the end of a very important era for us,” McVie told Rolling Stone on 1987. “I’m obviously saddened by the fact that Lindsey can’t work with us anymore, but people change directions and don’t always grow together after 12 years.”
Check out the video below to see Lindsey Buckingham performing with Fleetwood Mac during the band’s heyday in the late 1970s.