Fleetwood Mac decided to go their own way from longtime guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Now, Buckingham has decided to sue his former bandmates for “fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,” according to Rolling Stone.
“Last January, Fleetwood Mac made the decision to continue to tour without me,” Buckingham said in a statement to Rolling Stone regarding the suit. “I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful 43-year legacy we built together. Over the last eight months, our many efforts to come to an agreement have unfortunately proved elusive. I’m looking forward to closure, and will always remain proud of all that we created, and what that legacy represents.”
Responding to news of Buckingham’s lawsuit, a spokesperson for Fleetwood Mac said, “It is impossible for the band to offer comment on a legal complaint they have not seen. It’s fairly standard legal procedure to service the complaint to the parties involved, something that neither Mr. Buckingham nor his legal counsel have done. Which makes one wonder what the true motivations are when servicing press first with a legal complaint before the parties in dispute.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone published yesterday, Buckingham claimed he was fired from Fleetwood Mac over the phone by the band’s manager, Irving Azoff. As Buckingham tells it, Stevie Nicks was ticked off at Buckingham over his antics at a MusiCares benefit concert in January and she gave the band an ultimatum: Either he goes or she goes.
“Stevie [Nicks] never wants to be on a stage with you again,” Azoff told Buckingham, who then went on to list things that “Stevie took issue with,” namely some kind of outburst on Buckingham’s behalf during their introduction music (“Rhiannon”) and the way he smirked during Nicks’ thank-you speech.
Buckingham contends that using “Rhiannon” as the intro music “undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something,” and that his smirk was part of a running joke he has with Nicks. “I may or may not have smirked,” he admits, “but I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”
At the time of the call, Buckingham thought Nicks would be the one fired, but after not getting a response from the band over e-mail, he called back Azoff, who told him he was “ousted” and that Nicks gave the band an ultimatum.
For their part, Fleetwood Mac contend Buckingham was replaced because he wouldn’t commit to touring with the band in 2018. They subsequently hired Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House to round out the lineup.
In his suit, Buckingham says he asked Fleetwood Mac to postpone their tour three months so he could play concerts with his solo band. He alleges that Fleetwood Mac never took his request seriously and already had 60 tour dates in place before he was told of his firing.