The chain that held Fleetwood Mac together may never be repaired at this point. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham was fired in 2018, and he is not likely to come back, despite drummer Mick Fleetwood’s attempts to get the Rumours line-up back on stage. After Buckingham was fired, he was told Stevie Nicks never wanted to perform with him again and he was replaced by Crowded House guitarist Neil Finn and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell.
“There have been intimations from Mick [Fleetwood], who I’ve talked to several times, that he wants to try to get the five of us back together,” Buckingham told Entertainment Weekly on Monday, ahead of the September release of his self-titled solo album. “I did not see their last tour. I’m sure it was fine, but I think it was probably very mellow by comparison…They were covering so much other Fleetwood Mac material, and they were doing Crowded House songs and Tom Petty songs. So, I wasn’t sure how that was going to pan out, and I wasn’t sure how Mick ultimately felt about it either, but that was the politics of the situation that led to that.”
Tensions have always been high between Fleetwood Mac’s members, but they reached a new height in 2018 when reports surfaced that Buckingham was fired. The group didn’t officially confirm he was fired, but their publicist said at the time he would not be joining them for a 2018 tour. Buckingham later sued the band in October 2018, but it has since been settled. In 2018, Buckingham said manager Irving Azoff told him Nicks never wanted to perform with him on stage again.
While the events of 2018 make it seem like Buckingham is never going back again, Buckingham told EW Fleetwood was never happy with how he left. Even though Fleetwood co-founded the band, Buckingham doesn’t think anything will change unless Nicks changes her mind. “It’s really going to take Stevie coming to that point of view, and I haven’t spoken to Stevie in a long, long time, so I don’t know where that’s at,” he said. “It’s certainly something that more than one person who is close to the situation has brought to me.”
Buckingham was “not happy” with how he left the group and would be interested in coming back. “It wasn’t so much that I felt slighted that I didn’t get to do yet another Fleetwood Mac tour, but I thought it really did not respect the legacy that we built, which was all about overcoming adversity,” he said.
Buckingham made a similar comment about the group’s legacy when on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast on July 29. “What was most disappointing about it to me was not, ‘Oh, I’m not gonna get to do this tour.’ What it was [is] again, we spent 43 years building this legacy which was about rising above things – it stood for more than the music,” he told the comedian. “And by allowing this to happen through some levels of weakness – my own weakness included – I think we did some harm to that legacy. And that’s a shame.” Buckingham said he has not heard from Nicks since she sent him a letter after his 2019 heart attack.