Lindsey Buckingham has shared insight about what happened when he was fired from Fleetwood Mac, and states that he believes “pretty much everyone would love to see me come back”. He also declares the firing to have “harmed the band’s legacy”.
Buckingham was booted from the group in 2018 allegedly due to wanting too much time off to concentrate on his solo work, as well as getting into arguments with various members of the band.
The guitarist is also in the process of releasing his latest solo album, the self-titled Lindsey Buckingham, on September 17 via Reprise.
In conversation on the WTF With Marc Maron Podcast, Buckingham discusses the reality of balancing his earlier solo career with Fleetwood Mac, his thoughts on the firing, and reveals who he has remained in contact with from the band.
Starting off with detailing what ignited his desire to release material away from FM, he says: “The reason that I even started making solo albums was because the band had gotten very drawn into the whole Tusk idea. They were a little bit wary of doing it in the beginning but they got completely drawn into it by the time it got done.
“They loved it. But when it did not sell close to 16 million copies, I think it probably sold 4, 5, and it was a double album. So, Mick came to me one day and he said ‘well we’re not going to do that again’, meaning ‘you can’t go to your house and work on tracks by yourself and bring them in and have us play over them’ – which is what I did.
“He’s not blaming me, he’s just saying you know, ‘that was your art album, we wanna do something a little broader now.’ And I said okay, but I realised at that point that I wasn’t gonna be able to continue to sort of aspire to be the artist [I wanted to be] unless I started making solo albums.”
Offering an inside look behind his firing from Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham explains “the tone actually began with the solo album that is about to be released, the brand new one, which has been waiting to come out for 3 years now – more actually.
“And when Christine [McVie] and I were done touring as a duet – which we did after we made that album a few years ago – what I asked of the band, because they were planning a FM tour pretty much right after that, was, ‘I wanna, you know, we did this great project with Christine, I have this other album that I’m really proud of, it’s a pop album, and I’d love if you could give me an extra three months to just put it out and do some American dates before FM goes out’. And there was certainly one person who did not want to bestow that on me.”
The host, Marc Maron, asks Buckingham to clarify whether it was singer Stevie Nicks, behind the decision: “Yes, I mean to be fair everyone was anxious to get on the road. But you know, we’ve all made time for each others things. You know, I had been in the band for 43 years for god’s sake. Jesus.”
He continues, “Anyway, that sort of led to other things that kind of built up around that. And then it just got to the point where someone just didn’t want to work with me anymore, and other people were perhaps not feeling empowered enough to stand up for me when possibly they should have or could have.”
The guitarist then goes on to note that he’s aware he may not always be easy to get along with, but that the members of the band should “put it in a larger context of all the things that Fleetwood Mac have gone through”. The guitarist then states that he believes the firing to have “harmed the band’s legacy” and says, “we spent 43 years building this legacy which was about rising above things. It stood for more than the music. 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 then reveals that he is still in contact with “soul mate” Mick Fleetwood, the drummer and co-founder of the band, and notes “we love each other and we reinforced each others sensibilities in the band”, before adding “it’s my sense that pretty much everyone would love to see me come back”. However he admits that he’s unsure on whether re-joining the group is actually “doable”.
Lastly, it’s disclosed that during his heart surgery following his departure from Fleetwood Mac, vocalist Stevie Nicks got in touch with the guitarist to “wish me well”, which a seemingly forlorn Buckingham describes as “nice”, adding that he just wants “Stevie to be happy”.
Listen to the full episode below: