Lindsey Buckingham reveals the behind the scenes drama surrounding Stevie Nicks and his exit from Fleetwood Mac this spring in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Manager Irving Azoff reportedly contacted Buckingham in late January to advise him that Nicks had given the band an ultimatum: either he leaves or she will.
Saying “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” the guitarist recalls Azoff listing off a series of issues the singer had with Buckingham during a MusiCares benefit show honoring the group a few days earlier – including a disagreement over the group’s intro music (the Nicks-written ‘Rhiannon’) and his alleged reaction during her speech at the charity event.
“It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon,’?” explains Buckingham. “It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”
As for smirking during Nicks thank you speech, the rocker says “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time. I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke.”
After failed attempts to address the issues with both Nicks and drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood, Buckingham spoke with Azoff again and his exit was eventually confirmed.
Following Fleetwood Mac’s announcement of Buckingham’s departure, Nicks’ first public remarks saw the singer claim the guitarist was holding up the group’s touring plans for a full year.
“We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until November ,” Nicks explained in April. “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.”
But Buckingham disputes the singer’s claim, confirming that during a band meeting in late 2017 – shortly after a series of shows with keyboardist McVie to promote their project, “Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie” – he asked for “three or four months extra” to do solo dates.
There was “stonewalling,” says Buckingham. “I left the meeting because there was nothing else to talk about.” Read more here.