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11 October 2018, 13:48 | Updated: 11 October 2018, 13:51
Lindsey Buckingham has given his version of the events that led to his departure from the band.
The musician explained to Rolling Stone why he was sacked from Fleetwood Mac, just days after the band were honoured at this year’s MusiCares benefit concert in New York.
Stevie Nicks later claimed that Buckingham wanting too much time to focus on his solo work was the reason for his exit.
However, he has now said that two days after the MusiCares concert, the band’s manager, Irving Azoff, called him at home to pass on a message from his ex-partner Nicks.
“Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” he was apparently told.
“We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great,” Buckingham said. “We were getting along great.”
Azoff then gave a list of things “Stevie took issue with” in New York, including how he had “smirked” during her thank you speech, and that he apparently had an outburst over the band’s intro music, ‘Rhiannon’.
“It wasn’t about it being ‘Rhiannon,’ ” he said. “It just undermined the impact of our entrance. That’s me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something.”
Buckingham added he “may or may not have smirked” but the other members were also messing about in Nicks’ speech: “I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke."
The guitarist said that he actually assumed Nicks was leaving the band, and had emailed drummer Mick Fleetwood to tell him the band could go on without her, but got no response. Soon after, he called Azoff and said: “This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?”
Azoff then told him it was he who was “getting ousted”, after Nicks had given the band “an ultimatum” and forced them to choose between him or her.
“I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired,” he added. “We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group.”
Last month, Fleetwood Mac launched their new line-up, including Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House singer Neil Finn.