Lindsey Buckingham is still angry about his 2018 firing from Fleetwood Mac, and he’s out to hit his ex-bandmates where it hurts. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham claimed that Stevie Nicks — whose political ideologies tend to lean more liberal — ruined the band by becoming “a little bit like Trump.”
This particular drama first unfolded ahead of the 50th anniversary world tour. As Buckingham explained it, “I think she wanted to shape the band in her own image, a more mellow thing, and if you look at the last tour, I think that’s true.” He added that Mick Fleetwood has been the only member of Fleetwood Mac he’s seen since his involuntary 2018 exit.
“I think others in the band just felt that they were not empowered enough, individually, for whatever their own reasons, to stand up for what was right,” Buckingham said. “And so, it became a little bit like Trump and the Republicans.”
If you guessed Nicks would bristle at being compared to unlucky 45, you were right. In a new statement to Rolling Stone, the singer wrote: “It’s unfortunate that Lindsey has chosen to tell a revisionist history of what transpired in 2018 with Fleetwood Mac. His version of events is factually inaccurate, and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, preferring to not air dirty laundry, certainly it feels the time has come to shine a light on the truth… To be exceedingly clear, I did not have him fired, I did not ask for him to be fired, I did not demand he be fired. Frankly, I fired myself. I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my well-being.”
“I proactively removed myself from the band and a situation I considered to be toxic to my wellbeing. I was done. If the band went on without me, so be it,” Nicks added. “I have championed independence my whole life, and I believe every human being should have the absolute freedom to set their boundaries of what they can and cannot work with. And after many lengthy group discussions, Fleetwood Mac, a band whose legacy is rooted in evolution and change, found a new path forward with two hugely talented new members.”
As far as euphemisms go, “I fired myself,” is a pretty funny way to say that you fired someone else, but that’s what happened. Fleetwood confirmed as much in 2018, though he also tried to avoid the f-word. “Words like ‘fired’ are ugly references as far as I’m concerned,” Fleetwood said. “Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall… We made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward.”
Three years ago, Nicks was more explicit about the problems, saying the rest of the band wanted to tour while Buckingham tried to delay. “We were supposed to go into rehearsal in June and he wanted to put it off until November ,” she said. “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.”
Last year, Fleetwood said that bringing back Buckingham is “not a point of conversation,” for Fleetwood Mac, though he later softened his stance, and indicated that he’d be open to a reunion. Since then, Buckingham has been working on solo music and preparing a headlining tour of his own. He also contributed to The Killers’ 2020 album Imploding the Mirage.