Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham Part Ways

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Fleetwood Mac at the Classic East, July 30, 2017

When Fleetwood Mac performed earlier this year as the 2018 MusiCares® Person of the Year, it was a logical assumption that they would use the event to announce their 2018 world tour. After all, artists that perform at such big events as the Super Bowl, generally use the worldwide attention to announce a big tour. In 2017, both Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie acknowledged that the group were planning “a massive trek around the planet.”

The Jan. 26 event came and went without news of a tour. February and March passed and still no word.

Today (April 9) comes news of the tour but also with a significant change in personnel. In shocking news, the band has parted ways with Lindsey Buckingham, replacing him with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers lead guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn. Go your own way, indeed. Or to quote a Petty song, “Don’t Come Around Here No More.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Facebook page hadn’t updated their band lineup as of April 9, 2018

“Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” Mick Fleetwood said in a statement. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group in a collective statement. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”

Related: Our coverage of one of Fleetwood Mac’s two 2017 performances

Buckingham and Christine McVie performed over 40 concerts last year to support their 2017 duo album, Buckingham McVie. Fleetwood and John McVie contributed to the album.

Buckingham’s departure is reminiscent of 1987 when he left and was replaced, also by two musicians: Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Other than a one-time reunion for Bill Clinton’s 1992 Presidential inauguration, Buckingham remained apart from the band for a decade. He returned full-time for a full-blown reunion in 1997.

Watch what was likely Buckingham’s final performance with Fleetwood Mac on January 26, 2018

Details on Fleetwood Mac’s world tour are expected soon.

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 9 April, 2018, 19:49

    Wow! Big news! Buckingham, who is one of the guitar greats of today, seems to also be someone who can be a major pain in the ass, and somewhat disruptive. He has at times held the other members of the band hostage.
    His “No Fleetwood Mac without me” attitude has kind of ruled since the “Tango in the Night” days. Everyone knows the stories about the tour without Lindsey in the late ‘80s, the lackluster couple of albums without him, and the lack of fan excitement that both generated.
    However, this is a much different Mac than existed in the late 80s, early 90s. This is not a band concerned with writing or recording. At this point, it’s all about performing. The Mac wanted give the fans one more go around, that could have been the “ultimate goodbye” both for the band, and the fans.
    Don’t get me wrong, Buckingham has been the major creative force in the band since it’s release of “Tusk”. He is a studio wiz, and a fantastic songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist. I think it’s safe to say that the Mac would not be what they are today without him.
    However, I think he has totally miscalculated this situation. It’s one thing to be replaced by Billy Burnett on the “Tango Tour”, it’s quite another to be replaced with Mike Campbell and Neil Finn. Campbell, who many believe was as major a part of the Heartbreaker as TP himself, is every bit the guitarist that Buckingham is, and more. In addition, he has name recognition and a history of being a top notch guitarist, writer, and producer. Finn, himself someone with a long career in music, will most likely take on the Buckingham harmonies, as well as songs that Buckingham sang lead on.
    It will be interesting to hear his side of the story, there’s always two sides. Hopefully, this is just a situation where he just saw this as a complete and unfixable difference in creativity, and not something health wise that he’s dealing with. Whatever it is, it must be major to pullout of what I’m sure would have been a major payday for the band, is not something that one does without good reason.

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    • JCB
      JCB 13 October, 2020, 12:43

      I saw the tour after Buckingham left in the late 80’s, it was incredible. Rick Vito was playing lead, not Burnett, though Billy can also flat out play. I saw the same lineup after the “Behind the Mask” album was released in the early 90’s, another killer concert, they were smoking hot. In Feb. of 2019 I saw FM again with Finn and Campbell, they were absolutely fantastic. I love Lindsey, seen him with FM 6 times and solo twice, but he is replaceable.

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  2. Sensiu
    #2 Sensiu 9 April, 2018, 19:52

    Well I’ll bet Lindsey didn’t see that one coming. I’m sure there is more to this story than we have been told. Bands don’t usually dump one of their members for no reason. That being said, Mike Campbell is a top notch guitar player, and will fit in quite well, and Neil Finn isn’t too shabby either. Probably will do Mike a world of good to do what he does best after the tragic death of Tom Petty.

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  3. Billy K.
    #3 Billy K. 10 April, 2018, 00:56

    This took me by surprise, too. I thought if anyone was the problem, it was Stevie, being the only non-participant on the Christine/Lindsey project.

    Campbell would obviously work well. As for Neil Finn, he does have the experience, but it is a slightly odd fit……much like the Vince Gill/Eagles situation.

    Reply this comment
    • Jack
      Jack 10 April, 2018, 20:48

      Just for the record, Vince Gill is no slouch. He’s a fantastic guitarist and vocalist. In fact, something that is little known is that Mark Knopfler wanted Gill to join Dire Straits in the early 80s, but he declined because he was starting to make a name for himself in country music.
      As far as him joining the Eagles, that’s a no brainner. The Eagles are, at heart, a country rock band. Remember “Take it Easy”, “Peaceful Easy Feeling”, “Desperado”, “Outlaw Man”, “Tequila Sunrise” and “Witchy Woman”? Their albums have always had a country tinge. In fact, the first two albums and much of “Already Gone” are firmly entrenched in country music. Check it out!

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