Looking Back at Lindsey Buckingham’s Final Performance With Fleetwood Mac

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When Fleetwood Mac played at an event held in their honor on Jan. 26, 2018, what made the performance noteworthy was that it marked the final time that Lindsey Buckingham was in the lineup. The group were being honored as the 2018 MusiCares® Person of the Year recipients, the first time in the benefit’s history that a band was chosen for the annual charity event that coincides with Grammy® Week. The benefit concert, at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, raised $7 million and featured numerous acts performing the band’s songs.

Fleetwood Mac–Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie, Buckingham and Stevie Nicks–performed just two concerts in 2017: July’s Concert West at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles and Concert East at Citi Field in New York.

The Friday night performance at Radio City was expected to be the first of many for the reunited band. Both Fleetwood and Christine McVie had acknowledged that the group were planning “a massive trek around the planet.” Little did we know at the time, though, that changes were afoot.

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

Then on April 9 came news of the tour but also with a significant change in personnel. In shocking news, the band parted ways with Buckingham, replacing him with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers lead guitarist Mike Campbell and Crowded House’s Neil Finn. Go your own way, indeed.

Earlier in the evening, the lineup–including Imagine Dragons, Alison Krauss, Brandi Carlile, Miley Cyrus, John Legend, Lorde, Keith Urban, and more–performed such Mac classic rock favorites as “Landslide” (Cyrus), “Second Hand News” (Urban) and “Gypsy” (Haim).

Then Harry Styles introduced the band and joined them on their first number, “The Chain.”

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

Watch Fleetwood Mac perform “Gold Dust Woman” that night

Buckingham filed a lawsuit in which he accused the band of breach of fiduciary duty and other charges. It was settled sometime that fall.

When asked by CBS This Morning‘s Anthony Mason if it felt he “had been kicked out of the family,” the musician said: “I do.” In measured words, he added: “I don’t feel that it was something that was my doing. It hurt for a while.”

Buckingham pointed the finger at Nicks: “It appeared to me that she was looking for something to hang on me in order to instigate some kind of a coup. Either I had to go or she was going to go. None of it makes sense to me.”

He said that Christine McVie wrote to him. It said, in part: “I had nothing to do with this. I miss you so much.”

Buckingham did a solo tour towards the end of 2018, that coincided with the start of Fleetwood Mac’s own tour with its revised lineup.

Previous Person of the Year honorees include, among others, Tom Petty (the previous year), Bob Dylan, Bono, Phil Collins, David Crosby, Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Paul Simon, Sting and Brian Wilson.

Fleetwood Mac were presented with their MusiCares® award by former President Clinton, who famously used the group’s “Don’t Stop” as his 1992 campaign song.

As one of the best-selling bands of all time, Fleetwood Mac sold more than 100 million records worldwide and established their place in music history. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Jack
    #1 Jack 27 January, 2018, 05:23

    I’m a big fan of “The Mac”. Definitely one of the greats in the history of R&R. The group started out, after being formed by Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, & John McVie, as an English Blues band. After several line-up changes, that included the adding of Christine McVie, Green leaving the group, and short stint by Bob Welsh, it was the addition of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks that put Fleetwood Mac over the top.
    After a very successful self-titled first release by the newly formed quintet of Fleetwood, the two McVies, Buckingham and Nicks, it was their sophomore effort that hit the “jackpot”. While “Rumours” is one of the best selling albums of all-time, it’s their follow-up, “Tusk”, that I find their most interesting album to date. Though initially panned by critics, over time it has become a very respected offering.
    Like The Beatles White Album, the songs on The double album “Tusk” seem to be much more “individualized statements” by the three primary singer/songwriters, Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, & Christine McVie than a full fledged group effort. However, it differs greatly from the WA, in that there is an underlying “orchestration”, which was done by Buckingham who served as producer. In addition, this was where he truly became the driving force in Fleetwood Mac.
    The follow-up albums, “Mirage” and “Tango in the Night”, both successful though underrated, cemented “The Mac” in R&R history. After periods that saw both Buckingham and C. McVie leave the group for extended amounts of time, they regrouped and now tour as the Fleetwood Mac that we know today.

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