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Lindsey Buckingham sues Fleetwood Mac over firing

By | Published on Monday 15 October 2018

Fleetwood Mac

Lindsey Buckingham last week sued Fleetwood Mac for breach of contract, saying that his former bandmates did him out of up to $14 million by firing him from the outfit earlier this year ahead of a planned tour.

The lawsuit claims that he was fired due to a dispute over his request to take time off so he could undertake a solo tour. Though in an interview with Rolling Stone last week, Buckingham specifically blamed bandmate and former partner Stevie Nicks for his dismissal.

Buckingham was fired earlier this year, the band then announcing in April that he would be replaced by Mike Campbell of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Crowded House’s Neil Finn.

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Buckingham said that he received a call from the band’s manager, Irving Azoff, at the end of January, telling him, “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again”.

Among the reasons for this declaration, he claims, was the fact that he had smirked while Nicks was speaking on stage at a MusiCares benefit show in New York at the start of the year. “The irony is that we have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time”, he said. “I may or may not have smirked. But I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke”.

At this point, he added, he wasn’t even aware that he was being fired, assuming that Azoff’s remark meant that Nicks was planning to leave the band. So much so, he wrote an email to the rest of the band’s members telling them that the outfit could survive Nicks’ departure, and that they should pull together in the meantime. The email is included in the new lawsuit.

It was only days later, when he received no reply to that message, that the penny dropped, and he called Azoff to confirm what was going on. Azoff, he says, told him that he was “getting ousted” after Nicks had given the rest of the band an ultimatum that it was either her or him.

The lawsuit states that each member of the group would have earned between $12 million and $14 million from the 50 night tour, which began last week. It also alleges that the band members “intentionally acted to interfere with Buckingham’s relationship with [tour promoter] Live Nation and the prospective economic benefit he was to receive as a result of his participation in the tour”.

A spokesperson for the remaining members of the band told USA Today last week: “Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court”.