Lindsey Buckingham has said that “pretty much everyone” would love to see him return to Fleetwood Mac, insisting that his firing “harmed the band's legacy”.
In a new conversation on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast, Buckingham discusses the feasibility of balancing his early solo career – which he was ultimately fired over in 2018 – with his Fleetwood Mac duties, and what he thinks of his dismissal.
Speaking about his decision to release solo material in the first place, Buckingham says it was because Fleetwood Mac had “gotten very drawn into the whole Tusk idea”.
“They were a little bit wary of doing it in the beginning but they got completely drawn into it by the time it got done,” he says. “They loved it. But when it did not sell close to 16 million copies – I think it probably sold 4, 5, and it was a double album.
“So, Mick came to me one day and he said ‘Well, we're not going to do that again,’ meaning, ‘You can't go to your house and work on tracks by yourself and bring them in and have us play over them’ – which is what I did.
“He's not blaming me, he's just saying you know, ‘That was your art album, we want to do something a little broader now.’ And I said okay, but I realized at that point that I wasn't going to be able to continue to sort of aspire to be the artist [I wanted to be] unless I started making solo albums.
“The tone actually began with the solo album that is about to be released, the brand-new one, which has been waiting to come out for three years now – more actually.”
Buckingham is, of course, referring to his forthcoming self-titled solo album which is scheduled to drop September 17 via Reprise.
He continues: “And when Christine [McVie] and I were done touring as a duet – which we did after we made that album a few years ago – what I asked of the band, because they were planning an FM tour pretty much right after that, was, ‘We did this great project with Christine, I have this other album that I'm really proud of, it's a pop album, and I'd love if you could give me an extra three months to just put it out and do some American dates before FM goes out.’ And there was certainly one person who did not want to bestow that on me.”
Following his comments, host Marc Maron asks Buckingham if singer Stevie Nicks was who he is referring to, to which he replies: “Yes, I mean to be fair, everyone was anxious to get on the road. But you know, we've all made time for each other's things. You know, I had been in the band for 43 years for god's sake. Jesus.”
He continues: “Anyway, that sort of led to other things that kind of built up around that. And then it just got to the point where someone just didn't want to work with me anymore, and other people were perhaps not feeling empowered enough to stand up for me when possibly they should have or could have.”
Regarding his thoughts that his firing “harmed the band's legacy”, Buckingham explains, “We spent 43 years building this legacy which was about rising above things. It stood for more than the music. And by allowing this to happen through some levels of weakness – my own weakness included – I think we did some harm to that legacy and that's a shame.”
The guitarist also mentions that he's still in contact with his “soul mate” Mick Fleetwood, stating: “We love each other and we reinforced each other's sensibilities in the band,” adding, “it's my sense that pretty much everyone would love to see me come back.”
He does, however, admit that he's unsure as to whether him rejoining the band is actually “doable”.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' Mike Campbell and Crowded House's Neil Finn have assumed guitar duties since Buckingham's departure in 2018, although Mick Fleetwood has recently indicated he would be open to a reunion with his former bandmate.