Stevie Nicks responds to Lindsey Buckingham’s “factually inaccurate” recollection of his Fleetwood Mac departure

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham
(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images For The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame / Steve Jennings/Getty Images)

Stevie Nicks has responded to Lindsey Buckingham’s recent claims that his acrimonious bust-up and eventual departure from Fleetwood Mac was the result of an ultimatum issued by Nicks, who supposedly forced the band to choose between the two musicians.

Speaking to LA Times earlier this week, Buckingham – who was promoting his upcoming debut self-titled album – took time to reflect upon his infamous spat with Fleetwood Mac, detailing the various factors that ultimately led him to part ways with the group in 2018.

“It would be like a scenario where Mick Jagger says, ‘Either Keith [Richards] goes or I go,’' said Buckingham, referring to the “him or me” situation Nicks allegedly imposed on the group.

“No, neither one of you can go,” he added. “But I guess the singer has to stay. The figurehead has to stay.”

Buckingham further stressed that the split “wasn’t caused by me”, going on to say, “You could do a whole analysis on Stevie [Nicks] at this point in her life and what she’s allowed to happen and what she’s allowed to slip away from her.

“Her creativity, at least for a while it seemed like she wasn’t in touch with that,” he continued. “Same with the level of energy she once had onstage.

“I think that was hard for her, seeing me jump around in an age-appropriate way. Also, she’s lonely. She’s alone. She has the people who work for her, and I’m sure she has friends, but you know.”

In a later interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham likened the situation to "Trump and the Republicans", and said he thought his Fleetwood Mac bandmates "felt that they were not empowered enough" to oppose Nicks.

Nicks has since responded to the claims via a statement issued to Rolling Stone, which labelled Buckingham’s “revisionist” recollection of events as “factually inaccurate”.

“It’s unfortunate that Lindsey has chosen to tell a revisionist history of what transpired in 2018 with Fleetwood Mac,” Nicks began. “His version of events is factually inaccurate, and while I’ve never spoken publicly on the matter, preferring not to air dirty laundry, certainly it feels the time had come to shine a light on the truth.

Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham

(Image credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS via Getty)

“Following an exceedingly difficult time with Lindsey at MusiCares in New York, in 2018, I decided for myself that I was no longer willing to work with him. 

“I could publicly reflect on the many reasons why, and perhaps I will do that someday in a memoir, but suffice it to say we could start in 1968 and work up to 2018 with a litany of very precise reasons why I will not work with him.

“To be exceedingly clear,” she concluded, “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 was done. If the band went on without me, so be it.”

Buckingham recently released Scream, the third single from his upcoming self-titled debut album, which is available for preorder now ahead of its September 17 release.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.