On Monday afternoon, Variety reported that guitarist Lindsey Buckingham had left Fleetwood Mac. Later in the day, Rolling Stone confirmed that Buckingham had in fact been fired by the band, and will be replaced by two guitarists: Mike Campbell, who spent decades playing in Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, and Australian singer/songwriter Neil Finn, frontman of Crowded House.
First news of the split came last week from ex-Fleetwood Mac guitarist Billy Burnette, who had replaced Buckingham in the group from 1987 to 1995. Burnett tweeted, “Breaking news: Lindsey Buckingham is out but I’m not in.” The tweet was deleted a few hours after it was posted, but it appeared as though the band was auditioning replacements for Buckingham.
Now those replacements appear to be in place. In a statement shared with Variety, the band said:
“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. Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour… Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best.”
A source told Variety that Buckingham’s exit was not voluntary, but that he was fired.
In a statement, Finn said: “Two weeks ago I received a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band. A few days later I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and 2 of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait to play.”
Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 together with his girlfriend Stevie Nicks, piloted the group to the pinnacle of fame and fortune, left in 1987, and returned to the group after a decade away in 1997. The American-born Buckingham was not a founding member of the band, which had been a pioneer of the British blues-rock explosion of the late 1960s, but he was central to their 1970s golden age, penning hits like “Go Your Own Way” and “Tusk.” He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac in 1998.
Read: The 10 Best Buckingham/McVie Songs
Rumors of a new Fleetwood Mac album petered out in recent years, though the band did make some live appearances and Buckingham did release an eponymous album with Christine McVie in 2017. The album featured contributions from Mac bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Fleetwood Mac had also discussed embarking on farewell tour in 2018.