Lindsey Buckingham clearly has mixed emotions about his former Fleetwood Mac bandmates. Buckingham, who was ousted from the band earlier this year and recently settled a lawsuit with the group spoke about the strange situation in which he’s been burned personally, publicly, and financially by people he still claims to love. Buckingham, who just wrapped a successful solo theater tour, recently released his triple-disc Solo Anthology – The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham collection.
During a chat with Stereogum, Buckingham, who famously quit the band in 1987, recalled being asked to rejoin the band in the mid-1990’s — then at its lowest creative and commercial ebb: “Here you’ve got Christine (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood), and then they got Dave Mason. It was just kind of a mess, kind of like it is right now. I even know what to call Fleetwood Mac right now, a cover band. Certainly not honoring the legacy the way it should be, and that’s the only thing that bothers me about what’s going on right now. Anyway, I think they had gotten to this point where they realized they wanted to try to get me back. So near the end of these sessions, there was all of this intrigue going on that ended up in a dinner over at Christine’s house. . . and it was like this intervention where they all stood around me in a circle and said, ‘You gotta come back. You gotta come back.’ I said, ‘Okay.'”
Regarding his relationship with Fleetwood Mac nearly a year after being axed, Buckingham says, “I haven’t spoken to any of them. Once we signed some papers a few weeks ago, I did hear from Christine in an email, as I expected to. I know Mick would probably like to, but I think he’s too embarrassed and just a little too weak-willed to do it. I won’t hear from Stevie (Nicks)because it was all her trip anyway. Again, I just have to forgive them because it’s really just Stevie being so needy for a certain kind of attention and maybe not wanting to compete with the vitality that I have.”
When pressed as to whether he’d ever rejoin Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham said, “Look, it’s Fleetwood Mac, anything’s possible. Maybe they’ll get it out of their system. If they ask me to come back, would I? Sure, because to me I think the lack of a proper farewell tour, if that’s what we’re doing, that doesn’t undercut, like I say, the legacy that we have so carefully built as the five of us, which they’re not doing right now. I don’t know what they’re doing. It’s a cover band kind of deal, and Stevie may be enjoying that, and that’s fine. If she is happy doing that, there is no one outcome that I think is going to be okay.”
Buckingham went on to say, “The way I look at it is it’s giving me an opportunity to do some things in a more rapid-fire way with some new people who actually care about what I’m doing and not just about getting the money from Fleetwood Mac. Look, I mean it does make me question who these people are, but again, to look at it compassionately, I think it’s all coming from a lack of perspective and to some degree a certain weakness on their parts. I can’t stop loving them because of that.”
Lindsey Buckingham explained that in many ways he needed to leave the band in the mid-1980’s to find out how much he needed it: [“I think when I left, y’know, I was involved in the Tango In The Night album and then I did not tour. It was just getting difficult for me personally, anyway for me to try to have a format in which I could find the things that I was looking for creatively. And I really think it really took pulling away and sort of stripping my entire existence down again and building it back up — which I have kind of done creatively and personally.”] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC: . . . creatively and personally)
Despite his solo career often being interrupted — if not co-opted — by Fleetwood Mac consistently over the years, when we last caught up with him, Lindsey Buckingham retained a strong sense of allegiance to the band both in the studio and on the road: [“There’s also an accountability, y’know? These are four other people to whom I owe a great debt, y’know, in many areas, and there’s a lot of problems, there’s a lot of craziness — but there’s a lot of love, too. You can’t downplay that at all. The thing that I always did for the group was to take the raw material from everybody and to fashion it into records, and, y’know, that’s a responsibility that I took pride in. It was something that I felt sort of blessed to be able to do for other people.”] SOUNDCUE (:26 OC: . . . for other people)
Fleetwood Mac performs on Thursday (December 13th) in Los Angeles at The Forum.
- Out now is Fleetwood Mac‘s career-spanning 50-song triple CD and five LP collection, 50 Years – Don’t Stop.
- From the band’s earliest days featuring Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer, and Danny Kirwan, through the Bob Welch period, into the classic ’70s lineup with Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham — all the eras of Fleetwood Mac are covered.
- 50 Years – Don’t Stop also features rare photos from the band’s career along with new liner notes by veteran music writer David Wild.
- Also recently released is Solo Anthology – The Best Of Lindsey Buckingham. The new collection includes a third bonus disc featuring 2011 live renditions of such Fleetwood Mac classics as “Big Love,” “Tusk,” “I’m So Afraid,” and “Go Your Own Way” — all of which constitute the only Fleetwood Mac tunes you’ll be hearing during hsi current shows.
- In addition to the clutch of Mac standards, a highlight of the recent concerts are Buckingham’s two early-’80s MTV staples, “Trouble” and “Go Insane,” are “Holiday Road,” “Soul Drifter, ” “Not Too Late,” “Countdown,” along with key tracks from all his studio albums — Law And Order, Go Insane, Out Of The Cradle, Under The Skin, Gifts Of Screws, and Seeds We Sow.