Flashback to January’s MusiCares after party at the New York Hilton this past January. Fleetwood Mac had just been honored and played a bunch of songs across the street at Radio City Music Hall with Harry Styles as guest star (they share management).
The crowd from Radio City poured into the Hilton ballroom. A roped off VIP area was set up for the stars of the night. But only one showed: Mick Fleetwood. And he spent nearly two hours on his cell phone, walking back and forth and talking wildly into it. No one from the group joined him. I watched it, everyone at the party was a witness.
Where were Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Christine McVie, Lindsay Buckingham? Why did no one show? Who was Fleetwood yapping at on the phone?
Now we know what was going on: Nicks had turned against Buckingham over a perceived slight on stage. This is according to Buckingham’s just filed lawsuit against Fleetwood. Two days after the Radio City Show, he says, he was fired after 43 years and writing many of their biggest hits. Nicks, Lindsey says, thought Buckingham smirked after her song, “Rhiannon,” was played while they were speaking on stage. Oy vey.
The smirk incident came after a long, failed negotiation to get Fleetwood Mac on the road. Buckingham had recorded a solo album and planned a tour to follow its release. Then the group decided they wanted to go on the road. Buckingham says he asked them to wait until after his tour; they declined. Then he asked to book solo dates on the group’s days off. They said no again.
Fleetwood Mac has always been based on personal conflicts. When Buckingham and Nicks joined the group in 1975, they’d been a couple. The McVies were married to each other. From what anyone can tell, over the last 40 years they’ve all slept with each other, changed loyalties and affiliations. A couple of years ago I ran into Nicks and Fleetwood in New York, and they were a couple. I always thought they were they most self-obsessed, unpleasant group of musicians. They’re a self contained soap opera that has lived on airing their dirty laundry in public. Good grief. All of this comes from the success of just two albums– “Fleetwood Mac” (1975) and “Rumours” (1977) made when Gerald Ford was president.
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