Fleetwood Mac will be heading out on tour without its longtime guitarist, with Variety reporting that Lindsey Buckingham is leaving the band he first joined in 1974. Although the circumstances of Buckingham’s exit remain murky, Rolling Stone reports he was “fired” due to “a disagreement over the band’s upcoming tour.”
In Buckingham’s place, the band have announced they’ve tapped guitarist Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Split Enz and Crowded House fame in his stead.
“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the calibre of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family,” the members of Fleetwood Mac said in a joint statement. “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 honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”
In a separate statement, band co-founder Mick Fleetwood added: “Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents. We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”
Tour dates are currently being confirmed and will be announced shortly.
This is far from the first personnel shakeup for a band that’s managed to successfully reinvent itself numerous times since its original 1967 incarnation as a blues band centred on eccentric guitar virtuoso Peter Green. After Green exited, Christine McVie joined in 1970, with Bob Welch tapped as frontman for a brief period until Buckingham and then-musical partner/girlfriend Stevie Nicks joined in 1974, kicking off the band’s most successful era.
Buckingham has left the band once before, in 1987, replaced by guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito; he later rejoined in the late 1990s.