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After 50 Years, Fleetwood Mac Is Still a Total Mess

Esquire logo Esquire 10/12/2018 Matt Miller
a group of people standing on a stage: In April, Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham after "a disagreement over the band's upcoming tour." Now he's suing his band. © Getty Images In April, Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham after "a disagreement over the band's upcoming tour." Now he's suing his band.

“We’ve all grown up and we’re all much closer to being adults now,” Lindsey Buckingham told me in 2015 ahead of Fleetwood Mac's first tour with its classic lineup since Christine McVie left the band in 1998. “We’re behaving ourselves and we’ve come to the realization that we don’t have to live our life that way to be creative.”

And for a few years, Fleetwood Mac was uncharacteristically tame. This is a band that, from the beginning, has been at each other's throats. There have been feuds, breakups, and, amazingly, some of the most iconic adult-contemporary albums of the last half century. "As you may know," Buckingham told me at the time, "Fleetwood Mac’s politics are always a mess.”

Indeed they are.

Now, after making it work for a few years, Fleetwood Mac's politics are once again a mess. In April, Fleetwood Mac fired Buckingham after "a disagreement over the band's upcoming tour."

As Rolling Stone reported this month, it was a little bitt messier than that:

[Buckingham] learned he was leaving the band on January 28th when Irving Azoff, the group’s manager, called him while he was watching the Grammys. Two days earlier, Fleetwood Mac played the MusiCares benefit show at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. According to Azoff, Nicks was angry that Buckingham smirked while she delivered a speech at the event. She was also upset over his angry reaction to the decision to play a recording of “Rhiannon” while they took the stage. “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again,” Buckingham said Azoff told him.

Oof.

And now, Buckingham has reportedly filed a lawsuit against Fleetwood Mac "for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, among other charges," according to Rolling Stone.

The suit claims that each member of the band was estimated to earn $12 million to $14 million for 60 concerts. It also includes a copy of an email from Buckingham to Mick Fleetwood, in which he writes:

“After 43 years and the finish line so clearly in sight, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter apart now would be the wrong thing ... At the moment, the band’s heart and soul has been diminished. But our center, which had seen us through so much, is only laying dormant.”

Certainly, the break-up is a disappointment for any fans hoping to see Fleetwood Mac with its classic lineup. But on the bright side, this drama is just as classic as anything on Rumours. It's perfect in a way that any real fan will appreciate.

Related video: Fleetwood Mac performs 'Gypsy' (via ETOnline.com)

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