NEW BIG MAC — Lindsey Buckingham has publicly addressed his firing from Fleetwood Mac for first time. The 68-year-old was playing a fundraiser gig for Democratic congressional candidate Mike Levin in California last Friday night, when he spoke about his sacking three months ago.
“For the last three months I have sadly taken leave from my band of 43 years Fleetwood Mac,” he began.
“This was not something that was really my doing or my choice,” he said in between songs. “I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective.”
He didn’t specify any band members by name; When a member of the audience prompted ‘f*ck Stevie Nicks’, he waved it away saying, “Well, it doesn’t really matter.”
“What that did was to harm — and this is the thing I’m only really sad about, the rest of it becomes an opportunity — It harmed the 43-year legacy that we had worked so hard to build, and that legacy was really about rising above difficulties in order to fulfill one’s higher truth and one’s high destiny.”
The legendary rock group — which is as famous for its tumultuous relationships as it is for the timeless songs some of that that inspired — only revealed last month they had parted ways with the lead guitarist.
Drummer and founder Mick Fleetwood told CBS News that the classic line-up had put 18 months planning into a new tour, but Buckinhgham refused to sign off.
“It became just a huge impasse and hit a brick wall, where we decided that we had to part company,” he said.
When asked if Buckingham was fired, he replied: “Well, we don’t use that word because I think it’s ugly.
And it’s not a question that Lindsey has huge amounts of respect and kudos to what he’s done within the ranks of Fleetwood Mac and always will,” he continued. “But it’s like a marriage that came to an end and there are reasons why… But as a band we needed to move on and we have.”
Nicks confirmed that “this team wanted to get out on the road, and one of the members did not want to get out on the road for a year.”
“We just couldn’t agree. And you know, when you’re in a band, it’s a team. I mean I have a solo career, and I love my solo career, and I’m the boss. Absolutely. But I’m not the boss in this band.”
Lindsey was replaced on the tour, which kicks off in October, by Crowded House’s Neil Finn and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell.
Lindsey first joined the group in 1974, on the condition he got to bring his folk rock singing partner and then-girlfriend Nicks with him.
Their addition helped propel the band into their golden age, making them one of the bestselling groups in the world.
The breakdown of romantic relationships within the band — between Buckingham and Nicks, as well as former married bassist/keyboardist couple, John and Christine McVie — caused ruptures even though they continued to make music together, surviving several break-ups, reunions and line-up changes.
Now, a few quick thoughts come to mind: First: Lindsey is an innovative, fantastic guitarist and composer. Hell, the first time he left the Mac, they needed 2 people to replace him. Same thing this time. And, his solo albums are each almost like a work of art, but, Fleetwood Mac has endured numerous changes, like with Bob Weston, Bob Welch, Bekka Bramlett or Dave Mason, so evolving is a part if their DNA. 43-year legacy be damned, the Mac should be praised I think, for continuing at all.
Lindsey is also known for being a bit, how shall we say, full of himself and if he thinks that with the addition of Finn and Campbell, the band is over … he’s got another thing coming for certain.
Lastly, a Democratic benefit? I never knew Lindsey to be so political-minded. That is odd for sure.
Honestly, I’d love to see the new-Mac do some of their older songs. Someone said that with Lindsey, certain songs were out of the question. Know what I say; bring on the new-Mac.
TV MAYHEM — In Monday’s column, when we ranted on about the TV Upfronts and ran through what shows were canceled, but we failed to mention a big favorite of ours that was dumped as well, ABC’s Designated Survivor starring Keifer Sutherland. Forgetting his previous show, Touch, that disappeared pretty much without a trace, this was to be the show that brought Sutherland back to 24-like star status. And, it was pretty good, although behind the scenes there were numerous changes (4 showrunners) and some chaos as to what the show was supposed to be. That said, this, their second season was indeed pretty strong, finally distilling what Sutherland’s character was supposed to do and having a strong cast around him; especially the fantastic Maggie Q. ABC canned the show, not because of poor ratings (although they were pretty dim) but, because of the continuing creative differences. That said, Netflix announced earlier this week that they were cautiously kicking the tires about bringing this show on board. That’s terrific news as I think this is a show definitely to be saved. Don’t forget, Netflix’s first major hit was the excellent-House Of Cards; well, the first season was pretty excellent. I think that Survivor would be a perfect fit.
TIMELESS — We’ve raved about NBC’s Timeless over and over. Last year, it was canceled, and then sprang back to life three days later due to an outpouring of good will from their solid, solid fan-base. It came back this season and delivered just terrific episodes; strong character development, excellent writing and elements of history that were fantastically compelling. Their two-hour finale aired Sunday and was their best episode yet. Without going into specifics, the ending was an upgraded time machine, appearing at their base-camp and out stepped future versions of their two main characters Wyatt and Lucy, looking like road-ravaged warriors, and asking if they wanted to go find Rufus-another main character who was killed. It was a mind-bending ending to just a terrific show that worked so well. Yet, the show still remains on the bubble. My guess, there’s no way NBC could not bring it back. Just a superb show.
SHORT TAKES — Did you know that legendary-producer Shel Talmy produced both The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me” and The Who’s “I Can’t Explain?” Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam re-imagined both; the former on their Queen’s Carnival album and the latter on their new one, Trippin’ – out June 29 … Al Roker looks positively fatigued over at NBC’s Today Show. There was a nasty rumor this week that exec-Andy Lack will be gone by the end of the year because of the continuing Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw scandals. We know Andy and he’s a straight shooter, but you’ve got to keep your office in line. Someone’s got to take the fall … Todd Rundgren’s Utopia played New York last week at Town Hall and there wasn’t one review. Odd, right? We tried to call the Runt’s manager Eric Gardner, but he didn’t return our calls … Biggest TV rumor of the week? A re-boot of The Office … Micky Dolenz in Nashville today for the Music Biz Forum joining in on a discussion of Rhino Records and their unprecedented success. His M&M tour, with Michael Nesmith, kicks off June 1 in Chandler, Arizona … Have you seen the trailer for Bohemian Rhapsody yet? There’s been so much intense speculation and false starts on this project, that I wondered what it would look like. So far, so good. Here is it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6S9c5nnDd_s … and, RIP Tom Wolfe.