LINDSEY SPEAKS — Via CBS: Even in a group notorious for turmoil, it came as a shock when earlier this year Fleetwood Mac fired Lindsey Buckingham, a key member of what many consider the band’s classic lineup. Buckingham sued, and in his first television interview since being ousted, he revealed that he and the band have settled that lawsuit.
“I’m happy enough with it,” Buckingham said. “I’m not out there trying to twist the knife at all. I’m trying to look at this with some level of compassion, some level of wisdom.”
“It hurt for a while,” he said. “I did walk around for a few months with a visceral reaction to that.”
Buckingham has a 43-year history with Fleetwood Mac. He helped shape their classic sound and wrote some of their biggest hits. In January, the band was honored at the MusiCares Benefit Grammy weekend, but it would be Buckingham’s last performance with Fleetwood Mac. Two days later, he heard from their manager.
“Irving Azoff called me up and he was basically screaming at me,” Buckingham said. “He was screaming at me on the phone saying, ‘You’ve really done it this time.’ And I had no idea what he was talking about. He said, ‘Stevie never wants to be on stage with you again,’ and I’m going, ‘Why?'”
In an interview with CBS News earlier this year, bandmates Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks blamed it on Buckingham’s reluctance to sign off on a new tour. “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,” Nicks said.
Buckingham insists he had agreed to postpone his own solo tour to join the band, but said Azoff told him Nicks didn’t like his behavior at the MusiCares event. She complained that he had smirked behind her when she gave her acceptance speech.
“It appeared to me that she was looking for something to hang on me, in order to instigate some kind of coup. Irving told me a couple of days later that she’d given the band an ultimatum and either I had to go or she was going to go,” Buckingham said.
Asked if he has any sense of why Nicks would have reached that point, Buckingham said, “I don’t know. None of it makes sense to me, you know? Fleetwood Mac, the five of us together is in my mind, is a very sacred thing.”
Buckingham and Nicks were a duo, professionally and romantically, when they joined Fleetwood Mac together in 1975. But they broke up during the recording of the landmark Rumours album. The song “Go Your Own Way” is about their breakup.
“I was not the one doing the leaving. She left me. But there was never really any chance to get anything like closure because that takes perhaps some distance,” Buckingham said.
Buckingham described his relationship with Nicks as “fragmented,” but he believes there’s “still a lot of love there.” Over the years, Buckingham said the two have spent time together outside of the band.
“In sort of spurts though, you know? In 2011 when I did my solo album, Seeds We Sow, I spent a ton of time over at her house …and we got along great. I mean the chemistry is the chemistry,” he said.
Buckingham also revealed that he hasn’t spoken to any member of the band since his firing almost a year ago.
“I have had, only in the last couple of weeks, I have gotten an email, which I expected to get, from Christine McVie,” he said. Buckingham and McVie recorded an album together last year and went on tour.
“She wrote me an email and basically said, ‘Dearest Lindsey, just know that I had nothing to do with any of this. Know that I miss you so much.’ She said, ‘I believe deep in Stevie’s heart that she would like you to come home,'” Buckingham said.
He believes it could mean Nicks may have already gotten over what happened earlier this year.
“That maybe, underneath everything, Stevie would like to see me back already, that maybe she feels ambivalent about what’s going on. This could just be Christine expressing wishful thinking or expressing something she thinks will make me feel better,” he said.
Buckingham said he’s open to getting back with Fleetwood Mac but isn’t expecting a reunion.
“I’m pretty much figuring that I won’t because a lot of people who know how convoluted Fleetwood Mac’s politics have been will say two years from now they’re gonna … and I’m like, ‘I’m not so sure.’ You know, it’s something is a little different this time,” he said.
What’s different? He’s not sure. Instead, Buckingham has spent the year putting together a retrospective of his solo work and will tour behind it into the New Year.
“I’m not someone who necessarily likes to look back. I like to look forward. And that certainly served me well this year. But I was quite taken by curating a 35-year plus body of work … to be able to go out and celebrate that has been really very cathartic. Yeah. So I am having a great time.”
When this whole mess reared its ugly head, I do recall saying that I think Lindsey would re-unite with the band … at some point. You have to remember, that Buckingham has a lot of history with the band and whatever feelings truly made the break happen, can certainly be unbroken. In fact, I put forth that title for their re-united album. Unbroken … take that Mick and John!
Lindsey’s not the easiest person to work with, but someone who saw his recent solo show in Chicago said it was nothing short of brilliant. We commented on that first gig with its newest Mac-members from Ellen and said it was good, but not great.
Truth be told, we’ve heard scant little from the new lineups since that Ellen-slot and their official tour begins tomorrow in L.A., so all this new-Buckingham intel is curiously timed. And, if you know manager Irving Azoff aka the Poison Dwarf this could all be a well-planned brouhaha to move tickets.
Safe to say, a Lindsey Buckingham-fronted Fleetwood Mac is on its way!
THE GREEN BOOK — Peter Farrelly’s movie Green Book is unquestionably one of the best films of the year. An excellent Viggo Mortenson portrays real-life character Tony Lip(who I met several times), who nabs a job as a chauffeur to Dr. Donald Shirley, a brilliant, yet reserved, pianist around the deep south, with the rub being that Mortensen’s characters has abide by the Green Book, which lists the hotels and such, that colored-people can visit.
It’s essentially a road-buddy-movie as the two form a relationship and come to respect each other. Mortensen’s Lip, brutal accent and all, comes to appreciate his music and even has him help write his notes to his wife.
I did see Mahersala Ali in Moonlight, but here, he’s nothing short of brilliant, both conveying the almost-elite-ness of Shirley, yet displaying a willingness to learn. Once married, now practically alone, his performance is sensational. Every night for him ends alone with a bottle of Cutty Sark in his room and he perfectly conveys that loneliness.
Linda Cardellini (from TV’s ER), as Lip’s wife, is very strong too … especially when Shirley visits Lip’s home during Christmas and she thanks him for helping Tony with his letters. Great scene.
Interestingly, I had read several reviews of this movie prior to seeing it and expected a much darker film. Farrelly, who’s CV is essentially comedies (including There’s Something About Mary; Shallow Hal; and Dumb and Dumber To) makes the film fairly light and almost funny. Its recent Golden Globe nom had it listed among the comedies. There are light moments, but dark ones as well, such as when Shirley gets into a fracas at a local YMCA with another man. Nothing is really said about the moment, but the visuals speak volumes. Mortensen gets him out safely.
Mahersala Ali was a revelation; we’ll see him the next installment of HBO’s True Detective next month. And, talk about timing there couldn’t be a better time for a movie like this than now. Totally relevant and compelling.
I haven’t seen all the nominated films, but this one is by far #1 for me so far. Totally enjoyable.
YEA NAY — With a scant few weeks before 2019, we’re going to start with our Year End Awards. First up: The Biggest Disappointments of the year. And, we start with The Tale of Two Bretts: Kavanagh and Winterble. Kavanagh definitely has some issues … and, a temper. After a three-week storm of blistering testimonials and hearings, we haven’t heard a word. But, I predict we will … very shortly. And, TV’s Winterble (now on Chris Ruddy’s Newsmax) is awarded due to some behind-the-scenes shady dealings especially with a good friend of this column. He was hired (after a previously 18-month run in 2012) … then discarded without a word. But don’t despair; as there’s a legal kerfuffle coming.
Finally, Jann Wenner’s Rolling Stone, finally sold itself (half, I believe) to PMC’s Jay Penske, who immediately enlarged its publication-size, made it a monthly and is gearing it too a much younger crowd. Stalwart journalists Andy Greene and David Fricke are still there … but, for how long? When my current subscription runs out, that’s it for me and I’ve gotten that magazine since almost the beginning. Anyone who knows Wenner, knows he fought long and hard (actor Michael Douglas was almost a buyer) but, time and motivations change. Wenner’s 72 and the world looks much different now. Face it; he changed the world with that magazine.
SHORT TAKES — Micky Dolenz, fresh from his visit to NYC, held court of Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con. Here’s he’s with Hellraiser’s Doug Bradley (thanks to Jodi Ritzen for the photo) … Watched the first two The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon) and just loved it. The first episode took place in Paris and showcased the brilliant acting from Midge’s Mom Rose, brilliantly essayed by Marin Hinkle. In interviews, the cast said that this season would focus more on Rose and so far, it’s a winning formula. As always, Tony Shalhoub is stupendous as Dad Abe. Amy Sherman-Palladino’s work (she does mostly everything) is simply mesmerizing. The shots in Paris are exquisite. Just marvelous … Robert Miller’s Project Grand Slam is at The Loft @ City Winery next Thursday (12/20). They’ll be showcasing some material from their next album –to be released in January 18- called Greetings From Serbia. The album was recorded live on August 18 at the Nisville Festival in Serbia. Go to DoNYC to win tickets: https://donyc.com/events/2018/12/20/project-grand-slam … Terry O’Quinn’s turn as best-friend Joe White on CBS’ Hawaii Five-O ended Friday night with his character’s death. O’Quinn was on Lost and was terrific, but we best remember his turn as evil-Peter Watts on Chris Carter’s Millennium with the great Lance Henriksen. The second major character from the show to meet their maker this year. First was Vinnie Pastore …Happy BDAY Jim Kerr!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Jordan Runtaugh; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Paul Dano; Jess Giordano; Richard Johnson; David Alexander; Andrew Sandoval; Jodi Ritzen; Scott Shannon; James Edstrom; Bruce Bozzi, Jr., Tony Pike; Robert Funaro; and, CHIP.