ImageFleetwood Mac in New York in January, before Lindsey Buckingham, second from right, was dropped from the band’s tour.CreditCreditEvan Agostini/Invision, via Associated PressYet another Fleetwood Mac split has turned increasingly sour, and this time Lindsey Buckingham is the odd man out.Buckingham, 69, sued his longtime off-and-on bandmates — Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood — in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, after an announcement earlier this year that he had been removed from Fleetwood Mac’s 2018-2019 North American tour, which began this month and is scheduled to run into April.In the filing, Buckingham said that “not a single member of the band” had called to tell him why he would not be included in the lineup despite what he said was a deal with the concert promoter Live Nation to play 60 shows across two years, with each member earning between $12 million and $14 million. Buckingham is accusing band members of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and international interference with prospective economic advantage, according to court documents, and is seeking compensatory damages.“Last January, Fleetwood Mac made the decision to continue to tour without me,” Buckingham said in a statement. “I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful 43-year legacy we built together.”He added: “Over the last eight months, our many efforts to come to an agreement have unfortunately proved elusive. I’m looking forward to closure, and will always remain proud of all that we created, and what that legacy represents.”A representative for Fleetwood Mac said the band had not seen the lawsuit, and questioned Buckingham’s “true motivations” in “servicing press first with a legal complaint before the parties in dispute.” (News of the lawsuit was first reported by Us Weekly.)On Wednesday, Rolling Stone published an interview with Buckingham detailing his firing for the first time. The singer and guitarist, who first joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 and left in 1987 only to return a decade later, said he was watching the Grammy Awards at home in January when he received a call from the band’s manager, Irving Azoff. Buckingham said that he was told, “Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again” and that Nicks had given the rest of the group an ultimatum: either Buckingham had to go, or she would.Buckingham said in court papers that he later “offered to fly to Maui to meet with Nicks and Fleetwood,” but was “rebuffed by both.”The lawsuit states: “While Buckingham was attempting to keep the band together, the other members, secretly and unceremoniously, moved on without him, including hiring contract players to replace Buckingham’s iconic vocals and guitar parts.” (Fleetwood Mac replaced Buckingham with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House.)Nicks, who was infamously involved romantically with Buckingham in and around the band’s 1970s peak, has spoken extensively over the years about the pair’s rocky creative and personal relationship.“Fleetwood Mac is a team,” she told The New York Times in 2016, “and when you’re on a team everybody has the same vote — except in this particular team Lindsey has a little bit of a stronger vote than anybody else.” She added: “We argue all the time, but we always have.”Buckingham said in his lawsuit that he had initially asked Fleetwood Mac to push back its tour three months so that he could put out a solo album, but was met with resistance and decided to delay his release instead. (That album, tentatively titled “Blue Light,” will be out next year, he told Rolling Stone.) He is currently on a solo tour behind a greatest hits collection, “Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham.”In a February email to his bandmates, which he included in the lawsuit, Buckingham wrote: “If there is a way to work this through, I believe we must try. I love you all no matter what.”
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