Lindsey's comments about his dismissal from FM this past Friday night at a political fundraiser:
He's such a class act, but so is Neil and hard not to continue to feel uneasy about this...
I'm a huge Lindsey Buckingham fan with Tusk being one of my favorite albums of all-time. That being said, Lindsey is taking quite a one-sided view of recent events. Lindsey agreed to this tour and then backed out at the last minute. The band apparently bent over backwards to convince him to stay but he wouldn't honor his commitment to the tour. That left the band with two choices: cancel the tour or fire him. They took the latter option. From listening to Lindsey's comments, you'd think that the band just fired him for no apparent reason. C'mon Lindsey ... you're better than that.
Ah, the FM drama continues...which is the main reason I don’t understand why Neil accepted the offer. I think he and Christine will get along well personally and musically. But the drama of just being in that band...!
As for the reasons behind Lindsey’s firing, it’s a terribly complicated story. First, it’s important to note that this is a band that spins its version of a story and sticks with it, regardless of how silly or transparent or absurd their version of the facts might seem. And Lindsey has been part of that, so he’s guilty, too.
There are all kinds of dynamics involved. Lindsey is known to be quite controlling in the studio, which is something that Nicks resisted but Christine, on the other hand, appreciated. Nicks hated him messing with her songs (i.e. arranging her often rough and overly simple demos into polished recordings), but Christine praised him for that same approach.
So, Nicks has resented Lindsey’s control, as producer, of their recording process to the point where she, in recent years, has refused to record with the band. Fleetwood views himself as the band’s leader, but really, Nicks and Buckingham have had the wheel for decades. So I suspect there’s a little resentment there, too. And with Lindsey and Stevie pretty much hating each other, I’m sure Mick has felt torn between them for most of that time.
Lindsey is a super creative guy who thrives in the recording studio. He’s been pushing for the band to record a new album for years, but Nicks has managed to hold him off. He finally gave up last year when the rest of the band recorded more than an album worth of new songs. Nicks never showed up, so they called the project a Buckingham-McVie duo album (with Fleetwood and John McVie on drums and bass). But it was, in essence, an FM album without Nicks. And a very good one, too.
While Nicks, Fleetwood, and John McVie prefer touring because of the huge profits it brings, Lindsey enjoys playing live but prefers the recording studio. I suspect Christine is probably somewhere in the middle.
So, Lindsey has been waiting for the band to make new music for years, and Nicks has refused to participate, all the while releasing a few solo albums and touring on her own. In fact, twice the band delayed its plans in deference to Nicks’ solo plans.
Yet now, when Lindsey asked for the same respect, he was kicked out of the band.
Without a creative outlet in the band, Lindsey’s only option was to do a solo record, which he’s reportedly already recorded. And he wanted to support it with a tour.
In the band’s defense, Lindsey would have had them spend a year in the studio (their typical turn around him), which is daunting. I sorta can’t blame them for not wanting to make that kind of commitment at this point in their lives. They’re not young.
That’s just a tiny part of the situation Neil is entering. But I think he will also be, in some ways, a calming presence in the group. He enjoys both studio work and live shows. He loves collaboration. He’s very flexible and creative, as is Mike Campbell, so I think the two of them will find a way to fit the band and maybe even help mold it’s personality into something a little new.
Make no mistake, this is Nicks’ band, and Christine will surely get her share of the spotlight, too. But I really do hope they manage to record a few singles. I know that would be the ultimate irony with respect to Lindsey, but Buckingham, in spite of the fact that he basically created what we now call “The Fleetwood Mac Sound”, was also probably the biggest obstacle to a band album happening. With him gone, I think the chances are a tiny bit better for new recordings.
The fact that Campbell played with Neil at a recent Largo show is also very good news. I really hope they develop a strong friendship and spirit of collaboration.