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Old 05-22-2018, 10:05 PM
elle's Avatar
elle elle is offline
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Default LB: FM Star & Fingerpicking Champion

nice article covering LB's career from the start through his statement last week.

Lindsey Buckingham: Fleetwood Mac Star and Fingerpicking Champion

Is Fleetwood Mac the same band without him?


Posted a day ago
Lindsey Buckingham: Fleetwood Mac Star and Fingerpicking Champion

Fleetwood Mac is by far one of the most interesting pop-rock bands that managed to last throughout the decades. Despite all the significant lineup changes throughout the years, the band is still here today and is planning to embark on a tour later this year. The band was formed way back in 1967 with the only original member being Mick Fleetwood. Other legends passed through the band as well, the best-known one being Peter Green and with many fans considering his era (1967 to 1970) to be the only legit version of Fleetwood Mac.

However, we have recently witnessed yet another major change happening inside the group with the long-running guitarist and vocalist Lindsey Buckingham leaving the band. Now, it is kind of obvious that the band was avoiding to use the word "fired," but to say he actually was fired wouldn't be that far from the truth. In any case, Buckingham is such a great musician that Fleetwood Mac needed to hire two guys to replace him – Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's band and Neil Finn.

Lindsey was born back in 1949 in California as the youngest of three children. He and his brothers were all competitive swimmers, but Lindsey eventually found a new passion – music. And funnily enough, his first instrument was a Mickey Mouse themed toy guitar. After noticing his talent, Lindsey's parents were encouraged to buy him a regular 6-string. After that, he was hooked and slowly started to explore folk and rock music. And even though Buckingham never actually took any lessons, this didn't stop him from becoming one of the most influential musicians of the 70s and 80s.

In the mid-1960s Buckingham formed The Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band where he served as bass guitarist and vocalist. And it was during this period that he first started cooperating with Stevie Nicks with whom he would later perform in Fleetwood Mac. After the demise of this young band, the two of them started the Buckingham Nicks project. As this duo was not commercially successful, Buckingham went to tour with Don Everly as a backing musician in order to earn a living.


It was in 1974 that Mick Fleetwood heard the duo's song "Frozen Love" and started asking around who the guitarist was. Fleetwood and Buckingham soon got introduced, and – as if the universe was trying to put things into place – Bob Welch left Fleetwood Mac leaving the spot open for Buckingham to join in. After being called in by Mick, Buckingham insisted that he'll join only if they hire Stevie Nicks as well. Needless to say, they were both hired without any auditions. And in 1975 this new reinvented Fleetwood Mac released a self-titled album, often referred to as "The White Album."

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But it was the second album of this new lineup that really did it for Fleetwood Mac. Titled "Rumours" and released in 1977, the record reached top positions in both USA and UK. Interestingly enough, even though that Nicks and Buckingham went through a break-up, it was that unfortunate circumstance that inspired the album.

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The next album, "Tusk," was a bit more experimental in nature, mostly due to Buckingham's effort to keep things fresh with the songwriting. Even though the album sold decently, it was still overshadowed by "Rumours."

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The success with Fleetwood Mac opened up the way for Buckingham to kickstart his own solo career. His first record, titled "Law and Order," was released in 1981. This album saw Lindsey playing all the instruments and doing all the vocals, except on selected tracks that featured guest musicians, including even Mick Fleetwood.

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But it was his next album and its title track "Go Insane" that Lindsey's solo career got remembered by. The entire album, including this song, was apparently dedicated to his ex-girlfriend, Carol Ann Harris. However, Buckingham later admitted that the song "Go Insane" was actually dedicated to his post-breakup relationship with Stevie Nicks.

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But probably the more interesting and emotional version of this song is the one Buckingham did on live shows, presenting his brilliant vocal and fingerpicking skills. Even though it was just him and his nylon string guitar on stage, it seemed as if Buckingham's voice and fingers alone were creating more magic than an entire band.

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Fleetwood Mac released two more albums with Lindsey Buckingham, the first one being "Mirage" in 1982. This particular record saw them going into a more of a pop-oriented style which got the band up on charts. The second one, titled "Tango in the Night" and released in 1987, included some of the songs Buckingham intended to use for his own solo project. The single "Big Love" in particular, written entirely by Buckingham, became a hit in the US. And just like with "Go Insane," the solo acoustic version of the song seems to be more powerful emotionally.

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But even though "Tango in the Night" was the band's biggest record since "Rumours," Buckingham felt exhausted from all the touring and strained relationships within the band. He eventually left Fleetwood Mac and, after some years, explained:

"I needed to get on with the next phase of my creative growth and my emotional growth. When you break up with someone and then for the next 10 years you have to be around them and do for them and watch them move away from you, it's not easy."

Buckingham would, however, eventually reunite with Fleetwood Mac. In 1993, a year after the release of his "Out of the Cradle" album, Lindsey came back together with his old band for a one-off show in honor of the newly elected president of the United States Bill Clinton. They played "Don't Stop," a song written by Christine McVie.

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As Buckingham was preparing his new material in 1997, he contacted Mick Fleetwood to help him with some of his songs. One thing led to another and the old lineup was back together for their first tour in years. The reunion was celebrated with a live album "The Dance" that once again made a huge success in the US. As expected, Buckingham's performance on this one was brilliant. Not only did this live record debut on position No.1 on the US charts but it eventually sold 6,000,000 copies.

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A new album "Say You Will" was released in 2003 and was the first studio effort in fifteen years to feature Linsey Buckingham back in the saddle. He continued to work with the band and release new material, with the 2013 "Extended Play" EP being his last studio effort with Fleetwood Mac.

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But as we've seen this year, despite the band's legacy and their successful touring Buckingham eventually ended up being ousted from the band. While Fleetwood Mac tried to avoid the word "fired" for describing the situation, it was obvious that Buckingham didn't leave on his own. Mick Fleetwood explained:

"Words like 'fired' are ugly references as far as I'm concerned. Not to hedge around, but we arrived at the impasse of hitting a brick wall. This was not a happy situation for us in terms of the logistics of a functioning band. To that purpose, we made a decision that we could not go on with him. Majority rules in term of what we need to do as a band and go forward."

Who would expect that we would see Lindsey Buckingham fired from Fleetwood Mac. The guitarist himself addressed the split by saying:

"This was not something that was really my doing or my choice. I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective [a female fan shouts, '**** Stevie Nicks!', prompting Buckingham to raise his hand].

"Well, it doesn't really matter. The point is that they'd lost their perspective. What that did was to harm – and this is the only thing I'm really sad about, the rest of it becomes an opportunity – it harmed the 43-year legacy that we had worked so hard to build [another admirer chimes in, 'That you built, Lindsey']."

After this split, Fleetwood Mac hired two new musicians – Neil Finn and Mike Campbell.

Be it as it may, Fleetwood Mac with Lindsey Buckingham in the lineup made some of the essential songs of the 70s and 80s. He is continuing to do his solo tour and share his unique voice and playing style with the world.

His playing style, heavily influenced by legends such as Merle Travis and Chet Atkins, continues to inspire guitarists worldwide.
What's your take on this split? Was it fair that he had to part ways with this legendary band? Share that in the comment section below.

"kind of weird: a tribute to the dearly departed from a band that can treat its living like trash"
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Old 05-22-2018, 10:46 PM
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SteveMacD SteveMacD is offline
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Originally Posted by elle View Post
Buckingham is such a great musician that Fleetwood Mac needed to hire two guys to replace him – Mike Campbell of Tom Petty's band and Neil Finn.
Somewhat laughable. They went with two very commercially, artistically viable artists. However, Richard Thompson could have easily been the lone replacement, but he (intentionally) doesn’t have the big commercial name and probably wouldn’t have done it anyway.
On and on it will always be, the rhythm, rhyme, and harmony.
THE Stephen Hopkins
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