Fleetwood Mac, the band that has survived more feuds than the Hatfields and McCoys, is at again – this time with a slew of nasty accusations likely to end up being aired in court.
Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham has launched legal proceedings against his former bandmates for cutting him out of their North American tour and depriving him of a mullti-million dollar payday.
Buckingham, 69, one of the most influential members of the British-American band behind hits like Don’t Stop and Rhiannon, was dropped earlier this year from the tour lineup.
He was replaced by ex-Crowded House frontman Kiwi Neil Finn.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Buckingham says the dispute stemmed from a clash between the planned 2018/19 Fleetwood Mac tour and Buckingham’s wishes to play some solo dates.
The lawsuit claimed that each member of the group would have earned between $US12 million to $US14 million for the 50-city tour, which kicked off last week.
It’s another tempestuous chapter in the history the supergroup, which has been riven by its members’ infidelities, amorous liaisons, factional divisions and drug use.
The latest dispute centres of Buckingham’s claim that the other members schemed behind his back “to interfere with Buckingham’s relationship with (concert promoters) Live Nation and the prospective economic benefit he was to receive as a result of his participation in the tour,” the lawsuit charges.
Buckingham said he learned he had been dropped just two days after a Grammy Musicares celebration in New York in January 2018 honouring the main members of the band – Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Buckingham.
“Less than a week after having shared a stage at Musicares, the other members of Fleetwood Mac had suddenly cut Buckingham off entirely,” the lawsuit said.
Representatives of the band had no immediate comment on the lawsuit.
Fleetwood Mac, which first formed in 1967, has been plagued by behind-the-scenes romantic and creative tensions among its members and a shifting lineup over the years.
Buckingham included in the lawsuit a copy of an email he sent to Mick Fleetwood in February, begging the band to overcome its differences.
“After 43 years and the finish line clearly in sight, it is hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter apart now would be the wrong thing,” he wrote.
“If there is a way to work this through, I believe we must try. I love you no matter what,” he wrote.
In an interview earlier this week with Rolling Stone magazine, Buckingham blamed Nicks, his former girlfriend, for the rift.