The chain might be broken between Lindsey Buckingham and his bandmates in Fleetwood Mac — but the legal entanglements over the split are taking form, it seems.
Longtime Fleetwood Mac songwriter and guitarist Buckingham — who was replaced for the band’s current tour earlier this year by former Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Split Enz /Crowded House veteran Neil Finn — has now filed suit against the band members, accusing them of breach of fiduciary duty and other counts, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.
According to the suit against the band members — among them, singer Stevie Nicks and drummer Mick Fleetwood — Buckingham requested that the Fleetwood Mac tour start in November rather than August so that he could focus on releasing and promoting a solo album. However, the suit says, the band resisted the idea, Buckingham agreed to postpone the solo album’s release, and he and the band reached an agreement on details for the Mac tour.
However, the suit says, things began to fall apart in January, when Buckingham was told by his tour manager that the tour was off. Days later, the suit says, Buckingham learned that the group was planning to hit the road without him.
“Buckingham brings this lawsuit in order to assert his rights to the usurped Fleetwood Mac Partnership opportunity,” the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, reads.
According to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages, each of the band members stood to earn an estimated $12 million to $14 million from the tour.
“Last January, Fleetwood Mac made the decision to continue to tour without me. I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful forty three year legacy we built together,” Buckingham said in a statement to TheWrap. “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.”
In a statement to TheWrap, the band’s spokesperson said, “It’s impossible for the band to offer comment on a legal complaint they have not seen. It’s fairly standard legal procedure to service the complaint to the parties involved, something that neither Mr. Buckingham nor his legal counsel have done. Which makes one wonder what the true motivations are when servicing press first with a legal complaint before the parties in dispute.”
In an interview published by Rolling Stone on Wednesday, Buckingham said that he was told that Nicks never wanted to be on stage with him again. Buckingham said he was told that Nicks had a number of grievances regarding Buckingham, among them that he “smirked” during Nicks’ thank-you speech during a MusiCares event honoring the band, and had an “outburst” over the band’s intro music for their set, the studio recording of “Rhiannon.” Buckingham told Rolling Stone that he felt the intro music “undermined the impact of our entrance.”