Fleetwood Mac got a big look on “CBS This Morning” Wednesday as the group — including new members Neil Finn and Mike Campbell — announced a massive 50-plus-date tour (see the full dates here) and discussed the departure of Lindsey Buckingham earlier this month.
As previously reported, the tour, which had been planned for some 18 months, was the cause of the split.
“This team wanted to get out on the road, and one of the members didn’t want to go out on the road for a year and we just couldn’t agree,” Stevie Nicks said. “And when you’re in a band it’s a team, I have a solo career and I love my solo career and I’m the boss. But I’m not the boss in this band.”
“It became just a huge impasse,” drummer and cofounder Mick Fleetwood said. “We hit a brick wall where we decided we had to part company.”
Asked by interviewed Anthony Mason if Buckingham was “effectively fired,” Fleetwood said, “We don’t use that word because I think it’s ugly and it’s not a question of that. Lindsey has huge amounts of respect and kudos for what he’s done within the ranks of Fleetwood Mac and always will. But it’s like a marriage that came to an end and there are reasons why and as a band we needed to move on, and we have.”
Fleetwood said that things came to a head after the group was honored by the Recording Academy’s MusiCares charity during Grammy Week, a concert in which multiple artists covered the band’s songs — and they were inducted by former President Bill Clinton — and then played a brief set that represents their last performance with Buckingham.
Six days later, Mike Campbell, who’d been considering his options after Petty’s sudden death last September, got a phone call from Fleetwood. A longtime friend of the band’s who had collaborated with Nicks in the past, he was immediately in. “I’m making this my priority until whenever,” he said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The next challenge, however, was finding a singer. “We just sat around a table and started listening to everybody we could think of — [aged] anywhere between 27 and 65,” Nicks said, as the group laughingly pointed out that Finn, who turns 60 this year, “just made it.”
When he received the call, “I had a big grin on my face because it’s a call you never expect to get,” Finn said.
The musicians met in Maui (roughly halfway between Los Angeles and Finn’s home in New Zealand) on March 21 and rehearsed 10 songs for two days, they said, and just two weeks later, the news was broken by Variety.
“The essence of the band was great and the three voices sound really good together,” keyboardist/singer Christine McVie said.
The group admitted that it auditioned another singer but declined to reveal who it was. They also said they plan to move full speed ahead with this lineup and plan to record together. Nicks said the death of Petty, a close friend of hers for decades, had a huge effect on all of the bandmembers.
“It changed me and Mike for sure,” she said, “in that we need to take every day that we have until we’re gone and make it the best day we can. Because if that can happen to Tom it can happen to anybody, and I’m gonna have the most fun I can, and stop complaining and throw myself into all these projects. Because you just never know.”