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Fleetwood Mac to Tour With Neil Finn, Mike Campbell as Lindsey Buckingham’s Replacements (EXCLUSIVE)

Shortly after Variety confirmed that Lindsey Buckingham has been fired by Fleetwood Mac, the group announced plans to tour this Fall with two new members: Mike Campbell (pictured above, left), longtime lead guitarist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and Crowded House frontman Neil Finn (right) will be joining the Mac for their upcoming tour, with final dates being confirmed shortly.

Fleetwood Mac has always been about an amazing collection of songs that are performed with a unique blend of talents,” Mick Fleetwood said. “We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realize that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style. We know we have something new, yet it’s got the unmistakable Mac sound.”

“We are thrilled to welcome the musical talents of the caliber of Mike Campbell and Neil Finn into the Mac family. With Mike and Neil, we’ll be performing all the hits that the fans love, plus we’ll be surprising our audiences with some tracks from our historic catalogue of songs,” said the group collectively. “Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour.”

In a statement, Neil Finn said: “Two weeks ago I received  a wonderful invitation to be a part of a truly great band. A few days later I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt  fresh and exciting, so many great songs, a spectacular rhythm section and two of the greatest voices ever. Best of all, we sounded good together. It was a natural fit. I can’t wait  to play.”

A source close to the situation tells Variety that Buckingham did not exit voluntarily — rather, says the insider, “He was fired” — although a source notes that the term may not quite fit the situation.

Fleetwood Mac was founded by Peter Green in 1967 and was named after Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.  After Peter Green left in 1969, Fleetwood and McVie remained as original members, and the band has since featured a cast of brilliant talents. Most notably, Christine McVie joined the band in 1970, with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joining in 1974. When Buckingham left the group in 1987 for 10 years, he was replaced with two singer/guitarists, Billy Burnette and Rick Vito.

The statement concludes: “Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best.”

Campbell worked with Tom Petty for nearly 50 years as lead guitarist and main musical foil in both their early band Mudcrutch as well as the Heartbreakers. Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Stevie Nicks on her first solo album, 1981’s “Bella Donna,” duetting with her on the hit single “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Petty and the Heartbreakers had just completed a 40th anniversary tour last year when Petty died suddenly of an accidental drug overdose. While the group’s connection to Finn is not quite as strong, he is friendly with Mick Fleetwood, who performed with Neil’s son Liam at an event in New Zealand last year.

Buckingham last performed with Fleetwood Mac when the band were honored as MusiCares Person of the Year during a concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall during Grammy Week. Former President Bill Clinton inducted the group and a number of acts covered their songs, including Alison Krauss, Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town, Imagine Dragons, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Haim, Jared Leto and Harry Styles, who not only introduced the band but joined them for “The Chain.” The group then played a short set to close out the night.

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