Lindsey Buckingham filed suit on Tuesday (October 9th) against the members of Fleetwood Mac — Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Christine McVie — “for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage,” among other charges. Rolling Stone reported, “The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, states that he asked the group to postpone their tour three months so he could play shows with his solo band. He says plans were in place for the Rumours-era lineup to play 60 shows across North America when he was let go without warning.” According to Buckingham’s filing, “This action is necessary to enforce Buckingham’s right to share in the economic opportunities he is entitled to as a member of the partnership created to operate the business of Fleetwood Mac.” The complaint states Buckingham was made aware that he was fired from the band two days after the band’s January 26th, MusiCares tribute concert.
In his filing, Buckingham claims that when the band began planning its 2018 – 2019 tour, Buckingham had wanted the dates to begin in November — rather than August — so that he would have time to fit in a brief solo run in support of a planned solo album. When the band refused, Buckingham agreed to push back the new album to accommodate the group’s touring plans. Upon hearing that the group members were only planning to play three shows per week, Buckingham had put forth the proposition that he could play solo shows on the band’s nights off. According to the filing, “a deal was made with Live Nation that would earn each member of the group an estimated $12 million to $14 million for 60 concerts.”
Buckingham’s complaint against the band also states: “By excluding Buckingham from participating in the 2018 – 2019 Fleetwood Mac tour in breach of their fiduciary duties of loyalty and good faith and fair dealing, the Defendants intentionally acted to interfere with Buckingham’s relationship with Live Nation and the prospective economic benefit he was to receive as a result of his participation in the tour.”
Elsewhere the suit reveals, “. . . there has never been a written agreement among Christine McVie, John McVie, Buckingham, Fleetwood and Nicks (but California’s Uniform Partnership Act of 1994 says that) absent a written partnership agreement, no partner in Fleetwood Mac may be terminated from the Partnership without cause.”
The court filing included a private email that Buckingham had sent to Mick Fleetwood last February 28th, which reads: “In the month since MusiCares I’ve tried to speak to both you and Stevie, to no avail. I’ve only gotten radio silence this whole time. I haven’t tried Chris as I thought she might be feeling a bit fragile. I even e-mailed John, who responded that he couldn’t have contact with me. . . All of this breaks my heart. After forty three years and the finish line so clearly in sight, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter apart now would be the wrong thing. At the moment, the band’s heart and soul has been diminished. But our center, which had seen us through so much, is only laying dormant.”
Buckingham sent Rolling Stone an email statement on the lawsuit, which read: “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 43-year legacy we built together. 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.”
Lindsey Buckingham beings his solo show to Chicago’s Athenaeum Theater on Wednesday, October 17th.