Fleetwood Mac Guitarist Sues Bandmates for Kicking Him Out of the Group

Lindsey Buckingham says he should still be paid his share of the tour proceeds because he's ready and willing to perform with the band.
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Lindsey Buckingham

Fleetwood Mac's longtime lead guitarist Lindsey Buckingham is suing his former bandmates after being kicked off of the group's new tour.

In January, Buckingham was told by his manager that the rest of the band would be touring without him, and he says none of his bandmates would return his calls to explain why. 

Buckingham is suing Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie and John McVie, claiming he should still be paid his share of tour revenues because he still wants and is able to perform with the group. 

Buckingham was with the band from 1975-1987 before leaving of his own volition to pursue a solo career, and rejoined the group in 1997, according to the complaint. He says there has never been a written band agreement and the group just agreed that each of the members had the right to veto any major decision and shared equally in the band's ownership.

"During the entire time Buckingham has been a member of Fleetwood Mac, the Band has conducted itself as a partnership with each of the participating members having veto rights over Band decision making and an equal share of the proceeds earned by Fleetwood Mac," writes attorney Barry Mallen in the complaint. "The only exception to the unanimous consent rule within the Fleetwood Mac Partnership is that the writer(s) of the underlying musical composition of each Fleetwood Mac master recording has the unilateral right to approve or reject licenses to synchronize the Fleetwood Mac recordings embodying the applicable Partner's musical composition with audiovisual works."

The singer-songwriter-guitarist says he was frustrated that the rest of the group wouldn't push the start of the 2018 tour from August to November so he could release and promote a solo album, and that the band would only be playing three shows a week at Nicks' request. So, he agreed to delay his album, but wanted to perform solo shows on off nights. 

Fleetwood Mac performed together on Jan. 26 at Radio City Music Hall, where the band was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year, and a few days later Buckingham found out the band was going to tour without him.

Buckingham says he would have been paid at least $12 million for his share of the tour proceeds, which the remaining bandmembers are now splitting. He is suing for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other claims, and is asking the court for a declaration that because he is able and willing to perform on the tour and is being involuntarily excluded, he should still be paid his share of the revenue.

Fleetwood Mac's publicist Kristen Foster on Friday sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement in response to the complaint. "Fleetwood Mac strongly disputes the allegations presented in Mr. Buckingham’s complaint and looks forward to their day in court," she says. "The band has retained Dan Petrocelli to handle the case."

October 12, 2:40 p.m. Updated with a statement from Fleetwood Mac's publicist.