They subsequently hired Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell and Neil Finn of Crowded House to round out the lineup.
Now longtime guitarist, singer and songwriter Lindsey Buckingham has filed a lawsuit against former bandmates: Stevie Nicks, Mick Fleetwood, Christie McVie and John McVie for 'breach of fiduciary duty, breach of oral contract and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage'.
Nicks said that their relationship "has always been volatile".
"Stevie [Nicks] never wants to be on a stage with you again", Azoff told Buckingham, who then went on to list things that "Stevie took issue with", namely some kind of outburst on Buckingham's behalf during their introduction music ("Rhiannon") and the way he smirked during Nicks' thank-you speech. The guitarist was sacked from the legendary band just days after the group were paid tribute to at 2018's MusiCares benefit show in NY.
"We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great", he adds.
He contextualised the alleged smirk with the band's "standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time". "I may or may not have smirked. That's me being very specific about the right and wrong way to do something". "But I look over, and Christine [McVie] and Mick [Fleetwood] are doing the waltz behind her as a joke".
Lindsey Buckingham also noted how after the call from Irving Azoff, he was left with the impression that Stevie Nicks was the one quitting the band.
Buckingham was removed from the line-up following scheduling disputes ahead of the band's forthcoming 50-city tour, a jaunt he claims would have earned him somewhere in the region of $14 million.
Buckingham notes that he and Fleetwood Mac had gotten together for rehearsals prior to their performance at the MusiCares tribute concert honoring the band's legacy and that "everything was great", though Azoff informed him that Nicks had a problem with a couple of Buckingham's antics from that night, including him getting upset at Fleetwood Mac being introduced while Nicks' "Rhiannon" was being played at the event. After all, when you spend a lifetime in a band, getting fired over the phone is undoubtedly one of the worst ways to go.