Atlanta Journal and Constitution, August 13, 1987

Lindsey Buckingham leaving Fleetwood Mac

By Russ DeVault Staff Writer

Lindsey Buckingham obviously meant it when he said recently that it would take "global pressure" to force him to tour again as a member of Fleetwood Mac.

The proof of that came in Buckingham's brief statement Tuesday that the guitarist is leaving the 20-year-old band.

The next step - which will prove true Christine McVie's recent statement that the band would stage a tour with or without him - will come Tuesday in Los Angeles when Mrs. McVie, Stevie Nicks and original members John McVie and Mick Fleetwood formally announce who will replace Buckingham.

The group's publicists indicate that two musicians will be added for a fall tour tentatively scheduled to reach Atlanta's Omni Nov. 2, but they won't reveal any names before Tuesday. The possibilities being mentioned Wednesday by music-business insiders in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles include former Eagle Don Henley, veteran Waddy Wachtel, Peter Frampton and Rick Vito, a longtime member of the Los Angeles music scene.

Buckingham's decision to leave the band he and Miss Nicks joined in 1975 is a result of both his solo work and a lack of desire to re-create the music that he has helped shape and that has sold about 27 million copies of six Fleetwood Mac albums.

"I'm not a big fan of touring," he said during a recent telephone interview from his Los Angeles home. "I would love to put together an outrageous theatrical-type show and go out on the road again solo, but the idea of going out and doing our hits again is not appealing to me.

"I feel like I'm coming to the most creative time of my life, " he said. "There's got to be a point where I can say, `This has been fun, guys,' and get on with something else."

Buckingham, a 37-year-old California native, has released two solo albums and was at work on a third when he shelved it to help with the band's 16-week-old album, "Tango in the Night," which is No. 20 on Billboard's pop chart and has sales of more than 1 million.

"I was about halfway through my solo work, and I put that down to do this, because the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few at that point. We ended up using some things that were going on my solo album . . .," he said.

Mrs. McVie, Mick Fleetwood's ex-wife, had responded by joking that she'd "break his arms" if Buckingham refused to tour but then admitted that the realization there was little chance Buckingham would tour was "quite a shock."

"But that doesn't mean there won't be a Fleetwood Mac," she said during a telephone interview from her Los Angeles home.

Unlike Buckingham, Mrs. McVie and the other members believe touring is vital to continued airplay and sales of "Tango in the Night." " I think we absolutely must tour," she said. "People must follow up an album with a tour."

Buckingham scoffs at that theory. "That's record companies doing that kind of talking," he said. "There's no reason you can't put out an album and let it speak for itself."

It's doubtful that "Tango in the Night" will match the success of "Rumors," the second album recorded by the band after guitarist- singer Bob Welch left and was replaced by Buckingham and Miss Nicks, who were then lovers. "Rumors," released in early '77, has sold more than 20 million copies - a figure since matched only by Michael Jackson' s "Thriller," Carole King's "Tapestry" and the "Saturday Night Fever" sound track.

In addition, "Rumors" was No. 1 on Billboard's album chart for 31 weeks - a run exceeded only by Jackson's "Thriller" - and it produced four No. 1 singles en route to winning a Grammy for Best Album of the Year.

Its predecessor, "Fleetwood Mac," also went to No. 1, but sales stopped at about 6 million. After "Rumors," the band released "Tusk" in '79, "Live" in '80 and "Mirage" in '82. "Mirage" had sales of more than 3 million, but it didn't please the band members, all of whom but McVie were working on or planning solo records.

"I will say that I did not want to leave this situation on the note struck by `Mirage,' " Buckingham said in the telephone interview. "It was kind of ambiguous, but I would feel comfortable leaving having struck this `Tango'note."

He noted, too, that Fleetwood Mac, a blues band fronted by Peter Green when it made its debut in London in '67, has never been a model of stability. "As far as the band going on," Buckingham said, "Mick and John go back to the '60s when Fleetwood Mac began. They'd been through God knows how many incarnations before Stevie and I joined.

"For them to keep it going doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility."

With the possible exception of Fleetwood, who declared bankruptcy in the early '80s, money no longer is a motivation for the band. "No one is going to kick money out the door," Mrs. McVie said, "but I can say that, because I'm very so lvent."

Buckingham says he can easily afford to wait for "Tango in the Night" to run its course before releasing his solo album next year. "I've got the luxury of spending eight or 10 months before I think about putting out a solo album," he said. "This album's going to have a nice long run, and there's no reason for me to compete with myself.

"Hey, I've been a team player. I've concentrated on things that were supportive and contributions that were valid in the context of the group. I haven't hurt anybody, and I've done my best for the group."

Thanks to Karen for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.