Mick Fleetwood: “I would love to see a healing between Stevie and Lindsey…”

Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood speaks to MOJO about the future of the band, the loss of Christine McVie and his new solo album.

Mick Fleetwood Stevie Nicks

by Bob Mehr |
Updated on

Speaking in the latest issue of MOJO, Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood has discussed the rift between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham and the possibility of the band getting back together.

Nicks told MOJO last month that following the death of Christine McVie, a Fleetwood Mac reunion could no longer happen.

“Without Christine, no can do. There is no chance of putting Fleetwood Mac back together in any way. Without her, it just couldn’t work,” Nicks told MOJO’s Bob Mehr.

“Even if I thought I could work with Lindsey again, he’s had some health problems,” she continued, referring to Buckingham’s emergency open heart surgery in 2019. “It’s not for me to say, but I’m not sure if Lindsey could do the kind of touring that Fleetwood Mac does, where you go out for a year and half. It’s so demanding.”

“It’s no secret, it’s no title-tattle that there is a brick wall there emotionally,” Fleetwood tells MOJO of the impasse between Buckingham and Nicks, both of whom he stays in contact with. “Stevie’s able to speak clearly about how she feels and doesn’t feel, as does Lindsey. But I’ll say, personally, I would love to see a healing between them – and that doesn’t have to take the shape of a tour, necessarily.”

For Fleetwood, the one constant figure and unwavering force during the entire 57-year journey of Fleetwood Mac – the last few years have been, by his own admission, a personal and professional challenge.

When the most recent incarnation of Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood, John McVie, Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, aided by Neil Finn and Mike Campbell – played the last show of a year-long world tour in November 2019, the drummer didn’t think it would be a final farewell.

“There was a full intention, without waiting too long, that we’d go and pick things back up,” says Fleetwood. “That we’d play stadiums, big shows and festivals… and then at that point it was heading towards us saying goodbye.”

However, in early 2020 – just after Fleetwood led an all-star concert tribute to late Mac founder Peter Green at the London Palladium – lockdown scuttled further touring plans. An even bigger blow to the future of Fleetwood Mac came in November of 2022, with the death of Christine McVie.

Though Fleetwood is open to the idea of adding a final chapter to the band’s story_,_ he is mostly resigned to the fact that Fleetwood Mac, or as he puts it “the mothership”, may be harboured permanently.

“It’s been a strange time for me,” admits Fleetwood. “Losing sweet Christine was catastrophic. And then, in my world, sort of losing the band too. And I [split] with my partner as well. I just found myself sort of licking my wounds.”

Then, last summer, Fleetwood’s adopted home of Maui, Hawaii – specifically the city of Lahaina – was ravaged by a series of wildfires that killed over 100 people and destroyed some 80 per cent of its homes and businesses, including his long-running restaurant, Fleetwood’s, on Front Street.

“It was a hardcore hit for everyone on this lovely little island,” says Fleetwood. “I mean, we’re just lucky to be here – but there was a lot of terrible loss, lots of people without homes, people who were badly affected.”

Nearly a year after the fires, Fleetwood says the residents of Lahaina “are making progress. And people are coming back to the island, which gives us a lot of hope of coming through this. It just takes time. I’m even starting to think about bringing back my crazy little restaurant. It was a place where people around here would gather and commune.”

More recently, Fleetwood has sought solace and found renewed inspiration in playing music again. “I had to just get off my bottom,” he says. “I was sitting around twiddling my fingers for a long time. I finally plugged into the fact that I’m a drummer, I need to go play.” Fleetwood confirms he’s in the middle of making a new solo record, his first in 20 years. “And believe it or not, I’m actually starting to sing – so God help you,” he adds, laughing.

In between work on the project, Fleetwood will spend part of the summer in the UK, he performed with recent bandmate Neil Finn’s group Crowded House last month and he’s planning on attending Nicks’ Hyde Park concert this weekend, as well as by his old pal, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons.

“I’m gonna get myself a vicarious fix,” says Fleetwood. “For once, I get to be a punter in the audience and see them do all the work.”

Speaking to MOJO in AprilNeil Finn described his shock at being invited by Fleetwood to take Buckingham’s place in the band.

“I was gobsmacked. I was 60 and I’d had a wonderfully diverse musical life when Mick called and said, ‘We’ve got rid of Lindsey, would you play with us?’” he told MOJO’s John Aizlewood.

Finn’s tenure with the band ended before Christine McVie’s passing and he’s since returned to Crowded House, who released their eighth studio album Gravity Stairs in May. However, Finn appears to back up Nicks’ assertion that despite the drummer’s hopes, Fleetwood Mac are no longer a going concern.

“[Fleetwood Mac] doesn’t currently exist, but when I was there Mick carried the flag. He always has and he’s the heart and soul,” said Finn.

“Yet Stevie’s the leader in many ways, because Stevie wants it the way Stevie wants it and that’s the way it’ll be. She couldn’t bear to be in a band with Lindsey anymore, but she still wanted to do it exactly the way he would have. It was more difficult for Mike Campbell: she was really happy with the way it sounded between me and her, but she put a lot of pressure on Mike to be more like Lindsey. Sometimes Mike’s solos would go on and Stevie would get exhausted playing tambourine. She’d be, “Fucking hell, Lindsey only did 12 bars!”

“Rumours was a lot to experience – and all happened very fast. In a way, it still seems sort of unreal…” Stevie Nicks relives her rollercoaster ride in rock ‘n’ roll, from her first musical excursions, the wild success of Fleetwood Mac, solo stardom, fallen friends, Barbie and more. Read the full interview only in the latest issue of MOJO. More info and to order a copy HERE!

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Photo: Luke Glikas/Getty

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