Fleetwood Mac just kicked off its 50-city-plus North American tour without guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and it wasn't because Buckingham didn't want to be there. So says the 69-year-old guitarist's new lawsuit against the group, which outlines, per Buckingham, how Stevie Nicks et al dumped him from the tour in January via his manager, just days after they'd all performed together at the MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony, Us Weekly reports. Buckingham claims the group had bristled at his request to push the start of the tour from August to November so he could promote a solo album, and so he put his personal plans on pause so he could make the tour happen. The news his bandmates had "suddenly cut [him] off entirely" was a shock.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Buckingham offers a theory as to what expedited his firing: He "smirked" at ex-girlfriend Stevie Nicks as she gave a speech at that final performance. "We have this standing joke that Stevie, when she talks, goes on a long time," Buckingham says. "I may or may not have smirked." Buckingham says the $12 million or so he estimates he would've been paid had he gone on the tour should still come his way, as he's still willing to tour and is being left out against his will, per the Hollywood Reporter. He's suing for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of oral contract, among other claims. "I remain deeply surprised and saddened, as this decision ends the beautiful 43-year legacy we built together," Buckingham says in a statement, NBC News reports. (Read more Fleetwood Mac stories.)