Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham underwent emergency open heart surgery last week and is now recuperating at his home. “Each day he is stronger than the last,” his wife Kristen Buckingham wrote in a statement. “While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if the damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.”
Buckingham was forced out of Fleetwood Mac last year when Stevie Nicks made it clear to the rest of the band that she could no longer work with him. “After 43 years and the finish line so clearly in sight, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that for the five of us to splinter part would be the wrong thing,” Buckingham wrote in an e-mail to group co-founder leader Mick Fleetwood after learning the news. “At the moment, the band’s heart and soul has been diminished. But out center, which has seen us through so much, is only laying dormant.”
The appeal didn’t work and the band brought on Neil Finn of Crowded House and Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to replace him. Buckingham sued the band over the termination, though they settled out of court. The guitarist spent the last few months playing solo gigs to promote his new three-disc set Solo Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham.
“This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family to say the least,” Kristen Buckingham wrote. “But despite all of this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate that he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently schedule have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely.”
Read the complete statement from Kristen Buckingham below: