Lindsey Buckingham is celebrating his 70th birthday today. His former Fleetwood Mac bandmates haven’t issued any sort of public birthday greeting, but they did announce that they’re going to wrap up their 2018–19 world tour with a gig at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on November 16th. The group just finished up a long run of dates in Australia and New Zealand and later this month will begin making up shows in North America they had to postpone when Stevie Nicks was ill earlier in the year.
This is their first tour without Lindsey Buckingham since the group reunited the Rumous-era lineup in 1996. They toured without him for the decade prior to that, but that was because he left the band on his own accord. This time around, he was asked to leave because Stevie Nicks was no longer willing to play with him. They filled the hole he left with Mike Campbell of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Neil Finn of Crowded House. Buckingham sued the band for wrongful dismissal, but they settled out of court.
Up until his dismissal, Buckingham managed to find time for his solo career when Fleetwood Mac weren’t on the road. Here’s video of him performing “Go Your Own Way” at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills back in 2011. He was promoting his new album Seeds We Sow at the time, but his live show was always packed with Fleetwood Mac classics and he knew getting offstage without doing this one would be impossible.
Buckingham hit the road as a solo act again in 2018 after learning Fleetwood Mac didn’t want him back, but in February of this year he announced that he’d suffered a heart attack. He made a full recovery, but doctors inserted tubes down his throat during an emergency procedure that caused significant trauma to his vocal cords. He hasn’t sang in public since the heart attack, but he did play a moving rendition of “Landslide” on guitar at his daughter’s high school gradation ceremony in May while the students handled the vocals.
Fleetwood Mac fans are, of course, hoping the band can once again mend things up and reform with Buckingham for their next tour. And even if his voice doesn’t sound like it did in 1977 or even 2015, most fans probably won’t even care. They’ll just be delighted to see him back where he belongs.