“In a heartbeat, absolutely," says Lindsey Buckingham about whether he'd return to Fleetwood Mac to 'close' their story

Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham, 2018
(Image credit: Stephen Lovekin/Variety/Penske Media via Getty Images)

The passing of Christine McVie in 2022 effectively ended Fleetwood Mac for Stevie Nicks and Mick Fleetwood. Understandably, their keyboard player, vocalist and songwriter was simply too integral to consider a future without.

"I think right now, I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris," Fleetwood told the Los Angeles Times in 2023. "I’d say we’re done, but then we’ve all said that before. It's sort of unthinkable right now."

Nicks echoed this sentiment later in the same year: "Without her, what is it? You know what I mean? When she died, I figured we really can’t go any further with this. There’s no reason to."

For many fans, the idea of the band without Lindsey Buckingham was the same kind of impasse, and yet Fleetwood Mac toured with not one but two guitarists in his place following his 2018 departure. Neil Finn and Mike Campbell stepped into the lineup, with the former taking on Buckingham's vocal role.

Time has a way of changing perspectives though; especially as the period after didn't just see the passing of McVie – who had released a duo album with Buckingham in 2017 –  but the guitarist's own brush with mortality following a heart attack and major surgery. Now he's openly seeking to regroup with Fleetwood, Nicks and bassist John McVie.

Buckingham was a recent guest on Conan O'Brien's excellent Conan O'Brien Needs A Friend podcast, and the episode hasn't even hit streaming services apart from SiriusXM yet. But a preview has dropped an enticing crumb that we're intrigued by.

“In a heartbeat, absolutely,” the guitarist, vocalist and songwriter responded to the host when asked if he would consider rejoining Fleetwood Mac (via Far Out). “If there’s more to come [from the band], if there’s a way to heal that, that would be great. It would be very appropriate to close on a more circular note.”

It's hard not to find hope in that, and the idea that the remaining members could end their musical story in a more amicable way. 

“Without pointing any fingers, it was certainly fairly singular in how it was driven," said Buckingham, 74, on his 2018 dismissal. " Others in the band were not happy with what was going on at that point. And I think everyone would have liked to see me remain, but did what they felt they had to do in that moment. And that’s understandable. There’s no fingers to point at anyone, really. That’s rock and roll, right?”

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.