BORN: October 3, 1949
It has been quite a couple of years for Lindsey Buckingham. In April 2018, he was unceremoniously fired from Fleetwood Mac. Instead of stewing in the latest round of band drama, he did some moving on of his own. In October 2018, the guitar legend released Anthology: The Best of Lindsey Buckingham, a collection of tracks from his extensive solo catalog, as well as previously unreleased material from his personal vaults.
Buckingham followed the release with a tour, hitting the road for a fall 2018 trek that crisscrossed with the dates of his former band. He peppered his set with plenty of the Fleetwood Mac tracks that he’s written, including “Big Love,” “Tusk,” and “Go Your Own Way.”
His personal life took a turn for the worse earlier in 2019 when he was rushed to the hospital for emergency heart surgery. While the procedure was a success as far as his heart was concerned, it also resulted in vocal cord damage. “While it is unclear if this damage is permanent,” his wife Kristen shared in a statement, “we are hopeful it is not.”
"You better take care of yourself," she wrote, according to a recent L.A. Times interview. You better take it easy and you better do everything they tell you and get your voice back and feel the grace that you have made it through this."
Things were mostly quiet from Buckingham’s camp last year, with one beautiful and moving appearance, his first public performance since the heart surgery: in May 2019, the guitarist took the stage to perform “Landslide” at his daughter Leelee’s high school graduation.
On Instagram, Kristen Buckingham posted video clips of the graduation performance, with a healthy-looking Buckingham plucking out that familiar “Landslide” melody in his singular finger-picking style.
“Last night was epic,” she shared via Twitter. “First time I’ve seen Lindsey play in the last 4 mos, all the while Leelee ending her high school career. AND she sings a little ‘Landslide’ with her dad. I cried, I’ll admit it. Never know what’s ahead so enjoy the moment…”
Buckingham fans were thrilled earlier this year when the artist hopped on Zoom to sing in public for the first time since his heart surgery. He played Fleetwood Mac classics "Never Going Back Again and Big Love, as well as a couple of solo tracks: "Trouble" and "Shut Us Down."
“This [pandemic] has been like a couple of years previous in which things occurred that I did not see coming,” he said during the broadcast. “One was my split from Fleetwood Mac. Another one was having a bypass operation, which I did not expect to happen. You could say that this makes it a trifecta of events that were completely off the charts.”
He also shared a little news: “I do have an album coming out. We’re waiting to see where this is all going. We don’t have a release date. I was meant to be out on the road now promoting it. It should be out in the spring sometime. It’s just self-titled: Lindsey Buckingham. We’ll see where that goes."
Buckingham was measured when asked about the trials and tribulations of his recent past: “There are things that are going to happen that you cannot control. There certainly is a lesson in acceptance there, but there’s also a lesson in looking for what is really essential within those circumstances. Yes, I’ve got my talent and my artistic process that I value greatly…Beyond that, I’m here every day with my wife and my children and that is the gift that is essential to all of this. That becomes the silver lining. You are gently, or not-so-gently, reminded of essentials.”