Fleetwood Mac’s Ups and Downs Over the Years: Affairs, Lineup Swaps, More

The stuff of legend. Fleetwood Mac’s history of breakups, affairs and lineup changes is so famous that their name is now synonymous with rock ‘n’ roll drama.

Founded in 1967 by Peter Green, Jeremy Spencer and Mick Fleetwood, the group initially started as a blues band before pivoting to a rock-forward sound in the early 1970s. By the time Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band in 1975, Fleetwood Mac had already released nine albums.

The “Edge of Seventeen” songstress and the guitarist were dating when they became part of the group, but their romance began to fizzle shortly after they settled in. According to Nicks, they rekindled their relationship for the sake of the music.

“I said, OK, this is what we’ve been working for since 1968,” the American Horror Story alum told Buckingham, according to the 2017 biography Gold Dust Woman. “And so, Lindsey, you and I have to sew this relationship back up. We have too much to lose here. We need to put our problems behind us. Maybe we’re not going to have any more problems, because we’re finally going to have some money. And I won’t have to be a f–king waitress.”

The reconciliation didn’t last, however, and during the recording of Rumours — arguably the band’s most famous album — Buckingham and Nicks called it quits for good.

While the romantic drama between band members cooled down in the late 1970s, the professional tension was just heating up. Nicks, Fleetwood and Buckingham all released solo albums in 1981, and in 1987, Buckingham made his first exit from the band. He later rejoined the group before leaving again in 2018.

After Buckingham’s final exit, Fleetwood Mac completed another world tour without incident, but their past drama made headlines again in 2019 with the release of Taylor Jenkins Reid‘s novel Daisy Jones & the Six. The book is an oral history of a fictional band that readers couldn’t help comparing to the “Dreams” group, especially after a TV adaptation hit screens in March 2023.

Jenkins Reid, for her part, has said that the band’s TV special Fleetwood Mac: The Dance partly inspired her main characters, who harbor a secret love for one another while in relationships with other people.

“When I decided I wanted to write a book about rock ‘n’ roll, I kept coming back to that moment when Lindsey watched Stevie sing ‘Landslide.’ How it looked so much like two people in love. And yet, we’ll never truly know what lived between them,” the Malibu Rising author wrote in a Hello Sunshine blog post in 2019. “I wanted to write a story about that, about how the lines between real life and performance can get blurred, about how singing about old wounds might keep them fresh.”

Keep scrolling for a look back at Fleetwood Mac’s ups and downs over the years: