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"Two weeks ago, I received a wonderful invitation to be part of a truly great band. A few days later, I was standing in a room playing music with Fleetwood Mac. It felt fresh and exciting… I can't wait to play," he said.

News of Buckingham's departure was met with criticism from Mac fans, some of who vowed to boycott the upcoming tour.

"Absolutely ridiculous. You guys just got rid of your visionary, the man whose work created the sound of this lineup," said one viral comment on the band's Facebook page.

"Good luck with the tour – as great as Neil Finn and Mike Campbell are, this is not a Fleetwood Mac I have any interest in," the commenter added.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood looked to downplay the backlash with a statement saying the band "has always been about… a unique blend of talents."

"We jammed with Mike and Neil and the chemistry really worked and let the band realise that this is the right combination to go forward with in Fleetwood Mac style," he said.

Lindsay Buckingham with Fleetwood Mac in Melbourne in 2015.

Photo: Pat Scala

Of course, this sort of drama is nothing new for the Hall of Fame band, who infamously navigated inter-band romances and break-ups throughout their heyday, fuelling biting hits such as Go Your Own Way and Silver Springs.

The band, with its reunited core lineup featuring Buckingham, Nicks, Fleetwood and Christine McVie, last toured Australia in late 2015, although Nicks and Fleetwood also made solo jaunts in more recent years.

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