(WENN) — Former Fleetwood Mac star Lindsey Buckingham has broken his silence over his exit from the group, revealing former lover Stevie Nicks gave their bandmates an ultimatum - it was him or her.
It was reported that the guitarist and singer was asked to leave the band because he couldn't commit to a touring schedule, but Lindsey insists he was given his marching orders because Nicks could no longer share a stage with him.
Ironically, he phoned band manager Irving Azoff to ask if Stevie was leaving the band, only to discover he'd been fired.
"(I said), 'This feels funny. Is Stevie leaving the band, or am I getting kicked out?'" Buckingham tells Rolling Stone magazine.
He was sacked two days after the band was honored at this year's MusiCares benefit concert in New York City. Nicks later suggested Buckingham's solo plans forced her and her bandmates to ask him to leave, but Lindsey claims Azoff told him, "Stevie never wants to be on a stage with you again."
"We rehearsed for two days, and everything was great," he adds. "We were getting along great."
But, according to Azoff, there were a number of things that had irked Nicks, including the fact he had "smirked" during her MusiCares thank you speech.
"I may or may not have smirked," he says, adding, "I look over and Christine and Mick are doing the waltz behind her as a joke."
Lindsey was so convinced Nicks was quitting the band he sent an email to Fleetwood Mac founder Mick Fleetwood, insisting the band could go on without her but got no response.
He does admit there was tension between himself and his bandmates when he asked for "three or four months extra" to complete a solo tour, and when they resisted in a meeting, he walked out.
"I don’t think there was ever anything that was just cause to be fired," he states. "We have all done things that were not constructive. All of us have worn on each other’s psyches at times. That’s the history of the group."
Buckingham has since been replaced by Mike Campbell and Neil Finn, who made their debuts as members of Fleetwood Mac during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last month.
Meanwhile, the fired guitarist insists he's far from heartbroken to no longer be a member of the band - he's just upset about the way he was ousted: "The one thing that does bother me and breaks my heart is we spent 43 years always finding a way to rise above our personal differences and our difficulties to pursue and articulate a higher truth," he continues. "That is our legacy. That is what the songs are about. This is not the way you end something like this."