NEW YORK • Fleetwood Mac, the veteran rockers notorious for playing musical chairs, are at it again.
The band said on Monday the music had stopped for guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and that they were parting ways with him again.
The announcement, made as the British-American group prepare for a summer tour, nonetheless came as a surprise as their classic line-up had reunited over the past few years.
The group said he would be replaced on the tour by two guitarists - Neil Finn of Australian pop stalwarts Crowded House and Mike Campbell, who led the backup band of late rocker Tom Petty.
"Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honouring that spirit on this upcoming tour," the band said.
It was not immediately clear why Buckingham was, in the words of one of the group's hits, set to go his own way. Entertainment site Variety, quoting a source, said the band fired the guitarist rather than the latter choosing to leave.
Drummer Mick Fleetwood has been the only consistent member of the 50-year-old outfit, which has generated hits such as Dreams and Landslide. Buckingham originally joined when he was romantically involved with singer Stevie Nicks, whose sandy voice would define the sound of the group.
They split while still bandmates and Fleetwood Mac's internal tensions did not derail the solid music-making on 1977 album Rumours, its most acclaimed work.
Buckingham, a key songwriter, initially left the band in 1987. But the group put behind bad blood to come together in early 1993 for the inauguration of then US president Bill Clinton, who adopted the Fleetwood Mac song Don't Stop as a campaign theme.