NEW YORk (AFP) - Fleetwood Mac, the veteran rockers notorious for internal strife, are at it again. The band said Monday it was parting ways once more with guitarist Lindsey Buckingham.
The announcement, made as the British-American group prepares a summer tour, nonetheless came as a surprise as the band's classic lineup had reunited over the past few years.
"Lindsey Buckingham will not be performing with the band on this tour. The band wishes Lindsey all the best," the remaining members said in a statement.
The group said he would be replaced on the tour by two guitarists - frontman Neil Finn of Australian pop stalwarts Crowded House and Mike Campbell, who led the back-up band of late rocker Tom Petty.
"Fleetwood Mac has always been a creative evolution. We look forward to honoring that spirit on this upcoming tour," the band said.
It was not immediately clear why Buckingham was, in the words of one of the band's hits, set to go his own way.
But entertainment site Variety, quoting an anonymous source, said the band fired Buckingham rather than the guitarist choosing to leave. Representatives for the band declined comment.
Drummer Mick Fleetwood has been the only consistent member of the 50-year-old group, which has generated a string of emotionally resonant hits such as Dreams and Landslide. The California-born Buckingham originally joined when he was dating Stevie Nicks, whose sandy voice would define the sound of Fleetwood Mac.
They split while still bandmates and Fleetwood Mac's internal tensions famously belied an uneasy musical unity on the 1977 album Rumours, the group's most acclaimed work.
Buckingham, a key songwriter for the group, initially left the band in 1987.
But the group put behind bad blood to come back together in early 1993 for the inauguration of president Bill Clinton, who adopted the Fleetwood Mac song Don't Stop as a forward-looking campaign theme.
In January, Clinton saluted Fleetwood Mac when the group - including Buckingham - was honored at a charity concert in New York as part of the Grammy Awards.
Fellow vocalist Christine McVie, who was married to bassist John McVie and had kept a low profile in recent years, rejoined Fleetwood Mac in 2014 to complete the classic lineup.