Lindsey Buckingham plays guitar for first since open-heart surgery, as daughter sings ‘Landslide.’
Lindsey Buckingham has performed publicly for this first time since his open-heart surgery nearly four months ago, playing guitar to accompany his high-school daughter and her graduating class on their rendition of a classic Fleetwood Mac hit.
“Last night was epic,” tweeted Buckingham’s wife, Kristen Buckingham, who suggested that this might have been his first private performance since the surgery, too. “First time I’ve seen Lindsey play in the last 4 mos, all the while Leelee ending her high school career. AND she sings a little ‘Landslide’ with her dad. I cried, I’ll admit it. Never know what’s ahead so enjoy the moment…”
She shared a video clip of the performance on Instagram.
That the song they performed was not one of his compositions, but one by Stevie Nicks was seen by some fans as possible evidence of a growing spirit of forgiveness between estranged former bandmates. But it could just as easily be a nod to Buckingham’s contributions to the song, or an indication that high school chorales naturally gravitate to “Landslide” more than, say, “I’m So Afraid.”
An earlier Instagram post from Kristen Buckingham showed Leelee posing in a USC shirt, indicating that their daughter may be in for a lot of marching band versions of “Tusk” over the next four years.
Left unaddressed by the instrumental performance is the state of Buckingham’s voice, first raised by his wife in a statement following the surgery in early February. At that time, she said, “While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if the damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.” Later in that month, she added, “Considering the massively invasive surgery, he is doing really well. Each day things get a little easier, but it is a slow process and sometimes a frustrating one.”
Kristen Buckingham has not re-addressed the subject of Lindsey’s vocal cord damage since — although she has responded to updated accounts of the split between Buckingham and the rest of the group in 2018, and how it reportedly came down to a he-goes-or-I-go ultimatum from Nicks following perceived friction at a MusiCares tribute dinner at the beginning of that year.
“They were togther at MusiCares and got along great,” Kristen Buckingham wrote in response to fan inquiries in March. “She has never spoken to him since and he has reached out repeatedly with no response. I guess she decided she didn’t like him anymore? Any conversation would have been nice. Reminds me of being really young and immature. When I wanted out of a relationship, for no real reason, I looked for and found some excuse to make it easy for me to break up instead of facing the truth. The ugly truth that I was just shitty. Girls, you know this move right?” She also directly addressed Mick Fleetwood: “You are so busy telling the world how ‘unhappy’ the band was. It would have been nice if you told Lindsey that. He’s still wondering what happened. You are a dishonest coward and I have zero respect for you. That goes for all of you FM, you really suck.”
Back in February, Kristen shared a photo of herself with Lindsey in recovery after surgery, writing, “Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician. We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time.”
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I am sad to say that last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery. He is now recuperating at home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not. This past year has been a very stressful and difficult year for our family to say the least. But despite all this, our gratitude for life trumps all obstacles we have faced at this moment. We feel so fortunate he’s alive. As does he. He looks forward to recovery and putting this behind him. Needless to say, all touring and shows currently scheduled have been put on pause for the moment as he gathers the strength to heal completely. Our family thought it important to share what’s happening with Lindsey with the hope that inspires someone else to seek preventative care. Lindsey’s family has a history of heart issues, having lost both his father at 56 and his brother at 46 to heart related illness. If anyone is experiencing even the mildest of symptoms we encourage you to seek the care of a physician. We are so thankful for the kind and generous love given by the people surrounding Lindsey, me and our kids throughout this emotional time. We can’t thank you enough for all you did for our family. We will never forget you. XO ❤️
Kristen had also taken to social media in recent months to offer their family’s support to another rocker who found himself in something of the same boat. “Wishing @MickJagger a speedy recovery!” she tweeted.
Chris Willman / Variety / Monday, May 20, 2019