When Saturday Night Live was celebrating its 40th anniversary, we wondered how it was possible that during all that time on air Fleetwood Mac had never been the musical guest.

A few individual members from the band did come through Studio 8H to promote side projects—Lindsey Buckingham appeared on February 6th, 1982, and again on November 12th, 1983, along with Mick Fleetwood's Zoo, and Stevie Nicks was the musical guest once, on December 10th, 1983. But there was never a Fleetwood Mac appearance, and it makes no sense. The band hit the mainstream around the mid-1970s, right when SNL was premiering, and they came through NYC while touring both Rumours and Tusk, not to mention the decades of albums and coinciding tours that followed.

To get a sense of the booking on SNL back in those days, here are other bands that performed in the 1970s: Patti Smith, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Joe Cocker, The Band, Frank Zappa, The Kinks, Tom Waits, Randy Newman (twice), Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, The Rolling Stones, the Grateful Dead, Talking Heads, Blondie, Dylan, Tom Petty, David Bowie, and so on.

Back in 2015, our investigation into why Fleetwood Mac was mysteriously missing from that list led us nowhere, but this week Gothamist's Ben Yakas had the opportunity to speak with Lindsey Buckingham on the phone. As I heard they were wrapping up their conversation, I scribbled this on a piece of paper (incidentally, in my Stevie Nicks "Rock A Little" notebook):

(Jen Carlson/Gothamist)

Yakas, seeing the desperation in my eyes, asked, "Fleetwood Mac had never played SNL. And we were just... was there any reason? Did anything happen?" Buckingham immediately dug in:

I know, I know. I wonder about that. No, [nothing happened] that I can remember. But, you know, it's very possible that scheduling didn't work out. Or it's possible that, you know, there were the normal set of convoluted politics where somebody wanted... you know one of the things about Fleetwood Mac you gotta say is that it's not very often that you get everyone to want the same thing at the same time. So, I mean, I'm just surmising, I don't know why that is. If someone was not wanting to do TV, I really couldn't say. But yeah, when you think about that, what are the odds of that, after all these years?

And you know, Saturday Night Live came on in I think in 1975, which is the same year Stevie and I joined. So we, this incarnation of Fleetwood Mac is basically, you know, the same age as SNL. So I don't know how we avoided that, but somehow we did.

Could the band play SNL during the upcoming 43rd season? Buckingham is on board—"Well, if they'll have us, then maybe we can do it. That might be good."


Ben Yakas's full interview with Lindsey Buckingham can be found here.