Now, however, it appears that Buckingham may be artistically free from the machinery – the industry that is Fleetwood Mac – once and for all.

"Touring is one animal," he says. "I would not disagree with anyone who has the notion that we'll tour again at some point. Maybe not till 2008, depending on what goes on with me." But another Mac album? "To me that would totally hinge on Stevie, and my last understanding was that she wasn't interested in making any more new music.

"That could change. Sometimes she'll react strongly one moment, then think it over and change her mind, as we all do. But for now, I feel like I have people in my corner at (longtime label) Warner Bros. People saying, 'Do this, and if you want do another album in short order' – which is what I'd like to do – 'then do it. And if Fleetwood Mac is knocking, let 'em knock for a while."

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