Crowded House's Neil Finn had to 'audition' for Fleetwood Mac

Neil Finn had to try-out in front of Fleetwood Mac before landing guitarist gig credit:Bang Showbiz
Neil Finn had to try-out in front of Fleetwood Mac before landing guitarist gig credit:Bang Showbiz

Crowded House's Neil Finn had to audition to be Fleetwood Mac's guitarist.

The 'Weather with You' hitmaker, 65, replaced Lindsey Buckingham, 74, in 2018, after the 'Dreams' hitmakers fired the latter, and he has revealed it's the only time he's had to try-out for a band.

Neil also revealed his son, Liam Finn, 40, wasn't keen on him joining the band at first, and insisted he appreciated the audition because he could gauge if he was doing the right thing.

He told the June issue of MOJO magazine: "I was gobsmacked. I was 60 and I'd had a wonderfully diverse musical life when Mick called and said, 'We've got rid of Lindsey, would you play with us?' I'd just done Lightsleeper with Liam so he had a vested interest in my not doing it, but he said, 'Give it a shot,' so I auditioned."

The journalist was flabbergasted that he had to audition, with Neil adding: "It's the only audition I've ever done. I went to Hawaii and Mick spent an hour telling me it wasn't an audition, but it was. I was auditioning them too: I wasn't sure it was the right thing, I was quite conflicted, but I liked the people and the welcome was universal."

Asked what he added to the iconic group, he replied: "The naysayers said, 'No Lindsey Buckingham, no Fleetwood Mac,' but I brought personality and the ability to sing with Stevie [frontwoman] and Christine [late keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter]. I could never be capable of sounding like Lindsey but I put a similar intensity into his songs."

Neil has had no communication with Lindsey but insists there is no "ill-will" and he hopes they can catch up over a meal in the future.

Asked if they have spoken, he replied: "No, but I'd really like to have a dinner with him.

There's a lot of ill-will, but I don't think he bears any towards me and I do think he had prior appreciation of the music I'd made. Hopefully, once he got over the massive disappointment, he'd have thought, 'At least someone with something going for them is singing my songs.'"

Fleetwood Mac "currently doesn't exist" with the band not planning to continue without the beloved Christine - who died in 2022, aged 79, following a brief illness.

Drummer Mick Fleetwood, 76, previously admitted he cannot even contemplate stepping foot on stage again under the Fleetwood Mac name in the wake of his friend's passing.

Speaking to the LA Times at the Grammy Awards last year, he said: "I think right now, I truly think the line in the sand has been drawn with the loss of Chris.

“I’d say we’re done, but then we’ve all said that before. It’s sort of unthinkable right now.”