When Lindsey Buckingham was fired from Fleetwood Mac in April it brought to an end 43 years of service with only a few interregnums. The reasons for his departure are far from clear. Drummer Mick Fleetwood would only say the band had reached an "impasse", while Buckingham himself - breaking his silence at a recent Californian fundraiser - claimed that factions within the band had "lost their perspective".
It's not the first (and it won't be the last) time a musician has been ejected from the fold for spurious or nebulous reasons. Here are seven other curious cases of band members being served their P45s...
Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols)
Reason for sacking: He liked Paul McCartney
History is littered with musicians who were fired for not being good enough, but few bands have sacked one of the creative forces in favour of someone who couldn't really play. That's what happened when the Sex Pistols got rid of bassist Glen Matlock in favour of Sid Vicious. The reason for the switch? Matlock apparently spent too much time banging on about Paul McCartney.
Punk was supposed to be a year zero, meaning talking about influences was anything but de rigueur. In February 1977, manager Malcolm McLaren sent a telegram to the NME confirming the dismissal and the reasons behind it: "Yes Glen Matlock was thrown out of the Sex Pistols so I'm told because he went on too long about Paul McCartney STOP The Beatles was too much STOP Sid Vicious their best friend and always a member of the group but unheard as yet was enlisted STOP."
Courtney Love (Faith No More)
Reason for sacking: Acting like a dictator
To lose one lead singer may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose a second looks like carelessness. Influential San Francisco rockers Faith No More didn't really hit paydirt until they recruited Mike Patton as their third lead vocalist in 1989, a replacement for the late, great Chuck Mosley, who sang on the group's satirical funk metal classic debut We Care A Lot (1985).
And before Mosley, future Hole lead singer and grunge superstar Courtney Love was briefly at the helm. Love, as we've come to discover, is an artist who clearly knows what she wants, but as Faith No More frontwoman she was deemed too autocratic by the rest of the band. She was kicked out after just six months (although she has remained the best of pals with keyboard player Roddy Bottum). Faith No More de facto leader Billy Gould is quoted in The Real Story, Steffan Chirazi's 1994 biography of the band, as saying: "It got to this point where things were just too much. Courtney's not the sort of person you could just be an equal with in bands - she's got to lead and tell people what's what. She was the dictator, and in our band, things were democratic."
Jimi Hendrix (Little Richard's backing band, The Upsetters)
Reason for sacking: For wearing a loud shirt?
He may have been one of the greatest guitar players the world has ever seen, but that didn't stop him being kicked out of the touring band of a legendary rock 'n' roller. Pre-fame, Jimi Hendrix made a modest living as a sideman when he came out of the army in the early-60s, playing alongside the likes of Wilson Pickett, The Isley Brothers, Sam Cooke and, eventually, Little Richard, his idol.
Hendrix's showmanship proved to be a problem for the Tutti Frutti vocalist, who felt that the flamboyant guitarist in his backing band, The Upsetters, was stealing some of the limelight. The exact reason for Hendrix's departure depends on who you talk to. Richard's brother Robert Penniman claimed that Jimi was "always late for the bus and flirting with all the girls and stuff like that". Others suggested the breaking point came when Hendrix turned up for work in a loud shirt.
Dave Glover (Slade)
Reason for sacking: Getting engaged to a serial killer
In 2003, glam was rocked when tabloid newspapers reported the impending marriage of Slade bass player Dave Glover to the incarcerated serial killer Rosemary West, serving 10 consecutive life sentences in Durham Prison. The marriage was then called off by West days after it hit the headlines, given the sensation it caused.
West's solicitor said in a statement that she had decided to "give this young man his life back". Glover, who'd been playing in Slade II for the past three years, denied there was any wedding and repudiated the number of letters the pair had supposedly sent to one another. Nevertheless, he was sacked unceremoniously by the group's Dave Hill, who told the Birmingham Post: "I was stunned when I heard what Dave Glover was planning to do. I had absolutely no idea that he had any contact with Rose West or even had a girlfriend. I am completely horrified by it. It's very upsetting to me personally. I am glad to see the back of him. He's a nice bloke and all that but this is just totally sick. He had to go for the good name of the band."
Keisha Buchanan (Sugababes)
Reason for sacking: Infighting and a royalty dispute?
Sugababes, formed in 2000, are a band as famous for their personnel changes over the years as they are for their 2003 Tubeway Army-sampling hit, Freak Like Me. Of the three original members, Siobhán Donaghy was first to go in 2001; Mutya Buena was gone by 2005; then, in 2009, new members of the band staged a mutiny and ousted Keisha Buchanan from the lineup, replacing her with Jade Ewen, the UK's unsuccessful entrant in the 2009 Eurovision song contest.
"Dear friends," Keisha wrote on Twitter, "I'm sad to say that I am no longer a part of the Sugababes... Although it was not my choice to leave, it's time to enter a new chapter in my life... I would like to state that there were no arguments, bullying or anything of the sort that led to this. Sometimes a breakdown in communication and lack of trust can result in many different things. I've been in this band for 11 years and I have achieved so much. I have a great family and friends who are behind me 100 per cent and at the age of 24, I'm now going out into this world on my own."
The Guardian suggested at the time that there had been a dispute over royalties, as well as friction between Keisha and Mutya's replacement in the band, Amelle Berrabah, who had missed two Sugababes concerts and also guested on Tinchy Stryder's No.1 single Never Leave You earlier that year.
In 2011, the three founder members formed Mutya Keisha Siobhan, or MKS for short, while the concomitant rogue Sugababes began to recede commercially. Neither band appears to be active any longer though Keisha did secure the Sugababes trademark in the United States in 2015.
Andy Rourke (The Smiths)
Reason for sacking: Alleged drug use
While some still hanker for a reunion of the seminal Manchester indie four-piece The Smiths, the very public bickering - much of it in courts of law - makes such an eventuality difficult to imagine. One would need a word count as long as Morrissey's autobiography to get to the bottom of the myriad disputes between erstwhile members over the years, which includes bass player Andy Rourke's sacking by a Morrissey-penned postcard for alleged drug use.
The offending memo left under the windscreen wiper of Rourke's car is alleged to have read: "Andy, you have left The Smiths. Good luck and goodbye, Morrissey." The bassist was eventually allowed back into the fold, although the band soon split up anyway. Asked by the Daily Beast if he is still in possession of the postcard, Rourke answered: "My ex-wife has it. Because I left in a hurry, she has a lot of my stuff." Morrissey has always denied he wrote any such postcard; Rourke envisions a time in the future where his former wife auctions it online.
Doug Bogie (Queen)
Reason for sacking: Jumping around too much
Here's a name you might not have heard of. Douglas Bogie is but a footnote in the annals of rock history, but it all could have been very different had he just kept still a bit more. According to Matt Richards and Mark Longthorne's Somebody To Love: The Life, Death and Legacy of Freddie Mercury, the bass player got the heave-ho from Queen after only a couple of gigs with the band.
"He jumped up and down in a manner most incongruous," was the damning verdict of guitarist Brian May.
"So I was having great fun, standing beside Roger Taylor - who I admire greatly, drumming and singing," said Doug of his short time in Queen. "Must have just upset Freddie. It seems Brian was very unimpressed, too. Why didn't they say so? I could have happily adapted. But I loved playing so much. Who wouldn't jump about?"
Queen eventually settled on fourth bassist John Deacon, writer of Queen classics like Another One Bites the Dust and I Want to Break Free. He didn't jump about.