Mick Fleetwood pays touching tribute to former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Daddy Kirwan after his death
Kirwan joined Fleetwood Mac post the release of 1968 hit Mr. Wonderful. He was fired in 1972 due to his severe alcoholism and his later years were clouded by mental health issues
Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan died on Friday at the age of 68. Kirwan played on five of the British band's albums and his death was confirmed by Mick Fleetwood, through a Facebook post paying tribute to his ex-bandmate. No cause of death was announced.
Fleetwood, who had recruited the then 18-year-old Kirwan to join the band back in 1968, wrote on the band's Facebook page: "Today was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England. Danny was a huge force in our early years. His love for the Blues led him to being asked to join Fleetwood Mac in 1968, where he made his musical home for many years. Danny's true legacy, in my mind, will forever live on in the music he wrote and played so beautifully as a part of the foundation of Fleetwood Mac, that has now endured for over fifty years. Thank you, Danny Kirwan. You will forever be missed!"
Kirwan had joined Fleetwood Mac post the release of the 1968 hit, 'Mr. Wonderful'. His first appearance in the band was their number one hit single, 'Albatross', after which he went to record five other albums with the band, while simultaneously also serving as a singer along with his role of being a guitarist.
Those five albums were 1969's 'Then Play On' (the band's last Peter Green album), 'Blues Jam at Chess', 1970's 'Kiln House' (the first Mac album to feature Christine McVie), 1971's 'Future Games' and 1972's 'Bare Trees'.
However, things went haywire for Kirwan when his alcoholism got the better of him and he was fired from Fleetwood Mac during their tour in support of 'Bare Trees' in 1972. Yet, the second half of the seventies saw Kirwan release four solo albums. Sadly, things were clouded for the next few decades as bouts of mental health issues and homelessness kept recurring for the troubled musician.
"I've been through a bit of a rough patch but I'm not too bad," Kirwan had shared with the Independent in a rare interview in 1993, post Mick Fleetwood's request to the Missing Person Bureau that asked him to seek out his former guitarist.
"I get by and I suppose I am homeless, but then I've never really had a home since our early days on tour. I couldn't handle it all mentally and I had to get out. I can't settle."
However, there were certain silver linings in Kirwan's llife too, especially when he was named one of the eight members of the band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Even though Kirwan did not attend the induction ceremony, he shared the honor with artists like Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Peter Green, John McVie, Christine McVie and Jeremy Spencer.