Danny Kirwan, guitarist for the Fleetwood Mac band, died in London on Friday, as confirmed by the band. The musician was 68 years old.
Fleetwood Mac, the rock band, shared the heartbreaking news on June 9 on their official Facebook page. They wrote:
“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!”
The cause of death is still unknown.
Danny and his work was featured in five of the band’s albums from 1969 to 1972: Then Play On 1969, Blues Jam at Chess 1969, Kiln House 1970, Future Games 1971 and Bare Trees 1972. He recorded the songs, Albatross, Oh Well Pt. 1, and The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown).
Danny was only 18 years old when he first joined the band. At that time, Fleetwood, John McVie, Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer were in the band. He was not only the guitarist but also did vocal work and songwriting for the band. His talents were first broadcast with the release of the first album, Then Play On.
Among other members of the band, Danny was honored as part of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. However, he did not attend the ceremony.
In 1972, the guitarist engaged in alcohol abuse and was fired from the band. This was after the release of the Bare Trees album. Even after he left, though, Danny continued his passion for producing music. He hit off with numerous solo albums, including Second Chapter, which was released three years after his departure from the band.
Despite his musical success, Danny Kirwan was in a lot of trouble; he allegedly experienced mental health issues, became homeless and lost contact with everyone. When Mick Fleetwood, the founder of the band, found out about this, he contacted the Missing Person Bureau in order to track down Danny. Mick claimed that he last saw him in 1980. The Bureau located him in West End of London, where he was living in St Mungo’s Hostel for the homeless for about 4 years.
In an interview with The Independent in 1993, Danny said, “I’ve been through a bit of a rough patch but I’m not too bad.”
He added, “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.”