In the long and difficult history of Fleetwood Mac, a band whose many tribulations prove, beyond question, that truth is stranger than fiction, the sad fate of Danny Kirwan, the guitarist and songwriter who helped to create some of their finest music, usually is overlooked. The whereabouts and condition of Danny Kirwan, who was expelled from Fleetwood Mac in 1972, are currently unknown to the general public, but his special talent continues to be highly regarded by discerning fans.
Danny Kirwan was born in 1950, in London, England, and became a member of Fleetwood Mac in 1968, when he was in his late teens. With Danny Kirwan playing his guitar alongside the guitars of Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer, Fleetwood Mac soon became one of the standout bands in the United Kingdom, offering a trenchant form of electric blues that was both earthy and thoughtful. Then Play On, released by Fleetwood Mac in 1969, was the first of their albums to feature Danny Kirwan, and provides ample evidence of his strong abilities as a musician and a composer, particularly his gift for melody and harmony, on tracks such as “Coming Your Way” and “Although the Sun Is Shining.”
When Peter Green, who had been the main figure in Fleetwood Mac, became mentally ill and chose to leave the band in 1970, both Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer were forced to the forefront as guitarists and singers. The next album by Fleetwood Mac, Kiln House, has a sound that is quite different from their earlier albums, but it proved that the band could continue without Peter Green. Among its ten tracks, it features two songs written by Danny Kirwan, “Earl Grey” and “Tell Me All the Things You Do,” as well as two other songs, “Station Man” and “Jewel Eyed Judy,” written by Danny Kirwan with members of the band.