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Danny Kirwan, Former Fleetwood Mac Guitarist, Dead at 68

Danny Kirwan performs with Fleetwood Mac at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1971.

Danny Kirwan performs with Fleetwood Mac at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1971. (Image credit: Gijsbert Hanekroot/Getty Images)

Danny Kirwan—guitarist and member of Fleetwood Mac from 1968-1972—died Friday, June 8, at age 68.

Mick Fleetwood confirmed Kirwan's death in a post on the band's Facebook page. No cause of death has been announced as of yet.

"Today was greeted by the sad news of the passing of Danny Kirwan in London, England," Fleetwood wrote. "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!"

Fleetwood recruited the then-18-year-old Kirwan to join the band in 1968. He went on to play on five of the band's albums: 1969's Then Play On and Blues Jam at Chess, 1970's Kiln House, 1971's Future Games and 1972's Bare Trees. His presence served as a bridge of sorts between two eras of Fleetwood Mac, as he played on both Peter Green's final album with the band (Then Play On) and Christine McVie's first (Future Games).

Kirwan was fired from the band in 1972 due to his alcoholism. Though he briefly pursued a solo career, by the end of the Seventies he had largely dropped out of the music industry entirely, due to mental health issues. In 1993, it was revealed that Kirwan had been living in a homeless hostel.

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.