Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan dead at 68

Kirwan struggled with alcoholism and was fired from the band in 1972

Further details about Kirwan's death have not been released.

Fleetwood wrote on his Facebook that "Danny was a huge force in our early years", and his love of the blues led him into the band back in 1968, fifty years ago.

Thank you, Danny Kirwan. "You will be forever missed!"

Kirwan made his recording debut on the band's #1 United Kingdom instrumental hit, "Albatross", released in November 1968.

Back in 2015, during an interview with the New York Observer, Tim Sommer said Kirwan was one of the "great lost figures" in the history of rock music.

His first studio album with Mac was 1969's Then Play On, also the last to feature their co-founder and original guitar inspiration Peter Green.

He was a key member of the band's late 1960s line-up and was important as a singer and songwriter on the group's albums of the early 1970s.

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Kirwan joined Fleetwood Mac when he was still a teenager, and his work was featured the albums Then Play On (1969), Blues Jam at Chess (1969), Kiln House (1970), Future Games (1971), and Bare Trees (1972).

The musician was 68-years-old.

He remained active briefly, recording unsuccessful three solo albums for the British label DJM in 1975-79.

His mental health declined thereafter and he was reported to be homeless on occasion, although he told the Independent newspaper in 1993: "I've been through a bit of a rough patch but I'm not too bad".

In 1998, Kirwan became one of the eight members of Fleetwood Mac to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, however he did not attend the ceremony, according to Rolling Stone. After Welch's departure in 1974, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined, creating the best-known lineup of the group.

Kirwan is survived by his only son.

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