Friday, February 19, 2010


Mick Fleetwood Music Man, Winemaker and Mittagong local

Mick Fleetwood talked to Fiona Wyllie ahead of performing at Cassagrain Winery at Port Macquarie

Mick Fleetwood's music has provided the soundtrack to so many of our lives. Have you a particular Fleetwood Mac track that takes you back to a particular time and place? Have you heard stories or did you spend whole weekends listening to Fleetwood Mac on a cassette deck over and over.

A group of mates pulled off the road in a huge traffic jam on the old Pacific Highway through Newcastle and started playing cards and listening to Rumours, when they pulled back on the road, the traffic was clearer, the sky darker and the clock said it was 5 hours later. Back in 1977 there was a gig called RockArena held at the Sydney Showground with Santana, Little River band and Fleetwood Mac. In 2010 Mick Fleetwood Boz Scaggs and Michael McDonald are performing at Cassagrain Winery at Port Macquarie on Sunday 28th February.

For the last nine years Mick Fleetwood has been in the wine business. It all started with a throwaway line to a business colleague, who took him seriously and the musician is now an accomplished wine maker. He puts his heart and soul into making wine and has won a number of awards. For a winemaker playing in a winery is a perfect fit however Mick has said he hopes they'll all make it on stage.

His latest album Blue Again has some wonderful early Fleetwood Mac blues songs. Mick Fleetwood says he was weaned on Blues Music when he first went to London at 17 years old, and learning the Blues was his boot camp for training as a musician. The Blues, he said, "Is the love of my life" and that Fleetwood Mac was originally a blues band.

When Fleetwood Mac toured in December last year, Mick met up with Billy Thorpe's widow and daughters. He played with Billy in a band called the Zoo and misses him greatly. Mick told ABC Statewide afternoons that Billy Thorpe was unique and how thrilled he was to have played on the album Thorpie was working on when he died, which is being finished posthumously. According to Mick Fleetwood, Billy could convince anyone to do things his way, because he was "an eager beaver who just wouldn't give up, a red headed fireball who had the energy of three men". Besides his character Billy was a fantastic musician, and had "that voice."

Not many people know Mick Fleetwood purchased a property "Wensley Dale" in Mittagong in the southern highlands and went through the process of immigrating to Australia. He has a great affinity with Australia and if he could turn the clock back to being 25 again and didn't have the same things happening in his private life he would be an 'aussie'. Even though he loves Australia he's more than happy in his island home of Maui, where surprisingly he has found all the musicians who play in his band.

Have a listen to his interview with Fiona Wyllie on ABC NSW Statewide afternoons.

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