Hawaii's Luxury Magazine
by Bill Mossman
It’s not every day that a junkie rolls out of bed prepared to flaunt his addiction to anyone in sight, but MICK FLEETWOOD is someone who’s always more than happy to oblige. Between the time the sun rises above Haleakala and the stars come out over ‘Iao Valley, the British-born drummer known for his hyperactive ways and wild rock ‘n’ roll days is often found firing things up and inhaling that sweet Maui air. Even his dear old mum loves being a part of his fast-paced addiction. Fleetwood’s life, it seems, has always been about the roll.
|Fleetwood at his home on Maui|
Welcome to the highly addictive world of celebrities and their car collections. Strewn across a handful of his properties from Kula to Napili is Fleetwood’s impressive fleet of motorcars, which includes Model A Fords, Ferraris, twin-turbo Porsches and BMW 750s. Of the latter, he owns not just one but three of these gleaming models. “I’m a BMW freak!” he admits. Of course, these rides are not just for show-they’re for ‘go’ every day of the week. On Sundays, for example, Fleetwood can be found forcing his 6-foot, 6-inch frame into a 1933 Austin 7-a tiny perambulator of an old English car he’s owned since he was a young man wreaking
havoc on the streets of London-just so that he can take his 97-year-old mother, Biddy, on open-top rides and lunch dates in. It’s still his favorite automobile to this day, having earned the nickname “Lettuce Leaf ” for its racing green color.
“That car actually remained in England for years at the house of my ex-brother-in-law, Eric Clapton,” explains Fleetwood, who was once married to Jenny Boyd, the sister of Pattie Boyd who was once wife to first George Harrison and later Clapton. “One day about 10 years ago, Eric called me up and said, ‘Hey, Mick, you’ve still got your car here. What do you want me to do with it?’ And I said, ‘Oh, my god-it’s still there?!’ The poor car had been sitting in an apple orchard with birds nesting in it! So I had it shipped over to Hawai’i and refurbished.”
Whether talking about his very first vehicle, a taxi cab he purchased from a London neighbor for 12 pounds, his oil-leaking Jaguar XJ-120 that nearly killed him after the transmission fell out while he was bombing down a motorway in England, or a little Deux Chevaux that carried all his supplies during a brief period in his 20s when he seriously considered leaving music to become a window cleaner or painter, it’s clear that motorcars are an important part of Fleetwood’s makeup. It’s also a habit he doesn’t plan on kicking anytime soon. “I’ve had cars that I probably should have unloaded a long time ago, but I just can’t. That’s what car lovers do, you know? They’re addicted. But I suppose that’s an addiction I can be thankful for.”
Older and wiser (and quite fittingly looking more Gandalf-like) these days, Fleetwood passes much of his time in careful reflection as he approaches his 67th birthday. A good portion of his life has been spent in total abandon with well-documented substance abuse battles, but age and experience have tempered his conduct in recent years. He pours a lot of time into outside ventures, including the launch of his own wine line and his return to restaurant ownership with Fleetwood’s on Front Street in Lahaina. “I look at the restaurant as a long-term plan,” says Fleetwood, whose first foray into the food industry business did not go so well. “It’s a way that I can be really active as a person. I love being around people.” He loves it so much, that the restaurant hosts a Hawaiian blessing each night on its rooftop for employees and diners. “It’s not really a touristy thing because it’s really poetic and really heartfelt,” he says of the ceremony. “But it’s my way of saying the islands changed me years ago.”
The man with the infectious mouth-agape drumming style discovered Hawai’i in the mid-’70s, shortly after adding guitarist/vocalist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks to a lineup that included John McVie and his then-wife, Christine, on bass and keyboards/ vocals, respectively. That incarnation of Fleetwood Mac (the first was formed in 1967 with blues-rock guitarist Peter Green, who abhorred the spotlight and chose to name the band after its rhythm section of fellow group founder Fleetwood and McVie) went on to produce one of the biggest-selling albums of all time in Rumours. It’s also the lineup that recently reunited following Christine McVie’s decision to rejoin the band after a 16-year absence from the business.
“We’re thrilled to be a reformed five-piece band,” says Fleetwood of the group, which will be embarking on a world tour this fall. “With Christine’s decision to return, it’s like having the final piece of our crazy puzzle put back together again.”
As for Hawai’i, it’s become more than just a place for Fleetwood to, as he says, “come and lick my wounds.” He still resides in the same home in Napili that he bought from John McVie years ago, and doesn’t plan on changing full-time residency any time soon.
“Life is good,” he says. “When things appear to be a little down, we in Hawai’i have a lot to be grateful for. We’re blessed to be living in one of the most beautiful places on this planet.”